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State-Approved vs. Local CTE Programs
(Chapter 74 vs. Perkins-Only Programs)

Seal of Approval

State-Approved CTE programs are intensively focused on preparing students for specific career fields. Locally-Approved programs may also offer excellent career-related experiences, but are not required to meet the same requirements and standards. The following chart explains some of the differences between these two types of programs.

(Chapter 74 Programs)
(Perkins-Only Programs)
PurposeProvide precise training required for entry-level employment in an in-demand career field.Provide useful skills and knowledge for an in-demand career field.
Program DesignPrograms must follow specific guidelines (State Frameworks) that are developed in partnership with growing industries. This ensures that students will have the skills employers are looking for.Programs can be more creatively designed, but representatives from local business or industry must be consulted.
Amount of TrainingStudents spend about half of their time (at least 900 hours) engaged in technical training. Students take at least two courses (300 or more hours) that build on one another, developing skills relevant to the career field.
Teacher qualificationsTeachers must be licensed to teach a specific career area at the high school level. Their license also requires them to have extensive experience in the field. Teachers must be licensed to teach high school, and may have experience in the field. However, career experience is not required.
Student Work ExperiencesAlmost always offer "Co-Op" or internship experiences with partnering employers outside of the school. May or may not offer work experiences outside of the school.
Credentials EarnedIn most cases, students can achieve a program-related license or certification; or earn credit toward college or towards apprenticeship in a Trade.Students might or might not have opportunities to achieve a license, certification, or college credit.

Note: The term "Chapter 74" refers to a Massachusetts law. The term "Perkins" refers to a federal (United States) law.

Last Updated: February 3, 2022

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