Legislation would simplify certification process
HARRISBURG – In a push to improve career and technical education (CTE) opportunities in Pennsylvania and help shrink the skills gap, the House Education Committee today unanimously advanced legislation, authored by Rep. Stephen Bloom (R-Cumberland), to remove barriers for qualified career and technical educators.
“To adequately prepare students and workers for the Pennsylvania job opportunities of today and tomorrow, we must do everything we can to recruit the best instructors in career and technical fields, and that includes streamlining the unnecessarily burdensome certification process,” Bloom said.
House Bill 2155
would allow the 18 credits required to obtain a Vocational I certificate to be counted toward the total credit hours required for a Vocational Instructional II certificate and would reduce the total number of credits required from 78 to 60.
Currently, a CTE instructor must take a total of 78 credits over 11 years to maintain certification, including some general education credits.
“It’s hard to rationalize the benefit to students of a diesel instructor being required to take a course in an unrelated academic subject,” Bloom said. “Pennsylvania loses many qualified CTE candidates because they simply are not willing to go through an 11-year, 78-credit process.”
Additionally, Bloom’s proposal would increase the years of wage-earning experience in the occupation to be taught from two to four to further ensure instructors are qualified in their field.
“While we simplify the certification process, we also want to ensure our students are being trained by skilled professionals who are qualified for these jobs,” Bloom said. “The future of our local, state and national economies depend on having highly qualified, job-ready workers.”
House Bill 2155 now awaits consideration by the full House.
Representative Stephen Bloom
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Abbey Haslam