NRCCTE Launches First National Programs of Study Institue

NRCCTE Launches First National Programs of Study Institue

Louisville, KY

To assist states in addressing barriers to the implementation of federally mandated Programs of Study (POS), the National Research Center for Career and Technical Education (NRCCTE) at the University of Louisville is launching its first National POS Institute, a six-month program of research-based technical assistance intended to support states in improving the quality of career and technical education (CTE) instruction provided to secondary and postsecondary students.

Up to five states selected through a competitive process will participate in the technical assistance, which will commence with a two-day meeting on February 6-7, 2012, to be held at the NRCCTE’s headquarters in Louisville, KY. Later national-level convenings of the National POS Institute will be held at the 2012 ACTE National Policy Seminar, March 5-7, and the 2012 Career Clusters Institute, June 18-20, held by the NRCCTE’s partner organization, the National Association of State Directors of Career Technical Education Consortium.

At the Louisville meeting, the NRCCTE will bring together evidence-based resources, including researchers from its portfolio of research studies on POS and other experts, to address the implementation barriers identified by states. The NRCCTE’s goal is to help states apply the results of research to the improvement of their programs. Over the remainder of the project, state teams will receive additional assistance from a national NRCCTE facilitator and an in-state facilitator.

“POS are a hallmark of the current Perkins legislation. Although the language about them is new to Perkins IV, the essential concepts have been part of CTE improvement efforts for decades. They contain elements of Tech Prep, School-to-Work, Career Education, and other efforts. Despite this, states continue to be challenged by their implementation,” said James R. Stone, III, Ed.D., Director of the NRCCTE.

The Institute follows in the footsteps of the NRCCTE’s evidence-based Math-in-CTE curriculum integration model, which began as a research study and launched nationally as a program of technical assistance and professional development in 2006. Nearly 30 states and large districts have since implemented the model.

Since 2007, the NRCCTE has sponsored five research studies of POS, including three ongoing longitudinal projects, with the goal of informing the field about how and under what conditions POS impact student engagement, achievement, and transition to postsecondary education and employment. The January 2012 issue of Techniques magazine, dedicated to POS, includes five articles by NRCCTE-affiliated researchers that feature some of the latest findings and updates from these studies. The NRCCTE’s POS studies include:

  • Programs of Study as a State Policy Mandate: A Longitudinal Study of the South
  • Carolina Personal Pathways to Success Initiative
  • Rigorous Tests of Student Outcomes in CTE Programs of Study• Mature Programs of Study: A Postsecondary Perspective
  • Programs of Study - A Cross-Study Examination of Programs in Three States
  • Six Stories About Six States: Programs of Study

To learn more about the NRCCTE’s research and technical assistance related to Programs of Study, visit the NRCCTE website at

Kirsten Sundell
Communications Director

Lauren Schultz
Research Center Coordinator

About the NRCCTE

The National Research Center for Career and Technical Education (NRCCTE) is the primary agent for generating scientifically based knowledge, dissemination, professional development, and technical assistance to improve career and technical education (CTE) in the United States. The NRCCTE works to improve the engagement, achievement, and transition of high school and postsecondary CTE students through technical assistance to states, professional development for CTE practitioners, and dissemination of knowledge derived from scientifically based research. The NRCCTE is currently funded by the Office of Vocational and Adult Education at the U.S. Department of Education.