Career/Technical Education: Tech Prep or Similar Focus (2+2)

Career/Technical Education: Tech Prep or Similar Focus (2+2)

"Tech Prep" programs offer an articulated sequence of study agreed upon between a secondary and postsecondary consortium. Tech Prep programs have a common core of proficiency in math, science, communication and technology. The design is 2+2 or 4+2: 2+2 meaning 2 years of secondary school plus 2 years in a postsecondary institution, or 4+2, meaning all 4 years of high school, and 2 years in a postsecondary institution. "Career Academies" are high school-level school-within-school programs that offer career-related curricula based on a career theme, academic coursework and work experience through partnerships with local employers. Twenty-nine states indicate a focus on or access to Tech Prep programs, and three states indicate the use of career academies.

Why does it matter?

  • An aligned sequence of study spanning high schools and postsecondary education helps to eliminate duplicative coursework.
  • Alignment of coursework between high school and postsecondary institutions helps to assure that course credits will transfer.
  • Methodology: This information was collected from state statutes, rules and regulations, and will be updated as new policies are enacted.

    Last updated: June 2008

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

Tech Prep or similar focus (2+2)
Alabama No
Alaska Statewide Tech Prep program consortium is funded by the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Improvement Act federal grant from the Alaska Department of Education and Early Development.
Arizona Yes, a Tech Prep program.
Arkansas Yes. State's program provides technical preparation in engineering technology, applied science, agriculture, health, business or mechanical, industrial or practical art or trade. Focus is to build student competence in mathematics, science and communications leading to employment placement.
California Yes, a Tech Prep program
Colorado No
Connecticut Yes
Delaware Yes. Tech Prep Delaware provides transition opportunities to all Delaware career and technical education students. Every public high school in the state has at least one articulation agreement. Postsecondary partners include two two-year and eight four-year colleges as well as the Delaware Department of Labor Apprenticeship Program. Tech Prep Delaware actively supports transition from secondary to postsecondary and from two-year programs to four-year programs.
District of Columbia
Florida Yes. A student is eligible for a Florida Gold Seal Vocational Scholars Award if the student meets general eligibility requirements for the Florida Bright Futures Scholarship Program, completes the secondary school portion of a Two-Plus-Two Program or a Tech-Prep program, and meets certain other criteria.

Florida has more than 400 career academies, which are research-based programs integrating a rigorous academic curriculum with a business/industry driven career curriculum. The academies connect high school studies to careers and postsecondary goals using focused career studies that lead to an industry certification, an associate's degree or a bachelor's degree.
Georgia No
Hawaii No
Idaho Yes, a Tech Prep program
Illinois Yes. State law also provides for a tax credit for cooperative secondary school youth vocational programs that are certified as qualifying Tech-Prep programs because the programs prepare students to be technically skilled workers and meet the performance standards of business and industry as well as the admission standards of higher education.

