Advanced Technical Credit (ATC) Professional Development Program

Information for State-Approved Facilitators/Providers


High school faculty teaching ATC statewide-articulated courses must participate in joint secondary and postsecondary professional development activities. These activities must include delivery of standard information on the Advanced Technical Credit (ATC) Program and Tech Prep, as well as subject-specific content alignment activities. Annual joint secondary and postsecondary faculty curriculum review activities are currently offered and may be modified to include standard content developed for the statewide articulation process.

The Advanced Technical Credit (ATC) Professional Development Program is designed to provide information to high school teachers to help them understand:

  • Elements of the Advanced Technical Credit (ATC) Program;
  • Relationship of ATC/statewide articulation to Tech Prep programs;
  • Content of postsecondary technical (WECM) courses; and
  • Expected level of performance of students completing content-enhanced, ATC statewide-articulated courses.


In response to recommendations of the committee for statewide articulation guidelines, the Texas Education Agency (TEA) initiated a process for the identification of statewide-articulated secondary career and technology education courses. This process includes additions to secondary course offerings and use of the special explanation code for these courses (A code) on the Academic Achievement Record (AAR, high school transcript).

Beginning with the 2001-2002 school year, a new section was added to the Texas Education Agency’s list of approved courses (PEIMS Code Table C022), which is designated “Grades 11-12, Career and Technology Education – Tech Prep.” This section assigns unique course numbers and abbreviations for career and technology (CATE) courses approved for ATC statewide-articulated postsecondary credit. Schools electing to participate in the Advanced Technical Credit Program must use these course numbers for content-enhanced, statewide-articulated CATE courses beginning with the 2002-2003 school year.

According to TEA, these course codes may only be used by districts that adhere to the teacher staff development and course content requirements outlined by TEA and the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board.

General Provisions – Professional Development Program

  1. Staff development must be facilitated by an approved provider.
  2. All high school teachers who are or will be teaching an ATC statewide-articulated course must receive both general instruction in statewide articulation processes (Part I) and subject-specific instruction (Part II).[1]
  3. A high school teacher must receive instruction from college faculty for each articulated course they are or will be teaching. Instruction must emphasize how the articulated course content is enhanced beyond other, non-articulated high school courses with the same name.
  4. Each participant must complete a form that documents academic and certification requirements, verifies their participation, and specifies the courses that have been covered during the staff development activity. The form also provides information on each teacher for a statewide database.
  5. A certificate of eligibility that documents completion of required staff development activities by eligible teachers will be mailed to each participant from the Advanced Technical Credit (ATC) Program office.
  6. Staff development activities must be repeated within three years. However, high school teachers are encouraged to meet with college faculty annually.

Role of Facilitators/Providers

Facilitators/providers of professional development activities for the Advanced Technical Credit (ATC) Program are charged with the following:

  • General oversight of the staff development activity, including assuming responsibility for documenting completion of training by participants;
  • Scheduling professional development activities and notifying school district personnel;
  • Designing a staff development program that includes all state requirements;
  • Identifying appropriate personnel to deliver general information on ATC/statewide articulation and Tech Prep;
  • Identifying appropriate college faculty to lead subject-area specific sessions and providing them with adequate orientation to ensure success; and
  • Distribution, and appropriate disposition of, staff development forms.

Registration Fees

Tech Prep consortia and colleges should not charge registration fees for these professional development activities. Fees to cover the cost of breaks and meals provided to participants during training may be assessed.

Tech Prep consortia may have funds available for articulation activities, including reimbursement for travel expenses and substitute pay. Interested schools or faculty should contact regional Tech Prep consortia staff for more information.

Education service centers may charge registration fees within their current, board-approved process governing delivery of professional development services to school districts.

Role of College Faculty

College faculty who teach ATC statewide-articulated technical courses must be directly involved in the professional development of secondary teachers.

College faculty participating as providers of subject-specific staff development should:

  • Participate in an orientation session on statewide articulation that explains their role in the training process;
  • Attend the general session (Part I) of the staff development program so they are able to answer questions about the program; and
  • Lead discussion sessions on the content of college technical (WECM) courses with high school teachers who are seeking approval to teach the equivalent secondary ATC statewide-articulated course or courses.

