U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos announced the Department of Education has approved six career and technical education (CTE) state plans. Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire are the first six states to have their CTE plans approved under the new, bipartisan Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act (Perkins V), which was signed into law by President Donald J. Trump on July 31, 2018.
“Thanks to the President’s leadership, the new career and technical education law gives local leaders the flexibility to make investments in the highest impact areas of local need,” said Secretary DeVos. “We know many well-paying, in-demand jobs require CTE training but not necessarily a college degree and the associated debt. The coronavirus pandemic has certainly highlighted the need for all education to be tailored to meet each student’s unique needs, more nimble, and relevant to 21st-century realities. High-quality CTE programs are a critical way to help learners of all ages and get our economy back up and running at full speed.”
Perkins V encourages states to expand opportunities for every student to access educational opportunities that will put them on the path to success. Each state crafted a plan to fulfill its promise of offering a robust CTE option for students following consultation with its key constituents representing education and workforce, business and industry, and parents and community partners.
The following are some of the noteworthy elements from each of the approved state plans. Additional details about each approved plan can be found on the Department’s website.
- Implements new criteria for size, scope, and quality for its CTE programs.
- Develops data dashboards to display outcomes of systemic, systematic, and equity successes, improvements, and ongoing challenges, gaps, and disparities that exist across its CTE programs.
- Uses targeted funds for design and integration of continuums of work-based learning, counseling and advising, and transferable skills for its CTE programs.
- Introduces its program to prepare educators holding a teaching license in another content area to teach CTE that includes externships in industry and co-teaching and mentoring opportunities with an experienced CTE teacher.
- Expands its continuous improvement efforts through survey data administered to grades K-12 to include CTE-specific items in grades 5-12.
- Initiates collaborative efforts to provide students with greater exposure to aspects of industry through contextualized learning with hands-on activities and work-based learning by convening secondary schools, post-secondary institutions, and employers to share region-specific needs and opportunities.
- Offers structured, yet flexible, training programs through the Maine Apprenticeship Program, designed to meet the specific needs of employers through on‐the‐job learning and related classroom instruction.
- Provides eligible high school students with opportunities to receive dual credits toward a high school diploma and an associate‐ or baccalaureate‐level degree, through enrollment and successful completion of college‐level courses through its Aspirations Program.
- Offers secondary CTE students the opportunity to earn up to 25 college credits while attending high school through its Early College Program, resulting in the opportunity for students to complete their associate degree within 12 months after high school graduation.
- Expands work-based learning opportunities for CTE students through its Apprenticeship Maryland initiative.
- Increases opportunities for CTE students to earn both a high school diploma and no-cost associate degree upon high school graduation through its Pathways in Technology Early College High Schools (P-TECH) initiative.
- Focuses on the recruitment of CTE teachers, especially in in-demand, hard-to-fill career areas, through its Teacher Academy of Maryland.
- Links employers and schools for work-based learning experiences and career development activities through its Connecting Activities initiative – including a special focus on STEM employers.
- Expands access to an array of engaging academic and career programs of study in strong and growing industries and occupations through its High-Quality College and Career Pathways Initiative (HQCCP).
- Requires internship or capstone experiences through its Innovation Pathways structure that connects student learning to an in-demand industry sector within its regional and state economy.
- Promotes CTE teacher recruitment by developing an alternative credentialing program for new teachers.
- Collaborates with its community college system to offer a three-year CTE teacher preparation program through its educational intern’s certification program — at no cost to the educator.
- Uses employment information to determine the continued alignment of CTE programs to in-demand occupations and employment sectors.