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Career Clusters: Focusing Education on the Future. The National Association of State Directors of Career Technical Education Consortium: States’ Career Clusters Initiative. Career Clusters: Presentation Objectives. Provide an Overview of the Career Clusters Initiative .

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career clusters focusing education on the future

Career Clusters:Focusing Education on the Future

The National Association of State Directors

of Career Technical Education Consortium:

States’ Career Clusters Initiative

career clusters presentation objectives
Career Clusters: Presentation Objectives
  • Provide an Overview of the Career Clusters Initiative.
  • Review Career Clusters Resources available from the national initiative.
  • Discuss Career Clusters Sustainability and Implementation.


Career Clusters Initiative

career clusters definition
Career Clusters: Definition
  • Career Clusters represents a grouping of occupations and broad industries based on commonalities.
career clusters titles
Agriculture, Food & Natural Resources

Architecture & Construction

Arts, Audio/Video Technology & Communications

Business, Management & Administration

Education & Training


Government & Public Administration

Health Science

Hospitality & Tourism

Human Services

Information Technology

Law, Public Safety & Security


Marketing, Sales & Service

Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics

Transportation, Distribution & Logistics

Career Clusters: Titles
career clusters purposes
Career Clusters: Purposes
  • The 16 Career Clusters are an organizing tool for schools to offer a broader, more durable preparation for the world of work.
  • Re-training the Workforce
  • Cross-training the Workforce
  • Preparing the Emerging Workforce
career clusters student and community benefits
Career Clusters: Student and Community Benefits
  • Help develop workplace, academic and technical skills
  • Build links to the community
  • Add relevance to the curriculum
  • Provide real-world learning
career clusters workforce development and education system benefits
Career Clusters: Workforce Developmentand EducationSystemBenefits
  • Provide a common theme for communication from state to state
  • Enhance academic achievement of all students - “leaving no child behind”
  • Integrate into current Career Technical programs
  • Prepare students for entry into college/university
  • Provide a well-prepared, qualified workforce for employers
career clusters goals
Career Clusters: Goals
  • High Academic Attainment (meet state requirements)
  • Successful transition to post-secondary education and training
  • Preparation for Success in Careers (academic skills, technical skills, employability skills)
  • Promote/Support Economic Development to Increase Productivity
  • Enhance Career Development Outcomes


Career Clusters Initiative

career clusters resources
Career Clusters: Resources
  • Career Clusters/Pathway Model
  • Knowledge & Skills Components
  • O*Net Crosswalk Report
  • Cluster Profile and Advisory Committee List of Existing Credentials
  • Validation Overview/Results
  • Protocol for Assessment & Certification
  • Brochures
  • Pam Stacey, 405.743.6850,
career clusters model

Career Clusters: Model

Organizes the occupations, within each cluster, into pathways that group the cluster occupations based on commonalities.

career clusters framework
Career Clusters: Framework
  • Cluster Level
    • Represents the skills and knowledge, both academic and technical, that all students within the cluster should achieve regardless of their pathway.
  • Pathway Level
    • Represents the skills and knowledge, both academic and technical, necessary to pursue a full range of career opportunities within a pathway - ranging from entry level to management, including technical and professional career specialties.
  • Career Specialties
    • Represents the full range of career opportunities within each pathway.
career clusters o net crosswalk report
Career Clusters: O*Net Crosswalk Report
  • Each occupational specialty identified within Career Clusters was cross-walked to a related O*NET occupation.
  • O*NET is a nationally recognized taxonomy with detailed descriptions and a rich database of information for each occupation.
career clusters cluster pathway knowledge skills

Career Clusters: Cluster/Pathway Knowledge & Skills

Identify existing and/or establish the knowledge and skills common across the Cluster as well as in each of the Pathways.

how do you differentiate between cluster level and pathway level knowledge and skills k s
How Do You Differentiate Between Cluster Level and Pathway Level Knowledge and Skills (K&S)?


  • K&S represent all occupations within the scope of the cluster.


  • K&S represent all occupations within a pathway.
cluster level k s topics
Cluster Level K&S Topics
  • Academic Foundations
  • Communications
  • Problem Solving and Critical Thinking
  • Information Technology Applications
  • Systems
  • Safety, Health and Environmental
  • Leadership and Teamwork
  • Ethics and Legal Responsibilities
  • Employability and Career Development
  • Technical Skills
format knowledge and skills structure components
Format: Knowledge and Skills Structure Components
  • Structure
    • Cluster/Pathway Topics
      • K&S Statements
        • Performance Elements
          • Measurement Criteria
validation overview results
Validation Overview/Results
  • What Do We Mean by Knowledge and Skills “Validation”?
    • In this initiative, valid means:
      • Common (common, applicable across pathway or cluster)
      • Important (relevant, meaningful)
      • Accurate (technically correct)
validation process
Validation Process
  • Validation by Advisory Committees
  • National Web-based Validation or

