Meeting of the Board of Regents | January 2008
THE STATE EDUCATION DEPARTMENT / THE UNIVERSITY OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK / ALBANY, NY 12234
Design for the Career and Technical Education Five-Year State Plan (Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Improvement Act of 2006)
January 3, 2008
Goals 1 and 2
Issue for Decision
Should the Board of Regents approve the design for the career and technical education five-year state plan as required under the federal Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Improvement Act of 2006?
Reason(s) for Consideration
Required by federal statue.
This question will come before the Regents EMSC Committee for approval at the January 2008 meeting.
In March 2007, the Board of Regents approved the July 1, 2007 through June 30, 2008 career and technical education transitional state plan outline and directed staff to complete the one-year transitional state plan for submission to the U.S. Department of Education as required under the federal Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Improvement Act of 2006. Based upon this approval, Department staff completed the transitional state plan and submitted it to the U.S. Department of Education in April 2007. In July 2007, the Department received notification of the approval of the transitional plan from the U.S. Department of Education.
New York State receives approximately $60 million in federal Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Improvement Act funds annually for secondary and postsecondary programs. (Of the $32.2 million in Perkins funding allocated to secondary CTE, $20.2 million is allocated to the Big 5 cities and $11.9 million to the rest of the State.) Eighty-five percent is distributed by formula to eligible school districts, BOCES and postsecondary institutions. Fifteen percent is used for administration and statewide initiatives to support Career and Technical Education (CTE) program improvements. These monies support activities for more than 201,000 secondary and 268,000 postsecondary and adult students.
The Department must prepare and submit (by April 1 2008) a five-year state plan for 2008-2013 to the U.S. Department of Education in order for New York State to continue to receive funding under the Perkins Act. The timing of the required submission of this plan coincides well with the work already underway by the Regents and the State Education Department related to Career and Technical Education in New York State.
The Office of Curriculum and Instructional Support and the Office of K-16 Initiatives and Access Programs in Higher Education co-administer Perkins funding and are collaborating in developing the five-year state plan. Areas of emphasis, potential new directions and potential key initiatives for inclusion in the five-year state plan have been widely shared through the Department’s website and other means, and have been open to public comment at four regional public hearings held in Albany, Rochester, Buffalo and New York City, as well as through email and mail comments. In addition, comment was solicited at a meeting of the State Workforce Investment Board. Comments from other constituent groups attending the four public hearings generally were positive towards the potential new directions and in many cases these comments have been incorporated into the plan being drafted. For example, representatives of the higher education community encouraged stronger linkages between 2 and 4 year colleges to provide students a smooth transition from their secondary CTE programs.
In December 2007, the Regents EMSC-VESID Committee discussed a report on CTE programs in New York State and agreed to further discussions on issues including:
- Additional integrative models that would allow students to meet both CTE and academic requirements;
- Strengthening articulation agreements between 7-12 programs and community college and some four-year college programs to make CTE more attractive to students by demonstrating a stronger connection with college programs and future employment opportunities;
- Exploring with SUNY and CUNY the appropriateness of allowing Community Colleges to prepare CTE teachers to increase their availability across New York State. (Many Community Colleges offer Career and Technical degree programs and have appropriate faculty to do so.), and
- Additional ways in which CTE technical assessments and coursework could be considered in determining eligibility for graduation.
Regent’s EMSC Committee will convene a regional meeting in January bringing together experts from the CTE field that will provide additional input on these and other issues related to CTE that will inform the planning process underway.
That the Board of Regents approve the July 1, 2008 through June 30, 2013 career and technical education five-year state plan design and direct staff to complete the five-year state plan for submission to the U.S. Department of Education as required under the federal Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Improvement Act of 2006.
Timetable for Implementation
Upon approval of the design by the Board of Regents, Department staff will complete the five-year state plan for review and approval by the Regents. Once approved by the Regents, the plan will be submitted to the U.S. Department of Education in April 2008. The five-year state plan will be in effect from July 1, 2008 through June 30, 2013.
Targeting Perkins Funding to Expand Student Access to Career and Technical Education
Renewal of the legislation and a new five-year state plan provides New York State with an opportunity to continue upgrading the quality and effectiveness of Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs and to make them an integral part of the Regents P-16 reform strategy. CTE can contribute to at least three of the strategy’s thirteen goals. CTE can improve high school attendance and graduation rates; it can help secondary students to transition to and persist in postsecondary education; and it is a necessary component in raising learning standards to exceed global standards.
The Perkins Act traditionally has encouraged states to use funding to improve the academic and technical skills of CTE students, particularly those who are members of special populations. The 2006 reauthorization of the Act established a priority for states to ensure that students are prepared to enter high skill, high wage and high demand occupations, particularly in emerging career fields driven by regional, state, national and global economies. This theme of the Perkins IV legislation coincides with the Regents P-16 reform strategy, presenting a timely opportunity for the Board of Regents to challenge the CTE education community to respond. Two new initiatives in the Regents 2008-09 State Budget and State Aid proposals that support CTE programs are Smart Scholars and CTE Challenge Grants.
