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Division of Career and Technical Education

The goal of the South Dakota Department of Education is for all students to graduate college, career and life ready. The Division of Career and Technical Education (DCTE) provides support for students’ preparations for postsecondary education and the workforce. Services are connected to approved Career & Technical Education (CTE) programs, work-based learning, school counseling and SDMyLife. In-line with the department’s aspiration, DCTE works to ensure students not only graduate from high school, but that they are prepared to navigate the transitions and life events that come after high school.

Division of Career and Technical Education Links
Career Clusters and CTE Standards
South Dakota recognizes 16 career clusters. Career clusters are designed to help students acquire the knowledge and skills they need to reach their postsecondary and career goals. Each career cluster has its own set of approved CTE courses. DCTE provides a sequence of courses and course standards within each cluster.
Career and Technical Education Regions and Contacts
The Division of Career & Technical Education provides technical assistance to school districts using a regional outreach model. Through this model, regional career development specialists serve as a resource for all local CTE-related efforts.
Career and Technical Student Organizations (CTSOs)
High school is more than just going to class. By getting involved in student organizations, students gain real-world skills that compliment what they're learning in the classroom. Participation in these organizations builds leadership and teamwork, and ultimately, helps students prepare for a career.
CTE Teacher Certification
South Dakota's CTE teacher certification rules provide school districts and educators with flexibility in how they become certified to teach CTE courses while still ensuring educators have a strong knowledge base in both pedagogy and their specific content area.
CTE for Core Content
CTE for Core Content provides students the opportunity to earn academic credit by completing approved career and technical education course. Approval to offer credit must be obtained through an application process with the Department of Education.
CTE Summer Conference
CTE Summer Conference is sponsored by the South Dakota Department of Education and in cooperation with the South Dakota Association for Career and Technical Education. Each year, this conference provides over 300 teachers, administrators, and school counselors with opportunities to connect with other educators and to explore best practices that will help them prepare students to be college, career, and life ready.
Dual Credit
Dual credit is an opportunity for high school students who meet admissions standards to enroll in public postsecondary institutions in South Dakota and simultaneously earn credits for both their high school diploma and postsecondary degree or certificate.
The CTE Monthly Newsletters contain information about upcoming events, professional development opportunities, opportunities for CTE students, statistics and data, information about SDMyLife, profiles from business and postsecondary partners, as well as updates and related CTE news.
The Perkins Career and Technical Education Act of 2006 offers the South Dakota Board of Education, the Department of Education, and the Division of Career and Technical Education many opportunities to further its efforts to develop and enhance secondary and postsecondary career and technical education programs.
Project Lead The Way
Project Lead The Way (PLTW) prepares students to be innovative and productive leaders in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) and to make meaningful, pioneering contributions to our world. PLTW partners with middle schools and high schools to provide a rigorous, relevant STEM education.
Industry Recognized Credentials
Industry recognized credentials are a way for students to demonstrate mastery of knowledge and skills. They can increase job prospects and options for post-secondary education as well as increase their marketability to employers.
SD EPSCoR: K-12 Educational Outreach Grant
Proposals for SD EPSCoR funds through the Department of Education aim to increase the number of STEM graduates skilled in informatics and biosciences at all levels by partnering industry with K16 education and research activities to meet the growing workforce needs in South Dakota.
With the support of teachers, counselors, and parents, SDMyLife's goal is to help students better understand themselves and how their interest, skills, and knowledge relate to real-world academic and career opportunities.
Work-Based Learning
Work-Based Learning (WBL) connects students with industry to engage in real-world experiences. WBL experiences bridge academic, technical and employability skill development to help students become college, career and life ready.
Workforce Education Grant
The Workforce Education Grants provide school districts and private, nonprofit entities who provide specialized training in South Dakota the opportunity to make transformative change in career and technical education programs.

Other Useful Links
Board of Technical Education
Build Dakota Scholarship
Graduation Requirements
National Career Readiness Certificate
PD/ Events Calendar
Personnel Record Form (PRF)
School Counselor Certification
Teacher 411
Teachers As Advisors


Direct questions to the Department of Education's Division of Career and Technical Education at (605) 773-3423 or click here for contact list.