Program Approval best practices generated from the site visits

The CTE Technical Assistance Center of NY conducts reviews of approved NYS CTE programs. It is through these reviews that Best Practices are identified. Below are brief reports on the observed exemplary practices in some of the approved programs that CTE TAC of NY has reviewed. Although categorized under a single heading, many of these programs have multiple practices worth noting.

A - C | D - F | G - I | J - L | M - O | P - R | S - U | V - W | X - Z 


Advisory Council

Southern Westchester BOCES

Southern Westchester BOCES offers both Fashion Design and Merchandising and Emergency Medical Services (EMS) as two year programs.

Fashion Design boasts an active Craft Committee made up of professors from Westchester CC, Global Institute of Technology, and Berkeley College, along with professionals from the fashion field who give input on skills and knowledge beyond the basics to things such as global production, operations management, marketing, social networking and planning to name a few. The EMT program advisors are guest instructors that help students two-fold. They further hone students' knowledge and skills while also assisting them to develop their professional communication and relationship skills. CTE administrators and teachers with the help of a consultant, created curriculum maps including knowledge, skills, standards, curriculum, and assessment that is well organized and easy to read. Teachers have the option of professional development that is embedded by working with the curriculum coordinator, or they can work on a one on one basis to help develop their curriculum. Teachers are also doing professional development as they align their curriculum to the Common Core State Standards, standardize their lessons linking them to more rigorous pedagogical practices, and working to increase the level or rigor leading to levels of increased student achievement.

Academic Integration

Tompkins Seneca Tioga BOCES

The general advisory committee consists of members of the BOCES’ Board of Education, industry, and postsecondary partners. These partners actively support programming at the BOCES, review data, and discuss improvements. At the meeting that was observed by the review team, the CTE Director presented the possibility of partnering with Tompkins Cortland Community College to provide some students access to a free, asynchronous on-line college-level entrepreneurship course. This opportunity would benefit many students, especially those in programs that include business/marketing components. All of the advisory committee members spoke highly of the CTE program and its students, teachers, and leadership. It was apparent that this committee works well together and has a good relationship with the CTE Director. Over the past couple of years, teachers and administrators within TST BOCES have worked to integrate science and mathematics curriculum throughout its CTE programs. These efforts have been spearheaded by two dedicated teachers, one science and one mathematics, as well as a thoroughly involved part-time curriculum specialist. The academic and technical teachers have time set aside for them to work with the Curriculum Coordinator (.2 FTE supported by Perkins funds) about 6 times per year for a full day. Substitutes are hired to take over the classes to facilitate this work. Curriculum maps align these lessons to the Common Core Learning Standards and the New York State MST standards. Lessons are engaging and are directly related to the students’ program of study. Both academic and technical teachers work together to ensure a rigorous lesson for all students.

Hutchinson Central Technical High School

Four technical programs are offered- Biochemical Technology, Computer Technology, Electrical Technology, and Engineering Technology. While the electrical and engineering programs existed previously, the district did not apply for program approval until 2013. The school took an old model for teaching engineering and updated the programs, moving from an industrial model to a more high tech focus. The classrooms are now integrated throughout the building with the academic areas. Each room has an instructional area and lab space. Students in the Engineering Technology program begin freshman year with a full-year course in Design and Drawing for Production. The 10th grade program consists of Engineering Lab and Architectural Modeling. The 11th grade course is a double period of Architectural Design and CAD. In grade 12, there is a double period of Engineering Design/CAD as well as a one-period class in Manufacturing Processes. There are five instructors for this program. All teachers are highly qualified and have industry experience. Four of the teachers have had experience teaching in other schools as well. They are proud to be teaching in this program at Hutchinson Tech and expressed a desire to make it a premier program. All of the teachers are involved in extracurricular programs such as Science Olympiad, BEAM (Buffalo Engineering and Awareness for Minorities), and traditional activities such as coaching. The facilities and equipment are excellent. The teacher's work very closely with the math and science teachers in the building, and the proximity to those teachers has enhanced communication and collaboration.




Cayuga – Onondaga BOCES

An exciting dual enrollment agreement is in place between the Computer Systems and Network Administration (CSNA) program at the Cayuga-Onondaga BOCES and Cayuga Community College which allows for five credit hours for this two-year program. Matt Champlin who works as the BOCES CSNA instructor as well as being an adjunct professor at Cayuga CC teaches an evening college course at the BOCES center offering high-quality equipment and facilities. The relationship is fortified by Mr. Champlin sitting on Cayuga CC's Advisory Committee while a representative from the college sits on the BOCES CSNA Advisory committee. Easily accessible online curriculum for the CSNA course has been developed by Champlin and a Google Docs website allows students to access assignments, reference sheets, and presentation notes easily. Mr. Champlin also utilizes a Facebook page as a tool to communicate with students about class activities. The CSNA program has two certification exams that accompany it, the A+ and Network+ exams. Students take the A+ exam after year one and similarly take the Network+ after the second year. All students are required to sit for both exams but only need to pass one to qualify for technical endorsement. This system affords students a greater chance at success.



