At your service...

Contact us via email or call us in-state toll-free between 9:00am and 5:00pm MT at 1.888.231.9393, Local 406.444.3095


  • T.J. Eyer, Division Administrator, 406.444.7915
  • Vacant, Agriculture Education Specialist, 406.444.4451
  • Renee Harris, Health Sciences Ed Specialist, 406.994.6986
  • Don Michalsky, Industrial/Technology Education Specialist, 406.444.4452
  • Christy Hendricks, CTE/Perkins Accountability Specialist, 406.444.9019
  • Marianne Schomaker, High School Equivalency (HSE) Specialist, 406.444.4438
  • Margaret Bowles, Adult Basic & Literacy Education Specialist, State GED Administrator, 406.444.4443
  • Carol Flynn, Administrative Specialist, 406.444.1691
  • Vacant, Veteran's Education Program Manager, 406.444.0691
  • Ken Gemlich, Director of Veterans Education, 406.444.4122
  • Megan Vincent, Family & Consumer Sciences Education Specialist, 406.444.3599
  • Eric Swenson, Business Education Specialist, 406.444.7991

Questions or concerns about this webpage?
Please contact the OPI Help Desk at or 406.444.0087


CTECareer and Technical Education (CTE)

Career and Technical Education prepares Montana K-12 students for a wide range of careers and post secondary education programs. Career and Technical Education courses are found in Montana's middle schools, high schools and career centers.

Career and Technical Education courses provide students with life and employment skills to make them highly desirable employees in today's modern workforce. Skills learned in K-12 Career and Technical Education courses prepare students to go directly into the workforce or to continue their education with a much higher degree of focus and direction for their career goals.

Montana has over 500 approved Career and Technical Education programs and over 800 certified teachers in Agriculture, Business, Marketing, Family and Consumer Sciences, Industrial Technology, and Health Sciences. More than 150 Montana high schools participate in the federal Carl D. Perkins and state Career and Technical Education grant programs to support and improve their Career and Technical Education programs.

2014-15 Facts About CTE in Montana
2015 New CTE Professionals Workshop
Montana ACTE Fall Institute, October 2015

Our latest video, filmed on location with teachers and students participating in Math-in-CTE and Literacy-in-CTE at Helena High School, Helena, Montana, and with NRCCTE staff at our headquarters here at the University of Louisville, describes our approach to revitalizing the field of CTE through high-quality research and professional development models that give people the tools they need to make good decisions about their programs, curricula, and instruction. Watch the video on our YouTube channel. From the National Research Center for Career and Technical Education

Montana CTSO Chapters

Montana has 275 nationally affiliated career and technical student organization (CTSO) chapters with nearly 6000 student members. All these links open a new page

  • BPA - Business Professionals of America
  • DECA - An association of marketing students
  • FCCLA - Family, Career and Community Leaders of America
  • FFA - An association of agriculture students
  • HOSA - Future Health Professionals
  • Montana FFA
  • SkillsUSA
  • TSA - Technology Student Association



Agriculture Education

Agricultural Education is a sequential set of course offerings for students in grades 7-12. The program is designed to develop knowledge, skills, attitudes, and experiences in and about agriculture. Ag Ed prepares students for further education, self-employment, entry-level jobs, and consumer awareness in the agriculture industry. Vocational Agriculture, as it was formerly called, was started in Montana in 1917 with the passing of the federal Smith-Hughes Vocational Act. Curriculums in Ag Ed may contain: Ag Business, Animal Science, Aquaculture, Forestry, Horticulture, Leadership, Mechanics, Natural Resources, Plant Science, and Wildlife Management. Most programs consist of three major components: classroom and laboratory instruction, supervised agricultural experiences (SAE) and membership in the FFA. Quality programs are conducted on a year-round basis with students actively engaged in educational activities over the summer months.

2015-2016 Montana Ag Ed Programs by FFA Districts
Big Muddy
Judith Basin
Medicine Lake
Missouri Valley (Wolf Point)*
Nelson Ag Academy
Wolf Point
Miles City
Great Falls
Big Sandy
Grass Range
Judith Gap
Huntley Project
Lodge Grass
Park City
Big Timber
Clyde Park
Deer Lodge
St. Regis


Student Group - FFA

FFA Emblem FFA is a Montana youth organization that makes a positive difference in the lives of students by developing potential for premier leadership, personal growth, and career success through agricultural education.


