A proposal in the Indiana General Assembly is calling for the creation of a new high school degree designed to address the skills gap. Representative Wendy McNamara (R-76) says the Career and Technical Education Diploma would provide students with courses that more closely align with the demands of highly-skilled industries. January 7, 2014

News Release

STATEHOUSE – State Representative Wendy McNamara (R-Mount Vernon) recently announced her plans to author legislation this session calling for the creation of a Career and Technical Education (CTE) Diploma. At a press conference Friday, Rep. McNamara expressed her concern with the one-size-fits-all type of diplomas that are currently being awarded to students in Indiana. Rep. McNamara's legislation will address the problems seen with the current options between the Academic Honors Diploma and the Technical Honors Diploma.

“Currently, Core 40 provides limited options for students, lacks the necessary diversification which students can receive and doesn’t allow for the development of the skills sets necessary for industry and technical education,” said Rep. McNamara. “This bill will address these issues and give students more opportunities to be successful in a CTE field.”

The bill will require the Indiana Career Council to appoint a subcommittee that includes members of each council and representatives of career and technical programs, the State Department of Education and community colleges to help develop the requirements for the diploma.

This subcommittee will also be authorized to design new curricula or create new courses throughout the development of this diploma track. A requirement of at least forty academic credits, or an equivalent workload, will be designed so that the completed courses may be used to fulfill the requirements established for other high school diplomas. This bill will require that the Indiana Career Council and the State Board of Education approve the new requirements and courses before they are offered.

The bill will benefit students by giving them an option to choose a diploma that is an interest in their chosen field. A CTE Diploma will help students build their skills in English, math and science-all within the context of a career that interests them. The bill will continue to close the skills gap in the areas that industry needs and will make Indiana a desirable place to come do business because of the options.

“Manufacturers need workers skilled in Technical Writing, Technical Reading and Technical Communication, which students aren't given the opportunity under the Core 40 to develop and strengthen these skills. Additionally, the same can be said for math skills acquired in Algebra and Geometry, in which Technical Math or Technical Problem Solving courses would make for a more successful member of the industrial work force,” said Rep. McNamara.

Source: The Indiana House Republican Caucus

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