U.S.Department of Education Staff Report

to the

Senior Department Official on Recognition Compliance Issues

Recommendation Page

  1. Agency: Pennsylvania State Board for Career and Technical Education ( 2004 / 2016)
    (The dates provided are the date of initial listing as a recognized agency and the date of the agency’s last grant of recognition.)
  2. Action Item: Petition for Continued Recognition
  3. Scope of Recognition: State agency for the approval of public postsecondary vocational education.
  4. Date of Advisory Committee Meeting: 02/27/2020
  5. Staff Recommendation: Renew the agency’s recognition for four years
  6. Issues or Problems: None

Executive Summary


The Pennsylvania State Board of Vocational Education (PSBVE), Bureau of Career and Technical Education (BCTE), is a state agency recognized for the approval of public postsecondary vocational education. Its legal authorization was established by Pennsylvania Statute and gives the agency jurisdiction to oversee the public institutions that offer public postsecondary vocational education.

Currently there are approximately 79 occupational or comprehensive institutions, which include 21 high schools and 58 vocational-technical schools offering public postsecondary vocational education to approximately 19,361 participating adults enrolled in 552 non-degree programs across the state.

These are non-degree programs provided at Area Vocational-Technical Schools (AVTS) that offer education and training for employment to adults in a variety of occupations. The Pennsylvania Department of Education views this as a viable means for expanding quality postsecondary education and training opportunities in local communities across the state, for reaching a cohort of the state’s population that has been unable to access traditional higher education institutions, and for enhancing collaboration and addressing the needs of the local labor markets.

Recognition History

The Pennsylvania State Board of Vocational Education (PSBVE), Bureau of Career and Technical Education (BCTE) was initially recognized in 2004 for a period of two years and the agency was requested to submit an interim report. Since that initial review, the agency has been periodically reviewed and continued recognition has been granted after each review.

The agency was last reviewed for renewal of recognition at the fall 2015 meeting of the National Advisory Committee on Institutional Quality and Integrity (NACIQI). Both Department staff and NACIQI recommended to the senior Department official to renew the agency's recognition for a period of four years. The senior Department official, Lynn B. Mahaffie, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Policy, Planning, and Innovation, Delegated the Duties of Assistant Secretary for Postsecondary Education, concurred with the recommendations.

In conjunction with the agency's petition for recognition, Department staff reviewed the agency's supporting documentation and observed a board meeting in November 2019. Since the agency's last review, the Department has received no complaints and no third-party comments.


The agency meets the requirements of the Secretary's Criteria for Recognition.


The Department did not receive any written third - party comments regarding this agency.