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PA Bulletin, Doc. No. 06-181



[22 PA. CODE CH. 339]

Vocational Education

[36 Pa.B. 560]

   The Department of Education (Department) proposes to amend Chapter 339 (relating to vocational education) to read as set forth in Annex A. This rulemaking is proposed under the authority of § 4.32(a) (relating to standards and reports), Article XII of the Public School Code of 1949 (code) (24 P. S. §§ 18-1801--18-1855), section 2603-B of the code (24 P. S. § 26-2603-B), regarding powers and duties of the State Board of Education (Board), and the act of May 29, 1931 (P. L. 210, No. 126) (24 P. S. §§ 1224--1231).


   Chapter 339 establishes regulations to define school entities eligible to receive payments on the account of pupils enrolled in vocational curriculums. This proposed rulemaking reflects current State and Federal statutory requirements and Department policies and practices.

Requirements of the Proposed Rulemaking

   The proposed amendments to § 339.1a (relating to definitions) deletes the definition of ''Competency-Based Vocational Education (CBVE)''; amends the definitions of ''articulation,'' ''attendance area'' and ''diversified occupations program''; and adds definitions of ''AVTS,'' ''action plan,'' ''CIP Codes--Classification of Instructional Programs,'' ''CTSOs--Career and Technical Student Organizations,'' ''cluster vocational education,'' ''completer,'' ''concentrator,'' ''Department,'' ''Educational and Occupational Objectives for a Student Enrolled in an Approved Vocational Technical Program,'' ''Evaluation Plan,'' ''IEiP,'' ''occupational program,'' ''participant,'' ''registered apprenticeship,'' ''SBVE--Standards-Based Vocational Education,'' ''School Code,'' ''school entity,'' ''Secretary'' and ''technical institute.''

   Section 339.2 (relating to operation) is amended to incorporate references to academic and career and technical education to reflect Chapter 4 (relating to academic standards and assessment) and Federal legislation requirements.

   Section 339.3(1)(v) (relating to satellite program) is amended to reflect current language by removing the term ''handicap'' and including the term ''disability.''

   Section 339.4(a)(1) (relating to program approval) is amended to reflect the current name of the Bureau of Career and Technical Education.

   Section 339.4(a)(2) is amended to reflect current reapproval cycle.

   Section 339.4(b)(2) states that the programs are preparing students for high priority occupations.

   Section 339.4(b)(4) states that students achieve industry credentials and Pennsylvania Skills Certificates.

   Section 339.4(b)(8) clarifies that special services for students is defined under other chapters of the school code.

   Section 339.4(b)(10) adds further clarification as to secondary and postsecondary articulation and reference to dual enrollment.

   Section 339.4(b)(13) adds a requirement that evidences sending schools and career and technical schools plan instructional program jointly.

   Section 339.4(d)(1) removes minimum placement rate as means to retain program approval and adds reference to the accountability standards established by the Secretary of Education.

   Section 339.4(d)(3)(i) adds accountability standards schools must meet to continue program approval.

   Section 339.4(e)(1) and (iii) adds reasons why approved programs would be terminated.

   Section 339.4(f) adds annual reporting requirement on attainment of secondary performance measures and standards.

   Section 339.4(g) adds annual reporting requirement on student achievement.

   Section 339.4(h) clarifies the requirement fro students to complete the educational and occupational objectives form annually.

   Section 339.13 (relating to local advisory committee) adds clarification of advisory committee membership.

   Section 339.14 (relating to occupational advisory committee) clarifies occupational advisory committee membership.

   Section 339.15 (relating to minutes) adds requirement to retain committee meeting minutes for a 5-year period.

   Section 339.21(c) (relating to admissions) adds reference to charter schools.

   Section 339.21(d) adds a requirement that guidance counselors help students to make informed decisions related to academic achievement and post-high school opportunities.

   Section 339.21(e) adds opportunity for students denied admissions into an approved program to appeal decision to the Board.

   Section 339.21(f) adds requirement that career and technical education staff be invited to attend Individualized Education Program meetings.

   Section 339.22 (relating to program content) clarifies that purpose of approved programs is to prepare students for high priority occupations, successful employment and postsecondary education. Clarifies that programs are to be standards based and lead to industry skills certification.

   Section 339.22(a)(1) updates language to reflect Chapter 4 and standards-based philosophy of the Department.

   Section 339.22(a)(2) reinforces Chapter 4 and integration of academic standards into career and technical education curriculum.

   Section 339.22(a)(3) reinforces that programs are identified by Classification of Instructional Programs code.

   Section 339.22(a)(4) requires that planned instruction includes academics.

   Section 339.22(a)(5) requires that occupational analysis leads to performance objectives and assessments.

   Section 339.22(a)(6) requires students to achieve industry standards and credentials.

   Section 339.22(a)(7) clarifies that students are provided work-based opportunities.

   Section 339.22(a)(10) clarifies the minimum hours requirement for approved programs and removes course sequencing example and references to course length requirements.

   Section 339.22(b)(5) clarifies that diversified occupations programs require a properly certified instructor.

   Section 339.22(c)(1) updates the program title to reflect the current title used by United States Department of Education.

   Section 339.22(c)(1)(i)(A) requires family and consumer science programs to meet the requirements of Chapter 4 by including academic standards.

   Section 339.22(c)(1)(i)(B) reinforces family and consumer science programs to meet Chapter 4 by including Family and Consumer Science academic standards.

   Section 339.22(c)(1)(ii) removes reference to planned course requirement for approved consumer and homemaking education programs.

   Section 339.22(c)(2) removes reference to industrial arts programs.

   Section 339.22(a) reinforces the requirement for schools to develop secondary and postsecondary articulations.

   Section 339.23(4) (relating to vocational education safety) references the American's With Disabilities Act of 1990 (42 U.S.C.A. §§ 12101--12213).

   Section 339.29 (relating to cooperative vocational education) requires cooperative education programs to meet Department developed cooperative education guidelines.

   Section 339.30(a) (relating to student organizations) updates titles of student organizations to reflect United States Department of Education titles.

   Section 339.30(c) clarifies which student organizations are recognized by the United States Department of Education.

   Section 339.30(d) clarifies that certified instructors direct student organizations and joint operating committee or school boards make the assignment.

