Perkins Policies & Procedures

Key Definitions of the Act

Administration - The term ‘administration’, when used with respect to an eligible agency or eligible college, means activities necessary for the proper and efficient performance of the eligible agency or eligible college’s duties under this Act, including the supervision of such activities. Such term does not include curriculum development activities, personnel development, or research activities.

Articulation - The process of granting credit to students who complete a course of study from another educational institution. For the purposes of this report articulation refers to Career and Technical Education credit granted to secondary education students through either a locally developed articulation agreement or statewide articulation agreement for career and technical education courses. 

Career clusters – Sixteen descriptive headings identified by the U.S. Department of Education within which career/technical education programs are grouped. Colleges report certain career/ technical education performance data by cluster. Certain data related to short-term non-credit training are also reported by cluster; colleges select the most appropriate cluster within which to report non-credit training data. Curricula may be developed around career clusters in instances where a broad approach to the instructional program is appropriate. (See Appendix D for cluster headings and pertinent career/technical programs.)

Career/technical education (CTE) - Organized educational activities that (1) offer a sequence of courses that provide individuals with the academic, technical, and technological knowledge and skills needed to prepare for further education and careers requiring less than a baccalaureate degree; and (2) include competency-based applied learning that contributes to the academic knowledge, higher-order reasoning and problem-solving skills, work attitudes, general employability skills, technical skills, and occupation-specific skills of an individual.

Career/technical education program – CTE program designated by CIP code as “career/technical” that culminates in the awarding of an industry recognized credential, short certificate, certificate, diploma, or associate degree to program graduates. Career/technical programs include provisions for academic course requirements as appropriate. 

Career/technical education student – A student who at any point during data reporting period declared a career/technical education major.

Career and technical student organization - The term ‘career and technical student organization’ means an organization for individuals enrolled in a career and technical education program that engages in career and technical education activities as an integral part of the instructional program.

Certificate – A technical skills proficiency credential, technical skills, or CTE program completion certificate, or CTE program degree granted to students in conjunction with a secondary school diploma. (OCTAE definition)

CIP (Classification of Instructional Programs) code - Six-digit numerical classification that identifies instructional program specialties and provides standard terminology for secondary and ACCS education programs.

Condition (relative to special populations) - physical, mental, socioeconomic, or other special needs situation.

Completer – Individual who exits a career/technical education short certificate, certificate, diploma or associate degree program having successfully completed all course work and credit hours required for program graduation. An individual who completes graduation/completion requirements for more than one award in the same program CIP code during a single data collection period is counted once as a completer for that data collection period, having earned the higher award. An individual who completes graduation/completion requirements for more than one award in the same program CIP code during different data collection periods is counted as a completer for each data collection period.

Concentrator – A NCCCS student who: (1) completes at least 12 academic or CTE credits within a *single program area sequence that is comprised of 12 or more academic and technical credits and terminates in the award of an industry-recognized credential, a certificate, or a degree; or (2) completes a short-term CTE program sequence of less than 12 credit units that terminates in an industry-recognized credential, a certificate, or a degree.

*The following guidance is provided as further explanation of students designated as concentrators:

The intent of the definition for concentrator is that a student can be counted as a CTE concentrator if they have declared a major in a CTE program of study and have earned 12 cumulative credit hours. This includes students who may have attained that status in one CTE program but for whatever reason switched to another CTE program. The definition is expanded to include CTE program concentrators as well as an overall “CTE concentrator”.

For example, a student begins as a declared Drafting student but switched to Auto Body Repair. As a Drafting student, he or she attained concentrator status (12 or more hours) by completing a combination of general education and technical courses. This student then decided to change majors and begin his or her program in Auto Body Repair yet has not attained 12 credit hours in that program. The student would still be counted as a concentrator for your determinations. The student may have been awarded credit through CLEP, dual enrollment, articulation, or traditional class completion, or any combination thereof, to have received the cumulative 12 credit hours.

Another issue related to this definition is whether a student is considered a concentrator if he or she is enrolled under a CTE CIP code while waiting admittance into a program that requires an evaluation of student’s eligibility (i.e. nursing). Since the student is a declared CTE student, he or she would be counted as a concentrator if the 12 hour threshold is met with general education courses.

Credential – A formal document given by a recognized credentialing entity indicating that a student/person has met the standards of that credentialing entity. (OCTAE definition)

Data collection period - First day of summer semester through final day of following spring semester for the period immediately preceding the performance report/plan modifications due date. Colleges determine the most appropriate data collection period within which to report data on courses or other activities that overlap spring and summer semesters.

