Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs at the secondary level need to receive approval from the Colorado Community College System’s (CCCS) CTE department to be eligible for federal Perkins grants and state Colorado Technical Act (CTA) reimbursement.  Approved CTE programs at the middle school level are not eligible for Perkins funding however, they can seek reimbursement through the CTA.

Secondary school program approval requirements include:

  • CTE programs must be able to show projected employment demand for the CTE program’s industry sector, as documented by Colorado Labor Data or verifiable local demand and through Colorado’s CTE Regional Needs Assessment process.
  • Instructors teaching in the program hold the appropriate CTE credential for the CTE program.
  • Programs must be of sufficient size and scope, which includes sufficient program length course sequencing, non-duplicative course offerings, and alignment to post-secondary learning opportunities.
  • Courses included in approved programs must provide instruction aligned to the state-approved competencies.
  • Students must have access to advanced learning through one or more of the following methods: Articulation Agreements, Concurrent Enrollment or Service Area Partnerships with Higher Education or Industry Training Providers
  • Providing leadership training opportunities for students by establishing and maintaining an appropriate Career and Technical Student Organization (CTSO)
  • Provide work-based learning experiences
  • Maintaining a Technical Advisory Committee assist education providers in planning, conducting, and evaluating their program curricula and operations.
  • Ensuring instruction in the safe use of facilities, equipment and materials is provided prior to the time students will use such facilities, equipment, and/or potentially hazardous materials.
  • Approved programs must assure and have strategies in place to ensure that no student is unlawfully discriminated against the basis of age, race, religion, color, national origin, sex/gender, pregnancy status, gender identity, sexual orientation, or disability. Nor are students denied an equal opportunity to benefit from occupational education solely on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, or disability

Middle School Program Approval Requirements Include:

  • Middle School CTE Programs must meet all the assurances listed in the sections above for Secondary CTE Programs with the exceptions of the following:
    • In career exploration wheel programs, all instructors must carry CTE credentials. Schools can meet this requirement by having one instructor in place with the appropriate credential from a CTE area included in the wheel and utilizing CTE credentials in other fields for additional instructors teaching wheel courses.
    • To be of sufficient size and scope, each middle school program must be designed to enable a student to seamlessly advance without unnecessary duplication of educational experiences to a high school approved CTE program
    • Middle School CTE programs are required to include within the curriculum of their approved programs intentional exposure to nontraditional careers within the cluster(s) and instruction in the knowledge and skills that can help overcome gender career stereotypes.
    • Programs must provide access to and assistance with the development of meaningful Individual Career & Academic Plans (ICAP) for each student. Students must have access to at a minimum one (1) appropriate Program of Study for continuation of the pathway(s) in a high school within the district.
    • Middle School CTE Programs are permitted to connect with their Secondary (High School) CTE Program to which the Program of Study aligns for advisory committee and CTSO activities

Detailed information and guidance on seeking approval for a Secondary or Middle School-level CTE program can be found in the Colorado CTE Administrator’s Handbook.

CTE Program Approval Resources

Approved CTE Program Resources

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