The latest data and information on career and technical education in Iowa has been released in an annual report by the Iowa Department of Education.

The 2023 Annual Condition of Secondary Career and Technical Education (CTE) report features an analysis of CTE programming during the 2021-22 academic year. Trends over the past five years in secondary CTE courses and programs, enrollment, student characteristics and instructor demographics have been detailed in the report. This annual update also offers an overview of career and technical student organizations, career and academic plans, work-based learning and regional centers.

“Career and technical education remains strong in Iowa schools,” said Dennis Harden, CTE bureau chief at the Iowa Department of Education. “CTE programs are providing students with opportunities to explore and pursue potential college and career pathways in high-demand job areas.”

Information provided in the report helps align House File 2392, a policy framework to provide access to equitable secondary CTE programs, and the implementation of the Perkins V State Plan, which is committed to providing all students with real-world learning experiences.

Highlights from the secondary CTE condition report include:

  • In 2021-22, enrollment in CTE programs increased to 107,706 compared to 100,044 the previous year. Additionally, the participation rate continued to climb in 2021-22 to 73.1 percent.
  • In college credit contracted CTE courses, participation rates were higher in larger school districts during the five-year period.
  • The percentage of minority students involved in secondary CTE programs increased steadily from 20.6 percent in 2018 to 25.6 percent in 2022.
  • Participation in secondary CTE programs was higher with male students (51.3 percent) compared to female students (48.7 percent) in 2021-22. However, the proportion of enrolled female students has increased steadily from 44.7 percent in 2018 to 48.7 percent in 2022.
  • Secondary career and technical student organizations (CTSO) experienced a dramatic increase in members during 2021-22, which resulted in a peak year of CTSO membership in Iowa at 29,196.
  • Iowa school districts helped nearly 142,000 students in grades 8-12 identify postsecondary and career goals through their individual career and academic plan (ICAP).
  • Work-based learning participation grew in 2021-22 to 1,115 students completing high school work-based learning courses and 3,190 students completing community college work-based learning courses.
  • In 2021-22, there were 24 regional centers providing 238 career academy programs to 6,682 high school students from 158 school districts and 14 accredited nonpublic schools. Among the 24 regional centers, 11 are located on community college campuses.

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