The Career & Technical Education Collaborative Workgroup: A Look Back at Year 1

Updates from the CTE workgroup

2022 was a exciting and productive year for the Think College Network - Career & Technical Education (CTE) Collaborative Workgroup. We had some major accomplishments, one of which was identifying colleagues with experience and expertise in career and technical education to serve as members of the group. These group members represent CTE administrators, coordinators, state department of education CTE representative, and many organizations that support access to CTE programs and the inclusion of individuals with disabilities from around the nation. Together they have already shown dedication, support, and promise for expanding inclusive postsecondary education options for students with intellectual disabilities.

The group met 4 times in the past year, and completed some important initial work.

The CTE Collaborative Workgroup met throughout the year to identify existing and needed resources that focused on these topics:

  • Tools to support outreach and engagement with CTE
  • Successful practices in including students with ID in CTE programs
  • Identifying barriers to CTE programs for students with intellectual disabilities
  • Identifying and supporting the development of needed resources in the area of inclusive CTE programs.

To increase awareness of the CTE Collaborative Workgroup, presentations were shared at regional and international conferences. Presentations were shared at the Southeastern Postsecondary Education Alliance Conference in Auburn, Alabama, the Division on Career Development and Transition Conferences in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina and Little Rock, Arkansas, and the Association on Career and Technical Education VISION 2022 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Additionally, an article and numerous social media posts were shared during CTE Awareness Month (February 2022) to increase awareness of current CTE programs providing access to students with intellectual disabilities.

To expand the discussion on CTE opportunities, a CTE Affinity Group was initiated and had its first meeting in September, 2022 with over twenty participants joining the discussion. Several topics for future discussion were shared. The group had representation from many states around the nation.

Plans are underway for continuing the work Into 2023. The workgroup will continue to develop and share resources to assist in the development and improvement of career and technical education opportunities for students with ID. Social media will be used to share success stories of students currently enrolled and completing programs. Efforts will focus on an online module to be used by those developing programs. As awareness and interest grows, technical assistance will be provided to those with questions around CTE inclusive postsecondary education.

Watch this space for quarterly updates from the CTE Workgroup!