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CCTC FAQs

Do you want to learn more about the CCTC? Read through our FAQs below or make time for a 50-minute webinar that provides an overview of the CCTC.

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Don't see your question about the CCTC on this page? E-mail us at ccinfo@careertech.org.

  • What is the Common Career Technical Core (CCTC)?

    The Common Career Technical Core (CCTC) is a state-led initiative to develop a shared set of high-quality Career Technical Education (CTE) standards for what students should know and be able to do at the end of a program of study within a particular career field. The goal of the CCTC is to provide students with the knowledge and skills needed to thrive in a global economy.

  • Why do we need the CCTC?

    As the economy has changed in the past decade, many CTE program have transitioned from helping students prepare for a job (employment with limited growth opportunity) to helping students prepare for a career (employment with expectations of advancement). As part of that transition, national organizations, like NASDCTEc, individual states, and even industry-based organizations, created different sets of standards for student learning in career technical programs. The result of this early standards work is that we now have a hodgepodge of standards that vary in quality and specificity from one state to the next. Inconsistency across CTE programs puts some students at a distinct disadvantage for competing in the ever-changing global economy. Recognizing the need for more consistency in today’s global marketplace, state CTE directors united around a vision to develop a shared set of standards that meet a quality benchmark for students in CTE programs, regardless of where they live or which delivery system they use.

  • Which states have declared their support of the CCTC?

    Forty-two states have declared support for the development of the CCTC. Each of the 42 states; Washington, DC and Palau nominated experts from a range of sectors -- from business and industry to education -- to participate in working groups charged with the development of the CCTC in the spring of 2012. The full list of the states are available online.

  • Who is involved in the development of the CCTC?

    The National Association of State Directors of Career Technical Education Consortium (NASDCTEc) is coordinating the development process, which includes input from a range of sectors including business and industry, administrators and educators, researchers and the general public.

    Forty-two states, the District of Columbia, and one territory--Palau--have signed a declaration of support pledging their involvement in the development stage of the CCTC. Participating states have nominated experts from a variety of sectors to serve on working groups responsible for the development of the standards.

    Marzano Research Laboratories, an independent organization dedicated to educational research, is facilitating the working groups in the development stage of the standards.

  • What is the process for developing the Common Career Technical Core standards?

    The development of the CCTC is multi-step process that includes:

    1. A comprehensive review, update and validation of NASDCTEc’s Knowledge and Skills Statements, which are industry-validated expectations of what students should know and be able to do after completing instruction in a Career Cluster™ program area.

    2. The development of a draft of the CCTC standards based on the results of the comprehensive review.

    3. Review and feedback of the draft CCTC standards by state-nominated working groups, representing each of the Career Clusters™.

    4. A revision of the draft standards by the 16 working groups to take into account input and feedback from the 42 participating states.

    5. Release of the draft standards for public comment.

    6. A revision of the draft standards by the working groups to incorporate input and feedback from the public review.

    7. Working groups finalize the standards.

    8. Public release of the final standards.

  • Will there be an opportunity for other stakeholders to provide input?

    Working groups released a draft of the CCTC for public comment on April 30, 2012. Opportunity to provide comment closed on May 11, 2012.

  • What is the timing of the initiative?

    Spring 2011 - Winter 2012: A comprehensive review and validation by industry and education experts of the existing Career Clusters ™ Knowledge and Skill statements, which will serve as the foundation for the CCTC.

    December 2011 - January 2012: States sign a declaration of support for the development of the standards.

    February - March 2012: Supporting states nominate working group members to participate in the development of the draft standards.

    March 2012: The development of the first draft of the CCTC standards is completed.

    April 2012: States supporting the development of the CCTC review and comment on the first draft of the standards.

    April 2012: Working groups incorporate state input.

    April 30 - May 11, 2012: Public comment period.

    May 2012: Working groups finalize standards.

    June 2012: Public release of CCTC.

    June 2012 and beyond: States move to adoption of CCTC.

  • Is the CCTC for all students?

    No, the CCTC is for students enrolled in Career Technical Education (CTE).

  • Is the CCTC for secondary or postsecondary students?

    Both. The CCTC will represent what students need to know and be able to do at the end of a program of study within a particular career field. That will be different based upon when a student begins the program--it could be in high school, or beyond.

    CTE has many different delivery systems—comprehensive high schools, career academies, theme-based high schools, shared time technical centers, community colleges. The CCTC will help to align the goals of those various delivery systems to ensure a common set of standards for student learning in a particular career field.

  • How will the CCTC reflect my state’s unique labor market needs?

    The CCTC will establish a baseline set of expectations for student learning for each of the Career Clusters ™; however, states may choose to go beyond the baseline competencies of the CCTC for certain career areas that align with their state’s unique workforce needs and priorities.