Career and Technical Student Organizations - CTSO
The concept of an organization designed to support students learning a vocation has its roots in the activities of such institutions as trade guilds and apprenticeship societies common in the 18th and 19th centuries. In more contemporary history, the development of career and technical education (formerly vocational education) and the career and technical student youth organization (formerly vocational student organization) can be chronicled through a number of relevant Federal laws. The information below outlines the federal role in career and technical education from current law back to its inception in 1917.
Today, the career and technical student organization (CTSO) is regarded as an integral part of career and technical education. CTSOs play an important part in preparing young people to become productive citizens and to assume roles of leadership in their communities. These organizations provide unique program of career and leadership development, motivation, and recognition for secondary and post-secondary students enrolled, or previously enrolled, in career and technical education programs.
Educators have found that the CTSO is a powerful instructional tool that works best when it is integrated into the career and technical education curriculum by a trained professional. The dedicated instructor provides organized curriculum-oriented activities that help students gain career, leadership, and personal skills that maximize employability and the ability to become productive citizens in the workforce, home, and community.
Currently the DCA offers four CTSOs for student membership: