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State report details five-year trends in career and technical education

Date: Monday, March 28, 2022

An annual report released by the Iowa Department of Education provides the latest data and a five-year analysis of career and technical education in Iowa school districts.

The 2022 Annual Condition of Secondary Career and Technical Education (CTE) report reviews data from academic years 2017-21, which includes a timeframe impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. From the report, reviews of CTE courses and programs, program enrollment highlights and characteristics of CTE students and educators are provided. The report also offers an overview of career and technical student organizations, career and academic plans, work-based learning and regional centers.

The details obtained from the five-year evaluation of CTE secondary programs aligns with House File 2392, a policy framework to provide access to equitable secondary CTE programs, and the implementation of the Perkins V State Plan, which is committed to providing all students with real-world learning experiences.

Career and technical education plays a vital part in preparing Iowa’s students for career success. It provides opportunities for hands-on training and education in high-demand job fields and is in step with Gov. Reynolds’ Future Ready Iowa goal of having 70 percent of Iowans with education and training beyond high school by 2025.

Notable CTE highlights from 2017-21 include:

  • The total number of CTE courses and programs offered and taught held steady. On a year-to-year basis, a small, steady growth was shown over the five-year period.
  • Overall enrollment in secondary CTE and overall secondary CTE participation rates fluctuated during the five-year period.
  • The participation of male students has been higher than female students, but the proportion of female students has increased steadily.
  • Career and technical student organization membership has seen two years of decline, attributed to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, from its peak of 27,155 participants in 2019, membership has declined by only 846 members.
  • During 2021, Iowa’s school districts helped 32,694 eighth grade students create individual career and academic plans.
  • Over 200 school districts in Iowa offered work-based learning courses in 2021. This is more than double the amount that was offered in 2017.