BROUGHT TO YOU BY
National Association of State Directors of Career
Technical Education Consortium (NASDCTEc)

Webinar: The State of Employer Engagement in CTE

November 24th, 2014

Don’t forget to register for our webinar on December 3, 2014, 2:00 – 3:00 PM ET on the state of employer engagement in CTE. From its earliest roots, employer engagement has been a part of CTE’s legacy. Yet little is known about what is really happening consistently and systematically across the country, and what state leaders can do to accelerate effective engagement

Over the summer, NASDCTEc conducted a survey of the State CTE Directors to better understand how and in what ways employers are engaging in CTE today. This webinar will unpack the survey’s results and seek to illustrate the employer engagement landscape with a particular focus on the ways in which states are and can foster and sustain meaningful employer engagement to strengthen their CTE system for all students.

Register

This Week in CTE

November 21st, 2014

TWEET OF THE WEEK blog-thumbnail-thiswek
@IBM How #STEM opens new worlds for women according to @bjbaenaz @amyverno http://bitly.com/ibmpodcasts #womenatibm #womenintech
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ARTICLE OF THE WEEK 
STEM vs. STEAM: Do the Arts Belong?
Join in on this discussion over whether the arts belong in the STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) curriculum. “…our children need a well-rounded, quality education that enables them to make informed decisions that will impact the world and the way they live. We need students who are motivated and competent in bringing forth solutions to tomorrow’s problems.”
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WEBINAR OF THE WEEK 
WIOA Consultation Webinar: Non-Discrimination and Equal Opportunity Provisions
The Civil Rights Center (CRC) and the Employment and Training Administration (ETA) of the U.S. Department of Labor (Department or DOL) invites equal opportunity officers, state and local workforce leaders and practitioners, workforce system partners, customers, and other stakeholders to provide input on the implementation of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act
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RESEARCH REPORT OF THE WEEK
The National STEM Report
This report reviews the 2014 graduating class in the context of STEM to determine what students are interested in and student readiness in math and science for those interested in STEM careers. You can also see the condition of STEM in your state.
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RESOURCE OF THE WEEK 
New Professional Learning Module Supplements
Designed to complement our full-length module, Introduction to Student Learning Objectives, these supplements provide student learning objectives (SLOs) materials and resources for teachers of career and technical education (CTE) courses and SLO scoring strategies.
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Katie Fitzgerald, Communications Associate 

CTE Research Review

November 21st, 2014

Closing the skills gap can be solved by applying supply chain management ideas to the talent pipeline, says the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Research Image_6.2013Foundation (Chamber) in a new white paper.

At an all-day event at its Washington, DC office, the Chamber called on employers to fundamentally change their relationship with education and workforce providers by taking on a much more active role – or even the lead – to ensure a steady flow of qualified workers.

During a panel of employers, VarCOM President and Founder Danny Vargas had clear messages for companies – “show up or shut up” – and education/workforce providers – “adapt or die.”

Those two messages carried through the day as stakeholders from K-12, postsecondary, workforce providers and employers discussed the challenges of aligning needs and balancing priorities while also highlight successes across the country.

During the keynote address, Harvard Business School’s Joseph Fuller reminded the attendees not to expect immediate changes, because “30 years got us here … this won’t be solved in 30 days.” Citing the theory of collective action, Fuller said such comprehensive change must be institutionalized for it to work and none of it will be easy.

Much of the day’s discussion focused on how workforce training and postsecondary programs can work with local and regional employers on pipeline problems. However, one panel, featuring Georgia State School Superintendent John Barge, discussed how K-12 fits into the talent pipeline.

Barge said the K-12 system in Georgia is responding to these pipeline issues by adapting programs and ways of teaching. Georgia recently required all 9th grade students to choose a career pathway when entering high school. It’s never too early to expose students to career options, Barge said. In Georgia, this starts as early as elementary school and continues through high school to help students make informed choices about the post-graduation options.

“There is tremendous value of being exposed to what is out there before you get there,” Barge said.

Be sure to check out the white paper along with the accompanying case studies, resources and checklists.

Related: The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development has released a new country report looking at job creation and local economic development. Here is the full report, along with a section on each country. Of particular interest would be the chapter on the United States.

