RULE 172.00.17-001 - Program Policies and Procedures for Career and Technical Education

RULE 172.00.17-001. Program Policies and Procedures for Career and Technical Education



A grouping of occupations and broad industries into a national classification of 16 clusters that are based upon common knowledge and skills. Career clusters include hundreds of occupations that may be grouped into pathways around which educational programs of study can be built.


The organizing structure for the 16 career clusters and 38 pathways. The fields represent the broadest aggregation of careers. Students are normally exposed to career field exploration in middle school and early high school.


An organization of related occupational areas within a specific career cluster. These pathways have identified knowledge and skills validated by industry from which programs and programs of study are developed.


A CTE program of study begins with the exploration of career options; supports basic academic and life skills; and enables achievement of high academic standards; high-skill high-wage employment preparation; and advanced continuing education. A program of study links secondary and postsecondary education and combines coherent and rigorous academic and technical education in a structured, non-duplicative sequence of aligned courses that progress from broad foundation skills to occupationally specific courses. A program of study may include opportunities for secondary students to acquire postsecondary education credits and leads to an industry-recognized credential or a certificate or degree at the postsecondary level.


A student who has completed three (3) Carnegie units of credit in grades 9-12 including all the required core courses in a career pathway of study and graduated from high school. If core classes are taught below ninth grade level, they may fulfill the course requirement for completer status, however three units must be taken during grade 9-12. See lists of courses and grade levels at which they may be taught in each area's section of this handbook.


Tangible, nonexpendable, personal property having a useful life of more than one year and an acquisition cost of $100 or more per unit.


Equipment and program specific supplies and software that are required for approval and operation of pathway program of study and foundation courses.


A student who is enrolled in a career and technical course during the reporting period.


Sustained, intensive, and focused opportunities for administrators, teachers, and faculty to foster POS design, implementation, certification and maintenance.


The use of "shall" in these regulations indicates that the activity is mandatory.


A. PROGRAM APPROVAL is reviewed annually. Programs granted approval status shall:

1. Follow all policies and procedures;

2. Participate in end-of-course assessment or approved substitute;

3. Meet or show improvement in documented performance indicators;

4. Remove all critical elements identified in technical assistance visits; and

5. Follow all required program guidelines.

Schools may offer for graduation credit, only career and technical classes approved by ARCareerEd.


The following items will be reviewed annually to maintain program continuation:

a) academic skill attainment,

b) technical skill attainment,

c) number of students completing career focus,

d) placement of students in postsecondary education,

e) placement of students in the workforce, and

f) non-traditional enrollment,

g) advisory council status,

h) career and technical student organization (CTSO),

i) critical elements from technical assistance visit,

j) any conditional item from previous year.


1. Grant awards shall be available for the exclusive purpose of purchasing equipment and program specific supplies, required training, assessment, and software to support newly approved career focus programs of study, foundation courses, expanded programs of study, and other career and technical related courses.

JAG new program start-up requests are accepted on a rolling basis as funds are made available. Awards are based on guidelines provided by the National JAG office and requirements of the funding source.

2. The factors used for determining both approval and the amount of the grant awards are contingent on:

a. funds available;

b. state priority;

c. labor market data;

d. rubric evaluation; and

e. proposed technical programs in local districts located within a 25 mile radius or within 30 minutes travel time (one way) of a technical career center offering the same program.

3. To be considered for funding, school districts and secondary technical centers shall submit a proposal for new program start-up by October 1 prior to implementation in the following school year.

4. The grant award(s) shall not exceed the cost of the start-up as established by ARCareerEd program standards.

5. The equipment, supplies, and software purchased with state funds authorized under the biennial appropriation for grants and aids to school districts (public school fund) shall be utilized only for the activities for which it was originally approved and purchased and shall not be used in any other fashion without prior written approval of ARCareerEd.

6. Reimbursement requests for new program start-up shall be submitted on the Form WE-4 to the state office at any time prior to the November 1 deadline. The request for reimbursement of state funds shall not exceed the amount of the grant award. Waivers may be given for the advancement of grant funds.

7. For new program start-up equipment and program specific supplies and software, it shall be the responsibility of the local school districts and secondary vocational centers to maintain and repair the equipment purchased with the State grant during its life cycle. After the life cycle (5 years), it shall become the property of the local school district and/or secondary technical career center.

