Massachusetts is laying the framework to build up a Voc Tech programs with the drafting of new regulations. Public comment is open until Jan 17  JANUARY 31 on the proposed changes to program requirements, licensure changes and pilot program options.

The Board of Elementary and Secondary Education voted to open public comment on the first of two phases of proposed changes to the Vocational Technical Education Regulations 603 CMR 4.00.

Written comments on the proposed amendments may be submitted by mail to:

Marnie Jain
College, Career & Technical Education Office, Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
75 Pleasant Street, Malden, MA 02148
by fax to: 781-338-3950, or by e-mail to:

The deadline for submission of public comment is extended to January 31, 2020.


The full set of documents is available in the documents for the November BESE meeting.

The first phase of regulatory changes includes changes for both program requirements and educators. Many of these changes codify what the Department had adapted in practice in recent years. The proposed amendments include:

    • New or revised definitions for Certificate of Occupational Proficiency, exploratory programs, cooperative education, pilot programs, Preliminary licensure and waitlists
    • Sets a minimum of 900 program hours for all programs of study
    • Eliminates the reporting of exploratory programs for schools with fewer than five programs
    • Revises the timeline for non-resident student to apply for a vocational technical school.
    • Establishes waitlists for vocational technical secondary schools
    • Updates the license names for Operating Room Technology to Surgical Technology and Machine Tool Technology to Advanced Manufacturing Technology and creates the Aviation Maintenance Technology field.
    • Licensure Changes:
      • Adjusts the distribution of the 18 academic college credits, allows a degree to be substituted for the credit distribution requirements and reduces the number of college credits to 6 credits for certain fields.
      • Creates regulatory language for the Communications and Literacy MTEL and Preliminary License Extension
      • Proposed pathway to permit additional licenses for vocational technical administrators without the requirement to re-take the Performance Assessment for Leaders (PAL), any required internship in the role of the license or coursework related to the roles and responsibilities of the new role.
    • Establishes regulations to allow for pilot programs for new occupational fields.

The BESE is expected to vote on the proposed amendments at its regular meeting scheduled for February 25, 2020.

The second phase of regulatory changes which has been delayed until Spring 2020 is expected to modify the relations related to admissions criteria for students seeking to enroll in a vocational technical education program or school. The proposed amendments to the admissions criteria regulations was delayed to allow additional discussions with the field.

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