Idea Center


The NRCCTE and its partner ACTE searched for ideas and promising practices that have positive impacts on student achievement in real CTE classrooms. The Idea Center collects this information and makes it easy for teachers, administrators, guidance counselors, and others to share, comment on, and experiment to make CTE better for all students, whether they are in high school, community college, four-year college, or simply looking to gain or improve their skills.

Practitioner Wisdom Practices are techniques that have a positive impact on students. These can be anything from how the classroom is set up, to a teaching method, to the use of a type of technology. Promising Practices are also techniques that have a positive impact on students, but that also have some research data (from very rigorous to less rigorous study designs) to support their claims of effectiveness.


The Secondary Technical Education Program (STEP), a joint effort of the Anoka-Hennepin School District #11 in collaboration with Anoka Technical College, Anoka Ramsey Community College, the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities (MnSCU), and Anoka County, is a high school CTE program in a college setting, where students can explore hands-on careers, take academic courses, fulfill district academic requirements and earn high school and college credit.

The Temple University Reading, Writing, Speaking and Listening (RWSL) project was developed to address the low reading skills of many CTE students. Instructional modification materials were produced to help CTE teachers incorporate proven reading strategies into their instructional practices. The project focused on providing teachers with instructional modification; specifically selected reading strategies like reciprocal teaching, scaffolding, and journaling, that could be integrated into the CTE instructional process.

High schools are seeking to build systems that ensure success for every student; this is being further emphasized by the Obama administration, which has identified the following four Race to the Top priority areas in the Race to the Top Executive Summary (2009): “adopting standards and assessments that prepare students to succeed in college and the workplace and to compete in the global economy; building data systems that measure student growth and success, and inform teachers and principals about how they can improve instruction; cultivating effective teachers and principals, especially wh

Colorado’s CTE programs are seeking to develop a seamless system of education that eases student transitions from one educational system to another and from one level of instruction to another. Data from the Colorado Student Assessment Program (CSAP) and district-wide strategic plan previously indicated a need to improve mathematics skills for all students.

Career clusters are groups of similar occupations and industries, developed for the purpose of organizing career planning. The Center for Advanced Research and Technology (CART), a high school in Clovis, California, has adopted the Linked Learning approach to combine rigorous academics with career clusters.