Frequently Asked Questions

What is Perkins?
Perkins is the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Improvement Act, whose purpose is to develop more fully the academic, career, and technical skills of secondary and postsecondary students enrolled in CTE programs.

What is CTE?
CTE is an abbreviation for Career and Technical Education, which is sometimes referred to as Vocational Education.

What is a nontraditional occupation (NTO)?
 According to the Perkins Act, an occupation is nontraditional if individuals from one gender comprise less than 25 percent of those employed in the occupation or field of work. See NAPE’s Nontraditional Occupations Crosswalk for examples.

What does STEM stand for?
STEM is an abbreviation for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.

What is the difference between gender and sex?
As described by the World Health Organization, “sex” refers to the biological and physiological characteristics that define men and women. “Gender” refers to the socially constructed roles, behaviors, activities, and attributes that a given society considers appropriate for men and women. To put it another way: “male” and “female” are sex categories, while “masculine” and “feminine” are gender categories. Learn More

What is a special population?
The term special populations means individuals (a) with disabilities; (b) from economically disadvantaged families, including foster children; (c) preparing for nontraditional fields; (d) single parents, including single pregnant women; (e) displaced homemakers; and (f) individuals with limited English proficiency.  Learn More

What is an underrepresented minority in STEM?
Groups traditionally underrepresented in science and engineering include students who identify as black or African American, Hispanic or Latino, American Indian or Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander. Learn More

What does PDI stand for?
PDI is an abbreviation for NAPE’s annual Professional Development Institute. Learn More

What is the STEM Equity Pipeline?
NAPE developed this suite of professional development programs to increase the diversity students in STEM programs of study. Learn More

What does PIPE stand for?
NAPE’s Program Improvement Process for Equity™ (PIPE) is a data-driven decision-making process for selecting the most effective research-based strategies to increase equity in education. Learn More

What are micromessages?
Micromessages are looks, gestures, tone of voice, or the framing of feedback that subtly yet powerfully shape our culture, our classrooms, and the individuals within them. Learn More

What does FoCI stand for? 
NAPE’s Focus on Counselors Initiative is a series of workshops for counselors that integrate current research-based counseling practices to ensure the academic success and college and career preparedness of underrepresented students in CTE and STEM. Learn More