   Section 339.30(e) requires that student organizations hold a charter with the National organization and Department.

   Section 339.32(1) (relating to services) requires assistance be provided to students rather than encouraging assistance to be provided.

   Section 339.32(2) requires student career plans include academic and technical coursework that prepares students for postsecondary education training.

   Section 339.41 (relating to certification) references the updated school code in relation to certification and preparation of professional personnel.

   Section 339.51(1) (relating to learning environment) indicates that program laboratory meet industry standards and reflect occupational advisory committee recommendations.

   Section 339.53 (relating to contemporary equipment) adds the requirement that equipment and facilities be comparable to industry standards or reimbursement may be withheld.

   Section 339.56 (relating to technical institutes) adds technical institute standards, the process for establishing technical institutes and funding of technical institutes.

Affected Parties

   The proposed rulemaking affects professional educators, public schools, teacher education programs and professional employees of the public schools of this Commonwealth (including intermediate units, area vocational-technical schools, public charter and alternative schools) who hold approved vocational-technical education programs.

Cost and Paperwork Estimates

   Since this proposed rulemaking largely reflects existing provisions of State and Federal statutes, court decisions and regulations, the costs associated with compliance would be negligible to the school entities. Estimated cost to the Commonwealth to support he technical institutes is $9,849,112.

Effective Date

   The proposed rulemaking will become effective upon final-form publication in the Pennsylvania Bulletin.

Sunset Date

   In accordance with its policy and practice respecting all regulations promulgated by it, the Department plans to review the effectiveness of Chapter 339 after 4 years. Therefore, no sunset date is necessary.

Regulatory Review

   Under section 5(a) of the Regulatory Review Act (71 P. S. § 745.5(a)), on January 19, 2006, the Department submitted a copy of this proposed rulemaking and a copy of a Regulatory Analysis Form to the Independent Regulatory Review Commission (IRRC) and to the Chairpersons of the House and Senate Committees on Education. A copy of this material is available to the public upon request.

   Under section 5(g) of the Regulatory Review Act, IRRC may convey any comments, recommendations or objections to the proposed rulemaking within 30 days of the close of the public comment period. The comments, recommendations or objections must specify the regulatory review criteria which have not been met. The Regulatory Review Act specifies detailed procedures for review, prior to final publication of the rulemaking, by the Department, the General Assembly and the Governor of comments, recommendations or objections raised.

Public Comments and Contact Person

   Interested persons are invited to submit written comments, suggestions or objections regarding this proposed rulemaking to Robert G. Barlett, Director, Bureau of Career and Technical Education, 333 Market Street, Harrisburg, PA 17126-0333 within 30 days following publication in the Pennsylvania Bulletin.

   Persons with disabilities needing an alternative means of providing public comment may make arrangements by calling Jim Buckheit at (717) 787-3787 or TDD (717) 787-7367.


   Fiscal Note: 6-298. (1) General Fund; (2) Implementing Year 2005-06 is $0; (3) 1st Succeeding Year 2006-07 is $0; 2nd Succeeding Year 2007-08 is $0; 3rd Succeeding Year 2008-09 is $549,000; 4th Succeeding Year 2009-10 is $914,000; 5th Succeeding Year 2010-11 is $1,300,000; (4) 2005-06 Program--$59,600,000; 2004-05 Program--$58,200,000; 2003-04 Program--$56,800,000; (7) Vocational Education; (8) recommends adoption.

Annex A





§ 339.1. Scope of applications.

   [This program applies to programs for which vocational education payments are made under sections 2502.8, 2504, 2504.3, 2506.1, 2507, 2508, 2508.1--2508.4 of the Public School Code of 1949 (24 P. S. §§ 25-2502.8, 25-2504, 25-2504.3, 25-2506.1, 25-2507, 25-2508, 25-2508.1--25-2508.4) and 24 P. S. § 1707. Also included are the Federal Acts as follows: The Vocational Education Act of 1963 (20 U.S.C.A. §§ 2301--2471), section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (29 U.S.C.A. § 794), Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (42 U.S.C.A. §§ 2000d--2000d-4), and Title IX of the Educational Amendments of 1972 (20 U.S.C.A. §§ 1681--implementing regulations thereto and Vocational Education Program Guidelines for Eliminating Discrimination and Denial of Services on the Basis of Race, Color, National Origin, Sex and Handicap (45 CFR Part 80 Appendix B).] This chapter applies to school entities that provide vocational education programs under sections 1801-1855 of the School Code (24 P. S. §§ 18-1801--18-1855). These programs may receive:

   (1)  Payments on account of pupils enrolled in vocational curriculums. (See section 2502.8 of the School Code (24 P. S. § 25-2502.8).)

   (2)  Payments on account of students enrolled in technical institutes. (See section 2504.3 of the School Code (24 P. S. § 25-2504.3).)

   (3)  Payments on account of approved adult programs. (See section 2506.1 of the School Code (24 P. S. § 25-506.1).)

   (4)  Payments on account of approved vocational extension classes and preemployment training. (See section 2507 of the School Code (24 P. S. § 25-2507).)

   (5)  Payments on account of equipment purchased by area vocational-technical schools and technical institutions. (See section 2508.1 of the School Code (24 P. S. § 25-2508.1).)

   (6)  Payments for vocational training of recipients of public assistance and unemployment compensation. (See section 2508.3 of the School Code (24 P. S. § 25-2508.3).)

   (7)  Payments on account of improvements and additions in vocational-technical curriculums. (See section 2508.4 of the School Code (24 P. S. § 25-2508.4).)

   (8)  Payments under the Vocational and Applied Technology Act of 1998 (20 U.S.C.A. §§ 2301--2417).

§ 339.1a. Definitions.

   (a)  The definitions in [§ 6.1 (Reserved)] § 4.3 (relating to definitions) apply to this chapter.

   (b)  The following words and terms, when used in this [part] chapter, have the following meanings, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:

   AVTS--Area vocational technical school, as defined in § 4.3.

   Action plan--Formal strategies and accountability plans for ensuring that all students are equipped with the academic and occupational skills they need for career success and lifelong learning.