2015-16 Montana FFA State Officers


Home Address


Albert Koenig, President
Belgrade FFA
160 Bull Run
Belgrade, Mt. 59714
Craig Stevenson, 1st V.P.
Moore FFA
1115 Black Bull Road
Hobson, Mt. 59452
Jon Andres, 2nd V.P.
Missoula FFA

600 Mercer Lane
Missoula, MT 59808

Ashley Koenig, Secretary
Belgrade FFA
160 Bull Run
Belgrade, Mt. 59714
Joshua Meyer, Treasurer
Electric City FFA
504 Riverview Drive E
Great Falls, Mt. 59404
Kacie Cummings, Reporter
Cascade FFA
560 Ten Mile Road
Cascade, Mt. 59421
Brock Reiner, Sentinel
Flathead FFA
128 Aspen Grove Way
Kalispell, Mt. 59901
Jacob Michels, Parliamentarian
Shepherd FFA
5301 Shepherd Acton Road
Shepherd, Mt. 59079


Big Sky Pathways

Business and Marketing Education

There are in excess of 165 Business and Marketing Education programs and 280 teachers in the public high schools of Montana. These programs and teachers are dedicated to the preparation of students for a world-class workforce. Through communication, professional development, and coordination of talent, a determined effort is under way to make Montana a great place for students to meet their career goals and for employers to be confident in the relevance of skills being taught and learned.

A showcase for Business and Marketing Education Programs are our Career and Technical Student Organizations. These organizations are Business Professionals of America and DECA. CTSOs provide students with soft skills (leadership, character, and community service competencies), as well as competitive events that build on sound content and skill development.

In Accomplishing the Objectives, Business Education Seeks to:
  • Strengthen the basic skills—listening, speaking, and writing and computing, problem-solving, and computer-related
  • Strengthen each individual’s self-concept and desire to succeed
  • Formulate plans to ensure continued educational growth, whether it be formal or informal


Objectives of Business Education:
  • Provide occupational competence which enables an individual to procure a job for which he or she is qualified and to formulate and implement a career development plan which is responsive to personal and technological changes
  • Develop positive interpersonal and leadership skills
  • Develop economic competence to enable the individual to be a productive citizen and wise consumer of resources, goods, and services

Data Collections

PRELIMINARY 2014-2015 CTE Student Participation Reports

Spring CTE Data Collection
Quick Reference Guide: Spring CTE Collection
Tips and Tricks: Spring CTE Collection
The Spring CTE Data Collection identifies all 12th grade students during the current school year who have met the definition of a CTE Concentrator. This collection meets the accountability requirements for the Carl D. Perkins federal grant. DUE: April 30, 2016

Fall CTE Data Collection
Quick Reference Guide: Fall CTE Data Collection
The CTE Fall Data Collection is a follow up to last year’s CTE Spring Data Collection. Students identified as CTE Concentrators last year (2014-2015) should be contacted between October 1 and December 31, 2015 and have their current post-graduate status identified in the AIM/Infinite Campus data system.
Technical Assistance Help—Making Follow-up Calls

2015-2016 CTE Student Participation Reports—NOW COLLECTED from TEAMS
The CTE Student Participation Report information used for CTE program approval and CTE State funding allocations will be extracted from the TEAMS information already submitted and on file at the OPI. Please verify your data in TEAMS. The deadline for changes to be made is March 15, 2016. See more information HERE.

Family & Consumer Sciences

Our Mission:
Family and Consumer Sciences (FCS) Education helps prepare students for family life, work life, and careers in Family and Consumer Sciences by providing opportunities to develop the knowledge, skills, attitudes, and behaviors needed through character development, creative and critical thinking, interpersonal communication, practical knowledge, and career preparation.
Our Vision:
Family and Consumer Sciences Education empowers individuals and families across the life span to manage the challenges of living and working in a diverse global society. Our unique focus is on families, work and their interrelationships.