The Smart Scholars Program is designed to enable disadvantaged students to graduate from high school with up to 30 college credits, being better prepared and able to complete college in three years. One of the goals of the Smart Scholars Program is to create greater opportunity for students, including career and technical education students, to build on existing high school to college partnerships and complete up to a year of postsecondary study prior to graduation from high school.
CTE Challenge Grants would provide resources to enhance high quality CTE programs in high need school districts, the proposal recommends additional support to provide increased student access to high quality career and technical education programs in high need school districts to improve student performance and decrease the dropout rate.
The design for the state plan for career and technical education for the years 2008 through 2013 aims to take CTE to the next step in its development, and contains the following elements, new directions and key initiatives:
- Improved Student Access to CTE Programs. Since the implementation of the Regents policy on CTE in 2001, the quality of both specialized and integrated core academics has improved in New York. Under the five-year state plan, incentives, additional support and assistance would be provided to local education agencies (LEAs) in an effort to increase the number of CTE Approved Programs available to secondary students. In addition, resources under the state plan would be used to identify, validate and disseminate promising and best practices that positively impact student performance. This coincides with the Regents CTE State Aid proposal criteria that requires evaluation and accountability of programs.
- Increased emphasis on successful student transitions. The state plan will encourage and support LEAs and postsecondary institutions to assure that their students experience less need for remediation, lower costs and accelerated study opportunities at the next level of educational achievement. This includes transitions from secondary to postsecondary and from two-year to four-year postsecondary institutions, primarily through articulation agreements that provide automatic admission, acceptance of credits and the provision of dual credits. Resources under the state plan would be used to develop templates linking associate and baccalaureate degrees in high skill, high wage, high demand occupations. The availability of those templates will encourage two-year and four-year postsecondary partners to develop jointly registered and articulated CTE programs, particularly those preparing students for emerging occupations that require more advanced preparation in mathematics and science.
- High skill, high wage, high demand occupations in the forefront. New York State CTE programs will be required to place priority on preparing students for careers that offer a strong starting salary and will lead to advancement opportunities. The Department will continue its close working relationship with the New York State Department of Labor to provide secondary and postsecondary CTE programs with appropriate regional labor market and economic development information, to use for program planning, design and development. A new and more demanding application design will require Perkins recipients to clearly connect funded programs with labor market data. Resources would be used to create a new state center for the implementation of programs of study that are strongly linked to economic development and labor market projections. This new state center would promote stronger linkages with regional economic development offices and Local Workforce Investment Boards.
- Strengthened Teacher preparation and professional development that emphasizes the academic and high skills aspects of the new Act. Just as CTE programs need to be updated in a changing economy, so do the skills of CTE instructors who deliver the program content. A particular challenge for CTE programs in New York State is recruiting and retaining talented instructors, including those who could bring important skills and experiences from their careers in business and industry. Under the state plan, New York State would continue its support for the Career and Technical Education Resource Center that offers training, information and technical assistance to CTE programs operated by LEAs. In addition, resources would be used to expand the SUNY Universal Teacher Education Template to develop greater linkages of subbaccalaureate CTE programs with CTE teacher education programs, and to encourage students in CTE student leadership organizations to consider careers as CTE instructors..
- Connecting students with CTE’s benefits Under the state plan, two initiatives would be supported to increase awareness of the high-level academics and technical skills that CTE offers. First, a statewide information campaign would be developed and implemented, building upon the successful Career Zone program operated by the New York State Department of Labor. This information campaign would make students and parents more fully aware of the new learning standards and rigorous content of CTE programs and the opportunities available for secondary students to make transitions to postsecondary education with automatic admissions, advance standing and dual credits. Second, a statewide professional development initiative would be supported to provide secondary school administrators and counselors with more complete information about CTE opportunities at both the secondary and postsecondary levels, including opportunities for transition to articulated postsecondary education programs.
These state plan elements, new directions and key initiatives will allow New York State to build upon its existing CTE program standards and reforms, its network of articulated CTE programs for secondary, postsecondary and adult students, and its strong history of working relationships with business and industry and workforce and economic development agencies. They provide a template for Department leadership to increase student access to CTE programs and to ensure that those programs represent both academic rigor and workplace relevance as intended by the Regents P-16 reform initiatives. The state plan for Career and Technical Education reflects the federal goals by building on previous policy decisions such as the CTE program approval process and the Regents 2008-09 State Aid and Budget proposals that will provide a clear and seamless path for students to pursue careers and life-long learning.
The Act defines special populations as: individuals with disabilities, individuals from economically disadvantaged families, including foster children; individuals preparing for non-traditional fields, single parents, including single pregnant women; displaced homemakers; and individuals with limited English proficiency.