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Glossary of Terms

This glossary contains terms found in Commission publications, on this website, and in the education community. Several subsets of this glossary are available; click on the description in the menu to view them.

Definitions of Education Terms

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Carl D. Perkins Vocational and Applied Technology Education Act

Known as the Perkins Act, this federal program supplements state secondary, postsecondary, and adult vocational education programs, with the goal of improving educational programs leading to academic, occupational, training, upgrading and retraining skill competencies needed to work in a technologically advanced society.

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Green Job

Green occupations are often defined as any activity or service that performs any of the following: generating and storing renewable energy, recycling existing materials, energy efficient product manufacturing, distributing, installing, maintenance and construction, education, compliance and awareness, and natural and sustainable product manufacturing.

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Occupational Information Network (O*NET or ONET) - The nation's primary source of occupational information. The O*NET database has information about hundreds of occupations.

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Regional Occupational Centers/Programs (ROCPs)

These centers/programs provide vocational training and academic education to high school pupils and adults. Courses offered by ROCPs cover a wide range of job-related training, which is conducted in facilities on high school sites, centers, or business sites.


The Regional Workforce Preparation and Economic Development Act (RWPEDA) was adopted by the California Legislature in 1996 as part of the Welfare-to-Work Act. Senate Bill 1744 reauthorized the Act in 1998. This Act is an extremely important piece of legislation that reaches out to all citizens of California. Its overarching vision is to unite economic development with education and workforce preparation (job training and employment programs) to assure that California has a world-class competitive workforce.

The Act was written in recognition of research showing that the State did not have one economy, but rather many regional economies. The vision of the Act is to be achieved by the “…integration of existing local and regional partnerships that support initiatives in education, workforce preparation and economic development” that will “demonstrate how, through the collaboration of state and local resources, education, workforce preparation and economic development services can be delivered to clients in a more responsive, integrated and effective manner.”

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The Secretary's Commission on Achieving Necessary Skills (SCAN) was convened in February 1990 to examine the demands of the workplace and to determine whether the current and future workforce is capable of meeting those demands. The Commission identified five competencies (i.e., skills necessary for workplace success) and three foundations (i.e., skills and qualities that underlie competencies). The competencies include resources, interpersonal skills, information, systems, and technology. The underlying foundations are: basic skills-reading, writing, arithmetic and mathematics, speaking, and listening; thinking skills-thinking creatively, making decisions, solving problems, knowing how to learn, reasoning; and personal qualities-individual responsibility, self-esteem, sociability, and integrity.

SOC Code

Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) Code is a Code designed to classify and identify all occupations in which work is performed for pay or profit, reflecting the current occupational structure in the United States.

Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) System

Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) Code is a Code designed to classify and identify all occupations in which work is performed for pay or profit, reflecting the current occupational structure in the United States.

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Workforce Development

Workforce Development refers to the entirety of the systems by which people are educated, trained, upgraded and retrained for employment and participation in the workforce. Included in the process are all segments of the system-from K-12 education and postsecondary institutions to public and private training programs to economic development and employment expansion programs.

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