CTE Timeline

  • 399 BCE


    Many modern views on western education come from Socrates, who believed once people could acknowledge that they do not know, then they can learn all around them. He believed in life long learning, especially from the things and experiences around us.
  • 348 BCE


    Plato believed in a state created and controlled education where everyone can develop their own abilities to the fullest, allowing them to live their lives to their fullest potential. A supporter of the liberal arts, and an education of supporting harmony.
  • 322 BCE


    Aristotle added to education through strong beliefs in the greek equivalent of liberal arts, including natural sciences, botany, and zoology. Aristotle also was a teacher, he founded his own school, and emphasized constant learning.
  • Publication of Rousseau’s Émilie**

    Emilie was executed due to this writing, which challenged the purpose of government and the individual. The book question how power should be used, and the function of people for government, or government for people. Emilie became an inspiration in the French Revolution for a nation wide education system.
  • Thomas Jefferson*

    Founder of the University of Virginia, Jefferson believed the only way a democratic America would succeed would be with educating its citizens. He proposed a nation wide, free, public education, with at least three years of education, all controlled at the local level-a controversial idea of his time.
  • Industrial Revolution**

    1760-1840, the entire world economy shifted as new technology increased manufacturing and labor jobs, while reducing the number of farmers. New equipment led to farmers growing more crops, while many moved into cities to get jobs in manufacturing. The entire country shifted as rural living became less common, and cities began to grow and form throughout the country. With this, the way people live their lives also shifted.
  • Horace Mann*

    A leader in what became public schools, Mann believed every student should earn a basic education. He envisioned a basic education being provided to all based off of tax dollars, which is the system he helped draw up in Massachusetts, which expanded throughout the country. He believed: differences should be used to teach, public education through public support and control, and specialized further programs.
  • Morrill Act

    Establishing land-grant college to provide local education in agriculture, mechanical arts, and other industrial classes. The act gave each state 30,000 acres of federal land to establish these educational institutions and provide means of funding.
  • Martha Van Rensseleaer*

    A founding director of the college of home economics at New York State College. She believed home economics was a knowledge to improve the quality of ones life, and advocated for the domestic science of home economics.
  • Hatch Act

    Provided federal funding for the instated from the Merrill Act to create agricultural experimental sites to conduct research. Original emphasis was placed on soil and plant research.
  • Major Dennis Mobley*

    Worked in education and in agriculture, Mobley believed vocational education was good for all students. He advocated for vocational education as part of a well rounded education to properly prepare all students for a post-secondary life. Also known for his involvement in FFA and agricultural education advocacy.
  • Second Morrill Act

    Required institutions to show that race was not a factor to being admitted, otherwise it created funds (rather than land) to establish a second land-grant institution for persons of color. All colleges created/funded through this act receive the same status as the original Merrill Act of 1862.
  • Technological Revolution**

    The Technological Revolution, or the second Industrial Revolution went on from 1870-1914. This was a time of quickly changing scientific discovery, manufacturing and mass production, travel, and engineering.
  • Ellen H. Richards*

    Considered to be the pioneer of the home economics movement, she advocated for and demonstrated the application of science in the home. She was also the first to connect nutrition with chemistry. A feminist, and an instructor at MIT.
  • John Swett*

    Celebrated for his contribution to Californias education system, he watched over the shift from a paid education to free public education state wide, as the fourth superintendent of California's education department. He also helped form the nations larges teacher association, though has negative views on parents role in education.
  • Smith-Lever Act

    Established of extension systems that work with land-grant institutions to teach a variety of skills and connect people with advancements in agriculture research.
  • Booker T. Washington*

    Educator, author, advocate, and an advisor to multiple presidents. Washington believed learning was an emotional force, where goals, interest, and meaning are required for a student to learn. Washington is known for establishing the Tuskegee Institute for the education of African American. He also was involved in expanded agricultural research and forming education around real problems.
  • Smith Hughes Act

    Recognized Agricultural education, home economics, and industrial education in public high schools, and provided initial funding to support these vocational classes. Also led to many states creating a state board of vocational education, either under their department of education, or as a separate board.
  • World War 1**

