Teaching in the Career & Technical Education Field

What exactly is CTE?

Career and Technical Education fields include a variety of subjects including: Agriculture and Natural Resources; Arts, Media, and Entertainment; Building Trades and Construction; Education, Child Development, and Family Services; Energy and Utilities; Engineering and Design; Fashion and Interior Design; Finance and Business; Health Science and Medical Technology; Hospitality, Tourism, and Recreation; Information Technology; Manufacturing and Product Development; Marketing, Sales, and Service; Public Services; and Transportation. The 15 recognized CTE fields in California result in 58 identified career pathways and many of these training programs need teachers! CTE (formerly know as vocational education) provides career - related training and certificates as well as advanced degrees to participants. The venues for CTE instruction in California range from high schools, where single subject credentials are required to teach, to adult schools and ROP (Regional Occupational Programs), to Community Colleges and private vocational schools. TOP

Where do CTE teachers teach? I've heard that CTE teachers may teach in a variety of settings. What are they?

CTE teachers teach in a wide variety of settings. High schools clearly offer many CTE subjects although, the amount of vocational and CTE courses taught in California's public schools has diminished over the last 3 decades. Recently, the California Department of Education has played an increasing role in bringing school administrators and board members back around to understanding the value of career and technical education. In the past decade, many high schools stopped offering CTE and other elective courses, focusing instead on requirements of the federal No Child Left Behind Act as well as California's Academic Performance Index and the California High School Exit Exam. Indeed, Education Department data show a 32 percent decline in CTE course offerings from the 1987-88 school year to the present, leaving jobs in the automotive, building and construction trades, engineering and manufacturing industries and others going begging for qualified workers. Additionally, cuts resulting from the passage of Proposition 13 in 1978 resulted in decreased funding to the schools for the equipment, laboratories, costly tools and materials and technical resources needed to provide CTE instruction.

Because of shrinking resources in the public high schools, other settings have increased their offerings of vocational coursework. The California Community Colleges are the largest provider of vocational coursework in California and at City College of San Francisco alone, 45 % of the college offerings are in the technical and CTE areas. Both credit and noncredit courses provide CTE preparation and teachers are needed for many subject areas. Public high school students often attend Community Colleges as part of their CTE coursework. The Community Colleges have been better able to provide some of the labs, materials and industry equipment needed in CTE curriculum than many high schools that are forced to dismantle vocational classrooms with each round of budget cuts. Computer labs, state of the art electronic equipment, science laboratories, culinary kitchens, automotive workshops, woodworking and home economic classrooms are all examples of the type of coursework that has shifted from public high schools to other settings.

CTE teachers may also work in private, for-profit or nonprofit vocational schools that may focus on one area of study or multiple areas of study. Another setting for CTE instruction in the public arena can be found in the Regional Occupational and Adult Education systems. ROP and Adult Education classes are often free to the participant and provide coursework related to career preparation and skill development. In San Francisco, adult education is provided through City College of San Francisco and ROP is provided by the San Francisco Unified School District in partnership with City College of San Francisco. Teachers in specific Adult Education and ROP areas are also in demand. TOP

What credentials are needed to teach in CTE areas?

Because of federal requirements related to "No Child Left Behind", high school teachers must be deemed qualified and must possess a credential. A Single Subject Credential qualifies you to teach in middle and high schools where students move to different classes during the course of the day. The Single Subject Credential is available in a variety of CTE subjects including Vocational Education, Math, Science and others. A major in your subject as well as general undergraduate coursework is needed to obtain this type of credential. If a teacher is teaching in a publicly funded high school, then a single subject credential is required. For example, a high school may offer a CTE Pathway in Biotechnology. Students will need courses in biology delivered by a credentialed biology teacher in addition to career - related coursework and preparation.

