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

Council of State Governments’ National Conference

August 15th, 2014

Earlier this week, I had the opportunity to attend The Council of State Governments’ (CSG)  annual national conference as a member of the National Task Force on Workforce Development and Education, which is part of their “State Pathways to Prosperity initiative.”  With members representing all three branches of state government, CSG brought a broad set of perspectives together to discuss the key challenges and opportunities in developing a strong education and workforce pipeline.  The final Task Force framework and recommendations will be further developed and released in the coming months.

In addition to the Task Force meeting, I also had the opportunity to attend a policy academy where I learned about an array of  impressive state- and business-led efforts to support students’ career readiness and U.S. competitiveness. One such example is the MC2 STEM High School, developed through a partnership between the Cleveland Metropolitan School District and GE Lighting.  Students attend school on the GE campus during their sophomore year, where they engage in a year-long project that culminates in a presentation to GE leaders, and then spend their junior and senior years at Cleveland State University. All students complete at least one internship, have a GE “buddy” and must demonstrate 90 percent “proficiency” to earn credits. Since the school opened in 2008, nearly 100 percent of MC2 STEM students have graduated, and 84 percent of the graduates have matriculated into college.

Another fascinating model shared was the Automotive Manufacturers Technical Education Collaborative (AMTEC), or the National Center for Excellence in Advanced Automotive Manufacturing. AMTEC is an effort supported by the major automotive manufacturers – Ford, GM, Toyota, Honda, etc. – to develop a set of common expectations to anchor training programs for multi-skilled employees. AMTEC provides industry-developed and verified curriculum and assessments to its member community colleges, companies and high schools, as well as professional development and other resources.

Alaska 1And did I mention the meeting was in Anchorage, Alaska as a bonus? As evidence, here’s a picture of me…and a picture of a moose. 

Alaska 2

 
Kate Blosveren, Associate Executive Director

 

Georgia Program Highlighted for Learning that Works — through Work

August 14th, 2014

“The idea is to bring abstract concepts to life to make them easier to understand.”

Those words are the crux of a recent 1,000 word profile of a school-industry partnership between Southwire, a Georgia-based manufacturer and its local school district called 12 for Life that is designed to tie education — particularly in math and science — to career skills.

In the report, the Wall Street Journal’s Jonathan House documents collaboration between company executives who were “increasingly alarmed by their difficulty finding reliable employees, a problem they attributed at least in part to an elevated high-school dropout rate” and school officials to build a program that ties four hours working with experienced professionals on Southwire’s factory floor to eight hours of classroom learning in an innovative summer school experience.

Though restricted to the Manufacturing Career Cluster, the Southwire partnership is a model for positive employer engagement. It embodies principle two of Reflect, Transform, Lead: A New Vision for Career Technical Education, asan active partnership between employers and educators that delivers a dynamic experience to local high schoolers, and has already demonstrated a positive return on investment (principle five) for the company.

Against the backdrop of Georgia’s new bill expanding youth apprenticeship programs to increase work-based learning opportunities, Southwire provides a clear example of Learning that works for Georgia.

Learn more about the program here.

Evan Williamson, Communications Associate

FOLLOW UP: Forbes also profiled Southwire’s 12 for Life initiative in their August 18 edition. That story is available here.

Educators Wanted: Give Your Input to the Mobile Learning Partnership!

July 16th, 2014

According to Innovate+Educate, mobile learning (m-learning) is no longer exploding onto the scene or the hot new trend, it’s a $1.4 billion industry with serious implications for teaching and learning. As mobile learning settles in as another instructional tool to deepen the student-teacher relationship, educators and advocates have the opportunity to contribute to the development of m-learning apps, infusing technological development with the expertise of years of instructional and institutional knowledge.

Launched in conjunction with the Verizon Foundation, Innovate+Educate’s Mobile Learning Partnership (MLP) initiative is designed to “connect, partner and facilitate communication between educators, mobile app developers and technology enthusiasts for the advancement of mobile learning in the classroom.” With new m-learning apps springing up all the time, the MLP initiative is offering a unique opportunity for professionals to provide input into what teachers and students need most out of a m-learning app. You can contribute to the conversation here.

