ED Briefing on Rigorous Programs of Study Grants

On September 9, 2014, the Office of Career, Technical, and Adult Education (OCTAE) hosted a briefing on the lessons learned from the implementation of the Rigorous Programs of Study initiative in six states. These states were issued grants in 2010 to support high quality career and technical education programs of study within three school districts in each state—one urban district, one suburban, and one rural. The grants also required partnerships between secondary and postsecondary institutions.

The six states with the grants are listed below, followed by their content focus:

  • Arizona: Education Professions and Early Childhood Education
  • Kansas: Advanced Manufacturing
  • Maryland: Transportation, Distribution, and Logistics
  • Montana: Architecture and Construction
  • Utah: Health Sciences
  • Wisconsin: Advanced Manufacturing

During the briefing, educators at the secondary and postsecondary levels shared their perspectives on implementing the grants, particularly around the ten components of the Programs of Study Design Framework below.

Program of Study Components

  1. Legislation and policies
  2. Partnerships
  3. Professional development
  4. Accountability and evaluation systems
  5. College and career readiness standards
  6. Course sequences
  7. Credit transfer agreements
  8. Guidance counseling and academic advisement
  9. Teaching and learning strategies
  10. Technical skills assessments

Presenters cited substantial improvements in cultural changes within schools, improved perspectives on the value of career and technical education, enhanced communication and partnerships, and an increased ability to leverage partnerships with members of the business community. Panelists also provided examples of working across career and technical education and math and literacy, the benefits of internships and developing employability skills, the articulation of new credit transfer agreements, stackable credentials, and the integration of local business and industry into the development of relevant and effective pathways.

For an overview of the RPOS grants, see: http://cte.ed.gov/nationalinitiatives/rpos_grants_overview.cfm

Chad Duhon is a senior researcher with the College and Career Readiness and Success Center.

Photo credit: Flickr

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