Another example can be found in the culinary arts. In addition to cooking and culinary experiences, students will need courses in math, science, nutrition and even health and sanitation delivered by credentialed teachers in science, math or health. In the vocational subjects like welding or automotive arts, high school teachers still need to major in a vocational area in college and then get a credential in Vocational Education. In a high school setting, credentialed teachers need to be developed and recruited who have both teaching credentials and industry experience.

In the community college setting, teachers of academic courses need Masters of Arts or Sciences in addition to BA or BS degrees in their subjects of instruction. Teachers in vocational courses and CTE pathways often have different requirements. Community college teachers teaching in subjects where no graduate degree is available (like many CTE subjects) need a combination of experience and education to be deemed qualified. For instance, the minimum qualifications for an automotive, teacher in a noncredit class at CCSF is 6 years of industry experience, an AA degree and the ability to be hired by the college district and clear various related requirements including a TB test, fingerprinting clearance, criminal background check, etc. Many CTE areas have similar minimum qualifications and teachers with both the industry experience and the academic preparation are needed. Adult education and ROP programs have a similar set of standards for occupational teachers. Of course many teachers have more advanced degrees and more industry experience than the minimum, but all teachers also need pedagogy and training in how to actually teach what you know to adults. An Adult Education Credential can provide the "how to teach" content for Vocational and CTE teachers in adult settings. This credential consists of 4 basic courses on teaching adults and specific learning strategies for adult education and is available locally from San Francisco State University. TOP

Is there a need in California for CTE teachers?

Because vocational education has been cut from the curriculum in so many high schools due to lack of funding, few future teachers chose vocational areas to major in in college because of the perceived lack of job openings. This has created a shortage of high school, community college and vocational school teachers in many areas related to CTE. Additionally, few teachers have the current, relevant job experience needed to provide the career support needed for many of the technical fields. Community colleges also are seeking teachers with a combination of industry experience, academic rigor and preparation and pedagogy. This combination of skills is hard to find as subject area preparation and the ability to teach the content to others are two distinct and often unrelated skills.

Because California has a K-12 teacher shortage, some teachers are teaching with emergency permits. Typically, these teachers have a Bachelor's degree, have passed the California Basic Education Skills Test (CBEST) and are working towards specific subject mastery and/or completion of credential program requirements. Because of the federal NCLB (No Child Left Behind Regulations) the Emergency Permit will soon no longer be allowed for employment nor available in California.

Many more teachers are needed to replace teachers due to retire in the next few years, accommodate growing school districts and combat the staff shortages created by reduced class size. Teachers with expertise in the areas of math, science and special education in addition to CTE areas are desperately needed in California, as are teachers with a broad understanding of the developmental needs of children and youth and mastery of a language other than English. Community college and adult education teachers are needed in growth industries. The nursing shortage, the demand for biotech workers, the demand for computer networking and information technology workers, the growth in service areas like hospitality and culinary arts and the critical shortage of "traditional "blue collar workers like electricians, welders, construction trades workers and plumbers have created a growing need for teachers in the trades and technical pathways. TOP

How long will it take to get a CTE credential? Are credentials always needed in CTE fields?

In California it generally takes 5 years or more to become a traditionally credentialed teacher. A bachelor's degree is required plus a fifth year consisting of coursework on the "craft of teaching" and a student teaching experience. There are accelerated programs, internship programs and blended programs that may allow you to speed up this process.

In general, there are several distinct types of credentials granted in California, but the two most common are the "Multiple Subjects Credential" and the "Single Subject Credential." Credentials are issued by the Commission on Teacher Credentialing in Sacramento, after at least one year of post bachelor's degree training at an approved institution. All course requirements, testing and classroom experience requirements must be completed before students can be recommended for a credential. Special Education credentials are also available and are especially in demand in California. Additionally, some educational institutions have combined MA/Credential programs that usually take 2 or more years to complete.

