National Organizations

The Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE) is the largest national education association dedicated to the advancement of education that prepares youth and adults for careers. This area offers information about the history, mission and structure of ACTE, as well as details on our annual awards program.

ASCD (formerly the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development). Our nonprofit, nonpartisan membership association provides expert and innovative solutions in professional development, capacity building, and educational leadership essential to the way educators learn, teach, and lead.

The mission of the Education Commission of the States is to help states develop effective policy and practice for public education by providing data, research, analysis and leadership; and by facilitating collaboration, the exchange of ideas among the states and long-range strategic thinking.

The League is an international organization dedicated to catalyzing the community college movement. We host conferences and institutes, develop Web resources, conduct research, produce publications, provide services, and lead projects and initiatives with our member colleges, corporate partners, and other agencies in our continuing efforts to make a positive difference for students and communities.

The College and Career Transitions Initiative (CCTI) will contribute to strengthening the role of community and technical colleges throughout the United States in

  • easing student transitions between secondary and postsecondary education as well as transitions to employment;
  • improving academic performance at both the secondary and postsecondary levels.

The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) is the primary federal entity for collecting and analyzing data related to education.

The Planning and Evaluation Service (PES)…

  • coordinates strategic planning and program performance reporting across the Department of Education;
  • conducts independent evaluations of the major federal education programs; and
  • coordinates the Department’s role in international education activities

The National Association of State Directors of Career Technical Education Consortium: Provide leadership for career technical education’s role in education, workforce preparation and economic development.

The National Center on Secondary Education and Transition (NCSET) coordinates national resources, offers technical assistance, and disseminates information related to secondary education and transition for youth with disabilities in order to create opportunities for youth to achieve successful futures. NCSET is headquartered at the Institute on Community Integration in the University of Minnesota’s College of Education and Human Development.

The National Council for Workforce Education is a private, nonprofit, professional organization committed to promoting excellence and growth in workforce education at the post secondary level. NCWE, an affiliate council of the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC), provides a national forum for administrators and faculty in occupational, vocational, technical, and career education as well as representatives of business, labor, military, and government, to affect and direct the future role of two-year and other post-secondary institutions in work-related education.

The National Council of State Directors of Community Colleges is an affiliated council of the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC). The council provides a forum for the exchange of information about developments, trends, and problems in state systems of community colleges.

The National Research Center for Career and Technical Education (NRCCTE) is the primary agent for generating scientifically based knowledge, dissemination, professional development, and technical assistance to improve career and technical education (CTE) in the United States.

NEA believes every student in America, regardless of family income or place of residence, deserves a quality education. In pursuing its mission, NEA has determined that we will focus the energy and resources of our 3.2 million members on improving the quality of teaching, increasing student achievement and making schools safer, better places to learn.

U.S. Department of Education 

Office of Vocational and Adult Education (OVAE) administers, coordinates programs that are related to adult education and literacy, career and technical education, and community colleges.

Office of Vocational and Adult Education (OVAE): Career and Technical Education

The Bureau of Labor Statistics is the principal fact-finding agency for the Federal Government in the broad field of labor economics and statistics.

The mission of the Employment and Training Administration is to contribute to the more efficient functioning of the U.S. labor market by providing high quality job training, employment, labor market information, and income maintenance services primarily through state and local workforce development systems.

The International Technology Education Association (ITEA) is the professional organization for technology, innovation, design, and engineering educators. Our mission is to promote technological literacy for all by supporting the teaching of technology and promoting the professionalism of those engaged in this pursuit. ITEA strengthens the profession through state and national legislative efforts, professional development, membership services, publications, and classroom activities.

IWITTS provides the tools to successfully integrate women into male-dominated careers — such as technology and law enforcement — via our training, publications, products, e-strategies, and research projects. We work nationally and our audience includes educational institutions, police departments, employers, and women and girls themselves. Careers range from automotive technician to pilot, computer networking technician, telecommunications engineer, electrician and police officer, to name just a few.

PREL serves the educational community with quality programs, services, and products developed to promote educational excellence. We work throughout school systems, from classroom to administration, and collaborate routinely with governments, communities, and businesses. Above all, we specialize in multicultural and multilingual environments.

The  University Council for Workforce and Human Resource Education is a nonprofit organization representing the nation’s leading universities. The Council provides leadership for teaching, research, and service initiatives in career and technical education and human resource development.

Vocational Information Center. Resources on this page include links to general information about vocational education, career and technical education, and workforce preparation. You will also find resources for history of vocational education, current legislation news, statistics, associations, organizations and vocational teacher preparation programs.


AERA is the most prominent international professional organization, with the primary goal of advancing educational research and its practical application. Its more than 25,000 members are educators; administrators; directors of research; persons working with testing or evaluation in federal, state and local agencies; counselors; evaluators; graduate students; and behavioral scientists.

The Center on Education and Training for Employment engages with state, national, and international clients from education, governmental agencies, organized labor, and public and private entities to:

  • Generate knowledge useful for understanding workforce development.
  • Develop, implement, and evaluate workforce development programs and policies that are informed by best practices and research.
  • Develop workforce development leaders who serve in a variety of roles and contexts.
  • Provide technical assistance in ways that will positively influence the actions of educational professionals, organization managers, and scholars involved in developing the current and future global workforce.

