U.S. Senators Michael Bennet (D-CO) and Orrin Hatch (R-UT) introduced legislation last week to give more high school students the opportunity to take career and technical education college courses that can help prepare them for success in the 21st century. The Workforce Advance Act will help strengthen and expand dual and concurrent enrollment and early college high school options as part of Perkins-supported career technical education (CTE) programs. Strong CTE programs can provide vital access to the knowledge and skills needed for job and career success.
The Workforce Advance Act encourages states to examine how they can expand access to CTE dual and concurrent enrollment and early college high school courses. The bill would:
- Allow states to invest leadership dollars in expanding access and supporting teachers and districts to increase the number of courses offered,
- Encourage districts to strengthen CTE programs by incorporating college credit opportunities,
- Use a portion of the funding they receive through the Perkins Career and Technical Education Act for tuition and fees for CTE college courses and use funding to support teachers pursuing the credentials needed to teach these courses in their high schools, helping to remove a barrier to providing access to college credit, and
- Allow the Department of Education to use national CTE activities to help identify successful methods and best practices for providing dual or concurrent enrollment programs and early college high school career and technical education opportunities.