In Tennessee, Career and Technical Education (CTE) operates with advisory committees at the local and state levels. This handbook deals primarily with the use of local advisory committees, both general and occupational.
General advisory committees provide direction for the entire CTE program of a school or school system. The general advisory committee assists the school or school institution in developing long-range goals and plans and recommends the overall CTE program design. Members represent those occupations present in the community.
The occupational (trade or craft) advisory committee serves a single occupational area. The committee may be formed for one school or may serve one occupation for all schools in a system.
The general and local advisory committees are the "bread and butter" of the local CTE system. Committee members offer specific advice on the needs of businesses and industries served by the program(s) and help ensure that the CTE curriculum stays current. This handbook stresses information for educators on establishing and using general and occupational advisory committees.
A second type of occupational committee, just coming into being and used in some school systems, is the occupational cluster advisory committee, which serves a cluster of related occupations. The cluster advisory committee frequently serves all the schools in a system. In a large system, a cluster committee may act as a coordinating body for the various occupational committees in the cluster.