Nearly half of all high school students in Oklahoma are enrolled in career and technology education. These students must be prepared to participate in a 21st century economy that is fast paced, technology-driven, knowledge based and global. The future of these students, and the future of career and technical education, lies within the connection of academic and technical coursework to the world of work and the movement in Oklahoma from Programs of Study to Rigorous Programs of Study.

Beginning in the fall of 2011, ODCTE began to put in place the introduction phase of the Movement from Programs of Study to Rigorous Programs of Study in Oklahoma.

The movement began with the I3 Conference. The I3 Conference - Integration, Innovation, Imagination, was held with Oklahoma’s Tech Prep Coordinators in October 2011. The purpose of this conference was to put closure to the Tech Prep movement and introduce the Rigorous Programs of Study concept as the next evolution of CTE.

In December 2011, ODCTE answered a request for proposals from the National Research Center for Career and Technical Education for the National Programs of Study Institute. ODCTE was notified of its acceptance in January 2012 and began its participation at the first national meeting in February. A series of five additional meetings were held with a national facilitator and the institute concluded in July 2012 when the report entitled “Moving from POS to RPOS in Oklahoma, National Programs of Study Institute Final Report” was submitted to the NRCCTE.

During the national summit, Oklahoma partnered with university researchers on a special project entitled “Analysis of Stakeholder Interpretations of Programs of Study in Oklahoma.” Oklahoma’s participation in the national institute was recognized as a Best Practice by the National Association of Career Pathway Leadership.

During the January 2012 and April 2012 Tech Prep Quarterly Meetings, a portion of the agenda was dedicated to the discussion of RPOS. The State Tech Prep coordinator officially changed duties in July 2012 and became the State Programs of Study coordinator and beginning in August 2012 presentations were given to several groups including the Oklahoma Association of Career and Technical Education’s Summer Conference, Technology Center Superintendents Meeting, Student Services Endorsement Program, GuidanceFest and the Southern Oklahoma Impact Coalition. These presentations have included those responsible for administrative leadership, instructional leadership and guidance leadership in CTE as well as business and industry partnerships.

During the fall of 2012, ODCTE conducted the Oklahoma Programs of Study Institute using the model developed at the national level. The OkPOSI was intended to further support schools in improving the quality of career and technical education instruction provided to secondary and postsecondary students. The institute was specifically designed to support secondary, technical and post secondary schools in addressing barriers to more fully implementing Rigorous Programs of Study and the ten components of the RPOS framework. 

Using lessons learned from the national and state institutes, ODCTE and state institute participants developed the Oklahoma Programs of Study Summit conducted in February 2013. Perkins LEA’s at the secondary and post secondary level were invited to hear from national and state experts as they spoke on Rigorous Programs of Study.

In March 2013 Perkins recipients received a survey using the Programs of Study: Local Implementation Readiness and Capacity Self-Assessment developed by the Office of Vocational and Adult Education. The Oklahoma RPOS Self Assessment was made available electronically to all Perkins LEA’s with a survey response rate of 84% with 147 individual responses on behalf of high schools, technology centers, community colleges and universities were received.

The results of this survey are being used to address the current status of RPOS framework implementation and to develop technical assistance identified by institutions as Oklahoma further prepares all Perkins recipients to being the implementation stage of the movement to Rigorous Programs of Study.

A Carl Perkins supplemental grant was made available in March for secondary and post secondary institutions to apply for.  The grant, entitled “Moving from Programs of Study to Rigorous Programs of Study” was intended to further support local schools or consortiums in improving the quality of career and technical education instruction provided to secondary and post secondary students by promoting and improving local development and implementation of RPOS. Recipients will participate in two state led meetings and be challenged to develop innovative solutions to moving a piece of the framework forward for their institution.

The Movement from POS to RPOS in Oklahoma was recognized with NACPL's Innovation in Career Pathways National Award at their national conference in 2013.


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