Evan Williamson, Communications Associate

REMINDER: Webinar on Making Career Readiness Count next Tuesday!

May 22nd, 2014

On Tuesday, May 27 from 2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. EST, NASDCTEc in partnership with Achieve will be hosting a webinar to provide guidance to states interested in building more indicators of career preparation into accountability and public reporting systems.  NASDCTEc and Achieve will be simultaneously releasing a new joint publication on the topic.

On this webinar, we will share how states are currently approaching this challenge and what state policy leaders need to consider as they look to reform their own reporting and accountability systems to ensure that the “career” in college- and career-ready accountability and public reporting is a powerful lever to focus priorities, drive progress, and ultimately see more students and their communities succeed.

To share two state perspectives, we’ll be joined by Dennis Cooper, Assistant Commissioner, Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education; Dennis Harden, Career Education Coordinator, Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education; and Deborah Jonas, Special Advisor for Research and Planning, Virginia Department of Education.

Please share this information with your colleagues at the state level who may be interested in this discussion.  Details on how to join the webinar can be found below.

To join the webinar, please dial:  1 (800) 697-5978 and enter: 6460 369#

To access the webinar slides, please CLICK HERE

NASDCTEc in Taipei

April 29th, 2014

Delegates

Last week, I had the honor as serving as a delegate at a conference held by the Asian-Pacific Economic Cooperative (APEC) Alliance for Technical and Vocational Education and Training in Taipei, Taiwan. Along with education and government leaders from Taiwan, the Philippines, Malaysia, Thailand, Japan, Korea and Vietnam. This event was co-hosted by Taiwan’s Ministries of Labor and Education and Taipei Tech University.

One thing that struck me was the similarity in our challenges and the goals of our CTE/vocational education and training systems. Nearly every leader spoke of high youth/young adult unemployment, an aging population, the disconnect between what students are learning in school and the skills demanded in the workforce, and the need to upskill our systems. Other countries are also struggling with raising the image of CTE – the representative from Thailand, for example, noted that they refer to this challenge as “3D” in that the jobs are considered “dangerous, difficult and dirty.” While the language and solutions might vary across countries, the role of CTE as a driver of economic development and vitality was something we all had in common.

CVTCOn the second day of my trip, I had the opportunity to visit two models of technical institutions, the Chinese Culture and Social Welfare Foundation Vocational Training Center (CVTC) and Chung Gang University of Science and Technology (CGUST). CVTC is a privately-run, publicly-subsidized institution that provides training (ranging from 300-900 hours) to unemployed individuals in areas such as culinary arts, gardening/landscaping, webpage design and computer maintenance.  CVTC is one of 13 public training centers in Taiwan – and was the first training center established over 50 years ago. Like most other training centers in Taiwan and the other Asian countries represented at this conference, CVTC provides on-site certifications. (See a map of their campus to the right)

Chang Gung 2CGUST, on the other hand, is a private four-year institution that provides training for health care professionals through its College of Nursing and College of Human Ecology. This campus features state-of-the-art simulation equipment, an on-site kindergarten class run by students and staffed by nurses (who also happen to be instructors), and one of the highest placement rates for its graduates.  All students participate in professional internships during summer breaks and about 87% pass their professional certification, which is twice Taiwan’s national average.

All in all, the trip was an eye-opening experience that brought our own CTE system – and its strengths and ongoing challenges – into focus.

Kate Blosveren, Associate Executive Director

Legislative Update: House Education & the Workforce Committee Holds CTE Field Hearing

March 21st, 2014

Capitol

On Tuesday the House Education and the Workforce Committee held a field hearing titled “Reviving Our Economy: How Career and Technical Education Can Strengthen the Workforce” which was the first of two similarly themed hearings convened this week in locations outside of Washington, D.C. The purpose of this hearing was to highlight the significant positive impact education— specifically Career Technical Education (CTE)— and workforce training programs have on state and local economies. The hearing took place in Southwest Career and Technical Academy in Las Vegas, Nevada, a portion of the state represented by Congressman Joseph Heck (R-NV) who was among one of four Committee members who made the trip to the Silver State.

