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Secondary, Career, and Adult Learning Division
California Department of Education
December 1, 2010
This report is dedicated to Jack O’Connell, State Superintendent of Public Instruction, and Susan Wilbur, Director of Undergraduate Admissions for the University of California.
For nearly a decade, these two visionary and inspirational leaders have encouraged and supported the development of rigorous and relevant college preparatory high school courses that seamlessly integrate academic and career technical education (CTE) standards. In just the past eight years, their efforts have achieved unprecedented and extraordinary results—the approval of over 8,000 highly rigorous CTE courses that meet the “a-g” subject requirements of both the California State University and the University of California.
While both Superintendent O’Connell and Director Wilbur are retiring this year from their positions in public education, the legacy of their pioneering and transformative efforts will continue to benefit California’s students, high schools, and public university systems for many years to come.
With great respect and admiration, the authors of this report, dedicate this report to their vision, leadership, and dedication.
The primary purpose of this report is to determine how many career technical education (CTE) courses meet University of California (UC) “a-g” admission requirements. The author utilized the UC Web site and reviewed 1,283 comprehensive and alternative high schools’ “a-g” admission lists. The findings in this report should provide significant guidance to key audiences including policy makers, district administrators, school site personnel, UC staff, California Department of Education (CDE) staff, and other educators who are interested in “raising expectations through rigor and relevance” by means of integrating career technical education courses.
One of the major obstacles encountered by the researcher was trying to determine whether or not a specific course was actually taught by a CTE teacher. In the areas of Agriculture Education and Home Economics Careers and Technology, courses are tracked by those disciplines within the CDE and, therefore, are by-and-large taught by CTE teachers. However, in the areas of Art, Media and Entertainment, Business Education, Health Careers, Industrial and Technology Education, and Other Industry Sectors no such tracking occurs via course titles. The researcher relied on CTE subject matter consultants within the CDE to determine if a CTE teacher could teach a given course found in this report.
Special thanks to the CDE and the UC staff, consultants and administrators who provided technical support and assistance to this report:
Agriculture Education Jack Havens 909-869-4496
Art, Media and Entertainment Jack Mitchell 916-319-0504
Business Education Kay Ferrier 916-323-4747
Health Careers Cindy Beck 916-319-0470
Home Economics Careers and Technology Melissa Webb 916-323-5025
Industrial and Technology Education Clay Mitchell 916-445-5568
ROC/P’s Michelle Oliveira 916-319-0675
Intersegmental Relations Office Joe Radding 916-323-5635
Project Lead The Way (PLTW) Judith D’Amico 916-852-1634
Private Schools Hannah Frankel 510-987-9636
UC CTE Course Approval Process Nina Costales 510-987-9570
Office of the Director Irene Castorena-Krueger 916-327-5055
Lastly, special acknowledgement to: Jack O’Connell, State Superintendent of Public Instruction; Deborah Sigman, CDE Deputy Superintendent of the Curriculum, Learning, and Accountability Branch; Dr. Patrick Ainsworth, CDE Assistant Superintendent and Director of the Secondary, Career, and Adult Learning Division; Sue Wilbur, UC Director of Undergraduate Admissions; Don Daves-Rougeaux, UC Associate Director of Undergraduate Admissions, Articulation and Eligibility; Nina Costales, UC Articulation Analyst; and Hannah Frankel, UC CTE Administrative Analyst; for their efforts in encouraging and promoting the practice of “raising academic expectations” through rigorous and innovative CTE courses.
Any inquiries about this report should be directed to Dr. Lloyd McCabe, Education Programs Consultant, Secondary, Career, and Adult Learning Division at (916) 445-1710 or by e-mail at email@example.com.
