National Coordinating Council

For Career and Technical Student Organizations

The National Coordinating Council for Career and Technical Student Organizations (NCC-CTSO) serves as a communications and collaborative vehicle for Career and Technical Student Organizations (CTSO) that are recognized by a significant number of state departments of education as integral to their Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs and meet other criteria described below. The NCC-CTSO also includes national organizations that have an interest in CTE. Download the criteria for membership in the NCC- CTSO.

Mission & Purpose

The mission and purpose of CTSO are defined as follows:

Career and Technical Student Organizations (CTSO) enhance student learning through contextual instruction, leadership and personal development, applied learning and real world application.

CTSOs work as an integral component of the classroom curriculum and instruction, building upon employability and career skills and concepts through the application and engagement of students in hands-on demonstrations and real life and/or work experiences through a Career and Technical Education (CTE) program. CTSO’s help guide students in developing a career path, a program of study and provide opportunities in gaining the skills and abilities needed to be successful in those careers through CTSO activities, programs and competitive events. In addition, students have opportunities to hold leadership positions at the local, state, and national level and attend leadership development conferences to network with other students as well as business and industry partners.

Criteria for Membership in the NCC-CTSO:

For the sole purpose of the National Coordinating Council for Career and Technical Student Organizations (NCC-CTSO) the following has been agreed upon as the criteria for NCC-CTSO membership:

To be recognized as a Career and Technical Student Organization (CTSO) by the National Coordinating Council, the following criteria must be met:

  • NCC-CTSO members are organizations whose mission and statement of purpose include:
    1. Offer programs that are integral to the industry or occupational focus that may be associated with a career pathways program, program of study or
    2. Serve CTE students and teachers in one or more of the 16 Career Clusters® identified in The National Career Clusters®
  • NCC-CTSO members are organizations whose governance reflects their commitment to CTE by:
  1. Incorporation as a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation in the United
  2. Organizing themselves into state geographic
  3. Having substantial representation on their board of directors from CTE educators and/or administrators.
  • NCC-CTSO members have sufficient engagement by CTE students, educators and state departments of education to be considered national in scope:
  1. 20,000 or more student members organized into chapters in middle, secondary and/or postsecondary institutions (with a formalized process for election/selection of student leaders/officers at the local, state and national levels and a structured program of work)*.
  2. 1,000 or more middle, secondary and/or postsecondary
  3. Fifteen (15) or more state associations recognized by their state/territorial education agency as integral to their state’s CTE instructional program/curriculum and the state/territorial level advisor/leader must be a recognized and approved by the state/territorial education agency as an employee and/or contracted for
  4. Have an identified, participating and employed National Executive Director or
  5. Have a minimum of 10 career and/or leadership development activities or

Organizations seeking membership in the NCC-CTSO must demonstrate that they have met these criteria, be willing to be a part of the NCC-CTSO through attendance and participation at NCC- CTSO meetings and activities and apply for membership by contacting the Chair of the NCC-CTSO providing the necessary documentation. Approval will be granted based on a majority vote of the current NCC-CTSO membership.

Current Members Include:

  • Business Professionals of America (BPA)
  • DECA
  • Future Business Leaders of America-Phi Beta Lamba (FBLA-PBL)
  • National FFA Organization (FFA)
  • Family, Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA)
  • HOSA – Future Health Professionals
  • SkillsUSA
  • Technology Student Association (TSA)


  • Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE)
  • National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP)
  • Advance CTE, State Leaders Connecting Learning to Work (Formerly NASDCTEc)

*A component of leadership opportunities in Mission and Purpose