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Programs of Study (POS) Grants


The Promoting Rigorous Career and Technical Education Programs of Study project assesses the potential contribution that comprehensive, well-formulated programs of study can make to students' educational attainment and post-program success. The six states participating in this four-year project—Arizona, Kansas, Maryland, Montana, Utah, and Wisconsin—are working to design and implement rigorous programs of study (RPOS) that incorporate the 10 key components of effective programs identified within OVAE’s Program of Study Design Framework (Framework). Project work is focused on three local education agencies (LEAs) within each state, which include an urban, suburban, and rural school district, as well as partnering postsecondary institutions.

First-year efforts (2010–11) focused on assisting states and LEAs in implementing and/or strengthening Framework components that were identified as missing or in need of improvement. Based on the results of a gap analysis, states prioritized program areas in need of attention and created improvement strategies to address pressing needs. States subsequently submitted baseline demographic and post-program outcome data for 12th-grade students enrolled in the participating LEAs. These first-year data, which correspond to the 2009–10 academic year (i.e., the year preceding the start of project work), include information on students who were concentrators in programs selected for the RPOS project, as well as a comparison population that included 12th-grade CTE concentrators and all other 12th-grade students enrolled in the LEA.

Second-year activities (2011–12) have centered on strengthening states' capacity to report valid and reliable data. The project team has supported states in establishing common definitions of RPOS; selecting comparison students within local sites; constructing consistent reporting measures across and within states; and implementing uniform methods for collecting data on RPOS students and comparison groups. States again collected data for 12th-grade students enrolled in participating LEAs. These 2010–11 academic year data document the characteristics and immediate post-program experiences of high school seniors who graduated in 2011.

Project Year Measurement Year RPOS Population Description
2010-11 2009-10 Pre-treatment: Concentrators in CTE programs that were subsequently selected for RPOS inclusion
2011-12 2010-11 Program Year 1: Concentrators in the RPOS program during the implementation of improvement strategies
2012-13 2011-12 Program Year 2: Concentrators in RPOS programs who experienced one full year of improvement strategies
2013-14 2012-13 Program Year 3: Concentrators in RPOS programs who experienced two full years of improvement strategies