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Career and Technical Education Student Organizations

Career and Technical Education Student Organizations (CTSO) provide co-curricular opportunities for students to receive career and technical education support designed to enhance school-based and work-based learning.

The approved CTSO’s in the District of Columbia are:

CTSO Name Program Area
DECA Marketing
Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) Business and Information Technology
Future Farmers of America (FFA) Agriculture Education
Health Occupational Student Association (HOSA) Health and Medical Services
Family, Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA) Family and Consumer Science
Technology Student Association (TSA) Technology Education
SkillsUSA Trade and Industrial Education

CTSO Membership benefits participating schools by:

  • Enhancing student academic performance by providing real-world situations, developing problem solving skills, and participating in team work opportunities
  • Promoting positive work habits that are transferable
  • Improving the relevance of the educational curriculum
  • Providing mentoring and professional development training opportunities for staff

CTSO involvement benefits students by:

  • Increasing student engagement in academic and occupational pursuits
  • Enabling students to achieve high academic and occupational standards
  • Enhancing student’s self-esteem and self-confidence
  • Developing meaningful, potentially long lasting business partnerships
  • Providing a linkage between school-based learning and real world experiences
  • Motivating youth to become better students and productive citizens
  • Developing leadership, organizational and communication skills
  • Providing opportunities to network with peers at regional and national conferences
  • Challenging students with a variety of skill building completions

How Can My School Establish a CTSO Chapter?

To begin the membership process, initiate the following steps:

  1. Review the list of state approved CTSOs above and select the chapter that align to your program of study.
  2. Obtain program establishment approval by OSSE/LEA/School.
  3. Identify a CTE staff member to serve as the Student Advisor.
  4. Review and follow membership protocols specified by each respective organization.

DC Students Take Home Top Honors at 2024 CTSO Conference 

At the District of Columbia Career and Technical Student Organizations (CTSOs) State Leadership Conference (SLC) held March 27-29 at the University of the District of Columbia, five DC high school students were named Career and Technical Education US Presidential Scholar Finalists at the District of Columbia Career and Technical Student Organizations (CTSOs) State Leadership Conference (SLC) held March 27-29, at the University of the District of Columbia. The event was hosted by the Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE) – Career and Technical Education (CTE) department.  

The 2024 District of Columbia CTSO SLC brought together 650 middle and high school students and 200 CTE educators, volunteers, and industry and community stakeholders from across the District. Finalists for the US CTE Presidential Scholars program, sponsored by the US Department of Education, were also recognized as part of the CTSO SLC. DC’s US CTE Presidential Scholars are: Evelyn Consolla and Saniya Lewis from Jackson-Reed High School, Esem Esaw from McKinley Technology High School, Jaqueline Armando from Francis L. Cardozo High School, and Noah Goldstein from DC International Public Charter School. 

The US Presidential Scholars Program was established in 1964, by executive order of the president, to recognize and honor some of our nation's most distinguished graduating high school seniors. In 2015, the program was extended to recognize students who demonstrate ability and accomplishment in career and technical education fields. Each year, up to 161 students are named Presidential Scholars, one of the nation's highest honors for high school students.  

Conference participants included students and chapter advisors from public and public charter schools in the District and are members of CTSOs such as Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA), Future Farmers of America (FFA), HOSA Future Health Professionals, SkillsUSA, and Technology Student Association (TSA). The students participated in 117 competitions, demonstrating their skills and knowledge of various industries such as business, health, technology, and skilled trades.  

More than 150 volunteers and judges from industry and District of Columbia government agencies evaluated the students' performances and provided feedback to support the competitive events.  

The top first, second, and third place winners from each competition will have the opportunity to compete at the national leadership conferences for their respective CTSO. Also, first place winners of the SkillsUSA Facilithon will receive a travel scholarship to support their attendance at the 2024 SkillsUSA National Leadership and Skills Conference. Students in the Anatomage competition qualify to compete at the national tournament this summer as well.    

List of Awardees

View a list of supporting organizations