Feds Approve Second Wave of Perkins Career and Technical Education State Plans

U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos announced this week the Department of Education has approved nine additional career and technical education (CTE) state plans. Georgia, Iowa, Michigan, Montana, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, Vermont, and Wyoming are the latest states to have their CTE plans approved under the new, bipartisan Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21stCentury Act (Perkins V), which was signed into law by President Donald J. Trump on July 31, 2018.

“Thanks to the president’s leadership, the new career and technical education law gives local leaders the flexibility to make investments in the highest impact areas of local need,” said Secretary DeVos. “We know many well-paying, in-demand jobs require CTE training but not necessarily a college degree and the associated debt. The coronavirus pandemic has certainly highlighted the need for all education to be tailored to meet each student’s unique needs, more nimble, and relevant to 21st century realities. High-quality CTE programs are a critical way to help learners of all ages and get our economy back up and running at full speed.”

Perkins V encourages states to expand opportunities for every student to access educational opportunities that will put them on the path to success. Each state crafted a plan to fulfill its promise of offering a robust CTE option for students following consultation with its key constituents representing education and workforce, business and industry, and parents and community partners.

The following are some of the noteworthy elements from each of the approved state plans. Additional details about each approved plan can be found on the Department’s website.


  • Expands intervention services to support middle and high school students with disabilities who are enrolled in its career, technical, and agricultural education (CTAE) programs.
  • Identifies and expands access to CTE programs for homeless students, foster care students, and students of military families.
  • Continues to approve CTE programs of study that are aligned to state and local needs assessments and labor market data.


  • Launches new and innovative methods for integrating competency-based instruction and assessment into all aspects of its CTE delivery system.
  • Expands access to teacher professional development to enhance work-based learning across the state through its multi-occupation coordinator (MOC) training program.
  • Expands college and career transition counseling to ensure high school students are supported in their career exploration and receive proper assistance in transitioning into additional education and training.


  • Provides free public access to career assessment tools and occupational profiles, job search techniques and interviewing skills, information on financial aid information and postsecondary institutions through a state website.
  • Leverages Talent Development Liaisons (TDLs) to engage employers and educators to identify needs of mid- and long-term talent development skills gaps in key industries across the state.
  • Requires postsecondary institutions to describe in their local grant applications how they will make CTE program information available to students, parents, and the community on its state Talent Connect website.


  • Requires dual enrollment and work-based learning opportunities through its state-level programs of study and new program quality data indicators.
  • Increases access for CTE in rural areas by implementing a consortia model to pool resources among secondary- and postsecondary-level partners.
  • Increases awareness of CTE and related educational and employment opportunities by providing supports and resources for career planning and guidance for students.

North Dakota

  • Increases awareness for its Transition to Teaching program that attracts industry professionals to the teaching profession.
  • Expands support for CTE programs that meet in-demand occupations aligned to its Workforce Development Council. Programs such as Operation Intern, TrainND, and Skilled Workforce Education Scholarships promote recruitment for in-demand careers across the state.
  • Includes a new program quality performance indicator in its student information system to promote quality work-based learning opportunities for students.


  • Extends career exploration into middle schools and provides improved information about the career opportunities available in its state.
  • Improves data literacy to inform equitable and continuous improvement in CTE with ongoing professional development to CTE stakeholders.
  • Fosters statewide stakeholder engagement by hosting regional public peer reviews for CTE plans and grant applications.

South Dakota

  • Ensures high school students graduate with the skills necessary to succeed in the workforce and/or postsecondary education while simplifying the process for schools through its reduced-tuition dual-credit program.
  • Provides scholarships in high-need workforce programs at its public technical colleges through a combination of private donations and state funding.
  • Incentivizes high school students to demonstrate career-ready skills by requiring schools to denote CTE endorsements on a student’s transcript and diploma.


  • Launches cybersecurity CTE programs of study in its participating regional CTE centers using the National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education (NICE) framework and corresponding curriculum.
  • Partners with its State Colleges System and Student Assistance Corporation to offer a bridge course that bolsters the essential math skills that students need to succeed in postsecondary CTE programs.
  • Leverages new partnerships among state education, commerce, and economic development agencies in its goals of building a cybersecurity workforce.


  • Aligns professional development requirements for its CTE teachers to those of all other teachers.
  • Incentivizes development of new and innovative CTE programs of study that align to its comprehensive local needs assessments.
  • Collaborates with its workforce council and Next Gen Sector Partnerships to promote career awareness through a Road Trip Nation production.

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