   Articulation--A planned process of curriculum development, instructional strategies and administrative procedures, which link [one or more educational departments or] educational agencies with other education [departments or] agencies or with industries. The [purpose of the linkage is to help a student to] linkage helps students make a [smooth and successful] transition from one to the other without experiencing delays in or duplication of learning.

   Attendance area--A geographical area of school districts and pupils to be served by an area vocational-technical school or technical institute which has been approved by the State Board for Vocational Education. (See section 1840.1 of the School Code (24 P. S. § 18-1840.1).)

   CIP Codes--Classification of Instructional Programs--A numerical coding of instructional programs developed by the United States Department of Education used to identify vocational programs within the Commonwealth.

   CTSOs--Career and Technical Student Organi- zations--In-school organizations that provide personal and leadership development related to a career and technical program area as recognized by the United States Department of Education. (See § 339.30 (relating to student organizations).)

   Cluster vocational education--A program that consists of competencies found in more than one vocational education program as defined by CIP codes. (See § 339.22(k) (relating to program content).)

   Completer--A student who completes all the requirements of a vocational technical program, takes the appropriate occupational competency assessment under the Pennsylvania Skills Assessment Program, and graduates.

   [Competency-Based Vocational Education (CBVE) --An instructional system utilizing a written planned vocational course that is based on occupational analysis and performance objectives that meet the definition in § 339.22(1)(i) (relating to program content). Instruction is derived from tasks performed in an occupation/job that have been reviewed by trade/technical and occupational advisory committees.]

   Concentrator--A student who is at least 14 years of age and is enrolled full time, 360 hours per year, in a career and technical education program. Only concentrator students are counted for vocational subsidies.

   Department--The Department of Education of the Commonwealth.

   Diversified [occupations program] Occupations Program--A planned vocational program, which may be offered at either the area vocational-technical school or a comprehensive high school. The program prepares [a heterogeneous group of] students from more than one vocational education area of instruction for gainful employment. The program is a [direct relationship/] partnership between a local business\ [/] and industry and the [local education agency] school entity. [Career competency and manipulative aspects of a] A full range of career competencies are developed at the job training station site. The school, in a classroom setting, provides related [general as well as] academic and technical instruction, including safety. A cooperative education certified teacher is required for such a program.

   Educational and Occupational Objectives for a Student Enrolled in an Approved Vocational Technical Program--A statement of the classes or courses a student has taken or will take and expected occupational outcomes to be achieved, including graduation, postsecondary participation and employment.

   Evaluation plan--A formal plan of assessing the effectiveness of vocational programs.

   IEP--Individualized Education Program under § 14.131 (relating to IEP).

   Occupational program--A plan to deliver rigorous workforce preparedness through knowledge, skills and attributes required for a specific or cluster occupation through completion of a vocational program.

   Participant--A student who enrolls in vocational education planned instruction, but who is not a concentrator. Participants do not qualify for vocational education subsidy.

   Registered apprenticeship--A plan registered with the Apprenticeship and Training Council of the Commonwealth and evidenced by a Certificate of Registration or other appropriate document as meeting the apprenticeship standards of the Council. These programs are articulated with postsecondary institutions, technical institutes and industry partners who offer registered apprenticeship, certificate or degree programs.

   SBVE--Standards-Based Vocational Education-- An instructional system utilizing a written, planned vocational course that is based on occupational analysis and performance objectives. Occupational tasks reviewed by an occupational advisory committee provide the basis for instruction. The instructional system also incorporates and addresses attainment of academic standards (§ 4.12).

   School Code--The Public School Code of 1949 (24 P. S. §§ 1-101--27-2702).

   School entity--Any local public education provider (such as, public school, charter school, cyber charter school, AVTS, intermediate unit).

   Secretary--The Secretary of the Department.

   Technical institute--An institute established, maintained, conducted and operated for the purpose of providing technical education and training by offering nondegree-granting post high school programs and courses of not more than 2 years' duration, which shall prepare out-of-school youth and adults for technical areas leading to technical certificates. (See section 1841 of the School Code (24 P. S. § 18-1841) regarding to establishment of schools). Technical institutes may not grant degrees, but are encouraged to develop articulation agreements with degree-granting institutions to facilitate transfer of student credit.

§ 339.2. Operation.

   A board of school directors, acting individually or in conjunction with other boards of school directors, may establish, operate, maintain and conduct rigorous academic and career and technical education vocational or technical education programs or both, under the approved [long range] strategic plans.

§ 339.3. Satellite program.

   A satellite vocational education program is a program established, maintained and administered by an area vocational-technical board in a participating school district facility as an integral part of the [area vocational-technical school(] AVTS [)]. The requirements for satellite programs are:

   (1)  AVTS requirements. In school districts having approved satellite programs, the area vocational-technical board shall be required to:

*      *      *      *      *

   (v)  Develop recommendations that assist students in meeting their career needs without regard to [a student's] sex, race or [handicap] disability.

   (vi)  [Insure] Ensure that a program of safety is incorporated into the curriculum.

   (2)  School district requirements. School districts receiving coordination services for [their] approved satellite vocational educational program shall:

   (i)  Maintain budgetary control [regarding] over supplies and equipment, insurance, utilities[,] and routine upkeep [and the like].

*      *      *      *      *

§ 339.4 Program approval.

   (a)  General rule. New, expanded or revised programs will be approved by the Secretary prior to operation. A program will not receive vocational education payments until it has been approved by the Secretary under this chapter. Vocational education programs in existence and approved prior to September 1, [1986] 2005, [and approved prior to September 1, 1986,] will be reapproved by the Secretary as set forth in paragraph (2).

   (1)  New, expanded or revised programs. After September 1, [1986] 2005, new, expanded or revised programs will be approved by the Secretary prior to operation. For funding purposes, new, expanded or revised programs shall be submitted to the Bureau of [Vocational and Adult] Career and Technical Education prior to August 1 to receive full-year reimbursement.

   (2)  Reapproval. Previously approved vocational education programs will be reviewed for approval by the Secretary for assurance of compliance with [Chapter 6 (Reserved)] this chapter. The reviews will take place between September 1, [1986] 2005 and [August 31, 1988] June 30, 2010.

