Programs of study are secondary-to-postsecondary sequences of academic and career and technical (CTE) coursework that help students attain a postsecondary degree or industry-recognized certificate or credential. Requirements of a program of study are outlined in Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act of 2006 (Perkins IV) and include:
- Incorporate secondary and postsecondary education elements;
- Include coherent and rigorous content aligned with challenging academic standards and relevant career and technical content in a coordinated, non-duplicative progression of courses that align secondary education with postsecondary education to adequately prepare students to succeed in postsecondary education;
- May include the opportunity for secondary education students to participate in dual or concurrent enrollment programs or other ways to acquire postsecondary education credits; and,
- Lead to an industry-recognized credential or certificate at the postsecondary level, or an associate or baccalaureate degree.
The State of Illinois is dedicated to ensuring that all students have access to rigorous and relevant educational opportunities that prepares them for success in college and careers. In order to achieve this goal, all Illinois educational systems must work collectively and collaboratively to create an aligned educational structure that improves student learning. Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs, which combine challenging academic coursework with relevant, career-focused content, are uniquely positioned to respond to this challenge.