The CTE field for adults is more complicated. Adults may become employed by a community college, ROP or Adult Education program with a broad array of required experience, qualifications, certificates, degrees, and credentials required. Currently in California there are 175 separate CTE teacher credentials, an inefficient structure that makes credentialing teachers difficult and fails to reflect industry realities. Legislation is being proposed this year to streamline the number of CTE credentials down to 15, reflecting the major industry sectors and simplifying teacher credentialing. Because the minimum qualifications for a community college teacher in a vocational program is 5 years of industry experience and an AA or AS degree, additional coursework on "how to teach" is often required. The Vocational Adult Education Credential is a 4 course credential on how to teach adults that can provide valuable pedagogy and curriculum planning content. There are additional requirements as well. TOP

What other requirements are there?

All K-12 teachers must pass the CBEST, the California Basic Education Skills Test. The purpose of the CBEST is to assess and verify acceptable proficiency in reading, writing, and mathematics skills. It's a good idea to take this test while you're still in school, so that the Math and English subject matter is still fresh. The CBEST assesses your skills at the high school level, so students still in high school can take the test. The CBEST has math, reading and writing sections. Individual sections or the entire test may be repeated. For more information on the CBEST, visit http://www.cbest.nesinc.com/

If you intend to get a Single Subject Credential for teaching in high school, you can either take the required courses in that subject or you must pass the appropriate subject matter test. Subject tests can be quite rigorous. For more information on subject matter tests, visit PRAXIS : http://www.ets.org/praxis/prxreg.html or CSET:http://www.cset.nesinc.com/ Both of these test companies administer single subject area tests.

If you intend to teach in a community college, adult education or public ROP program you will need a combination of academic preparation, industry experience and references. An AA degree and 5 years of industry experience is often the minimum requirement for a vocational teacher, with a BA and 3 years of experience being another option. All future teachers need to pass a variety of criminal background checks, including fingerprinting and some health screenings, like a negative TB test. TOP

Can I get a credential here?

CCSF doesn't offer a bachelor's degree or a teaching credential. However, there are courses you can take that will allow you to transfer into a bachelor's degree program, acquire your bachelor's degree and then enroll in a credential program. If you already have a BA degree and are missing lower division courses, you can take them here before entering a credential program.

CCSF does offer AA and AS degrees and when combined with at least 5 years of recent, verifiable industry experience provide the minimum requirements for community college, adult education and ROP teachers in a number of CTE, noncredit and vocational subjects. TOP

How can I prepare here?

All students interested in teaching in CTE areas in K-12 settings are encouraged to enroll in a field experience course (CDEV 71 or CDEV 75) to obtain the field experience hours, enroll in Child Development courses to learn more about working with children and youth, enroll in an Orientation to Education course (CDEV 150) to learn about educational history and current issues in schools today, and take the CBEST test.

Courses developed to meet the specific needs of future teachers include: Physical Science 11 and Lab for Teachers, Engineering 108A & B, Hands-On Math and CBEST Prep and CSET Prep, Learning Assistance 52 A & B.

Students interested in teaching high school or middle school are encouraged to enroll in CDEV 75, Supervised Secondary Fieldwork, Incentives are available to students interested in teaching Math or Science as they are both critical shortage areas if they want to pursue a single subject credential. Math and science teachers are often critical components of CTE Pathways in computer science, engineering, biotechnology, related health fields and information technology areas. Students interested in teaching CTE subjects in high school need single subject credentials in Vocational Education, math, science, art and other CTE subjects and need to major in that area and obtain a credential.

Future CTE teachers in adult education settings like community colleges, vocational schools, adult education and ROP settings may be able to obtain much of their academic training at CCSF. Often, an AA degree, paired with recent, relevant industry experience is what is needed to teach in CTE areas. CCSF provides a range of AA degrees as well as related certificates in vocational areas. Future CTE teachers with industry experience may complete the necessary coursework needed to obtain minimum qualifications at CCSF. Teachers will often need to explain technical journals to students, describe complicated procedures orally and in writing and work with individuals and small groups of students as well as large groups in a classroom or laboratory setting. Courses such as public speaking, composition, English as a Second Language, foreign languages, mathematics and science courses all support the teaching of technical and CTE courses in addition to industry experience. Additionally, future vocational teachers in adult settings often need a vocational credential. CCSF and SFSU will be working together to provide the adult education credential at the CCSF campus to future teachers interested in teaching in CTE and vocational areas. TOP

How do I get started?

