States Continue to Make Progress on ESSA Implementation

December 6th, 2016

Last week we provided an update on new federal regulations clarifying the implementation timeline and requirements for the federal Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). Of note was the decision to delay the submission deadline for state plans to afford state agencies more time to meaningfully engage and gather input from stakeholders. This has been a priority activity for many states over the past several months. As state agencies have worked to draft and finalize their ESSA plans, many have made use of surveys, focus groups and listening tours to gather feedback from students, parents, educators and other relevant stakeholders.

To date, draft ESSA state plans are available for public comment in 10 states (though several others have released draft components): Arizona, Delaware, Idaho, Illinois, Louisiana, Montana, North Carolina, South Carolina, Oklahoma and Washington. At this point, several states have proposed strategies to leverage ESSA’s accountability requirements to encourage and expand quality career pathways through a College and Career Readiness indicator (CCR). California is a notable example, having adopted a such a system in September, though other states are considering this as well.

Based on feedback from stakeholders, Delaware proposed a “College and Career Preparation” indicator that includes the percent of students demonstrating postsecondary preparation through CTE pathway completion, dual enrollment, and other academic indicators such as Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate and SAT exam scores. Additionally, Oklahoma’s state plan proposes using industry credential attainment, along with AP/IB, as one measure of student access to postsecondary opportunity. And in South Carolina, the Department of Education designed its ESSA plan around a 90 percent college and and career readiness goal for graduating students by 2030. As an interim measure of progress towards this goal, the plan proposes adopting a “Prepared for Success” indicator that measures high school students’ scores on WorkKeys assessments, participation in Youth Apprenticeships, completion of state-approved CTE pathways and industry credential attainment. This list is by no means exhaustive, but nonetheless provides a snapshot of how some states are approaching this opportunity.

Other states have found opportunities to prioritize career readiness strategies throughout the ESSA planning process. For example:TN ESSA

  • In response to its cross-state listening tour, Tennessee released an update on its ESSA plan development, reporting that one of the priority themes from the listening tour was creating a bridge to postsecondary. As such, Tennessee aims to leverage its ESSA planning to encourage and expand access to early postsecondary opportunities, including industry credentials and postsecondary credit attainment.
  • In compliance with ESSA’s requirement of challenging state standards and assessments, the Montana State Board of Education in November approved an updated standards review schedule to ensure that standards in specific program areas are regularly reviewed and revised. The first cycle of review, beginning in 2016, will examine standards for CTE, Digital Literacy, and Computer Science.
  • Washington State’s plan proposes utilizing the state’s High School and Beyond Plan as a strategy to support student learning and achievement. Students develop their High School and Beyond Plans in middle school with support from family members and school based counselors. The Plan identifies the student’s interests and abilities and defines a plan that is linked to his or her career goals.

With ESSA state plans due to be submitted in 2017, many states have yet to formalize their strategies under the new K-12 education law. Advance CTE  will monitor state plans and proposals as they are released to share emerging strategies and opportunities to leverage the law to advance career readiness and CTE as ESSA continues to be implemented over the coming years.

Austin Estes, Policy Associate

Betsy DeVos Nominated to Head U.S. Department of Education

November 30th, 2016

B99468301Z.1_20161123141018_000_GOR18773B.1-0President-Elect Donald Trump has been busy the past few weeks identifying individuals to fill key cabinet-level positions in his new administration. Just before Thanksgiving Day Trump announced that Betsy DeVos would be his nominee to lead the U.S. Department of Education (USDE). Her nomination will need to be considered by the Senate Education Committee (HELP) next year and is subject to confirmation by the full chamber.

Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-TN), who heads the Senate HELP Committee, applauded DeVos’ nomination saying, “Betsy DeVos is an excellent choice. The Senate’s education committee will move swiftly in January to consider her nomination.” The chairman also noted that he looked forward to working with her on the ongoing implementation of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) and on the forthcoming reauthorization of the Higher Education Act (HEA) in the next Congress. While much is known about DeVos’ positions on secondary education, particularly her steadfast support charter school policies and school choice, her views on many postsecondary issues remain somewhat less understood at this time.

Ranking Member Patty Murray (D-WA), the lead Democrat on the Senate HELP Committee, issued a more measured statement regarding the nomination saying, in part, “I look forward to meeting with Betsy DeVos and talking to her about her vision for the Department of Education and whether and how it includes expanding access to educational opportunities for students across the country.”

