The Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act of 2006 (Perkins) calls upon states to create sequences of academic and Career Technical Education coursework to help students attain a postsecondary degree or industry-recognized certificate or credential, otherwise known as programs of study (POS).
At minimum, according to the definition put forward in Perkins, programs of study must:
- Incorporate and align secondary and postsecondary education elements.
- Include academic and CTE content in a coordinated, non-duplicative progression of courses.
- Offer the opportunity, where appropriate, for secondary students to acquire postsecondary credits.
- Lead to an industry-recognized credential or certificate at the postsecondary level, or an associate or baccalaureate degree.
To help states and local recipients meet the new program of study requirements, the U.S. Department of Education's Office of Career Technical and Adult Education, in collaboration with major national associations, including NASDCTEc, organizations, and states, have formulated a rigorous programs of study design framework. This framework identifies 10 components that, taken together, support the systemic development and implementation of effective programs of study. Although all 10 components are important, they are neither independent nor of equal priority. State and local program developers must identify the most pressing components for state or local adoption, taking into consideration their relative need within their educational context.
The Rigorous Program of Study Design Framework Components:
- Legislation and Policies
- Professional Development
- Accountability and Evaluation Systems
- College and Career Readiness Standards
- Course Sequences
- Credit Transfer Agreements
- Guidance Counseling and Academic Advisement
- Teaching and Learning Strategies
- Technical Skills Assessments
- The Career Pathways Effect: Linking Education and Economic Prosperity: NASDCTEc and CORD partnered to develop this how-to guidebook for administrators, faculty, counselors, and business partners that provides insight from a broad range of national experts on CTE, Career Pathways and Programs of Study.
- Developing a Statewide Model Program of Study: Five States Share Insights
- Career Clusters and Programs of Study: State of the States - April 2011
- Career Clusters and Career Pathways - So What's Next? - October 2006
NOTE: The Common Career Technical Core (CCTC) are a set of common, program-level standards for CTE designed to support POS development.