Virginia recently enacted legislation intended to increase high schools' focus on getting CTE students truly career-ready. H.B. 642 directs the state board to adopt regulations requiring an adjustment of the formula for calculating high school accreditation (for schools that have met minimal accreditation requirements). The revised formula must add a minimum three-point increase to the completion index total points calculation for each student in a CTE program who earns a diploma along with an industry certification, industry pathway certification, state licensure, or occupational competency credential, when the certification/licensure/credential is approved by the state board as fulfilling the student-selected end-of-course assessment requirement for high school graduation.
Virginia has already taken great strides to ensure the quality and rigor of high school-level CTE programs. This latest policy action may create even greater incentives for CTE instructors to elevate their game, to bring students to a level of readiness to achieve certification/licensure/credential in their field, as well as motivate adults in schools to encourage greater numbers of CTE students to pursue certification/licensure/credential.