Education Laws and Regulations

603 CMR 4.00:

Vocational Technical Education


  • 4.01: Purpose
  • 4.02: Definitions
  • 4.03: Program Approval Criteria and Operational Requirements
  • 4.04: Program Approval Procedures and Policies
  • 4.05: Program Outcomes
  • 4.06: Unpaid Off-Campus Construction and Maintenance Projects
  • 4.07: Types of Vocational Technical Teacher Licenses, Requirements for Licensure and Licenses Issued
  • 4.08: Types of Vocational Technical Administrator Licenses and Requirements for Licensure
  • 4.09: Types of Vocational Technical Cooperative Education Coordinator Licenses and Requirements for Licensure
  • 4.10: Professional Standards
  • 4.11: Extension of Preliminary Vocational Technical Teacher License
  • 4.12: Professional Vocational Technical Educator License Renewal and Professional Development
  • 4.13: General Provisions Regarding Educator Licensure
  • 4.14: Certificate of Occupational Proficiency
  • 4.15: Endorsements
  • 4.16: Pilot Programs
  • View All Sections

Most recently amended by the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education: June 22, 2021

4.04: Program Approval Procedures and Policies

(1) In order to receive vocational technical education program approval, the Superintendent shall submit an application to the Commissioner that provides clear evidence of secondary student and labor market demand for the program and demonstrates compliance with the approval criteria.

(2) The Department shall periodically monitor compliance of an approved program with applicable laws and regulations.

(3) The Commissioner may deny approval of, or revoke approval from, any program when the Commissioner determines that the program does not meet the requirements of one or more of the approval criteria set forth in 603 CMR 4.03, fails to meet the Program Outcome Standards under 603 CMR 4.05, or violates any provision of applicable laws and regulations.

(a) Any program that fails to demonstrate that it satisfies all of the requirements set forth in 603 CMR 4.03, or 603 CMR 4.05, or both shall be subject to review and possible revocation of approval.

(b) The Department may initiate a review of such a program and request a corrective action plan. The Department shall offer technical assistance where appropriate.

(c) The Superintendent shall submit a corrective action plan to the Department for programs that are under review. The Department will monitor progress in meeting the goals of the plan. If, after one year under review, a program has not made satisfactory progress, its approval may be revoked.

(d) The Commissioner may extend the review for a second year. The Commissioner will make the final determination regarding revocation of approval of an individual program.

(4) Substantial changes in any approved program shall be approved in writing by the Commissioner prior to implementation.

(5) A school district that seeks to discontinue an approved vocational technical education program shall submit a closure plan to the Department that includes a timetable for program closure, information outreach to affected students and their parents/guardians, and options for students to complete the vocational technical education program.

(6) With Department approval, a program that has been discontinued through an approved program closure may be offered as a regular education program. A program whose approval has been revoked may not be offered as a regular education program.

(7) A town that belongs to a regional vocational district may not offer an approved vocational technical program in its municipal high school if that program is offered in the regional district, unless the Commissioner approves an exception. Thus, an exception must be requested for projects which include programs that are duplicative of programs offered in a school district's member regional vocational technical school. In making the determination, the Commissioner will consider the district's statement of need and in addition, will seek comment on the district's request for an exception from the regional vocational school district school committee.

(8) For the purpose of reporting student enrollment, approvals of new programs that are granted by the Commissioner on or before November 1 of any school year shall be retroactive to October 1 of that school year.

For an official copy of these regulations, please contact the State House Bookstore, at 617-727-2834 or visit Massachusetts State Bookstore.

Last Updated: June 24, 2021

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