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About ACRN

America's Career Resource Network (ACRN) consists of state and federal organizations that provide information, resources and training on career and education exploration. The network's national activities are funded by a grant from the U.S. Department of Education. The grant funded ACRN activities in every state and territory until the passage of Perkins IV.

ACRN is focused on helping students and adults make the best possible decisions about education, training and career development. ACRN helps learners identify their skills and interests, and plan an education and training pathway that makes the most of their natural abilities and leads directly to fulfilling work.

For teachers and counselors, ACRN provides guides and curricula that help them incorporate career development into a high-quality academic program. For students, ACRN emphasizes the connection between academic work and future career options, helping learners of all ages to focus on achievement.

About This Web site

This Web site serves as an online hub for career development professionals, parents, and students who want information on how career development encourages and enhances solid academic achievement.

You can get to this information by following the links for a specific audience, or exploring the general information links, Resource Library, and NCDG and CDMT tools and resources. Take a look at the site map for a complete picture of how information on this Web site is structured.

ACRN Legislative Authority

The Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Improvement Act of 2006 (http://www.ed.gov/policy/sectech/leg/perkins/index.html) was passed by Congress in late July and signed by the President in August 2006.

The bill retains occupational and employment information as a separate program (Section 118) and includes strong provisions for career development and an increased focus on information on high skill, high wage, or high demand occupations in current or emerging professions and non-traditional fields.

In 2006, for the year starting in July 2007, Section 118 has been included in the authorization bills of both the House and the Senate. No funding has however been appropriated for sponsoring occupational and employment information related activities. This program had earlier provided funding to each state and territory to "support academic and career guidance."

The Congress defined specific activities for state CRNs in Section 118 that include to:
  • provide support for career guidance and academic counseling programs designed to promote improved career and education decision making by students (and parents, as appropriate) regarding education (including postsecondary education) and training options and preparations for high skill, high wage, or high demand occupations and non-traditional fields;
  • make available to students, parents, teachers, administrators, faculty, and career guidance and academic counselors, and to improve accessibility with respect to, information and planning resources that relate academic and career and technical educational preparation to career goals and expectations;
  • provide academic and career and technical education teachers, faculty, administrators, and career guidance and academic counselors with the knowledge, skills, and occupational information needed to assist parents and students, especially special populations, with career exploration, educational
  • opportunities, education financing, and exposure to high skill, high wage, or high demand occupations and non-traditional fields, including occupations and fields requiring a baccalaureate degree;
  • assist appropriate State entities in tailoring career related educational resources and training for use by such entities, including information on high skill, high wage, or high demand occupations in current or emerging professions and on career ladder information;
  • improve coordination and communication among administrators and planners of programs authorized by this Act and by section 15 of the Wagner-Peyser Act at the Federal, State, and local levels to ensure nonduplication of efforts and the appropriate use of shared information and data;
  • provide ongoing means for customers, such as students and parents, to provide comments and feedback on products and services and to update resources, as appropriate, to better meet customer requirements; and
  • provide readily available occupational information such as (A) information relative to employment sectors; (B) information on occupation supply and demand; and (C) other information provided pursuant to section 15 of the Wagner-Peyser Act as the jointly designated State entity considers relevant.
The fifty-nine ACRN states and territories that received funding under Section 118 have and currently are responding to this charge by producing and disseminating quality educational and occupational products, and providing training and services in a multitude of ways. These activities give Americans nationwide (including students, counselors and educators at the secondary and postsecondary levels; and customers of One Stop centers, vocational rehabilitation offices, and job service offices) the power to make informed career and educational decisions.

Information on the Carl D. Perkins Vocational and Technical Education Act Amendments of 2006 (U.S. Congress) http://www.ed.gov/policy/sectech/leg/perkins/index.html (for the full text of Section 118, choose the "Text of Legislation" option, choose the final bill, and follow the link to Section 118).

ACRN Partners

ACRN works through a network of national and state partners, including:

  U.S. Department of Education (DoEd)
DoEd funds, oversees and evaluates ACRN activities in the states and territories. The Department houses ACRN management in the Division of High School, Postsecondary and Career Education within the Office of Vocational and Adult Education.

  DoEd ACRN contact:
Gisela Harkin
202.245.7796
gisela.harkin@ed.gov
 

OVAE's ACRN Web page



ACRN News Flash: Education and Career Connections

View past issues of Education and Career Connections and the ACRN News Flash!


Awards

2006 Government Standard of Excellence Award logo The ACRN website won a 2006 Government Standard of Excellence Award from the Web Marketing Association for its design, innovation, content, interactivity and use of technology. The Web site was chosen for this award from among 2,300 entries in over 35 countries.