Chairman Kline (R-MN), Rep. Scott (D-VA), and Rep. Hinojosa (D-TX) alongside their colleague Rep. Heck conducted the field hearing where five witnesses provided testimony centering on the positive effects CTE programs have on their state and in particular Clark County, Nevada. For instance, nearly four out of ten students in Nevada— approximately 50,000 total— enroll in at least one CTE course. Witnesses also pointed out that the graduation rate for those students who choose to concentrate in CTE is a full 17.1 percent higher than their peers in the state. The economic gain reaped by Nevada through increased graduation rates and the reduced number of high school drop-outs demonstrates a compelling return on investment which many members of the Committee took special interest in.

Perhaps the most dominant theme throughout the hearing focused on the importance of the federal investment, principally through the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act (Perkins), to Nevada and other states’ ability to equitably deliver high-quality CTE programs to their students. Perkins, like other critical federal investments in education and the nation’s workforce, has not been exempt from various funding cuts over the past several years. Witnesses described how this has negatively impacted CTE’s ability to effectively prepare students for further education and the workforce.

Congressman Heck noted in particular that over the past few years states like Nevada, which have experienced tremendous population growth over the past decade, have received proportionally larger reductions to their Perkins state allocations due to certain provisions contained in the law. To remedy this he touted a proposed amendment he and Rep. Grijalva introduced last August which would ensure states receive at least 90 percent of the funding amount allocated the previous year.

Another theme that resonated throughout the hearing was CTE partnerships with the business community. Chairman Kline questioned how much time school administrators devote to developing relationships with area employers and whether more could be done to support these types of partnerships. Additionally he inquired about a school’s ability to adapt its CTE curriculum to meet the changing needs of businesses and industry.

At the hearing’s conclusion Congressman Heck summed up the discussion nicely saying “I think one of the resounding themes we heard today is partnerships. It’s partnerships amongst the secondary and postsecondary institutions, as well as private partners and employers. These things are all critical. I think we see that there is a very high return on investment for Career Technical Education . . . as well as the follow-on effects for economic development”

An archived webcast of the hearing including Committee statements and witness testimony can be found here.

Steve Voytek, Government Relations Associate 

Reminder: Webinar This Friday on CTE Teacher Effectiveness

March 3rd, 2014

This Friday, March 7 from 2-3:30 ET, The National Association of State Directors of Career Technical Education Consortium (NASDCTEc) will be co-hosting a webinar with the Center on Great Teachers and Leaders, the Central Comprehensive Center, the Mid-Atlantic Comprehensive Center, and the South Central Comprehensive Center on Supporting 21st Century Educators: How States Are Promoting Career and Technical Educator Effectiveness.

The webinar will explore:

Confirmed speakers include:

  • Jennifer Wehrenberg, Leadership and Professional Development Specialist, Oklahoma Department of Career and Technology Education
  • Dennis Harden, Coordinator, Career Education, Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
  • Janice Rehak, Coordinator, Career Education Curriculum, Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
  • Tyler Barnett, Coordinator, Office of Educator Quality Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
  • Marie Barry, Director, Office of Career and Technical Education, New Jersey Department of Education
  • Sean McDonald, Manager, Office of Career and Technical Education, New Jersey Department of Education
  • With an introduction by Sharon Miller, Director, Division of Academic and Technical Education in the Office of Career, Technical and Adult Education, U.S. Department of Education

Register now!

CTE Month Special: Celebrating CTE Superheroes

February 28th, 2014

In our final CTE Month special feature: Celebrating CTE Superheroes, we are proud to feature National Technical Honor Society’s (NTHS) profile of Sharon May, a one-time high school dropout who sought out CTE at Heart of Georgia Technical College as a way to get meaningful experience and improve her chances of getting a good job.

