About the AZ CTE Leadership Continuum

The Leadership Continuum grew out of a committee of dedicated Arizona Career and Technical Education professionals who wanted to build capacity and ensure sustainability of CTE leadership in the classroom ranks, school administration, post-secondary leadership and business & industry. Work began in December 2010 with the charge in determining how best to grow leaders who know and understand CTE.

In February 2011, this same committee began the discussion of a “leadership continuum,” a series of trainings and experiences that would enable an individual to enter into the CTE profession and to rise up to positions of leadership within the profession and in the state.

In May and June 2011, the committee identified a series of professional standards in teaching and administration for CTE success in the CTE profession.

In December 2011, a sub-committee then began work on a “new teacher track”– a series of courses for those individuals new to teaching designed to provide them with the leadership and pedagogical skills necessary for success in our profession. This “track” was would later become the Premier Series because it is the foremost training for CTE teachers.  It is now identified as the “Teacher Series”.

The “Administrator Series” was developed by and for CTE Administrators. ACOVA, the professional association whose mission is to build community, advocacy and leadership for Arizona Career and Technical Education (CTE) Administrators, sponsors professional development opportunities throughout the school year covering such topics as Mentoring, Curriculum and Instruction, Operations, Staff and Student Management and Current Topics.

In July, 2014, the concept of the “Ambassador Series” was born–a series of trainings and experiences designed to shape the knowledge and opinions of stakeholders and the public regarding CTE.

In February 2015, the Leadership Continuum composed these four series –Teachers, Administrators, Counselors and Ambassadors–was unveiled at the Arizona CTE Mid-Winter Conference in Prescott, Arizona.

Throughout spring 2015, the Leadership Continuum dedicated itself to designing a website, acteaz.org, as the one-stop access to all things CTE in Arizona.  Information on all four Series as well as other relevant information is located on this site.

What is CTE?

CTE is an educational model that aligns secondary and postsecondary education to labor market demand, and provides students with the technical, academic and employability knowledge and skills they need for success.  Put simply, CTE prepares students for careers of their choice. (National Association of State Directors of CTE Consortium—NASDCTEc))


What is the Purpose of Career and Technical Education?

  • Educate students for a range of career options through 16 Career Clusters® and over 79 pathways-Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE)
  • Fulfill employer needs in high-skill, high-wage, high-demand areas-ACTE
  • Prepare students to be college- and career-ready by providing core academic skills, employability skills and technical, job  specific skills-ACTE
  • Help students identify and prepare for careers that they have always wanted or perhaps never even realized were available to them-ACTE
  • Ensure a dynamic workforce by fully developing every student’s career and academic potential-Arizona Department of Education CTE Vision
  • Prepare Arizona students for workforce success and continuous learning-ADE CTE Mission
  • Provide applied learning opportunities that contributes to the academic knowledge, higher-order reasoning and problem-solving skills, work attitudes, general employability skills, technical skills, occupation-specific skills, and knowledge of all aspects of an industry, including entrepreneurship of an individual-[Carl D. Perkins Act of 2006, Section 3(5)]


The Facts (NASDCTEc)

(click here to view the source PDF)

CTE leads to fewer dropouts

CTE concentrators are far less likely to drop out of high school than the national average, a difference estimate to save the economy $168 billion each year.

CTE creates personalized pathways to success

Shattering the outdated perception that CTE students are training to take a low-skill job out of high school, recent studies indicate that over 75% of CTE concentrators pursue post-secondary after graduating high school.

CTE integrates business and industry perspectives

A core component of the Vision for CTE outlined in Reflect, Transform, Leads: A New Vision for Career Technical Education is aligning CTE programs with workforce needs. Modern program standards, like those in Washington, require private-sector voices to be equal participants on both general and program-specific advisory committees directing CTE programs.

CTE trains students for high-growth industries

Most projections of upcoming changes in the labor market indicate that not all sectors will grow equally in the short or mid-term. The largest projected growth will likely take place in the healthcare industry where CTE has been rapidly expanding for the years.

CTE introduces students to the world of work

Providing work-based learning opportunities like job shadowing and internships is a core pillar of the CTE Vision and high-quality CTE programs.

CTE closes the skills gap

Even as middle skill jobs (requiring more than a high school diploma, but less than a baccalaureate degree) comprise 54% of the labor market today, only 44% of workers fall into the middle skill cohort.

CTE allows professionals to advance

84% of adult CTE concentrators went from CTE study to further education or employment within six months of completing their program.

CTE represents a positive net investment for society

CTE is a stystem on data and accountability that prices business sense and practical thinking. Studies indicate that CTE generates an enormous long term return on investment for participants and for society as a whole. One study focused on apprenticeship programs indicated that states would reap $35 in tax recepts for every dollar invested in internships over the career of an apprentice.

There is public demand for CTE

87% of American – and 89% of public school parents – agree that students should receive more education about career choices while in high school.

For any questions, please Contact Us.