   (b)  Application for approval or reapproval. Programs shall be reviewed for compliance with this section. New, expanded, [or] revised, and existing programs shall submit evidence of compliance with this chapter. [Substantial revision includes, but is not limited to: A change in the number of years a program is offered; a change in the number of hours a program is offered; a change in the objectives of the vocational planned courses; and a change in the facilities.] Application shall be made on forms supplied by the Department[. Applications shall include], which must include, but not be limited to:

   (1)  [Evidence of planning under § 6.12 (Reserved).

   (2)]  A description of the program and how a [competency] standards-based philosophy has been incorporated as required by § 339.22 (relating to program content).

   (2)  Evidence that the program prepares students for high priority occupations or other occupations supported by local labor market information and is supported by local employers.

   (3)  Evidence that the instructional equipment is comparable to industry needs as recommended by the Advisory Committee. Evidence may be the minutes of the Advisory Committee meetings.

   (4)  Student achievement of industry-based standards and Pennsylvania Skills Certificate.

   [(3)] (5)  The length of time students will be scheduled into a program as required by § 339.22(a)(4)(i).

   [(4)] (6)  *   *   *

   [(5)  Evidence that the program is justified by local labor market information and is supported by local employers.

   (6)  Evidence that the instructional equipment is comparable to industry needs as recommended by the Advisory Committee. See § 6.61 (reserved). Evidence may be the minutes of the Advisory Committee meetings.]

*      *      *      *      *

   (8)  Assurance that support or special services are available to the [instructor] students when disadvantaged, disabled or limited English-speaking students are enrolled as required by [§ 6.31 (reserved)] Chapters 14 and 15 (relating to special education programs and services; and protected handicapped students). These students are provided with the support and assistance as written in the IEP or service agreement, and that are necessary to succeed in the vocational program.

   (9)  Assurance shall be given that students have the appropriate competencies in mathematics, science and English prior to entrance in a vocational training program and that subsequent instruction in these academic areas [be] is appropriate to their chosen area of occupational training.

   [(i)  Articulation shall be in Mathematics, Science, English, Industrial Arts and Home Economics and be incorporated into courses/credits mandated by Chapter 5 (Reserved).

   (ii)  Competencies in existing planned courses shall be documented in the following areas:

   (A)  Mathematics applications.

   (B)  Computer science.

   (C)  Applied science.

   (D)  Basic manipulative skills.

   (E)  Measurement skills.

   (F)  Communication skills.]

   (10)  Assurance that articulation exists between secondary and postsecondary institutions within a service area [according to § 6.12] and that a system exists promoting seamless transition to ensure the maximum opportunity for student placement including opportunities for dual enrollment and other strategies that promote acquisition of postsecondary credit while still in high school.

   (11)  Program sponsorship and involvement in CTSOs.

   (12)  Evidence, if a program submitted for reapproval is reduced in hours, that the reduction in hours will not result in a less effective education program being offered.

   (13)  Evidence that joint planning with sending schools around academic and other needs of attending students occurs.

   (c)  Documentation. Documentation supporting compliance with each item on the application for approval or reapproval--subsection (b)--shall be maintained at the local educational agency and shall be available for Department review. [Review includes, but is not limited to, procedures listed in § 339.61 (relating to evaluation.]

   (d)  Retain approval.

   (1)  [In order to] To retain program approval, it shall be necessary to achieve [a minimum placement rate--employment, military service or enrollment in postsecondary training program--within 3 years. By March 1, 1987, the Secretary will determine the minimum placement rate, and it will be published as an amendment to this section] the accountability standards established by the Secretary.

   [(2)  In determining compliance with the established placement rate, the Secretary will consider such factors as unemployment rates for needs students served by the program; and other characteristics, which might affect the placement rate, and may, at his discretion, waive compliance with the minimum placement rate.

   (3)  If a program does not meet the minimum placement rate, an additional year will be granted to permit the program to meet that rate before the program approval is withdrawn. During this period, the Department will provide assistance to the local education agency.]

   (i)  Accountability standards. School entities shall implement the following standards, which shall be subject to review by the Department:

   (A)  Industry assessment, industry credentials, certification or State assessment will serve as the vehicle for occupational competency testing. Student performance on occupational competency testing will be measured by the Pennsylvania Skills Certificate or other approved industry certification to define the level of occupational achievement. All completers shall complete an occupational competency evaluation.

   (B)  Student performance on achieving academic standards will be measured, and the Pennsylvania System of School Assessment (PSSA) will be used to define the level of academic achievement.

   (C)  Statewide performance measures and standards must address:

   (I)  Student attainment of rigorous academic and vocational skill proficiencies.

   (II)  Student attainment of secondary school diploma or its recognized equivalent, a proficiency credential in conjunction with a secondary school diploma, or a postsecondary degree or credential.

   (III)  Placement in, retention in and completion of postsecondary education or advanced training (including registered apprenticeships), placement in military service, or placement and retention in employment.

   (IV)  Student participation in and completion of vocational education programs that lead to non-traditional training and employment.

   (D)  Local entities shall conduct studies to determine the effectiveness of the career and technical education program in preparing students to achieve academic and technical standards. These data shall be shared with local boards of directors or joint operating committees to ensure that students' performance correlates with current workforce needs.

   (2)  School entities shall submit for reapproval at least every 5 years.

   (3)  In addition, the Department will notify, in writing, each school entity that does not meet or exceed expectations of the standards set by the Secretary, and will require the school to submit a compliance plan to the Bureau of Career and Technical Education. Each noncomplying school entity shall develop a compliance plan and document all corrective actions taken pursuant to it. Upon its approval of the plan, the Department will continue to review the program and provide technical assistance.

   (e)  Terminations.

   (1)  Programs will be terminated for the following reasons:

   (i)  Program fails within a 3-year period to successfully meet the accountability standards established by the Secretary and may be terminated in accordance with § 339.62 (relating to noncompliance: appeal process).

   (ii)  School entities request termination. Before program termination, the local administrator shall secure board approval and forward a copy of the board's minutes with a letter of explanation to the Department. If the Department does not respond to the school entity's submission within 60 days, the termination shall be considered approved.

   (iii)  Program fails to report student enrollment for 3 consecutive school years and may be terminated in accordance with § 339.62.

