Study of State Certification/Licensure Requirements for Secondary Career and Technical Education Teachers

Publication October 2007

Teacher preparation in vocational/career and technical education has a rich history dating back to the Smith-Hughes Act of 1917, which first defined qualifications for individuals involved in teaching in this field. Historically, there have been two pathways to teacher certification and licensure in career and technical education (CTE). The first follows a traditional teacher preparation model, using colleges and universities with degree programs consisting of general education, technical content, and teacher pedagogy, including student teaching. The second pathway, an alternative to the traditional model, relies more on work experience in the discipline in which certification/licensure is sought. These dissimilar pathways have co-existed for nearly 100 years.

The purpose of this study was to determine the requirements for CTE teacher certification/licensure in all 50 states and the District of Columbia, including education requirements (academic and/or technical preparation), work experience, and entry and exit tests (such as the Praxis assessments). The study determined the traditional routes to certification/licensure as well as any alternative pathways for individuals from business/industry who wish to enter the CTE teaching profession.

Zirkle, C. J., Martin, L., & McCaslin, N. L. (2007, October). Study of state certification/licensure requirements for secondary career and technical education teachers. St. Paul, MN: National Research Center for Career and Technical Education, University of Minnesota.

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