8. ARCareerEd shall retain a vested interest in the equipment and program specific supplies and software purchased with new program start-up grants for their life cycle. At the discretion of the program coordinator, items shall be re-inventoried to another CTE program.

9. ARCareerEd will provide up-to-date equipment standards for each program and foundation course. Prior written approval shall be required for any item or expenditure not on the ARCareerEd program start-up list.

10. A request to restart a closed program shall be funded only if funds have not been granted within the last five (5) years. Under extraordinary circumstances, the CTE Deputy Director may grant approval at a reduced funding amount.



1. Each career and technical program shall have an active advisory committee or a school-wide advisory committee with representation from each program/career pathway.

2. The committee shall have appropriate, diverse representation of community, business/industry, and post-secondary partners. The committee shall meet twice annually and minutes, sign-in sheets, agendas, and any other supporting documentation shall be kept. District representation at the regional advisory council meeting will suffice for one of these.

3. The committees' functions should include program evaluation and technical assistance relating to program development, employment opportunities, skills requirements of the occupation, and specialized equipment acquisition.


1. Career focus programs of study make up the career and technical delivery system in these career clusters:

a. Agriculture, Food & Natural Resources

b. Architecture & Construction

c. Arts, A/V Technology & Communications

d. Business, Management & Administration

e. Education & Training

f. Finance

g. Government & Public Administration

h. Health Science

i. Hospitality & Tourism

j. Human Services

k. Information Technology

l. Law, Public Safety & Security

m. Manufacturing

n. Marketing, Sales & Service

o. Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics

p. Transportation, Distribution & Logistics

2. Each career focus program of study shall consist of foundation courses in grades 7 or 8 as defined by the Department of Career Education. A minimum of three (3) Carnegie units in grades 9-12, a career focus is required for a program of study in CTE. Approved programs shall offer a complete program of study on a two year rotational basis. Core courses shall be offered annually.

3. Approved program shall follow programs of study and guidelines established and identified in the supplemental program operational guides and approval of CTE Deputy Director and/or their designee. All changes to the operational guides shall go through a review process.

4. Schools that, due to local business and industry requirements or school improvement plans, find it necessary to modify career focus programs of study or core course requirements to meet the needs of the students by improving completion and placement may request a local modification.

The request:

a. shall document need and expected outcomes;

b. shall have input from postsecondary and industry representation;

c. shall be submitted to the Deputy Director of CTE; and d. shall not be initiated until written approval is received.


Upon completion of the eighth grade, each student shall have on file a four-year Career Development Portfolio, either hardcopy or electronic format, which includes secondary courses to be taken. At least two years of postsecondary education planning is recommended. The career plan shall be revisited each year for any necessary adjustments. Parents/guardians shall be involved in the education and career planning process, with signatures documenting involvement each year.


Class periods shall conform to the minimum class hours established by the Standards for Accreditation of Public Schools.


1. Class size shall conform to the Standards for Accreditation of Public Schools; however, enrollments may vary and will depend on the availability of equipment, tools, furniture, and instructional materials that support the program.

2. Additionally, program equipment requirements and safety conditions should be a consideration in establishing class size.


All concurrent credit courses offered for high school graduation credit (required 22 units) shall have approval and curriculum alignment from ARCareerEd.


Work based learning combines classroom instruction with alternating periods of on-the-job training in an occupation related to the student's career goal. Training sponsors are selected to coordinate the learning experiences provided on the job. Training plans are developed cooperatively by the teacher/coordinator and the training sponsor (employer) to ensure the development of required competencies. ARCareerEd Training Plan shall be completed for each student and submitted to the program area office annually. Students may be paid and shall be given academic credit.

Students shall be sixteen (16) years of age to meet labor law requirements.

Coordinator/teacher Supervision Periods

1. For off campus paid work based programs, coordinators will be assigned:

a. one supervision period for 1-25 students,

b. two supervision periods for 26-50 students, and

c. three supervision periods for 51 or more students.

The conference period may count as one of the three (3) supervision periods.

2. For students of Jobs for Arkansas Graduates (JAG), JAG Specialists will be assigned:

a. one supervision period for 1-15 students;

b. two supervision periods for 16-30 students; and

c. three supervision periods for 31 or more students.

