Section 256.160  Career and Technical Education Programs


a)         A CTE program administered by an eligible recipient shall be directed, administered and supervised by one or more qualified individuals appointed by the eligible recipient and charged with specific responsibility for the direction and supervision.


b)         CTE programs designed to prepare a person for certification, licensure, or employment in an occupation that is regulated by law shall be conducted in accordance with requirements established for those programs by law.


c)         CTE programming at the secondary level shall include instruction, laboratory and workplace learning experiences based on relevant content and learning standards, if applicable, necessary to prepare the student for both immediate employment and advanced education in preparation for later employment in the occupation or occupational field for which the program is designed. 


1)         The programming shall be aligned with a State Board-approved CTEPOS. State Board approval will be based on the following size, scope and quality guidelines included in the Perkins State Plan:


A)        Size


i)          Local recipients must implement and offer at least one State-approved CTEPOS in one of the nationally recognized career clusters.


ii)         All programs of study must be aligned to State, regional, or local in-demand sectors, using labor market information.


iii)        Postsecondary recipients must follow local board policies on class size.


iv)        For secondary recipients only, class and program enrollment minimums and maximums must be justified by the CTEPOS local advisory committee, as appropriate, to meet industry labor market and economy needs, as presented in the CLNA.


v)         The recommended minimum number of CTEPOS based on the number of students in the district are as follows:


•           501-2000 students: two programs.


•           2001-3000 students: three programs.


•           3001-4000 students: four programs.


•           4001 and above: five programs.


B)        Scope


i)          As defined in Perkins V, a CTEPOS is a "coordinated, non-duplicative sequence of academic and technical content at the secondary and postsecondary that:


•           incorporates challenging State academic standards;


•           addresses both academic and technical knowledge and skills, including employability skills;


•           is aligned with the needs of industries in the economy of the State, region, tribal community, or local area;


•           progresses in specificity;


•           has multiple entry and exit points that incorporate credentialing; and


•           culminates in the attainment of a recognized postsecondary credential."


ii)         A CTEPOS should provide students with strong experience in and a comprehensive understanding of all aspects of an industry. The scope of a CTEPOS must be specified through curricular development, evaluation, and revision. CTEPOS scope must be defined with all stakeholders, including business and industry. 


C)        Quality. CTEPOS must meet multiple quality criteria.  Most criteria should be met at the time of initial application; all criteria must be met no later than the start of Year 3 of the local plan, including specific strategies to address any unmet criteria in Years 1 and 2. The State Board ultimately determines the extent to which CTEPOS meet the quality criteria and may require accelerated timelines or provide extensions for additional time based on local efforts.


i)          Development and Engagement:  All CTEPOS must be developed through close K-12 and postsecondary collaboration, respond to the analysis and findings of the CLNA, and be informed by external stakeholders, including, but not limited to, business and industry, local workforce boards, adult education providers, and community-based organizations. An advisory committee must meet at least annually to review and support CTEPOS (or to consider multiple CTEPOS within a cluster or related cluster grouping). The advisory committee must review labor market information; provide input on current industry practices; identify high-skill, high-wage, and in-demand occupations and related competencies within the region; consider long-term industry trends and future of work; and participate in the continuous improvement process described in subsection (c)(1)(C)(ix).


ii)         Employer-Informed Competencies and Skills. The CTEPOS must align instruction and experiences to a progression of employer-informed technical and essential employability competencies that lead to readiness for employment or further education for high-skill, high-wage, and in-demand occupations identified during the engagement process.


iii)        Academic Instruction and Supports. The CTEPOS must include challenging academic instruction and student supports and interventions to facilitate successful student progressions into and through required coursework and avoid remediation to the extent possible. The CTEPOS instruction must be provided by an educator licensed under 23 Ill. Adm. Code 25 or a community college in compliance with Illinois Community College Board’s (ICCB) Administrative Rules and accrediting bodies. Dual credit instructors must meet the requirements under the Dual Credit Quality Act [110 ILCS 27] and be in accordance with the rules adopted by ICCB.


iv)        Recruitment and Access.  Starting in State fiscal year 2023, school districts and community colleges must develop a student recruitment and retention plan through the CLNA to address equity gaps that are evident as early as middle school, including gaps in program of study access, participation, persistence, and completion.  Programs of study must ensure access is equitable and all students are able to receive support to persist and succeed in CTE courses and opportunities.


v)         Instructional Sequence. CTEPOS must provide a non-duplicative, fully articulated sequence of courses from K-12 through postsecondary (including four-year transitions, where appropriate). There must be multiple entry and exit points and stackable credentials must be incorporated. The middle school and secondary CTEPOS course sequence must, at a minimum:


•           provide guidance and instruction on the concept of career clusters and support for student selection of a cluster of interest prior to a cluster-specific orientation course with related career awareness activities;


•           include an orientation course providing a broad understanding of the specific cluster or cluster grouping that applies to the program of study in which the student is enrolled, and that includes career exploration;


•           include an advanced course developing competencies and skills needed for entry-level employment or further postsecondary education;


•           incorporate credit transfer opportunities (e.g., dual credit, articulation agreement) or training for an industry-recognized credential; and


•           include instruction and evaluation in safety, as appropriate, within the curriculum.


vi)        Work-Based Learning. CTEPOS must include a secondary to postsecondary continuum of work-based learning and related authentic learning experiences that includes, at minimum, each of the following:


•           team-based challenges or CTSOs; and


•           one or more of the following, at both the secondary and postsecondary levels: internships, career-related service learning, paid work experience, on-the-job training, incumbent worker training, transitional jobs, apprenticeships (i.e., youth, pre-registered, non-registered, research), student-led enterprise, remote work for a client/employer, school-based enterprise, cooperative work agreement, or clinical experience.


vii)       Instructors. Instructors within programs of study are qualified, collaborate with industry professionals, and engage in applicable professional learning.


viii)      Facilities and Equipment. Programs of study are offered in appropriate and accessible facilities that use industry standard technology and equipment.


ix)        Continuous Improvement. The school district and community college use a continuous improvement process that evaluates and improves the program of study in collaboration with those stakeholders and the local or joint advisory committee.


2)         All State Board-approved programs of study shall combine rigorous classroom and career-connected learning opportunities to build students' technical and essential employability skills.


d)         The eligible recipient may enter a written agreement under which any portion of the program of instruction will be delivered, on an individual or group basis, by a public or private employer, private CTE training institution, community college, or any other public or private institution of higher education. These agreements shall:


1)         describe the portion of instruction to be provided by the institution or employer and shall incorporate the standards and requirements of career and technical education instruction set forth in federal regulations and in this Part; and


2)         be entered into only upon a determination by the eligible recipient and verification by the State Board that the agreement is in accordance with State law.


e)         If instruction is to be provided by a private career and technical training institution, the institution may provide equipment or services not available to the eligible recipient or may provide substantially equivalent training at a lesser cost.


f)         The entity will assure equal educational opportunities to all students by providing access to all career and technical education programming components and services in a nondiscriminatory and equitable manner in accordance with State and federal laws and regulations.