Unit 4 - 1962 - 1983

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Vocational Education Act of 1963


  • All areas
  • Reduced federal control
  • Replaced the Smith-Hughes Act
  • Introduced Work Study
  • Introduced gender equity
  • Provided a federal definition of Vocational Education
  • Increased funding to $225 million


Smith-Hughes remained in place until the passage of the Vocational Education Act of 1963 which:

Implemented by John F. Kennedy who put together an advisory panel to evaluate and make recommendations about current vocational education programs.  It replaced the Smith-Hughes Act with major changes.


All Areas

  • Makes Title II and III of the George-Barden Act permanent.
  • Broadened the scope of vocational agriculture to include all areas of agriculture, not just farming.
  • For the first time funds were allotted for research and experimental program. Expanded the scope of home economics education to include all areas of home economics, not just homemaking.

Federal control

  • Eliminated federal supervision / control of vocational programs.
  • Requires periodic reviews of programs at state and local level.
  • Reduced federal control greatly


Smith Hughes Act Replaced

  • Replaces the Smith-Hughes Act
  • Makes changes to the Smith-Hughes and George-Barden Acts as follows:
    • Allows transfer of money from one occupations category to another
    • Broadens definition of vocational agriculture
    • Permits pre-employment training in distributive education
    • Removes requirements for nine months minimum and 50% of school time in vocational education.
    • Provides for gainful employment training in home economics


  • Funding for vocational education was substantially increased ($225 mil).
  • States decided how to spend the money and had to submit plans for what they planned to do.
  • Categorical funding for specified vocational disciplines such as agricultural education was abolished. It expanded the scope of agricultural education to include all areas of agriculture, not just farming.  No longer required "supervised practice on a farm."  The idea was to expand the scope of SAE, not do away with it, but that was what some states did.
    • Dropped the requirement that students have “farming projects”
  • Funding went to states on the basis of their population in certain age categories.
  • Funds may be used for purchase of equipment and for construction of buildings.

Work Study

  • Established work study programs for vocational students to provide financial support.
  • Requires collaboration between state vocational agencies and employment agencies.
  • Authorizes funds for work-study programs and residential vocational education schools.


  • Vocational Education Act which emphasized both equality of opportunity for the sexes and reduction of sex stereotyping in occupational guidance

Federal Definition Defined

  • Federal definition of vocational education identified in this legislation - VOCATIONAL EDUCATION - Organized educational programs which are directly related to the preparation of individuals for paid or unpaid employment, or for additional preparation for a career requiring other than a baccalaureate or advanced degree.

Additional Information

This legislation was authored by Carl D. Perkins.  Although this is not the legislation called the Perkins Act it was written by him when he served as chairman of the House Subcommittee for Vocational Education (1962-67).

Author: Michelle Blunk
Last modified: 11/1/2010 10:30 PM (EDT)