About the CTE Program Approval Process

The CTE Program Approval Process was developed to ensure career and technical education (CTE) programs are of high quality and meet the policy requirements approved by the Board of Regents in 2001.

NYSED Regents Policy for the Program Approval Process

The Program Approval Process elements include:

  • Quality technical and academic curriculum, including integrated English language arts, mathematics, science, economics, and government and technical instruction;
  • Faculty with State certification in appropriate academic and/or technical fields;
  • Technical assessments that certify students meet current industry standards;
  • Postsecondary articulation agreements;
  • Work-based learning experiences for students; and
  • Data on student progress and performance in order to evaluate their success on Regents examinations or alternatives approved by the State Assessment Panel, technical assessments and placement in employment, military or higher education.

About the CTE Program Approval Process

The Board of Regents requires the New York City Department of Education to monitor the implementation and approval of career and technical education programs. The NYCDOE Central CTE Program Quality Team conducts the NYSED approval process on behalf of the CTE programs in New York City. The NYCDOE organizes the NYSED program approval requirements into five quality areas: curriculum & instruction, work-based learning, assessment & accountability, partnerships, and program and school capacity. These indicators are used to evaluate programs to ensure students receive access to high quality Career and Technical Education.

There are four stages to the CTE Program Approval process in NYCDOE.

  1. Program Proposal and development
  2. Self-evaluation or Self-Study of the CTE Program and submission to NYCDOE
  3. External Review and validation of self-study by NYCDOE
  4. NYSED consideration for program approval


  • STAGE 1: Program Proposal and development

    • Schools interested in pursuing the development of CTE programs complete and submit a Program Proposal Application (resources permitting) for consideration to open a new CTE program of study.
    • The NYCDOE CTE office reviews applications and makes decisions based upon local labor market demand, and will notify accepted applications.
    • Selected programs will initiate the program approval process as they begin the program planning phase.
    • In this first stage of development the program is planned over the course of the year preceding the September launch date.
  • STAGE 2: Self-Study of the CTE Program and submission to NYC DOE

    • This second stage is the most crucial part to successfully gaining program approval.
    • In this stage, a school will mobilize a self‐study team and then undertake a comprehensive review of its program and complete a self‐evaluation form.
    • The self‐evaluation form includes sections on Curriculum and Instruction; Work‐Based Learning; Assessment and Accountability; and Partnerships; in addition to a section of factual information and required documents.
    • Once the self‐evaluation form is finalized it is submitted to the NYCDOE CTE Program Quality team for review.
  • STAGE 3: External Review and validation of self-study by NYC DOE

    • Once the school has submitted a complete self‐evaluation form, the NYCDOC CTE Program Quality team will review the completed self‐evaluation form and supporting documents.
    • In the event that the NYCDOE CTE Program Quality team is sufficiently convinced that the self-evaluation form reflects a program that is ready for a site visit, the school will be contacted by the NYC DOE CTE Program Quality team manager for their borough.
    • The NYCDOE CTE Program Quality team manager and the school CTE liaison will work together to confirm a date for an external review by the CTE External review team and will develop an agenda of program of activities and meetings for the actual site visit.
    • In the event of the self‐evaluation form having serious flaws or omissions, the NYCDOE CTE Program Quality team will provide clear feedback to the school on further work that will be required before a site visit can be arranged.
  • STAGE 4: NYSED consideration for program approval or re-approval

    • Once the NYCDOE evaluation team has completed the external review evaluation visit and made its recommendations, it will forward these to NYSED to support the school’s application for approval or re-approval.
    • The NYSED CTE Team conducts its own review of the approval/re-approval application, based on the data provided and then shares the results with the NYCDOE Program Quality Team.

High Schools with CTE programs that are formally recognized in the NYCDOE’s Office of Postsecondary Readiness CTE portfolio are eligible to earn NYSED approval.

The time needed to complete the approval process varies from program to program and is contingent upon many factors (i.e., self-study team preparation, validation of supporting documentation, recommendations following the external review visit, and the NYSED review process). Generally, program approval, provided the above factors are addressed, can be obtained within a school year.

First Approvals

Newly developed programs must be implemented for a minimum of 2 years prior to applying for approval. General guidance for schools is to prepare the self-study of their program in time to submit a complete application during the third year of operation and/or during the fall of the 4th year depending on the length of the program and the number of years it will take for the first cohort of students to complete the sequence. First approvals should aim to submit complete applications in the fall ahead of their first graduating cohort.


For programs that have already earned approval the re-approval process must be completed prior to the date of expiration of the program’s approval period. The NYSED has established a deadline of June 30th during the final year of a program’s of approval. (The end of the 5th year.)

The NYSED approves programs for a 5-year period.

Yes, programs making significant modifications are required to complete and submit an Approved Program Amendment form to the NYC DOE CTE Program Quality Manager for their borough for review. The NYCDOE Program Quality Team submits Approved program amendments on behalf of all NYCDOE CTE programs where applicable. Upon review and approval by the NYSED the amendments are confirmed and notice is provided to the NYCDOE CTE Program Quality Team to update the school program.

FileApproved Program Amendment Form

Approved Program Modifications include the following:

  • Program information: Program name, contact name for the program in the event there is a change in school leadership overseeing the program
  • Achievement Data: Students completing coursework, students receiving special education services, students who have completed and passed the technical assessment, students who received the technical endorsement
  • Content: Curriculum, content outlines, pacing charts, standards crosswalks
  • Work-Based Learning: Change or add registered WBL programs or WBL coordinator
  • Technical Assessment: Replacing or adding to the current technical assessment
  • Articulation agreements
  • Faculty

NYSED approved amendments relating to program course sequences, credits assigned, and technical assessments will need to be updated in the CTE STARS Program Manager upon confirmation.

Yes, certain career sectors maintain their own industry standards through external evaluation processes. These program evaluations may or may not be voluntary depending upon the state policies related to the various professions.


National Automotive Technician’s Education Foundation (NATEF)
CTE Programs where this applies: Automotive Technician and Collision

Construction and Sustainability

The National Center for Construction Education and Research (NCCER)
National Craft Assessment and Certification Program – NCCER’s Registry System
CTE Programs where this applies: Building Trades (Electrical, HVAC, Carpentry, Plumbing)

Cosmetology and Barbering

The New York State Office of Licensed Professions sets specific guidelines for appearance enhancement disciplines (e.g., Cosmetology and Barbering programs) to ensure instructional programs of study follow licensing requirements.
NYSED Career and Technical Education: Cosmetology Occupations


Home Health Aide, Certified Nurse Assisting and Licensed Practical Nursing programs in New York State.

NYSED DOH Operational approval (mandatory)

CTE Programs where this applies: This process is mandated for all Certified Nurse Assisting, Home Health Aide, Licensed Practical Nursing and Dental Assisting programs.

The Association for Career and Technical Education has defined “High-quality career and technical education” through a High-quality Framework which broadens the criteria for evaluating and improving CTE programs of study.

Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE): High-Quality CTE