While education is sometimes accused of not adapting to change, in reality considerable effort and resources are being applied to revising and updating programs and creating new programs to meet the skill requirements of the workplace. Following the Great Depression and World War II, junior high students were required to enroll in courses that emphasized self-sufficiency skills. Boys were required to participate in "industrial arts" and girls in "home economics" courses. With the passage of Title IX and the reduced stereotyping of adult roles, students were required to earn one unit of credit in either home economics or industrial arts.
Dramatic changes occurred in the workplace during the last half of the twentieth century. In 1950, 60 percent of jobs required a high school diploma or less, 20 percent required two years of post-secondary technical training, and 20 percent required a four-year college degree. By the year 2000, less than 15 percent of the job market required a high school diploma or less, 65 percent required two years of post-secondary technical training, and the percentage of jobs requiring a four-year degree remained at 20 percent.
The advancement of technology created drastic changes in the job market. The influence of technology can be found in virtually every aspect of our lives. Many of the jobs in existence now did not exist ten or even five years ago. U.S. companies now operate in an international economy that creates greater competition at home and abroad. The skills needed to get and keep a job are continually changing, and all workers will face a need to be lifelong learners.
In the late 1980s, the career exploration emphasis of the junior high CTE core requirement led to the development of a single course, which was broadened to include exploration activities from the fields of agriculture, business, information technology, marketing, and health occupations. The new course, known as Career and Technical Education Introduction or CTE Intro (formerly Technology, Life and Careers or TLC), was adopted by the State Board of Education as a required Core course for all students, and taught in the seventh grade. Over a period of several years, it was implemented in every junior high/middle school in the state.
CTE Introduction was typically taught by a team of three teachers and a professional school counselor who delivered specific life/career development activities. Through this activity-centered curriculum, students were exposed to Career Pathways in the following content areas:
The middle school years are a time of exploration and discovery. Students need experiences that will broaden their horizons. Many career opportunities are not visible to students in the communities in which they live. Relationships between interests, skills, education, and career possibilities are obscured by students’ limited experience base and the lack of effort either at home or in school, or both, to illustrate or establish linkages. The CTE Introduction course afforded students a rich opportunity to explore and expand on self-understanding, to expand understanding of career possibilities related to interest, and to develop knowledge and skills for making more prepared career choices.
In 2013, as parents, legislators, Board members, CTE directors and CTE specialists reviewed the CTE Introduction program it became apparent that a full program change was in order. During the 2013-14 school year, a team of more than 30 teachers, school counselors, CTE directors and CTE specialists were assembled to review the strengths, weaknesses and gaps in the current CTE Introduction curriculum and program. From those meetings, a new direction began to surface for the program. To make the needed changes, a new course name and stronger career focus on currently and emerging careers was needed. The course name of College and Career Awareness was chosen for the new course. This title also supported the College and Career Readiness program from the Comprehensive Counseling and Guidance program.
In the 2014-15 school year, teams of teachers were pulled together to take the work from the previous year and create new standards, objectives, and indicators along with a new focus and structure for the College and Career Awareness class. A more equal representation of all program areas along with a new dimension of project-based learning arose. New lesson plans were written. A new configuration of how this curriculum would be presented was formulated.
Regional professional developments were presented from January 2015 through May 2015 that included an instructional overview, project-based learning concepts, infused math and literacy concepts into the lesson plans and new Career Development Applications. In June 2015, an additional three days of professional development shared demonstrations and instruction on all program area curriculum.
During the 2015-16 school year, there will be state wide implementation of the new program and curriculum. Input from teachers will be gathered as the year progresses and the curriculum will then be finalized. It is an exciting time to refocus on the career opportunities and for the future of young people across Utah.
New schools will run the full program for a year before receiving funding as funding is allocated based on the previous year seventh grade enrollment in the program. The Assurances and End of Year Summary should be completed during this first year of the program to document compliance with the program requirements.
In order to receive state CTE funding, the local education agency (LEA) CTE director must annually submit a Funding Application with Proposed Budget for the coming year. The application identifies that the school and district are committed to meeting all assurances of the College and Career Awareness program. The Funding Application and Proposed Budget is due to the Utah State Board of Education (USBE) June 1 of the year.
Note: Applications that receive a not met rating on any section will be disapproved for funding the following year.
In order to receive state College and Career Awareness funding, all junior high/middle schools providing the 7th Grade College and Career Awareness program must annually submit a College and Career Awareness End of Year Summary due to Utah State Board of Education (USBE) June 1 (no earlier than May 15) each year.
In order to receive state CTE funding, all junior high/middle schools providing the College and Career Awareness program must annually submit a College and Career Awareness End of Year Summary due to the USBE by June 1 (no earlier than May 15) each year.
End of Year Summary
Note: The state specialist will review the End of Year Summary annually.
New schools will run the full program for a year before receiving funding as funding is allocated based on the previous year seventh grade enrollment in the program. The year prior to application for funding, the full program must be offered in the seventh grade meeting program requirements.
Early in the school year prior to application for funding, an onsite visit (when possible) with teachers, counselors, and administration in the school is required. This is an opportunity to clarify questions and make sure that everyone understands the requirements of the program and teacher qualification requirements.
An application for the College and Career Awareness program is also required. This application notifies the state Career and Technical Education department of the intent of the school to apply for funding June 1st.
College and Career Awareness offers exploration and preparation in College and Career Pathways focusing on jobs that are high skill and high demand, as well as satisfying and financially rewarding. The College and Career Awareness course is designed to help students identify their interests, abilities, and skills. With appropriate developmental information related to careers, educational Pathways, and self-knowledge, students are able to begin to make college and career goals for the future. College and Career Awareness is designed to acquaint students with the Utah labor market and the employment opportunities for which they can prepare by defining a College and Career Ready Plan.
This information is intended for use by eligible school districts and charter schools within the state of Utah. Applications are required and due June 1 of each year.
College and Career Awareness applications must be submitted on the approved form and must conform to submission deadlines.
In order for a district to participate, it must identify schools and College and Career Awareness team members that:
All allocations will be based upon schools meeting and continued compliance with the program standards.
Funding allocations are based on the annual state allocations and the following student enrollment counts for the previous year seventh grade students:
As a new school does not have students from the previous year to generate funding, the first year of the program is not funded, but generates funding for the following years.
Each school is responsible to submit the Funding Application and Proposed Budget for funding by June 1st each year. Funding is not ongoing without the funding application submission annually.