Date: May 1998

To: District Superintendents
Superintendents of Public Schools
Principals of Public Schools (Grades 7-12)
Directors of Occupational Education
Teachers of Occupational Education
Guidance Counselors (Grades 7-12)
Tech-Prep Coordinators
School-to-Work Coordinators
SCDN Representatives
Teacher Center Directors
Effective Schools Consortia Managers
School Board Presidents

From: James A. Kadamus

Subject: Attaining High Standards Through Occupational Education

The purpose of this memorandum is to provide guidance, through a question-and-answer format, on the role of occupational education in the State’s school reform initiative with a focus on:

  • New Graduation Requirements
  • Future Directions
  • Career Development and Occupational Studies Assessment
  • Innovative Initiatives
  • Sequences and Current Mandates

The new graduation requirements approved by the Board of Regents are designed to ensure that all students continue to have access to opportunities in occupational education. In some instances, local districts and BOCES must be prepared to review and redesign current occupational education course offerings to provide multiple pathways to achieving high standards. The information contained in the enclosed material should assist this work.

 A major goal of the New York State Education Department is to have all students meet higher learning standards that are linked to curriculum, new assessments and revised graduation requirements. To that end, in addition to supporting rigorous occupational education programs, the Department also supports educational reform initiatives such as Tech-Prep, New Vision(s) and School-to-Work systems, which serve to implement effective practices such as applied learning.

These reforms explicitly recognize that schools, in conjunction with a variety of partners, play a pivotal role in helping students reach higher standards and attain satisfying careers. These reforms also afford all students the opportunity to develop career-related competencies, including skills that lead to a career plan to guide the student's educational program. These initiatives make it possible for students to develop specific occupational and universal foundation skills which reflect the skills needed for today's workplace and can lead to employment or post secondary education.

Within the State Education Department, the Office of Workforce Preparation and Continuing Education is charged with overall responsibility for school-to-work, occupational and continuing education, and literacy services to all New Yorkers. The Office also develops sequences for occupational education, assists New Vision(s) programs and helps support Tech-Prep programs throughout the State.

In the future, information regarding this and related topics will be disseminated periodically. For additional information, you may visit the Department’s website @ or write to the Occupational and Career Development Team, Room 320 EB, Albany, NY 12234.

Workforce Preparation
Questions and Answers


Updated on 7/1/98(ksw)