Career & Technical Education

Program Approval Process FAQ

April 2001

  1. When may an approved career and technical education (CTE) program first be offered?

    An approved CTE program may begin in September 2001.

  2. What is an approvable CTE program?

    An approvable program contains a related and continuous series/combination of courses/experiences in a career and technical area and academic and technical knowledge and skills in preparation for further education/training and/or employment in a career. The program is taught by appropriately certified and qualified teachers and is supported by work-based experiences, integrated and/or specialized instruction, a Work-Skills Employability Profile, technical assessments and data on student performance in academic and technical areas.

  3. Will school districts/BOCES that seek CTE program approval be required to apply separately for each CTE program?

    Yes.  Those agencies electing to offer approved CTE programs will be granted separate approval for each program available within the district/BOCES.

  4. What are the steps in the CTE  program approval process?

    School districts/BOCES complete a self-study report, conduct an external review, and secure the certification of the local Board of Education. The school district/BOCES then submits the required “Statement of Certification” signed by the President of the Board of Education to the Department to obtain a CTE  program approval. 

  5. What are the essential activities of the self-study team?
    • Identification of CTE program;
    • Review of Curriculum;
    • Documentation of appropriate work-based learning opportunities;
    • Identification of the technical assessments associated with the program;
    • Identification/development of a Work-Skills Employability Profile;
    • Description of proposed staff development/training;
    • Review of staff certification; and
    • Development of a Self-Study Report, with recommendations for action to address “gaps” identified by the self-study team.
  6. What is the purpose of the external review team?

    The external review team reviews the agency’s Self-Study Report that examines gaps in program elements, and makes additional recommendations for solutions/improvements.  This team will assure that course content and program assessment are aligned with both industry standards and the appropriate New York State learning standards and will confirm that the appropriate agency staff and community members were involved in the program approval process; and

    The external review team develops a recommendation on program approval for submission to the Board of Education for its consideration and action.

  7. How long will the CTE  program approval be in effect?

    A CTE  program approval is valid for up to 5 years. The Department will develop a re-approval process.

  8. What agencies may submit a CTE  program for approval?

    All public education agencies accredited by the Commissioner as providers of secondary education programs may submit a CTE  program for approval.

  9. May a technical endorsement be affixed to the High School diploma if the CTE  program has not been approved?

    No.  Only students successfully completing an approved CTE  program, including a technical assessment, may be awarded a technical endorsement on a High School, Regents diploma or a Regents diploma with an advanced designation.

  10. What is a CTE  specialized course?

    A specialized CTE  course, upon approval by the school superintendent or designee, allows students to fulfill a core course requirement in English, mathematics, social studies or science after the student passes the required Regents examination(s) in that core academic subject area.  A specialized course is one that is co-developed by a CTE  teacher(s) and a core academic teacher(s) and is based on the commencement-level of the State learning standards in that subject.  It develops the subject in greater depth and breadth or may be interdisciplinary. Successful completion of one unit of study in a specialized CTE course may be awarded only one unit of credit but may be used to meet the distribution requirements in more than one subject.  A specialized course must be taught by a teacher certified in at least one of the disciplines.

  11. What is a CTE integrated course?

    An integrated career and technical course is a course that combines CTE  and academic commencement-level State learning standards and may be jointly developed and taught by an academic subject teacher and/or a career and technical education teacher.  Successful completion of one unit of study in an integrated CTE course may be awarded only one unit of credit but may be used to meet the distribution requirements in more than one subject. For students who have not successfully completed the Regents examination in the related academic subject area, the integrated course must be taught by a teacher certified in that subject.

  12. How do credit distribution requirements differ for students enrolled in an approved CTE  program?

    Students enrolled in an approved CTE program may earn up to one unit each of required credit in English, science and mathematics, and the combined unit of economics and government through CTE specialized courses, CTE integrated courses, or a combination of specialized and integrated CTE and academic courses.

  13. Is passing a technical assessment required for graduation?

    No.  A technical assessment must be passed by a student in an approved CTE program in order to receive the technical endorsement on a Regents diploma.

  14. May a student earn a technical endorsement on the High School diploma simply by earning the industry-based credential without completion of the other CTE program criteria?

    No.  A student must compete all components of the approved CTE program to be eligible for the technical endorsement on the diploma.

  15. What constitutes a technical assessment?

    A technical assessment is an industry-developed assessment consisting of written examination(s), student project(s) and student demonstration(s) of technical skills to measure proficiency in a specific technical field through the application of national standards in such technical field.

  16. What may a school district/BOCES do if a nationally recognized technical assessment is not currently available in a specific CTE program?

    If no assessment exists in a particular technical field, a school district may form a consortium of local, regional or national businesses or related professional organizations to create an assessment.

  17. How does CTE apply to transition planning for students with  disabilities?

    Access to CTE should be discussed as part of a student’s transition planning.  Planning should address the need for accommodations and supports that will enable a student with a disability to participate in appropriate CTE programs based on student needs, preferences and interests. Appropriate programs are those that enable students with disabilities to work toward their post-school outcomes as identified on their Individualized Education Program (IEP).  The annual assessment of present levels of performance should be aligned with the skill components addressed on the Work-Skills Employability Profile.  The competencies achieved in each completed career and technical education course will be documented on the Work-Skills Employability Profile.

  18. Can a student with disabilities seeking an Individualized Education Program (IEP) diploma also obtain the Work-Skills Employability Profile?

    Yes.  Any student with a disability who successfully completes a CTE course will receive documentation of skills acquired in the career and technical education course. The skills identified in the documentation are those specified on the Work-Skills Employability Profile.  The Individualized Education Program diploma, in conjunction with the Work-Skills Employability Profile, will provide employers with documentation of work skills achieved.

  19. Can a student who has earned a local diploma receive a technical endorsement on that diploma

    Beginning with the graduation class of June 2002, students earning a local diploma can receive a technical endorsement if they successfully complete an approved CTE program, including a technical assessment. This option will continue to be available for as long as the local diploma is offered under the safety net.

  20. Should testing accommodations be provided for students with disabilities on technical assessments? 

    According to federal and State laws and regulations, students with disabilities, like their nondisabled peers, must have access to the full range of education programs and services, including courses, tests and examinations, to the extent appropriate for each individual student. Also, they must receive testing accommodations as specified in their individualized education program (IEP) in all tests (teacher, district, State, etc.). When participating in CTE programs a student must be able to complete the necessary CTE program requirements.

  21. What is a testing accommodation?

    Testing accommodations are changes in testing procedures or formats which provide students with disabilities an equal opportunity to participate in test situations and to demonstrate their mastery of knowledge and skills without being limited or unfairly restricted due to the effects of their disability. Testing accommodations can change the way in which test items are presented to the student, the student’s method of responding to test items, or the process a student uses to derive responses to test items. Testing accommodations are not intended to substitute for knowledge or skills necessary to the performance of CTE that the student has not achieved. Testing accommodations are not to provide an unfair advantage over students taking tests and examinations under standardized conditions. They also should not change the construct of the test.

    Testing accommodations are based on individual student needs and educational characteristics. The Committee on Special Education (CSE) must specify the types of accommodations to be provided on the student’s Individualized Education Program (IEP). Testing accommodations can include, but not be limited to: flexible scheduling, flexible settings, revised format or test directions, and use of aids or other accommodations. Students classified under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act must also be provided appropriate accommodations as documented in their 504 Plan and approved by the multi-disciplinary team.

Last Updated: March 10, 2011->