Evolution of Career Technical Education Courses Meeting University of California Admission Requirements
The genesis of CTE courses meeting UC admission requirements started with the passage of Senate Bill 813 (The Educational Reform Act of 1983). This educational legislation ignited a flurry of reform within the high school educational community by mandating specific graduation requirements in English, history, science, mathematics, fine arts/or foreign language, and physical education. Unfortunately, CTE courses were not part of the high school graduation requirement reform movement. However, the Legislature provided a provision within the California Education Code (EC) that stipulated local education agencies (LEAs) were to provide alternative methods for students to meet mandated graduation requirements. EC Section 51225.3(b) states:
“The governing board, with the active involvement of parents, administrators, teachers, and pupils, shall adopt alternative means for students to complete the prescribed course of study which may include practical demonstration of skills and competencies, supervised work experience or other outside school experience, career technical education classes offered in high schools, courses offered by regional occupational centers or programs, interdisciplinary study, independent study, and credit earned at a postsecondary institution. Requirements for graduation and specified alternative modes for completing the prescribed course of study shall be made available to pupils, parents, and the public.”
The passage of this EC Section allowed CTE educators to design integrated courses that could meet graduation requirements in many of these mandated academic areas. During the same timeframe, State Superintendent of Public Instruction Bill Honig called on all educators to “raise academic expectations” within their curriculum. This clarion call to action by Superintendent Honig solidified the notion within the vocational educational community that CTE teachers should infuse and reinforce academics within their respective courses. In 1990, with the reauthorization of the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act, academic integration of CTE courses would become a cornerstone of this federal initiative.
While the record is not entirely clear, the first known CTE courses to meet UC admission requirements came from two agriculture programs located in the San Joaquin Valley. Exeter High School submitted a Plant & Animal Physiology course that was approved to meet the "d” or laboratory science requirement in 1983. Chowchilla Union High School received a Specialized Secondary Program (SSP) grant from the CDE with the focus of developing and submitting three courses in Agriculture & Physical Science, Plant Botany, and Animal Physiology, which were approved to meet the "f" or elective admission requirement in 1985.
In 2003, State Superintendent of Public Instruction Jack O’Connell became the first state official to openly urge CTE educators to develop rigorous, standards-based CTE courses that could meet UC admission requirements. Superintendent O’Connell’s encouragement has led to the dramatic increases of CTE courses meeting UC “a-g” admission requirements that have been witnessed at this time.
University of California’s Role in Fostering Innovative Career Technical Education Courses that Meet University of California Admission Requirements
In 1999, the Governor’s School-to-Career Advisory Council commissioned the UC a-g Interactive Guide Project to underscore the importance of simultaneously preparing high school students both for careers and postsecondary education. With approval from the Interagency Partners the initial phase of the project was funded through a contract awarded to the University of California Office of the President (UCOP) by the School-to-Career fiscal agent of the Employment Development Department (EDD). A few years later, with the sunset of School-to-Career funds, the project became funded by the CDE using Carl Perkins funds. These funds were the primary funding source for the project, up until 2008. Presently, the Project is funded with SB 70 CTE funds until 2013.
The a-g Guide Project was originally designed to make the “a-g” course approval process more transparent and efficient by clarifying criteria and offering a variety of tools, resources, support, and assistance to California high school educators who seek “a-g” approval for their courses. After many years of operation, the project has proved its value and has received strong endorsements from secondary schools, UC admissions staff, the UC Board of Admissions and Relations with Schools (BOARS) and CDE. The project continues to operate, keeping the a-g Guide Web site current with changing information, adding resources in new areas of development and/or school reform, providing targeted workshops to those seeking assistance, and more.
More recently, the state has embarked on an ambitious agenda to support and expand the development of career technical education opportunities within schools. Initiatives such as workforce innovation partnerships, the expansion of California Partnership Academies, ROC/Ps and Tech Prep programs, the adoption of State Board of Education approved CTE standards (2005) and curriculum framework (2007), and CTE-related legislation (e.g., SB 1543, SB 70, AB 2648 and others) have combined to place greater attention on issues related to the development and expansion of “a-g” courses that include an academically rigorous CTE component.
Since the 2001-02 year, the number of CTE courses accepted for “a-g” approval has increased dramatically. In 2001, UC had approved just 258 CTE courses. Today, over 7,600 CTE courses are approved to meet UC “a-g” Admission requirements or about 32.4 percent of the 23,600 CTE courses offered in California schools. Moreover, it is expected that the number of approved CTE courses will continue to climb. Pursuant to SB 1543 (2006), UC has developed model uniform academic standards for CTE courses to provide more guidance to teachers and administrators who want their CTE courses approved by UC.
