Career and Technical Student Organizations (CTSOs)
Career and Technical Student Organizations (CTSOs) are co-curricular organizations for individuals who are enrolled in career and technical classes and/or programs. The goal of CTSOs is to engage students in leadership development and career and technical education activities that are part of the instructional program. CTSOs are also part of the Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE)’s Quality CTE Program of Study Framework. Additionally, students can, with local school approval, earn credit for Participation in Government through active membership in a Career and Technical Student Organization.
In New York, there are seven chartered CTSOs which represent all six of New York’s CTE areas. See each CTSO below to learn more about each organization and what it may provide for your school’s CTE program.
BEST PRACTICES FOR REMOTE CTSO OPERATIONS
Due to the COVID pandemic, CTSO operations may look very different from others in the past. The following items should be considered by CTSOs as they look to implement successful programs in a remote or hybrid setting.
- Follow all directions from the respective state and national organizations that oversee the CTSO. Their guidance will assist in making any potential program modifications
- Consider if conferences, meetings, service projects, programs of work, and events can be conducted remotely in the event that face to face meetings cannot take place. CDC guidelines regarding social distancing, equipment, and events must be followed when planning CTSO events.
- Consider if video conferencing can be used to conduct roleplays to adhere to social distancing guidelines.
- Consider if written exams can be administered remotely, especially on a secure platform.
- Consider if chapter, regional, or state level meetings can be held remotely.
- Consider if business and industry partners can continue to contribute to the success of the organization remotely.
- Consider CDC guidelines when setting up and planning competition facilities, including sanitization of any surfaces and equipment between competitors.
- Consider if handshakes or direct physical contact with judges and competitors can be excused given COVID-19. Consider if materials can be sent to the judge electronically.
- Consult with local legal counsel regarding any concerns regarding EdLaw 2D and any other questions regarding allowable platforms for teleconferencing.
Overview: DECA, formerly Distributive Education Clubs of America, provides activities and classroom tools that promote the development of leadership skills in marketing, business administration and management, finance, and hospitality. DECA serves more than 7,000 students in New York State enrolled in business and marketing education programs.
NYSED contact: Michael LaMastra
Overview: Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) is a CTSO focused on business management and administration. FBLA’s programs focus on leadership development, academic competition, educational programs, and community service. FBLA serves more than 6,500 students in New York State throughout their four divisions: middle-level, high school, collegiate, and professional.
NYSED contact: Michael LaMastra
Overview: Family, Career, and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA) is a dynamic and effective national student organization that helps students become leaders and address important personal, family, work, and societal issues through family and consumer sciences education. FCCLA teaches leadership skills and encourages career exploration in the areas of human services, hospitality and tourism, education and training, and visual arts and design. FCCLA is an integral part of Family and Consumer Sciences (FACS) education and an essential element in a complete FACS program. The wide range of diverse activities, projects, programs, leadership opportunities, and service learning experienced through FCCLA complement and augment the content topics of the FACS curricula.
NYSED contact: Kelli Grab
Overview: The FFA is a dynamic youth organization aimed to prepare its members for premier leadership, personal growth, and career success through agricultural education. Participants develop their talents through hands-on experiences, giving members the tools to achieve real-world success in a wide variety of career fields. FFA is an intra-curricular organization and is one of the three components of agricultural education: classroom and laboratory experience, Supervised Agricultural Experiences (SAE- WBL), and Student Leadership Organizations (FFA). Today there are over 700,000 FFA members across all 50 states, Puerto Rico, and the US Virgin Islands. In New York State, agricultural education, as well as the FFA, is overseen by the New York Agricultural Outreach and Education organization which works in partnership with Cornell University and the New York State Education Department.
NYSED contact: Kelli Grab
Overview: HOSA is a CTSO dedicated to promoting leadership and skills training within the health sciences. Their two-fold mission is to promote career opportunities in the health care industry and to enhance the delivery of quality health care to all people. HOSA has over 245,000 members worldwide, creating a large network of educators, future health care professionals, and practicing health care professionals.
NYSED contact: Louise Bigando
Overview: SkillsUSA is a National Organization that provides students with educational experiences in leadership, teamwork, citizenship, and character development. The New York State SkillsUSA has more than 10,000 members who are involved in many community service activities as well as competing in regional conferences and the state conference held in Syracuse New York each spring. The first-place winners of the state conference go on to compete in the National Leadership and Skills Conference held in Atlanta, Georgia in June. Business and industry partners are directly involved in evaluating students' knowledge and skills.
NYSED contact: Nicole Hadsell
Overview: The Technology Student Organization is a CTSO comprised of middle and high school students enrolled in technology education classes. Students work on competitive events focused on technology education content and apply leadership skills necessary in STEM-related fields.
Students can, with local school approval, earn credit for Participation in Government through active membership in a Career and Technical Student Organization. Please reference the guide below for guidance as to how to implement this option for your students.