Special Populations


The primary purpose of the Special Populations Coordinator (SPC) is to assure accountability for services to students with in Career and Technical Education’s special populations category, including students pursuing nontraditional occupations, in programs funded under the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act of 2006 (Perkins IV). Special services are provided for special populations to ensure equal access to recruitment, enrollment and placement activities. These supplementary services are essential to the successful participation of some disabled and disadvantaged students in Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs.

Coordination services begin with the identification of each member of special populations enrolled in the local education agency’s CTE program. This approach allows the local education agency to meet the broad assurances of the law. One such assurance, helping a student to enter a CTE program, enhances their chances of selecting an appropriate career pathway.

The major functions of the Special Populations Coordinator position include:

  • Accountability and Planning
  • Assessment and Prescription
  • Coordination with Other Service Providers
  • Monitoring Access, Progress and Success
  • Outreach and Recruitment
  • Professional Development

(The complete SPC Job Description and Appraisal System are provided in Appendix materials.)


The special populations is unique to CTE. Students must be, or have been, enrolled in CTE courses. Some people assume that all members of special populations are classified as Exceptional Children (EC).  EC students are included, but there are others who are classified as special populations.  This section lists all of the classifications.

Identified Special Populations include individuals:

  • with disabilities
  • from economically disadvantaged families, including foster children
  • preparing for nontraditional careers
  • who are single parents, including single pregnant women
  • who are displaced homemakers
  • with Limited English proficiency
  • with academic disadvantages .

The North Carolina Department of Public Instruction will maintain its services to students with academic disadvantages within the special populations classification, even though no longer required under Perkins IV.

For further description, see the SPECIAL POPULATIONS CLASSIFICATIONS section in the guide.)


CTE and Preparatory Services: Grades 6 through 8

  • Notify Parents and Students about CTE
  • Identify Students
  • Recruitment Activities
  • Guidance and Career Development Activities

CTE Program: Grades 9 through 12

  • Notify Parents and Students about CTE Offerings
  • Identify Students
  • Recruitment, Enrollment, and Placement Activities
  • Follow-up on CTE Guidance and Career Development Activities
  • Develop/Complete/Revise Career Development Plan/IEP (CDP+ to include Supplementary Services, if appropriate)
  • Schedule for Assessment or Preparatory Services
  • Provide Support Services, Transition Services, Work Experience, and Job Placement
  • Follow-up Placement Services after completion of CTE

Special Populations Classifications

Special Populations Challenge Handbook


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