CTE/Vocational Training

This page of the Postsecondary Options section provides information and resources for school professionals, students and families regarding career and technical education (CTE) options and opportunities for students with disabilities. Career and technical education (CTE) which focuses on career training offered by a variety of institutions and includes technical training, employability skills, work ethics, industry certification and/or direct links to career paths. Career and Technical Centers Florida offers students 46 accredited career and technical centers throughout the state, which provides the education and certification necessary to work in a particular career or technical field. Programs are flexible for students and provide industry-specific education and training for a wide variety of occupations.

In Florida, Career and Technical Education (CTE) is one section in the Department of Education’s Career and Adult Education Division that also provides Adult Education, Apprenticeship, Adult Migrant Education and Continuing Workforce Education programs (Florida Department of Education, n.d.). The CTE delivery system includes school districts, the Florida College System, community-based organizations and business and industry.

  • Secondary Workforce Education provides career preparation and technical skills training leading to postsecondary education (e.g., technical center or college) or employment. Options include career exploration and preparation in middle and high schools, career and professional education academies and career instruction with rigorous academics.
  • Postsecondary CTE is technical skills training that results in specific employment and a credential, such as a career certificate, applied technology diploma, journeyman’s license, college credit certificates, or associate in science (A.S.) and/or associate in applied science (A.A.S.) degree.
  • Adult Migrant Worker programs help migrant workers obtain literacy and technical skills.
  • Continuing Workforce Education provides training to upgrade skills for licensure or certification by a regulatory or credentialing body, new or expanding businesses and programs that retrain employees or enhance occupational skills.
  • Adult Education programs lead to literacy and the knowledge and skills necessary for employment and self-sufficiency. Options include Adult Basic Education (ABE), Adult Secondary Education (ASE), English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) and General Education Development (GED) testing (Florida Department of Education, n.d.).

Applying to Career and Technical Education

CTE providers may include public, private and for-profit colleges; trade associations and other industry groups; employers; secondary schools; and a category of institutions variously described as independent postsecondary schools (IPS), proprietary schools, or trade schools. Application requirements will vary depending on the type of provider and the programs provided. The IPS application process commonly includes an application, some type of assessment, an interview with one or more school representatives and a financial review and contract.

Every student who is investigating an independent postsecondary school or a for-profit college or university should visit the website of the Florida Commission for Independent Education (CIE)—specifically the page titled “How Do You Know Which School or Program is Best for You”—including contacting the CIE office to ensure that the institution is licensed or approved in Florida. CIE may also have information on proprietary schools in other states.

Many independent postsecondary schools and for-profit educational institutions will provide information on licensing and accreditation, completion and placement rates, starting wages upon employment, financial options and cancellation and refund policies. To ensure that this information is available for all such schools, the U.S. Department of Education has published regulations to “improve integrity” of postsecondary institutions receiving funding under Title IV of the Higher Education Act (U.S. Department of Education, 2010, p. 66832) in order to address issues relating to “test score abnormalities,” accommodations for individuals with disabilities, “substantial misrepresentation by an institution of the nature of its educational program, its financial charges, or the employability of its graduates,” and other concerns (U.S. Department of Education, 2010, p. 66832).


Basic Skills Technical Assistance Paper, Career Education Basic Skills Assessment Technical Assistance Paper (revised February, 2018)
This March 2018 Technical Assistance Paper (TAP) provides information on (1) the legal basis for basic skills assessment in CTE, (2) procedures to be followed throughout the assessment process, (3) counseling of students who do not meet the basic skills exit requirements, (4) exemptions or waivers of basic skills requirements, (5) accommodations for students with disabilities and English Language Learners (ELL) and (6) legislative changes.

Career and Technical Education: Enhancing Educational Experiences in Middle School, High School and Postsecondary Education
This document, developed through the State Secondary Transition Interagency Council (SSTIC), helps readers to explore the value provided to individuals completing a Career and Technical Education (CTE) program. CTE emphasizes real-world skills and practical knowledge within a student's career of interest while also preparing students for further postsecondary education and/or careers. The SSTIC subcommittees working on this project included the Student Success subcommittee and the Post-School Outcomes subcommittee.

Florida Career and Adult Education
Helps adults get the basic skills needed to become productive workers and citizens. Career and Technical Education (CTE), apprenticeship, adult migrant education, continuing workforce education, Adult Basic Education (ABE), Adult Secondary Education (ASE) including General Education Development (GED) testing and English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) are resources provided on this site.

Florida Department of Education, Career and Adult Education, Career and Technical Education
The Career & Technical Education (CTE) Programs section is responsible for developing and maintaining educational programs that prepare individuals for occupations important to Florida’s economic development. These programs are organized into 17 different career clusters and are geared toward middle school, high school, district technical school and Florida College System students throughout the state. With the help of partners in education, business and industry and trade associations, each program includes the academic and technical skills required to be successful in today’s economy.