Program Memorandum FY 2002-02
The Role of Tech-Prep Education in Preparing America's Future

DATE:June 18, 2002
TO:State Directors of Career-Technical Education, State Directors of Community, Technical and Junior Colleges, State Tech-Prep Coordinators
FROM:Dr. Carol D'Amico, Assistant Secretary for Vocational and Adult Education
SUBJECT:  The Role of Tech-Prep Education in Preparing America's Future

This program memorandum is the first step in a strategy to ensure that funds are provided to tech-prep programs that are consistent with the original legislative intent and fully implement current requirements of Title II of the Carl D. Perkins Vocational and Technical Education Act of 1998 (Perkins III). The requirements discussed below became effective for tech-prep programs beginning with funds available to States on July 1, 1999. The purpose of this memorandum is to: (1) clarify the definition of "tech-prep program" as funded under Title II of Perkins III; (2) clarify the required content of a tech-prep program; (3) clarify allowable uses of funds; (4) emphasize the special considerations for State funding decisions; and, (5) outline future activity. We expect States to review their programs and to make any modifications necessary to fully implement these requirements of Perkins III by July 1, 2002.

(1) Definition

Section 202(a)(3) of Perkins III states that a "tech-prep program" means a program of study that:

  • combines at a minimum 2 years of secondary education (as determined under State law) with a minimum of 2 years of postsecondary education in a nonduplicative, sequential course of study;

  • integrates academic, and vocational and technical, instruction, and utilize work-based and worksite learning where appropriate and available;

  • provides technical preparation in a career field such as engineering technology, applied science, a mechanical, industrial, or practical art or trade, agriculture, health occupations, business, or applied economics;

  • builds student competence in mathematics, science, reading, writing, communications, economics, and workplace skills through applied, contextual academics, and integrated instruction, in a coherent sequence of courses;

  • leads to an associate or a baccalaureate degree or a postsecondary certificate in a specific career field; and

  • leads to placement in appropriate employment or to further education.

An allowable tech prep program must meet the terms of this definition.

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Last Modified: 09/15/2004