Supporting Non-traditional Learners in Career Technical Education


Supporting Non-traditional Learners in Career Technical Education

Achieving a future of Career Technical Education (CTE) without limits for every learner requires robust and intentional investments in policy and practice that remove barriers for learners to access, enroll and succeed in the program of their choice.

The Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act (Perkins V) includes provisions that prioritize expanding access to and supporting success within CTE programs to designated special populations:

  • Individuals with disabilities;
  • Individuals from economically disadvantaged families, including low-income youth and adults;
  • Individuals preparing for careers that are non-traditional for their gender;
  • Single parents, including single pregnant women;
  • Out-of-workforce individuals;
  • English learners;
  • Individuals experiencing homelessness;
  • Youth who are in, or have aged out of, the foster care system; and
  • Youth with a parent who is a member of the armed forces and is on active duty.

This brief provides an overview of definitions, strategies, reflection questions and resources to support non-traditional learners in CTE. This brief is part of the Maximizing Access and Success for Special Populations in Career Technical Education series, a collection of briefs from Advance CTE and the Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE) that will explore strategies for supporting each of the nine special populations as defined by Perkins V as well as learner groups who, while not special populations under the law, may need additional supports to enroll and succeed in CTE.

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