Mrs. DeVos is best known for her political advocacy in the state of Michigan promoting pro-charter school policies. She also is the Chairwoman for the American Federation for Children—an advocacy organization focused on promoting school choice policies at the federal, state, and local level among other endeavors.

DeVos and her husband Dick are also ardent financial supporters of the Republican Party, particularly in their home state of Michigan where Dick ran an unsuccessful gubernatorial campaign in 2006. Through this work, the couple has been extremely successful in enacting pro-school choice policies in the state of Michigan to promote charter schools via voucher programs and tax credits among other policy prescriptions. Mrs. DeVos’ husband also founded and runs the West Michigan Aviation Academy— a theme-based charter school in Grand Rapids, MI focused on the aviation and engineering fields.

While Mrs. DeVos’ views on CTE are unknown, her upcoming nomination process in the 115th Congress will shed more light on this critical topic and more. With Senators Murray and Alexander set to lead the HELP Committee next year for their respective parties, and further changes to the committee composition likely, Advance CTE will continue to monitor and engage with this process to ensure CTE and related federal legislation are prioritized by the incoming USDE leadership team.

Steve Voytek, Government Relations Manager

Two weeks left to apply to the 2017 Excellence in Action Award!

November 29th, 2016

Submit your program of study for this nation-wide award that recognizes innovative and exemplary programs across the 16 Career Clusters. In its fourth year, the Excellence in Action award has recognized 26 programs of study from across the country representing the best of  Career Technical Education (CTE). Join this cohort and submit your application to the Excellence in Action award by December 14. Iowa

Why Should You Apply?

Receiving the Excellence in Action award means your program of study will be showcased on a national level through conferences, webinars, in the media, on our website and in our blog. It’s a chance to show the rest of the country how your program of study prepares students for successful and meaningful careers through high-quality CTE. If you want to see examples of some stellar programs of study, take a look at the 2014, 2015, and 2016 winners.

For questions about the application, or application process, email awards@careertech.org or call 301-588-9630.

Katie Fitzgerald, Senior Associate, Communications 

Getting to Know … Maine

November 21st, 2016

Note: This is part of Advance CTE’s blog series, “Getting to Know …” We are using this series to help our readers learn more about specific states, State CTE Directors, partners and more.

State Name: Maine maine dept of ed

State CTE Director: Margaret Harvey, Director of Career Technical Education, Maine Department of Education

About Maine: In Maine, the state Board of Education is the eligible agency that receives and distributes federal Carl D. Perkins dollars. These funds are split evenly between the secondary and postsecondary sectors. At the secondary level, state law requires all students to be able to access CTE programs, which they can do through one of 27 CTE instructional facilities. There are two types of facilities: CTE Centers, which are administered by local education agencies, and CTE Regions, which are governed by a cooperative board representing districts in the region. Since Maine does not have comprehensive high schools, students receive academic instruction through their sending high schools and CTE instruction through CTE Centers or Regions.

Additionally, Maine has a proficiency-based graduation system that enables students to receive a secondary diploma by demonstrating competencies aligned with the Maine Learning Results standards. Earlier this year, the legislature updated the policy to enable CTE classes to satisfy some of the proficiency-based graduation requirements, considerably increasing the opportunity for secondary students to pursue CTE courses. Maine is further working to integrate technical and academic standards through CTE Intersections Workshops, which convene CTE, math and English Language Arts teachers to discuss intersections in their curricula. By 2017, the state aims to have completed intersections for 11 program pathways.

Maine recently revamped their teacher certification requirements to enable more business and industry experts to enter the classroom. They also adopted a regional calendar law to ensure students could attain the industry recognized credentials available in their programs.

Postsecondary Counterpart: Maine secondary and postsecondary CTE institutions maintain a close partnership to enable students to have a smooth transition to postsecondary education. Maine secondary CTE also communicates with the Maine Department of Labor to create pre-apprenticeships and mentorships for Maine students.

Programs of Study (POS): Maine has adopted ten Career Clusters® and 25 related pathways at the state level, and local schools and districts are able to develop their own programs based on these frameworks. Programs must be aligned to national- or state-certified industry standards and undergo an approval process by the state Department of Education, including review by an industry stakeholder group. Each program is reviewed by the Department of Education every six years, with an abbreviated review every three, though local CTE administrators conduct more routine program assessments through required Program Advisory Committees (PAC) and Center Advisory Committees (CAC). These committees review programs regularly to ensure they continue to meet industry standards and local industry needs.

