Advisory Committee Toolkit Glossary


Advisory Committee Toolkit

VIII. Glossary

Academic Credit—The unit of measurement an institution awards when the determined course or subject requirement(s) are fulfilled (Oklahoma Department of Career and Technology Education Glossary).

Academic Rigor—Offering a CTE curriculum that aligns the new CTE career pathway standards with the Common Core standards.

AAS (Associate of Applied Science) Degree—The AAS degree (with the occupational field specified) is intended to prepare students to enter skilled and/or paraprofessional occupations or to upgrade or stabilize their employment. Certain courses/certificates within the degree or the entire AAS degree may be accepted toward a baccalaureate degree at some four-year institutions.

Accredited—The goal of accreditation of educational programs is to ensure that the education provided by institutions of higher education meets acceptable levels of quality. The US Department of Education maintains a website on "Accreditation in the United States" at that provides lists of regional and national accrediting agencies recognized by the US Secretary of Education as reliable authorities concerning the quality of education or training offered by the institutions of higher education. (U.S. Department of Labor, Credential Resource Guide, handout, April 26, 2010 [])

Adult Basic Education (ABE)—ABE is instruction in the basic skills below the 9th grade level (0-8.9).

Adult Education—Services or instruction that enable adults to acquire the basic skills necessary to function in today's society so that they can benefit from the completion of secondary school, enhanced family life, attaining citizenship and participating in job training and retraining programs.

All Aspects of an Industry—Includes, with respect to a particular industry that a student is preparing to enter, planning, management, finances, technical and production skills, underlying principles of technology, labor and community issues, health and safety, and environmental issues related to that industry. (Oklahoma Department of Career and Technology Education Glossary)

American College Testing Program (ACT)—Provides measures of educational development and readiness to pursue college-level coursework.

Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)—The ADA prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability in employment, state and local government, public accommodations, commercial facilities, transportation, and telecommunications. To be protected by the ADA, one must have a disability or have a relationship or association with an individual with a disability. An individual with a disability is defined by the ADA as a person who has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities, a person who has a history or record of such an impairment, or a person who is perceived by others as having such an impairment. The ADA does not specifically name all of the impairments that are covered. (

Apprenticeships—A combination of school and work-based learning in a specific occupational area designed to lead to a related postsecondary program, entry-level job, or a registered Department of Labor (DOL) apprenticeship program. (Adapted from Oklahoma Glossary)

Articulation—A process of providing a seamless system of education that ensures ease in student transition from secondary to postsecondary education levels and from one educational system to another.

AS (Associate of Science) Degree—An award that normally requires at least 2 but less than 4 years of full-time equivalent college work.

Assessment—The use of standardized instruments, interviews, or other means to determine factors that may contribute to the success of students in career and technology programs. These factors may include interest, aptitude, academic achievement, work experience, learning style, work values, and other traits. Assessment may also be administered to determine progress attained by students during training or areas of need to address through remediation.

Bachelor's/Baccalaureate Degree—An award that normally requires at least 4 but not more than 5 years of full-time equivalent college-level work. (U.S. Department of Labor, Credential Resource Guide, handout, April 26, 2010 [])

Basic Skills—Basic academic and tutorial services designed to increase literacy levels, upgrade literacy, and improve listening and speaking skills.

Bridge Programs—Postsecondary programs designed to prepare academically under-prepared and under-served populations to enter credit-based academic courses, often by teaching remedial or basic skills in the context of occupational skills.

Career Academies—Operating as schools within schools, career academies are small learning communities which are organized around such themes as health, business and finance, computer technology, and the like. Academy students take classes together, remain with the same group of teachers over time, follow a curriculum that includes both academic and career-oriented courses, and participate in work internships and other career-related experiences outside the classroom. Over time, improving the rigor of academic and career-related curricula has become an increasingly prominent part of the career academies agenda.

