Pennsylvania CTE Best Practices

Project Description

In 2009, Meeder Consulting began working with the Pennsylvania Department of Education’s Bureau of Career and Technical Education (BCTE) on a Best Practices Initiative (BPI).

The goal of the Initiative is to document and share promising practices in Pennsylvania CTE, especially those practices that impact key outcomes like improving student academic achievement, increasing retention and graduation, and promoting college and tech college participation.

Below are several highlighted case studies in this area.

Erie County Technical School (ECTS)

ECTS’s Key Strategies At-A-Glance

  • CTE teachers collaborate with math and reading coaches to make academic subjects more relatable to CTE content
  • “Reader Response” days and a “Word Wall” give literacy a prominent presence
  • Professional skills program helps students to establish and build employability skills
  • Strong relationships with sending school counselors lead to cohesive support and guidance for students
  • Plans of Study, Program Guides, and Course Sequences provide valuable tools for students, parents and partners
  • Focus on quality and use of data through ISO-9000 registration permeates the school

Download the Case Study Here

Jefferson County-DuBois AVTS (Jeff Tech)

Jeff Tech’s Key Strategies At-A-Glance

  • STAR (Stop Everything and Read) used on a school-wide basis
  • Math teachers work with CTE teachers to create linkages between their courses
  • CTE and academic colleagues collaborate to create a link between academic math and its technical applications
  • “Integration Day” incorporates academic and technical skills while engaging the entire school and all disciplines around a central theme
  • School leaders meet regularly with each teacher to review students’ scores on PSSA and end-of-program occupational assessments
  • Eight special education teachers provide on-site support to students

Download the Case Study Here

Lancaster County Career & Technology Center (LCCTC)

LCCTC’s Key Strategies At-A-Glance

  • Instructors integrate literacy and numeracy strategies to strengthen student understanding
  • The Response to Instruction and Intervention program addresses challenges to learning through ongoing coaching, counseling and peer support
  • Instructors create formal teaching plans that detail how lessons will be implemented to maximize student earning.
  • Administrators and instructors engage in peer-to-peer learning opportunities to model and reflect on effective teaching strategies
  • The performance-based evaluation model is used to partially determine salary increases for administrators
  • An extensive adult education program serves post-secondary education and training needs in the community while providing sustainability to secondary CTE programs

Download the Case Study Here

Lehigh Career and Technical Institute (LCTI)

LCTI’s Key Strategies At-A-Glance

  • Teachers integrate academic and CTE instruction to create rigorous learning experiences
  • Service Occupations Cluster labs help special education students with more significant disabilities develop technical skills
  • The Career Academy Program focuses on personalized learning experiences to help at-risk students graduate
  • The “curriculum development, delivery and evaluation process” emphasizes integrated curriculum that aligns to college-readiness skills and industry certifications
  • Instructional coaches conduct job-embedded professional development
  • “Educator Academies” encourage teachers to share instructional strategies with colleagues
  • Data analysis provides critical information to support student achievement
  • The “CTE Improvement Plan” will examine the effect of interventions on student achievement
  • Ongoing communication and outreach efforts strengthen relationships with key stakeholders

Download the Case Study Here

Lenape Technical School

Lenape Tech’s Key Strategies At-A-Glance

  • Literacy strategies emphasize comprehension and engage students in interactive learning
  • “Integrated Thematic Instruction” links CTE and academic disciplines together through special projects like the prototype partnership with a local company
  • Co-teaching strategies give extra help to students with disabilities in the regular classroom
  • “Teachers as Advisors” program gives every student connection to a teacher advisor/advocate during 11th and 12th grades
  • Diagnostic assessments help target academic supports and tutoring
  • Regional Accountability Team coordinates services with sending school districts
  • “Multiple Client Feedback” model uses data for planning and improvement

Download the Case Study Here

Jules E. Mastbaum Area Vocational-Technical School (MAVTS)

MAVTS’s Key strategies At-A-Glance 

  • Instructors are organized into academies through which the leadership team shares information and instructional staff facilitate intervention strategies to students
  • Ongoing professional development focuses on high-quality instructional strategies and is provided weekly
  • The “Academic Plan” outlines a series of “best practices” that address quality instructional practices, collaboration and accountability
  • MAVTS participates in the Distributive Leadership Project, which aims to strengthen instructional leadership capacity
  • The leadership team cultivates strong community and business partnerships to support its vision for MAVTS

Download the Case Study Here

Reading Muhlenberg Career & Technology Center (RMCTC)

RMCTC’s Key Strategies At-A-Glance 

  • “Teaching smarter” by integrating literacy and numeracy lessons in a targeted and ongoing manner
  • Complete revision of the school-wide curriculum to align with end-of-program occupational assessments and Pennsylvania standards
  • Program learning guides provide program consistency and enable teachers to individualize instruction for students literacy strategies emphasize comprehension and engaging interactive learning
  • Development of a proactive and goal-oriented teacher evaluation system
  • Applying three key principles to implementing change: map it out, challenge without overwhelming and provide support
  • Establishing strategies and goals based on performance data

Download the Case Study Here

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