Global Competence Through Career and Technical Education

A career and technical education teacher works with a student.

Rapid economic, technological, and social changes are creating a world that is ever more interconnected. One in ten Americans is foreign born, and local communities—urban, suburban, and rural—are growing more diverse. To take advantage of global market opportunities, companies must hire workers with global competence—that is, the capacity and disposition to understand and act on issues of global significance. Career and technical education (CTE or vocational education) educators now face a critical new imperative: to prepare all students for work and civic roles in a world where success increasingly requires the ability to compete, connect, and cooperate on an international scale.

A new, free professional development course and toolkit, “Global Competence Through Career and Technical Education,” is available to help. This customizable, 10–12 hour, online course and toolkit for middle and secondary school CTE teachers was created by Asia Society’s Center for Global Education in partnership with ACTE and Advance CTE, through funding from PMI Educational Foundation. Educators can earn two Continuing Education Units upon completion of the course.

Professional Development Tools

The Global Competence Through Career and Technical Education professional development course consists of two online, interactive, video-based, professional development modules and accompanying tools that can be customized to the local context. The tools can be used with the modules or as stand-alones.

Reports and Publications

Read reports and publications that make the case for global competence and global CTE.

Global CTE Toolkit

This accompanying toolkit provides additional resources, including: sample projects ready to be used in CTE classrooms, global career planning resources, workforce readiness rubrics, crosswalks of global education and CTE standards, global career profile videos, talking points, and more.

Explore the toolkit!

Professional Development Modules

The modules are available through ACTE's CTE Learn Community at no cost to you. To access them, you will need to register for a free account. 

Module One

The first module introduces the concept of global competence and make the case for why it is important for career and technical education. A project management approach to instruction is reinforced throughout the module. This module includes:

  • Chapters and articles defining global competence.
  • Career profile interviews featuring a range of professionals speaking to the global nature of their careers and the importance of project management.
  • Global leadership performance outcomes (learning targets) and rubrics to guide instruction and assessment.
  • Career exploration projects to assist students in exploring global careers.
  • Activities to help educators make the connection between workforce readiness skills and global competencies.

Module Two

The second module introduces teachers to how global issues and project management approaches can be integrated into existing curriculum. This module also demonstrates how global competence and project management already align to CTE standards and classrooms. This module includes:

  • Crosswalks of the Common Career Technical Core (common CTE standards), global competence, and project management to identify their overlap and natural alignment.
  • Review of the global components of the Career Ready Practices developed by Advance CTE and 42 states.
  • Sample projects and units integrated with global themes and content.
  • Existing tools related to project management.

An Advisory Group, consisting of CTE stakeholders across the country, helped to refine the course and tools. 

For any questions please contact Heather Singmaster.

Project Partners

The Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE) is the largest national education association dedicated to the advancement of education that prepares youth and adults for careers. Their mission is to provide educational leadership in developing a competitive workforce. With over 29,000 members in every U.S. state, their membership and reach will be instrumental to this project.

Asia Society is the leading educational organization dedicated to promoting mutual understanding and strengthening partnerships among peoples, leaders, and institutions of Asia and the United States in a global context. Across the fields of arts, business, culture, education, and policy, the Society provides insight, generates ideas, and promotes collaboration to address present challenges and create a shared future.

Advance Cte: State Leaders Connecting Learning to Work is the longest-standing national nonprofit that represents State Directors and state leaders responsible for secondary, postsecondary and adult Career Technical Education (CTE) across all 50 states and U.S. territories. Advance CTE was formerly known as the National Association of State Directors of Career Technical Education Consortium (NASDCTEc).


PMI Educational Foundation: The mission of the PMI Educational Foundation, a charitable nonprofit organization, is to inspire and empower people to realize their potential and transform their lives and their communities through the use of project management knowledge. Our vision is that all people worldwide have a better tomorrow by applying project management skills in their daily lives.

Take the Course

Enroll in the free course, Global Competency Through CTE

  • resource
    Find resources for integrating global competence into your CTE classroom with this toolkit.