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CTE Leadership Collaborative

CTE Leadership Collaborative (LC) brings together diverse perspectives and equips postsecondary career and technical education (CTE) leaders with the tools, resources and skills needed to advance the field.

Across the country, there is a critical shortage of qualified workers needed to fill middle-skill jobs—jobs that require more education and training than a high school diploma, but less than a four-year college degree. Many of the middle-skill jobs in high-demand industries, like manufacturing, information technology and healthcare, pay family-sustaining wages and can be accessed by attaining postsecondary career and technical education (CTE) credentials.

While CTE programs in high-demand fields exist, the quality and outcomes of programs vary, research and awareness of best practices are limited, and leadership and professional development opportunities are uncommon.

In response to these challenges, ECMC Foundation launched the CTE Leadership Collaborative (LC) in 2018. Through the LC, ECMC Foundation provides funding for a network of six fellowship programs that support professional development opportunities for the next generation of leaders—known as ECMC Foundation Fellows (Fellows)—from a range of disciplines and a variety of approaches dedicated to improving postsecondary CTE. Each LC grantee supports Fellows through mentorship, in-person and virtual convenings, and Fellow-led projects.

While the six grantee partners oversee the majority of the programmatic activities, ECMC Foundation serves as the connective tissue to ensure collaboration across programs. In addition to convening Fellows across programs on an annual basis, we host receptions and networking events at conferences and offer funding to support Fellows interested in collaborating on projects.

The special initiative is designed to run through 2025, when we estimate that more than 500 ECMC Foundation Fellows will be working to improve postsecondary CTE by addressing field-level research gaps, incorporating evidence-based approaches to student success, deepening related media coverage, improving campus-specific data use, integrating company hiring practices, advancing state-wide policies, and more. Through these efforts, ECMC Foundation Fellows will advance the field by uplifting the needs and opportunities to increase financial support, build public will, improve practice and policy, and drive equitable student outcomes in CTE, with the ultimate goal of boosting program persistence and credential attainment to ensure graduates can access positions paying family-sustaining wages and employers have the qualified and diverse talent they need.

Meet our Fellows

Funded Fellowship Programs

The CTE Research Program at North Carolina State University

North Carolina State University supports graduate students and postdoctoral researchers from a range of postsecondary institutions and a variety of academic disciplines. The goal is to increase high-quality postsecondary CTE research, which currently lacks significant visibility and financial support. Learn More

Postsecondary Leadership Success Program at ACTE

The Association for Career and Technical Education supports postsecondary CTE practitioners. The goal is to provide professional development opportunities to the next generation of leaders at postsecondary institutions and nonprofits offering CTE programs. Learn More

Institute for Citizens and Scholars CTE Media Fellowship

The Institute for Citizens and Scholars supports education journalists. The goal is to increase the number of journalists equipped with tools and networks to provide richer and more comprehensive coverage of postsecondary education, particularly CTE. Learn More

Strategic Data Project Fellowship for Career and Technical Education

The Strategic Data Project supports data professionals at community colleges. The goal is to improve the use of data to advance student success and program decision-making in CTE pathways. Learn More

Talent of Tomorrow Fellowship Program at Jobs for the Future

Jobs for the Future supports learning opportunities for industry leaders. The goal of the program is to build the knowledge and leadership capacity of Fellows to act as change agents within their companies and strengthen their companies’ policies and practices to hire and promote CTE graduates. Learn More

The Postsecondary State CTE Leaders Fellowship Program at Advance CTE

Advance CTE supports individuals aspiring to lead postsecondary CTE at the state level. The goal is to develop a diverse cohort of state CTE leaders prepared to design and lead high-quality and equitable postsecondary CTE programs and policies. Learn More

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Meet our Fellows

With more than 100 ECMC Foundation Fellows and counting, the CTE Leadership Collaborative continues to bring together diverse perspectives, equipping a growing number of CTE leaders with the tools, resources, and skills needed to advance postsecondary CTE.

Learn More