House Passes Appropriations Bill and Holds Hearing on Higher Education

June 21st, 2019

This week, the House of Representatives passed a Fiscal Year 2020 (FY20) appropriations bill. Read below to learn more about this appropriations update, the latest House hearing on higher education and the new accreditation handbook issued by the U.S. Department of Education.

FY2020 Appropriations Bill Passes in the House

On June 19, the House passed the Fiscal Year 2020 (FY20)  $1 trillion minibus appropriations bill, H.R. 2740, that included funding for Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies (Labor-HHS-Ed) on a 226-203 vote. Bundled into this minibus were the funding bills for Defense, State, Foreign Operations, and Energy and Water. The bill included close to $1.3 billion for CTE State Grants, also known as Perkins Basic State Grants- leading to a total increase of $47 million over the amount provided by Congress for FY19.

It is important to note that the final House bill is unlikely to pass into law. The Senate Appropriations Committee has still not yet released their FY20 funding bill for Labor-HHS-Ed. In addition, Congress has not yet agreed on the overall levels of spending for defense and non-defense discretionary spending, which must happen before final allocations for the FY20 appropriations bills can be determined. Congressional leadership and administration officials met this week to attempt and come to an agreement, however, talks are ongoing.

Advance CTE will continue to provide updates as additional information becomes available.

House Holds Hearing on Pathways to a College Degree

The House Committee on Education & Labor held a hearing in preparation for Higher Education Act (HEA) reauthorization on “Innovation to Improve Equity: Exploring High-Quality Pathways to a College Degree.” In their opening remarks, both Chairman Bobby Scott (D-VA) and Ranking Member Virginia Foxx (R-NC) both discussed how the traditional higher education landscape has changed, and innovative postsecondary practices must be implemented to meet the needs of each and every learner.

The panel of witnesses included:

  • Judith Marwick, Provost, William Rainey Harper College
  • Tomikia LeGrande, Vice Provost for Strategic Enrollment Management, Virginia Commonwealth University
  • Charla Long, Executive Director, Competency-Based Network
  • Sameer Gadkaree, Senior Program Officer, Joyce Foundation

The witnesses spoke about a variety of topics, including competency-based education, dual enrollment, student support services, and the persistent equity gaps in higher education.

You can watch the full hearing here and read statements from Congressman Scott and the witnesses here.

U.S. Department of Education Issues New Accreditation Handbook

On June 20, U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos released a revised Accreditation Handbook to be referred to by college accrediting agencies. The guidelines are not required, but are how accreditors will be evaluated by the U.S. Department of Education. Secretary DeVos shared the intention to streamline requirements with this handbook- this new version is 28 pages, compared to the last one that was issued in 2012 and was 88 pages. One of the new additions to the handbook is a site visit to the accreditor by a department staff member.

Meredith Hills, Policy Associate

This Week in CTE

June 21st, 2019

TWEET OF THE WEEK

ANNOUNCEMENT OF THE WEEK

FY2020 Appropriations Bill Passes in the House

On June 19, the House passed the Fiscal Year 2020 (FY20) $1 trillion minibus appropriations bill, H.R. 2740, that included funding for Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies (Labor-HHS-Ed) on a 226-203 vote. Bundled into this minibus were the funding bills for Defense, State, Foreign Operations, and Energy and Water. The bill included close to $1.3 billion for CTE State Grants, also known as Perkins Basic State Grants- leading to a total increase of $47 million over the amount provided by Congress for FY19.

To make sure you get the latest news and resources about federal policy that affects Career Technical Education (CTE), sign up for our Legislative Updates!

VIDEO OF THE WEEK

Jacket Manufacturing is a student-run business at Perham High School in Minnesota established in 2018. This program provides students with the opportunity to learn real-world skills critical to the manufacturing industry such as sales, marketing, logistics, record keeping, customer service, and a wide range of machining and production techniques. The program was developed in partnership with local manufacturing businesses who provide equipment and manufacturing expertise to the class. Watch the video here

Want to learn more about these unique opportunities? Read 2019 Excellence in Action Award winner profiles that include information on student-operated businesses.

