A r c h i v e d  I n f o r m a t i o n

Biennial Evaluation Report - FY 93-94

Chapter 405

Vocational Education--Tech-Prep Education

(CFDA No. 84.243)

I. Program Profile

Legislation: The Carl D. Perkins Vocational and Applied Technology Education Act Amendments of 1990, P.L. 101-392, Title III, Part E (20 U.S.C. 2394) (expires September 30, 1995). All programs under the Perkins Act addressed in this chapter of the AER operated in the first year the amendments became effective.

Purpose: To provide planning and demonstration grants to consortia of local education agencies and postsecondary educational institutions, for the development and operation of four-year programs designed to provide a tech-prep education program that leads to a two-year associate degree or a two-year certificate; and to provide, in a systematic manner, strong, comprehensive links between secondary schools and postsecondary educational institutions.

Funding History:

Fiscal Year Appropriation
1991 $ 63,000,000
1992 90,000,000
1993 104,123,000
1994 104,123,000

II. Program Information and Analysis

Performance Indicators

Tech-prep is a relatively new initiative, as a result, few States have actually developed evaluation procedures. In FY 1993, only 19 States reported having established at least one set of identified outcome measures. The performance indicators include: program completion rate, academic achievement rate, program retention, technical skills attainment, job placement rate, and employer satisfaction.

Population Targeting

The program, through a cooperative effort between consortia of local education agencies and postsecondary educational institutions, links the last two years of high school vocational programs with two years of community, junior, and technical college programs or an apprenticeship program. It does this by developing and implementing a "2+2" model that combines a common core of learning with technical education. Tech-prep education programs require basic proficiency development in mathematics, science, communication, and technology that leads to a 2-year associate degree or a 2-year certificate in a specific career field.

Approximately 173,000 students participate in Tech-Prep across grade levels: 43,648 in 9th grade, 38,128 in 10th grade, 54,077 in 11th grade and 37,029 in 12th grade. However, since tech-prep education programs are incredibly diffuse, it is highly likely that many more students who are not labeled tech-prep students are enrolled in applied academics or in an articulated program.


Activities that may be provided under the Tech-Prep Education program include developing a tech-prep curriculum appropriate to the needs of students participating in the program; providing in-service training for teachers; providing training for counselors on how to recruit students and provide counseling that ensures successful completion of tech-prep education programs; employment placement; and preparatory services to assist participants in such programs.

Program Administration

States administer the tech-prep program through their State Boards of Vocational Education and make subgrants to eligible consortia of secondary and postsecondary educational institutions, on either a discretionary or formula basis. The State is responsible for providing federally required plans and reports, reviewing, and processing applications for local projects, and providing technical assistance.

III. Sources of Information

  1. Literature Review for the Evaluation of the Tech-Prep Education Program, (Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Education, 1993).

  2. Implementing Tech-Prep: A Guide to Planning a Quality Initiative (Berkeley, CA: National Center for Research in Vocational Education, University of California, 1992).

  3. National Assessment of Vocational Education (Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Education, 1994).

  4. Program files.

IV. Planned Studies

The Department's 5-year national evaluation of the Tech-Prep Education program began in the fall of 1992. The primary purposes of the evaluation are to (1) describe Tech-Prep programs at the State and local levels, and (2) identify best practices and effective approaches of local Tech-Prep projects for improving occupational education. Data collection began in the fall of 1993 for all three major components of the evaluation: survey of State Tech-Prep Coordinators, survey of local Tech-Prep Coordinators and in-depth studies of selected sites. The evaluation will be completed in 1997.

To gain a better understanding of Tech-Prep planning processes and potential barriers to successful implementation, the National Center for Research in Vocational Education conducted a national survey of local Tech-Prep Consortium Directors/Coordinators, in the summer of 1993. The survey report is available from NCRVE.

V. Contacts for Further Information

Program Operations:
Nancy Smith Brooks, (202) 205-8269

Program Studies:
Sandra H. Furey, (202) 401-3630

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