Perhaps the most important first step is to talk to an academic counselor and career advisor about your interest in the field. CCSF has a terrific resource called the: Teacher Prep Center
(415) 239-3890
http://www.ccsf.edu/Departments/Child_Development/Teacher_Prep_Center/
Bungalow 213 (located behind the library)
CCSF - Main Campus
50 Phelan Ave. , San Francisco, CA 94112

Advisors at the Teacher Prep Center can help by providing:

Academic counseling and career advising
Information on CTE Pathways
Information & resources on obtaining a teaching credential in California
Details on Bay Area colleges & universities that offer credential programs including San Francisco State University
Suggested pathways for transfer credential candidates and suggested general education coursework to complete while at CCSF
Linkages with other campus resources
CBEST and CSET testing and enrollment information
Information on opportunities to explore the teaching profession
Financial aid resources and incentive information Information on the "Grow Your Own Program", a program that supports CCSF students interested in returning to teach at CCSF. TOP

Where can I get general information and help?

Child Development & Family Studies Department
(415) 239-3172
http://www.ccsf.edu/Departments/Child_Development/

San Francisco State University Teacher Prep
(415) 405-3594
http://www.sfsu.edu/~seconded/OverviewMain.html

Commission on Teacher Credentialing
http://www.ctc.ca.gov/

CAL Teach
1(800) CALTEACH
http://www.calteach.com/

San Francisco State University
Child & Adolescent Development BA Degree: http://cad.sfsu.edu
Liberal Studies Program: http://www.sfsu.edu/~ls/career.html
Single Subject Teaching Credential Program:
http://www.sfsu.edu/~coe/sed/index.html

Where can I find CTE specific resources and information?

US Department of Education, Office of Vocational and Adult Education
http://www.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ovae/index.html?src=mr

US Dept. of Labor Occupational Outlook Handbook
http://www.bls.gov/oco/

Career and Technology Resources
http://coe.csusb.edu/scarcella/technology.html

Association for Career and Technical Education
http://www.acteonline.org/

Community College Centers for Applied and Competitive Technologies
http://www.cact.org/

California Dept. of Education Career and Technical Instruction
http://www.cde.ca.gov/ci/ct/    TOP

Where can I find specific CTE and Vocational Education Program information from San Francisco State University?

San Francisco State University offers the following programs:

Designated Subjects Credential
This credential authorizes the holder to teach in the subject or trade in which the applicant has demonstrated competency and at such grade level as approved by the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CCTC) and designated on the credential. Designated Subjects credentials include Adult Education and Vocational Education. Inquiries about the designated subjects credentials should be directed to the Department of Administration and Interdisciplinary Studies, Burk Hall 239, (415) 338-1653.

The Bachelor of Vocational Education degree option in the department is governed by Title 5 of the California Code of Regulations and legislation known as the Swan Bill. The BVE curriculum is an individualized program, designed to develop the necessary competencies of a vocational teacher. All components of the program are intended to provide the vocational teacher with the concepts behind organization, management, and evaluation skills necessary to implement and supervise a planned program of vocational education. A sequence of course work is designed by advisement in the student's teaching area of specialization.
The Master of Arts in Industrial Arts offers two programs--one for the industry professional and one for the public school teacher. The two programs have the same general requirements but differ in courses taken and goals pursued. Students with a wide range of backgrounds work with a graduate adviser to design M.A. programs which meet their career goals. The student who already has an interdisciplinary B.A., usually continues deeper into the original B.A. disciplines. The student who enters with a single subject B.A., perhaps from another university, frequently looks toward specific employment and adds course work in a second discipline.