Notable in Maine: The state has made efforts in recent years to support the transition from secondary to postsecondary through statewide articulation agreements and the Bridge Year program. Four statewide articulation agreements — in culinary arts, electrical, machine tool and, soon, auto technology programs — enable students to apply credits earned in high school towards a postsecondary degree at one of Maine’s public colleges and/or universities. Additionally, Maine encourages school districts to enter into their own articulation and dual enrollment agreements with corresponding community colleges, universities, and private postsecondary institutions to ensure students have a seamless pathway.

The Bridge Year program is a cohort-based early college program that starts during the junior year of high school. Bridge Year is designed to prepare students for college and careers through technical instruction, career assessments and advising, job shadowing experiences and dual credit coursework. In 2013, the state legislature passed a law to provide funding for dual enrollment CTE programs such as Bridge Year and enable students to earn high school diplomas and postsecondary credit through such programs. In the 2015-16 academic year, 224 students were enrolled in Bridge Year and were projected to earn 3,360 postsecondary credits.

Moving forward, Maine plans to take advantage of the state’s new proficiency-based graduation requirements to promote the benefits of CTE and encourage and allow more students to enroll.

Austin Estes, Policy Associate

This Week in CTE: It’s Apprenticeship Week!

November 18th, 2016

We’re celebrating apprenticeship week this week honoring the role apprenticeships play in helping businesses train accomplished employees, and offering a way for learners to gain the skills they need to be successful in the workplace, while earning a wage while doing so. Below you’ll find a number of resources highlighting the importance of supporting apprenticeships at the national, state and local levels, to ensure learners are prepared for a lifetime of career success.

RESOURCE OF THE WEEK

Connecting the Classroom to Careers: Leveraging Intermediaries to Expand Work-based Learning, brief explores the role of intermediaries at the school, region and state levels, who coordinate between educators and employers to develop critical work-based learning opportunities for students. Learn more about South Carolina’s Apprenticeship Carolina program, which provides critical support to education institutions and employers around the state’s growing Registered Youth Apprenticeships and adult Registered Apprenticeships.

POLICY OF THE WEEK

Tech Ready Apprentices for Careers in Kentucky (TRACK) is a youth pre-apprenticeship program that stands out as an innovative example of effective collaboration between the Kentucky Labor Cabinet, the Kentucky Department of Education’s Office of Career and Technical Education, employers and labor to strengthen students’ career pathways and the talent pipeline. Learn more about TRACK through a webinar we held with Appalachia Regional Comprehensive Center.

PROGRAM OF THE WEEK

Upper Valley Career Center in Piqua, Ohio, is a two-year full-time academic and technical high school that includes a Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) program of study, with a pre-apprenticeship fully embedded into the program. The pre-apprenticeship program offers students the option of continuing on in a Registered Apprenticeship or non-registered apprenticeship, full-time employment, or additional postsecondary education and training, depending on the opportunities provided by the employer sponsor and student choice. Students have access to apprenticeships with 23 employers, providing them with a multitude of paths to continuing into a career of their choice, such as Cammi Clement, who graduated from UVCC, became an apprentice at Emerson Climate Technologies, and was offered full-time employment and tuition reimbursement upon completion of the program.

EVENT OF THE WEEK: Save the Date!

Save May 4th-5th, 2017 for Apprenticeship Forward, a national conference of leading practitioners from the apprenticeship field including industry associations and employers; unions and labor-management partnerships; community-based organizations; community colleges; high schools; and workforce boards–as well as federal and state policymakers from throughout the country. The event will focus on three critical challenges facing the expansion of apprenticeship:

  • Increasing industry engagement across a range of sectors and firms;AF logo large
  • Addressing equity while diversifying the apprenticeship pipeline; and
  • Implementing new public policies that can take apprenticeship to scale.

Apprenticeship Forward will feature engaging plenaries and breakout panels as well as interactive discussions between attendees about their efforts within specific industries and with specific groups of students and prospective workers.

Sponsoring Partners include:  National Skills Coalition, New America, AFL-CIO Working for America Institute, Advance CTE, National Association of Workforce Boards, National Fund for Workforce Solutions, National Governors Association, and Urban Institute

Katie Fitzgerald, Senior Associate, Communications

Putting the Learner First in Career Technical Education

November 15th, 2016

Now that the election has finally come to a close, it’s time to refocus our energy on solving the challenges USCC_FOUNDATION_ID_RGB_1360pxfacing this country. And one of those challenges is connecting people to jobs. On average, employers have been adding 178,000 jobs per month this year. That’s 178,000 opportunities for businesses to connect with the talent they need to be competitive and 178,000 opportunities for people to access the jobs and careers that lead to economic self-sufficiency. However, with hopes that the economy will continue to experience growth, there is less optimism that business will find the workers they need to fill this expansion.

