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Career/Vocational Technical Education

Perkins V

Perkins V Manual

The federal Perkins Act is designed to develop more fully the academic knowledge and technical and employability skills of secondary and postsecondary education students who elect to enroll in career and technical education programs. Perkins V recognizes, in a way that previous iterations of Perkins legislation did not, the value and importance of in-depth, continual programmatic self-examination to improve programs and benefit students.

Both Chapter 74-approved vocational technical education programs and Non-Chapter 74 career and technical education programs meet the federal Perkins Act definition of career and technical education and are considered Perkins programs.

This Perkins V Manual addresses the requirements identified in Perkins V.

TopicWhat do I need to know?What do I need to do?What else?
Perkins Essentials Introduction Download Word Document to Perkins Review material from Perkins V Implementation Workshops Download PowerPoint File in Feb 2020. For districts new to Perkins programming
Perkins V includes initiatives to increase access, close achievement gaps, and increase students' exposure to nontraditional careers. Recipients receiving Perkins V funds are required to conduct a Comprehensive Local Needs Assessment and update it at least every two years. See the Comprehensive Local Needs Assessment Guide Download Word Document and Worksheet Download Word Document. To stay up to date on Perkins V and other CCTE news, sign up for the CCTE e-newsletter.
Access to Programs Under Perkins V, districts progress toward implementation of equal access Download Word Document to high-quality career and technical education courses and programs of study for all students. Refer to disaggregation Download Word Document, culturally responsive practices Download Word Document, gender equity and population groups & special populations Download Word Document defined in Perkins V. See resources from across DESE —
Program Components Use this Perkins Checklist Download Word Document to check that programs meet Perkins V requirements and are of sufficient Size, Scope & Quality Download Word Document.
Career Planning allows students to develop a comprehensive plan for postsecondary success where current learning is matched with career goals. Districts and institutions may use MyCAP or other platforms in career planning. Review Work-based learning, an important component of Perkins V and a new Indicator Download Word Document. See also Career Development and Connecting Activities.
CVTE programs have advisory groups or representatives. Refer to the Perkins Checklist Download Word Document & Size, Scope & Quality Download Word Document for requirements. The Advisory Committee Guide is a quality resource on forming and utilizing advisory committees.
CVTE programs are complex. Districts considering programmatic changes should notify the Office for CCTE. The grant recipient district should email an outline of the proposed change(s) to the district's liaison in CCTE. The liaison will respond via email with a determination of acceptance or non-acceptance of the changes.
Programs are guided by and meet OSHA Safety Standards.

Perkins V permits the Department to use leadership funds to assist in supporting career/vocational technical student organizations (CVTSOs), especially to increase participation and success of students who are members of special populations.

There are reporting, performance, accountability and monitoring requirements associated with Perkins:

TopicWhat do I need to know?What do I need to do?What else?
Enrollment & Performance Reporting Districts & collaboratives with Secondary Programs are required to report SIMS and conduct a Graduate Follow-up Survey each year. Refer to the CVTE Data Instructions Download Word Document for more. Enrollment & Performance Reporting is due on the Timeline Download Word Document noted.
Institutions/collaboratives with Postsecondary Programs are required to submit Pell Reports and Perkins V PS Reports each year. See Postsecondary Instructions at Career/Vocational Technical Education Reporting & Data Resources page.
Failure to submit required reports on time may result in the school district/postsecondary institution/consortium not receiving Perkins V Allocation funds.
Performance & Accountability Perkins Core Indicators Download Word Document comprise the accountability system for Perkins programs. There are several changes to Core Indicators in Perkins V.

Districts and postsecondary institutions offering Perkins programs have Accountability requirements. See the Perkins Accountability System Download PowerPoint File, a preview of Improvement Plans Download Excel Document and a MA State Plan Timeline Download Word Document. Core Indicators can be used for program improvement using these resources:
The Department has set State Determined Performance Levels (SDPLs) Download PDF Document for each indicator.

Districts, institutions & collaboratives may propose Locally Determined Performance Levels (LDPLs).
To propose LDPLs for acceptance by CCTE, use the Perkins Grant Application (Section 6).

Districts may also use the Accountability Workbook Download Excel Document, due to CCTE in October.
How are the indicators calculated? See the definitions: Secondary Definitions Download Word Document, Postsecondary Definitions Download Word Document.
Monitoring DESE conducts Monitoring reviews of all schools and school districts, institutions and collaboratives that offer programs funded through federal Perkins Act allocations.
TopicFYI —What else?
Additional Resources about Perkins Designated Innovation Pathway programs generally meet many of the requirements for federal funding under Perkins V. See the Perkins V / Innovation Pathways Comparison Download Word Document for details.
Massachusetts formed the High Quality College Career Pathways Stakeholder Group, with representatives of key stakeholders, for regular consultation in the development of the Perkins V State Plan. The Perkins V State Plan Download Word Document was submitted to US ED in April 2020 and approved in May 2020. The Perkins V Transition Manual Download Word Document covers the transition from Perkins IV to Perkins V in 2019-2020.
Perkins Funding DESE's Federal Grants team administers the Perkins Allocation Grants (400/secondary & 401/postsecondary). The state sometimes also offers competitive grants from Perkins. See Grant Liaisons at DESE's Federal Grants website for more on Grants, Budgets, Allocations & Allowable Costs.

Who to contact:

  • For programmatic questions, please contact the Office for College, Career, and Technical Education (CCTE) which oversees High Quality College and Career Pathways. Please contact the CCTE Office at 781-338-3910 or or go to the list of CCTE district liaisons.

  • For Perkins Fund Code 400 & 401 grant application questions, please contact the Office for Resources, Allocation and Strategic Planning (RASP), which oversees federal grants, at 781-338-6230 or go to the list of DESE federal grant liaisons to find your district's liaison.

  • For programmatic and grant questions related to correctional agencies, please contact Karen DeCoster, Corrections Education Specialist in the Office for Adult & Community Learning Services (ACLS), at 781-338-3815 or

Which programs are Perkins programs?

  • Both Chapter 74-approved vocational technical education programs and Non-Chapter 74 career and technical education programs meet the federal Perkins Act definition of career and technical education and are considered Perkins programs. See the Chapter 74 Manual for those programs.

  • "Career/vocational technical education programs" is the term used to denote both Chapter 74-approved vocational technical education programs and Non-Chapter 74 career and technical education programs.

  • This manual is the 'umbrella manual' for Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act-Perkins V in Massachusetts. The manual will be updated as policy guidance is developed and disseminated by the United States Department of Education. The contents including requirements set forth in this manual are therefore subject to change.

Massachusetts submitted a Perkins V State Plan which covers activities through 2024 and has been approved by the US ED. US ED has called out these noteworthy elements of the Massachusetts State Plan:

  • Links employers and schools for work-based learning experiences and career development activities through its Connecting Activities initiative - including a special focus on STEM employers.

  • Expands access to an array of engaging academic and career programs of study in strong and growing industries and occupations through its High-Quality College and Career Pathways Initiative (HQCCP).

  • Requires internship or capstone experiences through its Innovation Pathways structure that connects student learning to an in-demand industry sector within its regional and state economy.

Last Updated: October 27, 2020

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