DESIGNATED SUBJECTS ADULT EDUCATION CREDENTIAL REQUIREMENTS
Preliminary Full-time Adult Education Credential

Five years of experience and/or education (as specified in Leaflet CL-697A from the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing) related to each subject to be named on the credential.

Possession of one of the following: a high school diploma; diploma based on passage of the GED Test; or foreign equivalent of a high school diploma.

California Basic Educational Skills Test (CBEST). Required for academic subjects only.

Demonstration of knowledge of the principles of the Constitution of the United States. Applicants may satisfy the U.S. Constitution requirement either by course work or examination. The Teacher Preparation Center can provide a list of testing options that meet this requirement.

ISED 706
Principles and Methods of Adult and Vocational Education (3)
ISED 783
Introduction to Technologies for Adult Learning (1)
Professional Clear Full-time Adult Education Credential

Possession of valid Preliminary Full-time Adult Education credential

Successful teaching of a minimum of one course in each of four terms within the five-year period of validity of the Preliminary Adult Education Teaching credential. Two of these terms must be with one ESD (Employing School District). The teaching must have been to adult learners in the subject(s) authorized by the Preliminary Adult Education Teaching credential.

Completion of a one-unit course in health education dealing with drug/alcohol abuse and nutrition (H ED 635, Secondary School Health).

Comprehensive, hands-on CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) training course for infants, children and adults. CPR card must be valid at the time of application for the Professional Clear credential. Online CPR courses are not acceptable.

ISED 781
Teaching Improvement Process in Adult and Workforce Education (3)
ISED 782
Practicum in Adult Learning (3)
NOTE: Students who were issued a Preliminary Adult Education Teaching Credential by an Employing School District and are now admitted into the Professional Clear Adult Education Credential program must also complete ISED 706 and ISED 783.

DESIGNATED VOCATIONAL EDUCATION CREDENTIAL REQUIREMENTS
Preliminary Full-time or Part-time Vocational Education Credential

Five years of work experience directly related to each subject to be named on the credential. Forty-eight semester units of postsecondary vocational training related to the subject may be substituted for a maximum of two of the five years of work experience (as specified in Leaflet CL-698A from the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing). At least one year of the required work experience must be within the three years immediately preceding the issuance of the Preliminary credential.

Possession of one of the following: a high school diploma; diploma based on passage of the GED Test; or foreign equivalent of a high school diploma.

Demonstration of knowledge of the principles of the Constitution of the United States. Applicants may satisfy the U.S. Constitution requirement either by course work or examination. The Teacher Preparation Center can provide a list of testing options that meet this requirement.

ISED 706
Principles and Methods of Adult and Vocational Education (3)
ITEC 711
Instructional Computing in Elementary and Middle Schools (3) or
ITEC 712
Instructional Computing in Secondary Schools (3)
Professional Clear Full-time Vocational Education Credential

Possession of valid Preliminary Full-time Vocational Education credential

Successful teaching of a minimum of one course in each of four terms within the five-year period of validity of the Preliminary Vocational Education Teaching credential. Two of these terms must be with one ESD (Employing School District). The teaching must have been to learners at the grade level and in the subject(s) authorized by the Preliminary Vocational Education Teaching credential.

Completion of a one-unit course in health education dealing with drug/alcohol abuse and nutrition (H ED 635, Secondary School Health).

Comprehensive, hands-on CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) training course for infants, children and adults. CPR card must be valid at the time of application for the Professional Clear credential. Online CPR courses are not acceptable.

ISED 781
Teaching Improvement Process in Adult and Workforce Education (3)

ISED 782
Practicum in Adult Learning (3)
NOTE: Students who were issued a Preliminary Vocational Education Credential by an Employing School District and who are now accepted into the Professional Clear Vocational Education Credential program must also complete ISED 708 and either ITEC 711 or ITEC 712.  TOP