In a release today, Oklahoma CareerTech student organization memberships has hit an all-time high according to the Oklahoma Department of Career and Technology Education.
According to numbers collected earlier this month, 97,385 students are members of Business Professionals of America; DECA; Family, Career and Community Leaders of America; FFA; HOSA; SkillsUSA; and Technology Student Association.
Individual CTSO membership numbers are BPA, 5,997; DECA, 1,555; FCCLA, 17,174; FFA, 29,240; HOSA, 6,738; SkillsUSA, 15,544; and TSA, 21,137.
Additionally, the Oklahoma chapter of National Technical Honor Society reported 3,084 members to date, although some high schools and technology centers have not yet inducted new members this year.
The seven co-curricular CTSOs allow students to learn skills outside the classroom. Students further develop technical skills they will use in their careers, said Paxton Cavin, BPA and DECA state adviser, and also learn other skills necessary for success in their lives and careers: leadership, public speaking, communication, teamwork, time management and critical thinking.
“When students join a CTSO they find a support system in the field they are interested in, opportunities to enhance their leadership skills, connections to industry both in Oklahoma and nationwide and memories to last a lifetime,” Cavin said.
Membership has grown because instructors recognize that CTSOs are an integral part of the curriculum, said Emily Goff, SkillsUSA state adviser. They help students develop skills that will help them in their future careers, she said.
“CTSOs serve as the cornerstone of cultivating tomorrow’s skilled workforce, providing students with an unparalleled platform to explore, develop and excel in their chosen career paths,” said Trevor Lucas, FFA state adviser. “Through hands-on experiences, competitive events and industry collaborations, CTSOs empower students to embrace their passions, harness their potential and ultimately contribute to a thriving, innovative economy.”
Each CTSO is affiliated with a CareerTech program: BPA, business, marketing and information technology education; DECA, marketing education; FCCLA, family and consumer sciences education; FFA, agricultural education; HOSA, health careers education; SkillsUSA, trade and industrial education; and TSA, science, technology, engineering and mathematics education.
NTHS honors excellence in workforce education; students must meet national and local criteria and be invited to join a local chapter.
“CTSOs provide opportunities for students to improve leadership skills, career awareness, decision-making and occupational skills,” said Brent Haken, Oklahoma CareerTech state director. “These students are learning beyond the classroom and preparing for success in the workplace, in education and in life.”
The Oklahoma Department of Career and Technology Education provides leadership and resources and assures standards of excellence for a comprehensive statewide system of career and technology education. The system offers programs and services in 29 technology center districts operating on 60 campuses, 391 PK-12 school districts, 15 Skills Centers campuses that include three juvenile facilities and 32 adult education and family literacy providers.
The agency is governed by the State Board of Career and Technology Education and works closely with the State Department of Education and the State Regents for Higher Education to provide a seamless educational system for all Oklahomans.