The conference period may count as one of the three (3) supervision periods.


Local school districts and secondary technical area centers governing authority shall have the option of extending the length of C T E teachers' contracts beyond the minimum number of contract days required by the Standards for Accreditation of Public Schools.

Exception: State law requires twelve (12) -month contracts for agriculture teachers.


It is recommended that three (3) units per year be given-one (1) unit for the related class and two (2) units for the 270 per semester/540 per year hours of on-the-job training required.


Each teacher shall follow Arkansas curriculum/content frameworks for each course approved by ARCareerEd.


Facility requirements must meet Arkansas Department of Education guidelines ( Equipment requirements may be obtained from the appropriate program section and shall be met within the specified time for program approval.


The federal funds received through ARCareerEd must be used to improve CTE programs and services for students enrolled in the program. Federal rules and regulations along with the state's plan for the funds must be followed. Pertinent information regarding the federal CTE federal funds may be obtained through the Perkins Coordinator Manual and the Arkansas Five-Year Plan (posted on ARCareerEd's website) and through the U. S. Department of Education Office of Career, Technical, and Adult Education.


Foundation courses are those classes that encompass the skills and knowledge necessary to be successful in any selected career and technical program. These courses are prerequisite in nature and required for all career and technical program approvals as defined by the ARCareerEd.


Instructors shall attend ARCareerEd required training for program start-up and/or annual approval.


Information is necessary via various reports and shall be submitted by due date. Refer to program area operational guides for program-specific reports.


1. Occupational-specific programs at technical institutes, community colleges, or two-year colleges in which high school students are admitted (slot-ins) shall count toward meeting the Arkansas standards relating to the requirement for three units each of three occupation- specific career and technical programs.

2. A copy of the written contract (agreement) with the postsecondary institution shall be submitted to the Deputy Director for Office of Skill Development, ARCareerEd, by October 1 of each academic year.


The following programs of study must maintain accreditation by the National Automotive Technicians Education Foundation (NATEF):

a. Automotive Service Technology

b. Collision Repair Technology


1. Curriculum grades 9-12

Arkansas public schools are required to offer nine (9) units of CTE.

2. To meet Arkansas standards for accreditation, public schools shall provide students access to a minimum of one career focus program of study in three (3) different occupational clusters (offered annually).

Schools who do not offer these programs on campus may utilize public schools, secondary technical centers, or postsecondary institutions.

If occupational programs are offered off-site to fulfill the required three (3) occupational programs, the school must provide student transportation, sufficient time to complete a three-unit program of study, and sufficient effort to provide these opportunities to students. Students must be enrolled in the program to count toward the three (3) required.

3. Secondary schools utilizing off-campus options as a means for meeting curricula standards shall have on file with the Deputy Director for CTE a written agreement between both institutions as documentation to this effect before October 1 of each academic year. Schools having no students in attendance shall not meet this standard.


ARCareerEd provides end-of-course assessments for selected required courses of the CTE programs of study in which a related industry credential/certification is not available. Districts with students enrolled in any of the assessed courses shall be required to test students through the web-based assessment system. The assessment results, along with industry credentials/certification data, shall be used to guide program improvement. This combined data is used to determine achievement for the technical skill attainment performance indicator required by the federal Perkins Act and is published annually on the CTE School Report Card.


The career and technical student organization(s) (CTSO):

a. Shall be an integral part of the CTE program(s) offered in each school and shall follow the applicable guidelines, goals, objectives, and participate in activities of the appropriate state and/or national student organization for each program; and

b. Shall be supervised by career and technical personnel in the applicable occupational area.


ARCareerEd will continue to inform school administration of current policies regarding gender equity, discrimination and nontraditional training with the intention that these policies will be infused into the local curriculum and instruction. Onsite monitoring of selected programs is required by federal law. The Methods of Administration Office will visit secondary and postsecondary education institutions offering CTE courses as outlined in the state plan to monitor compliance with ADA, 504, IDEA, Title IX, and the Civil Rights Act rules and regulations, as defined by the federal government.