Vocational Academies Act specifies that a school district, in partnership with community colleges, local employers and community-based organizations may establish a vocational academy that is eligible for funding under the Act if the academy meets all of the following requirements:
  • Vocational academy must have a minimum 5-clock-hour day and be under the direct supervision of teachers
  • Vocational academy must be a two-year school within a school program for grades 10 through 12 that is organized around a career theme and operated as a business-education partnership
  • Vocational academy must be a career-oriented program that uses the direct involvement of local employers to provide students with an education and the skills needed for employment
  • Vocational academy must be a standards-based educational program that prepares students both academically and technically for entrance into postsecondary education or careers in a selected field
  • Curriculum of the vocational academy must be based on the Illinois Learning Standards, and work-site training must provide students with learning experiences for entry-level employment in the local job market and lifelong learning skills for higher education. 
Indiana Indiana's Tech Prep funds are now directed to the state's Career Academies. 
Iowa Statute was passed for the development and implementation of career academies designed to provide new career preparation opportunities for high school students that are formally linked with postsecondary career and technical education programs.  "Career academies" are defined as a program of study that combined a minimum of two years of secondary education with an associate degree or the equivalent career preparatory program. 
Kansas Kansas chose to merge Tech Prep monies into the Perkins IV Title I monies.
Kentucky Yes. The general assembly set up a School-to-Careers System that serves as an umbrella for career-related programs in the public schools, including school-to-work, tech-prep, and High Schools That Work initiatives. The program provides matching funds to school districts or consortia of school districts for the development and implementation of comprehensive plans that include several specifically outlined aspects.
Louisiana No
Maine No
Maryland Almost every Maryland career and technology education program of study is a Tech Prep program.
Massachusetts No
Michigan Yes, a Tech Prep program
Minnesota Yes, a Tech Prep program
Mississippi Yes.  The state created the Tech-Prep Fund for implementing Tech-Prep programs in grades 7 through 12 and in the public community and junior colleges.  Funds are to be allocated for the following purposes:
  • Equip labs for hands-on classes in grades 7, 8 and 9
  • Implement application based teaching methodology in existing academic courses
  • Develop and implement articulation, integration and sequential course study plans in vocational and academic courses
  • Administer occupational tests
  • Implement and update career/educational plans for each student
  • Implement career centers for each school
  • Provide equipment upgrades to meet technology demands, staff development and teaching materials to implement application based methodology for each of the community college sites.
Missouri Tech Prep education in Missouri is an articulated two-year secondary and two or more year postsecondary education program that:
  • Integrates academic and vocational and technical instruction which utilizes work-based and worksite learning where appropriate.
  • Builds student competence in mathematics, science, reading, writing, communications, economics and workplace skills through contextual academics and integrated instruction in a coherent nonduplicative sequential course of study.
  • Provides technical preparation in at least one of the following:
    • Arts and Communications
    • Business, Management and Technology
    • Health Services
    • Industrial and Engineering Technology
    • Agricultural and Natural Resources
  • Leads to the completion of an associate or a baccalaureate degree, postsecondary certificate, or two or more year apprenticeship program in a specific career field.
  • Leads to placement in related employment or to further education.
Montana Yes, a Tech Prep program
Nebraska Yes. Primary objective is to prepare secondary students to enter postsecondary component of their program of study remediation free. The program uses the Nebraska Coordinating Commission for Postsecondary Education Dual Enrollment Standards as a guide for establishing articulated programs of study.
Nevada No
New Hampshire Yes, high school to community college in career cluster areas linked by a career pathway program of study.
New Jersey Some of the districts in the state offer tech prep programs.
New Mexico Yes, a Tech Prep program
New York No
North Carolina Yes, a Tech Prep program
North Dakota No
Ohio Yes, there are 36 career academies throughout the state, in both urban and suburban areas.  They often build on the efforts of Tech Prep and High Schools That Work.
Oklahoma Cooperative Alliances initiative between Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education and the Oklahoma Department of Career and Technology Education expands postsecondary access through an established credit-transfer process.  Students begin a college transcript in 11th grade, connecting their high school studies to their postsecondary goals.  The state's Tech Prep goal is to increase the number of the state's CTE students who complete high school with college credit, pursue and complete a post-secondary credential, an industry recognized certificate or degree and are employed in the field in which they were prepared. The program is aligned with two years in high school and two years in community college. 
Oregon Tech Prep has been incorporated into the redesign of Oregon career and technical education and is schools with a career and technical education program are required to have Tech Prep in the program of study.
Pennsylvania Yes, a Tech Prep program
Rhode Island No
South Carolina Yes, Tech Prep is available through the regional education centers.
South Dakota No
Tennessee No
Texas Yes.  A tech-prep consortium, which is a regional collaboration of school districts, institutions of higher education, businesses, labor organizations and other participants work together to effectively implement a regional tech-prep program which combines at least two years of secondary education with at least two years of postsecondary education in a nonduplicative, sequential course of study based on the recommended high school program adopted by the state board of education.  The program of study should:
  • Integrate academic instruction and vocational and technical instruction
  • Use work-based and work-site learning where available and appropriate
  • Provide technical preparation in a career field such as engineering technology, applied science, a mechanical, industrial or practical art or trade, agriculture, health occupations, business or applied economics
  • Build student competence in mathematics, science, reading, writing, communications, economics, and workplace skills through applied, contextual academics and integrated instruction in a coherent sequence of courses
  • Lead to an associate degree, two-year postsecondary certificate or postsecondary two-year apprenticeship with provisions for students to continue toward completion of a baccalaureate degree
  • Lead to placement in appropriate employment or to further education.
Utah No
Vermont No
Virginia Yes, a Tech Prep program
Washington Yes, Tech Prep and other similar programs
West Virginia No
Wisconsin No
Wyoming Dual or concurrent enrollment courses in Wyoming are prevalent.  Seventy percent of the dual enrollment courses are in career and technical education. The title "Tech Prep" will not be used after this school year; however, the concept continues in the five-year plan under Programs of Study between secondary and postsecondary institutions.

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