ED approves 6 state Perkins plans

U.S. Education Department (Photo: AACC)

The U.S. Education Department on Friday announced the first wave of approved state career and technical education (CTE) plans pertaining to the Perkin Act reauthorization signed by the president in 2018.

Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts and New Hampshire are the first six states to have their CTE plans approved under the Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act (Perkins V).

“We know many well-paying, in-demand jobs require CTE training but not necessarily a college degree and the associated debt,” Education Secretary Betsey DeVos said in a press release. “The coronavirus pandemic has certainly highlighted the need for all education to be tailored to meet each student’s unique needs, more nimble, and relevant to 21st-century realities. High-quality CTE programs are a critical way to help learners of all ages and get our economy back up and running at full speed.”

After working with key stakeholders in education, workforce development, businesses and industry, and community partners, states had until mid-April to submit a plan to offer robust CTE options for students.

The following are some of the noteworthy elements from each of the approved state plans. Additional details are available on the department’s website.

  • Hawaii’s plan includes data dashboards to illustrate successes and areas for improvement across CTE programs.
  • Illinois aims to showcase CTE to more students through contextualized learning and work-based learning that include K-12, postsecondary institutions and employers.
  • Maine looks to provide more dual-enrollment and apprenticeship opportunities.
  • Massachusetts will require internship or capstone experiences through its Innovation Pathways structure that connects student learning to an in-demand industry sector.
  • Maryland also aims to expand apprenticeships and its Pathways in Technology Early College High Schools (P-TECH), which allows students to earn a high school diploma and associate degree at no cost to them.
  • New Hampshire plans to collaborate with its community college system to offer a three-year CTE teacher preparation program through its educational intern’s certification program. It would be free for participating teachers.

About the Author

Matthew Dembicki
is editor of Community College Daily and serves as publications director for the American Association of Community Colleges.