Career and Technical Education

CTE in Rhode Island is helping our state address key challenges—from student achievement to workforce development and from economic vitality to global competitiveness. CTE programs in CTE centers, high schools, postsecondary institutions and adult skills training facilities are leading change, transforming expectations and making a difference.

  • Improving the educational experience of learners by providing an engaging, relevant education that reduces dropout rates, and supports and improves student achievement. 
  • Contributing to the development of a skilled, sustainable workforce that is well prepared for the high-demand, high-skill and high-paying jobs of today and tomorrow.
  • Helping learners discover the wide range of career options available to them—and chart the most effective and efficient educational pathways for optimum value and success.
  • Working directly with business and industry in partnership to ensure that CTE programs are developing people with the skills, credentials and technical knowledge necessary to move Rhode Island toward the leading edge of innovation and global competitiveness.


 CTE Program Review and Approval Materials and Processes

 Career and Technical Education Trust

Career and Technical Education Trust soliciting applications for funding up to $50,000

The Career and Technical Education Trust is soliciting applications to provide funding to schools for up to $50,000 in order to meet the employer developed standards adopted by the Career and Technical Education Board of Trustees. Schools may apply to:

  • Develop new or expand career and technical programming aligned to standards adopted by the Career and Technical Education Board of Trustees; and/or
  • Expand existing career and technical programs to prepare students for several career fields within an industry aligned to the Governor’s Workforce Board Industry Partnerships.

All applicants must agree to adhere to the 2012 Regulations of the Board of Regents Governing Career and Technical Education in Rhode Island and to the Rhode Island Career and Technical Education Career Preparation Program Standards.

All proposals shall:

  • Require that existing/planned program(s) partner with private industry, leverage partnerships with postsecondary institutions, adult education, and training programs that address critical areas of workforce need to support the Rhode Island economy.
  • Meet the standards adopted by the CTE Board of Trustees for Construction, Health Careers, Hospitality, Information Technology & Manufacturing, and foster partnerships between K-12, postsecondary institutions and private industry partners; and
  • Demonstrate a student recruitment strategy that commences at the middle school level.

To ensure that available funding has the greatest impact, grants awarded will support one-time expenses related to teacher training, infrastructure expenses tied to creating or expanding a program that prepares students to meet the employer developed standards.

All Rhode Island LEAs are eligible to apply. This is a rolling application submission process.

The Governor’s Workforce Board Rhode Island Industry partners include priority-industry sectors with corresponding CTE Board and Trust Standards are: 

  • Construction Technology;
  • Health Careers;
  • Hospitality;
  • Information Technology; and
  • Manufacturing.

If you have any questions about this grant opportunity, please contact Steve Osborn, Chief of the Division of Accelerating School Performance, at or 222-8485.

Career and Technical Education Trust Documents


 Skill Up RI: Expanding Student Access
 to High-Growth High-Wage Jobs of the Future

The Rhode Island Department of Education (RIDE) is soliciting applications for Prepare RI: Increasing Student Access to High-Growth High-Wage Jobs of the Future, a grant program that will provide funding to school districts that commit to develop innovative programs that will:

  • Provide career and technical programming aligned to High-Growth High-Wage areas identified as key to RI’s economic development
  • Foster partnerships between K-12, post-secondary institutions and private industry partners
  • Skill Up RI Application - May 2016


 CTE Teacher Certification

For questions on CTE teacher certification, please contact:

Paul Williams, Career & Technical Education Specialist 

Email: | Phone: 401-222-8481

Related Information

CTE Regulations and Guidance

CTE Report CoverThe Rhode Island Board of Regents for Elementary and Secondary Education approved and adopted, effective July 1, 2012, the Board of Regents Regulations Governing Career and Technical Education (CTE) in Rhode Island, which supersedes all previous rules and regulations pertaining to career and technical education and vocational education.

CTE Regulations as of 9-14-2012 [PDF, 278KB]

Associated guidance materials have been developed to support LEAs and CTE Centers implement, high quality, rigorous technical programs.

CTE Frequently Asked Questions (Jan. 2013)


CTE Center, Secondary and Charter School Programs

Group shot of doctors, business people, fire fighters, construction workers, and police officers.The list by transportation regions includes provisionally approved CTE programs, and other programs offered in CTE centers, secondary high schools and charter schools.  These programs in Rhode Island are primary providers of CTE career preparation programs. LEAs are responsible for ensuring that all age/grade-appropriate students and their parents are provided with CTE program information as a meaningful secondary school educational option. Additionally, LEAs must provide parents and students with information about application processes, enrollment periods and application deadlines. The 2012 CTE Regulations require LEAs to provide for increased student access to statewide RIDE-approved career preparation programs.

Career and Technical Education Transportation Regions



Click here for more program information available in each region.


Busniess people shaking hands.Ongoing relationships among secondary and postsecondary education, business, families, special populations and other community stakeholders are central to career preparation programs.  Collaborative partnerships:

  • include formal and/or informal relationships as necessary for supporting quality career and technical education programs; and
  • reflect the community and is representative of key stakeholders.

