Study: Vo-tech Courses Need Emphasis

Though Rutherford County Schools’ Career and Technical Education classes are popular, they should be promoted more, a report from a committee developed to study the issue states.

When the Board of Education held a retreat earlier this year, the group agreed it would like to see more emphasis placed on vocational training. Board members asked Director of Schools Harry Gill Jr. to appoint a committee to study the program in depth.

The committee, made up of system educators, central office staff and members of the business community, will present its findings to the board at 5 this evening during the board’s meeting at central office, 2240 Southpark Drive.

Courses offered at each school vary depending on student interest, but health sciences, marketing, automotive and landscape design are among them.

“Because of the hands-on instruction that’s required, the student-teacher ratio is low, close to 20:1, like lower elementary grades,” Gill said at the county’s Budget, Finance and Investment meeting Tuesday night.

Findings from the committee included creating a new position devoted to counseling students on course offerings, writing grants and promoting the program.

“Research by the committee revealed the potential for additional grant opportunities and a possible lack of student awareness for CTE course offerings,” the committee’s summary report said.

Read more.

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Short-Term Vocational Programs Under Scrutiny

The Obama administration is set to release a controversial rule [today]that will cut federal aid to for-profit colleges if students in particular programs graduate with too much debt and worthless degrees.

Under the plan, schools will be required to demonstrate that short-term vocational programs, such as those offering certificates in the culinary arts, automotive technology or medical support, prepare students for “gainful employment in a recognized occupation.”

Schools would lose access to billions of dollars of federal student aid if they fail to meet minimum requirements three times in a four-year period. The first year that a program could become ineligible would be 2015.

The regulation also affects public community colleges and private, non-profit vocational programs, but the administration’s focus is squarely on for-profit institutions, more than a quarter of which receive 80% of their revenue from taxpayer-financed federal student aid.

Read more or Download the Full Regulation.

Posted in CTE, Funding, Postsecondary (13-18). Tags: , . Comments Off on Short-Term Vocational Programs Under Scrutiny