Magazine article Techniques

Kentucky Beefs Up Its CTE Programs

Magazine article Techniques

Kentucky Beefs Up Its CTE Programs

Article excerpt

Employers are looking to career and technical education (CTE) programs to supply a workforce possessing academic and employability skills to complement the technical component. In Kentucky, the state has instituted assessment standards to ensure that CTE programs are working to increase student achievement. Kentucky Administrative Regulations (1) require that CTE programs:

* provide a rigorous curriculum, leadership skills through student organizations and work-based learning opportunities;

* be accountable for students completing a technical program and positive student transitions after high school; and

* include stakeholder involvement.

CTE programs are directed to incorporate academics in instruction and to be active partners in increasing student achievement as measured by the Commonwealth Accountability Testing System (CATS) (2), Perkins performance measures, and the Kentucky Occupational Skill Standards Assessment (KOSSA) (3). CTE teachers are dedicated to fulfill all the requirements expected of them.

How it Begun

In 2001, Kentucky legislators asked the Office of Career and Technical Education (OCTE) and the Division of Career and Technical Education in the Kentucky Department of Education (KDE) to review secondary technical programs in both the 55 state-operated area technology centers and the 36 departments and centers operated by local school districts. These schools provide CTE instruction in primarily business, communications/information technology, construction, health sciences, manufacturing, marketing and transportation programs. To comply with legislators' request and meet the accountability criteria set by CATS, KOSSA, CTE regulations, Perkins performance measures, and the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) accreditation standards, CTE stakeholders developed the assessment process and program assessment document (Figure 1). (Stakeholders were business and industry, OCTE and KDE-DCTE staff, two- and four-year postsecondary institutions, teachers and administrators.) OCTE staff then developed a Web site to assist teachers and administrators in documenting the assessment standards and a database to collect, manage and analyze the data gathered from the process.

FIGURE 1: Assessment Document. A committee of CTE
stakeholders developed an assessment document that
includes indicators of quality programs. The assessment
document brings together the multiple requirements of
CTE teachers and their programs.

Education Cabinet
Program Assessment Document

17 Standards from the Department for Workforce
Investment, Office of Career and Technical Education;
end the Kentucky Department of Education, Division of
Career and Technical Education

 1. Curriculum
 2. Lesson/Unit Plans
 3. Student Achievement
 4. Student Recognition
 5. Postsecondary Links
 6. Perkins Performance Measures
 7. Program Area Safety
 8. Student Safety
 9. Student Organization
10. Public Relations
11. Families and Community
12. Advisory Committee
13. Industry Certification
14. Work-Based Learning
15. Professional Growth
16. Program improvement Plan
17. Technology

Assessment Process

The program assessment process identifies gaps and brings strengths and weaknesses to the forefront. From 2001-2005, 365 secondary programs were reviewed by assessment teams, a second, two-year cycle of assessment team visits began with the 2005-2006 school year and assessment teams visited 504 programs. Data for the third cycle from 2007-2009 will be available in June 2009.

Team Visit

Every two years all programs receive an assessment team visit. The team, chaired by a university educator, is comprised of representatives from secondary CTE, the community college system and business and industry. The team reviews one year of documentation of the assessment standards gathered by the program teacher, and the program receives a score based on a 0-4 scale. …

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