   (f)  School entities shall report annually to the Department on the accomplishment of Secondary Performance Measures and Standards as outlined in the State plan.

   (g)  School entities shall report student achievement annually to the Department.

   (h)  Students entering career and technical education programs shall complete annually an Educational and Occupational Objectives for a Student Enrolled in an Approved Vocational Technical Program.

   [(e)] (i)  Private school contracts. Contractual arrangements may be made by public schools with approved private institutions to provide secondary or postsecondary vocational-technical instruction [Instruction shall be limited to] only in occupational fields [in] for which public school programs are unavailable. The private institutions shall meet program certification and other mandates regarding vocational education programs contained in the [Public] School Code [(24 P. S. §§ 1-101--27-2702)] and this title.

   [(f)  Terminations. Before program termination the local administrator shall secure board approval and forward a copy of the board's minutes with a letter of explanation to the Department. If the Department does not respond to the school entity's submission within 60 days, the termination shall be considered approved.]


§ 339.13. Local advisory committee.

   [A local advisory committee shall include representatives of education, industry, business, community-based organizations, joint apprenticeship councils--if available--labor, management, parents and students. The committee shall advise the board and the administration concerning the general philosophy, objectives and program needs of the school. The board and the administration will make the decisions.] The local advisory committee as set forth in § 4.33(a) (relating to advisory committees) shall also include representatives authorized by the workforce investment board, civic organizations, and higher education institutions.

§ 339.14. Occupational advisory committee.

   The occupational advisory committee [shall be comprised of representatives from business and industry actively engaged in the occupation for which training is being provided. Representation may also include management and labor personnel, homemakers, vocational education students, recent graduates of the program and members-at-large from the community. The occupational advisory committee shall provide advice on performance objectives to the classroom teacher. See § 339.22 (relating to program content). The classroom teacher will set performance objectives.] as set forth in § 4.33(c) (relating to advisory committees) shall also include representatives authorized by the workforce investment board, civic organizations, and higher education institutions.

§ 339.15. Minutes.

   Official minutes of the advisory, occupational advisory and administrative committee meetings shall be maintained by the respective committee for 5 years from the meeting date.


§ 339.21. Admissions.

   An admissions policy developed by the local education agency regarding entrance to a vocational education program [shall] must state whether enrollment is unlimited or limited. If enrollment is limited, an admissions policy shall include nondiscriminatory eligibility requirements for the purpose of predicting a student's success in a given program. When the number of students predicted to be successful in a given program is less than the number of openings available in that given program, the openings may be available to adults or students at another school district, which are predicted to be successful in that program. When the number of students predicted to be successful in a given program exceeds the number of openings available, an admissions policy [shall] must include a nondiscriminatory selection procedure, as required by current Federal and Commonwealth statutes, regulations and guidelines.

*      *      *      *      *

   (2)  If a school develops a recruitment program, announcements concerning vocational education [shall] must exemplify freedom from occupational stereotypes and to the extent possible the philosophy of equal access [to the following:

   (i)  Females and males.

   (ii)  Individuals with Disabilities.

   (iii)  Disadvantaged individuals.

   (iv)  Limited English speaking individuals.

   (v)  Racial or ethnic groups].

   (3)  A student enrolled in a charter school may attend a vocational program available to students in the student's school district of residence, as defined in section 1302 of the School Code (24 P. S. § 13-1302).

   (4)  Guidance personnel shall provide to students the information necessary to make informed decisions regarding the selection of appropriate vocational education programs and discuss the importance of high school academic achievement and postsecondary education and training to career success.

   (5)  Denial of admission may be appealed to the board or joint operating board of the school making the decision. If the board refuses admission, the student may appeal its decision to the State Board of Vocational Education.

   (6)  With regard to the placement of students with IEPs or service agreements in vocational programming, faculty from the vocational programs in which students are recommended for placement will participate as members of the IEP and service agreement teams.

   (7)  IEP and service agreement team meetings, when scheduled by the school district, must give notice to the career and technical education instructor assigned and shall be attended by the program instructor to which the student is seeking admission. See § 339.22 (relating to program content).

§ 339.22. Program content.

   (a)  Occupational program requirements. The primary [objective of an occupational program is to provide job information and help students acquire specific occupational skills, efficient work habits and positive attitudes about the personal, social and economic significance of work] objectives of an occupational program are to prepare students for high priority occupations or other occupations supported by local labor market information and is supported by local employers, and for successful employment and lifelong learning through acquisition of high-level academic, technical and career development skills, efficient work habits and attitudes about the personal, social and economic significance of work. Occupational programs include vocational agriculture, vocational business education, vocational health occupations, vocational marketing and distributive education, vocational occupational [home economics] family and consumer sciences, and vocational trade, industrial and technical education. Occupational programs [shall] must be [competency] standards-based, meet licensure or [requirements] industry skill certification or Pennsylvania Skills Certificate, as required, provide extended classroom experience, and meet minimum time requirements. The specific requirements of the foregoing elements are as follows:

   (1)  [Competency] Standards-based. Programs [shall] must have [competency] standards-based plans. A [competency] standards-based plan is an instructional system that is planned and managed by the teacher, based upon occupational analysis and clearly stated performance objectives that are deemed critical to successful employment as recommended by occupational advisory committees [that are deemed critical to successful employment]. The instructional process [shall] must derive its content from the task performed in each occupation and job and provide for the assessment of student performance on the basis of preset performance standards. [Competency] Standards-based plans [shall] must include:

   (i)  Performance objectives. A vocational education program [shall] must identify performance objectives in accordance with criteria developed by the local education agency in cooperation with the occupational advisory committee. The performance objectives [shall] consist of the following three parts:

   (A)  The conditions under which the task will be performed--the, materials and supplies provided.

*      *      *      *      *

   (ii)  Program plans. Vocational education program content shall be designed in accordance with one of the following [competency] standards-based plans:

*      *      *      *      *

   (2) Pennsylvania academic standards. Pennsylvania academic standards of mathematics, language arts and science shall be integrated within the technical curriculum and instruction.

   (3)  CIP Code. Programs will be identified by CIP code.

   (4)  Planned instruction. This planned instruction must include the integration of academic, career development and technical curricula at the secondary level.

