Career/Technical Education: Teaching Quality Components
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Career/Technical Education: Teaching Quality Components

Twenty-seven states have policies related to career and technical educator quality. A number of states have established policies that require career and technical teachers to demonstrate proficiency in their fields or to hold alternate or traditional certification.

Lack of a "yes" does not imply that teachers are not qualified. It simply means there is no specific state policy.

Why does it matter?

  • Quality programs are built on quality teachers.
  • University-based teacher preparation programs develop instructional expertise but also need to assure knowledge levels are aligned to industry expectations.
  • Career and technical education teachers with industry-based credentials must demonstrate both academic knowledge of the subject and a deeper contextual understanding of the complexities of the skills required for success in the career.

  • Methodology
    : This information was collected from state statutes, rules and regulations, and will be updated as new policies are enacted.

    Last updated: July 31, 2008

    Research conducted by Melodye Bush. Please contact Jennifer Dounay Zinth for questions, additions or corrections: 303.299.3689 or jdounay@ecs.org.



    Teaching quality components (i.e., demonstrated expertise in field; waive bachelor's degree reqt)
    Alabama For certification, the state requires the National Occupational Competency Testing Institute exams for measuring content knowledge.  For a program to be certified, teachers must possess knowledge and skills as prescribed by industry standards and the department of education. Teachers must continually maintain industry certification and/or teacher certification.
    Alaska
    Arizona Yes. State policy requires career and technical education teachers to have a standard certificate. In addition to passing scores on the professional knowledge portion of the state's proficiency assessment for secondary teachers there are required hours of courses in subject knowledge and, for the provisional license, a number of hours required of verified experience in the same career and technical education area. 
    Arkansas
    California 2007 legislation session enacted S.B. 52 (Chapter 520) requires the Commission on Teacher Credentialing to establish a list of authorized subjects for career technical education teaching credential. The legislation also specifies tests that career and technical education teachers must pass.
    Colorado
    Connecticut
    Delaware State policy requires all teachers to be certified in the field they teach. 
    District of Columbia
    Florida
    Georgia
    Hawaii State policy requires that all career/technical education candidates possess a baccalaureate degree from a state approved teacher education program prior to teaching. In addition, the department of education is authorized to hire individuals with trade or industry experience to teach in vocational, technical and career pathway programs when the criteria for the issuance of a special permit are met. 
    Idaho Teacher applicants must verify technical skills through work experience, certification or testing. Applicants may be determined highly qualified under any one of the following three options:
    • Have 16,000 hours of full-time, successful, recent, gainful employment in the occupation for which certification is requested. Up to 48 months credit can be counted toward the eight years on a month-to-month basis for journeyman training and/or postsecondary training successfully completed as a full-time student in an approved program;
    • Have a bachelor's degree in the specific occupation or related area plus 6,000 hours of full-time, successful, recent, gainful employment in the occupation;
    • Meet one of the following:
      • Have at least journeyman level plus two years of recent, full-time, gainful, related work experience
      • Pass approved state or national certification plus three years of recent, full-time, gainful, related work experience, or
      • Pass approved industry related certification for skill level requirements plus three years of recent, full-time, gainful, related work experience. 
    Illinois
    Indiana State policy requires all teachers to be certified in the field they teach. An alternative licensing program (occupational specialist) allows for skilled tradesmen without teaching degrees to become certified as career and technical education teachers. Training in classroom management, lesson planning, assessment, etc. is required and provided by the teacher education institutions.
    Iowa Provisional career and technical secondary license is provided to noneducators entering the education profession to instruct in occupations and specialty fields that are recognized in career and technical service areas and career cluster areas. The licensee must have completed 6000 hours of recent and relevant career and technical experience in the teaching endorsement area sought.
    Kansas Teachers must be licensed in the program taught. Kansas also allows certification with business and industry work experience and pedagogy.
    Kentucky The department of education, with assistance from the office of career and technical education, annually reviews statewide analysis and report of academic achievement of technical education students. The department's review must evaluate the adequacy of teachers' preparation to provide all students with the academic and technical skills needed for successful transition to postsecondary education, work or the military.
    Louisiana Governor Jindal and the heads of labor and economic development announced workforce and economic development initiatives at the end of February 2008. Included in the initiatives is a requirement that every district have industry-based certification training available to their career and technical education instructors.
    Maine
    Maryland

    Applicants have options for receiving certification:

    • Earn a bachelor's or higher degree in a state approved career and technology education program and provide official verification of two years of previous satisfactory occupational experience in the trade to be taught. 
    • Have a bachelor's or higher degree in industrial arts/technology education or in the trade to be taught and provide official verification of  two years of previous satisfactory occupational experience in the trade to be taught.
    • Earn an associate degree in the trade to be taught or a bachelor's or higher degree from an institution of higher education and provide official verification of three years of previous satisfactory occupational experience in the trade to be taught.
    • Have a secondary school diploma or the equivalent and official verification of five years of previous satisfactory occupational experience in the trade to be taught.  This option requires two years full-time employment.