RESOURCE OF THE WEEK

The Workforce Playbook: A Community College Guide to Delivering Excellent Career and Technical Education

The Aspen Institute College Excellence Program shares new research in The Workforce Playbook: A Community College Guide to Delivering Excellent Career and Technical Education. The research highlights a set of practices, processes, and mindsets that distinguish colleges that are effective at ensuring that diverse learners succeed in the labor market and make a significant, positive difference in their communities. They traveled the country visiting top-performing community colleges to learn what the best schools do to build effective workforce programs.

The guide states that essential practices of excellent colleges fall into four domains:

  • Advance a vision for talent development and economic mobility;
  • Deliver high-quality programs aligned to regional needs;
  • Take intentional action to support students’ career goals from pre-matriculation through post-graduation; and
  • Develop responsive mutually beneficial partnerships with employers centered on honest feedback and reciprocal support.

Read the full guide here.

Three Promising Approaches to Advance Equity in CTE

June 17th, 2019

State leaders have a critical responsibility to ensure each learner has opportunities for career success and is supported in identifying and realizing his or her goals. To help state leaders identify and dismantle historical barriers and construct systems that support each learner in accessing, feeling welcome in, fully participating in and successfully completing a high-quality Career Technical Education (CTE) program of study, Advance CTE launched its Equity in CTE initiative last spring.

As part of this initiative, Advance CTE has committed to developing resources to help state leaders close equity gaps in CTE. To provide state leaders with promising practices, Advance CTE added three new equity-focused policy profiles to the Learning that Works Resource Center. These highlight effective practices at the state and institutional levels.

The new Advance CTE profiles explore promising programs in the following states:

  • Louisiana: Building Employment Skills for Tomorrow (BEST) Pilot Program: Louisiana piloted the BEST program in 2018 to expand work-based learning opportunities for learners with disabilities.
  • Oklahoma: Diversity and Inclusion Training Program: The Oklahoma Department of Career and Technology Education created the position of state-level equity and diversity specialist in 2016 as part of its senior leadership team. The focus of this position is to provide diversity trainings in both the secondary and postsecondary systems.
  • Wisconsin: Fox Valley Technical College Cultural Support Specialists: The Cultural Support Specialists in Wisconsin help learners transition from high school to college by advocating for and providing services to learners to help them overcome some of the structural barriers that can prevent at-risk learners from accessing and succeeding in college.

To learn more about promising solutions to help state leaders close equity gaps in CTE, read Advance CTE’s Making Good on the Promise series.

Brianna McCain, Policy Associate

This Week in CTE

June 14th, 2019

TWEET OF THE WEEK

ANNOUNCEMENT OF THE WEEK

House Fiscal Year 2020 Appropriations Process Moves Forward

On June 10, the House of Representatives moved ahead with the Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies (Labor-HHS-Ed) appropriations process by packaging it with the funding bills for the Legislative Branch, Defense, State, Foreign Operations, and Energy and Water, into what is called a “minibus” appropriations bill, H.R. 2740. Members of the House proposed a total of 189 amendments to the Labor-HHS-Ed portion of H.R. 2740, and the House Committee on Rules determined that 77 of these would be considered. Representative Angie Craig (D-MN) proposed one of these amendments, an amendment that brings attention to the importance of Career Technical Education (CTE) (however, it does not increase or decrease the money allocated to CTE State Grants). It is anticipated that the full House will vote on this appropriations package next week.

Read the full blog to learn more.

To make sure you get the latest news and resources about federal policy that affects Career Technical Education (CTE), sign up for our Legislative Updates!