Initially unsure if she had made the right decision, Sharon reports that her hands-on education and membership in NTHS motivated her to engage inside and outside of the classroom, and “pulled her out of her shell.”

Through CTE and her NTHS experience, Sharon recounts career advancement, volunteerism, community engagement and increased quality of life. Read the whole story (including a brief excerpt from our very own Kim Green!) here.

Evan Williamson, Communications Associate

CTE Research Review, Community College Edition

February 24th, 2014

Research Image_6.2013The American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) released “Where Value Meets Values: The Economic Impact of Community Colleges,” quantifying the value of community colleges in terms of economic impact (i.e., to the national economy) and return on investment (i.e., to individuals and society).

Specifically, AACC found that, in 2012 alone, former American community college students generated $806.4 billion in added income, based on increased productivity and wages. Foreign community college graduates added another $1.5 billion in new income. AACC also found a 4.8 benefit-cost ratio for students based on the return to their investment into the community colleges (or $4.8 dollars in higher future wages for every dollar invested in their education). In total, AACC estimates $371.8 billion as the net present value of community colleges in terms of increased wages for individuals, after accounting for the money invested in the education.

At the societal level, AACC finds a benefit-cost ratio of 25.9 and a net present value at nearly $1.2 trillion, based on added income and social savings (i.e., lower health care costs, reduced crime rates, etc.) which are associated with more education and employment.

In addition to the report, AACC has created four fact sheets breaking down the data.

The Community College Research Center (CCRC) released a two-page policy brief on “Performance Funding: Impacts, Obstacles, and Other Intended Outcomes.” To date, 32 states have implemented some form of performance funding, with mixed results. The brief delineates performance funding 1.0 (where institutions receive a bonus over and above regular state funding) and performance funding 2.0 (where performance is built into the state allocations for institutions), and provides an overview of research-based lessons learned about performance 1.0. The CCRC is currently exploring the 2.0 model, as discussed in this working paper, “The Political Origins of Performance Funding 2.0 in Indiana, Ohio and Tennessee: Theoretical Perspectives and Comparisons with Performance Funding 1.0,” also released this month.

Kate Blosveren, Associate Executive Director

CTE Month Special: OCTAE Hosts National CTSO Leaders

February 20th, 2014

Reflect, transform, lead. Those words and the ethic that they represent permeate every level of the CTE community, and sum up concisely what drove many students, educators and administrators to participate in CTE to begin with.

On Wednesday, February 19, 2014, the Department of Education’s Office of Career, Technical, and Adult Education (OCTAE) held its briefing “Reflect, Transform, Lead: Preparing Students for College, Careers and Citizenship.”

Led off by Assistant Secretary for Career, Technical and Adult Education Brenda Dann-Messier, the program centered on the importance of Career and Technical Student Organizations (CTSOs) and their work to promote student engagement across the country. The briefing took place just a day after a group of student CTSO leaders sat down with Secretary Duncan to discuss how their organizations and the Department of Education could collaborate to achieve specific department goals, expand CTE access and opportunities, and enhance student achievement nationwide.

Four CTSO student leaders—National President of Future Business Leaders of America Cole Simmons, National President of Family Career and Community Leaders of America Brian Will, National Treasurer of SkillsUSA Daria Ferdine and DECA National President Carter Christensen—delivered presentations during the program and took questions on CTE, CTSOs and student leadership. In their speeches, each described their organization’s positive impact, highlighting their ability to take education beyond the classroom and allow students to develop hands-on experience and career-ready skills.

Facilitated by OCTAE Branch Chief Robin Utz, the program also included presentations from OCTAE Policy Analyst Alicia Bolton, the Office of Early Learning’s Group Leader Tammy Proctor, Senior STEM Education Advisor Camsie McAdams and Promise Neighborhoods and Full Service Community Schools Office of Innovation and Improvement’s Elson Nash. Event video and accompanying powerpoint are available at EDStream and are highly recommended as we continue to commemorate CTE Month!

Evan Williamson, Communications Associate

 

Series

Archives