Pennsylvania’s Community Colleges and Career & Technical Education Centers Assure Students of Educational Opportunities

Today, Elizabeth Bolden, President & CEO of the Pennsylvania Commission for Community Colleges, and Jackie Cullen, Executive Director of the Pennsylvania Association of Career and Technical Administrators (PACTA), issued a joint statement regarding career and technical education articulation affected by COVID-19 closures.

Each year, hundreds of Pennsylvania students complete a secondary career or technical education program and transfer to a Pennsylvania community college to continue their education and training. Many of these students transfer pursuant to existing agreements that outline the requirements that must be met.

However, due to the COVID-19 outbreak, it is possible that students who intended to graduate from their CTE program of study in the 2019-2020 academic year and transfer to a community college may not be able to complete some of the required program elements due to social distancing restrictions required to slow the spread of COVID-19.

Elizabeth Bolden
President & CEO
Pennsylvania Commission for Community Colleges

“Pennsylvania’s community colleges are eager to welcome secondary career and technical education program graduates, even if they have been unable to complete all the required elements of their program or study,” said Elizabeth Bolden. “Our colleges are committed to working with every student to ensure that they can continue to meet their career and education goals.

“For students who intended to complete their program of study in June 2020, but instruction was disrupted by the COVID-19 outbreak or standard assessments like final examinations were not available, the receiving postsecondary institution will review End of Program documentation – including the SOAR Agreement Program of Study Competency Task List or other available documentation – to determine the maximum amount of credit that can be awarded to the student based on their evidence of prior learning,” she continued.

Jackie Cullen
Executive Director
Pennsylvania Association of Career and Technical Administrators (PACTA)

“PACTA is pleased that we were able to work with our community college partners to do what is best for students and their career goals. Employers in Pennsylvania count on the Career and Technical Schools and community colleges to work together to provide highly trained workers,” said Jackie Cullen.

“This is especially important during the COVID-19 crisis. Many of the essential workers we are counting on as a state right now are graduates of Career and Technical Schools and community colleges. We are proud of each and every one of them.”