Planning a Program of Work

A Program of Work is a systematic review of the program’s goals, curriculum, activities, funding, and resources with the overall goal of assessing the program’s effectiveness and sustainability.  Program Advisory Committee members need to be willing to discuss all aspects of the student’s development rather than just the industry’s expectations of technical attainment.

To this extent, the committee will need to develop a Program of Work to accomplish its goals. The advisory committee’s program of work should complement and incorporate the program’s five-year plan, which requires an annual review and response by the advisory committee.


Program of Work resources

Establishing a Program of Work

Because the Program of Work includes all activities in which members want to be involved, it should be based on the collective interests of the advisory members. Members will support what they help create. If only the committee chair and faculty advisor design the Program of Work, committee members may not be as committed. By involving all members in the development of the Program of Work, the activities likely will receive greater acceptance by the entire committee membership. Balance is an important quality in evaluating a committee’s Program of Work. A good program of work includes the following types of activities:

Curriculum Review & Revision
  • Modification of existing programs
  • Identify new or emerging fields
Staff Development
  • Provide in-service activities for instructors
  • Open industry-based training to instructors
  • Support instructors’ memberships or participation in trade associations
Career Development and Work-based Learning
  • Occupation-related field trips
  • Job shadowing
  • Cooperative Education
  • Clinical Internship (paid or unpaid)
  • Simulation
  • Laboratory Method
  • Paid/Unpaid Work Experience
  • Career and Technical Student Organization
Marketing and Advocacy
  • Interpret the career pathway and/or industry sector to the community
  • Serve as an advocate of the career pathway
  • Seeking legislative support for the career pathway
Recruitment, Mentoring, & Placement
  • Recruitment
  • Student outcomes
  • Placement
  • Mentoring
  • Provide advice on new technology and/or equipment
  • Provide advice on facilities or physical layout
  • Share libraries of visual aids, books, and magazines
  • Donation of equipment

What happens when advisory members disagree on the best course of action?

The goal of the committee is to reach consensus on the major items involved in the program of work for the year. Occasionally, consensus cannot be reached. (Sometimes, a program goal can’t be realized due to other limitations as well.) In those cases, the program’s administrator should determine the best course of action, and then notify committee members as to why a specific recommendation could not be followed.

How do I determine my advisory committee performance?

The effectiveness of the committee is determined mainly by identifying whether the objectives set out in the program of work have been met.

An evaluation can help the committee determine:

  • Whether the program is accomplishing its goals.
  • The extent to which the program of work has strengthened the industry sector.
  • That recommendations should be, or have been, acted upon, and what the implications of those recommendations are.
  • The future direction and program of work for the committee

Program of Work resources

Program Data Review

The advisory committee should develop an Annual Report each year and the report should summarize the Committee’s work as well as the program’s student statistics. The advisory committee members should have copies of the latest VE-135 student data for the program. Report contents should summarize the following (if applicable):

  • Advisory Committee Meeting dates and major topics
  • List of program areas or pathways
  • Labor Market Data
  • Student Statistics
  • Industry recognized credentials or certificates available to students within the program
  • Curriculum information and/or changes
  • Program pass rate
  • Transition rates
  • Industry credentials obtained by students (type and number/percent)
  • Graduate employee survey information
  • Projected enrollment information for following year/waitlist information
  • Program or Committee Accomplishments
  • CTSO highlights
  • Goals for next year

What Program Data should I share with my Advisory Committee?

Program data should be reviewed on an annual basis and is available from both the Perkins reporting requirements and the CCCS CTE Program Approval process. This data is summarized from the VE-135 data that is reported annually. The definitions for each of the data metrics are available on the CCCS website at and program data can be easily obtained from the CCCS CTE Program Approval portal. It is also highly recommended that you include many other forms of data sources in program review such as graduate and employer surveys; any discipline assessment (test) results; program goal and benchmark attainment; etc. The benefits of analyzing program data are many as you analyze your program effectiveness and set goals for improvement. Program data allows for making practical, informed decisions that will result in improved student achievement which is the ultimate goal of every CTE program!

How do we read and interpret data?

The following chart summarizes the process and questions that the committee can use to look at the program’s data. It is important to consider entry and exit points along the educational continuum as well as evaluate the overall climate of the industry.

Program Data Review
Bring the following data to the table for discussion:
Graduates / Completers from the specific programs (secondary and postsecondary)
Transition rates in the program from secondary to postsecondary
Transition rates from adult basic education to the program
Academic data for program participants
Academic and Industry Ladder Comparison: Compare the academic to the industry career ladder. Do they match?
Academic Ladder: Are there gaps on the academic ladder that make it hard for some students to progress from one level to the next? If so, there may be a need for bridge programs.