Andrea Zimmermann, State Policy Associate

Congress Continues to Struggle on Appropriations Ahead of Presidential Announcement, VP Biden Talks CTE

November 20th, 2014

CapitolFollowing the midterm elections earlier this month, Congress reconvened last week to begin their final “lame duck” session of the 113th Congress. As the Republican Party prepares to take control of the Senate and with it the entire Congress, lawmakers must still grapple with a number of pressing issues before setting to work in the 114th Congress beginning in the New Year. Topping the list of Congressional to-do’s over the next several weeks is the need to pass legislation to fund the government to avert another shutdown of federal operations— something that only too recently happened late last year.

As we have previously shared, Congress failed to pass the necessary appropriations legislation to fund the federal government for Fiscal Year (FY) 2015. Instead, lawmakers passed a temporary stopgap funding measure known as a Continuing Appropriations Resolution (CR) which extended FY 2014 spending levels into the current 2015 federal fiscal year that began on October 1, 2014. However due to differences in revenue levels and lost savings elsewhere in the federal budget, this extension resulted in an across-the-board cut of 0.054 percent to all programs, including the Carl D. Perkins Act (Perkins).

Until recently, it was widely anticipated that a comprehensive omnibus appropriations bill— legislation that combines all of the necessary 12 appropriations bills into one package— would be passed by Congress sometime before the expiration date for the CR on December 11 of this year. Doing so would replace the current CR with a long-term agreement on federal spending until the next fiscal year and could possibly restore some of the funding reductions that were a result of the CR’s passage this past September. Senator Mikulski (D-MD) and Representative Hal Rogers (R-KY), the current Appropriations Committee Chairpersons in both the Senate and the House, have been working to finalize such a bill for the past several weeks and appear to be close to a final agreement.

However, it remains uncertain at this time if lawmakers will be able come to such an agreement before the December 11th deadline. Congressional Republicans and the Obama Administration are currently at odds over a widely expected Executive Action from the President on immigration— an announcement that will likely occur this evening. Many Republican lawmakers are opposed to such a move and have debated a number of responses including passing another short-term CR or possibly passing an Omnibus, but eliminating funding for federal departments or agencies which carry out aspects of the President’s expected action on immigration. Publicly, the Republican Party remains divided on how they will respond— whether through the appropriations process or otherwise.

Nonetheless, as Chairman Rogers recently pointed out, “We need to do an omnibus bill funding the entire government for the rest of the year, and get that whole business behind us, so that come January, [we] will have a clean slate rather than looking backwards to old fights that we could look forward to making positive changes.” NASDCTEc applauds this sentiment and remains hopeful that Congress will pass a comprehensive omnibus bill for the remainder of FY 2015. Along with the Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE), NASDCTEc has recently called on Congress to pass this much needed legislation and restore the remaining cuts to the Perkins Act.

As this process unfolds we urge you, the Career Technical Education community, to do the same. Don’t know who your members of Congress are? Find out here.

AFL-CIO & AFT Host Vice President Biden for CTE & Workforce Development Summit

vpbidenLate last week, the AFL-CIO, along with the American Federation of Teachers (AFT), hosted a “Career and Technical Education (CTE) Workforce Development Summit” which explored the ways CTE and workforce development programs can create multiple pathways for student success. “CTE has the promise and potential to help equip a new generation of workers with the skills and knowledge needed for the jobs of today and tomorrow, and to forge a new path to college and life,” said AFT President Randi Weingarten.

Vice President Joe Biden delivered the keynote address for the event, emphasizing the importance of education and employer partnerships. “These partnerships provide a seamless transition so folks can go from a classroom to a job, and from job to job within the industry they’re in,” he said, adding, “We have to maintain and enhance our workforce so we have the most sophisticated, best-trained workforce in the world.” Later on in the day, Snap-on Inc. Chairman and CEO, Nicholas Pinchuk couched this in even clearer terms declaring, ““We are in a global competition for jobs and the single best weapon is CTE. We need to out-skill the competition.”

During the all-day summit, several panels explored a number of CTE and workforce development issues, including employer engagement, apprenticeship programs, effectively using labor market information and strategies for scaling up other innovative education and workforce program models. Yet, the most common theme throughout the day centered on CTE’s evolution over the past several decades from vocational education and into today’s modern conception of CTE. Nearly every panelist agreed that today’s CTE has made extraordinary progress and is now very much a viable pathway for any number of postsecondary and career ambitions.

U.S. Secretary of Labor, Thomas Perez, capped off the day with a rousing address on the U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) work on apprenticeships. Perez made a number of references to DOL’s upcoming grant program, the America Apprenticeship Initiative.  Grantees for this $100 million program— the successor to last year’s Youth CareerConnect grants— are expected to be announced by the end of the year.

More information on the summit can be found here.

