Career Clusters and Pathways

2011 PEER Educators’
CTE Career Pathway Plans of
Study: Development and
Secondary Components
Anne Rowe
Virginia Department of Education
Colonial Heights, Virginia
March 22, 2011
Why are we here?
Research tells us
the process of
moving between
institutions – the
transition itself – is
at the root of the
academic distress
of ninth grade.
Career Clusters and Pathways
Administrative Planning Guide
Career Planning Guide
RU Ready Magazine
The Virginia Education Wizard
Vocational Education
Career & Technical Ed.
*For a few students
*For all students
*For a few “jobs”
*For all “careers”
*6-7 Program areas
*In-lieu of Academics
*High School Focused
*16 Career Clusters
79 Career Pathways
*HS and College
The Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical
Education Act of 2006 provides for career
cluster/pathway programs of study to expand
connections between secondary and
postsecondary education through the
development and implementation of
“programs of study.” According to the Act,
programs of study must:
Incorporate secondary education and
postsecondary education elements;
Include academic and career and technical
content in a coordinated, non-duplicative
progression of courses; and
Lead to an industry-recognized credential
or certificate at the postsecondary level, or
an associate or bachelor’s degree.
These elements are included in the state
sample templates for all 79 pathways
available at
Career Clusters
Base student plans of study on individual
student career assessments of knowledge,
skills, and interest
Attain high academics
Make successful transitions
Align academic and technical skills with
employability skills
Create and enhance career development
opportunities and outcomes
Involve parents (PTA Resolution), business
and industry, and the school community
All CTE courses are aligned with one or
more career clusters and career pathways
within those clusters based on the skills
sets taught in the class.
Career Cluster and Career Pathway
alignments are listed in the Administrative
Planning Guide, the Career Planning
Guide, and CTERS Manual.
The foundational principle of career clusters/
pathways is that a set of knowledge and
skills are shared with other occupations in a
pathway and other pathways in a cluster:
 Cluster Level – academic and technical skills
and knowledge for all pathways within a cluster
Pathway Level – academic and technical skills
Career Specialties - full range of career
and knowledge within each pathway
opportunities within each pathway
The cluster level knowledge and skills are
correlated with Virginia’s Workplace Readiness Skills
Securities and Investments
Pathway K & S
Accounting Pathway K & S
Pathway K & S
Business Finance
Pathway K & S
Specific Skill Preparation
May Continue
Banking Services
Pathway K & S
Cluster Knowledge and Skills
Courtesy of Benson Consulting – July 2007
Adult Education Entry and Exit Points
CTE Website
Basic information on Virginia’s Clusters and
Pathways Initiative
A comprehensive Clusters/Pathways/POS/
ACP PowerPoint presentation
States' Career Clusters Initiative (SCCI)
States' Career Clusters Initiative website
Sample Plans of Study
To find the academic requirements for
graduation, go to the VDOE Web site, main
page, at and
click on Graduation Requirements in the
right sidebar.
Once there,
duation/index.shtml, click on one of the
diploma types listed (Note: The technical
diplomas have been delayed once again by
the General Assembly).
Academic and Career
Plan (ACP)
In December 2007, in a letter distributed
to all members of the Board of
Education, Governor Tim Kaine
requested that the revised Standards of
Accreditation contain provisions for each
middle and high school student to have
an academic career plan that aligns
academic and career goals with the
student’s course of study.
January 2008
 Board proposed changes to the SOA.
February 2009:
 The Board adopted final changes to regulations for
accrediting public schools in Virginia.
September 2009:
 The Board passed the Guidelines for the Academic
and Career Plan.
 May 7, 2010:
 General Assembly delays certain portions of the
revised SOA until 2011-2012, Superintendent’s
Memorandum #112.-10.
 Spring, 2011:
 General Assembly delays certain portions of the
revised SOA until 2012-2013 (pending official
Standards of Accreditation:
Overview of Academic and Career
Plan (ACP)
Academic and Career Plan
Beginning with the 2012-2013 academic
year, all schools shall begin development
of a personal Academic and Career Plan
for each seventh-grade student with
completion by the fall of the student’s
eighth-grade year.
Shall include, but not be limited to:
The student’s program of study for high
school graduation that is aligned with a
postsecondary career pathway and/or
college entrance;
Postsecondary career pathway based on
student’s academic and career interests;
The Board of Education has established guidelines for
development of the Plan.
NOTE: Any personal academic and career plans prescribed
by local school boards for students in grades 7-12 and in
effect as of June 30, 2009, are approved to continue
without further action by the Board.
Eight Regional Training Sessions were presented in the
spring, 2010, and multiple presentations have been
conducted for a variety of professional conferences and
school division in-service sessions. Webinars are
currently being planned for presentation.
ACP Technical Assistance Document
Sample Questions for Students
Resources and Policies
Case Scenarios (Implementation with all students)
December, 2009
December, 2009
December, 2009
Career Clusters in Virginia Website
Also includes:
• Virginia’s Career Resource Network
• Virginia Career VIEW
• Career Prospects (Trailblazers)
• KnowHowVirginia
States Career Clusters information at
Posters – Distribution at CTE Institute in August. If interested in additional
copies, you may contact Peggy Watson at the Virginia CTE Resource Center to
see if you may obtain those: [email protected] or 804-673-3778
r u ready? Magazine, Revised annually in the fall
Virginia’s Career Planning System--Virginia Wizard (in development)
•Youth Appealing resource
•Online and in print
•Sophomores in High School
•Plans for Life After High
•Educational Opportunities
in HS
•PDF Version on the CTE
Home Page
•Designed for 8th grade
parents to help with the
transition to high school
•Designed as a Folder for
HS Course Requests
•Web Sites
•Career Cluster
Classroom curriculum
companion piece to the
r u ready? Magazine
Download from CTE
web site or order from
CTE Resource Center
web site
Current Web site has Version 1.0 and 2.0
Skills Assessment
Job application and interview assistance
Career information
Postsecondary institutions information
Financial aid for further education information
Version 3 is NOW AVAILABLE and will allow
users to:
• Create and store academic and career plans
• Import career pathways to students academic
and career plans
• Create ad hoc Wizard reports on students and
ACP progress
Research shows that students who put a
career plan in place during their high school
years are 47 percent more likely to
complete postsecondary education.
We are helping students plan FOR LIFE, not
just for high school graduation!
Joseph Wharff
School Counseling Connections
Virginia Department of Education
(804) 225-3370
[email protected]
Lolita B. Hall
CTE State Director
Anne Rowe
CTE Coordinator
804 225-2838
[email protected]
[email protected]
George Willcox
CTE Coordinator
804 225-2839
[email protected]
Virginia Department of Education
P. O. Box 2120
Richmond, Virginia 23218-2120
CTE Website:

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