   (5)  Occupational analysis. The occupational analysis leads to clearly stated performance objectives deemed critical to successful employment, and assessment of student competencies based upon performance standards.

   (6)  Industry standards. Prepare students to meet industry-defined standards, certifications, regulations or licensing agreements demonstrated through industry assessment, industry credentials, industry certification, license or State assessment.

   (7)  Work-based learning. Provide students with an opportunity to acquire experiences in appropriate work situations related to their program.

   (8)  License requirements. Programs designed to provide students with the background to meet certification[, registration]. Registration and licensure requirements [shall] must meet the standards of the licensing agency and [shall] be supervised or administered according to the certifying or licensing agency, Part I (relating to State Board of Education) and Part II (relating to standards). Information on legal requirements or limitations relating to the occupations for which they are preparing shall be given to all students in writing.

   [(3)] (9)  *   *   *

   [(4)] (10)  Minimum time requirements.

   (i)  The [local educational agency] school entity may develop vocational education programs, to qualify for subsidy, for any time length as long as they do not go below [the minimums listed in this subsection] 360 hours per year.

*      *      *      *      *

   [(ii)  The following requirements shall be considered in planning vocational education programs based on the minimum time requirements listed in subparagraph (i):

   (A)  A planned vocational course shall be equal to 120 clock hours and is equal to one unit of credit.

   (B)  Vocational education credits may be given for hours spent in supervised occupational experience and cooperative and clinical experiences.

   (C)  A minimum of two planned courses shall be operated per year. These two planned courses shall be skilled courses.

   (D)  Sequences shall be offered in consecutive years and the last year of the program will conclude in the twelfth grade.

   (E)  Where necessary to promote the educational program, up to three planned vocational courses may be substituted for the required graduation units of credit set forth in § 5.5(b) (Reserved), except that not more than one substitution may be made in a single listed course title and no substitution may be made for the one required unit of credit in health and physical education. The school district shall verify that a relationship exists between the content learned or the skills developed in the approved vocational course and the high school graduation credit for which it is substituted. The substitution shall be reported to the Department under the process for curriculum exceptions set forth in § 5.12(a) (Reserved).

   (F)  Options for awarding planned course credit are explained in §  5.11 (Reserved).

   (G)  This section includes the minimum requirements for a program to be eligible for vocational reimbursement. It is recognized that selected vocational programs may require more than the minimum hours to offer an effective education program.

   (b)  Exceptional programs requirements. Exceptional programs could include any of the occupational areas defined in this section. See subsection (a). An exceptional program will be approved to address special needs documented by the local education agency. The program content shall be designed in accordance with one of the following competency-based plans:

   (1)  Special vocational. A plan designed to meet the vocational education requirements of special students in accordance with their individualized education programs.

   (2)  Experimental. Special pilot, experimental, exemplary or innovative programs, which do not fit within the structure of any of the plans, may be approved on an annual basis after review by the Secretary.

   (c)] (b)  Diversified occupations program requirements. Diversified occupations programs [could] may include any of the occupational areas defined in subsection (a) or other occupational areas not offered at the comprehensive high schools or [area vocational technical school] AVTS. The diversified occupations program shall be available as a 1-year or 2-year program. This program is for 11th and 12th grade students who are unable to gain admission to a vocational program due to excessive numbers of applicants, inability to meet entrance requirements for other existing vocational programs, or lack of specific vocational areas offered at the comprehensive high school or participating [area vocational-technical school] AVTS. The requirements for these programs are:

   (1)  One planned course--equal to one unit of credit--of general related theory or technical related content, or both, [per year] shall be offered per year.

   (2)  Students shall be legally employed a minimum of 15 hours a week during the school year[--these]. These hours can be other than school hours.

*      *      *      *      *

   (4)  A training plan and a training agreement shall be developed with the employer and shall be on file with both the school and the employer.

   (5)  The program is taught by a certified cooperative education teacher.

   [(d)] (c)  Nonoccupational program requirements.

   (1)  [Consumer and homemaking] Family and consumer sciences education programs. The [consumer and homemaking] family and consumer sciences education programs [shall] must operate in a comprehensive high school. [Only approved programs are eligible for Federal vocational funds.]

   (i)  Primary objectives. The primary objectives of [consumer and homemaking] family and consumer sciences education programs are:

   (A)  Pennsylvania academic standards of mathematics, language arts, and science shall be integrated within the technical curriculum and instruction.

   (B)  To prepare both males and females with knowledge and skills [in the five subject matter areas relating to home and family life. The areas include: food and nutrition, human development and interpersonal relationships, management and consumerism, housing and home furnishings and clothing and textiles] required to meet the approved Family and Consumer Sciences Academic Standards.

   [(B)] (C)  *   *   *

   [(ii)  Requirements. The requirements for consumer and homemaking education programs are:

   (A)  The minimum instructional time for an approved consumer and homemaking education program shall be equal to two planned courses--240--clock hours for a minimum of 2 years beginning in the ninth grade or any year thereafter, providing a 2-year sequence.

   (B)  The consumer and homemaking education program shall include content from all five subject matter areas as follows: foods and nutrition; human development; management and consumerism; housing, furnishings and equipment; and textiles and clothing. The first year of the program offering shall be broad in scope. The second year may be more advanced or concentrated in several subject matter areas. Programs are to be designed to provide students adequate learning and activities in all subject matter areas for a comprehensive program.

   (2)  Industrial arts programs. Industrial arts programs shall operate only in approved secondary schools. Only approved programs are eligible for Federal vocational funds. Upon the conclusion of grade 9, the students shall have completed a planned course, equal to one unit of credit--120 clock hours--of instruction encompassing the following minimum clustered content:

   (i)  Industrial Materials--Construction; Manufacturing.

   (ii)  Visual Communications--Drafting; Graphic Arts.

   (iii)  Power Technology--Electricity/Electronics; Power Mechanics/Systems; Fluids.]

   (d)  Postsecondary education and training. Encourage articulation of the secondary program of studies with postsecondary institutions, technical institutes and industry partners who offer registered apprenticeship, certificate or degree programs.

§ 339.23. Vocational education safety.