Partnerships between RIDE, RI Department of Labor & Training, RI Governor’s Workforce Board, Workforce Partnership of Greater Rhode Island, Workforce Solutions of Providence/Cranston, businesses and secondary schools strengthen CTE programs by providing students and teachers with insights on the specific skills employers are seeking from today’s workforce. Internship programs and lecture series with local businesses increase student interest in career paths and provide students with valuable experiences they can apply to post-graduation employment.

Student Organizations

Distributive Education Clubs of America (DECA)

Tom Gauthier, State Advisor
Johnson and Wales – T-401-598-4909

DECA prepares emerging leaders and entrepreneurs for careers in marketing, finance, hospitality and management in high schools and colleges around the globe.   DECA enhances the preparation for college and careers by providing co-curricular programs that integrate into the classroom instruction, applying learning in the context of business, connecting to business and the community, and promoting competition.  DECA members leverage their experiences to become academically prepared, community oriented, professionally responsible, experienced leaders aspiring to prepare more than 203,000 high school and college members for college and careers.   DECA advisors, in 5,000 classrooms, employ DECA’s guiding principles.  These principles explain the methods for implementing DECA in classrooms and the expected outcomes.  The Carl D. Perkins Act uniquely recognizes DECA as an integral strategy for delivering successful career and Technical Education programs in high schools and colleges.

Family, Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA)

Marie M. Birch, CFCS, State Advisor

35 Woodbine Street, Cranston, Rhode Island 02910  T-401-935-4566  F- 401-785-4696

FCCLA is a national Career and Technical Student Organization (CTSO) promoting personal growth and leadership development through Family and Consumer Sciences education. Focusing on the multiple roles of family member, wage earner and community leader, members develop skills for life through character development, creative and critical thinking, interpersonal communication, practical knowledge, community service and career preparation. It is the only in-school student run organization with the family and community as its central focus. 

This organization helps students prepare for life after graduation by making them productive community members, employees, businesspersons, and responsible family members. FCCLA teaches students to be strong, independent, and hardworking leaders of tomorrow.  Members have been making a difference in their families, careers, and communities by addressing important personal, work, and societal issues.  

The organizations purposes are:

  • To provide opportunities for personal development and preparation for adult life 
  • To strengthen the function of the family as a basic unit of society 
  • To encourage democracy through cooperative action in the home and community 
  • To encourage individual and group involvement in helping achieve global cooperation and harmony
  • To promote greater understanding between youth and adults 
  • To provide opportunities for making decisions and for assuming responsibilities. 
  • To prepare for the multiple roles of men and women in today's society 
FCCLA is open to young men and women, in public and private schools through grade12 in RI and across the United States.  This student organization has over 225,000 across all 50 states as well as in the District of Columbia, the Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico. It provides opportunities for active students to participate at local, state, and national levels through school chapters, state executive board, conferences and over 28 national competitive events. FCCLA is the Ultimate Leadership Experience.

Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA)

Dr. Robert Brooks, State Advisor

Approximately 600 FBLA-PBL students participate in business/career-related experiences, state workshops and conferences and competitive events. Students have opportunities to compete to prepare a business plan, develop desktop publishing and accounting skills or select a performance event.  Workshops are held to assist students to understand business, personal finance and leadership, as examples. A State Leadership Conference offers students the opportunity to compete in specific events.

FBLA members are enrolled in a local high school and follow a required course of study.  FBLA is a co-curricular opportunity which enhances students’ academic and technical skill development and is consistent with National Standards for Business Education. PBL students have academic advisers, provided by their colleges/universities, to guide them with course selections and participation in the organization.

FBLA policy states that “student membership is open to all full-time secondary students in business/business-related programs regardless of race, creed, color, gender, sexual orientation, national origin, or disability.”

Future Farmers of America (FFA)
Stacie Pepperd, State Advisor
455 Switch Road, Wood River Junction, Rhode Island 02894 – T-401-364-6869 – F-401-364-1191

FFA makes a positive difference in the lives of students by developing their potential for premier leadership, personal growth and career success through agricultural education. To accomplish its mission, FFA:

  • Develops competent and assertive agricultural leadership.
  • Increases awareness of the global and technological importance of agriculture and its contribution to our well-being.
  • Strengthens the confidence of agriculture students in themselves and their work.
  • Promotes the intelligent choice and establishment of an agricultural career.
  • Encourages achievement in supervised agricultural experience programs.
  • Encourages wise management of economic, environmental and human resources of the community.
  • Develops interpersonal skills in teamwork, communications, human relations and social interaction.
  • Builds character and promotes citizenship, volunteerism and patriotism.
  • Promotes cooperation and cooperative attitudes among all people.
  • Promotes healthy lifestyles.
  • Encourages excellence in scholarship

The FFA Organization has chapters in five Rhode Island high schools: Chariho, Exeter-West Greenwich, Narragansett, Ponaganset and Scituate.

