Skip to main content
California Department of Education Logo

Special Populations Program Summary

This page discusses career technical education for special populations as defined by the federal Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act (Perkins V).


To assure accountability for services to special populations, including students pursuing nontraditional occupations, in programs funded under the Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act (Perkins V).


  • Provide statewide professional development and resources to support nontraditional training programs and services to students in special populations.
  • Allocate funding for training-of-trainers in nontraditional occupations in local school districts and online.


  • Expanded career possibilities for students through support of programs that help recruit and retain students in training program for occupations that are nontraditional for their gender.
  • Helped students to be successful in nontraditional programs through the creation of positive classroom environments, encouragement of parent, peer and employer support, and efforts to support continuous program improvement.
  • Assisted local educational agencies (LEAs) to work with business and industry to help students acquire current industry skills sets.
  • Increased focus on all aspects of special populations needs in career technical education (CTE) through statewide leadership, professional development, and technical assistance to LEAs.


Perkins funds of $150,000 per year are shared with California Community Colleges.

Students Served

These programs serve all CTE students, but especially those classified as Special Populations under Perkins V including:

  • Individuals with disabilities;
  • Individuals from economically disadvantaged families, including low-income youth and adults;
  • Individuals preparing for non-traditional fields;
  • Single parents, including single pregnant women;
  • Out-of-workforce individuals;
  • Homeless individuals;
  • Youth who are in, or have aged out of, the foster care system;
  • Youth with a parent who is a member of the armed forces and is on active duty;
  • Individuals with other barriers to educational achievement, including individuals with limited English proficiency.


  • Approximately 150 kindergarten through grade twelve educators attend regional professional development sessions, workshops, and conferences each year. Attendees receive a variety of resources to support nontraditional training programs.

Contact Information

The Special Populations Program is administered by:

California Department of Education
Career and College Transition Division
Career Technical Education Leadership Office
1430 N Street, Suite 4202
Sacramento, CA 95814

Questions: Program and Administrative Support Office | | 916-323-5054 
Last Reviewed: Wednesday, April 26, 2023
Recently Posted in Career Technical Education
  • CWPJAC Agenda April 26, 2024 (added 16-Apr-2024)
    The California Workforce Pathways Joint Advisory Committee (CWPJAC) plans to address workforce pathways to address California’s regional economies.