Career and technical education report

Career and Technical Education (CTE) is a key factor in meeting the needs of Utah’s economy. CTE includes a wide variety of for‐credit and non‐credit courses and programs that prepare students with specific occupational skills. CTE programs involve training for what are generally considered technical, high skill jobs such as automotive maintenance, welding, construction and entry-level healthcare positions.

USHE offers CTE programs all over the state, with 7 of the 8 colleges and universities offering CTE courses. Institutions offer three primary types of CTE credentials:

  • Associate of Applied Science Degrees ‐ designed to lead students directly to employment requiring two years of preparation. The Associate of Applied Science (AAS) degree includes a core set of general education with a solid basis in composition, computation, and human relations.  In some cases AAS programs can serve a dual purpose to prepare students for the workforce while serving as a pathway to a bachelor’s degree.
  • Certificates of Completion – awarded for completion of programs that are typically one‐year in length and prepare students for employment. Certificates of Completion also have a general education component.
  • Certificates of Proficiency ‐ short‐term training programs less than one year in length that prepare students for specific employment skills.

There are many partners who make CTE courses possible and successful.  Regional CTE leaders consulted closely with leaders in industry and workforce development to inform their respective regional plans and to identify certificate programs to be developed. Because of these partnerships, 70 new certificates were developed as a result of direct collaboration with business and industry throughout the state.

While USHE institutions are serving more students in CTE programs, improving economic conditions are contributing to students taking fewer courses and spending more time working.  However, even with softening enrollment there was an increase in total CTE credentials awarded – 4,879 credentials in 2013-2014, compared to 4,787 in 2012-2013. There were also fewer approved Perkins-eligible courses. Additionally, there was an increase in CTE students during 2012-2013, yet there was a modest decline in student FTE.

*It should be noted that there were several changes to CIP codes attributed to CTE programs between 2010-11 and 2012-13.

In addition to regular CTE courses that are available to high school students on campus and at outreach campuses and centers, approximately 26,879 students took advantage of college courses available through concurrent enrollment in 2013-14.  In total, these students earned 187,740 college credits. 58% of these students (15,541) students enrolled in at least one CTE course.   Secondary students earned 68,385 CTE credit hours, or 36.4% of the total concurrent enrollment credit hours earned.

*Membership Hours: Also called ‘Clock Hours’, assumed to be the actual number of hours attended at an institution in a CTE or vocational program.


Media Inquiries

Trisha Dugovic
Communications Director