ACTE Techniques January 2012 : Page 24

PROGRAMS OF STUDy Developing POS via a Statewide Career-FoCused BY CATHERINE MOBLEy, CATHy HAMMOND, CAIREN WITHINGTON, SAM STRINGFIELD, NATALIE STIPANOVIC, JULIA L. SHARP, AND SAM DREW C 24 areer-focused education offered through programs of study (POS), career pathways and career and technical education (CTE) can provide students with opportunities to engage in career exploration and development, to establish career goals, to increase academic knowledge and skills, to test career preferences in applied settings, and to make links between coursework and postsecondary careers and education (Kalchick and Oertle, 2010; Stipanic, Lewis, and Stringfield, in press ). Given the potential of these types of education reforms, federal and state legislation has Techniques Januar y 2012 been enacted to foster their development. In 2005, South Carolina (SC) initi-ated a particularly innovative approach to career-focused education through the Education and Economic Development Act (EEDA). This legislative mandate, developed with the backing of the state’s business community, aims to improve student achievement and preparedness for postsecondary education and high-skill, -wage and -demand jobs. It does so through a focus on career awareness and exploration and the creation of locally relevant career pathways and POS. EEDA is one of the most compre-hensive career-focused school-reform mandates in the country. The state policy mandates that all schools and students participate in career-focused education, and it incorporates almost all of the com-ponents of the recently published Office of Vocational and Adult Education (OVAE) CTE design framework (OVAE, 2010), which includes the four core requirements for POS plus 10 components considered to be supportive to the development of POS. We are studying components of EEDA implementation most relevant to high schools, and investigating the influence of these components on students and POS development over a five-year period in a

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