    In each case, experience is to be within ten years of the issuance of the certificate and include one year of full-time employment. The applicant must also complete the professional education coursework. Six semester hours of curriculum/methods of teaching/practicum is to be completed before the second year of teaching and include training on student performance assessment and evaluation, teaching of students with special needs, the teaching of reading and writing, and the teaching of the math or science basis of the trade. A graduate of a career and technology education program in the practice of the trade to be taught, with a minimum 3.0 grade point average in course work related to the trade to be taught, must earn credit for 6 months occupational experience. A maximum of 9 semester hours of credit may be earned through Continuing Professional Development (CPD).

    Massachusetts
    Michigan
    Minnesota Teacher must hold a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited institution, hold or apply and qualify for another Minnesota license valid for teaching in grades 9 through 12; and show verification of completing a Board of Teaching preparation program approved under part 8700.7600 leading to the licensure of teacher coordinators of work-based learning.

    The state has 13 standard teaching licenses recognized for secondary career and technical education programs.  The licenses are for agriculture, business, communications technology, construction careers, creative design careers, early childhood careers, family and consumer sciences, hospitality careers, manufacturing careers, medical careers, transportation careers, teacher/coordinator of work-based learning, and career/technical accommodation specialist for students with disabilities.
    Mississippi
    Missouri Demonstrated professional/technical skills and the appropriate educator coursework.
    Montana
    Nebraska
    Nevada
    New Hampshire State has alternative certification (Alternative IV) for career and technical education teachers who come from a skill area. This is a three-year mentored program to gain certification. Candidates learn pedagogy, school operations and classroom management.
    New Jersey For experience-based endorsements, candidate must possess a professional license or a recognized industry certificate in the field.
    New Mexico
    New York
    North Carolina
    North Dakota State has an alternative certification process for teachers. Process has a five year record of 85% retention of teachers.
    Ohio The Ohio Department of Education has provided an annual funding allotment to university career and technical education teacher preparation programs in the hope of producing a greater number of qualified career and technical educators.
    Oklahoma Oklahoma Department of Career and Technology Education has created a teacher induction program in partnership with two teacher education institutions. Teacher retention has improved dramatically at the technology centers that are participating in the initiatives.
    Oregon As established by the Oregon Teacher Standards and Practices Commission, all career and technical education teachers must have either a regular Oregon teaching license with a career and technical education endorsement for the program area they are instructing or an alternative career and technical education license based on technical expertise and documented work experience.
    Pennsylvania
    Rhode Island
    South Carolina Teachers must have a bachelor's degree and successful completion of the national Career Development Facilitator (CDF) certification training or be a certified guidance counselor who has completed the CDF certification training.
    South Dakota Teachers must be certified, or working towards certification, in the content area they are teaching.

    State has an alternate route to certification for instructors with a non-education bachelor's degree to become fully certified. There is also a certification process for individuals who do not have a bachelor's degree but would like to teach career and technical courses.
    Tennessee
    Texas State law requires career and technical education teachers to be certified in the field they teach. Texas supports both traditional teacher preparation programs and alternative certification programs.
    Utah
    Vermont 2007 legislation amended rules on career and technical educator licensing. The purpose of the changes to the endorsements are:
    • Break down the wall between regular education and career and technical education in suport of the broader goal of integrated secondary education;
    • Streamline the process of qualifying for career and technical education endorsement, including recognizing that both formal postsecondary education and work experience are important components of preparation; and
    • Eliminate the duplication among current career and technical education endorsements.
    Virginia State policy requires teachers to be certified in the field they teach. Teachers may substitute experience in business and industry for college degree in certain career and technical education programs.
    Washington

    Yes, state policy requires the candidate to:

    • Hold a baccalaureate degree which includes a minimum of 45 quarter hours of study in the specific career and technical education subject area for which certification is sought;
    • Complete a state approved career and technical education teacher training program through a regionally accredited college or university which includes completion of student teaching in the relevant career and technical education subject area;
    • Provide documentation of one year of paid occupational experience in the specific career and technical education subject area for which certification is sought; and
    • Demonstrate competency in knowledge and skills.

    For continuing certification the candidate must complete one of the following:

    • Six quarter hours or sixty clock hours of career and technical education educator training;
    • Three quarter hours or thirty clock hours of career and technical education educator training and three quarter hours or thirty clock hours of technical education/upgrading; or
    • Three quarter hours or thirty clock hours of career and technical education educator training and three hundred hours of occupational experience.

    Candidates seeking certification on the basis of business and industry work experience must: 

    • Provide documentation of three years of paid occupational experience in the specific career and technical education subcategory for which they are seeking certification;
    • Complete a professional educator standards board approved program in which they demonstrate competence in the general standards for all career and technical education teacher certificate candidates which includes knowledge and skills in teaching methods, school law, issues related to abuse, safety, occupational analysis, course organization and curriculum design, philosophy of vocational education, personal student development and leadership techniques.
    West Virginia
    Wisconsin
    Wyoming Teachers in Wyoming must be endorsed/certified within the area in which they teach. People without a career and technical education endorsement may teach in a high school if they have two years of experience in the area being taught and create a professional development plan to guide advancement toward a four year degree and certification.

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