Employability Profiles


OCM BOCES has Career and Technical Education and New Vision classes at the Irvin E. Henry (Syracuse) and Charles H. McEvoy (Cortland) education campuses. The CTE programs include Automotive Collision Technology, Automotive Technology, Computer Technology, Construction Technology, Cosmetology, Culinary and Pastry Arts, Early Childhood Education, Graphic Communications, Health Occupations, Laboratory Technology, Media Marketing Communications, Physical Therapy Professions, and Welding Technology.

Automotive Technology is a 2-year program designed to provide students with basic mechanical knowledge and skills. The program is an ASE program certified by the National Automotive Technicians Education Foundation (NATEF). The Syracuse program has classes at the Henry Center and at Driver’s Village in Cicero.

The employability profile for this program rates two areas: 1. A student’s quality levels of work with vehicles 2. A student’s quality levels of reliability and people skills The “best practice” is the nature in which the profile is introduced to all students in all programs in a consistent and pervasive manner throughout the OCM BOCES programs. At the beginning of the first year, all teachers share the same PowerPoint presentation with the students to introduce the employability profile and the CTE technical endorsement which they can earn. All students interviewed were well aware of the employability profile and its importance to employers, as well as how to earn a technical endorsement through this program.




Industry Standards Alignment

Orange – Ulster BOCES

The Automotive Technology program anchors practice and instruction in NATEF standards. The instructors have created a standards tracking spreadsheet that lists all of the NATEF P--1 through P--3 standards that are included in the curriculum, color codes them for easy reference, and calculates the number and percentage of P--1, P--2, and P-- 3 standards the students have completed through the program. In order to track these standards further, locally-- developed repair orders include lines for students to self--report the NATEF standards that apply to the live work done in the shop. The students must also write out the work done and lessons learned on the back of the repair order. By giving students an active role in knowing and tracking these standards, students are likely to push themselves to meet the standards and seek out projects that will ensure that the required standards are met.

At the end of the senior year, many programs at Orange-- Ulster BOCES provide their students an opportunity to interview with members of their craft council and other professionals. The Automotive Technology program requires that students present their portfolio at this interview and answer a series of questions that highlight professional and technical standards. Students must prepare for this interview, write application materials, and dress professionally. The best practice here is two--fold: the thoroughness of the interview questions and preparation and the strong support by industry partners to participate in this process.

Sewanhaka High School

Sewanhaka High School is a central site for nine CTE programs including the Architecture three-year program. Students start with two block periods in 10th and 11th grade before moving to three block periods as 12th graders. The Architecture program has consistently strong enrollment levels. After being submitted for CTE program approval in 2010, the 2012-2013 school year marked the first cohort to complete the SkillsUSA Industry Assessment in Architecture. This well thought out program begins with 10th grade students being exposed to the field by a licensed architect as their teacher introducing codes, work and CAD, followed by two years working with architectural software RIVET that is currently used in many firms. The faculty holds various appropriate certifications in the field of study. One teacher gives the students the point of view from an employer which helps give them experience in linking with the business community, while another teacher is an active construction contractor. The work based coordinator has a background in banking helping to provide that point of view to the students.


Ulster BOCES CTE Center

Ulster BOCES Career and Technical Center serves nine school districts in Ulster County. Each CTE program has been through the New York State CTE approved program process and enjoys program approval. The Aviation program has been approved by the NYSED since 2006. The Aviation instructor is a Certified Flight Instructor who enjoys a strong relationship with her students due to her work with them and her business relationships. The flight text/workbook technical materials are written above the normal high school textbook reading level. Students' report the instructor is good at framing technical material, draws all students into discussion, and makes sure everyone really understands the materials before she moves on. All students are required to complete their flight time over the two years. The program has a set of achievement rubrics that students must accomplish each marking period to receive additional flight time hours. The students all felt they had a clear understanding of what was expected of them. There is consistent use of instruction and hands-on practice for skill development and reflection. Students participate in project-based learning that is academically challenging. There are clear expectations and assumptions that if students actively engage and work throughout the program, they will be prepared to pass all aspects of the technical assessment and receive a recreational pilot's license.