Career and Technical Student Organizations (CTSO)—The purpose of career and technical student organizations is to provide additional opportunities for secondary and/or postsecondary students to develop competencies for occupations. The CTSO can be an integral part of the instructional program and in addition can promote a sense of civic and personal responsibility. Examples of CTSO include:

  • DECA—Distributive Education Clubs of America (DECA) is a national organization for secondary students enrolled in Marketing Education. DECA is a co-curricular student-centered organization designed as an integral part of the classroom instructional program of marketing education to provide activities that will motivate students to learn marketing competencies that will prepare students to become skilled, employable workers in the field of marketing.
  • FBLA-PBL—Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) is a national career and technical education student organization for secondary students preparing for careers in business or careers in business education. Phi Beta Lambda (PBL) is an organization on the move for postsecondary and collegiate students enrolled or interested in a variety of business programs.
  • FCCLA—Family, Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA) is the only national career and technical student organization with the family as its central focus. Since 1945, FCCLA members have been making a difference in their families, careers and communities by addressing important personal, work and societal issues through family and consumer sciences education.
  • FFA—Future Farmers of America (FFA) is for youth from 14 to 22 years of age enrolled in agriculture education. The largest student youth organization in America, the FFA is both an intracurricular and integral part of the complete CTE agriculture education program. The Colorado Young Farmer Education Association is a statewide organization of people enrolled in the Young Farmer Program.
  • HOSA—Health Occupations Students of America (HOSA) is an organization for students enrolled in health occupations education programs. Through HOSA, students develop leadership and technical skills through a program of motivation, awareness and recognition.
  • SkillsUSA—SkillsUSA is a partnership of students, teachers and industry. While working together to ensure America has a skilled work force, SkillsUSA helps every student excel. SkillsUSA serves high school and college students who are enrolled in programs preparing them for technical, skilled and service careers. SkillsUSA adds to students' technical training by teaching them leadership skills, teamwork, citizenship and character development-all things that go into shaping responsible, reliable employees who will one day become leaders in our workplaces.
  • Career and Technology Education—Organized educational programs offering sequences of courses directly related to preparing individuals for paid or unpaid employment in current or emerging occupations requiring other than a baccalaureate or advanced degree. (Carl D. Perkins Vocational and Technical Education Act, Public Law 105-332)
Career Awareness—Activities designed to help students understand the role of work, one's own uniqueness, and basic knowledge about career clusters and different occupations.

Career Cluster—"An organizing tool defining CTE using broad clusters of occupations and pathways with validated standards that ensure opportunities for all students regardless of their career goals and interests" ( States may develop and implement career and technical programs of study in one or more of 16 career clusters that are recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. The 16 career clusters are occupational categories with industry-validated knowledge and skills statements that define what students need to know and be able to do in order to realize success in a chosen field. Within each of the clusters, programs of study (also known as career pathways) have been developed, which outline sequences of academic, career, and technical courses and training that begin as early as ninth grade and lead to progressively higher levels of education and higher-skilled positions in specific industries or occupational sectors.

Career Ladder—A set of occupations that are linked together by common or complementary skills. These linkages provide workers with opportunities to advance and expand recruitment opportunities for employers.

Career Pathway

  • A Career Pathway represents a grouping of occupations within a cluster that share a base level of common knowledge and skill. Nationally, sample Career Pathways Plans of Study were developed each of the 79 pathways corresponding to the national 16 Career Clusters.
  • A career pathway is a coherent sequence of rigorous academic and career courses that begins in high school and leads to an associate degree, a bachelor's degree and beyond, and/or an industry-recognized certificate or license. Career pathways are developed, implemented, and maintained by partnerships involving educators, community leaders, and employers. (Often a synonym for program of study.) Adult Career Pathways also consist of the guidance, remediation, curricula, and other support elements required to enable career-limited adults to enter the workforce and progress in rewarding careers.

Career Interest Inventory—Carefully constructed questionnaires that enable an individual to identify preferred activities that are then correlated to career clusters.

Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Improvement Act of 2006 ("Perkins Act")—The Carl D. Perkins Vocational and Technical Education Improvement Act of 2006 provides federal career and technical education funds to the State. The Perkins Act provides federal assistance to secondary and postsecondary CTE programs during the State fiscal year, which is July 1 through June 30 of the each year. In particular, the Perkins Act requires states to:

  • Increase opportunities for individuals to keep America competitive;
  • Develop challenging academic and technical standards and related, challenging integrated (academic and CTE) instruction;
  • Prepare students for high skill, high wage, or high demand occupations in current or emerging professions;
  • Promote partnerships (education, workforce boards, business and industry, etc.);
  • Provide technical assistance and professional development to teachers/instructors and administrators; and
  • Increase state and local accountability.

Certificate (postsecondary level)—A postsecondary certificate program (with occupational field of study specified) is an organized program of study intended to prepare students to enter skilled and/or paraprofessional occupations or to upgrade or stabilize their employment. This program is not intended for transfer to baccalaureate degree programs, but may transfer to associate degree programs.

Communities of Practice—Social learning theorist Etienne Wenger defines communities of practice as “groups of people who share a concern or a passion for something they do and learn how to do it better as they interact regularly.” To support the growth of advisory committees, interested teachers/faculty, administrators, counselors, and employers may interact with one another around relevant focused topics of interest.

Community-Based Organization (CBO)—Community-based organizations are usually non-profits that operate in a local community for the betterment of the community. Many are run on a voluntary basis and are self-funded. Community organizations usually fit into the following categories: community-service and action, health, educational, personal growth and improvement, social welfare, and self-help for the disadvantaged.

Concurrent Enrollment—Concurrent enrollment is a type of dual enrollment program that allows students to receive college credit before high school graduation.

Contextual Learning—Academic content and skills taught by utilizing real-world problems and projects to help students understand the application of knowledge.

Cooperative Learning—A program that allows students who are enrolled in CTE programs to combine classroom studies with structured work-related experiences. Most programs include credit requirements so students can expand their knowledge of, and experience in, an industry while earning credit. (Career Pathways Glossary: Towards a Common Language for Career Pathways in Oregon, 2007. Workforce Oregon)

Common Course Numbering—Some states are implementing a community college common curriculum. The community college curriculum has common numbers, titles, descriptions, outlines and learner competencies. This common curriculum allows colleges and secondary schools to develop new programs by accessing descriptions of curriculum already in place. It also ensures ease of transfer between community colleges.

Core Academic Subjects—The term core academic subjects means English, reading or language arts, mathematics, science, foreign languages, civics and government, economics, arts, history and geography. (No Child Left Behind [NCLB])

Core lndicators—Perkins-identified areas where student performance must be measured and reported.

Credential—Within the context of education, workforce development, and employment and training for the labor market, the term credential refers to a verification of qualification of competence issued to an individual by a third party with the relevant authority or jurisdiction to issue such credentials (such as an accredited educational institution, an industry recognized association, or an occupational association or professional society). (U.S. Department of Labor, Credential Resource Guide, handout, April 26, 2010 [])

CTE—The term career and technical education means organized education activities that offer a sequence of courses that provides individuals with coherent and rigorous content aligned with challenging academic standards and relevant technical knowledge and skills needed to prepare for further education and careers in current or emerging professions; provides technical skill proficiency, an industry-recognized credential, a certificate, or an associate degree; may include prerequisite courses (other than a remedial course); and includes competency-based applied learning that contributes to the academic knowledge, higher-order reasoning and problem-solving skills, work attitudes, general employability skills, technical skills, occupation-specific skills, and knowledge of all aspects of an industry, including entrepreneurship, of an individual.

Curriculum Mapping—Aligning or "mapping" curriculum to standards to ensure all students arrive at the final destination: mastery of core knowledge.

