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Add Universal Design for Learning to Your CTE State Plan


Wednesday, August 16, 2023

Since the Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act was updated in 2018 and now recommends Universal Design for Learning (UDL) for State leadership and professional learning (see policy), Career and Technical Education (CTE) administrators across the country have been using UDL to deliver effective professional development, improve work-based learning, and create innovative solutions to local issues. 

By including UDL as a component of training and as a lever for innovation, CTE administrators and leaders are improving and optimizing teaching and learning for all people based on scientific insights into how humans learn. Below are some of the ways CTE leaders have integrated UDL. Reach out to the Career Technical and Adult Education team ( at CAST to learn more or identify how UDL can help you.

UDL & CTE Examples from the Field

  • Equitable Access to CTE in Massachusetts: Like many states, students with disabilities in Massachusetts are not enrolling nor completing CTE classes at the same rates as other students. Thanks to funding from the Office of College, Career and Technical Education at the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, CAST is partnering with CTE educators across the state to build their knowledge and skills in the UDL framework to design instruction for all CTE students, including students with disabilities. 
  • Improving Michigan’s Postsecondary CTE Education: This project brings together a dedicated team from CAST and MaxKnowledge, the creators of CTE Learn, to lead a three-year initiative to expand, evolve, and improve postsecondary career and technical education across the state of Michigan. Together, CAST and MaxKnowledge are leveraging their robust experience in CTE and postsecondary learning to create and deliver professional development to state leaders and faculty across the state.  
  • Designing Professional Development and Credentials for CTE Educators in Pennsylvania: Working in conjunction with Upper Bucks County Technical School Director, CAST delivered UDL professional development district wide. As part of this initiative, CAST collaborated with NOCTI, the national leader in CTE resources and credentials, to develop the first ever UDL micro-credential specifically for CTE educators.  
  • Preparing Industry Partners for High School Interns in Illinois: To help educate employers about their role in internships and remove barriers for students and industry professionals, the Director of the Valley Education for Employment System in Illinois worked with CAST to develop an innovative micro-credential with accompanying free training modules employers can use to create effective inclusive educational internships for high school students.  
  • Universal Design for Learning & CTE Course: Educators from across the country used Perkins funds to attend an eight-week summer course, which included the potential for participants to earn undergrad and graduate credit, as well as the UDL micro-credential from NOCTI. Participants engaged with material through Canvas and met in live online small groups to discuss how to effectively implement UDL in their own classrooms.
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