The long range goal of the Project is to continue to operate and keep the a-g Guide Web site current by adding resources to strengthen and communicate the course review process. In addition, UC is utilizing a multi-pronged approach to more fully integrate academically rich and rigorous career technical education courses into the classroom. This three-part strategy includes: (1) expanding the availability of academically rigorous CTE curriculum by developing industry-specific model courses for statewide use that meet “a-g” admission requirements; (2) providing workshops, web-based tools and other forms of assistance, such as the Curriculum Integration Pilot Program and the Cadre of Experts, to those seeking help related to the development and submission of courses for “a-g” approval; and (3) ensuring rapid and consistent approvals of academically rich CTE courses so that more CTE classes meet the approval of the University for its “a-g” admission requirements in all explicable academic subject areas.
The Trend of Career Technical Education Courses Meeting University of California Admission Requirements
The California Department of Education has been tracking the number of CTE courses that meet UC admission requirements over the last nine years. Based on this tracking, there has been a dramatic increase of the number of CTE courses meeting UC “a-g” admission requirements. The data below supports this assertion:
School Year A2 = AG BUS HC HE IT OT AE
2010-11 8389 = 1090 959 933 248 628 779 3752
2009-10 7650 = 1049 854 847 234 508 686 3472
2008-09 6509 = 908 707 783 180 452 341 3138
2007-08 5614 = 842 532 709 182 397 198 2754
2006-07 4705 = 781 491 629 148 365 10 2281
2005-06 4021 = 667 408 575 120 314 03 1934
2004-05 3336 = 544 358 522 99 1813* NR NR
In relationship to all UC approved courses and all academic and CTE courses available in the comprehensive high school, the following trends emerge:
School Year A2 B2 C2 D2 E2 F2
2010-11 8389 NA NA NA NA NA
2009-10 7650 23,600 32.4% 588,069 255,447 43.4%
2008-09 6509 25,752*** 25.3% 596,128 252,348 42.3%
2007-08 5614 25,752*** 21.8% 690,649 249,708 36.1%
2006-07 4705 24,580*** 19.1% 722,440 219,708 30.4%
2005-06 4021 24,370*** 16.5% 697,121 215,569 30.9%
An analysis of the above data reveals a dramatic percentage increase over the number of CTE courses that have been approved to meet UC “a-g” admission requirements.
A2 = Total number of CTE courses that meet UC “a-g” admission requirements during that year
B2 = Total number of CTE courses taught during that year in high schools
C2 = Percent of all CTE courses that are UC approved
D2 = Total number of academic, specialized, and CTE courses taught during that year
E2 = Total number of UC approved courses in all subject areas in high schools
F2 = Percent of all high school courses that are UC approved
NA= Not Available
NR= Not Recorded
AG = Number of UC Approved Agriculture Education Courses
BUS = Number of UC Approved Business Education Courses
HC = Number of UC Approved Health Career Courses
HE = Number of UC Approved Home Economics Careers & Technology Courses
IT = Number of UC Approved Industrial & Technology Education Courses
AE = Number of UC Approved Arts, Media & Entertainment Courses
OT = Number of UC Approved Other CTE Sector Courses
* IT & AE courses were combined
** Only agriculture courses were tracked during those years
*** Does not include all CTE courses in the industry sector of Arts, Media & Entertainment
|California Career Technical Education Model Curriculum Standards||University of California San Francisco, School of Medicine, Howard Hughes Medical Institute|
|Education bsee and msee in Computer Science from the University of California, Berkeley. Expertise||Ba (high honors, 1965), University of California, Davis, ca (Philosophy) 1961-1965 Freiburg University, Freiburg, Germany, (German and Philosophy) 1963-1964 ma|
|George R. Rossman Division of Geological and Planetary Sciences, California Institute of Technology 170-25 Pasadena, California 91125, U. S. A. Rory O. Moore||University of Southern California|
|University of California, Davis||California State University, Northridge|
|University of california at san francisco||University of california, san diego|