The Common Career Technical Core was released last month in an attempt to ensure that career and technical education standards are of top quality in all states.
Their design was led by the National Association of State Directors of Career Technical Education Consortium, or NASDCTEc. The organization says it sought input from about 3,500 people in 42 states and the District of Columbia, including those in higher education, K-12, and business, to shape the standards.
The standards are divided up into 16 career clusters that represent different industries—including agriculture, construction, health science, hospitality, and others—and subsets of pathways within each cluster.
There are also a set of 12 overarching “career-ready practices” that detail knowledge, skills, and “dispositions” necessary for a successful launch into the workplace, such as modeling integrity, ethical leadership and effective management, and communicating “clearly, effectively, and with reason.”
The NASDCTEc hopes states will adopt the standards and it will conduct an analysis of how each state’s career-tech standards differ from the set it just released.
Career and technical education has been sparking a lot of thought in recent years, as the old vocational education is being phased out in favor of more rigorous alternatives that seek to give students the demanding academics they need, but do it through a more hands-on, career-oriented lens.
Programs like ConnectEd in California aim for this blend, arguing that it keeps students engaged while giving them all the training they need to pursue an array of options, from associate degrees and certificates to a four-year college path.
A version of this article appeared in the July 18, 2012 edition of Education Week as Career and Tech. Standards Unveiled