Achieve Releases New Briefs Highlighting Career and Technical Education in Massachusetts and Ohio

Monday, July 13, 2015Printer-friendly version

Best of Both Worlds: How Massachusetts Vocational Schools are Preparing Students for College and Careers

Achieve released two new briefs that profile several career and technical education (CTE) programs in Ohio and Massachusetts that have successfully integrated academic and technical programming as part of their strategy to prepare all students for college and careers. The briefs feature individual student profiles from specific schools and elevate the central role that state policy and implementation support can play in advancing high-quality CTE.

“The schools profiled in these briefs illustrate the meaningful role that states can play in ensuring that all students have access to rigorous academic learning content aligned to college and career and real-world expectations,” said Alissa Peltzman, Vice President of State Policy and Implementation Support at Achieve. “Our education system must provide all students with access to well-defined, rigorous career and technical education programs with engaging learning opportunities, pathways to careers, and meaningful certification. Achieve applauds these schools’ efforts to help all students graduate from high school ready for their next steps.

Cover of Seizing the Future: How Ohio’s Career and Technical Education Programs Fuse Academic Rigor and Real-World Experiences to Prepare Students for College and Work

As “Seizing the Future: How Ohio’s Career-Technical Education Programs Fuse Academic Rigor and Real-World Experiences to Prepare Students for College and Work,” demonstrates, Ohio has developed strong policies for CTE programs to promote rigor. “We are ‘mashing up’ college and career. This is a shift from the past and one that we are serious about,” said Steve Gratz, senior executive director at the Ohio Department of Education. To graduate, all students, including those enrolled in CTE, must complete Ohio’s Course Requirements, in which Ohio’s New Learning Standards are embedded. Ohio has also combined college and career pathways through investment in tech prep programs that create opportunities to earn college credit, developed partnerships with workforce partners, and created clear public-reporting systems.

David Ferreira, executive director, Massachusetts Association of Vocational Administrators (MAVA), explains that the schools profiled are “the Cadillac model of the CTE world,” due to the way they integrate real-world learning, foster caring relationships, and focus on continuous improvement in service of student success. Each profiled school is graduating nearly all of their students and touts strong MassCore completion rates and postsecondary outcomes. The brief highlights the state’s policies that promote strong programming; Massachusetts encourages the completion of MassCore, the state’s college- and career-ready course of study, incentivizes rigorous academic standards through school accountability measures, offers capacity-building support, and has fostered multiple workforce partnerships.

The full reports are available at the following links:


Media Contact: Chad Colby (202) 419-1570, or Kelly Van Beveren (202) 745-2306,