VIDEO OF THE WEEK

Did you know this year marked the 65th anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court’s Brown v. Board decision? It ruled that racial segregation of children in public schools was unconstitutional. The Alliance for Excellent Education has started a year-long campaign titled  #OurChallengeOurHope on the unmet promise of the Brown vs. Board of Education Supreme Court decision. The campaign was created to ensure that the spotlight on this landmark case doesn’t dim until the next anniversary, will shine a light on the continuing needs of students—no matter their race, zip code, or background. Every month they share an issue related to the unfulfilled promise of the landmark case and this month is High School Graduation Rates. Watch the video to learn more: https://youtu.be/itl8nhG_2PE

Learn more about the “Our Challenge Our Hope” campaign at www.all4ed.org/BrownVBoard.

RESOURCE OF THE WEEK

Looking for a primer on what CTE is, how it’s funded and the impact of CTE programs? Read 101: Career Technical Education a new fact sheet released today by Higher Learning Advocates and Advance CTE. This document provides an overview of what CTE is, postsecondary CTE outcomes and funding mechanisms for CTE programs. Check out the full fact sheet here. Here are a few notable facts:

  • There are 2.6 million learners in postsecondary CTE programs;
  • Eighty-six percent of adult learners concentrating in CTE are employed in their field or continue their education within six months of program completion; and
  • In Fiscal Year 2019, Congress allocated about $1.27 billion toward CTE programs.

Read the fact sheet here.

House Appropriations Minibus and U.S. Department of Education Proposed Accreditation Regulations

June 14th, 2019

This week, the House of Representatives continued to move forward with the Fiscal Year 2020 (FY20) appropriations process. Read below to learn more about this appropriations update, new proposed higher education regulations, a postsecondary Career Technical Education (CTE) fact sheet and how you can get involved in a campaign to double the federal investment in CTE.

House FY2020 Appropriations Process Moves Forward

On June 10, the House of Representatives moved ahead with the Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies (Labor-HHS-Ed) appropriations process by packaging it with the funding bills for the Legislative Branch, Defense, State, Foreign Operations, and Energy and Water, into what is called a “minibus” appropriations bill, H.R. 2740. Members of the House proposed a total of 189 amendments to the Labor-HHS-Ed portion of H.R. 2740, and the House Committee on Rules determined that 77 of these would  be considered. Representative Angie Craig (D-MN) proposed one of these amendments, an amendment that brings attention to the importance of CTE (however, it does not increase or decrease the money allocated to CTE State Grants). It is anticipated that the full House will vote on this appropriations package next week.

The Senate Appropriations Committee has not yet released their FY20 funding bill for Labor-HHS-Ed. In addition, Congress has not yet agreed on the overall levels of spending for defense and non-defense discretionary spending, which must happen before final allocations for the FY20 appropriations bills can be determined.Advance CTE will continue to provide updates as additional information becomes available.

New College Accreditation Regulations from U.S. Department of Education

This week, the U.S. Department of Education published the proposed regulations to change the federal requirements for college accreditation to the federal register for a 30-day public review. These regulations are a result of the negotiated rulemaking process that concluded with  consensus in April. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos released a statement on the proposed regulations, which would reduce some of the regulatory requirements and simplify state authorization rules for distance education. Proposed updated rules for distance education and innovation, TEACH grants and faith-based institutions are expected to be published soon.

Advance CTE and Higher Learning Advocates Release New Factsheet

Advance CTE and Higher Learning Advocates released a new fact sheet on 101: Career Technical Education as part of the Higher Learning Advocates 101 resource series. This document provides an overview of what CTE is, postsecondary CTE outcomes and funding mechanisms for CTE programs. Check out the full fact sheet here.

Get Involved in the Campaign to Double the Investment in CTE

Looking to support efforts to increase the federal investment in CTE? Check out www.ISupportCTE.org, the website for the campaign to double the investment in CTE. In February, the CTE community launched this shared campaign and we invite everyone to join us in asking employers to sign onto a statement that supports doubling the investment in CTE. The signatures collected from employers will be a critical component to building visibility and support for CTE with members of Congress. Check out the share page to find a one-pager, PowerPoint, social media toolkit, and more that you can use and modify to spread the word about the campaign.

