Career and Technical Student Organizations (CTSO)

FFA Organization

The FFA Association is the oldest career and technical student organization. Organized in 1928, the FFA is an integral part of the program of agricultural education in the public schools. FFA strengthens instruction for students of agricultural education by providing a laboratory for practical training in agriculture, leadership, cooperation, and citizenship.

Through active participation in the FFA, members learn by taking part in and conducting meetings, speaking in public, participating in events based on occupational skills, earning awards and recognition, and becoming involved in cooperative efforts and community improvement. As new technologies and new job opportunities emerge, so will the need for well-trained and educated people. Getting involved in high school agriculture and the FFA is the first step to a bright future in agriculture.


SkilllsUSA is a partnership of students, leaders and industry representatives working together to ensure America has a skilled workforce by preparing students for careers in technical, skilled and service occupations including health occupations and for further education.  The SkillsUSA Maryland Association is one of the nation's strongest with members striving for self-improvement through scholarship, citizenship, and participation in school and community activities.

The national SkillsUSA organization was founded in 1965 with the purposes of fostering a respect for the dignity of work, establishing realistic career goals, creating enthusiasm for learning, and helping students obtain full and rewarding lives. SkillsUSA also promotes high standards in trade ethics, workmanship, scholarship, leadership, and safety.

Future Business Leaders of America - Phi Beta Lambda (FBLA-PBL)

Developing strong leadership in America's future businessmen and businesswomen is the primary objective of the Future Business Leaders of America-Phi Beta Lambda (FBLA-PBL). 

In order to carry out this objective, it is vital that the FBLA Board of Directors practice effective board governance as well as be fiduciarily responsible since student dues and registration fees comprise almost 100% of funds obtained by the Board to implement its program of work. 

To that end, the Maryland State Department of Education is committed to resolving the concerns identified in this document: Maryland FBLA-PBL Summary of Concerns Regarding Board Practices.

Additional Resources

Cover for the CTSO Policies and Procedures

Policies & Procedures for Implementing Career and Technical Student Organizations (CTSOs) in Maryland 

Contact Information

Chuck Wallace
Coordinator of Career Programs and Student Organizations
Division of Career and College Readiness
Maryland State Department of Education
200 West Baltimore Street
Baltimore, MD 21201
Phone: 410-767-8872

Why Have A CTSO?

Student Benefits

  • Develop essential Skills for Success such as Learning, Thinking Communication, Technology and Interpersonal Skills
  • Gain a positive image through competitive skill events, leadership development, and service projects
  • Serve their communities and nation
  • Gain a competitive edge in the workforce
  • Interact with future employers
  • Scholarships

Teacher Benefits

  • Enhance their academic and career technology education
  • Increase student involvement in the curriculum
  • Improve student attitudes toward learning in the classroom
  • Involve local business and industry support and participation

Business Benefits

  • Gain direct involvement in the preparation of future employees
  • Ensure that the education curriculum reflects current industry practices
  • Support students, schools, and the community through scholarship opportunities