NASDCTEc Finalizes Higher Education Recommendations

With the next Congress widely expected to take up the reauthorization of the Higher Education Act, the consideration of the nation’s primary legislation governing the nation’s postsecondary education system presents a unique opportunity for the CTE community to have their voices heard as this process unfolds. To that end, NASDCTEc has recently finalized a set of recommendations for the reauthorization of the legislation which can be viewed here.

Odds & Ends

Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH) recently released a document outlining the “pillars” of his vision for a new Republican Congressional majority. Although education is part of this platform, the Perkins Act and CTE more generally were notably absent.

Yesterday the U.S. Departments of Labor and Education hosted a town hall listening session on the implementation of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) to aid in implementation of the new law. More recently, the Department of Education released a short video outlining the various intersection points between WIOA and Perkins IV.

The U.S. Department of Education’s recently finalized regulations defining “gainful employment” have been challenged in court by the Association of Private Sector Colleges and Universities. Pending action by the court system, these regulations are still set to go into effect next year.

Steve Voytek, Government Relations Manager 

Excellence in Action Awards Due December 5th

November 19th, 2014

Excellence in Action Awards, due December 5th, lifts up model programs and shines a light on high-quality and high-impact programs of study. Each winning program of study will be featured in our communications, marketing and advocacy materials, and used during Congressional visits, with members of the media and other CTE stakeholders to support a more positive image of CTE.

Last year, NASDCTEc awarded six schools with exemplary programs of study from around the country. This includes the Medical Sciences Program at Bollman Technical Education Center (BTEC), which received the award in the Health Science Career Clutser. Along with providing 16 career pathways aligned with the National Consortium for Health Science Education’s standards, and Colorado state standards for CTE, BTEC greatly encourages work-based learning through a variety of strong partnerships. BETC’s program of study provides a great example of what Excellence in Action looks like. We encourage you to learn more about the 2014 winners, and submit your program of study to join this wonderful cohort of leaders in CTE. Apply today!

Katie Fitzgerald, Communications Associate

This Week in CTE

November 14th, 2014

TWEET OF THE WEEK
@AFTunion : Jobs like welding are not jobs “other people’s kids” have. They’re jobs with pride & dignity that’s the American dream -Pinchuk #ctesummit
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ARTICLE OF THE WEEK
DECA is challenging students from elementary school to college to come up with a unique use for a household item. The challenge, which launched November 12th, will end November 20th. All submissions should be entered through YouTube.
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RESOURCE OF THE WEEK
O*NET Interest Profiler, sponsored by the U.S. Department of Labor, helps individuals identify their CTE interests and provides information on how those interests can be translated into jobs.
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RESEARCH REPORT OF THE WEEK
A variety of institutions, organizations and Foundations convened a committee of experts to learn more about the health, safety and well-being of adults ages 18-26. The resulting report, Investing in the Health and Well-Being of Young Adults, provides guidance for policy makers, program leaders, non profits, businesses and communities on developing programs and policies to improve young adult well-being.
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WEBINAR OF THE WEEK
Did you miss the National Alliance for Partnerships in Equity webinar, Engage Students to Pursue STEM and Trades Careers: Next Steps after Vermont’s Women Can Do Conference, a Student Event? Not to worry, you can learn more about how to encourage women and girls to pursue STEM education and careers from both national and state perspectives through the archived webinar.
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Katie Fitzgerald, Communications Associate 

Study: State Strategies for Financing CTE

November 13th, 2014

The U.S. Department of Education has released a new study that explores how states fund their Career Technical Education (CTE) systems beyond the formulas prescribed in the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act of 2006 (Perkins).

The study, prepared by the National Center for Innovation in Career and Technical Education, focuses primarily on how state funding, which is often used to off-set the higher cost of technical instruction, is distributed to local secondary and postsecondary programs. The report used survey data collected by the National Association of State Directors of Career Technical Education Consortium (NASDCTEc) that asked State CTE Directors how categorical funds were distributed during academic year 2011-12, as well as the use and perception of performance-based funding for CTE.

In short, the survey found that state approaches to CTE funding varies in emphasis and complexity, and no single approach will meet the needs of every state. The study also called for more research to better understand what impact, if any, the each of the state funding approaches has on program and student outcomes.

Financing Secondary and Postsecondary CTE

State financing approaches broke down into three main categories: foundational funding only, funding for area CTE centers and categorical funding.