Meredith Hills, Policy Associate

Senate CTE Caucus Holds Briefing on Swiss Apprenticeships

June 10th, 2019

Last week, the Senate CTE Caucus and Embassy of Switzerland hosted a briefing on Swiss-Inspired Apprenticeships in the U.S.: Recent Initiatives and Developments. The afternoon included a variety of remarks from the Swiss, United States federal government, student and administrator perspectives on the impacts of apprenticeship programs.

Swiss Ambassador Martin Dahinden began the briefing by sharing that two out of three students in Switzerland participates in an apprenticeship, and 40 percent of all businesses participate without being compensated by the federal government. Simon Marti, speaking from the Swiss Embassy, explained that the apprenticeship model is 60 percent privately funded, 10 percent by cantons (a Swiss canton is equivalent to a U.S. state) and 30 percent federally funded. Participating companies get approximately a half billion dollar return on investment just during the initial training period.

Marti outlined the three factors that have led to success for the Swiss apprenticeship model:

  1. The apprenticeship model is fully integrated into the education system;
  2. There are strong public-private partnerships; and
  3. Apprenticeships are comprehensive and labor market oriented.

The apprenticeship model takes on a systems approach that involved three core partners- the federal government, cantons and the private sector- that all share one common mission. The close working relationship between the three, operating under a common goal, leads to effective apprenticeship programs.

Senate CTE Caucus Co-Chairs, Senator Tim Kaine (D-VA) and Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) joined the briefing as well, and each gave remarks voicing support of expanding opportunities for high-quality apprenticeships.

The full list of speakers included:

  • Senator Tim Kaine (D-VA)
  • Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-WI)
  • H.E. Martin Dahinden, Ambassador of Switzerland to the USA
  • Simon Marti, Head of the Office of Science, Technology and Higher Education at the Swiss Embassy
  • Mike Gunner, General Manager at Mikron Corporation Denver
  • Selena Elekovic, Apprentice at Mikron Corporation Denver
  • Meaghan Sullivan, Chief Program Officer, CareerWise Colorado

Meredith Hills, Policy Associate

This Week in CTE

June 7th, 2019

TWEET OF THE WEEK

ANNOUNCEMENT OF THE WEEK

Appropriations Fact Sheet Shared by the House Committee on Appropriations

The House Committee on Appropriations released a one-page fact sheet on the Fiscal Year 2020 Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies appropriations bill outlining some of the funding increases the bill allocated to the Departments of Labor, Health & Human Services and Education. Read it here

To make sure you get the latest news and resources about federal policy that affects Career Technical Education (CTE), sign up for our Legislative Updates!

VIDEO OF THE WEEK

Learners attending the West Ada Career and Technical Education Vet Science Program were recently featured in the Leaders in Learning – Idaho News segment for giving back to their community and learning at the same time! Nicole Mitchell and Karson Turley are seniors in high school and are both raising guide dogs for the blind. The dogs accompany them in the classroom and they help to teach the dogs how to handle daily distractions.

Watch the video here.

RESOURCE OF THE WEEK

2019 Report on the Condition of Education

The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) released the annual Condition of Education report which examines the condition of education in the United States from prekindergarten through postsecondary, as well as labor force outcomes. The report includes data and analysis for 48 indicators across four categories: Preprimary, Elementary and Secondary Education, Postsecondary Education, Populating Characteristics and Economic Outcomes and International Comparisons. It also included a “spotlight indicators” section that examines postsecondary education enrollment and outcomes.

Key findings:

  • Undergraduate enrollment increased by 27 percent between 2000 and 2017, and by 2028 undergraduate enrollment is expected to increase by 17.2 million students;
  • In the fall of 2017, 75 percent of undergraduate learners at four-year institutions were enrolled full-time and 37 percent of undergraduate learners at two-year institutions were enrolled full-time;
  • From 2000 to 2017 the median earnings of young adults were consistently higher for those with some type of postsecondary attainment than without; and
  • The number of postsecondary certificates and degrees awarded increased from the 2000-2001 and 2016-2017 school years.

Read the full report here.

