The Occupational Education program at most colleges is designed for students who already have an associate degree or have spent time in the workforce and would like to put their existing credit hours and experience toward a bachelor’s degree. This degree is also ideal for individuals who wish to use their vocational experience to teach others. The curriculum for this Bachelor of Science degree will vary among schools, but some basic requirements are common to most Occupational Education undergraduate programs.
Like any other undergraduate degree program, there are a variety of liberal arts courses that must be completed. Classes in core subject areas like English, math and science are included in the curriculum. Most colleges require at least two semesters of a writing or language arts course and history, as well as philosophy, science with a lab component, psychology and sociology. Some of these classes may be available for college credit at the high school level and students transferring to the B.S. program with an associate degree should have already completed all required traditional courses.
Many colleges offering a bachelor's in Occupational Education will take into consideration your prior work experience. In fact, you can even use this toward trade experience credit hours in some programs. Recent or current work experience is also a requirement at some schools as part of the curriculum, but you need to be able to verify that it is relevant to your degree or major.
Education courses make up part of the Occupational Education degree program at many colleges, as some students intend to use their degree to teach others. Whether you plan to work in a vocational technical school, industrial setting or some other learning environment, you will need to know the methods and strategies that are best for teaching others. Classes on curriculum development, accident prevention and assessments and evaluation are common course topics for this part of the program.
One of the primary components of the education portion of the Occupational Education program is the internship. Not every college requires this, but at the ones that do, you can expect to spend several weeks or months in a classroom setting with a mentor teacher. Under the guidance of the mentor teacher, the student will teach groups of students and explore different strategies and practices in the classroom.