Sequencing and Articulation


Sequencing and articulation is one of 12 elements of high-quality CTE, defined in ACTE’s comprehensive, research-based Quality CTE Program of Study Framework. The following reports, articles, guides and toolkits can help you develop high-quality programs of study and pathways.

Career Pathways and Programs of Study

Career Pathways and Programs of Study

The Power and Promise of Pathways ($)
Meeder, National Center for College and Career Transitions, 2016

This book offers educators and community leaders a comprehensive look at pathways from the early planning stage to full implementation. Current research and best practice examples are used throughout to address defining career and life readiness; building a career development model; creating dynamic pathway programs; and collaborating meaningfully with employer and community organizations, and across education and workforce partners.

Developing Career Pathways That Work
Oshita and Milgram, ACTE Techniques Magazine, January 2018

In this interview, California educators discuss developing high school-postsecondary partnerships to interest students in aviation pathways.

Issue Brief: MDRC Research on Career Pathways
Kazis, MDRC, March 2016

This Issue Brief describes the career pathways approach, highlighting core design elements, and profiles MDRC projects that shed light on the effectiveness of this approach and its potential to improve education and career outcomes.

Rigorous Tests of Student Outcomes in CTE Programs of Study: Final Report
Castellano et. al, National Research Center for CTE, April 2014

Research findings from a four-year longitudinal field study of students in programs of study/career pathways describes the efficacy of programs of study and shares in-depth case studies of programs of study in three districts.

A Cross-case Analysis of Career Pathway Programs that Link Low-skilled Adults to Family-sustaining Wage Careers
Bragg et. al, National Research Center for CTE, October 2007

This research explored programs; policies; and curricular, institutional and support strategies to support the transition of low-skilled adults through career pathways that align with postsecondary CTE.

The Promise of Career Pathways Systems Change
Clagett and Uhalde, Jobs for the Future, 2012

State and local Workforce Investment Boards, One-Stop Career Centers and related service providers can undertake various roles and actions with other system partners, including CTE, in the development and implementation of successful career pathways systems.

Powerhouse Partnerships: Community Colleges and Workforce Boards Working Together
U.S. Department of Labor, 2018

This report describes activities and strategies used to facilitate partnerships between community colleges and workforce boards, with key takeaways that can assist other community colleges and workforce organizations to solidify their collaborations and further their mutual goals.

Earning Postsecondary Credit in High School

Earning Postsecondary Credit in High School

Redesigning the Senior Year: Expanding Opportunities for All Students
Winkler and Squires, ACTE Techniques Magazine, September 2016

This article describes how schools and programs can enhance students’ senior year through postsecondary credit, credentials of value and expanded or accelerated learning experiences.

Optimizing Postsecondary Learning Outcomes for Young Adults
Phelps, ACTE Techniques Magazine, April 2016

The author shares data on expanding dual credit courses and early career pathway opportunities to high school juniors and seniors, and describes resources and tools created by schools in response.

CTE Dual Enrollment: A Game Changer in Rural Tennessee
Norwood, ACTE Techniques Magazine, April 2015

Tennessee is using secondary-postsecondary partnerships, labor market data and industry engagement to create dual enrollment opportunities for Upper Cumberland students.

Hybrid CTE Dual Enrollment: An Innovative Approach to Education
Chumbley, ACTE Techniques Magazine, April 2015

This article describes a hybrid online/in-class model for CTE dual enrollment used in New Mexico.

CTE Dual Enrollment: A Strategy for College Completion and Workforce Investment
Zinth, Education Commission of the States, March 2014

This brief describes relevant data and research, state policies and strategies for implementing CTE dual enrollment.

College Credit in High School: Working Group Report
College Board, November 2017

The College Board Policy Center convened a College Credit in High School Working Group that identified four factors essential to strong college credit in high school programs and developed a checklist of related questions. This document reviews those factors and provides examples of districts and institutions offering college credit in high school.

Secondary to Postsecondary Technical Education Transitions: An Exploratory Study of Dual Enrollment in Georgia ($)
Harnish and Lynch, Career and Technical Education Research, January 2015

This qualitative case study research examined characteristics and operations of high school-technical college dual enrollment programs and their link to key transition outcomes.

Dual-Credit in Kentucky ($)
Stephenson, Community College Journal of Research and Practice, September 2013

The author describes the Kentucky Community and Technical College System dual-credit offerings, and recommends what can be done to improve these offerings and to transition dual credit from an enrollment tool to a recruitment and completion tool.

Teaching and Learning in the Dual Enrollment Classroom ($)
Hughes and Edwards, New Directions for Higher Education, June 2012

Program faculty for California’s Concurrent Courses Initiative have implemented research-based pedagogical strategies in order to improve student persistence.

Faculty Qualification Policies and Strategies Relevant to Dual Enrollment Programs: An Analysis of States and Regional Accreditation Agencies
Horn et. al, Midwestern Higher Education Compact and Education Commission of the States, July 2016

This publication shares state and regional accreditation policies relevant to instructor qualifications for dual enrollment programs.

Frameworks, Guides and Toolkits

Frameworks, Guides and Toolkits

Program of Study Design Framework
Office of Career, Technical and Adult Education (OCTAE)

This OCTAE tool describes program elements that are viewed by CTE practitioners as instrumental for creating and implementing high-quality, comprehensive programs of study.

Program of Study Local Implementation and Self-Assessment Tools
Office of Career, Technical and Adult Education (OCTAE)

To support state administrators and local program providers in assessing the status of CTE programs of study, in 2010 OCTAE commissioned the development of a self-assessment tool. The tool identifies the criteria for evaluating whether a CTE provider has sufficient capacity to implement a comprehensive program of study.

Stackable Credentials Tool Kit
Office of Career, Technical and Adult Education (OCTAE), April 2018

This OCTAE toolkit is organized by topics of importance to colleges considering a stackable credentials approach. Each section provides information, links to online tools and suggestions on how to use them.

Career Pathways Toolkit: Six Key Elements for Success
Kozumplik et. al, U.S. Department of Labor, 2011

The Career Pathways Toolkit provides a comprehensive guide to understanding, developing, implementing and sustaining successful career pathways programs. It describes each of the “Six Key Elements for Success” in detail, shares case studies of promising practices and includes a toolbox with activities and resources for the development team.

Career Pathways Toolkit: An Enhanced Guide and Workbook for System Development
U.S. Department of Labor, 2016

This enhanced toolkit for the “Six Key Elements for Success for Career Pathways” includes embedded and writeable worksheets to help state and local teams with implementation.

Shared Vision, Strong Systems: The Alliance for Quality Career Pathways Framework Version 1.0
Center for Law and Social Policy, 2014

The Alliance framework provides a set of criteria and indicators for what constitutes a quality state and local/regional career pathway system, as well as metrics to assess participant progress and success.

Leading High School Transformation for College and Career Success: A Guide for Developing a System of Linked Learning Pathways
Stearns, ConnectEd: The California Center for College and Career, 2014

This guide introduces school district leaders and their community partners to Linked Learning and a system of quality pathways. It provides an understanding of designing and implementing a system of Linked Learning pathways, including the time it takes, the key actors in the work and the various supports that are available to help your district realize its vision.

A Guide for Implementing Programs of Study in Wisconsin
Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction, July 2011

This state-level tool is written to assist secondary and postsecondary education professionals in creating sustained, systemic change through programs of study. It includes planning tools and resources.