“High-quality career and technical education” has become a national
catchphrase—in use by policymakers, practitioners and a wide variety of
influential education and workforce development stakeholders. But what
is high-quality CTE? How should this term be defined, and can it be used
to evaluate programs, determine areas for targeted improvements and
recognize successful elements that should be scaled?
To help synthesize the myriad voices that are a part of the dialogue on
high-quality CTE, ACTE is embarking on a multi-step project to identify a
comprehensive, research-based quality CTE program of study framework,
test the framework and integrate it into our efforts to recognize and
disseminate information on best practices within CTE.
The first phase of the broader project focuses on defining high-quality CTE:
- Defining High-quality CTE: Contemporary Perspectives on CTE Quality
(July 2015): This paper examines a broad range of documents from a variety of sources, ranging
from white papers and national organization positions to organizational
standards and rubrics. Findings from the research indicate that these
guiding frameworks mirror ongoing trends in successful CTE programs,
while still containing a broad diversity of tactics for implementing
high-quality CTE programs of study. This diversity of scope and
structure among frameworks sets the stage for conversations to establish
clarity and consistency related to high-quality CTE, particularly as it relates to individual local programs.
- ACTE High-quality CTE Framework Draft 1.0 (November 2015): Following the release of the above paper, ACTE began development of a high-quality program of study framework based on a deeper analysis of the national frameworks addressed in our paper as well as supplemental national and state quality documents. The draft ACTE quality framework elements and criteria are designed to apply to single, local CTE programs of study spanning secondary and postsecondary education, although they may be adapted to other units of analysis.
- ACTE High-quality CTE Framework Draft 3.0 (November 2016): This new draft of the Framework incorporates feedback received over the past year, including from focus groups, expert review, surveys, and additional research on key issues.
Based on continued feedback, the Framework Draft 3.0 will be refined a final time and then pilot tested in the spring to assess its validity and utility. To provide input on the draft framework, or if you are interested in participating in the pilot testing, please contact ACTE Public Policy Director Alisha Hyslop at firstname.lastname@example.org.