Career and Technical Education Programs of Study Information

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August 30, 2018


Subject: Career and Technical Education Programs of Study Information

Texas Education Agency (TEA) is in the process of revising Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs of study to reflect high wage, high demand occupations in Texas. These sequences of courses progress from foundational knowledge and skills in a career cluster, to specific academic and technical skills related to the aligned industry and occupations. The following information provides additional details about the background, process, and next steps related to TEA’s revision of CTE programs of study.

     Quick Reference Points

    • Programs of study are a federal requirement for states who accept Carl D. Perkins funding.
    • Currently, Texas programs of study do not meet all of the requirements of a program of study in Carl D. Perkins.
    • Programs of study are in the beginning of the process to be revised with input from industry advisory committee members. These committees include representation from secondary CTE teachers in the content, CTE administrators, postsecondary faculty in the content, industry associations, and industry partners in the content area.
    • Programs of study will go through multiple rounds of external stakeholder review and will reflect feedback from these stakeholders.
    • Programs of study will align with Texas’s labor market data and postsecondary programs to ensure students have better access to high quality career paths after high school.


    • The Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act of 2006 (Perkins IV) calls upon states to create sequences of academic and Career and Technical Education coursework to help students attain a postsecondary degree or industry-recognized certificate or credential, otherwise known as programs of study.
    • The Strengthening Career and Technical Education Act, better known as Perkins V, which was just reauthorized in July 2018, affirms the definition of a program of study adding the following language: “is aligned to the needs of industries in the state, region, Tribal community, or local area; has multiple entry and exit points” that allow for credentialing; and ultimately culminates in the attainment of a recognized postsecondary credential.”
    • TEA is in the process of drafting programs of study which would meet both the current and new federal definitions of programs of study by aligning coherent sequences of courses to Texas’s vast labor market and postsecondary landscape.


    • CTE courses need to adequately prepare students for success in both postsecondary training and the workforce across all 16 nationally recognized career clusters.
    • Texas must offer programs of study that meet the requirements in both Perkins IV and V.
    • CTE teachers need to be given the right tools to attain stronger student outcomes; with these clearer, more aligned sequences, teachers will have the tools they need to best prepare students for postsecondary and career choices.


    • Programs of study revision will occur in multiple steps, including research and data gathering, skill alignment, and reviewing and implementing feedback.  Secondary teachers, postsecondary educators, business and industry, teacher and industry associations are being utilized to:
      • Determine high wage, in demand occupations in Texas;
      • Group related occupations based on knowledge and skills;
      • Validate knowledge and skills with industry employers;
      • Develop sequences of appropriately aligned courses;
      • Convene and vet through regional stakeholders from industry and education; and
      • Seek feedback from CTE teachers and directors and update draft programs of study based on feedback.

    What’s Next:

    • Vetting draft programs of study with Industry Advisory Committees (made up of secondary teachers, postsecondary faculty, business and industry partners in the content;
    • Releasing draft programs of study for public comment;
    • Implementing feedback from public comment and revising draft programs of study;
    • Developing an opt-in process for districts who chose to adopt in 2019-2020;
    • Providing grant opportunities to assist districts with funding for implementation;
    • Developing training and resources to support implementation in 2020-2021; and
    • After implementation, TEA will continue to critically review its programs of study and ensure alignment with labor market information to coincide with the Texas Workforce Commission’s labor projections.

        Industry Advisory Committee Timeline

    August 2018 review and finalize occupations with POS. September 2018 Align to secondary opportunities (courses, work based learning, certifications). September 2018 Align to post secondary opportunities (educaiton, training) October 2018, Identify and validate skills necessary for targeted occupations. November 2018 Determine appropriate courses to address skills within a POS four level sequence.

    Overall Programs of Study Timeline

    August - November 2018 Industry Advisory Committee work. November 2018 Public Comment Period. December 2018 Revision of programs of study. January 2019 Commissioner Approval. 2019-2020 Opt in period for schools. 2020 - 2021 Implementation in all schools.

    • Additional information about programs of study process and methodology can be located on the CTE website.
    • Questions about the programs of study process can be directed to