What is a CTSO?
First things first, you're probably wondering what on earth a CTSO is. CTSO stands for Career and Technical Student Organizations. They are not simply a club! Each CTSO focuses on a certain career field; within the meetings, students will learn valuable skills. Many CTSOs also give their members a chance to compete at regional, state, and/or national levels.
So why is a college student writing about high school CTSOs? In high school, I was in two CTSOs! I joined FCCLA (Family, Career and Community Leaders of America), became the historian, and eventually became the co-president. I also was co-president for another CTSO called FEA (Future Educators Association), which is now called Educators Rising. My senior year, I competed in FCCLA's STAR Events competition and placed third in Georgia for my specific competition. I can highly attest to the importance of being involved in extracurriculars during high school, and I believe CTSOs are the best way to do so. You don't necessarily have to be pursuing a career in that exact field... and most high schoolers haven't picked a definite career path. I am an education major, but I was highly involved in FCCLA, which focused on family and consumer sciences. All CTSOs teach valuable skills to their members that can be applied to everyday life.
Why join a CTSO?
How can being in a CTSO benefit a student? Career and Technical education in the field that the organization deals with a new skill set, potential for competition at regional, state and national levels, opportunity to develop relationships with peers and much more. The graphic below expresses more of the benefits of joining these organizations and can be found on the CTSO website.
What are some CTSOs?
*These are the CTSOs available in Georgia, which can be read about more in depth on their respective websites or on Georgia CTSO.