CTE month is almost here, and Iowa has many reasons to celebrate this February.

Career and technical education (CTE) programs are stronger than ever, and opportunities for Iowa students to develop quality academic and technical skills in high-demand job areas continue to grow.

The Iowa Department of Education will be participating in many upcoming activities next month and encourages students, educators, administrators and partners to join in these opportunities to further support and strengthen CTE in Iowa.

“CTE Month is a great opportunity to not only recognize our achievements in career and technical education but also to expand our opportunities for students even further,” said Dennis Harden, CTE chief for the Department. “We want Iowa to be a top state for CTE. With strong CTE programs, we can ensure that students have opportunities to develop the skills and intelligence needed to succeed after graduation.”

Notable activities that can help support and celebrate the growth of career and technical education in Iowa include:

CTE Day at the Capitol

The annual CTE Day at the Capitol is set for Feb. 6 from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sponsored by the Iowa Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE), students and educators from across the state will showcase their CTE programs in the State Capitol Rotunda. Students will have opportunities to visit with state legislators and agency officials during the day’s event. Additionally, a proclamation signing with Lt. Gov. Adam Gregg is planned. Last year, over 200 students participated in CTE Day at the Capitol. Register with Iowa ACTE to participate in this free, exciting opportunity.

Industry-Recognized Credentials

The Department is now accepting applications for the new Connections to Careers grant, which will help expand opportunities for high school students to earn industry-recognized credentials. Industry-recognized credentials can help ensure Iowa students have the necessary skills to enter the workforce or further higher education opportunities. The Connections to Careers grant will provide $1.7 million to Iowa high schools. The Department is accepting grant applications through Feb 16.

Social media

Iowa CTE educators will be featured on the Department’s social media channels throughout the month of February. They will share their thoughts on CTE and why it’s important for Iowa schools. The Department encourages districts to share our posts and stories on their channels and spotlight their own CTE programs and successes as well. Find the Department’s social media posts on Facebook, X/Twitter and Linked In and use hashtag #CTEMonth with all CTE-related posts during the month.

CTE directly prepares students for future careers in high-wage, in-demand fields. High-quality CTE programming provides opportunities for students to develop skills through hands-on training and experiences. Students participating in CTE programs – such as advanced manufacturing, information technology, health care and more – often have opportunities not only to develop academic and technical skills and gain valuable real-world experience but also earn college credits and industry-recognized credentials.

For information on CTE programs, visit the Department’s website. Additional ways to celebrate CTE Month can be found through our partners at Iowa ACTE.

CTE month