This challenge is particularly acute given the large population of workers nearing retirement and the need for employees to have a different set of skills and competencies than in the past. To address this challenge, this country needs to commit to new approaches that ensure young adults exiting our education and training systems are not only prepared to make the transition into the world of work but are also prepared to be drivers of innovation for this economy. In other words, how do we move students from being career ready to career competitive?

Career Technical Education (CTE) advocates, Advance CTE, and their partners representing a variety of stakeholders are answering that very question. Charting a new pathway for CTE, Advance CTE’s vision is focused on building the talented workforce this country needs to compete by “putting the learner first” in CTE programming. A key tenant of this effort is providing opportunities for learners to make meaningful connections with employers; yet, this type of access cannot occur without implementing new models of employer engagement and leadership in CTE.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s (USCCF) recent youth employment series highlights demand-driven approaches for chambers and other business associations looking to help America’s economy grow, businesses remain competitive, and provide students access to opportunities for success. In alignment with the Advance CTE vision for a revitalized CTE, USCCF’s work focuses on developing and implementing sustainable processes for employers to inform, validate, and participate in the implementation of career pathways. The four-part series includes:

USCCF is committed to putting the learner first by organizing the business community in new ways.

Learn more at YouthEmploymentWorks.org.

Erica Kashiri is Director of Policy and Programs at USCCF’s Center for Education and Workforce.

Choice and options among two of many reasons Finland gets Career Technical Education right

November 15th, 2016

Guest blogger Elizabeth Radday, Learning Support teacher at The Marvelwood School, recently spent six months in Finland, where she studied how their innovative vocational education system works for all students, including students with learning disabilities. Here she shares five lessons she learned about vocational education in Finland. This post is part of our ongoing series exploring international Career Technical Education (CTE) systems with Asia Society.

By guest blogger Elizabeth A. Radday

I recently returned from a six-month stay in Finland as a Fulbright Distinguished Award in Teaching grantee. I went to Finland hoping to learn more about education for students with learning disabilities at the upper secondary (high school) level and came home with a new outlook on vocational education. Finland, a country that has consistently been at or near the top of international tests of educational comparison such as the PISA, not only has great education for students through age fifteen, their upper secondary model is one that other countries should look to as an exemplary model of vocational education.

I fell into vocational education in Finland because that is where I found most special needs students. However, I was reminded over and over again that students choose to enter vocational school and it is not a system where kids with learning disabilities are tracked into a path with a dead end.

What do they get right that we can use a model to move the United States toward a respected system of vocational education for high school students? Here are five lessons I learned about vocational education in Finland.

1. Vocational education is a choice.
In Finland, there is an almost equal split between students who choose to go to vocational school and general upper secondary school (the traditional high school). And choice is a key word in that sentence; it is one of the most important reasons Finnish vocational education succeeds in Finland in ways it doesn’t in other countries.

During the winter and spring of ninth grade, students apply to their top five upper secondary school choices. I have heard over and over from parents, teachers, and students, that where students go for high school is truly their choice. Most students feel no pressure from their parents to go on to one path or the other, and both options lead students on successful career pathways of their choice. Parents emphasize that they want their children to be happy and successful in whatever path they choose, so they encourage their children to make the choice they feel fits them best.

Students gave me a variety of reasons why they chose one school or another, but they all emphasized it was their personal decision. Some say they chose a general upper secondary school, or lukio, because they have hopes of attending a university and studying for a certain career that will require higher education like being a doctor or teacher. Others chose a lukio because they weren’t sure what they want to do as a career yet, and lukio gives them three more years to figure that out.

Students who chose a vocational path knew what they wanted to do and were eager to learn skills for that career. Some were motivated to start working and earn money after only three years of school and didn’t have to go to university. Some were looking for a practical and well-defined future in a specific field. Vocational school is highly respected and seen as the more practical, well-defined, and more secure path for many students!

