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Standards & Framework

Identifies the knowledge and skills necessary for career and postsecondary options and provides a blueprint for organizing and delivering instruction.


The Career Technical Education standards and framework bolster California's standards-based education system by incorporating cutting-edge knowledge about career options, technology, and skills required for success in adult life. This initiative is critical if California is to meet the challenges inherent in its diverse, rapidly changing education, economic, policy, and workforce environment.

Education Code Section 51226 provides legal authority to develop the Career Technical Education (CTE) standards and framework. This legislation requires the development and adoption of CTE standards that incorporate the integration of career technical and academic education no later than June 1, 2005. The California Model Curriculum Standards were adopted by the State Board of Education (SBE) on May 11, 2005. The standards, written for grades seven through twelve, specify learning goals in 58 career pathways organized around 15 industry sectors.

On January 10, 2007, the SBE approved the Education Code Section 51226.1 stipulates that the framework will prepare pupils for both career entry and matriculation into postsecondary education. The framework is a guide to implementing the ground breaking CTE Standards at the local level in rigorous and relevant ways. The CTE Framework structure and contents are designed to assist the field in planning and delivering a rigorous and relevant CTE curriculum that increases student achievement. The framework draws on all 15 of California's CTE industry sectors to provide examples of practices and research-based guidance for implementing the CTE Model Curriculum Standards.

The legislation stipulates that adoption of the model curriculum framework by local educational agencies is voluntary. For additional requirements, see Education Code sections 51226 and 51226.1 and related sections 51228 and 51225.3

Advisory Group

Both the CTE standards and framework were developed in consultation and coordination with an advisory group appointed by the State Superintendent of Public Instruction (SSPI) as specified in the legislation. Approximately 50 stakeholder representatives were appointed to the CTE Standards and Framework Advisory Group from the following constituencies: business and industry; institutions of higher education, including, but not limited to: California community colleges, California State University, and University of California; classroom teachers; school administrators; parents and guardians; the Legislature; labor; pupils; parents and guardians; the California Department of Education (CDE); and the Labor and Workforce Development Agency. The CTE Standards and Framework Advisory Group formulated an over arching vision, philosophy, and future direction for CTE and made recommendations regarding the CTE curriculum standards and framework.

Leadership toward creation of the Career Technical Education Standard and Framework is administered by:

California Department of Education
Career & College Transition Division
Career Technical Education Leadership Office

CTE Framework

The CTE framework (PDF; 5MB) is available for purchase from the California Department of Education through CDE Press.

CTE Standards

CTE Model Curriculum Standards - Web page for those interested in following the revision of Career Technical Education Model Curriculum (CTE) standards.

Questions:   Career Technical Education Leadership Office | | 916-322-5050
Last Reviewed: Tuesday, February 6, 2024