   Vocational education shall be provided consistent with safety standards [shall be met as defined by Department guidelines] in the following areas:

   (1)  Safety instruction shall be practiced in the laboratory and classroom.

   (2)  Equipment guards and personal safety devices shall be in place and used.

   (3)  Class enrollment shall be safe relative to classroom or laboratory size and number of workstations.

   (4)  [Work stations] Workstations shall be barrier-free, assuring accessibility and safety under section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (29 U.S.C.A. § 794) and 34 CFR 104.22(a) (relating to existing facilities) and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (42 U.S.C.A. §§ 12101--12213).

   (5)  Provisions shall be made for safe practices to meet individual educational needs of handicapped persons under section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, 34 CFR 104.33(b) (relating to free appropriate public education), OCR Guidelines, VI and 45 CFR Part 80 (relating to nondiscrimination under programs receiving Federal assistance through the Department of Health and Human Services effectuation of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964).

   (6)  Storage of materials and supplies [meeting] must meet 34 Pa. Code Part I (relating to Industrial Board).

   (7)  Safety practices [met according to] must meet State and Federal regulations.

§ 339.29. Cooperative vocational education.

   [If cooperative vocational education is provided, it shall be planned in accordance with the stated career or occupational objectives of the student and shall include:

   (1)  Related learning experiences at a school-approved work station.

   (2)  A memorandum of understanding as defined in the Department guidelines, signed by the student, parent or guardian, school official and cooperating employer or representative.

   (3)  Payment of the existing legal wage when applicable under section 206 of the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 (29 U.S.C.A. § 206) and The Minimum Wage Act of 1968 (43 P. S. §§ 333.101--333.115).

   (4)  Provision for administration and supervision by school staff members in cooperation with the employer.

   (5)  A minimum of one onsite student evaluation by a coordinator for on-the-job activities per month.

   (6)  At least 45 minutes per week, or 90 minutes every other week, for students to meet with their vocational instructor to discuss job problems and related information.

   (7)  Credit for cooperative vocational education work experience.

   (8)  A certified cooperative vocational education instructor coordinating the program.

   (9)  Compliance with Federal and State statutes.

   (10)  Insurance protection for both the school and students.] Cooperative education shall be conducted in accordance with the educational and occupational objectives for a student enrolled in an approved vocational technical program and shall meet published Department guidelines. See § 4.3 (relating to advisory committee).

§ 339.30. Student organizations.

   (a)  [Recognized student organizations] CTSOs shall be an integral part of the respective vocational education program. Instruction shall provide for the development of human relations skills; knowledge of occupations; leadership competencies and positive attitudes towards fulfilling occupational, civic, social, and community responsibilities.

   (b)  [Student organizations] CTSOs recognized in this Commonwealth are those recognized as [vocational student organizations] CTSOs career and technical student organizations by the United States Department of Education. [(c)] Members of [vocational education student organizations] CTSOs shall be under the direct supervision of professional [vocational] career and technical education personnel within the respective [vocational] career and technical education program.

   (c)  CTSOs in this Commonwealth include:

   (1)  Distributive Education Clubs of America (DECA).

   (2)  Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA).

   (3)  Family, Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA).

   (4)  Health Occupations Students Organization (HOSA).

   (5)  National FFA Organization (FFA).

   (6)  National Young Farmer Educational Association (NYFEA).

   (7)  SkillsUSA (formerly Vocational Industrial Clubs of America).

   (8)  Technology Student Association (TSA).

   (9)  Other organizations that are approved by the United States Department of Education in the future.

   (d)  Members of CTSOs shall be under the direct supervision of certified professional education personnel as assigned by the joint operating committee or school board.

   (e)  CTSOs shall hold a charter between their National organization and the Department.


§ 339.31. Plan.

   There shall be a written plan on file, approved by the local board of school directors, for the development and implementation of a comprehensive, sequential program of guidance services for kindergarten through 12th grade. The plan [shall] must include procedures to provide for [the extension of] guidance services to [area vocational-technical schools that service participating school districts] AVTS. Upon request, the plan shall be submitted to the Secretary.

§ 339.32. Services.

   The plan shall be designed to promote equal opportunity and include the following guidance service areas:

   (1)  [Encouragement of students to select the vocational curriculum, which will meet their needs.] Assistance to students in selecting vocational curricula that meet their needs and address their interests.

   (2)  Assistance for all vocational students in making educational career plans including, but not limited to, high school academic and technical preparation and postsecondary education and training, and adjustments through the use of individual and group counseling and appropriate student assessment procedures.

*      *      *      *      *

   (6)  Support of a placement service [which] that is developmental and makes provisions for the transition from school to the world of work.

*      *      *      *      *


§ 339.41. Certification.

   Certification requirements [shall] include:

   (1)  Professional [employes] employees. [Professional personnel shall meet the standards as defined in the Department's publication, Certification and Staffing Policies and Guidelines. The publication may be obtained from the Bureau of Teacher Certification and Preparation of the Department.] Professional staff shall meet standards as defined in Chapters 49 and 354 (relating to certification of professional personnel; and preparation of professional educators) as well as certification and professional standards and requirements for teachers under sections 1201--1215 and 2070.1--2070.18 of the School Code (24 P. S. §§ 12-1201--12-1215 and 2070.1--2070.18)

   (2)  [Inservice] In-service plan. Local education agencies shall have a plan on file that [insures] ensures professional personnel will keep up with the technology and remain current with practices and standards of their professional areas[--for example, participation in professional development activities].

*      *      *      *      *

   (4)  Chief administrator of the area school. [Since the Director of Vocational Education is not a commissioned school officer, the Public] The School Code [(24 P. S. §§ 1-101--27-2701)] provides that area vocational-technical boards shall designate the executive director of the intermediate unit or a chief school administrator of one of the participating school districts to serve in the capacity of the chief administrator of the area school.

*      *      *      *      *


§ 339.51. Learning environment.

   The requirements for the learning environment are as follows:

   (1)  Size of laboratory. Shop laboratory size [shall] must be adequate as [recommended by the occupational advisory committee,] required by State licensing boards, accreditation providers and industry certification standards and take into consideration the recommendations of the occupational advisory committee.