Time Line for Training

October 1, 2003 – Deadline to train teachers who will be teaching statewide-articulated courses during school year 2003-2004, which are identified with new PEIMS codes specific for these courses.

March 8, 2004 – Teacher staff development, to be offered in conjunction with the Seamless Transitions State Conference, Adam’s Mark Hotel, Dallas.

Contents of State-Approved Professional Development Activities

Completion of training is required for each high school teacher teaching the course(s) in question before a high school can use the new career and technology PEIMS course numbers and abbreviations. The professional development activity must consist of at least the following:

Part I – General Information

Click here for a PowerPoint presentation for Part I of TEA-required ATC faculty professional development developed to assist approved facilitators provide statewide articulation professional development activities.

(May be provided in a variety of formats, including general sessions or break out sessions.)

All secondary teachers must participate in a general session of at least two contact hours. Content must include:

  • An overview of the Advanced Technical Credit (ATC) Program;
  • Specific information on elements of ATC, including criteria for award of articulated college credit, use of unique PEIMS career and technology course codes, and use of the “A” transcript code;
  • Overview of the Tech Prep initiative;
  • Development and approval of Tech Prep programs;
  • Tech Prep program and student definitions;
  • Tech Prep student identification and reporting; and
  • An overview of the relationship of Tech Prep programs and ATC

Content may also include:

  • Instructional methodologies and student assessment methods;
  • Participation of business and industry representatives; and
  • Tours of college classrooms and laboratories.

Part II – Subject-Area Specific

(May be provided in a variety of formats, including break out sessions, round tables, or one-on-one sessions with college faculty.)

Each secondary teacher must participate in one or more sessions led by college faculty teaching WECM-equivalent courses, of at least one contact hour per course. Training for two or more courses is recommended

These sessions cover specific courses content and expectations, including:

  • Subject-specific instruction in TEKS/WECM alignment of articulated courses that includes minimum WECM course requirements (content may also include instruction in local WECM course content enhancement);
  • Relationship of the course(s) to articulated programs of study, including Tech Prep programs, and high school-to-college program alignment; and
  • Evaluating student performance for college-level equivalence.
  • Instruction may also include an overview of appropriate instructional methodologies.

The following high school teachers are exempt from meeting with subject-specific college faculty (Part II):

  • High school teachers that also function as part-time college faculty and teach the college-equivalent course on a college or high school campus; and
  • High school teachers teaching ATC statewide-articulated Cisco courses who have been certified by Cisco Systems to teach the courses in question (documentation of Cisco certification should be attached to staff development eligibility forms).

Outcomes of the ATC Professional Development Program

Secondary teachers completing state-approved training should be able to:

C         Describe the Advanced Technical Credit (ATC) process, including how schools and colleges participate;

  • List the criteria for award of college credit;
  • Explain how to a advise a secondary student about an ATC statewide-articulated courses;
  • Explain the difference between regular courses and ATC statewide-articulated courses;
  • Outline how to enhance the content of the ATC statewide-articulated courses they teach so that they equate to the college WECM course equivalent;
  • Describe methods to document WECM-equivalent student competencies, such as competency profiles;
  • Describe how to evaluate student performance for college-level equivalence;
  • Describe how ATC statewide-articulated courses and locally-articulated courses are identified on a high school transcript;
  • Explain when ATC statewide-articulated courses count as advanced measures for the Distinguished Achievement Program;
  • Describe the relationship of the ATC statewide-articulated course(s) to articulated programs of study, including Tech Prep programs, and high school-to-college program alignment; and

C         List resources available to help them; including college textbooks and courses syllabi, and have available names, e-mail addresses; and phone numbers of subject-specific college faculty.

