Education Commission of the States • 700 Broadway, Suite 810 • Denver, CO 80203-3442 • 303.299.3600 • Fax: 303.296.8332 •
Career/Technical Education: Districts/High Schools Required to Provide CTE Program

Ten states do not require career and technical education programs to be offered. Thirty-seven states and the District of Columbia require districts/high schools to provide career and technical education programs. Information was not available for the remaining three states.

Why does it matter?

  • Alternative curriculum pathways both decrease dropout rates and assure that more of our youth are prepared for a more productive and fulfilling adulthood.
  • Methodology: This information was collected from state statutes, rules and regulations, and will be updated as new policies are enacted.

    Last updated: June 2008

    Research conducted by Melodye Bush. Please contact Bush at 303.299.3631 or with questions or comments about this database.

    Districts/high schools required to provide CTE program
    Alabama Yes
    Alaska Yes. At its December 2007 meeting, the state board of education approved regulations for the Work Ready/College Ready Initiative. Districts must implement the program in the 2009-2010 school year.
    Arizona Yes
    Arkansas Yes, nine units of career and technical education.
    California Yes, the adopted course of study for grades 7 to 12 must offer courses in Applied Arts and Career Technical Education courses. In addition, the governing board of the local schools must adopt alternative means for pupils to complete the prescribed academic graduation requirements which may include career technical education courses in high school.
    Colorado No
    Connecticut Yes
    Delaware Yes
    District of Columbia Yes
    Florida Yes
    Georgia Yes
    Hawaii Yes
    Idaho No
    Illinois Yes
    Indiana Yes
    Iowa No
    Kansas No, it is a local decision. However, districts can receive weighted state funding for delivering approved career and technical education courses.
    Kentucky Yes
    Louisiana Yes. Each high school is to offer not less than one vocational major program. Schools are encouraged to offer several programs from which students may choose.

    By the beginning of the 2010-2011 school year or as soon as funding is available, any eligible student age 16-21 must have the opportunity to be simultaneously enrolled in high school and in a technical training program at a community or technical college, in addition to any other available option. 
    Maine No. However, a locally-set standard for student performance (as asessed as part of the local assessment system) in applied technology is a requirement for graduation.
    Maryland Yes
    Massachusetts No. Curriculum and graduation requirements are set by local boards of education.
    Michigan Yes
    Minnesota No. All public school districts must develop local standards and assessments, and must offer programming either locally or collaboratively so that students can meet those standards and assessments.
    Mississippi Yes
    Missouri Yes
    Montana Yes
    Nebraska Yes
    Nevada Yes
    New Hampshire No information available
    New Jersey No
    New Mexico Yes
    New York Yes
    North Carolina No information available
    North Dakota Yes, all high schools must offer two credits of CTE to be accredited.
    Ohio Yes
    Oklahoma Yes
    Oregon No
    Pennsylvania No
    Rhode Island No. However, all of the districts do offer career and technical education courses.
    South Carolina Yes
    South Dakota Yes
    Tennessee Yes
    Texas Yes, districts must offer courses selected from at least three career and technical education areas.
    Utah Yes
    Vermont Yes
    Virginia Yes, all districts must offer a minimum of three programs in career and technical education.
    Washington Yes
    West Virginia Yes
    Wisconsin No information available
    Wyoming Yes

    © 2013 by the Education Commission of the States (ECS). All rights reserved. ECS is the only nationwide, nonpartisan interstate compact devoted to education.
    To request permission to excerpt part of this publication, either in print or electronically, please fax a request to the attention of the ECS Communications Department, 303.296.8332 or e-mail
    Helping State Leaders Shape Education Policy