School of Cooperative Technical Education

The School of Cooperative Technical Education in New York, NY offers an Early Childhood Education program which prepares students for a range of career positions in social and educational agencies. This pathway opens up opportunities to various postsecondary studies. One semester is spent in Co-Op tech in the Early Childhood course followed by a semester of paid internship. Eligible students are nominated by a teacher, are at least 18 years old, already enrolled in Co-Op Tech, and have successfully completed one course in the program. The program is made up of 400 hours, 200 of which is internship experience. Students will gain the 120 hour CDA credential. Certifications/Certificates include: Child Development Associate, Child Abuse, Infant Safety, Nutrition, HIV/AIDS in Daycare, and Office of Children and Family Services (15 Hour) Health and Safety Certificate. Students will also complete a career plan, or Individual Learning Plan (ILP). Students use rigorous in depth curriculum to complete the Child Development

Associate (CDA) credential. Students complete regular class time along with supervised CDA portfolio work time. They have CDA certified teacher trainers which increases rates of students earning the credential. Other certifications are afforded to students enhancing their employability. Students who fill out an ILP, participate in Career Boot Camp, and take WBL Internship basics and have been referred by a teacher can participate in WBL. Students will have lifetime access to their ILP. This program encourages "earn and learn" student participation. Students are invested and want to attend and succeed, thus earning a possibility of employment.

Erie 2 – Chautauqua – Cattaraugus BOCES

The large Erie 2 – Chautauqua-Cattaraugus BOCES district is located southwest of Buffalo and has four main centers, located in East Aurora, Angola, Fredonia, and Ashville, as well as numerous satellite locations throughout the region. Urban, suburban, and rural districts are served within the E2CCB area. The CTE programs enroll approximately 1,446 students, which equals 21.6% of the eligible students from the twenty-seven component school districts within the BOCES. There are twenty-seven component school districts. Approximately 40% of the students enrolled in the CTE programs are students with disabilities. A three-week internship for all seniors who qualify serves as the work-based learning component of this program. This is one of the longest internships in the approved programs observed by the review teams. In many of the approved programs, the WBL component is offered, but not all students are expected to participate, in this case the expectation is that all students will meet the criteria to be placed in an internship. A packet has been developed explaining the program and is provided to the students. Students are placed with local police departments, security departments in the malls, local courts, the Sheriff’s office, local colleges, reservations, U.S. Marshals, and/or TSA depending on the center they attend. The teachers place the students in the internships, and supervise the experience. They are available to do so because most or all of the students are out in the placements at the same time. The highest performing students get first preference for the placements. Many of the placements lead to employment, but data is not currently collected on this aspect of the program. It is known that approximately 90% of the students go on to two- and four-year postsecondary education programs in the field. It was noted that the students were very excited about their internships and the parents felt the internships set a bar for achievement in the program classwork. Students must satisfactorily complete their classroom/laboratory assignments to be placed in the internship. Some of the advisory committee members offer the student internships.






High School of Art and Design

At the High School of Art and Design one of their CTE programs is the Cartooning and Animation Program. Due to advancements in the industry and new technology, they have recently revised the program. Students at the HS for Art and Design observed that lower classmen would often leave one program and enroll in another and/or were not as successful as they could be. They believe this was the result of the lower classmen not being as dedicated to their majors as they should be. After consulting with their guidance and CTE staff, the students group created SOMAD, Students Out Making A Difference. The group that is made up of seniors, goes into the classes of lower classmen and speaks about the experiences they have had and the importance of their majors. They also create and present games to get underclassmen excited and increase school spirit. The students are making a difference because the information is coming from peers instead of adults. The CTE director and school counselors agree that SOMAD is a great addition to the HS for Art and Design.

Western Suffolk BOCES

Students perform better when they are in schools where they have meaningful relationships with instructors who are qualified to help them achieve high standards (NCSL). The Medical Laboratory Program at the Wilson Technological Center of Western Suffolk BOCES is a prime example of this finding. Students feel that their teacher, Ms. Holly Michels provides unyielding support, coupled with 15 years of medical laboratory experience, making Michels highly experienced and qualified to effectively guide and instruct students. Students note that Ms. Michels understands their needs, and customizes learning to meet the required pace; fostering confidence in every student and effectively preparing them for work in a clinical or hospital setting. Holly is seen as a pillar of support and an advocate, genuinely understanding the needs and interests of her students and providing them with the necessary mentorship in alignment with their goals.




