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Career and Technical Education (CTE) | Data Management | Eduthings | Career and Technical Student Organizations (CTSOs)

How to Track CTSO Participation Using Eduthings

June 6th, 2024 | 14 min. read

Brad Hummel

Brad Hummel

Coming from a family of educators, Brad knows both the joys and challenges of teaching well. Through his own teaching background, he’s experienced both firsthand. As a writer for iCEV, Brad’s goal is to help teachers empower their students by listening to educators’ concerns and creating content that answers their most pressing questions about career and technical education.

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If you’re an educator in a career and technical education (CTE) program, you know that there’s so much more to a great CTE program than simply tracking completers and concentrators. While your completion rate is one measure of the effectiveness of your CTE program, it doesn’t show the full picture of how a wide range of experiences impacts student success. 

For many CTE programs, participation in career and technical student organizations (CTSOs) is a key measure of the complete education students receive and can correlate closely to success on certifications and future career placement. But many schools don’t track this important measure of learner success, limiting their ability to demonstrate the success of their programs when applying for funding and making decisions regarding the future program plans and opportunities. 

To help administrators and teachers better track participation in career and technical student participations, Eduthings provides robust data reporting features that capture and measure CTSO participation, demographic information, certification rates, and other key figures that are unique to CTE programs. 

But how exactly does Eduthings record this information, and how does tracking CTSO participation help you make more informed decisions for your CTE program? 

In this article, we’ll consider the importance of considering CTSO participation in measuring the success of a CTE program. Then, you’ll learn how Eduthings offers a custom solution to collect and report this information to help you prove the value of your program and plan for the future. 

How Does CTSO Participation Relate to Program Success? 

Along with earning industry certifications and taking part in work-based learning (WBL) experiences, participating in career and technical student organizations is one of the most important measures of CTE program success. 

There are several reasons why CTSO participation is so critical. On a basic level, the number of CTSO participants and available organizations indicates a school’s willingness to offer its students different professional development programs and opportunities. Institutions with many learners participating in chapters from a range of organizations—such as FFA, HOSA, and SkillsUSA—prove a commitment to offering additional development opportunities outside of the traditional CTE classroom setting. 

Moreover, providing the opportunity to join a CTSO indicates that a CTE program is interested in helping students cultivate skills beyond the technical knowledge and principles they may learn in the classroom. While most CTSOs host state, regional, and national competitions to prove industry-specific skills, one of the major reasons for joining a CTSO is to cultivate professional skills such as communication and leadership. 

When combined with other 21st century skills such as critical thinking, creativity, and collaboration, CTSO involvement can make a lasting difference in a student’s ability to become successful both in their professional careers and in their personal lives. CTSO participants often become adept leaders who transform the economy through their commitment to CTE professions. 

Ultimately, a high rate of CTSO participation is indicative of a CTE program’s health and ability to prepare learners for future opportunities. Schools that have many students involved in CTSOs are often producing more qualified graduates, who are in turn more likely to earn industry-based certifications and desirable employment.  

To ensure that a CTE program is meeting its aims with respect to CTSO participation, it’s paramount that schools and districts track this information and use it to make informed decisions. 

Are Schools Required to Report CTSO Data? 

All school districts must report on the performance of CTE programs to state and federal education agencies. Although the specific requirements can vary from state to state, individual programs are typically not required to report on CTSO participation.  

However, that doesn’t mean your program should disregard CTSO data. In fact, participation data, when combined with other key information such as your industry certification rate and number of completers and concentrators, help form a more complete picture of your CTE program and how well it’s performing. 

Keep in mind, though, that while your state may only require you to report a few statistics related to your CTE students, tracking a wider variety of data can tell a more complete story—and better set you and your program up for future success.

How Does Eduthings Track CTSO Participation? 

Navigating large amounts of CTE data can be difficult. Eduthings streamlines data collection and management through an integrated system that saves educators time and improves accuracy. 

Within Eduthings, CTSO advisors can track specific information related to student participation to make data management simple. Teachers and administrators can record information for everyone from individual students to entire programs.  

You’re even able to track CTSO community service activities. This makes it easy to report community service hours to school counselors to help them follow state reporting requirements. 

All this information is individualized to specific pathways and organizations. Instead of just tracking the overall number of CTSO hours, educators can attribute participation hours to individual organizations, resulting in a clearer picture of where students and their teachers are spending time. 