    "The Great War" of 1914-1918, a global war between the Allied and central powers, fighting predominantly in Europe, the Middle East, and parts of Asia and Africa. The war saw record casualties, the downfall of four major empires, and long term economic challenges.
  • Women’s suffrage**

    A long journey, from the 1850s until 1919 when ratified, Women's Suffrage was the long journey of advocating, and fighting for women to have the right to vote in the United States.
  • American Vocational Association Developed**

    An association designed to advocate the importance of vocational education in schools. The association has a long history of aiding in legislation and support for vocational education, creating programs, and making vocational education a standard part of public education.
  • Alice P. Norton*

    Alice Norton worked as a home economics high school teacher, before becoming a professor of home economics at University of Chicago School of Education. She had a variety of different jobs and achievements, such as a sanitary chemistry, speaking at many institutions, a dietitian, and ultimately the household economics committee of the Illinois Federation of Women's Clubs chairman.
  • George-Reed Act

    Removed home economics from the trade and industry section of the Smith Hughes Act. It provided no funding, but did allow annual appropriation.
  • Rufus Stimson*

    The visionary behind our modern day SAE's, Stimson believed agriculture could not be taught by book and instruction along, there had to be a participation aspect. He emphasized record keeping on the experiment/project, and believed it should be direct farming, experiments, research, management, or economic related.
  • George-Deen Act

    Allocated twelve million dollars for agricultural, home economic, and industrial education. It also added "distributive occupations", which we would call marketing classes. This is the first time that supervisor travel could be considered a related expense, marking a more flexible way of funding vocational education.
  • World War II**

    The second world war, 1939-1945, a fight between the Allies and the Axis powers, on a global scale with many warfronts. Major casualties, but also a time of economic and scientific growth and innovation. With many men and women involved, either in the war, or in manufacturing, we can see cultural shifts. The end of the war saw the rise of the US. as a global superpower.
  • George-Barden Act

    This act allotted 34 million dollars in funding to the specific programs from the George-Deen Act. This funding came with much more flexibility, such as use in salaries, travel, FFA and NFA travel, renting or buying equipment, trainings, and more.
  • David Snedden*

    The first commissioner of education in Massachusetts, before moving onto Columbia University. A strong advocate for social efficiency, that you can use the students interests to educate in a way that meets workforce demand.
  • Charles A. Prosser*

    An early advocate for our modern take on vocational education, Prosser's 16 theorems on vocational education still stand as a hallmark of what makes successful vocational education, its relevance, value, and impact on a student and on society. Though some may question is Prosser was to restrictive in the role of vocational education. Though of his time it was visionary to believe students interests and abilities made them great for vocational education.
  • John Dewey*

    A advocate, teacher, and instructor, who believed vocational education is for everyone, and everyone can benefit no matter their post secondary direction. He believed in using student interest, well equipped schools, and problem-solving methods builds strong life skills.
  • Sputnik**

    The first object in outer space, launched by the Soviet Union. This molded the space race, and rose tensions between the Soviet Union and the United States. The beginning of the space age, an emphasis on science and technology, and a shift in culture.
  • National Defense Education Act

    Created assistance to state and local schools for boosting math, science, and foreign language content; while also creating data entry courses in the name of national defense skills. Also aided in providing testing resources, counseling, and student loans for higher ed.
  • Manpower Development and Training Act

    Looked at as the first of its kind federal job training program designed to grow or teach new skills to those unemployed or underemployed.
  • Vocational Education Act and Amendments

    An overhaul of vocational legislation-a panel was created to evaluate and recommend changes to improve programs. Funding was increased to 225 million dollars. Work study was introduced, and gender equity was promoted. Emphasis is placed on vocational programs directly leading to well paying jobs in their communities. "Agriculture" was expanded beyond just farming, allowing much more research and growth.
  • W. E. B. Dubois*

    A strong advocate for African American education in the south, and a supporter of vocational education. Sometimes seen as an elitist for his views on who should be in vocational education, though a strong supported of improving the education system among minority groups.
  • Civil Right’s Movement**