1. Integrated CTE Licensure

Arkansas Career and Technical teachers in the areas of (1) Agriculture and Science Technology, (2) Business Technology, (3) Family and Consumer Sciences, and (4) Industrial Technology Education will be licensed through the Arkansas Department of Education (ADE)

2. Driver Education Endorsement

Must complete Driver Education I, II, and First Aid (2 sem. hrs. each). The instructor must also complete all other steps required by Arkansas Department of Education (ADE) Educator Licensure Unit.


Instructors who desire to teach identified courses, which require specific training not offered through CTE approved programs of study, may receive added endorsement to an existing teaching license by completing the requirements identified for the following course specific-areas. Specific requirements for each course are found in the related section of the program policies and procedures for secondary career and technical programs.

Applications for these endorsements should be made to the Deputy Director for CTE, ARCareerEd. Following documentation of the completion of individual requirements, a recommendation will be made to ADE Professional Licensure section to add related endorsements.

a. Career Academy Endorsement (410) (grades7-12) and Keystone (grades 9-10)

b. Career Orientation (411) (grades 7-8) and Career Development Endorsement (418) (grades 4-8)

c. Career Preparation (412) (grades 7-12)

d. Career Services for Special Populations (413) (grades 7-12) Jobs for Arkansas' Graduates

1. Teacher Qualifications for Career Orientation or Career Development Endorsements (411 or 418)

a. Education - Career Orientation/Career Development teachers who are not certified counselors shall have a valid secondary or middle school teaching license or be enrolled in the non-traditional licensure program.

b. Endorsement - In addition to the licensing requirements, completion of the following coursework or the mentorship training program is required and shall be completed prior to teaching Career Orientation or Career Development a second year:

a. Three semester hours of "Methods of Teaching Career Development"


b. Mentorship Training Program

c. Complete an equivalent mentorship training program designed and approved by ARCareerEd under an approved model trainer.

d. Attend a Career Development New Teacher Endorsement Workshop provided by ARCareerEd.

Counselors who teach Career Development shall meet state licensing standards and the mentorship training program.

2. Teacher Qualifications for the Career Preparation Endorsement (412)

Education - The instructor shall maintain a valid 7-12 teaching license or be enrolled in the non-traditional licensure program.

Endorsement - The instructor shall:

a. Complete a mentorship training program designed and approved by ARCareerEd under an approved model trainer.


b. Complete approved coursework (Methods of Teaching Career Preparation) prior to the second year of teaching in this area.

c. Attend the Career Development New Teacher Endorsement Workshop provided by ARCareerEd.

3. Teacher Qualifications for JAG (413)

The JAG Specialist is to be secondary licensed in a CTE or core academic area and endorsed through the completion of program management training developed and approved by ARCareerEd.

It is strongly recommended that during the first year of operation the JAG Specialist be employed on a contract of a minimum of 215 days. It is also strongly recommended that during each subsequent year the Specialist be employed on a contract of a minimum of 225 days.

4. Teacher Qualifications for the Career Academy Endorsement (410) - Keystone

For new programs it is the school administrator's responsibility to assemble a team of visionaries to design the course. The team shall include qualified counselor(s), administrators and both academic and career and technical certified teachers. The goal of the team shall be to establish the local guidelines and content for the Keystone course.

Annual professional development shall be held during which time the process shall be revisited. Newly recruited teachers shall participate in evaluating and modifying the Keystone course with veteran team members.

Education - The Keystone instructor shall maintain a valid 7-12 teaching license or be enrolled in the non-traditional licensure program.

Endorsement - The Keystone instructor shall:

a. Complete or be enrolled in a mentorship training program approved by ARCareerEd under an approved model trainer to be completed before the end of the first semester of teaching Keystone.

b. Attend the Career Guidance New Teacher Endorsement Workshop provided by ARCareerED.

5. Teacher Qualifications for Integrated Academics Endorsement

A qualified teacher of Physics in Context/Principles of Technology shall:

a. Hold a valid teaching license, be licensed in Physical - Earth Science (A.Y.A.) in secondary education, or be licensed in physics or have physics approval.

6. A qualified teacher of Project Lead the Way (PLTW): Pre-Engineering and Gateway to Technology shall:

a. Hold a valid Arkansas teaching license

b. Complete the training for each of the specific courses to be taught.