Post-Secondary Articulations

East Islip High School

The East Islip School District is located in Suffolk County. East Islip High School is a comprehensive school with an enrollment of 1,440 students in grades 9-12. The graduation rate is 94%. The district is committed to graduating students who are prepared for the challenges of college and other postsecondary choices. The International Business and Globalization Career Academy is open to seniors who are interested in spending an entire day sharing academic and exploratory/skills classes based around a theme. As juniors they go through an application process that clearly delineates program expectations including a Code of Conduct, attendance expectations, academic and assessment requirements, dress code, and extracurricular learning experiences. In the academy, academic and business teachers collaborate as a team to map the instruction and to plan related learning experiences so the academic instruction aligns with and supports the business programming. This program includes English 12, Participation in Government, Virtual Economics, PreCalculus, E-Commerce, Entrepreneurship, Accounting I & II, Wall Street, Principles of Marketing, Graphic Communications, Web Design & Development, Computer Science, and Sports Marketing. The three Business Education teachers team in teaching the business coursework. One has extensive background in accounting, web development, and marketing. The others bring expertise in technology and community partnerships. Their professional experience and businesslike approach support demands for real-world work ethics and high standards. They balance expectations for rigor and excellence with a caring, patient, and encouraging manner; thus have developed strong ties with the academy students. The program benefits from college articulations. Students can earn up to 24 college credits. Relationships with colleges, including Farmingdale State College, Molloy College, Dowling College, Mercy College, Suffolk Community College, St. Joseph's College, and LIU Post, provide additional benefits including support for and hosting of events, high-level competitions, and articulation agreements. From the start of the year, colleges follow the students' academy grades and performance, offering scholarships to those who showed promise. Students are given immediate opportunities to connect with professors/business leaders and participate in summer internships.

Post-Secondary Student Follow-up

Fowler High School

Fowler High School of the Syracuse City School District, holds a two-year cosmetology program, serving students from all of the high schools within the district. Within this program, the following areas of practice have been identified as exemplary. The teacher of this program has created her own employability profiles, updating them recently. There are profiles that are different for first and second year students that list out technical knowledge and skills as well as employability/workforce readiness skills. Each student meets with the teacher to review the profile at least quarterly.

A Facebook page has been created for graduates of the cosmetology program. This allows the students to join and begin the process of forming connections among themselves. The teacher can then follow up on the students to see where they may be employed or if they are attending postsecondary education. Support, job shadowing opportunities and other various input is a part of this social media tool as well.

Champlain Valley Educational Services

Champlain Valley Education Services provides career preparation, special education, instructional services, administrative support and professional development for educators, and is a valuable source of assistance to its 17 component school districts as they strive to keep pace with technical advancements and in stride with economic and social uncertainties and change.

The Student Placement Follow-Up was selected as a Best Practice because when the question was posed about student follow-up data, there was an immediate response, “this is how we do it”, rather than an often heard response about it being “very hard to do”. In addition, in 2013, there was a 93% contact rate. The student follow-up is conducted 6 months after graduation, but the preparation for it starts in early June just before the students graduate from the program. At that time the Student Exit Survey is given to the students. The secondary students do the survey online while sometimes the adult students use paper copy. At the beginning of the survey, students are told that they will be contacted in November or December. They are asked to update their demographic information including phone, cell phone and e-mail. Students advise the CTE program about their plans for post-secondary education and/or employment. They are also asked to evaluate the program they were in, and if used, the support services provided by the Tech Center. Around October 1, the CTE Student Services Coordinator sends contact logs to the teachers to review for the students who were in their classes. The teacher updates information for students they have been in contact with. At that point, the teachers and the Coordinator start making calls to those who have not been in contact. If they cannot contact the students with the information they have, they seek updated phone numbers, search by name, use e-mail and match with hometown, contact other students who may know them or use social media, the latter is the last resort. As an added benefit to the follow-up is assistance with job placement. When students are called and indicate that they are not employed, a list of people who are looking for jobs is matched up with jobs that are found by the Coordinator in want ads and posted on a job board.

Program Approval Process

Franklin Essex Hamilton BOCES

At Franklin-Essex-Hamilton BOCES, the Health Occupations program is a two-year approved program that is available to students at both CTE campuses. This program allows students to earn various certifications, including CAN, phlebotomy, and Alzheimer's care. A group of teachers, administrators and advisors work together to create a program binder that includes curriculum documents and other required information that they can present. During the self-study review process, stakeholders from various industries, districts and post-secondary education attend a round-robin at an open-house event. Tables are set up displaying the program binder that can be reviewed while self-study team members walk around and ask questions. Questionnaires of each program are then filled out by the self-study team member to make sure all aspects of the self-study were addressed. This thorough and efficient process is also followed for the external review.