Pilot Site Validation

  • Continuing Review by Advisory Committees, Pilot Sites and Subject Matter Experts
career clusters advisory committee
Career Clusters: Advisory Committee
  • Membership includes business and industry, associations, government agencies, labor and secondary and postsecondary educators.
  • Membership is broad-based in terms of geographic location.
  • Membership reflects occupations within each of the pathways.
  • Membership is responsible for resource development.
career clusters existing credentials
Career Clusters: Existing Credentials
  • Credentials include licenses, certificates, and degrees.
  • Listing includes both web sites and individual credentials.
  • Existing credentials, when applicable, were used as resources in the development of knowledge and skill components.
career clusters assessment protocol
Career Clusters: Assessment Protocol
  • Protocol for Career Clusters Assessment
    • Minimum criteria/expectations
      • Content
      • Form
      • Applications and Uses
      • Administration
      • Validity and Reliability
career clusters certificate of achievement protocol
Career Clusters: Certificate of Achievement Protocol
  • Minimum criteria/expectations
      • Defines the purpose and scope of certificate
      • Bases issue on assessed learner proficiencies
      • Confirms knowledge & skills of certificate to the public
      • Contains date and issuing organization
career clusters brochures
Career Clusters: Brochures
  • Description of how to pursue education and career success in the cluster
  • Career Pathways at a glance
  • Overview of each Pathway
    • Sample occupations
    • Overview of credentials
    • Employment outlook
sustainability and implementation

Sustainability and Implementation:

Career Clusters Initiative

career clusters sustainability
Career Clusters: Sustainability
  • National Association of State Directors of Career Technical Education Consortium
    • Assessment
    • States Voluntarily Reporting Student Enrollment by Cluster
  • Central Distribution System for Resources
  • Maintenance/Updating of Web Site
  • Continuing, Consistent Process for Review and Validation of Knowledge and Skills
career clusters implementation
Career Clusters: Implementation
  • Pilot Site Implementation
  • Technical Assistance
  • Training and In-service
  • Guide to Career Cluster Implementation
  • Implementation Briefs by State on the Web Site
  • National Career Cluster Institute
tips for implementation
Tips for Implementation
  • Making Skill Standards Work: Highlights from the Field
    • Education Development Center, Inc.
    • 800-225-4276
  • Career Academy Toolkit
    • Bright Futures Press
    • 919-426-3843
  • Using Skill Standards for Vocational-Technical Education Curriculum Development
tips for implementation cont
Arts, A-V Technology and Communications

Health Science

Information Technology


Transportation, Distributionand Logistics

All Clusters

Tips for Implementation (cont.)
tips for implementation cont32
Tips for Implementation (cont.)
  • Use resources to enhance existing programs.
  • Use resources as frameworks to create/develop programs.
  • Use resources for career academies, small learning communities, schools within schools, charter schools, home schooling and magnet schools.
identify the stakeholders and challenges leading to cluster implementation
Identify the Stakeholders and Challenges Leading to Cluster Implementation
  • Teachers with decreasing enrollments
  • Teachers charged with increasing academic performance
  • Parents and students lacking knowledge of opportunities
  • Business and Industry needs for qualified workers
  • Post high school trainers and educators looking for feeder programs
present career clusters as a solution to stakeholder challenges
Present Career Clusters as a Solution to Stakeholder Challenges
  • Potential enrollment increases with broader programs that appeal to more students.
  • Contextual learning increases academic performance for all students.
  • Enhanced guidance services are available for parents and students through the cluster models’ identification of many jobs.
  • Broader preparation meets Business and Industry needs for qualified workers.
  • Career Cluster Knowledge and Skill structures provide the linkage from post high school trainers and educators to feeder programs.
conduct clusters rollout planning with stakeholders
Conduct Clusters Rollout Planning with Stakeholders
  • Analyze current delivery system.
  • Review curriculum content.
  • Identify instructor knowledge, skills, and abilities.
  • Determine desire to change the system.
  • Present “Career Cluster Principles for Success”.
Career Clusters Principles for Success in Technical and Academic Education:What does a Career Cluster program look like?

1. The curriculum includes the cluster foundation knowledge and skills.

2. The curriculum includes pathway knowledge and skills.

3. Academic and technical instructors jointly plan the curriculum.

4. The specific state academic standards reinforced in the curriculum are clearly identified.

principles for success cont
Principles for Success (cont.)

5. Communication (reading, writing, and presenting) activities are pervasive in the curriculum.

6. The curriculum reflects multiple careers associated with the cluster. 

7. The curriculum reflects the economic development plans of the local/state community.

8. Instructors provide direct support to students in developing a career/educational plan.

9. Data is collected and used for quality control and improvement.

conduct clusters rollout planning with stakeholders cont
Conduct Clusters Rollout Planning with Stakeholders (cont.)
  • Identify where changes are needed/desired.
  • Determine barriers using Rollout Planning process.
  • Identify resources (human, policy, fiscal) needed to overcome barriers.
  • In matrix format, present delivery system elements/content vs. desired cluster elements/content.
assess acceptance buy in of implementation staff
Assess Acceptance/Buy-in of Implementation Staff
  • Determine resources needed (human, policy, fiscal) to assure staff buy-in.
  • Determine the availability of needed resources.
  • Assess implementation challenges given available resources.
develop implementation plan
Develop Implementation Plan
  • Identify resources needed (human, policy, fiscal).
  • Identify time frame for implementation.
  • Identify individuals responsible.
  • Identify specific goals, objectives, and time line.
  • Identify assessment processes to be used.
  • Determine if credentials will be awarded.
implementing career clusters
Implementing Career Clusters
  • Review implementation plan with stakeholders/community.
  • Revise plan responding to feedback.
  • Access resources needed.
  • Confirm the reality of proposed plan.
  • Implement plan.
  • Revise plan according to implementation feedback.
contact information
Contact Information
  • Pam Stacey
    • 405.743.6850