Family and Consumer Sciences

Overview: In 2013-2014, Montana had 102 approved FCS high school programs taught by 135 FCS teachers serving 7,800 students. FCS programs enable students to acquire broad, transferable skills for employment and personal life as well as job-specific skills in careers related to early childhood development, education, social and human services, food production and management, hospitality and tourism, apparel and interior design, and entrepreneurship. FCS programs can also be found in middle schools across the state. The National Standards for FCS can be found at

Big Sky Pathways: Family & Consumer Sciences content identifies with multiple Career Cluster areas. In Montana, Big Sky Pathways between secondary FCS programs and post-secondary institutions have been created in the following Career Cluster areas:

arts   Gallatin College, Helena College
Interior Design, Interior Design/Space Planning
education and training   Dawson Community College (DCC), UM Western (UMW)
Early Childhood Education
hospitality   Flathead Valley Community College (FVCC), Missoula College
Culinary Arts, Food Service Management
human services   DCC, FVCC, Salish Kootenai College, UM Western (UMW)
Early Childhood Education, Human Services


fcclaMontana Family, Career & Community Leaders of America (FCCLA)
Family, Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA) is the student leadership organization for FCS Education. FCCLA provides students with opportunities to attain knowledge, skills, and leadership characteristics necessary to succeed in life and careers through Family and Consumer Sciences. In 2013-14, Montana FCCLA had 71 chapters and 1,160 members. For more information, please visit our website at

HB 86:
Strengthening Montana’s Career and Technical Student Organizations

This bill is an allocation of $1 million over the biennium to enhance student access to Career and Technical Student Organizations (CTSOs) by increasing the staffing capacity of the six state organizations and providing financial support for student activities. This structure is modeled on the success of FFA. In FY 2012, Montana CTSOs served 6,287 students through seven state organizations. The goal is to increase student participation each year of the biennium to result in increased student participation and membership value.

Why HB 86 was successful

  • Students enrolled in three (3) or more credits of career and technical education courses throughout their high school career have a 96.8% graduation rate (2011-12 Reporting Year)
  • Student participation in CTSOs provides real-world application to academic subjects so they are better prepared for college and the workforce.
  • CTSOs offer access to regional, state, and national-level competitions, giving students numerous leadership and career opportunities.
  • CTSOs get students involved in their local communities through many different volunteer projects.

As a part of the Graduation Matters Montana program that is a focused effort to increase the number of students who graduate prepared for college and careers. CTSOs offer every high school student in Montana the opportunity to develop positive relationships, leadership skills, and guidance to a relevant course of study and career exploration.

BPA - Business Professionals of America (Business Education)BPA

DECA - (Marketing Education)DECA

Montana FFA

FFA - (Agriculture Education)


FCCLA - Family, Career and Community Leaders of America (Family and Consumer Science Education)


HOSAHOSA - Future Health Professionals (Health Science Education)


SkillsUSASkillsUSA - (Industrial, Trades and Technology Education)

TSATSA—Technology Student Association - (Industrial, Technology Education)

Montana CTSO Chapters
Montana has 275 nationally affiliated career and technical student organization (CTSO) chapters with nearly 6000 student members. All these links open a new page

  • BPA - Business Professionals of America
  • DECA - An association of marketing students
  • FCCLA - Family, Career and Community Leaders of America
  • FFA - An association of agriculture students
  • HOSA - Future Health Professionals
  • Montana FFA
  • SkillsUSA
  • TSA - Technology Student Association

Industrial Trades & Technology Education

Industrial Trades and Technology Education programs provide a comprehensive and technological learning experience to prepare students to become productive citizens in an ever-changing society.
The mission of Industrial Trades and Technology Education is to prepare students for successful careers by building a solid foundation of the required knowledge and skills that lead to careers in industrial, trades and technology.
Industrial Trades and Technology Education is a study of technology and industry, which provides an opportunity for students to learn about the processes and knowledge related to Industrial Trades and Technology that are needed to solve problems and extend human capabilities. The strength of Industrial Trades and Technology Education is that of a hands-on approach that adds an emphasis of the technological nature of life and industry.

Nationally, the majority of industrial trade area employers report a huge shortage of skilled workers, with the prospects of filling thousands of current or new, well-paying jobs becoming a major crisis as new technologies emerge and current employees reach retirement age.

In Montana, there are 119 secondary schools offering numerous individual courses within the four clusters and pathway areas served by Industrial, Trades and Technology Education Programs.

