CTE Definitions

Below are definitions and descriptions for the most commonly used terms in CTE.

Organized educational activities that offer a sequence of courses that provides individuals with rigorous academic content and relevant technical knowledge and skills needed to prepare for further education and careers in current or emerging professions.

A career cluster is an organizing structure of career areas with similar skills or common themes based on industry groupings at all educational levels. Sixteen career clusters areas exist within the Nebraska Career Education model.

Six broad groupings of 16 different career cluster areas based on commonalities among clusters.

Secondary: A career education concentrator is a student in grades 9-12 who has earned credit in three (3) or more one semester-long courses within a single career cluster.

Postsecondary: A postsecondary student who:

  1. has earned at least 12 academic or CTE semester credits (18 quarter credits) within a single CTE program sequence that is comprised of 12 or more academic and technical semester credits (18 quarter credits) that ultimately results in an award of an industry-recognized credential, a certificate, diploma, or degree; OR
  2. has completed a short-term CTE program sequence of less than 12 semester credits (18 quarter credits) that ultimately results in an industry recognized credential, a certificate, diploma, or degree.

*Note: This does not include non-credit certification programs.

Secondary: A career education participant is a student in grades 7-12 who has earned credit in at least one career and technical education course during the school year. Students may participate in more than one career area.

Postsecondary: A postsecondary student who has earned one (1) or more credits in a 1.5 or 2.0 weighted course in any CTE program area.

Strengthening Career & Technical Education for the 21st Century Act (Perkins V) affords states and local communities the opportunity to implement a vision for CTE that uniquely supports the range of educational needs of students, encourages exploration through career preparation, and balances those student needs with the current and emerging needs of the economy.

The Performance Indicator framework was developed by the United States Department of Education’s Office of Career, Technical, and Adult Education (OCTAE), in cooperation with the United States Department of Labor and stakeholder organizations to achieve two major objectives:  (1) to create a common reference format to discuss the components of Perkins accountability and, (2) to establish performance measurement approaches for the Performance Indicators. Learn more about these indicators, including goals, outcome performance, and measurement approaches.

Postsecondary CTE generally refers to any CTE programs or courses after high school, including both two- and four-year programs.

A program of study is a sequence of at least three (3) semester-long career education courses in a given career cluster that prepares students for postsecondary education and entry into a career area of personal choice. For more information about Nebraska’s State Model Programs of Study, please visit our Career Education Standards website.

Secondary CTE generally refers to CTE programs in middle and high school.

Special Populations include:
-Individuals with disabilities
-Out-of-school youth, homeless, or adjudicated youth
-Economically disadvantaged youth and adults
-Individuals preparing for nontraditional fields (by gender)
-Single parents
-English learners
-Youth in or out of the foster care system
-Youth with a parent in the armed forces or on active duty

Non-traditional Fields – occupations for fields of work, such as careers in computer science, technology, and other current and emerging high skill occupations, for which individuals from one gender comprise less than 25 percent of the individuals employed in each such occupation or field of work.

English Learner – a student who is an English learner, an adult or an out-of-school youth who has limited ability in speaking, reading, writing, or understanding the English language and whose native language is a language other than English, or who lives in a family environment in which a language other than English is the dominant language.

Individual with a Disability – an individual with any physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more of the major life activities of such individual, has a record of such an impairment, or is being regarded as having such an impairment.

Work-based learning – sustained interactions with industry or community professionals in real workplace settings, to the extent practicable, or simulated environments at an educational institution that foster in-depth, firsthand engagement with the tasks required in a given career field.

Updated May 29, 2019 12:59pm