   (2)  Type of equipment [and number of work station]. Refer to [22 Pa. Code] § [§ 6.12(b)(6), 6.63 and 339.4(10)] 339.4(b)(5) (relating to [Reserved; Reserved; and] program approval) for requirements related to equipment.

   (3)  Number of [work stations] workstations. Students assigned may not be greater than the number of [work stations] workstations available.

*      *      *      *      *

§ 339.53. Contemporary equipment.

   [Equipment needs are identified in § 6.12(b)(6) (Reserved).] The equipment and facilities must be comparable to industry standards. The Department may withhold reimbursement if equipment and facilities are not comparable to industry standards.


§ 339.56. Technical institutes.

   (a)  Article 18 of the School Code (24 P. S. §§ 18-1801--18-1855) authorizes school boards to establish and operate technical institutes (TIs) for the purpose of offering post-high school programs to prepare out of school youths and adults for occupations requiring technical training.

   (b)  TIs shall be regulated by Article 18 of the School Code, this chapter and by procedural guidelines prepared by the Department and adopted by the State Board for Vocational Education.

   (c)  Section 1841 of the School Code (24 P. S. § 18-1841) authorizes the establishment of a TI by a majority vote in convention or by mail called for by:

   (1)  Boards of public education.

   (2)  Intermediate units' board of directors through a certified vote. (See section 1844(a) and (d) of the School Code (24 P. S. § 18-1844 (a) and (d) regarding establishment of schools and institutes).) State Vocational Board approval is required prior to the establishment of a TI.

   (d)  Participating school districts shall have authority to enter into written agreements establishing their rights and obligations. This agreement may not be changed without the consent of each participating school district's board of directors as determined by a majority vote, in accordance with section 1850.1(a) of the School Code (24 P. S. § 18-1850.1(a)) regarding organization and operation of schools and institutes.

   (e)  To be eligible for funding, an institute must have:

   (1)  A statement of philosophy documenting how the mission fulfills the educational needs of this Commonwealth. § 40.2 (relating to statement of philosophy, mission and need).

   (2)  Strategic plans, including needs assessment; action plans; coordination and articulation plans among secondary, postsecondary, adult and apprenticeship programs; professional staff development plan; written plan for job placement; and a plan for repair, replacement and addition of instructional equipment.

   (3)   A local advisory committee.

   (4)  An occupational advisory committee.

   (5)  Admissions policies.

   (6)  Planned instruction and programs that have been approved under criteria established by the Secretary.

   (7)   A method of compliance review to meet requirement of being evaluated every 5 years.

   (8)   A compliance plan as required by formal compliance review conducted by the Department.

   (9)  Contemporary equipment.

   (10)  Accreditation by those recognized accrediting agencies listed for postsecondary purposes by the United States Department of Education.

   (f)  Once a favorable vote takes place, a proposal to establish a TI shall be presented to the State Board for Vocational Education for its approval.

   (g)  The TI board may delegate operation to:

   (1)  A joint committee elected by the participating boards in accordance with sections 1850.1--1850.3 of the School Code (24 P. S. §§ 18-1850.1--18-1850.3).

   (2)  An intermediate unit board of directors in accordance with section 1850.2 of the School Code.

   (h)  The TI board has the following powers:

   (1)  Budgeting.

   (2)  Setting institute policies.

   (3)  Employing supervisors and teachers.

   (4)  Buying, building, or renting buildings and land.

   (i)  The participating school districts shall be responsible for all expenses in connection with the establishment of, addition to, and improvements of TIs in the proportion agreed upon. All property of each TI shall be owned jointly by the participating school districts. (See section 18-1845 of the School Code (24 P. S. § 18-1845) regarding cost of establishment, etc., ownership of property).)

   (j)  The Commonwealth will pay every school district having out of school youth or adults enrolled in a TI, for each student in average daily membership, one-third of current expense per student as provided in the approved budget, or the per student cost for current expense, whichever is less. Reimbursement will be made in the subsequent State fiscal year and based upon data supplied to the Department by the TI. The remainder of the cost of total current expense shall be borne by the district of residence, or by the district of residence and the student. The student will not bear more than one-third of the current expense per student.

   (k)  TIs are not degree-granting institutions, but can offer technical certificates.

   (l)  Programs may be terminated at any time by the TI board. Any student enrolled in the program being terminated shall be given a reasonable opportunity to complete it.

   (m)  Instructional programs in which licensure, certifications or examinations are required or would enhance the employment of completers shall be designed to meet those requirements.

   (n)  Guidance counseling, placement and financial aid information shall be available to all students.

   (o)  This section applies only to the establishment of TIs as authorized by section 18-1855 of the School Code (24 P. S. § 18-18-1855).

   (p)  It shall be subject to the provisions of § 339.4 (relating to program approval), and to meeting the Standards set by the Secretary.


§ 339.61. Evaluation.

   (a)  General rule. Approved vocational education curriculum shall be subject to review by the Secretary [of Education] to determine compliance with [Chapter 6 (Reserved) and] this chapter.

*      *      *      *      *

   (c)  [Reserved].

   [(d)]  Report. The Department evaluation team shall file a report with the board of school directors and area vocational-technical school board of directors within 30 calendar days after the on-site evaluation.

   [(e)] (d)  Content. The report [shall] must identify areas [which] that are not in compliance with [Chapter 6 and] § 339.1 (relating to scope of applications) and other applicable statutes, regulations and guidelines.

   (f)  Noncompliance. If an evaluation reveals noncompliance with this title, the school district or [area vocational-technical school] AVTS shall develop a compliance plan according to § [§ 6.42 and] 339.62 (relating to [Reserved; and compliance] noncompliances; appeal process).

§ 339.62. [Compliance] Noncompliance; appeal process.

   (a)  Plan. If the evaluation report identifies areas of noncompliance, the board of school directors or area vocational-technical board of school directors shall file [with the Department of Education] a plan for correcting the noncompliance identified in the report with the Department.

   (b)  Reevaluation. Following a submission of the plan required in subsection (a), the Department will conduct a reevaluation to determine whether to issue, conditionally withhold, or withhold approval that will terminate State and Federal funding to the program.

*      *      *      *      *

[Pa.B. Doc. No. 06-181. Filed for public inspection February 3, 2006, 9:00 a.m.]

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