Career Technical Education
Postsecondary career technical education is a legitimate and equal component in the mission and function of colleges and universities.
Many higher education institutions have extensive career technical education programs. These programs constitute a significant portion of student enrollment in two-year colleges. Enrollment in career technical education programs at four-year higher education institutions is also steadily increasing.
Growth in postsecondary career technical education has lead to problems that can compromise the integrity and quality of this type of education. Among the issues needing attention are the following:
- Education Goals. In an era of rapid technological change it is important that all students develop general literacy, computational skills, critical thinking, an ability to work in groups, and work ethic skills, as well as specific job skills. Career technical education students should be exposed to general education without sacrificing technical skill requirements.
- Contract Education. An increasing number of colleges are outsourcing instruction of career technical courses to private corporations and agencies. All credit and noncredit instruction should be controlled by the faculty of the college or university. All career technical programs should be administered within the established governance procedures of the institutions.
- Faculty Qualifications. The qualifications of career technical education faculty must be determined at the institutional level. Each institution should establish appropriate criteria for faculty positions, including minimum educational requirements, as well as recent and relevant practical experience.
- Transfer Programs. Career technical education programs are predominantly offered in two-year colleges. These programs are primarily designed to lead to the associate degree, certification, or other career technical degree. Processes must be established to facilitate transfer of career technical program requirements from community or technical colleges into the appropriate, related baccalaureate programs at the four-year level. Such programs require more flexible curricula, greater coordination between two-year and four-year institutions, more general academic courses, and improved counseling prior to enrollment for career technical students.
- Funding. The quality of career technical education programs depends upon the ability of faculty and students to work with the most current technology in their field of study. Career technical education programs must be supported by institutional investment and community partnerships, and should not be limited by budgeting procedures dependent on enrollments.