Adopting Plan for Increasing the Number of Students Obtaining Industry Certification and Licensures
Resolution Number 2008-40
September 25, 2008
The Board of Education adopts the plan for increasing the number of students obtaining industry certification and licensures:
Plan for Increasing the Number of Students Obtaining Industry Certification and Licensures
Career and Technical Education (CTE) in Virginia is a national leader in the use of industry certification and licensure as credentials for CTE students at the secondary level. Because of our success in the use of industry credentialing, Virginia is one of only a few states that has been approved to use credentialing as a component to meet the federally-mandated technical assessment of students.
Since the Office of Career and Technical Education began collecting data on industry credentials in 2004 – 2005, we have steadily increased the number of credentials obtained by students (Table 1: State Report Card, Appendix A) and have surpassed the projected number of industry certifications for Virginia Performs (Table 2: Virginia Performs – Industry Certifications, Appendix A). Beginning in 2008 - 2009, individual school division industry certification attainments will be placed into a chart for an overall review of the state reports by industry credential type (i.e., industry certification, state licensure, and NOCTI tests).
Industry credentials earned by students are reported on Virginia's School Report Card that provides information on student achievement, accreditation, safety, and attendance for the state as a whole and for individual schools. In addition, Virginia's schools and school divisions may earn points in the Virginia Index of Performance program for continually increasing the number of industry certifications and licensures earned annually or relative to enrollment. The Virginia Index of Performance (VIP) is intended to measure the extent to which students are progressing towards advanced proficiency levels in reading, mathematics, science, and history and social science and on other indicators of school and student performance. It is an incentive program to encourage and recognize school accountability performance and competence to excellence.
Industry certification and licensure is highly visible within the proposed Virginia Standards of Accreditation. First, the Technical Diploma and Advanced Technical Diploma are designed to increase rigor in academic preparation as well as provide for Career and Technical Education assessments in the graduation requirements. Second, Governor Kaine requested and the State Board of Education has included in the proposed Standards of Accreditation the use of an Academic and Career Plan. Public hearings for the proposed new Standards of Accreditation are scheduled for October 2008. The Academic and Career Plan propose the same components as the Career Pathway Plans of Study that have already been developed through the Office of Career and Technical Education at the Virginia Department of Education in cooperation with the Virginia Community College System. Merger of the Academic and Career Plan and the Career Pathway Plans of Study will simplify implementation of the two requirements for school divisions. Local school divisions are required to develop Plans of Study for each Career Pathway that is offered through their Career and Technical Education programs. Components included in these plans of study are career assessment, academic preparation, electives, career and technical sequential offerings, industry certification and licensure, work-based learning opportunities, sample careers, and articulation among middle, secondary, postsecondary, and four-year education levels of instruction.
Another highlight for Career and Technical Education in Virginia are the Governor's Career and Technical Academies. These academies are programs designed to expand options for the general student population to acquire science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) literacy and other critical skills, knowledge, and credentials that will prepare them for high-demand, high-wage and high-skill careers in Virginia. Achievement benchmarks for the academies will include industry certification and licensure. There are seven academies this first year of implementation.
The Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act of 2006 (the Act of 2006) includes eight performance standards that state career and technical education programs are required to meet. One of the performance standards requires states to measure technical skills attainment of career and technical education graduates. The U.S. Department of Education, Office of Vocational and Adult Education, has approved Virginia's plan to continue utilizing the student competency records that are documented at the local level in combination with students obtaining an industry certification, licensure, or passing National Occupational Assessment Test Institute tests (NOCTI) which have been approved by the Virginia Board of Education for verified credit.
The plan for implementing this process is for local school divisions to test all career and technical education completers (students who complete a CTE program and graduate) by the year 2010 – 2011. The divisions will be adding one-third of their completers each year so the goal of 100 percent can be met by the 2010 – 2011 school year. Currently state dollars have been allocated through the 2009 – 2010 school year and Perkins allocations to local school divisions may also be utilized for this purpose. This supports Governor Kaine's goal for Virginia to elevate the levels of education preparedness and attainment for its citizens and the Virginia Index Performance program to measure this attainment. Technical assistance with this initiative will be provided through the Office of Career and Technical Education staff. The technical assistance will include workshops, on-site visits, and electronic communications.
The Virginia Department of Education, Office of Career and Technical Education (VDOE/CTE) continues to provide teacher training and industry certification through academies and/or virtual online training. If the VDOE/CTE does not provide an academy or virtual online training then local school divisions may utilize their Perkins dollars to support training and testing for the teachers. For those programs where a state licensure is appropriate for the student, current state teacher licensure regulations require the teacher to have this when employed.
Mark E. Emblidge, President
Board of Education
Adopted in the Minutes of the Virginia Board of Education
September 25, 2008