• Occupational advisory committees are organized to provide specific advice for a single occupational area, such as Carpentry. The main purpose of an occupational advisory committee is to strengthen the career and technical education programs by making recommendations for program improvement and providing technical assistance to assure the most up-to-date curriculum content and appropriate applications of technology.

    Advisory committees are a vital link between the career and technical education program and business and industry. In addition to state requirements to establish advisory committees, career and technical administrators, teachers and citizens recognize the value of community participation in the discussion of career and technical education issues. Advisory committees assist in assuring the relevance of the career and technical education program to the community and increase public awareness of the program.
    Committee members representing business, industry, labor and the general public bring a unique perspective to education and training programs. They provide a viewpoint which is invaluable to the career and technical education program. It must be emphasized that advisory committees serve an advisory capacity only. They do not have administrative or governing authority. Nevertheless, their work is important to the effective operation of
    the career and technical education program. Career and technical education programs that have a close association and function in cooperation with an advisory committee are usually more successful than those which do not have such an association.

    The Pennsylvania State Board of Education regulation governing Career and Technical Education, Chapter 4 – Academic Standards and Assessment, requires the establishment of local advisory committees and occupational advisory committees as a condition for career and technical education program approval by the Pennsylvania Department of Education.

    OCCUPATIONAL ADVISORY COMMITTEE ACTIVITIES

    Although committee members have no legislative or administrative authority, the advisory committee should enhance the education program and become a vital, positive force for career and technical education. The time and energy given by the advisory committee help increase committee members’cknowledge about the career and technical program and increase the knowledge of teachers and administrators about the job market, employer needs, and community opportunities. The occupational advisory committee has several major goals:

    • Provide recommendations to update, modify, expand, and improve the quality of the occupational program
    • Support and strengthen the relationship between business, industry, the community and education
    • Make recommendations to strengthen and expand the curriculum and provide assistance in implementing these recommendations
    • Articulate long-term goals and objectives of the occupational program to parents, employers and the community
    • Assist in identifying needs, determining priorities and reviewing and evaluating curriculum
    To achieve these goals, members may provide valuable services in areas such as student recruitment and placement, curriculum development, facilities and equipment, staff development, public relations, community needs, legislative and financial support, and career and technical student organizations’ (CTSO) support. Suggested activities for each of these areas follow:

    Student Recruitment

    • Speak at student orientation meetings
    • Participate in school and community career fairs
    • Help conduct events recognizing students, employers, or others active in the occupation
    • Assist in the development of admissions criteria for the occupational program

    Student Placement

    • Identify the knowledge, skills and attitudes necessary to compete in the job market
    • Identify student training stations and specific curriculum activities
    • Review and modify training plans on a regular basis
    • Place students in part-time jobs during the school year or summer months
    • Conduct mock interviews with students
    • Participate in licensing/certification examinations
    • Help program graduates secure jobs
    • Develop articulation agreements between secondary career and technical and post-secondaryeducation/training institutions
    • Provide work-based learning opportunities to assist in the transition from school to work

    Curriculum Development

    • Review the occupational program philosophy, mission statement and goals
    • Assure curriculum, course content, student competencies, and safety procedures meet current industry standards
    • Review and update student performance standards
    • Recommend curriculum modifications or new course offerings as needed
    • Participate in evaluations conducted by outside agencies
    • Inform teachers of new methods, procedures, products and technologies in the workplace
    • Give classroom presentations/demonstrations
    • Promote student visits to work sites in the community
    • Provide supplies (such as raw materials, finished products, charts or posters) for exhibit or instructional purpose
    • Assist in shadowing experiences and professional observation days
    • Promote qualified program graduates as candidates for higher education
    • Assess student performance on skill tests (e.g., NOCTI)
    • Assess student performance of SCANS skills

    Facilities and Equipment

    • Identify facility and equipment needs
    • Help to obtain needed equipment and supplies on loan or at special prices

    Staff Development

    • Offer specialized training programs for teachers
    • Identify community resource persons to assist career and technical teacher in the classroom
    • Foster communications among teachers and employers to establish cooperative relationships between education and industry
    • Help teachers find summer employment related to their teaching assignment
    • Provide internship opportunities, job shadowing, or professional education activities in industry for career and technical teachers

    Public Relations

    • Foster positive communication between the school and community
    • Distribute information describing the occupational program
    • Communicate with the local boards of education about the impact of the occupational program on the community
    • Recommend effective ways to communicate with parents and provide information on the occupational program and related career opportunities
    • Develop public service announcements to inform the community about the program
    • Post information on bulletin boards, submit news articles to local media, and place brochures in payenvelopes that advertise the program’s educational opportunities
    • Publicly commend business, employers, unions or other organizations making significantcontributions/donations to the occupational program/students

    Community Needs

    • Assess student interest and community support for career and technical education
    • Identify the economic and workforce needs of the community
    • Evaluate the program with respect to employer requirements and individual graduates’ skillaccomplishments
    • Conduct surveys to identify present and anticipated employer needs and job availability
    • Represent the business community in the strategic planning process Legislative and Financial Involvement
    • Support the adoption and implementation of state and federal legislation to strengthen career &technical education
    • Establish scholarships or other financial assistance for outstanding graduates who wish to continue their education/training
    • Review and recommend budget requests for equipment and supplies Career and Technical Student Organization (CTSO) Involvement
    • Support the efforts of career and technical student organizations
    • Review criteria for student contests and awards
    • Judge contests held by career and technical student organizations
    • Secure prizes or equipment donations for contests
    • Attend special events for career and technical education