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Ohio Association for Career and Technical Education

OUr History


Originally,  the Ohio Vocational Association was founded in 1955 with its Articles of Incorporation.   Vocational education has changed so much since then, and and Ohio ACTE has been there to help career-technical educators with the growth and changes.

Career-technical education has been an important part of the history of education in Ohio.  The Industrial Revolution, started around 1760, created a turning point in education. The cultural shift caused by the Industrial Revolution meant goods were no longer made one at a time and made at home or by skilled craftsman. 

  •   Children no longer learned a craft or trade from their parents.
  •   Goods massed produced in factories became more common and as demand for goods rose,  workplace needs grew as well.

In 1870 the Ohio Agricultural and Mechanical College was founded and began accepting students in 1873 – what is it today?

-          The Ohio State University

In 1917, Ohio’s General Assembly passed the Ohio Acceptance Act and completed its plan for vocational education. The plan called for supervisors in three instructional programs.  What were they?

  •   Trade and Industrial
  •    Vocational Agriculture
  •    Home Economics

Veterans Training became the focus of “vocational education” from 1945-1956 by providing skills training to returning veterans as well as expanding programs for youth and other adults.

The Federal Vocational Education Act of 1963 sought to solve the problem of unemployment and underemployment among the nation’s youth, as well as address a critical shortage of skilled and technical workers.  Ohio was one of the first states in the nation to make “vocational” education accessible to all students. 

Vocational education grew rapidly from 1963-1983.  Since then, efforts have been focused on improving and modifying programs in response to the needs of the workforce, as well as teach students attributes necessary for success.

In 2006, the name was officially changed from Vocational Education to Career and Technical Education with the passage of the 2006 Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Improvement Act of 2006.

How is Career-Technical Education delivered today?

  •  91 CTPDs – “Career-Technical Planning Districts” that cover every part of the state.
  •  49 JVS and 42 comprehensive/compact districts
  •  Serve adults through Ohio Technical Centers

Now, about 120,000 students are enrolled in a CTE program, the majority juniors and seniors in High School, representing about 25% of all Ohio High School Students.  Throughout its history, CTE has helped build Ohio’s workforce, focusing on the skills local business needs to prosper. 

*Source:

A History of Vocational and Career Education in Ohio: 1828-2000 by Byrl R. Shoemaker and Darrell L. Parks ODE Office of Career-Technical Education



Ohio Association for Career and Technical Education

38 Commerce Park Dr. Suite D, Westerville, Ohio
(614) 890-ACTE (2283)
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