Advisory Council for Career & Technical Education for New York City


Click on the competition name to be taken to the organizer’s website to view complete information on how to get involved.

SkillsUSA Championships

Category: Comprehensive (Arts, Business, Civic, Engineering, Law, 

Science, Technology)

This competition is the showcase for the best career and technical students in the nation. Contests begin locally and continue through the state and national levels. The Championships is a multi-million dollar event that occupies a space equivalent to 11 football fields. In 2004, there were over 4,500 contestants in 77 separate events. Nearly 1,500 judges and contest organizers from labor and management will make the national event possible. The philosophy of the Championships is to reward students for excellence, to involve industry in directly evaluating student performance and to keep training relevant to employers’ needs.



Category: Comprehensive (Arts, Business, Civic, Engineering, Law, Hospitality, Science, Technology)

Founded in 1946, DECA has touched the lives of more than ten million students, educators, school administrators and business professionals. DECA’s programs and activities have constantly evolved as they use the latest technology and apply cutting edge educational research. DECA prepares emerging leaders and entrepreneurs for careers in marketing, finance, hospitality and management in high schools and colleges around the globe.



Category: Comprehensive (Business, Career)

The Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) concept was developed in 1937 by Dr. Hamden L. Forkner of Columbia University. FBLA is the largest business career student organization in the world. The high school division has 215,000 members, while the postsecondary division reaches over 11,000 college students. FBLA National Awards Program recognizes and rewards excellence in a broad range of business and career related areas. Exclusive membership and career recognition programs are designed for each division to provide additional personal and chapter development opportunities.



Advertising Futures Competition

Category: Advertising, Business

Students in the Virtual Enterprises program participate in the Advertising Futures Competition, one of the many activities to showcase Advertising Week in New York City, scheduled for the last week in September. Schools participate in an advertising competition in which VE classes will be matched with advertising agency professionals who will serve as mentors in helping the teams develop a print advertising campaign. After an introductory meeting, the first day of Advertising Week the student teams will be briefed on the details of the advertising campaign. Teams will be given one week to develop the campaign and make their presentations to a panel of judges. The winning ads will be displayed and promoted by the NYC Convention & Visitors’ Bureau, Yahoo! and The New York Times.


Cisco’s Netriders IT Skills Challenge

Category: Engineering, Technology

Cisco’s NetRiders is a virtual competition leveraging Web 2.0 technologies to enhance classroom learning. Participants are encouraged to achieve high standards of competence, develop their collaborative and technical skills, and further pursue IT education and training.  The Cisco Networking Academy US-Canada NetRiders Skills Challenge is open to high school/secondary students enrolled in a CCNA Discovery or Exploration course at a Cisco Networking Academy within the past six (6) months. The competition is geared toward the Cisco Certified Entry Networking Technician (CCENT) exam, and includes an online theoretical exam and Cisco Packet Tracer activity.

Citywide Careers through Culinary Arts Competition (CCAP)

Category: Arts, Culinary

Culinary arts students from across the city participate in qualifying competitions, from which those with the higher scores move on to a final competition. The competitions take place at various culinary schools, and the final competition usually takes place at the Institute for Culinary Education. The judges are chef and culinary experts. At the end of year award breakfast, thousands of dollars are awarded in prizes, scholarships and awards to students, teachers and schools.


Citywide Graphic Communication Arts Competition

Category: Arts, Graphics

Sponsored by the Graphic Communication Arts Advisory Commission of the Advisory Council for Career and Technical Education, this competition takes place during the spring of each year at the NYC College of Technology in Brooklyn. Graphic Arts students from across the City compete in the following categories: Offset printing, Photography and Electronic Imaging. The judges are college professors and industry representatives. Prizes and awards are provided for winners in each of the areas.


The FIRST Robotics Competition

Category: Science, Engineering, Technology

This is a multinational competition that teams professionals and high school students to solve an engineering design problem in an intense and competitive way. The program is a life-changing, career-molding experience—and a lot of fun. In 2004 the competition reached more than 20,000 students in over 900 teams in 27 competitions. Teams come from Canada, Brazil, Great Britain, and almost every U.S. state. The competitions are high-tech spectator sporting events, the result of lots of focused brainstorming, real-world teamwork, dedicated mentoring, project timelines, and deadlines. The competition usually takes place during the spring semester, and students work in teams preparing for the event.



Category: Science, Engineering, Technology

This competition is the “little league” of the FIRST Robotics Competition. It is the result of a partnership between FIRST and the LEGO Company. FLL extends the FIRST concept of inspiring and celebrating science and technology to children aged 9 through 14, using real-world context and hands-on experimentation. With the help of LEGO® MINDSTORMS™ Robotics Invention System™ technology, young participants can build a robot and compete in a friendly, FIRST-style robotics event specially designed for their age group. Using LEGO bricks and other elements such as sensors, motors, and gears, teams gain hands-on experience in engineering and computer programming principles as they construct and program their unique robot inventions. Junior high school students are mentored by high school Robotics students, industry and teachers.