ESL—English as a Second Language

ESOL—English for Speakers of Other Languages

Faculty—Faculty includes the professors, teachers and lecturers of a university or college. Generally, the faculty is responsible for designing and disseminating the plans of study offered by the institution. A body of teachers and administrators in a university can also be called faculty. Faculty can be a division of the university or college. For example, the faculty of law. ( The term is also used at the secondary system.

FBO—Faith based organization

GED (General Educational Development)—A high school equivalency certificate gained by successfully completing assessments in language arts, reading, social studies, science, and mathematics.

High School Diploma (or recognized equivalent)—A document certifying the successful completion of a prescribed secondary school program of studies, or the attainment of satisfactory scores on the General Education Development (GED) test or another state specified examination. (U.S. Department of Labor, Credential Resource Guide, handout, April 26, 2010 [])

Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)—The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) is a federal law enacted in 1990 and reauthorized in 1997. It is designed to protect the rights of students with disabilities by ensuring that everyone receives a free appropriate public education (FAPE), regardless of ability. Furthermore, IDEA strives not only to grant equal access to students with disabilities, but also to provide additional special education services and procedural safeguards.

Industry-Recognized Credential—An industry-recognized credential is one that is either developed, offered, or endorsed by a nationally recognized industry association or organization representing a sizeable portion of the industry sector or a credential that is sought or accepted by companies within the industry sector for purposes of hiring or recruitment which may include credentials from vendors of certain products.

Internships—Secondary or postsecondary work-based learning for students or educators to provide practical education. Experiences take place in a workplace setting and offer teachers and students the opportunity to see a relationship between curriculum and career choices.

Job Shadowing—A career awareness/exploration opportunity in which a student observes or "shadows" a worker for a designated period of time to learn about that worker's career.

Knowledge and Skill Statements—Industry validated statements that describe what a learner needs to know and be able to do to demonstrate competence in a given area and, ultimately, be successful in the workplace.

Literacy—An individual's ability to read, write, and speak in English, compute, and solve problems at levels of proficiency necessary to function on the job, in the family, and in society.

Local Perkins Plan—Since Perkins funds are grant funds, rather than entitlement funds, a Local Plan must be submitted by each local Perkins recipient, each year, that indicates how the funds will be used.

National Career Pathways Network—A membership organization for educators and employers involved in the advancement of career pathways and related education reform initiatives. (

Non-Traditional Careers—The term "non-traditional fields" means occupations or fields of work, including 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. (Perkins IV)

One-Stop Centers—Also called One-Stop Career Centers, One-Stops, or Workforce Centers. Under WIA Title I, the One-Stop Career Center provides information about and access to a wide range of employment, job training, and education services to customers at a single location. One-Stops provide a triage of services to job seekers: core services, intensive services, and individual training accounts (ITA) or vouchers. One-Stops provide core services to all adults, with no eligibility requirements, and provide intensive services for unemployed individuals who can't find jobs through core services alone. Intensive services include more comprehensive assessments, development of individual employment plans, case management, etc. In cases where individuals receive intensive services and still can't find jobs, training services directly linked to job opportunities in the local area may be available. These services include on-the-job training, skills upgrading, job readiness training, and adult education and literacy services.

Perkins Performance Metrics—The Perkins Act requires activities funded by Perkins to support improvement of the Perkins performance metrics. The eight secondary performance metrics are: academic attainment—reading/language arts; academic attainment—mathematics; technical skill attainment; secondary school completion; student graduation rates; secondary placement; nontraditional participation; and nontraditional completion. The six secondary performance metrics are: technical skill attainment; credential, certificate, or degree; student retention or transfer; student placement; nontraditional participation; and nontraditional completion.

Postsecondary—Generic term designating courses or institutions after high school.

Programs of Study—Programs of study incorporate secondary and postsecondary education elements; include coherent and rigorous content aligned with challenging academic standards and relevant career and technical content in a coordinated, non-duplicative progression of courses; may include the opportunity for dual or concurrent enrollment programs; and lead to an industry-recognized credential or certificate at the postsecondary level, or an associate or baccalaureate degree.

