Academic Credit – The unit of measurement an institution awards when the determined course or subject requirement(s) are fulfilled (Oklahoma Department of Career and Technology Education Glossary).

Academic Rigor – Offering a CTE curriculum that aligns the new CTE career pathway standards with Colorado’s newly adopted Common Core standards, which include:

  • Four credits in English language arts
  • Three credits in mathematics
  • Two credits in social studies
  • Two credits in science

AA (Associate of Arts) Degree – The Associate of Arts degree provides the first two years of study toward a bachelor of arts degree.

AAS (Associate of Applied Science) Degree – The AAS degree (with the occupational field specified) is intended to prepare students to enter skilled and/or paraprofessional occupations or to upgrade or stabilize their employment. Certain courses/certificates within the degree or the entire AAS degree may be accepted toward a baccalaureate degree at some four-year institutions.

Academically Enhanced CTE Courses – CTE courses that can document and demonstrate that 80% of course content is directly aligned to state approved CTE occupational standards for the program in which the course is delivered are acceptable for CTE approval.

Accredited – The goal of accreditation of educational programs is to ensure that the education provided by institutions of higher education meets acceptable levels of quality. The US Department of Education maintains a website on “Accreditation in the United States” at that provides lists of regional and national accrediting agencies recognized by the US Secretary of Education as reliable authorities concerning the quality of education or training offered by the institutions of higher education. (U.S. Department of Labor, Credential Resource Guide, handout, April 26, 2010 (

Active Program – A program is considered an active program once it has been approved by CCCS. An active program can have the program status of Active, New, or Conditional.

Adult Basic Education (ABE) – ABE is instruction in the basic skills below the 9th grade level (0-8.9). (

Adult Education – Services or instruction below the postsecondary level for individuals who:

  • Have attained 16 years of age; and
  • Are not enrolled or required to be enrolled in secondary school under State law;
  • And
    • Lack sufficient mastery of basic educational skills to enable the individuals to function effectively in society; or
    • Do not have a secondary school diploma or its recognized equivalent and have not achieved an equivalent level of education; or
    • Are unable to speak, read, or write the English language (

AGS Degrees – There are two types of AGS degrees, a general AGS and a technical AGS. The Technical AGS is used as a technical pre-professional transfer degree with a major field specified. It is designed for students to transfer into a baccalaureate degree program with junior standing, based on a written articulation agreement with one or more designated institutions. This type of AGS degree is allowable within an approved Career and Technical Education Program if it meets the following requirements:

  • Maintains written articulation agreements with one or more designated institutions.
  • The course of study for the various fields of specialization must be outlined in the college catalog as well as the identification of the baccalaureate institution(s) that have agreed to accept the program in transfer.
  • The AGS Degree is limited to 60 credits, and requires at least 30 semester hours of general education. The other hours will be subject to the terms of the agreement with the baccalaureate institution(s).

All Aspects of an Industry – Includes, with respect to a particular industry that a student is preparing to enter, planning, management, finances, technical and production skills, underlying principles of technology, labor and community issues, health and safety, and environmental issues related to that industry. (Oklahoma Department of Career and Technology Education Glossary)

American College Testing Program (ACT) – Provides measures of educational development and readiness to pursue college-level coursework.

Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) – The ADA prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability in employment, state and local government, public accommodations, commercial facilities, transportation, and telecommunications. To be protected by the ADA, one must have a disability or have a relationship or association with an individual with a disability. An individual with a disability is defined by the ADA as a person who has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities, a person who has a history or record of such an impairment, or a person who is perceived by others as having such an impairment. The ADA does not specifically name all of the impairments that are covered. (

Apprenticeships – A combination of school and work-based learning in a specific occupational area designed to lead to a related postsecondary program, entry-level job, or a registered Department of Labor (DOL) apprenticeship program. (Adapted from Oklahoma Glossary)

Articulation – A process of providing a seamless system of education that ensures ease in student transition from secondary to postsecondary education levels and from one educational system to another.

AS (Associate of Science) Degree – An award that normally requires at least 2 but less than 4 years of full-time equivalent college work.

Assessment – The use of standardized instruments, interviews, or other means to determine factors that may contribute to the success of students in career and technology programs. These factors may include interest, aptitude, academic achievement, work experience, learning style, work values, and other traits. Assessment may also be administered to determine progress attained by students during training or areas of need to address through remediation.

Bachelor’s/Baccalaureate Degree – An award that normally requires at least 4 but not more than 5 years of full-time equivalent college-level work. (U.S. Department of Labor, Credential Resource Guide, handout, April 26, 2010


Basic Skills – Basic academic and tutorial services designed to increase literacy levels, upgrade literacy, and improve listening and speaking skills.

BEST Plus – BEST Plus is an adaptation of the Basic English Skills Test (BEST) oral interview. BEST Plus comes in two versions—a computer-adaptive assessment on CD or a semi-adaptive print-based version. Both versions are administered as a face-to-face oral interview.