Degree – A title conferred on CTE students/concentrators by a college, university, or professional school on completion of a program of study. (OCTAE definition)

Degree program - Program in which courses are creditable toward an associate degree in The North Carolina Community College System. (See also Award)

Disabled - Individual with disability as defined in Section 12102 (Section 3) of the Americans with Disabilities Act:

Disability - The term “disability'' means, with respect to an individual:

  • A physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more of the major life activities of such individual;
  • A record of such an impairment; or
  • Being regarded as having such impairment.

Displaced homemaker - An individual who:

  • has worked primarily without remuneration to care for a home and family, and for that reason has diminished marketable skills; 
  • has been dependent on the income of another family member but is no longer supported by that income; or
  • is a parent whose youngest dependent child will become ineligible to receive assistance under part A of title IV of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 601 et seq.) not later than 2 years after the date on which the parent applies for assistance under this title; and
  • is unemployed or underemployed and is experiencing difficulty in obtaining or upgrading employment.

Economically disadvantaged - Individual eligible to receive a Pell grant or similar needs-based financial aid.

Eligible agency —The term ‘eligible agency’ means a State board designated or created consistent with State law as the sole State agency responsible for the administration of career and technical education in the State or for the supervision of the administration of career and technical education in the State.

Eligible institution - The term ‘eligible institution’ means a public or nonprofit private institution of higher education that offers career and technical education courses that lead to technical skill proficiency, an industry-recognized credential, a certificate, a degree; or an area career and technical education school providing education at the NCCCS level;

Exiter – A Student who exits (or leaves) program or training course for any reason during data collection period.

Gender – Male or female.

Incarcerated – An individual who is confined to a correctional facility and for whom his/her career/technical education is provided within the correctional facility.

Individuals preparing for nontraditional training and employment - Individuals enrolled in a career/technical education program for which the primary employment outcome is nontraditional for the gender of those individuals (e.g., men enrolled in LPN programs, women enrolled in welding programs). 

Individual with limited English proficiency - The term ‘individual with limited English proficiency’ means a secondary school student, an adult, or an out-of-school youth, who has limited ability in speaking, reading, writing, or understanding the English language, and whose native language is a language other than English; or (B) who lives in a family or community environment in which a language other than English is the dominant language.

Individual with a disability

  • In general — The term ‘individual with a disability’ means an individual with any disability (as defined in section 3 of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990)
  • Individuals with disabilities —The term ‘individuals with disabilities’ means more than one individual with a disability.

Industry Accreditation/Certification Body - Organization that, by accrediting or approving a career/technical education program in its industry area certifies that the program facilities, training equipment, instructors, and curriculum meet the quality criteria established by that organization (e.g., NIMS certification of Machine Tool Technology programs).

Industry certification - Certification that a career/technical education program, student, or instructor has met quality criteria established by an applicable industry.

LEP (Limited English Proficient) - Individual: 1) for whom English is not the primary language and/or 2) who is or has been enrolled in an English as a second language (ESL) class.

Nontraditional for Gender - A career/technical program which fewer than 25% of the students are of one gender. 

Participant – Students who have earned one (1) or more credits in any CTE program area. (NOTE: This is regardless of whether the student has a declared major in a CTE program area. For example, a student with a declared major in a general education area but who took a CTE course such as one under a CIS department code would be considered a participant.)

Race - Categories used to describe racial groups to which individuals belong, identify with, or belong in the eyes of the community. The categories do not denote scientific definitions of anthropological origins. A person may be counted in only one group. The groups used to categorize U.S. citizens, resident aliens, and other eligible noncitizens are based on the 1997 standards and include:

  • American Indian or Alaskan Native
  • Asian
  • Black or African American
  • Hispanic/Latino
  • Native Hawaii or Other Pacific Islander
  • White
  • Two or More Races
  • Unknown
  • The race is unknown if institutions are unable to place them in one of the specified racial/ ethnic categories or the student indicates, “Other”.

School dropout —The term ‘school dropout’ means an individual who is no longer attending any school and who has not received a secondary school diploma or its recognized equivalent.

Special populations:

  •   Individuals with Disabilities (ADA)
  •   Economically disadvantaged
  •   Single parents
  •   Displaced homemakers
  •   Limited English proficiency
  •   Nontraditional enrollees

Student - generic term applied to individual enrolled in credit or noncredit coursework or training activity (includes students in degree programs, non-degree programs, noncredit training, and customized training).

Support Services —The term ‘support services’ means services related to curriculum modification, equipment modification, classroom modification, supportive personnel, and instructional aides and devices.

Technical competencies - Occupational-specific skills including the abilities to perform required job tasks.

Technical competency assessment - Assessment instrument or procedure used to determine a student’s attainment of technical competencies.

Technological skills - Skills related to the understanding and use of current and emerging technologies.

Technical skills attainment - Skills documented by an independent credentialing agency, professional organization, or industry or developed locally by college personnel.

Unduplicated headcount - The number derived when counting students in a particular population once by a determined code such as a social security number or student identifier.