Technical Skill Attainment

The Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act of 2006 sets an expectation that career and technical education (CTE) concentrators are assessed for their attainment of technical skills using valid and reliable assessment instruments aligned with industry standards where available and appropriate. Minnesota has undertaken a state process for identifying core skills and assessment tools for technical skill attainment for programs of study in career pathways. This initiative provides teachers, administrators, and policy makers with valid and reliable information about student technical skill achievement. It is also useful for improving program quality, creating strong connections between high school and college programs, and communicating to employers the value of career and technical education programs in preparing students to enter the workforce. Read the full list of state-approved technical skill assessments (TSA), core competencies, and assessment blueprints in the identified career pathways.

  • TSA Implementation: Each consortium offering a state-approved program of study for which state-approved assessments have been identified must assess CTE students at the secondary and postsecondary levels. Each consortium is to select at least one assessment from the list of state-approved assessments for assessing CTE students within each state-approved program of study. If a consortium does not have an approved program of study but wishes to assess students in a secondary or postsecondary CTE program, it is encouraged (but not required) to do so.
  • Cost of Assessment: If the assessment is required as part of the course the cost should be paid by local, state, or federal Perkins funds and not by students. If a student elects to take an assessment for a specific licensure requirement or for employment, there is no obligation on the school to pay for the assessment. It is not required that Perkins grant funds be used for the costs of implementing technical skill assessments in each consortia. This may vary by consortia throughout the state.
  • Annual Data Reporting: In submitting student TSA information to MDE, consortia must, for each student reported in a school year, note whether the student was assessed and whether the student received a passing score on that assessment. Consortia are expected to work with school districts to ensure that all data are complete and ready for statewide submission by the end of the school year.