A qualified teacher of Project Lead the Way (PLTW): Biomedical Sciences shall;

a. Have successfully completed at least two semesters of college-level biology with a laboratory and have experience in the techniques and methods of modern biology, molecular biology, or physiology

b. Complete the training for each of the specific courses to be taught.

A qualified teacher of Engineering Technology Education (ETE) shall:

a. Hold a teaching license in Industrial/Technology Education or hold a bachelor's degree and be certified in another area;

b. Be a certified teacher from another area may teach Engineering Technology Education with a passing score of 159 on the Praxis II Technology Education test;

c. Have two year's work experience in a trade, technical, or industrial area; and

d. A minimum of twelve credit hours or 180 clock hours in career and technical teacher education courses required (six hours of career and technical teacher education courses must related specifically to Industrial Technology).

7. Teacher Qualifications for Grade 5/6 Business Technology Endorsement (419)

The Grade 5/6 Business Technology Endorsement candidate shall be a licensed teacher in Arkansas and shall complete the ARCareerEd approved professional development.


1. Minimum Requirements for CTE Permits

Experienced professionals may be issued a CTE provisional permit. The minimum requirements include a minimum of an Associate's Degree with two years of relevant work experience in the specialty area to be taught or four years of relevant work experience in the specialty area to be taught. Minimum education requirements/work experience shall be met prior to employment in the teaching specialty, verification of high school diploma or high school equivalency diploma. All candidates must pass the required background checks.

2. Process for Obtaining CTE Permits

Candidates shall submit the following documents to the ADE Office of Educator Licensure:

a. The Arkansas Educator Licensure Application (located Arkansas Department of Education website).

b. Official college transcript, copy of high school diploma, or copy General Equivalency Diploma (GED) (Submit the highest attained).

c. Resume reflecting relevant work experience in Specialty Permit Areas.

d. Additional requirements as outlined under Specialty Permit Areas.

Provisional permits (employment required) will be valid for one (1) year from the applicants hire date. A second one (1) year provisional permit may be issued to allow additional time for completion of the specialty area requirements to obtain a standard 5-year permit. A new application shall be submitted for permit renewal.

A complete list of Career and Technical permits and endorsements may be found on the Arkansas Department of Education (ADE) website under the "Related Files" section of the Educator Licensure Unit's "Add Licensure Area to License" section located at:

Educator Licensure Unit

Add Licensure Area to License

Related files:

Areas and Levels of Licensure by Code Numbers 2016

3. Specialty Permit Areas Requirements

a. JROTC (612)

Instructor Approval Letter from Branch of Service

b. Cosmetology (573)

Standard 5-year permit requirements:

1. Attend the Skills USA Chapter Management Institute (CMI)

2. Additional permit requirements:

a. Valid Arkansas Cosmetology License (submit copy with application)

b. Valid Arkansas Cosmetology Instructor's License (submit copy with application)

c. Culinary Arts/Food Production (580)

Standard 5-year permit requirements:

1. Submit passing scores for the National Occupational Competency Test (NOCTI) in the specialty area or possess a valid national certification from an accredited organization (submit copy with application) which is approved by ARCareerEd.

2. Complete the Arkansas FCCLA Adviser Academy or SkillsUSA Chapter Management Institute (CMI).

4. Trade and Industry (formerly Skilled and Technical) Permit Areas

All Trade and Industry Sciences program instructors shall complete the SkillsUSA Chapter Management Institute (CMI).

Additional Requirements for Trade and Industry Specialty Areas:

a. Construction Technology (570) and Welding (597)

* NCCER Certification

* NOCTI Assessment

b. Medical Professions (611)

* Hold a Current Professional Medical License

c. Sports Medicine (625)

* Licensed in Arkansas to practice Athletic Training

d. Automotive Collision Repair (567), Automotive Service Technology (568), and Diesel Mechanics (574)

* ASE Certification in the specific areas taught


Concurrent credit classes offered for high school CTE credit in a secondary technical center operated by a post-secondary institution must have approval and course alignment by ARCareerEd.

An ARCareerEd concurrent credit course number to be used by high schools to identify concurrent college classes will be issued following submission of course alignment approval request to the Deputy Director for CTE. Three (3) hour college credit classes shall be given 1 unit of secondary credit.