Read the rest of this article and learn more about Finland’s system on Education Week’s Global Learning blog

This Week in CTE

November 10th, 2016

TWEET OF THE WEEK

ARTICLE OF THE WEEK

As the election passes, with little details from the campaign to draw on, Education Week reflects on what a Trump administration may mean for education.

RESOURCE OF THE WEEK

Check out this new infographic on how U.S. executives view the skills gap and its impact on the American workforce.

RESEARCH OF THE WEEK

A new study took a look at the effects of programs of study on high school performance and found enrollment improved students’ probability of graduation by 11.3 percent, and that each additional CTE credit earned increased their probability of graduation by 4 percent.

Katie Fitzgerald, Senior Associate, Communications 

Apply Today for the 2017 Excellence in Action Award!

October 26th, 2016

Advance CTE’s annual Excellence in Action award applications are open! This award recognizes exemplary local programs of study across the 162017ExcellenceinAction_final Career Clusters that demonstrate excellence in the implementation of the Career Clusters, show a true progression from secondary to postsecondary education, provide meaningful work-based learning opportunities, and have a substantial and evidence-based impact on student achievement and success.

 
WHY APPLY?
This award will showcase your program of study on a national platform at conferences, in the media, on our website and blog, and more.

In fact, all winners were highlighted in Education Week in May, a few of the 2016 award winners were highlighted in a recent op-ed in Real Clear Education, while a student from Upper Valley Career Center, a 2015 award recipient, was profiled in the New York Times. Advance CTE provides winners with a press release and two-pager to circulate to their networks, resulting in a number of articles featuring winning programs.

 
AWARD CRITERIA & ELIGIBILITY

Criteria: Selected programs will exemplify excellence in:

  • Implementing Career Cluster®-based programs of study;
  • Maintaining effective employer and business partnerships;
  • Demonstrating alignment to rigorous and relevant college- and career-ready expectations;
  • Demonstrating a clear progression of knowledge and skills and student transitions across secondary and postsecondary systems;
  • Integrating successful career guidance and advisement;
  • Integrating high-quality work-based learning experiences;
  • Highlighting alignment to workforce and employer needs in the community; and
  • Providing concrete data on the program of study’s impact on student achievement and success at both the secondary and postsecondary levels.

Eligibility:

  • This award is open to any secondary or postsecondary schools or colleges in the United States. Your school or institution may submit one application per Career Cluster;
  • The program of study must have at least one full graduating class or cohort; and
    Applications that do not include data to support positive impact on student achievement will not be eligible for consideration.

Join us for a webinar on November 10 at 11 a.m. ET that will dive into the application process, and feature a few of the 2016 award recipients and a member of the selection committee who will provide tips on what makes an award-winning application.

Katie Fitzgerald, Senior Associate, Communications 

Staff Reflections of the 2016 Fall Meeting (Continued)

October 24th, 2016

Last week, Advance CTE held its 2016 Fall Meeting bringing together attendees from across the country to take a deep dive into all things Career Technical Education (CTE). Advance CTE staff reflects on the Fall Meeting in Baltimore, Maryland in this two-part series. 

Breakout Sessions Create Space for Shared Learning

Each year, Advance CTE’s convenings bring together experts, administrators and researchers from around the country to learn from one another and share ideas about how to improve the quality of CTE programs in their respective states. This is why the concurrent breakout sessions, which each cover a relevant and challenging topic in CTE, are so valuable – because they create an opportunity for attendees to learn from and engage with leaders in this work.

The breakout sessions at the Fall Meeting were oriented around different components of a high-quality CTE system, highlighting specific strategies that have been successful in other states. Topics included:

  • College-and career-ready accountability frameworks;
  • Understanding what your data is telling you to drive change;
  • Mapping Upward: Stackable credentials that lead to careers; and
  • Building and scaling effective work-based learning programs.

I had the pleasure of organizing and attending the last session on work-based learning, which was led by Heather Justice, Executive Director of Career and Technical Education at the Tennessee Department of Education. Tennessee has covered significant ground in recent years towards a new, collective vision for work-based learning. Heather shared a little bit about the state’s vision – a student-centered approach that aims to equip students with relevant skills along a continuum of exploratory and immersive experiences – and explained how her state plans to track student progress and ensure program quality. She also addressed some common myths about work-based learning, such as the belief that employers can’t work with minors (in Tennessee, students as young as 16 can participate, and the state’s workers’ compensation policy protects students, regardless of age).

All in all, the sessions provided ample opportunity for attendees to connect with counterparts in other states and learn about strategies to address common challenges.