Foundational Funding Only – All states distribute basic state aid to finance secondary education programming using a variety of formulas. In this approach, local administrators decide how to distribute funds across instructional priorities, including CTE. Nine respondents indicated they rely exclusively on foundational funding. At community or technical colleges, 30 states reported distributing funds to postsecondary institutions through block grants and not distinguishing funding for CTE.

Funding for Area CTE Centers – Through this method, funds are dedicated to support programming at area CTE centers that deliver CTE services to part-time students. Centralizing CTE programs can be a cost-effective strategy. Seven states reported having separate state funding for these centers at the secondary level and sometimes use a categorical funding approach to distribute funds.

Categorical Funding – This approach dedicates funding to support career-related instructional services and typically targets state funding for the exclusive use of CTE programming. In fact, 37 states earmarked state funds for secondary CTE using one of the following formulas: student-based (21 states), cost-based (7 states) and/or unit-based (9 states). At the postsecondary level, seven states indicated providing categorical funding, while most opted to allocate funding through basic state aid.

Performance-based Funding

Just seven states use performance-based formulas to allocate secondary CTE funds by tying funding to performance measures such as placement of CTE students into postsecondary education or employment, attainment of industry-recognized credentials or CTE completion rates.

For federal Perkins dollars, two states (Texas and South Carolina) do this for secondary CTE. Five states (Arizona, Florida, Kansas, Missouri and West Virginia) indicated using this formula to allocate state CTE funds on the secondary level.

At the postsecondary level, four states (Arkansas, Georgia, Minnesota and North Dakota) reported using this approach with state funding, while none reported doing this with Perkins funds.

For the vast majority of states that do not use performance-based funding, the most common reason was a lack of understanding from state leaders. Almost half of states expressed an interest in adopting this approach to allocate a portion of their Perkins funds; however, training would be necessary if required by legislation.

Andrea Zimmermann, State Policy Associate

Excellence in Action Award Submissions Open

November 13th, 2014

Excellence in Action award banner

We want to learn more about and recognize high-quality and high-impact programs of study happening in every corner of the country. We encourage you to apply for the 2015 Excellence in Action award, or pass along this information to any stellar programs of study you know.

By lifting up model programs, NASDCTEc will shine a light on exemplary programs of study and provide examples to be used in our advocacy and communications efforts over the year. Each winning program of study will be featured in our communications, marketing and advocacy materials, and used during Congressional visits, with members of the media and other CTE stakeholders to support a more positive image of CTE. Learn more about last year’s winners here.

Winners will receive:

  • A banner to hang in their school or institution of higher education.
  • A digital banner (i.e., a customized logo) to use in email and print materials as they so choose.
  • Travel to and one-night accommodations in Washington, D.C. for the award winner to be recognized at an awards ceremony on April 8, 2015.

Winners will be featured:

  • At an awards ceremony on April 8, 2015 in Washington, D.C.
  • In a national press release that will be distributed to national media.
  • NASDCTEc will also create individualized press releases for each winner, which will be distributed to State CTE Directors.
  • In a one-pager, used as part of NASDCTEc’s federal advocacy toolkit.
  • In a monthly newsletter sent to members of Congress.
  • On webinars and/or conferences during the year.
  • In a stand-alone blog on NADSCTEc’s Learning that Works blog.
  • On the NASDCTEc website.

Apply today!

Katie Fitzgerald, Communications Associate

CTE Research Review

November 13th, 2014

Research Image_6.2013New research offers insight into key workforce development issues as it relates to middle-skills jobs, a state’s STEM workforce and a sector-focused program for the career advancement of low-skilled adults.

Bridge the Gap: Rebuilding America’s Middle Skills – New research from Harvard Business School, Accenture and Burning Glass Technologies found that 69 percent of human resources executives believe “their inability to attract and retain middle-skills talent frequently affects their firm’s performance.” In a new analysis that take a closer look at the skills gap for middle-skills jobs, the authors examine job market data with a focus on competitiveness and offer a framework for business leaders to prioritize jobs that matter for their business, industry, community and region.

The report offers overarching recommendations for an array of stakeholders:

  • Educators in community and technical colleges must embrace their roles as employment partners;
  • Business leaders must champion an employer-led skills-development system; and
  • Policymakers must actively foster collaboration between employers and educators by improving access to labor market data, revising metrics for educators and workforce development programs and advocate for the critical role of middle-skills jobs.