Documentation of Participation in Training and Application for Eligibility

  1. Each staff development provider should pass out an “Application for Eligibility” form at the beginning of Part I. The provider name and SBEC’s CEU provider number is written at the top of the form.
  2. High school faculty completes the personal information section of the form. Based on their qualifications, teachers select statewide-articulated courses they are or will be teaching for ATC statewide-articulated college credit and write them in the space provided.
  3. After attending subject-specific curriculum alignment sessions, the college faculty leading the instruction places their initials in the space provided (column on right).
  4. After training is completed, high school teachers return completed forms to the staff development provider. Incomplete forms will not be processed.
  5. Provider representative completes the bottom of the form and signs and dates the form.
  6. Providers complete a transmittal form, include an initialed list of participating college faculty, make a copy of the completed participation forms for their records, and mail original forms to:

Advanced Technical Credit (ATC) Program Office

Region 5 Education Service Center

2295 Delaware Street, Beaumont, Texas 77703

  1. Each participant receives in the mail an official Certificate of Eligibility from the Advanced Technical Credit (ATC) Program office. A list of eligible teachers completing training will be provided to each school district. A list of school districts and the number of eligible teachers trained in each subject area will be sent to TEA to monitor use of the new PEIMS course codes. The certificate of eligibility should be placed in the teacher’s personnel file for documentation.

Secondary Teacher Qualifications

General Requirements

Secondary school teachers teaching content-enhanced, statewide-articulated courses eligible for college credit under the Advanced Technical Credit (ATC) Program are expected to hold academic and work-related credentials equivalent to their college counterparts.

  1. Academic Preparation

Teachers should have earned a baccalaureate degree, or higher in a field related to the instructional area. In specific instructional areas and where permitted by secondary certification requirements, a teacher may hold a minimum of an associate degree.

  1. Secondary Teacher Certification

Teachers should be certified to teach secondary courses in the appropriate instructional area or possess at least a baccalaureate degree in field directly related to the subject area and a minimum of three years of related work experience other than teaching..

General certification requirements include:

  • Preparation and experience in a skill area as specified, and for certain vocational certificates, completion of at least a baccalaureate degree with an academic major or interdisciplinary academic major, other than education, that is related to the curriculum;
  • Completion of a professional development (certification) program;
  • Completion of any additional professional development, orientation, or teaching experience required for certification; and
  • A passing score on a comprehensive examination prescribed by the State Board for Educator Certification (SBEC).
  1. Work Experience and External Licensing and Certification

Teachers of ATC statewide-articulated courses should have a minimum of three years of direct or related work experience other than teaching. Work experience is required if the teacher is not certified in an area related to the teaching field. Teachers of courses eligible for inclusion in a postsecondary workforce education program that is subject to accreditation by external agencies and/or that prepare students for licensure or certification must comply with the qualifications required by the external agency.

Certification Requirements for Selected Areas 

Health Science Technology:

  • A baccalaureate degree or an associate degree from an accredited institution.
  • Licensure, certification, or registration by a nationally recognized accrediting agency as a practitioner in one or more health occupations for which instruction is offered.
  • Two years of approved wage-earning experience in a licensed hospital or health agency in addition to that required to be registered or certified.

Marketing Education:

  • A baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution with six semester hours of courses in retailing and marketing.
  • Two years of approved wage-earning experience in one or more of the marketing occupations, or one year of wage-earning experience and 1,000 clock hours of supervised employment experience.

Office Education

  • A baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution in business/business education, or the equivalent of a minor in the course area to be taught.
  • Two years of approved wage-earning experience in a related occupation, or one-year work experience and a three-semester hour office occupation internship, or a six-semester credit hour office occupation internship.

Business Education

  • A baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution in business/business education, or the equivalent of a minor in the course area to be taught.
  • In order to teach vocational laboratory classes using the cross-over option, the business education teacher must attend one-week professional improvement conference,

Trade and Industrial Education

  • A baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution.
  • Three years of full-time wage earning experience in one or more approved occupations for which instruction is offered.


  • An associate degree from an accredited institution.
  • Five years of full-time wage earning experience in one or more approved occupations for which instruction is offered, three of which must be in the predominant subject area.

Technology Education 

  • A baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution in technology or industrial technology.