THE IMPORTANCE OF VOCATIONAL COMPETENCY ACHIEVEMENT TRACKING SYSTEM TESTING

VoCATS Purpose

The North Carolina Vocational Competency Achievement Tracking System (VoCATS) is a competency-based, computer-managed instructional management system that can be used for the following:

  • Planning instruction

  • Assessing students before, during, and after instruction

  • Evaluating student mastery of competencies

  • Documenting student achievement

  • Providing accountability data

Information obtained can be used by local school administrators and workforce development classroom teachers to improve instruction and increase student achievement. Additionally, each student's end-of-course scores may be used by the student to help them obtain advanced placement credits in the North Carolina Community College System.

Vocational Competency Achievement Tracking System materials include:

  • Course blueprints that are composed of a list of competencies and objectives that are weighted, indicating the relative importance of each.

  • Computer-managed item bank correlated to course blueprint competencies and objectives.

  • Curriculum guide correlated to course blueprints that provide detailed information on units of instruction, including resources and strategies for instruction and evaluation.

Vocational Competency Achievement Tracking System end-of-course tests are administered to all students enrolled in a workforce development course. The tests are used to help evaluate the student's progress for the school year. The results from the test are also used to meet federal and state requirements for the operation of a workforce development program. Teams of North Carolina teachers develop Vocational Competency Achievement Tracking System materials with input from business and industry representatives. Existing materials are continuously updated and new materials are developed as needed. As workforce development education prepares North Carolina young people for effective participation in a global economy, every effort is made to keep Vocational Competency Achievement Tracking System materials relevant.

Vocational Competency Achievement Tracking System Recognition

The Vocational Competency Achievement Tracking System process has received recognition from the following:

  • The U. S. Department of Education has recognized Vocational Competency Achievement Tracking System as a national instructional model in Workforce Development Education.

  • The Rand Corporation has cited Vocational Competency Achievement Tracking System as an exemplary statewide system to assess student learning in Workforce Development Education.

In North Carolina, standardized testing is an integral part of the educational experience of all students. When properly administered and interpreted, test results provide an independent, uniform source of reliable and valid information, which enables:

  • Students to know the extent to which they have mastered expected knowledge and skills and how they compare to others;

  • Parents to know if their children are acquiring the knowledge and skills needed to succeed in a highly competitive job market;

  • Teachers to know if their students have mastered grade-level knowledge and skills in the curriculum and, if not, what weaknesses need to be addressed;

  • Community leaders and lawmakers to know if students in North Carolina schools are
    improving their performance over time and how the students compare with students from other states or the nation; and

  • Citizens to assess the performance of the public schools.

Competency based courses are offered in eight Career Technical Education program areas:

  • Agricultural education

  • Business education

  • Career development

  • Family and consumer sciences education

  • Health occupations education

  • Marketing education

  • Technology education

  • Trade and industrial education

Students enrolling in career and technical education must have a career development plan outlining courses to be taken and special services required. Combined with other academic offerings, CTE assists all enrollees, in the progress and success of career attainment.