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Student Organizations

The term Career and Technical Student Organization means an organization for individuals enrolled in a career and technical education program that engages in career preparation. The United States Department of Education (USDOE) has endorsed Career and Technical Student Organizations (CTSO) as a critical component of an effective Career and Technical Education (CTE) program. Each CTSO has a state and national unit that aggregates the work and purposes of instruction in career and technical education at the local level.

USDOE-Endorsed CTSOs

Business Professionals of America (BPA) – The mission of Business Professionals of America is to contribute to the preparation of a world-class workforce through the advancement of leadership, citizenship, academic, and technological skills. The organization is committed to developing the best possible career and technical education organization for students in the United States. The purpose of this organization is to provide opportunities for chapter members to develop leadership abilities through participation in career and technical education, civic, recreational, and social activities.  The organization fosters an understanding of the functions of labor, entrepreneurial, and management organizations in the American free enterprise system and practices practical applications of business education skills through competition. 

Texas FFA Association (FFA) – The FFA program is part of a three-part model of education that consists of classroom instruction, supervised agricultural experiences and the FFA.  Classroom agricultural education is applied to hands-on learning opportunities called supervised agricultural experiences, which include activities such as starting a business, working for an established company, or working in production agriculture.  The FFA provides members with the opportunity for leadership experience and career development while reinforcing agricultural education through competitions, scholarships, and personal opportunities for involvement.

Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) – The Future Business Leaders of America, or FBLA, is an international Career and Technical Student Organization. FBLA is a non-profit organization of high school (FBLA), middle school (Middle Level), and college (PBL) students, as well as professional members (Professional division) who primarily help students transition to the business world. FBLA is the largest student-run business-related organization in the world, with over 200,000 members.  Local FBLA-PBL chapters are often connected to their school’s business education department.

Family, Career, and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA) – FCCLA is a nonprofit national career and technical student organization that helps young men and women become leaders and address important personal, family, work, and social issues through family and consumer sciences education in grades 7- 12. Chapter projects focus on a variety of youth concerns, including teen pregnancy, parenting, family relationships, substance abuse, peer pressure, environment, nutrition and fitness, teen violence, and career exploration. Involvement in FCCLA offers members the opportunity to expand their leadership potential and develop skills for life--planning, goal-setting, problem-solving, decision-making, and interpersonal communication--necessary in the home and workplace.

Texas Association of Future Educators (TAFE) – The Texas Association of Future Educators is a statewide non-profit (501c3) student organization that promotes careers in education for high school students. The organization was created to provide students with the opportunity to learn about the teaching profession, its opportunities, and responsibilities. Students can explore their interests and abilities in relation to the various fields of teaching and cultivate the leadership qualities which are essential in good teachers. 

HOSA – Future Health Professionals (HOSA) – HOSA is a national student organization endorsed by the U.S. Department of Education. HOSA’s two-fold mission is to promote career opportunities in the healthcare industry and to enhance the delivery of quality healthcare to all people. HOSA provides a unique program of leadership development, motivation, and recognition exclusively for secondary, postsecondary, adult, and collegiate students enrolled in HSTE programs.

Distributive Education Clubs of America, Texas Association (DECA) – Texas DECA is part of a national association of marketing education students, which provides teachers and members with educational and leadership development activities to merge with the education classroom instructional program.  By giving students a hands-on experience in the fields of marketing, management, and entrepreneurship, DECA enhances the classroom by providing opportunities for members to attend conferences, competitions, and leadership training.  The experience provided by DECA builds character that will be utilized in all aspects of life. 

Technology Students Association (TSA) – TSA provides students with opportunities to apply leadership, social, civic, and technical skills. An integral part of the instructional program, TSA assists students in the achievement of technologically related competencies in the areas of Communication, Construction, Engineering, Electronics, Design, Graphics, Manufacturing, and Research and Development. It is a nonprofit, non-political organization whose membership is composed of students who are or who have been enrolled in Technology Education courses.

SkillsUSA (SkillsUSA) – SkillsUSA is a partnership of students, teachers, and industry representatives working together to ensure America has a skilled workforce.SkillsUSA is a national organization serving teachers and high school and college students who are preparing for careers in technical, skilled, and service occupations, including health occupations. SkillsUSA was formerly known as VICA (the Vocational Industrial Clubs of America). 

Non-CTSO Student Organizations/Competitions

Boosting Engineering, Science, & Technology (BEST) Robotics Science and engineering-based robotics competition

For Inspiration and Recognition of Science Technology (FIRST) Robotics Science and engineering-based robotics competition

VEX (VEX) Robotics Science and engineering-based robotics competition  

ProStart Culinary competition sponsored by the National Restaurant Association Education Foundation