Definition: The curriculum framework for career clusters of study is an organizational model that integrates career preparation components with academic coursework, providing the foundation for the development of the Individual Graduation Plan (IGP). The IGP, organized around career clusters and majors, is an educational plan aligned with students’ interests, aspirations, and experiences.
Performance Standard: Teacher candidates will explain the curriculum framework for the career clusters of study concept and its relevance to the Individual Graduation Plan (IGP).
Explanation: School districts must organize their high school curricula around a minimum of three clusters of study and cluster majors to provide a well-rounded education for students by fostering artistic creativity, critical thinking, and self-discipline through the teaching of academic content and the skills that students will use in the workplace, postsecondary study, and life.
A combination of career clusters offered at a career and technology education center and at the high schools within the particular district may count as fulfilling the required minimum number of three clusters and majors.
A student may transfer to another high school within the district if the high school in his or her attendance zone does not offer the cluster of the student’s choice.
The State Department of Education recommends that each school district review data from student career assessments and other pertinent information to determine which career clusters the particular district should offer.
The Sixteen Career Clusters
School districts must use the sixteen clusters for reporting purposes but may modify these clusters (for example, Arts and Humanities in place of Arts, Audio-Video Technology, and Communications). The16 state clusters are the same as the sixteen federal clusters:
- Agriculture, Food, and Natural Resources
- Architecture and Construction
- Arts, Audio-Video Technology, and Communications
- Business, Management, and Administration
- Education and Training
- Government and Public Administration
- Health Science
- Hospitality and Tourism
- Human Services/Family and Consumer Sciences
- Information Technology
- Law, Public Safety, and Security
- Marketing, Sales, and Service
- Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics
- Transportation, Distribution, and Logistics
School districts must require all students to declare an area of academic focus, known as a career major, within a cluster of study. A career major is a sequence of four elective courses leading to a specified career goal.
School districts must require that career majors consist of the core academic courses and the career and technology education courses necessary for the student to succeed in his or her chosen field of study.
State Board of Education Regulation 43-234 requires that school districts align their curricula with the state’s academic standards. South Carolina has adopted academic standards in the following subjects: English language arts, foreign languages, health and safety, mathematics, physical education, science, social studies, and the visual and performing arts.
Individual Graduation Plan (IGP)
An IGP is a road map that guides students toward their education, career, and employment goals. IGPs include general graduation requirements, as well as coursework and out-of-classroom learning opportunities related to a student’s chosen cluster of study. IGPs also help students align high school courses with college entrance requirements. Still, these plans are flexible and can change based on a student’s aspirations, abilities, and interests. Abridged from South Carolina Education and Economic Development Act Guidelines, June 2006
"Developing the Well-Educated Teacher"