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Throughout the career development process, parents and students will come across many terms and acronyms that are new to them. This list will help make sense of this process.

Terms and Acronyms for Career and Technical Education:

Articulation — Articulated credit is earned when a student completes a majority of the competencies in a secondary program to receive credit in a similar post secondary program.  The goal is to avoid duplication of curriculum content.  Articulated credit can be academic or technical and is not assigned a letter or numeric grade. Articulated credit is generally not transferrable to other post secondary institutions.

Career Pathways — A system for allowing students to select a career that best suits their interests and abilities.  In PA, the career pathways are arranged into 16 career clusters. Each cluster represents groups of related industries and occupations in the American economy.

Career Education and Work Standards (CEW) — What PA students should be able to know and do in four grade levels (3, 5, 8 and 11) in four areas: Career Awareness and Preparation, Career Acquisition, Career Retention and Advancement, and Entrepreneurship — to succeed in the changing workplace.

CIP — Classification of Instructional Programs - The method (code) by which the Pennsylvania Department Education classifies instructional programs that will support the accurate tracking assessment and reporting of fields of study and program completion activity.

Contextual learning — Contextual learning is learning that relates to students’ actual experiences; allowing students to use and test academic theories through real world applications.

CTE — Career and Technical Education

Curriculum Alignment — Curriculum and learning objectives are aligned or matched to ensure that students are provided appropriate learning opportunities in order to achieve the identified learning objectives or outcomes.  Often curriculum is aligned with a set of standards, such as the CEW standards or academic standards.  Curriculum can also be aligned between secondary and post secondary levels.

Consortia — Associations of institutions which cooperate to provide a range of higher education programs which are often supported and governed by local boards.

Dual enrollment — Students are concurrently enrolled at both a secondary and post secondary institution.  Dual enrollment allows students to gain both secondary and post secondary credit for the same coursework.  Dual enrollment credit will record a numeric or letter grade on the college transcript and may be transferrable to other post secondary institutions.

High Priority Occupation (HPO) — An occupation which leads to a job that is in demand by employers, has high skill needs, and provides family sustaining wages.

Integrated Learning — The modification of academic and career and technical education philosophies and curriculum which is aimed at making academic coursework job and life relevant and using career and technical education to reinforce and apply academic coursework.

Job shadow — A program for high school (or middle school, in some cases) students to find out what it is like to be in a specific profession. This helps the student to choose the postsecondary program (higher education/training) and subsequently the profession that they would like to choose.

NOCTI — National Occupational Competency Testing Institute - End of program examinations used by secondary and post secondary schools to test the competency of program completers.

Perkins — Legislation authored by Carl D. Perkins which allocates Federal funds to support and improve the quality of career and technical education in order to improve the local workforce and economy. The Perkins Act provides almost $1.3 billion in federal support for career and technical education programs in all 50 States.  The legislation was reauthorized in 2006 as the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Improvement Act of 2006 and extends through 2012.

PLTW — Project Lead The Way® is a not-for-profit organization that promotes pre-engineering courses for middle and high school students. PLTW forms partnerships with public schools, higher education institutions and the private sector to increase the quantity and quality of engineers and engineering technologists graduating from our educational system.

Programs of Study — A requirement of the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Improvement Act of 2006.  Combines at least two years of secondary education and the equivalent of two years in postsecondary education in a non duplicative, sequential course of study.  Key components include: an articulation agreement, rigorous academic and technical instruction that leads to a two year associates degree, certificate or apprenticeship that prepares the student for employment and/or further education and is linked to a High Priority Occupation.

Service Learning — Structured, volunteer work experience where students provide community service in non-paid, volunteer positions which gives students the opportunities to apply knowledge and skills learned in school while making a contribution to local communities.

STEM — Science Technology Engineering and Math - An educational effort to support and foster the teaching of Science, Technology Engineering and Mathematics in US schools. STEM also encourages students to consider careers that align with STEM skills.

Tech Prep — Tech Prep programs combine at least two years of high school education with two years of postsecondary education to prepare students for technical careers in areas such as engineering technology, health and human services and business/information technology. These articulated programs combine a common core of higher academics in math, science and communications with a specific field of technical preparation. Tech Prep is the framework for Programs of Study in PA.

WIB — Workforce Investment Board - The Pennsylvania Workforce Investment Board (PA WIB) is the governor’s principal private sector policy advisor on building a strong workforce development system that is aligned with state education policies and economic development goals.

Work Based Learning — Experiences that are based on or in a work setting or simulated work setting, I.E., apprenticeships, co-op, on-the-job training, school based enterprises or job-simulation-labs, and are used to supplement formal classroom learning.

*Special Thanks to the South Central Pennsylvania Tech Prep Consortium for providing this glossary of terms.

The Partnership for Career Development works to build a system of K-12 career education, increase awareness of post secondary training and education opportunities, and strengthen workforce development in the Pennsylvania Capital Region.

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