The Career Cluster areas are:


The following list of two and four year colleges offer one or more Associate Degree or Certificate programs with the Career Cluster areas:

Bitterroot College UofM, Helena College UofM, Missoula College, City College MSU-Billings, Great Falls College MSU, Highlands College-Montana Tech, Dawson Community College, Flathead Valley Community College, Miles City Community College, Aaniiih Nakoda College, Fort Peck Community College, MSU-Northern, Blackfeet Community College, Salish Kootenai College, Little Big Horn College, and Stone Child College.

Transportation, Distribution & Logistics
Architecture and Construction
Science, Technology, Engineering  & Mathematics


Programs should establish sequential course offerings.
  1. Grades 5-8: Exploring industrial, trades and technology (or similar title) courses with high-interest units that introduce students to industry and technology and heighten their interest in this field of study.
  2. Grades 9-12: A sequence of relevant courses, organized around the clusters and pathways served, with emphasis on pursuing postsecondary degrees, training, apprenticeships, or industry certification.

Instructors must carry proper secondary certification with an endorsement appropriate to the subject area to teach Industrial Trades and Technology education coursework, as determined by the board of public education.

Integration of related Math, Science, Communication, competencies must be included in the program.
Planned activities for the enhancement of student personal, career and leadership skills are strengthened by membership in the following student organizations:

  1. Skills USA- activities provide a quality education experience for students in leadership, teamwork, citizenship and character development. It builds and reinforces self-confidence, work attitudes and communication skills. It emphasizes total quality of work, high ethical standards, superior work skills, life-long education and pride in the dignity of work. SkillsUSA also promotes understanding of the free enterprise system and involvement in community service activities.
  2. Technology Student Association (TSA) – fosters personal growth, leadership, and opportunities in technology, innovation, design, and engineering. Members apply and integrate science, technology, engineering and mathematics concepts through co-curricular activities, competitive events and related programs.

It is strongly suggested that Industrial Trades and Technology Education Instructors maintain current membership in state and national professional organizations appropriate to the instructional fields in which they teach such as:

Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE)
International Technology and Engineering Education Association (ITEEA)
Montana Association of Career and Technical Education (Montana ACTE)

Report Cards

In accordance with The Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act of 2006 Federal Grant, all Montana high schools who receive Perkins funds are required to meet at least 90 percent of a state adjusted level of performance for any of the core indicators of performance as described in Sec. 113(b) (3) of Perkins IV.

The state goals for each core indicator are determined by the United States Department of Education.

The SY2015 Federal Reporting Requirements are as follows:

  • Perkins IV Core Indicator 1S1 – Reading
    • State Goal – 84.40%
    • Threshold Target – 75.96%
  • Perkins IV Core Indicator 1S2 – Math
    • State Goal – 70.00%
    • Threshold Target – 63.00%
  • Perkins IV Core Indicator 2S1 – Technical Skill Attainment
    • State Goal – 89.00%
    • Threshold Target – 80.10%
  • Perkins IV Core Indicator 3S1 – School Completion
    • State Goal – 95.00%
    • Threshold Target – 85.50%
  • Perkins IV Core Indicator 4S1 – Student Graduation Rates
    • State Goal – 90.50%
    • Threshold Target – 81.45%
  • Perkins IV Core Indicator 5S1 – Placement
    • State Goal – 90.00%
    • Threshold Target – 81.00%
  • Perkins IV Core Indicator 6S1 – Non Trad Participation
    • State Goal – 22.95%
    • Threshold Target – 20.66%
  • Perkins IV Core Indicator 6S2 – Non Trad Completion
    • State Goal – 13.50%
    • Threshold Target – 12.15%

If a school's score falls below the State minimum (Threshold Target) for three consecutive years, the Carl D. Perkins Federal Grant requires the school to develop an improvement plan to address how the school plans to increase their scores in the core indicator they missed. A Small Schools Exemption – ten (10) CTE Concentrators or less – unfortunately, cannot apply to Perkins Performance Indicators. All schools receiving Perkins, regardless of their CTE Concentrator total, are required to develop an improvement plan.

In order for schools to know exactly how they measure up, Christy Hendricks, CTE/Perkins Data Control Specialist, has created 'Report Cards' for each school by LEA. She has also created 'Report Cards' by Class Size as well as 'Report Cards' by CIP, Classification of Instructional Programs.