Bridge Programs – Postsecondary programs designed to prepare academically under-prepared and under-served populations to enter credit-based academic courses, often by teaching remedial or basic skills in the context of occupational skills.

Career Academies – Operating as schools within schools, career academies are small learning communities which are organized around such themes as health, business and finance, computer technology, and the like. Academy students take classes together, remain with the same group of teachers over time, follow a curriculum that includes both academic and career-oriented courses, and participate in work internships and other career-related experiences outside the classroom. Over time, improving the rigor of academic and career-related curricula has become an increasingly prominent part of the career academies agenda.

Career and Technical Student Organizations (CTSO) – The purpose of career and technical student organizations is to provide additional opportunities for secondary and/or postsecondary students to develop competencies for occupations. The CTSO can be an integral part of the instructional program and in addition can promote a sense of civic and personal responsibility. Examples of CTSO include:

  • Collegiate DECA – DECA prepares emerging leaders and entrepreneurs for careers in marketing, finance, hospitality and management in high schools and colleges around the globe.
  • FBLA-PBL – Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) is a national career and technical education student organization for secondary students preparing for careers in business or careers in business education. Phi Beta Lambda (PBL) is an organization on the move for postsecondary and collegiate students enrolled or interested in a variety of business programs.
  • FCCLA – Family, Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA) is the only national career and technical student organization with the family as its central focus. Since 1945, FCCLA members have been making a difference in their families, careers and communities by addressing important personal, work and societal issues through family and consumer sciences education.
  • FFA – Colorado Future Farmers of America (FFA) is for youth from 14 to 22 years of age enrolled in agriculture education. The largest student youth organization in America, the FFA is both an intracurricular and integral part of the complete CTE agriculture education program. The Colorado Young Farmer Education Association is a statewide organization of people enrolled in the Young Farmer Program. The Young Farmer Program is usually conducted by local CTE agriculture instructors in addition to their regular high school or college agriculture classes.
  • HOSA – Health Occupations Students of America (HOSA) is an organization for students enrolled in health occupations education programs. Through HOSA, students develop leadership and technical skills through a program of motivation, awareness and recognition.
  • SkillsUSA – SkillsUSA is a partnership of students, teachers and industry. While working together to ensure America has a skilled work force, SkillsUSA helps every student excel. SkillsUSA serves high school and college students who are enrolled in programs preparing them for technical, skilled and service careers. SkillsUSA adds to students’ technical training by teaching them leadership skills, teamwork, citizenship and character development-all things that go into shaping responsible, reliable employees who will one day become leaders in our workplaces.
  • COTSA – The Colorado Technology Student Association (COTSA) is a national non-profit organization devoted exclusively to the needs of elementary, middle and high school students with a dedicated interest in technology. Involvement in TSA benefits teachers as well as students. Relating class activities to local, regional, state and national technology oriented competitive events can be highly motivational for students. The natural interaction between teachers and students provides an excellent learning environment, while working toward common goals.

Career and Technology Education – Organized educational programs offering sequences of courses directly related to preparing individuals for paid or unpaid employment in current or emerging occupations requiring other than a baccalaureate or advanced degree. (Carl D. Perkins Vocational and Technical Education Act, Public Law 105-332)

Career Awareness – Activities designed to help students understand the role of work, one’s own uniqueness, and basic knowledge about career clusters and different occupations.

Career Cluster – “An organizing tool defining CTE using broad clusters of occupations and pathways with validated standards that ensure opportunities for all students regardless of their career goals and interests” ( States may develop and implement career and technical programs of study in one or more of 16 career clusters that are recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. The 16 career clusters are occupational categories with industry-validated knowledge and skills statements that define what students need to know and be able to do in order to realize success in a chosen field. Within each of the clusters, programs of study (also known as career pathways) have been developed, which outline sequences of academic, career, and technical courses and training that begin as early as ninth grade and lead to progressively higher levels of education and higher-skilled positions in specific industries or occupational sectors.

Career Ladder – A set of occupations that are linked together by common or complementary skills. These linkages provide workers with opportunities to advance and expand recruitment opportunities for employers.

Career Pathway – A Career Pathway represents a grouping of occupations within a cluster that share a base level of common knowledge and skill. Nationally, sample Career Pathways Plans of Study were developed for each of the 79 pathways corresponding to the national 16 Career Clusters. A career pathway is a coherent sequence of rigorous academic and career courses that begins in high school and leads to an associate degree, a bachelor’s degree and beyond, and/or an industry-recognized certificate or license. Career pathways are developed, implemented, and maintained by partnerships involving educators, community leaders, and employers. (Often a synonym for program of study.) In Adult Career Pathways also consists of the guidance, remediation, curricula, and other support elements required to enable career-limited adults to enter the workforce and progress in rewarding careers.

Career Interest Inventory – Carefully constructed questionnaires that enable an individual to identify preferred activities that are then correlated to career clusters.

Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Improvement Act of 2006 (“Perkins Act”) – The Carl D. Perkins Vocational and Technical Education Improvement Act of 2006 provides federal career and technical education funds to the State. The Perkins Act provides federal assistance to secondary and postsecondary CTE programs during the State fiscal year, which is July 1 through June 30 of the each year. In particular, the Perkins Act requires states to:

  • Increase opportunities for individuals to keep America competitive;
  • Develop challenging academic and technical standards and related, challenging integrated (academic and CTE) instruction;
  • Prepare students for high skill, high wage, or high demand occupations in current or emerging professions;
  • Promote partnerships (education, workforce boards, business and industry, etc.);
  • Provide technical assistance and professional development to teachers/instructors and administrators; and
  • Increase state and local accountability.

Certificate (postsecondary level) – A postsecondary certificate program (with occupational field of study specified) is an organized program of study intended to prepare students to enter skilled and/or paraprofessional occupations or to upgrade or stabilize their employment. This program is not intended for transfer to baccalaureate degree programs, but may transfer to Associate Degree Programs. An initial certificate in a program area needs to include the skills, knowledge and competencies required for entry-level employment. Other certificates in the same program need to advance that skill level. (Colorado Community College System, Career and Technical Education Administrators’ Handbook

CIP Code – The Classification of Instructional Programs (CIP) is a taxonomic coding scheme of instructional programs. Its purpose is to facilitate the organization, collection, and reporting of fields of study and program completions.

“Chunked” Curriculum – Chunked curriculum refers to the practice of breaking degrees or certificates into smaller portions or chunks. Each chunk leads to employment and connects to the next chunk, eventually leading to completion of a state-approved professional-technical degree. The major purpose of chunking is to improve the rate of degree completion among community college students by allowing students to complete a degree non-sequentially and non-continually, leading to better wages and career advancement. Chunking is one element in a comprehensive career pathways system. (

Colorado Community College System (CCCS) – The CCCS comprises the state’s largest system of higher education. Its career and academic programs in the 13 state community colleges serve more than 151,000 students annually. (

Colorado Department of Education (CDE) – CDE is the administrative arm of the Colorado State Board of Education. CDE serves Colorado’s 178 local school districts, providing them with leadership, consultation and administrative services on a statewide and regional basis. CDE is comprised of over 40 units, 25 different programs and 300-plus staff members. (

Colorado Department of Higher Education (CDHE) – CDHE coordinates policy and state resources for the state’s 28 public institutions as well as several hundred proprietary schools and oversees two key loan programs. The Department seeks to ensure that higher education is accessible and affordable to all Coloradoans and helps bring cultural and artistic education opportunities to citizens in each of Colorado’s 64 counties. (

Colorado Technical Act (CTA) – The Career and Technical Act, formerly the Colorado Vocational Act of 1970, CRS 23-8-101, was adopted by the Colorado General Assembly to provide assistance to local school districts operating CTE programs approved by the State Board for Community Colleges and Occupational Education.

Colorado Works – The state welfare reform program that replaced Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) and the Job Opportunity and Basic Skills (JOBS) programs in Colorado. The Colorado Works program serves low-income families with children by providing income assistance and supportive services to help participants become and remain self-sufficient. Colorado Works is a division of the Office of Self-Sufficiency (OSS) within the Colorado Dept. of Human Services and operates in all counties of Colorado.

Common Core Standards – standards represent a set of expectations for student knowledge and skills that high school graduates need to master to succeed in college and careers. The standards are designed to be robust and relevant to the real world, reflecting the knowledge and skills that our young people need for success in college and careers.

Communities of Practice – Made up of interested teachers/faculty, administrators and counselors, to focus activity and learning around a particular challenge or promising practice.

Community-Based Organization (CBO) – Community-based organizations are usually non-profits that operate in a local community for the betterment of the community. Many are run on a voluntary basis and are self-funded. Community organizations usually fit into the following categories: community-service and action, health, educational, personal growth and improvement, social welfare, and self-help for the disadvantaged.

Completer StatusSecondary Completer: A secondary student who has completed the required minimum credits within a CTE program where credit and courses are defined in the program approval documentation. Postsecondary Completer: A postsecondary student who has received a CTE certificate or degree within the reporting year. Consult the program approval documentation for the list of CTE awards approved for the program.

Concentration StatusSecondary Concentrator: A secondary student who has completed at least one half of the credits required within any CTE program where credit, course(s), and academic term are defined in the program approval documentation. Postsecondary Concentrator: A postsecondary student who has completed at least 50 percent of the minimum CTE credit hours required within a single CTE program area (defined by CIP code) that terminates in a certificate or degree within the reporting year.

Concurrent Enrollment – Concurrent enrollment is a type of dual enrollment program that allows students to receive college credit before high school graduation. Concurrent enrollment programs (current and previous) include and/or previously included the Postsecondary Enrollment Options program, the Fast College Fas