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» Technical Skill Attainment

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A Program of Study is a set of aligned programs and curricula that begin at the high school level and continue through college and university certificate, diploma and degree programs. Essentially, a Program of Study is an academic and career plan. 

Rigorous Programs of Study

The Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act of 2006 (Perkins IV) calls for states to offer “career and technical programs of study,” which may be adopted by local educational agencies and postsecondary institutions, as an option to students (and their parents as appropriate) when planning for and completing future coursework. These programs, at a minimum, must:
  • Incorporate and align secondary and postsecondary education elements,
  • Include academic and CTE content in a coordinated, non-duplicative progression of courses,
  • Offer the opportunity, where appropriate, for secondary students to acquire postsecondary credits, and
  • Lead to an industry-recognized credential or certificate at the postsecondary level, or an associate or baccalaureate degree. Each local recipient of Perkins funds must offer at least one career and technical Program of Study.

To help states and local recipients meet these requirements, the Office of Career, Technical, and Adult Education (OCTAE), in collaboration with major national associations, organizations, and states, have formulated a Program of Study design framework. The framework identifies a system of 10 components that, taken together, support the development and implementation of effective programs of study. Although all 10 components are important, they are neither independent nor of equal priority: State and local program developers must identify the most pressing components for state or local adoption, taking into consideration their relative need within their educational context.

Resources for Administrators

Programs of Study for College and Career Guidance

Career Pathways, Programs of Study, and Technical Skill Assessment

For additional information on how Minnesota is addressing career pathways, programs of study, and technical skill assessment state-wide, contact Jeff Miller, Career and Technical Education Pathways Director, at or (651) 201-1661.