Justice Resource Center (JRC) Mentor Moot Court

Category: Law

Co-sponsored by Fordham Law School, this competition offers high school students an opportunity to participate in a multiple elimination round tournament. An Appellate case is written by Fordham Law School enabling students to present both sides of an oral argument before panels of lawyers. Arguments focus on constitutional issues. Schools are paired with a MENTOR law firm that provides coaches to their respective teams. Preliminary rounds take place at Fordham Law School. The program is held in such high esteem that judges from the Second Circuit Court of Appeals preside over the final round. The competition takes place in the fall semester.


National Automotive Technology Competition

Category: Engineering, Technology

Sponsored by the Greater New York Automobile Dealers Associations (GNYADA), this competition takes place during the International Auto show at the Javits center in the spring of every year. Students who are participating in an automotive sequence of instruction prepare for city and regional competitions, which have a written and a performance component. Students compete in teams of two and are mentored by a teacher and a dealership technician. The team which garners the highest score gets to represent the dealership at the national competition. The judges are industry representatives. Participating students, teachers and schools receive scholarships, awards and prizes; millions of dollars are awarded in scholarship and prizes.


Mock Trial

Category: Law

Co-sponsored by the Justice Resource Center, NYCLA and the NYSBA, this competition affords students the opportunity to participate in a multiple-elimination tournament arguing a case before lawyers serving as judges in a courtroom setting. This program is open to all public, private and parochial schools. Each team is assigned a lawyer coach. This program is held in such high esteem, a federal judge presides over the final round. The case is distributed in December. The actual competition begins in February, ending in May. The winning school advances to the NYS competition in Albany, NY.


The Philadelphia Classic

Category: Science, Engineering, Technology

The Philadelphia Classic is an annual programming contest for high school students hosted by Penn Dining Philosophers ( at the University of Pennsylvania, usually in February. Prizes and awards are given out to the top scoring teams. Teams consist of four students from a high school, but schools are allowed to bring more than one team. Each team is allowed to use one computer for the contest. The contest consists of eight programming questions to be answered in Java. Points are awarded for correct responses and speed is used to break ties. Students will receive a tour of the Penn Engineering campus and then hear a talk given by a Penn professor about various interesting computer science topics. Afterwards, the students will head to the contest area. Once the contest is over, the students will get a chance to talk with each other and then prizes and t-shirts will be handed out.


Project Citizen

Category: Law

This national program offers elementary and middle schools the opportunity to participate in a public policy project. Students explore issues that affect their lives and neighborhoods, enabling them to research topics, recommend policies, and develop an action plan. This competition takes place in May. Students develop a portfolio and a literacy binder which are judged by panels of lawyers and educators. The winning portfolio is submitted to the NYS competition, and, if declared the winner, proceeds to the national competition.


Virtual Enterprises (VE) International Citywide Business Plan Competition

Category: Business, Entrepreneurship

VE students develop a yearly business plan for their enterprises and present the plans in a borough competition. The business plan includes the students’ activities and participation at national and international trade fairs. The enterprise with the highest score then goes on to represent their respective borough in a citywide competition. The Mercedes Benz Technology award is presented to the citywide winner. The judges are representatives of industry, government and financial institutions. The competition takes place during the fall.


We The People: Bill of Rights and the Constitution

Category: Law

This national program, established by an Act of Congress, is designed to help students develop their understanding of the fundamental principles and values of our constitutional democracy and to foster civic competency and responsibility. To complement We The People classroom learning, the Justice Resource Center offers a Mock Congressional hearing competition. This is open to all high school classes. Students compete as a class in the NYC regional competition. Winners advance to the NYS competition, and first place winners proceed to a national competition. The New York City competition takes place in January. The Justice Resource Center also sponsors a multilingual competition for NYC English language learners.


Working in Support of Education (WISE) Quality of Life Competition

Category: Civic/Community Service

In this city-wide competition, all high school students can enter their proposals on improving the quality of life in New York City. All submitted proposals earn a certificate signed by the Mayor, and a select number of proposals will receive scholarships up to $17,500 and be nominated for $1,000 grants.  The proposals include various ideas ranging from protecting the Staten Island Greenbelt, to using Rosy Red Fish to control the West Nile Virus, to teaching incarcerated youth to train service dogs for the blind and disabled. Scholarship sponsors include the Peter Jay Sharp Foundation and Thompson Peterson. The competition takes place in the spring.