NCES Report on the Condition of Education, Update on the Innovation and Modernization Grants

June 5th, 2019

This week brings new research on postsecondary education in the U.S., as well as an important update on the Innovation and Modernization Grants authorized under the Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act (Perkins V). Read below to learn about the newest reports on higher education, how to apply to be a peer reviewer for the Perkins V Innovation and Modernization Grants, and the latest Fiscal Year 2020 appropriations resource.

NCES Released 2019 Report on the Condition of Education

The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) released the annual Condition of Education report. The congressionally mandated report includes data and analysis for 48 indicators across four categories: 1) Preprimary, Elementary and Secondary Education; 2) Postsecondary Education; 3) Populating Characteristics and Economic Outcomes and 4) International Comparisons. This year’s report also included a “spotlight indicators” section that examines postsecondary education enrollment (e.g., broken down by socioeconomic status) and outcomes (e.g., completion and transfer rates for nontraditional undergraduate students).

Some of the findings in the report include:

  • Undergraduate enrollment increased by 27 percent between 2000 and 2017, and by 2028 undergraduate enrollment is expected to increase by 17.2 million students;
  • In the fall of 2017, 75 percent of undergraduate learners at four-year institutions were enrolled full-time and 37 percent of undergraduate learners at two-year institutions were enrolled full-time;
  • From 2000 to 2017 the median earnings of young adults was consistently higher for those with some type of postsecondary attainment than without; and
  • The number of postsecondary certificates and degrees awarded increased from the 2000-2001 and 2016-2017 school years.

Check out the full report, At a Glance document and Highlights document for more information.

New NSC Policy Brief Details  Postsecondary Consumer Reports

A new policy brief from the National Skills Coalition, Consumer Reports for Today’s Postsecondary Students, outlines the different consumer-facing postsecondary reports currently in play. The report explains the required performance measures and reports for the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) and the Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act (Perkins V), as well as the measures included in the U.S. Department of Education’s College Scorecard. The report also discusses the value of reporting short-term post-graduation labor market outcomes.

Call for Peer Reviewers to Apply by Friday, 6/7 for Perkins Innovation and Modernization Grant Program

The Office of Career, Technical and Adult Education (OCTAE) in the U.S. Department of Education put out a call for peer reviewers for the Perkins Innovation and Modernization Grant Program (Perkins I and M). The review process will take place across three weeks from the end of June to the middle of July. Reviewers should fit the following qualifications:

  • “Persons who are career and technical education (CTE) school leaders, teachers, district leaders, foundation officers, university faculty (who work with CTE), researchers, evaluators, professional development providers, or other individuals who have significant and current CTE experience and expertise at the secondary or postsecondary level.
  • Persons who are interested in identifying what is new or innovative nationally in CTE, and in determining how those innovations can be successfully implemented and evaluated.
  • Persons who are excellent writers, good critical thinkers, and committed to completing assigned tasks in a professional and timely manner.”

In order to apply, resumes (at most five pages) must be sent to PerkinsIandMgrants@ed.gov by this Friday, June 7.

Appropriations Fact Sheet Shared by the House Committee on Appropriations

As the Fiscal Year 2020 (FY20) appropriations process continues, the House Committee on Appropriations released a one-page fact sheet on the FY20 Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies appropriations bill outlining some of the funding increases the bill allocated to the Departments of Labor, Health & Human Services and Education.

Meredith Hills, Policy Associate

Oregon’s Perkins V Planning Process Aims to Go Beyond Federal Compliance

June 3rd, 2019

While one-year transition plans for the Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act (Perkins V) now submitted, states are very involved in the process of developing their four-year plans, due in the spring of 2020. Advance CTE, in partnership with ACTE, has been contracted to facilitate and inform this process for the state of Oregon, and recently led a workshop with key state and regional leaders to focus on priority areas.

The workshop took place over the course of two days in April in Salem, Oregon, and included around 35 participants, including state-level staff from both the Department of Education and the Higher Education Coordinating Commission, as well as regional and institutional representatives and employer and workforce partners. The first day focused on facilitating discussions on Oregon’s previous use of Advance CTE’s Policy Benchmark Tool on program approval policies to examine program quality across secondary and postsecondary. Oregon began using the tool in 2018, and plan to use the findings to inform priorities for Perkins V planning.

