Journal of Research in Technical Careers


The purpose of this study was to examine quality indicators currently guiding the rigor of secondary career and technical education (CTE) programs of study in the United States. Quality indicators are desirable characteristics or expectations for a comprehensive and effective CTE program of study. As of May 2017, we were able to locate publicly accessible secondary CTE quality program standards/guidelines for 38 states. A majority (n=24) updated their secondary CTE quality program standards/guidelines within the last five years (i.e., 2012-2017). Deductive content analysis was conducted to examine the 38 state profiles using the Association of Career and Technical Education (ACTE) Quality CTE Program of Study Framework 4.0 for coding purposes. Common quality elements and key quality indicators were identified from those state documents, which supplements the ACTE Framework. Implications and examples for practice are also discussed.