    From 1954 to 1968, a nonviolent movement centered around abolishing the laws allowing for legal segregation and discrimination by ones race. Also known as the equal rights movement, or the fight for equality, leading to judicial and legislative changes and rulings to eliminate legal segregation and discrimination.
  • Educational Amendments (Title IX)

    No one may be discriminated against , or otherwise excluded from Vocational Education based on their gender. This opened vocational educational to all students, ending the exclusion of a specific gender in many cases.
  • Comprehensive Employment and Training Act

    Provided grants for state and local job trainings, specifically for the unemployed and underemployed, with an emphasis on those whom were economically disadvantaged. This program ran through both public and private avenues, and included youth and summer employment.
  • Job Training Partnership Act

    A response to the decline in manufacturing jobs, this legislation replaced the comprehensive Employment and
    Training Act. More youth programs were created, as well as programs for the unskilled, homeless, elderly, and those unemployed. Workplace education for youth was included.
  • A Nation at Risk Report**

    A report that stated American schools were at risk of failing, citing failures from reform, and a lack of teaching and learning. This report would lead to concepts such as No Child Left Behind legislation.
  • Carl Perkins Vocational Education Act (Perkins I)

    Created 950 million dollars worth of funding for vocational education throughout all of the directions it would go. 57% of the funding supported traditional underrepresented groups such as those with disabilities, adult training/retraining, single parents, and criminals. In schools, it placed an emphasis on bringing academia and vocational education together, using voices from labor groups, industry, and post-secondary education.
  • New Directions Report (Ag Ed)**

    Based on the realities of how agriculture has changed, and how much diversity of industry there is in agriculture, to better represent and teach our content.
  • Perkins Act (Perkins II)

    Reauthorizing Perkins I, with an additional 600 million dollars in funding. This legislation put an emphasis on programs meeting standards and having a direct path towards employment in related industry.
  • The Secretary’s Commission of Achieving Necessary Skills (SCANS) Report**

    A report documenting the skills students need to have to be successful in post-secondary college readiness, professional programs, and directly to industry. This report covers what we need to be doing in CTE to prepare students, and how CTE education should be shifting towards community and student needs.
  • School-to-Work Opportunities Act

    Provided grants to support educational systems that were preparing students to go directly from school to work, post-secondary education, or advanced training programs. The goal was to use student ability, goals, and interests to help support students towards additional credentials and a path towards a career.
  • Land-grant to Tribal Colleges

    Tribal Colleges were placed under the land-grant umbrella. This move has aided program and trade opportunities, expanded four and six year programs, and built many transfer agreements and partnerships between tribal colleges and other institutions.
  • American Vocational Association becomes Association of Career and Technical Education**

    In 1998, the American vocational Association changed its name at their annual convention, to reflect CTE. With changing trends, a greater emphasis on technology in every industry, and the growing course types in schools, this name better reflects the programs, opportunities, and students this program advocates for.
  • Education Amendment Act (Perkins III)

    This legislation improved the definition of vocational education to outline an education that prepares students for post-secondary education, readies them for the workplace, and grows learning. The definition includes inventive and reformed views of vocational education as an ever changing field where we must teach students skills and knowledge applicable to the modern industries. This emphasizes reaching standards, including the local communities, and creating pathways.
  • No Child Left Behind Act

    A new emphasis on assessing student skills and growth, designed to hold schools accountable. Led to schools being penalized when testing scores came in low, leading to an emphasis on reading and math, and reducing the number of arts, sciences, and vocational education courses being offered.
  • Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Improvement Act (Perkins IV)

    Redefining the legal wording of vocational education with Career and Technical Education. This act added standards, and the accountability of programs leading to post-secondary or workforce routes.
  • Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act (Perkins V)

    Annual funding of 1.3 billion dollars for Career and Technical Education. This act emphasizes all students having the opportunity to partake in CTE education. There is also specialized emphasis on programs for youth whom may be or have been homeless, in foster care, or through the juvenile corrections system.