Power Up Your CTE Curricula!

Our PowerUp! Workshop, featuring our three evidence-based professional development models: Math-in-CTE, Literacy-in-CTE, and CTEDDI, took place February 22-23, 2013.


What Makes It Work?

The Literacy-in-CTE professional development model is based on experimental research. Students in treatment classrooms scored higher in reading comprehension and vocabulary.

Launching Literacy-in-CTE in Oregon

Oregon became the first state to launch a full implementation of the Literacy-in-CTE curriculum integration model.



Demands on students’ literacy skills are becoming increasingly intense and rigorous, especially in highly technical CTE courses and in today’s labor market. Students must possess the requisite literacy skills for career and academic success, yet barely one-third of high school graduates are considered proficient in reading. CTE teachers can facilitate the learning processes by scaffolding instruction with literacy strategies.

In developing the Literacy-in-CTE curriculum integration model, which was based on the successful Math-in-CTE curriculum integration study and professional development model, NRCCTE researchers at Cornell University experimentally tested two approaches to integrating literacy skills in CTE. The results showed that both approaches significantly improved students’ literacy skills, but one framework that utilized authentic texts and implemented specific reading strategies did more to improve students’ reading comprehension and vocabulary and increase literacy in high school CTE classrooms. Further, students of teachers who participated in two years of professional development significantly outperformed all of the other groups. Learn more about the research: Authentic Literacy Applications in CTE: Helping All Students Learn.

During Literacy-in-CTE professional development sessions, CTE teachers learn to integrate effective models of reading interventions in the context of their CTE courses. This integration is meant to complement the CTE learning that is already embedded and authentic in the CTE curriculum. Teachers adapt their current lesson plans by integrating research-proven literacy strategies to help students learn and are challenged to help their students take responsibility for their own learning. By collaboratively sharing their adapted lessons, CTE teachers also develop a community of practice among teachers of similar content as well as across CTE fields. By the end of a Literacy-in-CTE summer professional development session, CTE teachers leave with approximately 10 fully developed lessons and integrated literacy strategies and are confident in their use.

To learn more about participating in Literacy-in-CTE professional development, contact us at

What Participants Say

“I think [my] students probably come away seeing how reading and writing can help them improve their profile in a welding- or machining-class work environment.” – Literacy-in-CTE participant

“I’m able to do all that literacy analysis and it just worked so well … [I] actually had students coming in saying, ‘Oh, what’s the strategy for today?’” – Literacy-in-CTE participant

“We are going to have to read in order to know what we’re supposed to be doing. I think it’s the backbone to any and every job out there.” – Literacy-in-CTE student participant