We discussed two promising advocacy projects during the February 15 meeting of the National Coordinating Council of Career and Technical Student Organizations at the Office of Vocational and Adult Education in Washington, D.C. One was in a presentation by the Alliance for Student Activities on the value of student activities. The Alliance is working with the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP) to tell schools and communities that participation in student activities makes a significant difference in student attainment. They say they have 100 pieces of research with longitudinal data showing that participation in student activities – including CTSOs – yield positive outcomes. The next phase of their research will be to demonstrate the value added to the community by keeping students in school and engaged. NASSP representatives joined the meeting, including its director of student programs. We hope to partner with the Alliance and use their data in making our own case.
We also reviewed a draft state profile publication connecting the dots for policymakers on the value of all nine student organizations. The publication includes the number of CTSO members and schools in their federal voting districts. Collectively, the CTSOs have more than a million members annually so it can get some attention. The booklets will also include facts and data about career and technical education and the student organizations in the state.
Also discussed was the criteria that must be met for organizations to be recognized as CTSOs and the creation of a unified website for all the CTSOs.