Analyzes the links between career and technical education and registered apprenticeship programs in six states to identify key challenges to coordinating the programs and possible strategies to increase program alignment, drawing on findings from detailed case studies of each state.

The report explores connections between career and technical education (CTE) and registered apprenticeship (RA) programs through interviews with administrators in six states with “established programmatic linkages between CTE and RA programs at the secondary level” (p.3). CTE programs “support high school students in gaining the academic, technical, and employability skills necessary to pursue entry-level employment and to enroll in postsecondary education” (p.xi). Instructional content begins with career exploration and becomes progressively more occupation directed as students specialize in their coursework. Some have the opportunity to participate in a work-based learning (WBL) placement” (p.xi). By comparison, RA programs provide “individuals with advanced technical skills and the training needed to find employment in a specific occupation” (p.xi). “Apprentices generally are employed from the first day of their apprenticeship and receive technical instruction in combination with on-the-job training (OJT)” (p.xi). “At the end of training, apprentices receive a nationally recognized, portable industry credential from [the Department of Labor]” (p.xi).

“To help clarify the association between CTE and RA, the National Center for Innovation in Career and Technical Education (NCICTE) undertook a systematic review of the programmatic, administrative, and financial policies that six states—Connecticut, Florida, Kentucky, North Carolina, Rhode Island, and Washington—have developed to link the two programs” (xii). The study attempts to answer the following questions:

· What are the program features that define states’ efforts to align secondary CTE programs with RA—including information related to curriculum development and delivery, options for WBL participation, student recruitment, transition to postsecondary education and employment, and the scale and scope of program offerings?

· What program supports exist at the state and local levels to promote system coordination between secondary CTE and RA programs—including the roles of state agencies and other…partners, state legislation and administrative policies governing program operations, employer and parental engagement, financing, and the collection of data?” (p.xii).

(Abstractor: Author and Website Staff)

Full publication title: Connecting Secondary Career and Technical Education and Registered Apprenticeship: A Profile of Six State Systems

Major Findings & Recommendations

“The state CTE and RA administrators interviewed in the study states identified several challenges to growing programs that align CTE with RA,” such as insufficient resources, a lack of awareness about RA programs, and employer concerns about liability (p.xv). The authors describe the following strategies that states employ to address these challenges: • “Provide cross-agency support to align career and technical education and registered apprenticeship programs” (p.xv). • “Deliver technical assistance at the regional and local levels to promote program linkages between career and technical education and registered apprenticeship programs” (p.xvi). • “Create resource tools and guides to support program alignment” (p.xvi). • “Conduct outreach to publicize the benefits of registered apprenticeship programs” (p.xvi). • “Address barriers to student and employer involvement” (p.xvii). The authors also describe differences among the study states and suggest ways in which findings from these states might be applied to the rest of the country. “Study findings suggest that states profiled…are using differing approaches to prepare high school students for RA participation. In some instances…high school students participate directly in an RA program. In other cases, secondary CTE programs may be designed to feed into RA programs, for example, by structuring CTE as a pre-apprenticeship program that gives students course credits and workplace hours that may be applied toward meeting the requirements of an affiliated RA program” (p.xvii). “Apprenticeship programs offered within secondary CTE give students access to…occupation-directed training that combines classroom instruction with applied and, in some cases, intensive WBL opportunities. In addition to providing students with firsthand knowledge about their career options, program completers in some states may apply the time spent in instruction toward meeting the related technical instruction and OJT requirements of an affiliated RA program. This can reduce the time required for students to complete the program, as well as assure them entry into a well-paying, highly skilled job. If the experiences of the study states’ experiments with a range of approaches for connecting CTE with RA can be applied to [the] nation at large, then it appears that there is considerable room for expanding the pipeline from CTE to RA by increasing program options for secondary students” (p.xviii). (Abstractor: Author and Website Staff)