Overview, Key Terms, and Timelines
This playbook outlines the process of setting up apprenticeship-based degrees and covers the concepts listed below. This page includes information about why it is beneficial for an institution to set up an apprenticeship-based degree and the key terms and timelines relevant to this topic.
Reach Pillars for an apprenticeship-based degree Program
Designing an apprenticeship-based degree Program
Financing an apprenticeship-based degree Program
Leading a Change Management Process for Faculty
Securing Approval for an Apprenticeship-based Degree Program
Implementing an apprenticeship-based degree Program
Reporting for an apprenticeship-based degree Program
Why Implement an Apprenticeship-Based Degree?
There are significant benefits to an apprenticeship-based degree, namely:
Apprenticeship-based learning diversifies the teacher pipeline. At Reach University, 60% of students identify as BIPOC; 90% identify as low-income, working parents, and/or first-generation college-goers; and 100% come from the communities they serve. apprenticeship-based degrees are a pathway to matching teacher demographics with K-12 student populations.
Apprenticeship-based learning elevates teaching as a profession, refines professional practice, prepares candidates for work in the school environment, elevates candidates’ existing capabilities, and attracts more diverse candidates.
Apprenticeship-based learning allows apprentices to practice, receive feedback, and reflect in an integrated way. It also allows apprentices to observe teaching daily and be part of a school community while learning their trade.
Moreover, we can likely make changes within existing degrees, using existing Carnegie units, often without needing an accreditation substantive change. Apprenticeship-based degrees embed on-the-job learning in the homework requirements of taught courses, rather than via credit for prior learning.
Finally, we have a tool – the Craft Tracker – that simplifies reporting so that students can track work in the field that allows them to access apprenticeship funding.
The following terms will be useful to understand as you read this playbook:
Competency-based education: According to Educause, “Competency-based education (CBE) awards academic credit based on mastery of clearly defined competencies. CBE replaces the conventional model in which time is fixed and learning is variable with a model in which the time is variable and the learning is fixed. CBE is built around clearly defined competencies and measurable learning objectives that demonstrate mastery of those competencies. [...] CBE capitalizes on the potential of online learning, enabling new models that can reduce both the cost and time needed to earn credentials while better preparing students for their professional lives.”
Apprentice-based education: Apprenticeship-based education embeds on-the-job learning in the homework requirements of taught courses, rather than via credit for prior learning, which results in more credit, more quickly.
The U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) Office of Apprenticeship (OA): According to the U.S. DOL, its role is to “provide technical assistance and support to program sponsors, answer questions about the apprenticeship model, guide partners on each phase of developing a program, connect businesses to training providers, and advise partners on available funding sources to support apprenticeships.” These offices exist in states that don’t have their own State Apprenticeship Agency (SAA).
State Apprenticeship Agencies (SAA): According to the U.S. DOL, these offices also “provide technical assistance and support to program sponsors, answer questions about the apprenticeship model, guide partners on each phase of developing a program, connect businesses to training providers, and advise partners on available funding sources to support apprenticeships.” You can find out whether your state has a U.S. DOL OA or its own SAA here.
Accreditors: Colleges and universities that are eligible to receive federal funding in the United States have either a regional or national accreditor, recognized by the Department of Education, which is an agency that “ensures that education provided by institutions of higher education meets acceptable levels of quality” (Source: U.S. Department of Education). You can find lists of accreditors by type here.
Accrediting substantive change: Each accreditor has rules that govern which types of changes are considered “substantive.” If you are making substantive changes, according to your specific accreditor, you will need to review your accreditor’s process for getting approval for that change.
Participant Individual Record Layout (PIRL): This is a federal reporting requirement of the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) Employment and Training Administration (ETA) (Source: U.S. Department of Labor). A sample is here. The Craft tracker is built to pull all of the elements required by the PIRL reports, which is about 500 points of data for each learner.
Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA): According to the U.S. Department of Labor, “WIOA is designed to help job seekers access employment, education, training, and supportive services to succeed in the labor market and to match employers with the skilled workers they need to compete in the global economy.”
This is an overview of the timeline for launching an apprenticeship-based teacher preparation degree program, though the details will be unique to your circumstances.
Begin at least 1-2 years before launch:
Submit FISAP by the due date to be eligible for FSEOG grants. (You will need to verify the due date for the applicable year. For the school year 2023-24, this is due in September 2022).
Complete the Program Participation Agreement to be eligible to receive Pell grants. This step is not needed if you are already receiving Pell grants. Note that this process is variable and for some, has taken 3 years.
Ensure that you have measurable competencies and corresponding assessments in place.
Begin at least 3-6 months before launch:
Identify the point person(s) for leading this process.
Begin the design process, namely:
Map content and outcomes to demonstrable competencies
Link competencies to activities that can be done in the field
Crosswalk activities, competencies, and credit hours
Create a syllabus template/guidance to reflect the above
Define expectations for students, faculty, and evaluators/coaches/mentors
Secure approval from your accreditor, if needed.
Map out and lead the change management process
Provide initial and ongoing faculty training and professional development around the Craft tracker, apprenticeship-based design, and the tutorial method.
Begin at least 1-2 months before launch:
Document program and curriculum design: Define any of the guidelines identified in your design process, make syllabus changes, and update catalogs and handbooks.
For at least 6-12 months following the launch of the program:
Implement a continuous improvement process, using periodic check-ins and self-assessments or formative assessments (via rubrics) related to the Reach pillars.
Sample Work Plan
This work plan can also be used to map and support this process.