Science, Technology, Engineering, & Math - STEM

"STEM" is an acronym for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math, and refers to the physical, biological, and agricultural sciences; computer and information sciences; engineering and engineering technologies; and mathematics. The reason there is so much conversation about STEM is because estimates show "about five million people work directly in science, engineering, and technology— just over 4 percent of the workforce. This relatively small group of workers is considered to be critical to economic innovation and productivity. Workers in science and engineering fields tend to be well paid and enjoy better job security than do other workers. Workforce projections for 2018 by the U.S. Department of Labor show that nine of the10 fastest-growing occupations that require at least a bachelor's degree will require significant scientific or mathematical training" (Why so Few? retrieved April 5, 2010).

There is growing concern that the United States is not preparing a sufficient number of students, teachers, and professionals in the areas of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). Although the most recent National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) results show improvement in U.S. pupils' knowledge of math and science, the large majority of students still fail to reach adequate levels of proficiency. When compared to other nations, the achievement of U.S. pupils appears inconsistent with the nation's role as a world leader in scientific innovation.
(CRS Report for Congress retrieved April 5, 2010)

The U.S also has a striking disparity between the numbers of men and women in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. "The classical formulation of this idea is that men "naturally" excel in mathematically demanding disciplines, whereas women "naturally" excel in fields using language skills. Yet, recent gains in girls' mathematical achievement demonstrate the importance of culture and learning environments in the cultivation of abilities and interests"(Why so Few? ).

To diversify the STEM fields we must take a hard look at the stereotypes and biases that still pervade our culture. Encouraging more girls and women to enter these vital fields will require careful attention to the environment in our classrooms and workplaces and throughout our culture. The accompanying VIDEO highlights five Montana women who embraced this challenge.

An NTO, or non-traditional occupation, is any occupation where 25% or less of one gender is represented in that occupation. We now have the tools to mediate these discrepancies by providing students, teachers, parents and employers with information and resources.

Start by exposing students to alternative careers and other professional options. Your influence and ability to help a student make life-altering decisions is profound! As a teacher, parent or counselor, you are faced with the daunting task of preparing students for tomorrow. Fortunately, there are a many resources and curriculum packages to which you have access. If you are unsure whether this information is even relevant to you, take these simple self-administered surveys as the hidden biases operating within our lives are usually hidden to us as well.
(Assessing Your Biases via that Harvard Implicit Website, look under Gender IAT's).

Finally, you do NOT have to re-invent the wheel of successful exercises exposing the greatness of NTO's and STEM careers. There are a multitude of resources at your fingertips; the trick is to choose the one that best fits your own curriculum style. New Look Online Self-Study

Talk to your student about her/his interests. Sometimes it is as easy as encouraging simple pleasures (a fascination with speed can lead to a path of designing aerodynamic cars). The support you give your student in the form of encouraging thinking, exploration, and the pursuit of knowledge is a concrete plan in a world where the most appropriate job for your students' likes/abilities might not even exist yet! Our great big Montana sky is the limit!

The following resources provide additional information regarding STEM and non-traditional occupations:

Contact: Renee Harris, 406.444.2059

Contact Us: Career and Technical Education Staff Directory

T.J. Eyer, Division Administrator 406.444.7915

Secondary Division
  • Vacant, Agriculture Education Specialist, 406.444.4451
  • Renee Harris, Health Sciences Ed Specialist, 406.994.6986
  • Don Michalsky, Industrial/Technology Education Specialist, 406.444.4452
  • Christy Hendricks, CTE/Perkins Accountability Specialist, 406.444.9019
  • Marianne Schomaker, High School Equivalency (HSE) Specialist, 406.444.4438
  • Margaret Bowles, Adult Basic & Literacy Education Specialist, State GED Administrator, 406.444.4443
  • Carol Flynn, Administrative Specialist, 406.444.1691
  • Vacant, Veteran's Education Program Manager, 406.444.0691
  • Ken Gemlich, Director of Veterans Education, 406.444.4122
  • Megan Vincent, Family & Consumer Sciences Education Specialist, 406.444.3599
  • Eric Swenson, Business Education Specialist, 406.444.7991