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COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA

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22 Pa. Code § 339.22. Program content.

§ 339.22. Program content.

 (a)  Occupational program requirements. The primary objectives of an occupational program are to prepare students for employment in high priority occupations 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 family and consumer sciences, and vocational trade, industrial and technical education. Occupational programs must be standards-based, prepare students for obtainment of licensure or 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)  Standards-based. Programs must have standards-based plans. A 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. Occupational tasks recommended by an Occupational Advisory Committee must provide the basis for instruction. The instructional process 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. Standards-based plans must include:

     (i)   Performance objectives. A vocational education program must identify performance objectives in accordance with criteria developed by the school entity in cooperation with the Occupational Advisory Committee. The performance objectives consist of the following three parts:

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

       (B)   A description of the task.

       (C)   The standard for how well the task shall be performed.

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

       (A)   Regular occupations. A plan designed to provide instruction in preparing students for gainful employment in occupations requiring skills learned in one of the vocational education program areas. The development of leadership competencies and positive attitudes towards fulfilling occupational, civic, social and community responsibilities shall be an integral part of this program plan.

       (B)   Cluster occupations. A plan designed to provide basic information and skills for a number of closely related occupations and to develop basic competencies in a variety of jobs within an occupational field. Vocational education planned courses from more than one vocational education field may be offered in order to meet the minimum time requirements. The development of leadership competencies and positive attitudes towards fulfilling occupational, civic, social and community responsibilities shall be an integral part of this program plan.

   (2)  Pennsylvania academic standards. Pennsylvania academic standards under Chapter 4 (relating to academic standards and assessment) shall be integrated within the technical curriculum and instruction.

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

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

   (5)  Occupational analysis. The occupational analysis conducted by the school entity under §  339.4(a) (relating to program approval) must lead to clearly stated performance objectives deemed critical to successful employment, and assessment of student competencies based upon performance standards.

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

   (8)  Extended classroom and work-based learning. The program must provide students an opportunity to acquire experience in appropriate work situations related to their vocational program of study. When the traditional shop or laboratory cannot simulate the work situation, the classroom may be extended to a cooperating agency or business as long as the educational objectives are being met. Health occupations curriculum preparing individuals for direct patient care must provide clinical experience as an integral part of the curriculum.

   (9)  Minimum time requirements.

     (i)   The school entity may develop vocational education programs for any time length as long as they do not go below the minimums listed in this subsection. Vocational programs may range in duration from 1 year to 4 years, and the following represents the minimum total hours required for a program sequence:

       (A)   One year sequence. A vocational technical education program existing in the 12th grade when students have met their academic graduation requirements but require technical courses only, and lasting 1 year in duration must provide a minimum total of 720 hours of vocational program instruction by the end of the program year.

       (B)   Two year sequence. A vocational technical education program consisting of 2 sequential years must provide a minimum total of 720 hours of vocational program instruction by the end of the program sequence.

       (C)   Three year sequence. A vocational technical education program consisting of 3 sequential years must provide a minimum total of 1,080 hours of vocational program instruction by the end of the program sequence.

       (D)   Four year sequence. A vocational technical education program consisting of 4 sequential years must provide a minimum total of 1,320 hours of vocational program instruction by the end of the program sequence.

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

       (A)   Vocational education credits may be given for hours spent in supervised agricultural experience, cooperative clinical experiences and other supervised occupational experience occurring during or after the school day as defined in the Public School Code.

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

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

       (D)   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 school entity. The program content shall be designed in accordance with one of the following standards-based plans:

   (1)  Special vocational. A plan designed to meet the vocational education requirements of special needs students in accordance with a least restrictive environment and their IEPs.

   (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)  Diversified occupations program requirements. Diversified occupations programs may include any of the occupational areas defined in subsection (a) or other occupational areas not offered at the comprehensive high schools or 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 AVTS. When diversified occupations programs are provided, they shall be planned in accordance with the student’s stated career objective and include:

   (1)  Work-based learning experiences held at a school-approved worksite.

   (2)  A training plan and a training agreement shall be developed with the employer and available on file with both the school and the employer. The training agreement and training plan must be signed by the student, parent/guardian, school officials and cooperating employer.

   (3)  School-based, academic and career-specific instruction.

   (4)  One planned course—equal to one unit of credit—of general related theory or technical related content, or both, per year. To meet this requirement, the school district operated diversified occupations student shall meet with his teacher-coordinator for at least one 40 to 45 minute period per day or a minimum of 3 hours per week. To meet this requirement at a career and technical center operated program, the diversified occupations student shall meet with his teacher-coordinator for at least one 40 to 45 minute period per week.

   (5)  Payment of the existing legal wage.

   (6)  Provision for administration, supervision and monitoring by a certified teacher in cooperation with the employer.

   (7)  Provision of work site supervision by an experienced person, and the student has had an opportunity to perform a variety of work assignments.

   (8)  A certified teacher to manage the program.

   (9)  Provision for coordination of work site activities of at least 1/2 hour per week per student, including work site visits and observations, as well as preparation for the related in-school instruction.

   (10)  Students shall be legally employed a minimum of 15 hours a week during the school year. Graduation credits can be awarded for hours worked outside of school hours.

   (11)  Students shall be legally employed a minimum of 150 school days to be eligible for the Department reimbursement.

   (12)  Recognition and high school credit for the student’s participation in the cooperative education diversified occupations program.

   (13)  Compliance with Federal and State statutes.

   (14)  Insurance protection for both the school and students.

 (d)  Nonoccupational program requirements.

   (1)  Family and consumer sciences education programs. The family and consumer sciences education programs must operate in a comprehensive high school.

   (2)  Primary objectives. The primary objectives of family and consumer sciences education programs are to:

     (i)   Integrate within the technical curriculum instruction aligned with Pennsylvania academic standards under Chapter 4.

     (ii)   Prepare both males and females with knowledge and skills required to meet the approved Family and Consumer Sciences Academic Standards.

     (iii)   Provide knowledge and skills that are interrelated and necessary for the optimum quality of life for individuals and families.

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

Cross References

   This section cited in 22 Pa. Code §  339.4 (relating to program approval).



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