Rhode Island Expands Student Access to Career Technical Education Programs

New regulations on Career Technical Education (CTE) opportunities are planned to go into effect July for students to learn CTE skills aligned with industry standards, and enable students to earn credentials that will prepare them for postsecondary education and training programs for entry into challenging careers.

According to the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations Department of Education News Release, the Board of regents for Elementary and Secondary Education unanimously approved the regulations. Citing George D. Caruolo, Chairman of the Board of Regents, “A high-quality system of career-technical education is vital to the future of Rhode Island. One of our priorities on the Board of Regents is to make sure that career-preparation programs have the resources they need and that all students in our state have access to programs that will prepare them to enter the workforce – particularly in areas that will drive our economy in the 21st century.”

The purpose of the regulations are to establish a comprehensive and coherent Career and Technical Education System (CTE System) that provides students exposure to the world of work; offers students the opportunity to learn rigorous technical and career-based skills that are aligned to industry standards, and through the earning of credentials, prepare students for a seamless transition to postsecondary education and training programs and/or careers.

The regulations also say that the CTE System “Shall forge and maintain partnerships with higher education, technical training programs, workforce and economic development initiatives, and regional business and industry. Through these partnerships, the Rhode Island Department of Education (RIDE) will promote and systemically manage career pathways in critical and emerging industries and provide education and training programs that are responsive to the needs of students, business, industry and the regional economy.”

Elements of the CTE System include:

  • Career awareness programs
  • Career exploration activities such as internships, job-shadow programs, introductory career and technical courses
  • Career preparation programs that provide students with rigorous academic and technical training and include sequenced, non-duplicative courses that focus on skill development in a single career-based or occupational area, with the opportunity to earn industry-recognized credentials whenever applicable to the program, and/or postsecondary credits, and/or advanced standing in training programs or jobs. Career preparation programs can be a career program of study or a career innovation program (subject to RIDE approval).

Programs of study provide successful student transitions between secondary and postsecondary education. Learn more about programs of study and career pathways on our Web site at www.careertech.org.

Ramona Schescke, Member Services Manager

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