Lesson Introduction

What are CTSOs?

State Recognized CTSOs

The Texas Education Agency (TEA) and USDE recognize the following nine CTSOs.

Take a moment to go to the state website for each of these CTSOs and identify the CTSO’s mission and/or primary purpose. You will need this to answer the Quick Check practice exercise that follows.


Business Professionals of America (BPA) - Texas


DECA, Texas Association


Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) - Texas


Family, Career, and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA)


Health Occupations Students of America (HOSA)


SkillsUSA Texas


Texas Association of Future Educators


Texas FFA Association


Texas Technology Students Association (TSA)


Quick Check

National Technical Honor Society

National Technical Honor Society logo

In addition to the nine state-recognized CTSOs, there is the National Technical Honor Society (NTHS), which provides CTE students the opportunity to earn national recognition for exemplary achievement. The NTHS partners with BPA, DECA, FCCLA, FBLA, HOSA, and SkillsUSA to promote excellence in career and technical education.  Like National Honor Society students, NTHS students graduate with honor cords and receive a credential on their transcript acknowledging their superior achievement.


Take a moment to bookmark the NTHS website for future reference.

Aligning CTSOs to Areas of Focus and Study

New career preparation and practicum teachers should investigate the purpose of each of the different state-recognized CTSOs to determine which CTSO best supports the overall learning objectives of their course or career cluster. 

For practicum courses, the CTSO should be directly related to the area of study. For example, a Practicum in Agriculture, Food, and Natural Resources course should include  FFA activities. A Practicum in Marketing course should incorporate DECA activities.

Career preparation courses often include students who are pursuing various career paths. Career preparation instructors should encourage students to participate in the CTSO which best matches his or her chosen career.

Serving as a CTSO Advisor

Career preparation and practicum teachers are expected to serve as an advisor to a CTSO that is relevant to the courses they teach.

Some schools already have active CTSOs for all program areas. In this case, the new instructor should work to build strong working relationships with the advisors of each relevant organization.

If there are not active CTSOs already on campus, new career preparation instructors should consider sponsoring an organization that supports multiple career clusters and a broad range of occupational choices (e.g., BPA, DECA, FCCLA, FBLA, and SkillsUSA).


Take a moment to to view and save Tips for Being a CTSO Advisor.


For information on how to start a CTSO, contact the state CTSO directors or download CTSOs – Serving CTE Students in Texas.

Quick Check

Lesson Review

Lesson Conclusion