Eduthings integrates with your existing student information systems and updates automatically, so you can be confident that you always have the most updated record of CTSO participation. 

From here, it is easy to create customized reports to analyze CTSO participation based on a wide range of data filters to find correlations that can help improve your program and offer even better learning opportunities. 

How Does Eduthings Simplify CTSO Participation Data Management? 

Managing large quantities of CTE data can be difficult. Eduthings simplifies data collection and management through an intuitive system that saves administrators and teachers time, all while improving accuracy. 

Educators can input CTSO data specific to individual CTE pathways, classes, and students. You’re able to pinpoint exactly which students are benefiting from participation, and which CTSO chapters are performing the best in your school and district. 

With up-to-date information regarding CTSO participation on your hands, you can use your reports to fine-tune your program and understand how taking part in these activities contributes directly to student success. 

What Types of CTSO Reports Are Available in Eduthings? 

Because Eduthings is designed exclusively for CTE, career and technical student organizations are part of its operative framework. We understand how important participation is to comprehend the complete landscape of a CTE program, so the ability to track CTSO performance is available as soon as you integrate Eduthings into your systems. 

You can easily create a report for each of your CTSO chapters, giving you a high-level perspective on how your students are performing.  

However, Eduthings allows you to go beyond basic information to build complex reports that reveal who exactly is taking part in a CTSO and how their involvement leads to success on industry certifications, CTE program completion, and much more. 

CTE administrators and teachers can create custom reports with a range of specific filters, encouraging them to analyze and understand CTSO participation from multiple points of view. Eduthings also includes the capability of viewing several filters at the same time, helping educators identify precise performance figures in a custom report. 

Some examples of the types of filters available include: 

  • Grade Level 
  • Demographic 
  • Participant, Concentrator, or Completer Status 
  • Teacher 
  • School Campus 

You can use filters like these to produce nuanced reports to help you better understand CTSO participation in your program and plan for the future. 

For instance, you may find that students who participate in a CTSO are also more likely to be high school students, CTE completers, and have a higher chance of earning a recognized industry-based certification. 

Finally, you can use Eduthings to further identify individual schools, teachers, or pathways that have higher levels of CTSO participation so you can highlight their achievements and use them as examples as you further develop your program. 

What Is the Value of Eduthings CTSO Reports? 

When you integrate Eduthings into your CTE program, you can empower your data management for your entire team. 

The variety of reports available through the Eduthings system can help you develop a robust understanding of your students’ involvement in career and technical student organizations. Moreover, you’re able to correlate this information with the overall performance of your CTE program. 

Most data management tools offer simple reports, such as whether the student is a CTE completer or concentrator. This can give you just enough information to comply with state reporting requirements, but hardly offers a clear picture of your entire program, including CTSO participation. 

With Eduthings, you can create complex reports with many filters to highlight CTSO data and illuminate its connection to successful students and CTE programs. While some data management tools only track a few figures related to CTE program data, Eduthings covers the full picture of CTSO involvement, including organizations, hours, and the opportunity for students to journal about their experiences. 

Eduthings’ custom reports result in more complete data which fully represents the value of CTSOs to your program. 

Finally, Eduthings simplifies and customizes data entry to meet your district’s preferences. This gives you the flexibility to allow teachers, school leadership, or district CTE staff to enter CTSO data. Since these figures are synced nightly through Eduthings, you can save time and delegate data entry responsibilities while ensuring that your information is complete, accurate, and safe. 

Discover How Eduthings Can Track Your CTSO Participation 

Participation in career and technical student organizations (CTSOs) correlates strongly with student success throughout a CTE program. Learners who take part in CTSO activities gain valuable experience that often leads to superior performance in the classroom and on certification exams. 

When you prove that your students are learning, your school could be eligible for new and continued funding opportunities that allow you to expand your program. 

But to know the true value of CTSO involvement to your program, it’s essential that you track CTSO participation with a data management solution designed for CTE programs like yours. 

In this article, you’ve discovered how Eduthings is specifically designed to track CTSO participation and other essential CTE statistics, streamlining data collection and compliance. 

But how will you know that Eduthings will help in your district’s particular situation? 

The ideal way to see how Eduthings can benefit your program is to sign up for a personalized demo. When you sign up, our team will provide you with a customized demonstration of Eduthings so you can see how it will integrate with your existing technology systems and track information essential to your program.  

Visit the Eduthings home page to sign up today: 

Schedule Your Eduthings Demo