FAMU and Florida Department of Education Partner to Improve Florida’s Career and Technical Education

Florida A&M University’s (FAMU) College of Education (COE) is partnering with the Florida Department of Education (FDOE) to explore innovative ways to assist school districts, state, community and technical colleges and State University System (SUS) institutions with aligning their career and technical education (CTE) programs to industry standards.

The partnership will include a statewide director dedicated to improving CTE program quality, a series of statewide conferences, work groups dedicated to thinking innovatively about Florida’s credentials of value, an online toolkit for sharing best-practices, and increased support for CTE teacher recruitment and training. Keith Richards, Ph.D., has been hired to fill the director’s role.

Allyson Watson, Ph.D., dean of FAMU’s College of Education, said the college’s renewed emphasis on CTE ensures this will be an ideal and beneficial partnership for all stakeholders.

“We realize the importance of career and technical education and the role K-12 teacher preparation plays in developing a workforce and career-ready students,” she said. “We want our teachers to understand the importance of CTE, learn more about how to embed best practices in their classroom to increase micro-credentialing and industry certification, and remove barriers employers face when recruiting their future employees.”

In January 2019, Governor Ron DeSantis issued Executive Order 19-31, commissioning the FDOE to ensure a robust career and technical education CTE system—high quality, nimble, well-aligned to meet industry demand, and able to identify and teach emerging markets.

During the past year, FDOE audited its entire CTE inventory and proactively engaged hundreds of educational, industry and policy stakeholders. In April, Governor DeSantis formally approved the state’s “Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act” (Perkins V) plan, which represents guidance for the largest federal investment to expand and recruit for workforce education. The plan focuses on expanded opportunities for work-based learning, entrepreneurship and apprenticeship. 

“I am most excited about this partnership given how transformative an engaging, high-quality CTE program can be for students and for society,” said Henry Mack, chancellor for career, technical, and adult education at the FDOE.

The partnership will begin this summer. FAMU COE and FDOE will announce their future events and collaborations during the upcoming academic year. More information is available about the program by emailing