CETE assists in revision of Career Field Technical Content Standards

CETE is assisting the Ohio Department of Education (ODE) in the revision of Ohio’s Career Field Technical Content Standards (CFTCS). CETE began working with ODE on the current standards revision process in 2012. Since then, CETE has assisted ODE in the revision of standards of the following career fields: Construction Technologies, Engineering and Science Technologies and Manufacturing Technologies, Health Science, Information Technology, Law and Public Safety, Transportation Systems, Arts and Communications, and Agricultural and Environmental Systems. CETE’s role in the revision of the Ohio CFTCS includes planning and coordinating the project, researching relevant labor market data, tracking state and national documents, and assembling panels of business leaders across each of the industry sectors.

The involvement of subject matter experts, including educators, is critical to the completion of the revision of the CFTCS. The process begins with a “futuring” panel for each career field, which brings together key business and industry representatives from across the state to advise ODE on trends impacting those career fields. Participants are asked to share their perceptions on changes in the workplace, employment trends, changes in technical skill requirements, needed workplace readiness skills, and available industry‐recognized standards and credentials. This feedback is used to develop and streamline the standards document into what is most demanded by the labor market.

For each career field, process experts (CETE staff members) and subject matter experts (ODE consultants and secondary career-technical education [CTE] teachers) come together to write standards to reflect what secondary students need to know before entering the labor market or postsecondary education. Several writing meetings are held for each career field during which CETE staff members facilitate the writing and revising of the standards while ODE consultants and CTE teachers discuss and dictate the correct content and language.

Once ODE and CETE feel that the standards reflect what secondary students need to know before entering the labor market or postsecondary education, the standards are sent to the Ohio Board of Regents (OBR) for review under the Secondary Career‐Technical Alignment Initiative (SCTAI). The goal of the SCTAI is to develop new statewide Career‐Technical Assurance Guides (CTAGs) for secondary career‐technical institutions using the combined process of OBR’s CTAG development process with ODE’s CFTCS development process. The result of this collaboration is a tighter alignment between secondary career‐technical and postsecondary content and the development of pathways that encourage college attendance and increase statewide postsecondary options for career-technical students. For more information on CTAGs and opportunities for statewide postsecondary articulated transfer credit, visit student‐transfer.ohiohighered.org.

A diverse group of Ohio business and industry representatives participate in panels to rate the importance of the work‐related competencies in the draft standards document. Drawn from various sectors and regions of the state, the panels identify what employees should know and be able to do in a given career field. Secondary and postsecondary education representatives participate on the panels to gain an understanding of the standards development process as well as provide their perspectives to the business representatives, when needed.

After business and industry representatives validate the standards, ODE and CETE review the standards and make sure no additional changes are needed before finalizing the standards document. The final standards document is then published to ODE’s website at education.ohio.gov.

Contributor: Alicia Willis