As a university-based research and development center, CETE has access to the foremost authorities on workforce development and related fields to fulfill its mission.

The Center on Education and Work (CEW) is a research, technical assistance, and resource provider within the School of Education at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Established in 1964, the Center has a rich tradition of assisting educators and career development practitioners with program evaluation, qualitative and quantitative research, professional development training, and career resources.

The mission of the Center for Learning Connections is to prepare learners to manage change and create successful futures. In recognizing the critical link between learning, the changing economy and workplace, our mission serves the needs of diverse populations in making successful transitions in their professional and personal lives. The Center achieves its mission by designing training and managing projects to help individuals and organizations respond to change and improve quality. We are especially effective in working with educators (at all levels and locations), human services and workforce development professionals, and community based organizations.

Community College Research Center’s (CCRC) extensive body of research provides a strong foundation on which to build new policies and initiatives to improve the outcomes of these institutions so integral to the higher education system, employment landscape, and national economy. Our mission is to conduct research on the major issues affecting community colleges in the United States and to contribute to the development of practice and policy that expands access to higher education and promotes success for all students.

IES What Works Clearinghouse. A central and trusted source of scientific evidence for what works in education.

Regional Research Organizations

The Laboratory for Student Success (LSS) was established as the mid-Atlantic Regional Educational Laboratory in 1995 and continued to operate as such at the Temple University Center for Research in Human Development and Education until March 2006. As one of the 10 regional educational laboratories under contract to the U. S. Department of Education, LSS provided a rich resource for research-based educational reform. The laboratory at Temple University focused on the needs of the most severely disadvantaged and underserved populations across the region, providing a dynamic system of research, procedural knowledge, development, and dissemination of findings in order to improve schools and students’ academic performance.

Located in Denver, Colorado, Mid-continent Research for Education and Learning (McREL)is a private, nonprofit corporation dedicated to making a difference in public education. We draw upon the best of education research to translate what works into innovations and results.
Our staff of highly respected educators and researchers provides the highest quality, field-tested, research-based products and services available in PreK–16 education.

The Education Alliance, a department at Brown University, promotes educational change to provide all students equitable opportunities to succeed. We advocate for populations whose access to excellent education has been limited or denied. Since 1975, we have partnered with schools, districts and state departments of education to apply research findings in developing solutions to educational challenges. We focus on district and school improvement with special attention to underperformance and issues of equity and diversity.
We design and deliver expert services around planning, professional learning, and research and evaluation.

Chartered in the Pacific Northwest in 1966 as Northwest Regional Educational Laboratory, Education Northwest now conducts more than 200 projects annually, working with schools, districts, and communities across the country on comprehensive, research-based solutions to the challenges they face.
At Education Northwest, we are dedicated to and passionate about learning. Through our work, we strive to create vibrant learning environments where all youth and adults can succeed. Everything we do is evidence-based, giving us a solid foundation upon which we stand with confidence. We work with teachers, administrators, policymakers, and communities to identify needs, evaluate programs, and develop new solutions. The breadth of our work — ranging from training teachers, to developing curriculum, to restructuring schools, to evaluating programs — allows us to take a comprehensive look at education and to bring wide-ranging expertise and creativity to our clients’ challenges

The SERVE Center at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro is a university based research, development, dissemination, evaluation, and technical assistance center. Its mission is to support and promote teaching and learning excellence in the Pre-kindergarten to Grade 12 education community.
At the core of SERVE Center’s diverse portfolio is the operation of the Regional Educational Laboratory (REL). Funded by the U.S. Department of Education’s Institute of Education Sciences, the REL-Southeast is one of ten regional organizations that conduct research and provide research-based information and services to all 50 states and territories. These Laboratories form a nationwide education research network, building a bank of research information and resources shared nationally and disseminated regionally. Currently SERVE Center is engaged in two large-scale randomized controlled trials focusing on the effectiveness of interventions seeking to improve teaching and learning in mathematics and science, and kindergarten vocabulary development.

SEDL is a private, nonprofit education research, development, and dissemination (RD&D) corporation based in Austin, Texas. Improving teaching and learning has been at the heart of SEDL’s work for more than 40 years. Our projects have changed over time, but our commitment to student success has not.
We believe that improvement of the educational system to meet the needs of all children requires a strong research base that is tightly linked to practice. SEDL partners with educators, administrators, parents, and policymakers to conduct research and development projects that result in strategies and resources to improve teaching and learning. SEDL also helps partners and clients bridge the gap between research and practice with professional development, technical assistance, and information services tailored to meet their needs. These dissemination activities help our partners interpret and apply research findings based on their individual contexts and experiences.

A nonprofit agency working at local, state, and federal levels, WestEd develops research-based programs, intervention strategies, and other resources, including publications and services. Whether it’s research, evaluation, policy support, or technical assistance, we work to find the best answers to enduring challenges and emerging questions in education and human development.
We help our clients assess students’ knowledge of science, develop mentoring programs, create fair and effective standardized assessments to inform instruction, and improve programs for English learners and students with disabilities. We develop and share knowledge with educators and community leaders about youth resiliency and health, teaching and learning mathematics, technology to enhance learning, and day care centers and preschools. And that’s just the beginning of an extensive list of WestEd program initiatives.