Austin Estes, Policy Associate

Collaboration Roundtables Explore Opportunities to Lead through Change

All of our members are facing uncertainty and potentially big changes in their states over the next year. Whether or not Perkins is reauthorized this year, states are still facing policy shifts as CTE and career readiness continue to gain more attention from the public. For this reason, in addition to sessions that discussed specific policies, we designed a few sessions about how to manage these changes as a system.

First, Ellyn Artis, Strategic Consulting Program Manager at Hobson’s, kicked off the first full day of the meeting with a session on leading through change. She reminded us all that we can either resist change, be acted upon by change, or lead change – but no matter what, the change will happen. She then introduced several tools to help with this work, all of which can be found in her slides here. The tools and framework introduced help to ground her discussion of change management in a way that would allow any education leader to understand and discuss it with others.

This theme of change management was followed up later in the day with our collaboration roundtables. For this meeting, we designed each interactive roundtable to focus on a theme around implementation. Topics included setting a statewide vision, secondary and postsecondary alignment, state and local alignment, quality and access in rural regions, targeted stakeholder messaging and telling your story with data. Participants in these sessions heard examples from states on how they tackle these issues, and then joined in facilitated activities and discussions on various topics. Each roundtable finished with staff asking participants how Advance CTE can help in this area, and we received a lot of great ideas and requests, which we will take with us into our planning for 2017.

As Advance CTE Board President Jo Anne Honeycutt stated when introducing Ellyn Artis, state efforts do not need to be driven by Perkins or other federal legislation. Rather, states can develop and implement their own visions for change and reform, and leverage federal and other initiatives to support that vision.

Ashleigh McFadden, State Policy Manager

Transition: An Underlying Theme at the Fall Meeting

Fall is a time of transition. The beauty of the season belies its reality, which requires us to let go of some things we have grown to have comfort with and to prepare for an unknown and unpredictable future.

I felt it was fitting that transition ended up being an underlying theme at the Advance CTE fall meeting.  Looming before us is a new federal CTE law and a new administration. This set on the backdrop of ever-changing expectations of the workplace and economy. And yet, to me this transition is not daunting. Why? Our shared vision for the future of CTE ensures we have aligned goals and collective focus. And at the meeting, I observed a steadfast commitment to equity, access and quality and the willingness to effort the leadership necessary to thrive in this time of change. I am optimistic for the future. Together, we are advancing CTE.

Kim Green, Executive Director

A Topical Wrap-Up: Industry Experts and Credentials of Value

Our annual meetings are often the perfect opportunity to dig into many of the most pressing issues our members and the broader CTE community are facing. This past fall meeting was no different, with sessions on critical topics like work-based learning, career-ready accountability indicators and stackable credentials.

On the last day of our meeting in particular, we had the chance to focus on two particularly acute challenges faced by states – how to recruit qualified industry experts into the classroom and how to identify quality industry-recognized credentials. Offering a preview of research to be released later this year, Advance CTE’s state policy manager, Ashleigh McFadden, and Catherine Jacques from AIR’s Center for Great Teachers and Leaders shared some early insights into potential strategies and barriers to recruiting industry experts into secondary classrooms. Based on a survey of 45 State CTE Directors and almost 300 local CTE leaders and partners, they identified a few early trends, including the pervasive use of alternative certification, which, on its own, is proving to be insufficient to address the CTE teacher shortage. A major takeaway is that states and locals can and should be creative and think outside the box and consider bringing experts into high schools in less formal roles like mentors, advisors or part-time instructors.

In addition, a panel featuring a number of national initiatives to make sense of the “wild world” of industry-recognized credentials raised a number of important questions like: what makes up a quality credential, what are processes that can be put in place for evaluating credentials, and how can we build out data systems and supports to actually measure credentials’ impact on students? Led by Workcred’s Roy Swift and ACTE’s Catherine Imperatore, participants got an update on key efforts like the Credential Transparency Initiative and the Certification Data Exchange Project.  The session was moderated by Rod Duckworth of Florida, a state leading the nation in industry credential validation, recently featured in Advance CTE’s brief “Credentials of Value: State Strategies for Identifying and Endorsing Industry-Recognized Credentials.”

While both sessions only scratched the surface on these critical but incredibly complicated issues, they generated important questions and lessons from the audience and will continue to be priority for Advance CTE’s research, resources and events moving forward.

Kate Kreamer, Deputy Executive Director

 

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