ACE infographic

Students with Disabilities Infographic

Working Definition for ACE CTE

logoAlternative Cooperative Education (ACE) Career & Technical Education (CTE) is a multi-occupational pathway that facilitates individualized, developmentally appropriate programming necessary to support CTE students successfully. This includes students identified as Special Populations1.

ACE CTE Programming is developed through collaboration with educators, business representatives and community stakeholders. The collaboration creates locally responsive, relevant work-based & school-based learning experiences. ACE CTE students will demonstrate competency in Postsecondary Workforce Readiness (PWR)2 that lead to technical skill attainment3 in any chosen occupation with a focus on high wage4 occupations or high skill in high demand industries that promote self-sufficiency..

  1. Special Populations (per Perkins Authorization): Is defined as individuals with a disability, from economically disadvantages families, preparing for non-traditional fields, single parents, including single pregnant women, out-of-workforce individuals, English learners, homeless individuals, you who are in, or have aged out of the foster care system, and youth with a parent who is either a member of the armed forces or is on active duty.
  2. Postsecondary Workforce Readiness (PWR) competencies include:
    • Entrepreneurial: Critical thinking and problem solving, creativity and innovation, inquiry and analysis, informed risk taking
    • Personal: Initiative and self-direction, personal responsibility and self-management, adaptability and flexibility, self-awareness of learning preferences, strengths, and areas for growth
    • Civic: core academic foundation, collaboration and teamwork, communication, global and cultural awareness
    • Professional: time and work management, career literacy, grit and resilience, work ethic; dependable and reliable
    • Academic: discernment, apply skills and knowledge, critical thinking and problem solving, inquiry, analysis and evaluation.
  3. Technical Skill Attainment is defined as: the knowledge and skills determined by Career & Technical Standards and competency measures that are mastered by the student in a CTE program. This verification can be completed by delivering educator/employer formal assessment & evaluation; performance based assessment or from artifacts reflecting work experience accumulated in a portfolio, among other verification models; including, but not limited to: developmentally appropriate completion of a CTE course sequence and skills outlined in individual training plans for work based learning.
  4. High Wage: As determined by the 2006 Perkins Authorization = wages greater or equal to the current state set minimum wage


The ACE programs have undergone a redesign of structure and a clarification of role and function in the Colorado CTE system. This redesign was rolled out at the CACTE Conference in July 2017 and schools have the opportunity to adopt the new program as redesign in the 17-18 school year. All ACE Programs will be required to implement the new design by the start of 19-20 school year. If up for renewal, each ACE CTE Program (new and revised) will be placed on a ‘Conditional Status’ until full implementation begins in 19-20 school year. Please note that this Conditional Status is not punitive for anyone. It is simply the state offices’ way of tracking implementation. If your program is not up for renewal, it will stay as is. Once renewed, ‘Conditional’ status will be applied.

See ACE CTE ReDesign Products.

Coming Soon! A Technical Assistance and Implementation training / messaging model. Contact us for support in implementation.


ACE Redesign Contributors

Laurie Allyn, Cherry CreekNatalie Ihli, D20Tracy Sanders, St. Vrain
Rachel Almond, DPSCourtney Kallas, DPSEmily Sherwood*, D11
Sherri Arosteguy, Mesa 51Joy Kovanda, D20Wendy Tomaschow, Poudre
Kealie Bradford, Brighton 27jJacques Plante, DPSKristin Weaver, Englewood
Sheri Bryant, Douglas CountyLaurie Krizman, Mesa 51Bas Wolf, Douglas County
Leslie Fowler, WidefieldGail Lott, CDE: Exceptional Student Services DepartmentMichael Womochil, CCCS/CTE
Kris Gearke, Cherry CreekMarta Osuna*, Retired DPSState ACE Board
*= ACTE Co-Presidents for Special Populations Division PWR Independent standards capstone WBL employability ICAP