Career and Technical Education Law and Policy: Issues of Diversity, Climate, and Equity

Course Number: EDU 5515 C31
Instructor: Ruth Durkee & Gerry Reymore
Location: October 13 at Randolph Technical Center, all other dates at Vermont Technical College, Green Hall, Room 128, Randolph, VT
Dates and Times: Five class sessions: August 1 & 16, September 22, October 13, and November 10, 2018 from 9 am - 4 pm 
Credits: 3 Graduate Credits
Tuition: $1,750

Note: Course payment or purchase order of $1,750, payable to RRWIB, is due at the time of registration. A purchase order number can be entered into the online registration form. Credit card payments can also be made online. Please mail check to the Castleton Center for Schools, PO Box 6049, Rutland, VT 05701.

Course Description

This course will provide an in-depth examination of the state and federal laws and policies that impact Vermont’s career and technical education centers and how technical centers can create welcoming, safe and respectful learning environments for all students. The course will also cover foundational, legal, ethical, and safety issues inherent in career and technical education. 

Federal Laws and Regulations covered will include: Titles VI and VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, The Americans with Disabilities Act, FERPA, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, Carl Perkins legislation and the reauthorization process currently underway, and relevant federal employment laws.

State Laws and Regulations covered will include: Vermont’s Mandatory Reporting requirements for educators, Vermont’s Public Accommodations laws, Vermont laws pertaining to harassment and bullying in schools, Vermont statutes and State Board of Education Rules pertaining to Career and Technical Education, and relevant state employment laws.

Additional course topics will include: Investigating harassment and bullying complaints and maintaining adequate investigation documentation, ensuring gender equity in career and technical education, issues of social class and poverty and the academic achievement gap in career and technical education, issues of race in career and technical education, cultivating respectful school/technical program/classroom climates, continuous professional growth and learning.

Course Goals & Objectives

By the end of this course, students will be able to: 

  1. Explain the state and federal goals for career and technical education and how those goals have evolved over the past 30 years. 
  2. Understand and apply knowledge of state and federal regulations associated with career and technical education and labor and industry, including laws, regulations, and best practices pertaining to delivering services to special needs students in career and technical education.
  3. Understand school civil rights laws as they apply to career and technical education in order to identify how to address proactively issues that arise.
  4. Understand the legal definitions of and similarities and differences between harassment and bullying and develop concrete strategies to use with students.
  5. Investigate harassment and bullying complaints in keeping with Vermont school law requirements.
  6. Develop strategies to cope with a variety of legal, ethical, and cultural issues in the classroom.
  7. Identify and apply key elements in building respectful learning environments.
  8. Recognize gender based stereotypes in society and career and technical center classrooms and shops and develop proactive teaching strategies especially in relation to recruitment and retention.
  9. Identify and explain how social class and poverty affect student achievement and post-secondary outcomes.
  10. Identify best practices for collaborating with industry, post-secondary institutions, community agencies, and families.
  11. Identify resources for determining labor force needs and training and placement sources as they apply to program development and program planning. 

Format and Procedures:

The course will meet five times from 9 am to 4 pm. There will also be a series of assigned readings and written homework assignments between classes and a final project due at the end of the course.

Course Expectations

  1. Attend all class sessions.
  2. Participate fully and professionally in all class discussions and activities.
  3. Complete all assigned readings and contribute to related class discussions.
  4. Complete all homework assignments.
  5. Complete a final project.

Missed Classes and Late Assignments:

You must request and receive instructor permission for any late work. Late work, regardless of reason, will result in a reduction of that assignment by a full letter grade.

Percentage Contribution of Each Assignment:

Class Participation: 35%
Homework Assignments: 40%
Final Project: 25%

The Course Instructors:

Ruth Durkee and Gerry Reymore have worked together for the past 13 years. Gerry taught the Environmental Resource Management Program at the Randolph Technical Career Center for 12 years, and is now the STEM Educator at the Central Vermont Career Center. Ruth is the Assessment, Dual Enrollment, and Post-Secondary Coordinator at the Central Vermont Career Center. Before that, she was the Assistant Director for Adult Education at the Randolph Technical Career Center.

Ruth received her JD from the University of Minnesota Law School and Gerry earned a Master’s degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Washington. Before a life in career and technical education, Ruth was the Civil Rights Coordinator at the Vermont Department of Education and Gerry was Vice President of a major mapping and forestry consulting company in New England. Gerry and Ruth’s experiences in career and technical education have convinced them that it really does take a village to educate a child. They are committed to fostering a collegial and collaborative approach to developing and maintaining a rigorous, supportive learning environment for all students.

Required Texts

The Respectful School: How Educators and Students Can Conquer Hate and Harassment. Stephen Wessler and William Preble. 2003.

Queen Bees and Wannabes. Rosalind Wiseman. 2009 (Please note: 2009 edition, not 2002/2003 editions).

Raising Cain: Protecting the Emotional Life of Boys. Dan Kindlon and Michael Thompson. 2000. 

“Gender Equity in Career and Technical Education” by Lufkin, Liberg, et al. (Instructors will provide copies).

Articles on poverty, socioeconomic class, the student achievement gap, and professional ethics. (Instructors will provide copies).

For additional course information

Ruth Durkee
(518) 321-6238

Gerry Reymore
(802) 476-6237

For additional registration information

Bethany Sprague
(802) 468-1325

Register online now!