One of the highlights of the new Perkins Act is the requirement for the development and implementation of “career and technical programs of study.” These programs of study are defined and referenced throughout the Act. States must develop the programs of study in consultation with local programs, and each local recipient receiving funds under the bill will be required to offer the relevant course of at least one. Programs of study are very similar to, and build on, positive initiative already underway in CTE programs around the country, such as Tech Prep, career pathways, career academies, and career clusters. In many states, the foundational elements of programs of study may already be in place.



    The Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Improvement Act of 2006 requires the development and implementation of “career and technical programs of study.” Monroe Career & Technical Institute (MCTI) currently offers 19 Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) approved “Programs of Study.” In addition, MCTI offers 5 PDE “Tech Prep Programs.”



    “Program of Study” is a Pennsylvania Department of Education approved statewide program that:


    · Incorporate and align secondary and postsecondary education

    · Include academic and CTE content in a coordinated, non-duplicative progression of courses

    · Includes the opportunity for secondary students to acquire postsecondary credits

    · Lead to an industry-recognized credential or certificate at the postsecondary level, or an associate of baccalaureate degree

    · Identify and address current or emerging occupational opportunities

    · Build on career clusters, career pathways, and career academies
    · State develops in consultation with local Occupational Advisory Committees (OAC) and standards




    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 a college prep program that leads to an associate degree, two-year certificate, or apprenticeship. Tech Prep students will be technically and academically prepared to join the workforce or continue their education towards a baccalaureate degree.




    The Monroe Career & Technical Institute (MCTI) developed a “Learning Guide” for all Program of Study or Tech Prep career and technical programs it offers. The Learning Guide will be utilized primarily by teachers, students, and school personnel. It can also be used by parents, business industry, and the community. Potential uses should first become familiar with the purpose, content, and definitions of the Learning Guide.


    The Learning Guide identifies the unit lesson description or objectives, tasks, standards, instructional activities, safety requirements, assessments, and resources and equipment. This section drives the learning activities required to achieve the goal of the program.


    The Learning Guide is an ACTIVE document. Revisions and updates are ongoing. Content and subject format remain flexible and adaptable to modification with input from the program’s Occupational Advisory Committee (OAC) and industry requirement. Instructors control the delivery of the program thought development of daily lesson plans.




    Course Name – Current CTE Program Name.

    Unit Name – Heading, unit, module under which the tasks are grouped.

    Unit Number – Number assigned to each Unit.

    Dates – Date Learning Guide was written.

    Unit Description/Objectives – One or two sentences describing what the students should know and be able to do when they have completed the tasks that comprise the Unit.

    Tasks – A short statement of the skills/competencies to be performed.

    Standards/Assessment Anchors – Pennsylvania Academic Standards including: Mathematics (grade 11); Reading, Writing, Listening, Speaking (RWLS) (grade 11); Science and Technology (grade 12); and Career Education and Work (CEW) (grade 11).

    Focus Standard/Anchor – The standard that is most applicable to this set of tasks. The choice is based on the most important concept that encompasses all these tasks and the essential content, questions, or skills that integrates with the academic standards of Mathematics; Reading, Writing, Listening, Speaking (RWLS); Science and Technology; and Career Education and Work (CEW).

    Connecting Standard/Anchors – A relating standard that is associated with the tasks and that indicates a connection not addressed as a focus anchor, such as a CEW standard.

    Instructional Activities – Research based learning activities that indicate the experiences needed to master the core knowledge, essential academics, and performance of the task to industry standards. The section will have four parts: Knowledge, Skill, Remediation, and Enrichment.


    Activities that are needed to instruct the students so that they master the theory (what the students know) related to the tasks. These activities are normally done in the classroom setting.


    Activities or objectives that are needed to instruct the students so that they master the performance (what the students are able to do) related to the tasks. These activities are normally done in the laboratory setting.


    Modified instructional activities and/or additional learning styles of students. The remediation activities are appropriate to the unit tasks and individual student needs.

    Enrichment Activities:

    Optional learning activities provided to reinforce the students’ knowledge of a unit. Higher-level activities or extension activities designed to enrich the students’ knowledge beyond the essential level of understanding and extend what is usually required for completion of the tasks.


    Safety – Safety rules, policies, practices, accident prevention and precautions related to the tasks and unit.

    Assessment – Activities such as quizzes, tests, projects, checklists, rubrics, tests, etc., that demonstrate the students’ core knowledge, essential academics, and the performance of the task to industry standards.

    Resources/Equipment – Resources and equipment used or needed to complete the knowledge, skill, remediation, or enrichment activities. This section includes teaching materials from textbook or professional organizations, technology, essential tools and materials for the task.