Career and Technical Education

Accountability and Postsecondary Readiness in CTE

Published: 4/29/2024 2:59 PM

​Kentucky’s accountability system strongly reflects the Kentucky Board of Education’s (KBE’s) vision that each and every student is empowered and equipped with the knowledge, skills and dispositions to pursue a successful future. Kentucky’s accountability system provides students with multiple, meaningful opportunities to engage in pathways that build awareness of career opportunities, provide real-world instruction and lead to credentials with labor market value.

The accountability model spotlights CTE as a viable means to a high school diploma and preparation for postsecondary training and career by including opportunities for students to obtain a strong academic foundation along with career and technical content.

The proposed accountability system supports the Commonwealth’s overall strategy to grow the state’s economy and improve workforce development, so that Kentucky is able to attract new employers and successfully fill jobs statewide with well-educated and highly skilled Kentuckians.


Career Readiness Overview

There are multiple avenues for a student to become career ready:

Postsecondary Readiness Indicator

The Postsecondary Readiness indicator demonstrates that the student has attained the necessary knowledge, skills and dispositions to successfully transition to the next level of his or her education career. There are different expectations for the demonstration of readiness for elementary, middle and high school levels.​


The Tech Ready Apprentices for Careers in Kentucky (TRACK) offers Kentucky students two apprenticeship opportunities approved by the Kentucky Department of Education and the Kentucky Office for Apprenticeship.  The Youth Apprenticeship allows the student to work with a specific employer. The student receives credit towards their apprenticeship for on-the-job learning hours obtained through a cooperative education placement.  The Pre-Apprenticeship allows the student to prepare for application to a Registered Apprenticeship training program after graduation. The training provider can give students credit towards their apprenticeship for coursework they have taken while in high school.

The TRACK certificate is a standalone Postsecondary Readiness Indicator.  Students enrolled in a TRACK Pre-Apprenticeship or Youth Apprenticeship pathway who receive the TRACK certificate are identified as career ready and will receive 1.0 for state accountability.  Students who earn additional pathway related industry certifications identified as HIGH DEMAND certifications by the KWIB will receive 1.25 for state accountability.  A complete list of KWIB Approved Industry Certifications is available on the CTE webpage under Valid Industry Certifications

Career and Technical Education End-of-Program Assessment for Articulated Credit

In order to ensure that career and technical education students have acquired the skills necessary for successful transition from high school to postsecondary studies or the workforce, Kentucky has initiated a Skill Standards, Assessment, and Certification System.  This system is based upon clear and concise standards identified by employers across the state which culminates in a performance-based training and assessment system.


CTE Dual Credit

Pursuant to KRS 164.002, dual credit is defined as “a college-level course of study developed in accordance with KRS 164.098 in which a high school student receives credit from both the high school and postsecondary institution in which the student is enrolled upon completion of a single class or designated program of study”. The KDE-APPROVED CTE DUAL CREDIT GUIDANCE DOCUMENT provide details for identifying eligible dual credit courses aligned to C​TE​​ career pathways for “career readin​ess” which are approved annually by KDE. Students must complete one (1) of the approved CTE dual credit courses with a letter grade of “C” or higher in order to meet this indicator.​​

Industry Certifications

Kentucky has a clearly defined process to ensure industry-recognized credentials are practical, relevant, and that they align with career pathways.  The valid industry certification list is based on information provided by local workforce investment boards (WIBs), reviewed by multiple business and industry groups, presented to the Kentucky Workforce Innovation Board (KWIB) Business and Education Alignment Committee and approved by the KWIB.​​

Work-Based Learning

Pursuant to KRS 158.6455, successfully completing a KBE-approved cooperative (co-op) or internship that is aligned with a credential or associate degree and which provides a minimum of 300 hours of on-the-job work experience is an indicator of postsecondary readiness in Kentucky's Accountability System. All co-ops and internships should adhere to the information in Kentucky's Work-Based Learning Manual and to 705 KAR 4:041, work-based learning program standards. For more information please visit the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ): Co-ops and Internships for State Accountability Docume​nt. ​​

Cathy Hoehn
Office of Career and Technical Education
300 Sower Blvd., 5th Floor
Frankfort, KY 40601
(502) 892-6502, Ext. 4278


Thomas Thompson
Office of Career and Technical Education
300 Sower Blvd., 5th Floor
Frankfort, KY 40601
(502) 564-4286 
Fax (502) 564-4800


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