Cracking the Code on STEM: A People Strategy for Nevada’s Economy – Nevada’s newly diversified economic strategy is beginning to work, according to a new report from the Brookings Institution, but now the state must focus on growing the talent pipeline to fill the high-demand jobs, particularly in STEM-related fields. Although many of the currently available opportunities “require no more than the right community college certificate, insufficient numbers of Nevadans have pursued even a little STEM training.” Without a targeted effort from the state to address this critical workforce need, the skills shortages could limit the state’s growth.

Along with a series of policy memos, this new analysis looks at Nevada’s STEM economy and labor market as well as the actions of the state’s leaders – public, private and philanthropic – can take to develop a skilled workforce. Specifically, the report draws three conclusions:

  • Growth in Nevada’s STEM-oriented sectors such as Business IT Ecosystems and Health and Medical Services is challenging the state’s ability to deliver an adequate supply of both technical and professional STEM workers;
  • Significant challenges threaten to undercut the state’s ability to cultivate the workforce needed to advance its economic diversification; and
  • Nevada needs to create a people strategy to complement its economic strategy.

WorkAdvance: Meeting the Needs of Workers and Employers – A new report from MDRC presents the early findings of four WorkAdvance programs around the country that are implementing the sector-focused career advancement program for low-skilled adults. Sharing the programs’ successes and lessons learned, the report gives an early insight into the challenges of, and best practices for implementing a program like WorkAdvance, which are currently operating in Oklahoma, Ohio and New York City. In late 2015, MDRC plans to release a report examining the program’s effects on employment and earnings as well as costs.

Andrea Zimmermann, State Policy Associate

CTE Programs Motivate Students with Microsoft Office Specialist World Championship

November 7th, 2014

Industry-recognized certification is a key part of successful CTE programs, allowing schools to validate technology skills while helping students build their resumes and preparing them to win jobs and internships.

Certiport, a Pearson VUE business, is the world leader in performance-based certification exams and practice test solutions for academic institutions, currently delivering nearly 3 million certification exams each year around the world. Many students see the value of certification, but a good healthy dose of competition never hurts.

Thirteen years ago Certiport held the first Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS) World Championship, a competition to designed to inspire more students to earn MOS certification. Over time the competition has grown in popularity and now educators use it to inspire greatness and generate excitement about certification among their students.

This year more than 300,000 students in the United States entered the MOS competition to demonstrate their level of proficiency in utilizing the world’s foremost desktop computing applications. 40 finalists traveled to Atlanta, Georgia to the MOS U.S. National Championship, where they participated in timed exams and interviews to demonstrate their expertise in Microsoft Office Word, Excel and PowerPoint programs. The champions in each program, along with a chaperone, won an all-expense-paid trip to participate in the 2014 MOS World Championship in Anaheim, California.

One of those world finalists, Tyler Millis, is a student of Dunbar High School in tylerFlorida. Dunbar is a magnet school in Ft. Myers, Florida with an enviable CTE program. Dunbar’s Technology Academy Programs offer an outstanding 24 certifications and has certified hundreds of high school students in MOS over the past several years.

Tyler heard about the competition from his teacher, Denise Spence, who has sent finalists in the past. “My teachers all supported me in everything I did and Ms. Spence encouraged me to do my best so I could make it to the World Championship,” said Tyler. He did, and he is already looking ahead since students are allowed to compete for a second time in different exam tracks. “I’m really excited to come back next year if I can,” he said.

Tyler beat out 123 finalists from 40 countries and won the MOS World Championship for PowerPoint 2007 and has become a local celebrity, but the proof is in the pudding, so they say – Tyler has an application development job at a local software engineering company and says winning the MOS World Championship will look amazing on his resume.

Participating in the MOS World Championship is easy – any state, district or school can promote it with marketing materials readily available from Certiport and students enter the competition simply by checking a box when they take MOS certification. Top scorers will be invited to the 2015 MOS United States Championship and the U.S. winners will be invited to compete in the 2015 MOS World Championship in Dallas, Texas next August.

In addition to MOS, Certiport manages a sophisticated portfolio of leading certification programs including: the Microsoft Technology Associate certification program, the Microsoft Certified Educator program, the Adobe® Certified Associate certification program, the HP Accredited Technical Associate, the CompTIA Strata™ IT Fundamentals, the Autodesk Certified User certification program, the Intuit QuickBooks Certified User certification program, and the IC3 Digital Literacy certification.Certiport-Pearson-Logo-Final (1)

Certiport was a wonderful sponsor of our 2014 Fall Meeting held in late October. To learn more about how Certiport and the MOS World Championship can help your CTE program teach and validate in-demand workforce skills with industry-recognized certification, visit www.certiport.com.

 

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