On the second day, participants participated in prioritization exercises and provided input on Oregon’s forthcoming state vision and priorities for CTE. This vision and priorities will go beyond the requirements of Perkins V, and instead will leverage the federal law to promote a broad plan for success for Oregon learners. Participants also had conversations focused on equity, career advising and meaningful stakeholder engagement.

The workshop happened in the midst of Advance CTE and ACTE developing and Oregon leaders administering a statewide stakeholder survey, which focused on multiple measures of quality in CTE. Going forward, Advance CTE and ACTE will continue to work with Oregon state leaders, particularly in the facilitation of four work groups, each focused on a priority area identified by participants during the workshop and informed by data from the statewide survey. Oregon staff are also conducting stakeholder engagement activities and working across secondary and postsecondary to ensure that both the Perkins V state plan and broader strategic plan for CTE adequately address the needs of learners in Oregon.

Brianna McCain, Policy Associate

THIS WEEK IN CTE

May 31st, 2019

TWEET OF THE WEEK

ANNOUNCEMENT OF THE WEEK

Partnership to Advance Youth Apprenticeship Network and Grantees Announced

The Partnership to Advance Youth Apprenticeship (PAYA) is excited to announce the nine outstanding grantees and introduce the PAYA Network. Working with PAYA, these sites will launch and expand high-quality youth apprenticeship programs across the country. Read the press release to here learn more!

New Higher Education Experimental Sites Initiatives Announced

U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos shared details about new and updated higher education Experimental Sites Initiatives. The Experimental Sites Initiatives is authorized under the Higher Education Act to pilot and evaluate proposed changes in policy. Through each initiative, the Education Department waives the statutory or regulatory federal student aid requirements relative to that initiative for a limited number of institutions in order to test the effectiveness of that new program. This announcement included the expansion of the Second Chance Pell program, which allows incarcerated individuals to access Pell Grants, by providing an opportunity for additional institutions to apply for inclusion.

Learn more here.

To make sure you get the latest news and resources about federal policy that affects Career Technical Education (CTE), sign up for our Legislative Updates!

Rural Community College Grant Application Convenings

This summer the U.S. Department of Education and the American Association of Community Colleges will be co-hosting three convenings designed to help rural community colleges identify, plan, and design projects for federal grant applications. Activities will include facilitated workshops and information from federal agencies with upcoming grant opportunities. These convenings will take place at the following locations:

  • June 6–7 at Gateway Technical College, Racine, Wisconsin;
  • July 18–19 at Lakes Region Community College, Laconia, New Hampshire; and
  • September 12–13 at Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College, Biloxi, Mississippi.

VIDEO OF THE WEEK

Check out this video of U.S. Congressman for Rhode Island’s Second District speaking about the importance of CTE in regards to building and maintaining our country’s infrastructures. He noted research from the Brookings Institute that stated nearly three million skilled workers will be needed to support this work over the next decade. He asked for congressional leadership to prioritize workforce development in future legislation relevant to this topic crediting CTE as the strategy to use to help train the future workforce. Watch the video here.

Interested in advocating for CTE? Consider sharing the Double the Investment in CTE campaign. If you’re a business you can sign on here.

RESOURCE OF THE WEEK

Putting Pell Grants to Work for Working Students

In this report, the National Skills Coalition outlines policy recommendations and encourages Congress to recognize the important role of community and technical colleges in equipping working students and businesses with the credentials and skills needed in today’s economy. It also describes how increasing Pell eligibility for learners enrolled in short-term credential programs could help address the demand for qualified workers to fill “middle-skill” jobs. The report concludes with case studies highlighting Iowa and Virginia’s efforts to increase access to short-term programs through the GAP Tuition Assistance Program and New Economy Workforce Grant Program, respectively.

Read the report here.

 

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