Technical instructors teaching at a secondary technical center operated by a two-year community/technical college shall have a minimum of an associate degree within the area of instruction, have completed all necessary background checks, and meet all college accrediting standards for instructors. Secondary technical centers shall submit documentation of these records to the Office of Skills Development. Centers will annually submit a list of instructors providing concurrent credit and meeting the above requirements, will be given an annual waiver from teacher licensure requirements. Those instructors not meeting these requirements or instructors teaching non-concurrent credit classes shall hold an Arkansas Teacher's License/Technical Permit.


Apprenticeship is a structured training and educational system designed to prepare individuals for specific occupations. It combines on-the-job training (OJT) under the supervision of experienced journey workers at the work site along with education conducted by qualified instructors in related classroom instruction. Apprenticeship programs are driven by business and industry employers who specify the competencies or processes required for mastery in the occupations; these become the standards for which the apprentices will master. Apprenticeship programs require, at minimum, one year of training and education, but usually require four or five years. Specific apprenticeship programs require registry with the U.S. Department of Labor/Office of Apprenticeship (USDOL/OA). Apprentices who successfully complete the prescribed number of hours in OJT, classroom instruction in a registered apprenticeship program, and pass required tests are awarded certificates of completion and considered journeyman. Apprentices may also receive post-secondary certificates, diplomas, and degrees as a result of completing their specific apprenticeship program.

Qualifications of the apprentice vary according to the requirements of the occupation. However, all apprenticeship programs require applicants to be at least 16 years old and physically able to perform the job. All programs prefer and most require a high school diploma or equivalent certificate.

The State of Arkansas recognizes the significance of apprenticeship programs in enhancing the skill levels of the employees and workers in Arkansas businesses and industries. Three methods of providing improvement funds are available for employers and apprentices: Traditional Apprenticeship, Youth Apprenticeship, and Construction Training.

A. Traditional Apprenticeship

The term "Traditional Apprenticeship" is used to designate the adult apprenticeship programs that are registered with the USDOL/OA and that receive State Improvement Funds based upon hours of related classroom instruction. These programs are operated by employers, employer associations, or jointly by management and labor on a voluntary basis. The State Apprenticeship Office (SAO), within ARCareerEd, monitors the related classroom instruction portion of USDOL/OA registered apprenticeship programs that apply and are approved for State Improvement Funds.

The Arkansas Apprenticeship Coordination Steering Committee (AACSC) provides guidance to and coordinates with the SAO to effectively promote and enhance apprenticeship programs in Arkansas. The AACSC is composed of voting members, appointed by the Governor, from business/industry, labor, education, and female minority sector, and non-voting, advisory members appointed by government and education agencies.

Teachers or instructors of Traditional Apprenticeship related classroom instruction are chosen by the local apprenticeship committee based upon the instructor's experience and teaching abilities. Instructors are usually selected from the CTE programs at high schools, technical institutes or colleges, and business/industry companies. The instructional materials are frequently developed by and available from labor associations and curriculum centers or developed locally by the employers and experienced journey workers.

The standards (or implementation plan) for each apprenticeship program is written in a specific format by the local committee and submitted to the USDOL/OA for approval and registry. This document states how and when the learning processes will occur, what the responsibilities are of the employer and apprentice, and what wages will be awarded upon completion of each level of mastery. The employer and apprentice then sign their respective employer agreement and apprentice agreement, which are also registered with the USDOL/OA. If an apprenticeship program is properly registered with the USDOL/OA then the program is eligible to apply for State Improvement Funds.

B. Construction Training

The Construction Industry Training Education Program (pursuant to Act 474 of 1999) is designed to assist the construction industry in Arkansas to develop and improve the competencies and skill levels of their employees. Monies for this program are acquired from a construction permit surcharge and are available to approved USDOL/OA Apprenticeship construction programs that apply to the ARCareerEd/SOA.

Rules and Regulations outline the application and award process. To qualify, the program must be performing actual work in Arkansas, the training must occur in Arkansas, and the applicant should be currently sponsoring a training, apprenticeship, or educational program in Arkansas that is approved by or registered with the SAO and/or the USDL/OA. The SAO and the AACSC review the applications.


The following state regulations pages link to this page.