Seamless Education—An alignment of educational opportunities to enable students to transition from one level of education to another without loss of time, credit, or repetition.

Skills Standards—An industry-driven document that lists the skills, knowledge, and abilities needed to perform an occupation successfully. Skills standards lists are used to identify or develop instructional materials and guide competency test development.

Soft Money—A term that refers to funds that are not a part of the general operating budget of an institution. The funds may be from government agencies or private foundations usually in the form of a grant.

Special Populations—Perkins 2006 identifies the following students as "special populations":

  • individuals with disabilities;
  • individuals from economically disadvantaged families, including foster children;
  • individuals preparing for non-traditional fields (for their gender);
  • single parents, including single pregnant women;
  • displaced homemakers; and
  • individuals with limited English proficiency.

Stackable Credential —A credential is considered stackable when it is part of a sequence of credentials that can be accumulated over time to build up an individual's qualifications and help them to move along a career pathway or up a career ladder to different and potentially higher-paying jobs. (U.S. Department of Labor, Credential Resource Guide, handout, April 26, 2010 [])

Stakeholders—Individuals, groups or organizations that have a "stake in" the outcomes of preK-16 education. This includes, for example, students, parents, employers, economic and society in general.

STEM—Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics

Supplant—Supplant means "to take the place of, to replace." Section 311 of the Perkins Act states that Perkins funds "shall supplement, and shall not supplant, non-federal funds expended to carry out career and technical education activities."

Supplement—Supplement means "to add to, to enhance, to expand, to increase, to extend." Section 311 of the Perkins Act states that Perkins funds "shall supplement, and shall not supplant, non-federal funds expended to carry out career and technical education activities."

TABE—Tests of Adult Basic Education

Teachers—One who teaches or one whose occupation is to instruct; usually a secondary term. (

Transcript—The official school record of a student's performance showing all course work completed, including course titles, course hours, grades or other evaluations earned, and grading scale.

Title IX—Title IX of the Educational Amendments of 1972 is the landmark legislation that bans sex discrimination in schools, whether it be in academics or athletics. Title IX states: "No person in the U.S. shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, or denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any educational program or activity receiving federal aid."

Title VI of the 1964 Civil Rights Act—Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 protects people from discrimination based on race, color or national origin in programs or activities that receive Federal financial assistance.

Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973—Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 is a national law that protects qualified individuals from discrimination based on their disability. Programs and activities that receive Federal financial assistance from the United States Department of Education (ED) are covered by Title VI.

Work-based Learning—Work-based experiences provide hands-on or realistic experiences for secondary and postsecondary students that relate to the students' CTE Plan of Study. Work-based experience options are required for postsecondary programs. Examples: supervised agricultural experience (SAE); workplace simulations; school-based enterprises; cooperative work and study programs; internships (paid or unpaid); job shadowing, paid work experience (OJE or OTJ) and unpaid work experience.

Workforce Investment Act (WIA)—The federal statute that establishes federal policy direction and appropriates federal funds for employment and training programs. These programs include training for disadvantaged youth, adults, and dislocated workers; adult education and literacy; employment services and labor market information; and rehabilitation services for individuals with disabilities.

Workforce Investment Board (WIB)—Board that oversees activities under the Workforce Investment Act (see WIA). The Board usually functions as the State advisory board pertaining to workforce preparation policy. The WIB ensures that the state's workforce preparation services and programs are coordinated and integrated; and measures and evaluates the overall performance and results of these programs. The Board is also charged with furthering cooperation between government and the private sector to meet the workforce preparation needs of the State's employers and workers.

Wrap-around (Student) Services—Support services that are designed to ensure student success in community college programs. These may include, but are not limited to: outreach and recruitment; referrals between programs; career development, including career assessment, advising and counseling; case management; mentoring; coaching and tutoring; conveniently scheduled, accelerated and appropriately sequenced classes; childcare; federal and state need-based financial aid; job search skills training; and job placement assistance.


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