RD541 - Joint Submission of Career and Technical Education Plan – Virginia Tech and Virginia State University

Executive Summary:

H 2702: Be in enacted by the General Assembly of Virginia:

1. Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University and Virginia State University shall jointly develop and report to the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia, the House Committee on Education, and the Senate Committee on Education and Health no later than October 1, 2019, a plan for the establishment of a baccalaureate or other degree program that prepares graduates to be effective career and technical education teachers in order to address persistent teacher shortages in career and technical education subject areas in the Commonwealth.


The teacher shortage in Virginia is persistent and pervasive, with the number of unfilled teacher positions, across all subject areas, rising from 760 in 2006 to 1,080 in 2017(*1). These unfilled positions, which mirror national trends, presage the long-term occupational projections for primary and secondary career and technical education (CTE) school teacher shortfalls, shortfalls of 40 and 264 for primary and second CTE school teachers, respectively(*2). Indeed, in the yearly list of the top 10 critical shortage teaching endorsement areas in Virginia, between 2010 and 2019, CTE has ranked #4 every year except 2019-2020, when it ranked #3.

In response to the CTE shortfall the Virginia legislature has requested a plan, jointly from VSU and VT, to create a CTE undergraduate baccalaureate program. In response, both VSU and VT are proposing independent, but connected, undergraduate CTE baccalaureate programs. Each institution will offer a subset of the seven programs that comprise the large area of CTE: Agricultural Education, Business and Information Technology, Family and Consumer Sciences, Marketing Education, and Technology Education.

Virginia State University Career and Technical Education Program

Virginia State University has continued to operate Career and Technical Education programs in the areas of Family and Consumer Science and Agriculture Education. These program areas have produced a limited number of teachers who are currently successful CTE educators in the state. Recent graduate follow-up by the College of Education indicate that 83% of the graduates are employed as public school teachers. The Department of Teaching and Learning in the College of Education collaborates with the academic program areas to provide the professional studies courses required to meet the licensure requirements in the state. The College has identified faculty in the CTE program areas who identify the candidates in their programs who desire to teach. Those students are assigned a co-advisor in the college who assist the candidate in meeting the licensure requirements for the state.

Virginia State University has developed a plan to address the CTE teacher shortage by creating a degree track in Middle School (Science) Education Innovative Technology Education that will meet the requirements for a CTE teacher. The College of Education will collaborate with the State Advisor for the Technology Students Association, who is housed at VSU, to recruit students into the degree program. The last element of the VSU plan is to restore the Masters Level Career and Technical Education degree to encourage CTE teachers and Administrators to expand their CTE knowledge-base and become CTE Directors and administrators in school divisions across the state.

Enrollment in the Virginia State University CTE degree programs will come from three sources. The first source will be high school seniors who are in CTE programs across the state. These students have foundational knowledge of CTE and could become strong teacher candidates. Recruitment of these potential candidates will be aided by a collaborative relationship with the TSA state advisor housed at the university. The College of Education will also collaborate with local Community Colleges to develop articulation agreements which will assist candidates make a seamless transition to VSU thus reducing the cost of a four-year degree. Current VSU students are the last source of recruitment for the CTE programs. Candidates in related degree areas will be encouraged to purse CTE as a career path.

The College of Education currently has identified resource needs for the expansion of CTE at the University. Funds will be request to assist in the recruitment of CTE students across the state. The Collaboration with Virginia Tech has the potential of offering some unique educational opportunities to degree candidates who typically come from rural parts of the state. Virginia State University will require at least two fulltime faculty in CTE to handle both undergraduate and graduate needs of the candidates. Resources will also be needed to acquire instructional resources to equip the classrooms with equipment needed to prepare CTE educators.

Virginia Tech Career and Technical Education Program

Virginia Tech has a 30+ year history of offering a nationally recognized career and technical education program, most recently as a graduate program, is poised for new growth as an undergraduate program. The VT CTE undergraduate degree will enable students to obtain a bachelor’s degree in Education and a Virginia teaching license with an endorsement in one of five CTE program areas: Agricultural Education, Business and Information Technology, Family and Consumer Sciences, Marketing Education, and Technology Education.

Program. The degree will satisfy all requirements for an education bachelor’s degree and teaching licensure put forth by Virginia Tech (VT), the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE), and the State Council of Higher Education of Virginia (SCHEV), including VT general education and major requirements, and VDOE and SCHEV content, methods, business internship, and education internship requirements. Note: The School of Education will continue to offer its master's level licensure program for those students who may wish to change majors later in their undergraduate careers.

Enrollments. Enrollments in the new undergraduate VT CTE program will come from three primary avenues, students entering VT with a desire to become K-12 CTE teachers, students at VT who decide to switch majors into CTE to become K-12 CTE teachers, and students who have graduated from a Virginia community college with a desire to become K-12 CTE teachers. In addition, the success of the new undergraduate VT CTE program will be dependent on networking with stakeholders to build partnerships and pipelines, included the VDOE, SCHEV, Virginia General Assembly, local school systems, Virginia community colleges, Virginia four-year colleges and universities, national CTE organizations, local and national industry communities, and a VT CTE advisory committee.

Resources. The development of the new VT CTE degree will require (a) six full-time recurring faculty members and one full-time one-time faculty member (salaries and fringe: $80,000 + $33,000), (b) one full-time staff member (salary and fringe: $50,000 + $25,000), (b) marketing and promotion support ($15,000/year), (c) travel and lodging support for CTE faculty to conduct business internship and student teaching supervision ($25,000/year), and (d) stakeholder and community college collaboration support.

Timeline. The undergraduate VT CTE degree will require 18 months to get the courses and degree proposals through the VT and SCHEV approval process, resulting in the first undergraduate students matriculating into the VT CTE program in fall 2021. The undergraduate VT CTE courses and degree planning began in spring 2019, thus the courses and degree are already in the VT approval pipeline. The development of a comprehensive and integrated marketing and promotion plan needs to be created in 2019-2020, to be enacted in 2020-2021 to load the enrollment pipeline for fall 2021. Hiring the necessary personal would entail (a) a search in 2020-2021 for two new faculty members to begin fall 2021, (b) a search in 2021-2022 for two new faculty members and one new staff member to begin in fall 2022, and (c) a search in 2022-2023 for two new faculty members to begin in fall 2023.

Collaborative Connections

Beyond the VSU and VT undergraduate CTE degrees, there are several opportunities for VSU and VT to collaboration, including shared supervision of student teaching and business internships, shared online synchronous and asynchronous courses, shared recruitment opportunities/materials/strategies, and shared opportunities for student and faculty exchanges.
(*1) Preliminary Report from the Advisory Committee on Teacher Shortages (October 2017)
(*2) Long and Short-Term Occupational Projections; http://www.vec.virginia.gov