To provide opportunities for industry certification, secondary schools offering career-themed courses and career and professional academies coordinate with relevant and appropriate industries to prepare students for further education or for employment in that industry. An independent, third-party certifying entity evaluates student assessment results using predetermined standards for knowledge, skills, and competencies, resulting in an award of a credential that is nationally recognized and must be at least one of the following: within a critical need industry, linked to one of the workforce system's targeted occupations, or linked to an emerging occupation. Section 1011.62(1)(o), Florida Statutes, outlines the industry certification process and provides that when a high school student in a registered career-themed course earns a department-approved industry certification, the district is awarded additional full-time equivalent membership funding and teachers providing instruction are awarded incentive funds. In 2019-20, 74,295 students earned 88,756 certifications with a passing rate of 70.1%.
The Florida Department of Education's Division of Career and Adult Education maintains a database on all approved industry certifications.
Identification and Valuation of CAPE Industry Certifications. The 2021 Legislature enacted Chapter 2021-164, Laws of Florida, which modifies how CAPE industry certifications will be identified. The law requires the CareerSource state board to appoint a Credentials Review Committee to identify credentials of value including industry certifications for inclusion in a Master Credentials List. Beginning with the 2022-2023 school year, the law requires the CareerSource state board to produce and submit a Master Credentials List to the State Board of Education. The list must, at a minimum, identify non-degree credentials and degree programs determined to be of value for CAPE Industry Certification funding; if the credential or degree program meets statewide, regional, or local level demand; the type of certificate, credential, or degree; and the primary standard occupation classification code. The Master Credentials List shall be used by the State Board to establish the CAPE Industry Certification Funding List beginning with the 2022-2023 school year. For the 2021-2022 school year the State Board will continue to use the certifications identified in the CAPE Industry Certification Funding List and the CAPE Postsecondary Industry Certification Funding List adopted by the State Board before October 1, 2021.
The law also requires the Commissioner of Education to conduct a review of the methodology used to determine additional FTE membership weights assigned to CAPE programs and, if necessary, recommend revised weights. The weights must factor in prioritization of critical shortages of labor market demand and middle-level to high-level wage earning outcomes as identified by the Credentials Review Committee. The law requires the results of the review and the commissioner's recommendations to be submitted to the Governor and the Legislature no later than December 1, 2021.
Career and Professional Education Act Enrollment and Performance Report, Florida Department of Education.
Florida Career and Professional Education Act (CAPE) Technical Assistance Paper, Florida Department of Education, updated April 2021.
Websites of Interest
National Research Center for Career and Technical Education
U.S. Department of Education, Office of Career, Technical, and Adult Education
U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Outlook Handbook
Perkins V Resources
Career and Professional Education Act Resources