Kansas CTE Scholar Program to Honor Outstanding High School Seniors

Posted December 26, 2022

If you have a senior — or you teach or advise seniors — enrolled in Career and Technical Education (CTE) classes, here’s your chance to help them secure a statewide honor to recognize their hard work.

What’s the Kansas CTE Scholars Program?

The Kansas CTE Scholars program celebrates outstanding senior students who have met several key criteria leading up to and including the spring of their senior year. There is no limit to the number of students statewide who can be honored, but historically fewer than 50 students have applied for this honor each year. Our team at the Kansas State Department of Education wants to grow that number, and we need educators and parents to help us celebrate our talented students who have put in long hours in high school to prepare themselves for their future careers.

What Criteria Must Be Met for This Statewide Award?

The criterion for this honor includes:

  1. Students must have senior-level status. CTE Scholar candidates must be a graduating senior. Work can be, and is expected to have begun prior to their senior year; however, recognition is limited to seniors. 
  2. They must have earned or be presently enrolled in three or more CTE credits with documentation of technical skill attainment. Two or more of these credits must be above the introductory level. Credits earned can be across pathways if career goals aren’t aligned within one pathway. (Technical skill attainment can be verified in a number of ways; see the scholars program guide for details.)
  3. For completed CTE courses above the introductory level, students must have a GPA of a 3.5 or higher.
  4. The student must complete a civic engagement project or a minimum of 100 hours of validated community service. (See the scholars program guide for more information on how to verify this requirement.)
  5. Honored students must have completed a work-based learning experience, including school-based experiences, internships, clinicals, or supervised agricultural experiences, or have worked at community-based or student-led businesses. These experiences should reflect the student’s career interests and industry expectations. A minimum of 80 hours of practical experience is expected prior to submission. The student must reflect on their experiences in a one-page outline and a short essay (maximum of 175 words). (See scholars program guide for more information.)
  6. Applicant must write a career vision reflection (maximum of 175 words) describing how CTE courses and experiences have helped them reach their career choice and build their career vision.

What’s the Deadline for Application?

The student must complete and submit the online application with documentation to KSDE by midnight on March 1, 2023. See scholars program guide for more information.

What Do Honorees Receive as Part of This Designation?

Students who earn Kansas CTE Scholar will be recognized in the following ways:

  • Certificate with student’s name
  • Graduation honor cord
  • Commemorative pin
  • Statewide news release
  • KSDE website recognition
  • Sample award script will be provided for local use

This honor should be included on postsecondary college applications, scholarship applications and resumes for future employment.

Additional local recognition is encouraged. Examples include:

  • Award ceremony at CTE Senior Night or all-school assembly
  • Local newspaper feature
  • Local board of education recognition
  • Listing of achievement on Scholar’s transcript (strongly encouraged)

Help Us Celebrate Kansas’ Outstanding Senior CTE Students!

KSDE hopes to grow this program into a prestigious honor to celebrate our state’s most dedicated and hardworking CTE students. We suggest high schools and parents encourage their seniors to apply, and we look forward to honoring your students next spring.

Natalie Clark, Assistant Director on the Career, Standards and Assessment Services team in the areas of Career and Technical Education (CTE) and Individual Plan of Study (IPS) at the Kansas State Department of Education, effective January 8, 2023. Natalie joined the agency in 2016 as an Education Program Consultant in the areas of Business Management and Entrepreneurship, Finance, and Marketing. She also served as the Individual Plan of Study (IPS) Coordinator. Natalie’s high school classroom experience has been in the areas of business and computer studies. In addition, sh has been an Adjunct Faculty Member for Barton Community College (BCC). Mrs. Clark is a former Certified Municipal Clerk who earned a Bachelor of Science in Secondary Education, Business and Computer Studies from Kansas State University, and later received a Master of Science in Business Education from Emporia State University.