Perkins V: How can states strengthen the career development continuum?

One of the significant changes in the Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act (Perkins V) was the removal of a restriction in Perkins IV that prohibited funding from supporting Career Technical Education (CTE) programs for students below the seventh grade. In Perkins V, this prohibition is replaced with a prohibition on funding below the “middle grades” (as defined in the Every Student Succeeds Act, which includes grades five through eight). Given this, states now have the flexibility to decide if and how Perkins V funds should be leveraged for CTE in the middle grades. Importantly, CTE in the middle grades can be an avenue for the improvement of the beginning of the career development continuum: career awareness. And with a stronger focus on career guidance and advisement throughout Perkins V through both planning and spending at the state and local levels, Perkins V also provides an opportunity to examine and improve efforts from career awareness all the way to career training. How can states strengthen the full career development continuum? Check out the reports and profiles below to learn more.

REPORT: Expanding Middle School CTE to Promote Lifelong Learner Success: To help states unpack the potential approaches to expanding and ensuring high-quality middle school CTE options, this report from Advance CTE examines state approaches to middle school CTE. The report concludes with major considerations for states when implementing or expanding middle school CTE.

REPORT: The State of Career Technical Education: Career Advising and Development: This report (and related infographic and webinar) features the findings from research that Advance CTE conducted in partnership with the American School Counselor Association about what’s working, and what isn’t, at the state and local levels in regard to career advising and development. Policy recommendations based on these findings are also included in the report.

FACT SHEET: CTE and Student Success Initiatives: This fact sheet from Advance CTE provides an explanation of why and how CTE and student success initiatives should be integrated to make both more successful.


  • Arkansas: College and Career Coaches: The Arkansas College and Career Coach program provides career counseling, financial guidance, and college and career supports to 7th-12th grade students in the state. The program reaches three out of every four students and has contributed to an increase in college-going rates.
  • Ohio: 2014 Education Reform Bill (HB487): Ohio’s HB487 is an expansive education reform bill, addressing a wide array of topics including career guidance, expanding CTE in the middle grades, graduation requirements and industry-recognized credentials.
  • Texas: San Jacinto College Pathways Project: San Jacinto College implemented a guided pathways model in 2015. This involved categorizing its 144 total degree and certificate programs into eight meta-majors that align with the 16 Career Clusters ®, as well as the Texas Legislature’s five endorsed career areas.

Looking for additional resources? Please be sure to check out the Learning that Works Resource Center.

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