- III. Operational Planning Elements
The Unified or Combined State Plan must include an Operational Planning Elements section that supports the State’s strategy and the system-wide vision described in Section II(c) above. Unless otherwise noted, all Operational Planning Elements apply to Combined State Plan partner programs included in the plan as well as to core programs. This section must include—
- a. State Strategy Implementation
The Unified or Combined State Plan must include–
- 2. Implementation of State Strategy
Describe how the lead State agency with responsibility for the administration of each core program or a Combined Plan partner program included in this plan will implement the State’s Strategies identified in Section II(c). above. This must include a description of—
- 2. Implementation of State Strategy
- a. State Strategy Implementation
III. a. 2. H. Improving Access to Postsecondary Credentials
Describe how the State’s strategies will improve access to activities leading to recognized postsecondary credentials, including Registered Apprenticeship certificates. This includes credentials that are industry-recognized certificates, licenses or certifications, and that are portable and stackable.
Improving Access to Postsecondary Credentials
Florida Career and Professional Education Act
CareerSource Florida collaborates with the Department of Economic Opportunity, DOE’s Division of Career and Adult Education and the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services to provide certification opportunities to secondary students. Created by the Florida Legislature in 2007, the Career and Professional Education (CAPE) Act provides students with cutting-edge training and earned industry certifications required for high-skill, high-wage jobs in Florida’s target and infrastructure industries. Through collaborative partnerships between education, industry, workforce and economic development entities, CAPE offers new and meaningful opportunities for students. CAPE supports local and regional economic development and helps attract and retain high-value industries to develop a diverse, knowledge-based economy.
Data reveal that students earning industry certifications have more positive student performance with higher average GPAs, lower rates of chronic absenteeism and disciplinary actions and a lower dropout rate. Students who earned a certification were more likely to take Advanced Placement or dual enrollment courses than students who did not earn a certification. The earning of industry certifications correlates with higher student performance among high school students. Academy students who graduate with an industry certification outperform the academy students who graduate without an industry certification, with a higher placement rate in employment or post-secondary education. Public school districts are awarded additional funding for students earning industry certifications.
In academic year 2018-19, the 11th year of implementation of the Florida Career and Professional Education (CAPE) Act, school districts registered 1,757 high school and 301 middle school career and professional academies, representing 52 of Florida’s school districts as well as Florida State University School (FSUS). In addition, the CAPE Act was amended in 2012-13 to include career-themed courses. School districts registered 1,233 unique career-themed courses, representing all of Florida’s 67 school districts, as well as the Florida Virtual School, FSUS, and Florida A&M University Laboratory School.
CareerSource Florida, the Department of Education, Division of Career and Adult Education and the Department of Economic Opportunity continue to collaborate to enhance the process for submitting certifications for review and recommendation. A new submission application was launched and detailed information was provided to school districts, local workforce development boards and stakeholders by email, posted on the CareerSource Florida website, and provided in an online tutorial, a webinar and an in-person presentation at the Florida Association for Career and Technical Education (FACTE) Conference.
The Division will develop career pathways for occupations in high demand, including occupations with industry-recognized certificates. Under DOE’s Pathways to Career Opportunities grant, the Division intends to expand participation in apprenticeship and pre-apprenticeship programs. Students, parents, and the community will receive notification of apprenticeship opportunities. The Division will work with businesses and employers to increase work-based learning experiences.
The list of industry certifications is updated annually, and final funding determinations are made by the Florida Department of Education. More information is available on CareerSource Florida’s website at careersourceflorida.com/cape and on the Department of Education, Division of Career and Adult Education’s website at fldoe.org/academics/career-adult-edu.
Vocational Rehabilitation Transition Youth Program
The VR Transition Youth program collaborates with education officials and partners to offer youth with disabilities opportunities to gain work experiences that help them prepare for successful employment. Collaborations such as Work-Based Learning Experiences, High School High Tech, Project SEARCH and Postsecondary Education programs engage youth in experiences that blend academics with career and technical education and provide hands-on career exploration and preparation activities where learned skills, attitudes and behaviors can be applied. These evidence-based applications of learning, which include internships and other work experiences, often lead to successful employment. For some students, these programs include earning post-secondary credentials which allow them to explore professional jobs that may lead to higher-wage careers. VR involvement in these collaborations provides funding for participants to receive needed services and other supports. This shared support helps partner programs to serve more youth. VR partnerships deliver career development and employment options through direct services to youth who would not otherwise have access to these opportunities. In addition, VR has delivered Pre-ETS under WIOA through a variety of initiatives throughout the year.
Adult Education Integrated Education and Training Program
The Division of Career and Adult Education (DCAE) promotes the planning, development and implementation of an integrated education and training (IET) service approach that provides concurrent and contextualized adult education and literacy activities in combination with workforce preparation activities and workforce training for a specific occupation or occupational cluster for the purpose of educational and career advancement. This program is afforded to all levels of adult education students. Professional development is provided to support the success of IET programs.
The IET service approach provides all levels of adult education students the opportunity to acquire the skills needed to:
- Transition to and complete postsecondary education and training programs;
- Obtain and advance in employment leading to economic self-sufficiency; and
- Exercise the rights and responsibilities of citizenship.
All IET programs must include the following three components:
- Adult education and literacy activities (§463.30);
- Workforce preparation activities (§463.34); and
- Workforce training for a specific occupation or occupation cluster which can be any one of the training services defined in section 134(c)(3)(D), of WIOA.
In order to meet the “integrated” requirement of IET, all services must include the following:
- Adult education and literacy activities run concurrently and contextually with workforce preparation activities and workforce training for a specific occupation or occupational cluster for the purpose of educational and career advancement;
- Activities are of sufficient intensity and quality, and based on the most rigorous research available, particularly with respect to improving reading, writing, mathematics, and English proficiency of eligible individuals;
- Occur simultaneously; and
- Use occupational relevant instructional materials.
The integrated education and training program must have a single set of learning objectives that identifies specific adult education content, workforce preparation activities, and workforce training competencies, and the program activities function cooperatively.