RI Hospitality Education Foundation
Heather Singleton, Coordinator
94 Sabra Street, Cranston, RI 02920 – O-401-223-1120

Works with seven (7) schools in Rhode Island as identified by the chart above. ProStart is a two year food service management program that requires 400 hours of hands on learning experience, and passage of the national examination both in first year and second year of the program in order to earn a nationally recognized certification from the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation.  If certification is earned, students qualify for collegiate credit and scholarships at various colleges and universities throughout the United States.  The Hospitality & Tourism Management program is also a two year program that focuses on the overall hospitality, lodging, and travel/tourism industry. This program is parallel to the ProStart program in which national certification is earned from the American Hotel & Lodging Educational Institute.  The RI Hospitality Education Foundation also has a pool of over 700 local employers that support our education and training efforts throughout the State. 

Junior Achievement of Rhode Island (JA)

Lee Lewis, President 
120 Waterman Street, Suite 200, Providence, RI 02906 – O-401-331-3850 – F-401-351-9860

Junior Achievement of Rhode Island serves to inspire and prepare young people to succeed in a global economy. JA is the world's largest K-12 organization dedicated to educating students about workforce readiness, entrepreneurship and financial literacy through experiential, student centered programs.  

As high school students begin to position themselves for their future, there are many unanswered questions about what lies ahead. Junior Achievement's high school programs help students make informed, intelligent decisions about their future, and fosters skills that will be highly useful in the business world. With a range of different programs, JA teaches about concepts relating to entrepreneurship, financial literacy, and work readiness. The volunteers bring real-life business experience and guidance into the classroom at a time that represents an essential crossroads for young people. 

SkillsUSA Rhode Island

Joshua Klemp, Director
CCRI, 400 East Avenue, Warwick, RI 02886 – O-401-825-2316 – F-401-825-1117 – C-401-641-4477

SkillsUSA Rhode Island is a partnership of students, teachers and industry working together to ensure America has a skilled workforce. SkillsUSA RI helps each student excel.  The RI association of SkillsUSA is part of a national nonprofit organization serving teachers and high school and college students who are preparing for careers in trade, technical and skilled service occupations, including health occupations. It was formerly known as VICA (Vocational Industrial Clubs of America). With an annual membership that surpasses 6,000 annually, SkillsUSA RI is the state’s largest career and technical student organization. We provide a nationally recognized employability skills curriculum to our student members and students are able to showcase their skills to business and industry through our SkillsUSA RI Championships. The championships are comprised of more than 50 different competitive events and requires the dedication.

Technology Student Association (TSA)
Matt Moniz, State Co-Advisor
Ricci Middle School - 51 Intervale Ave., North Providence, RI 02911 – 401-233-1170

John Marsula, State, Co-Advisor
Riverside Middle School - 179 Forbes St., Riverside, RI 02915 - 401-433-6230

The national Technology Student Association (TSA) is the only student organization devoted exclusively to the needs of students interested in technology. Open to students enrolled in or who have completed technology education courses, TSA’s membership includes over 150,000 middle and high school students in 2,000 schools. The Technology Student Association of RI has introduced and perfected a diverse variety of different types of career and technical education skills. Students participating in the program compete in an annual TSA State Competition involving a wide array of technical challenges. Participating students learn through these exciting competitive events and leadership opportunities. In addition, the State Competitions have improved not only in the growth of student participants but also in the number and variety of technical challenges.

Adult Skills Programs

People at a desk.Vocational Training for Adults (VTA) is in place to strengthen the academic and technical skills of adults so that adults completing a career and technical education (CTE) VTA program are able to seek employment in a high skill/wage work environment or advance in an existing career. Types of career clusters in which VTA students are trained to succeed include medical pathways, advanced manufacturing, medical record keeping and advanced construction.

CTE Funding Sources

Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act

Rhode Island CTE Categorical Fund

Reports, Research and Information

Archived News

Highlighted in SkillsUSA Champions - Winter 2013 

Nicole Horan is in perpetual motion.  She is alsointo perpetual motion...

Met Student Photography Featured in New York Times Blog
High school students were asked to help create a 21st-century portrait of the country by turning their cameras on their neighborhoods, families, friends and schools
Building trade students get college credit, primer in reducing debt

- March 28, 2013
Matt Campanelli had some advice for construction trade students at the Warwick Area Career and Technical Center last week...

Providence girls earn spot in world robotics competition! - Feb. 16, 2013
Four teenaged Providence girls, all of them with roots in the Dominican Republic, have won the right to compete in next month’s FIRST Tech Challenge robotics world championship.  “There are very, very few all-girl teams at this level,” says their coach, Miki Oliver...

Congressman James Langevin makes an appearance on the website of SkillsUSA Rhode Island. Congressman Langevin is co-chair of the 
congressional Career and Technical Education Caucus. - March 2013  


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