Agreement for Program Improvement
The National Center for Research in Vocational Education (NCRVE)
Schools and Colleges Affiliated with the NCRVE Network

The school or college agrees to:

  1. Offer at least one career-related learning sequence in which every participating student has the opportunity to accomplish both of the following objectives:

    1. Achieve high academic standards and satisfy course requirements for admission to postsecondary education, including four-year college or university; and

    2. Gain strong understanding of and experience in all aspects of an industry to prepare for rewarding employment and potential career advancement.

  2. Try to include in each career-related learning sequence a range of students whose demographic characteristics and performance levels reflect the composition of the whole school or college, and provide the services needed to enable all participating students to achieve the objectives in (1).

  3. Recruit students into each career-related learning sequence on the basis of students' own choice.

  4. Determine the effectiveness of the following practices in each career-related learning sequence:

    1. Curriculum that integrates academic and vocational-technical subjects through the study of a broad industry or career major;

    2. Student-centered instructional methods that link classroom studies to work-based learning; and

    3. Explicit pathways that lead from high school to postsecondary education.

  5. Involve students, parents, faculty, and employers in decisions that affect the program.

  6. Participate in periodic self assessment activities to document the progress made, the type of difficulties encountered, and the course of future actions.

  7. Share information with NCRVE at least once a year about the extent of progress in implementing the practices in (2) through (5) and achieving the student outcomes in (1), including results of activity-based assessments of student learning.

NCRVE is committed to providing assistance to Network schools in their efforts to implement the Agreement for Program Improvement.

NCRVE agrees to provide:

  1. Communication: Talk with teams on a monthly basis to assess needs and solicit input on Network events. Maintain and monitor an electronic network with the participating teams. Provide updated information on activities, research, funding sources, successful programs, and opportunities for professional development. Promote activities of the Urban Schools Network locally and nationally and report progress made at the individual sites. Help teams market their programs to the community and the media.

  2. Professional Development: Conduct regional meetings or summer institutes to exchange ideas across team sites, and enable teams to further progress in the implementation of their plans.

  3. Technical assistance: Match sites with individuals (field consultants, NCRVE staff, and Faculty Fellows) and resources to help teams in the process of planning, implementation, and problem solving. Provide sites with access to the program development guide: Getting to Work. Work within the district and region to develop ongoing support. Assist teams in the procurement of funds by providing letters of support, information pertaining to sources of funding, and grant preparation help.

  4. Feedback: Provide opportunities for assessment of progress, collection, and documentation of improvement. Offer suggestions, problem solving, and troubleshooting. Synthesize evidence of progress across network sites. Showcase the accomplishments of Network sites to community, state, and national audiences.

  5. Funding: Actively seek additional sources of funding for the Urban Schools Network. Additional support will be utilized to provide on-site technical assistance to the network schools, and to assist team members in attending NCRVE sponsored meetings and other professional development activities.

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