State Board of Education adopts new career and technical education (CTE) standards for Iowa schools
DES MOINES – Members of the State Board of Education today adopted new career and technical education (CTE) standards for secondary CTE programs that enroll middle and high school students.
CTE broadly encompasses six service areas: agriculture, food and natural resources; applied sciences, technology, engineering, and manufacturing; business, finance, marketing and management; health science; human services; and information solutions.
The board adopted statewide standards based on recommendations from Iowa program management teams in five of the six service areas. Work will begin on standards for the sixth service area, applied sciences, technology, engineering and manufacturing, later this year. The CTE standards corresponding to each service area are required for Iowa schools that offer those programs.
“An educated and skilled workforce is the backbone of Iowa's economy,” Iowa Department of Education Director Ryan Wise said. “These standards recognize the need for innovation and new skills in ensuring Iowa's students are future ready. They provide a framework for CTE programs to keep current with industry changes, provide for ongoing learning for CTE faculty, and integrate core skills to prepare students for college and careers.”
The standards were established as part of HF 2392, state legislation signed into law in 2016, which is helping shape the future of CTE in Iowa. The new CTE standards and benchmarks will set clear and consistent foundational expectations for what students need to learn in high-quality CTE programs across the state. They will also serve as a guide for Iowa educators as they develop curriculum, courses and classroom activities locally.
“Ensuring high-quality CTE programs begins with industry-aligned standards that are consistent across the state,” said Tara Troester, career and technical education content lead for the Cedar Rapids Community School District and member of one of the program management teams that reviewed and recommended the new CTE standards. “These standards are critical for schools because they provide clear expectations for the academic, technical and Future Ready skills necessary for high-demand career pathway programming.”
The program management review teams developed draft standards based on national standards from Advance CTE, the Computer Science Teachers Association, the National Association of State Administrators of Family and Consumer Sciences, the National Council for Agricultural Education, MBA Research and Curriculum Center and the National Consortium for Health Science Education.
In addition to input from team members, public input was sought through an online survey. More than 400 stakeholders participated in the public review with the majority of comments expressing support for the standards, as well as their connections to consistency, rigor and industry demands.
CTE standards will join other academic disciplines that already have both voluntary and required standards. Standards are required in science, social studies, English language arts, mathematics and 21st Century skills (employability skills; and civic, financial, health and technology literacy). Voluntary standards include computer science, fine arts and physical education and health.
Find more information on the CTE Standards webpage.