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National Association of State Directors of Career
Technical Education Consortium (NASDCTEc)

Getting to Know … Michigan

June 1st, 2015

Note: NASDCTEc has launched a new blog series called, “Getting to Know …” We are using this series to help our readers learn more about specific states, State CTE Directors, our partners and more. Check out our first entry about Florida!

State Name: Michigancte-logo-michigan

State CTE Director: Patty Cantu, State CTE Director, Office of Career & Technical Education, Michigan Department of Education (MDE)

Postsecondary Counterpart: None. Michigan may be the only state in the nation that does not have a state agency or governing body responsible for higher education. MDE and the Workforce Development Agency work collaboratively with the deans of the colleges and universities to foster and promote postsecondary CTE connections.

About Michigan CTE: In the Great Lakes State, secondary CTE is delivered through comprehensive high schools and career centers. In 2011, 33 percent, or 115,214, of juniors and seniors were enrolled in CTE programs, with 19 percent of those completing their CTE program. Of the 16 Career Clusters® in the state, Business, Management and Administration; Marketing Sales and Service; and Health Science are the three most popular programs within secondary CTE. The state’s graduation requirements often forced CTE to compete for space in a student’s schedule. In 2014, lawmakers made changes to the state’s graduation requirements to allow CTE course equivalencies to count toward graduation in science, physical education and foreign languages as well as math, in some cases. State officials expect this change to boost the number of students taking – and completing – CTE programs.

Postsecondary is delivered largely through community colleges. With more than 200,000 students enrolled across all programs, the most popular are Health Science; Business, Management and Administration; and Law, Public Safety, Corrections, Security.

About the state CTE office: MDE is the sole agency responsible for the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act (Perkins) and has 26 people on staff. The state’s Perkins funding is divided with 60 percent dedicated to secondary CTE and 40 percent for postsecondary. MDE has a memorandum of understanding with the state’s Workforce Development Agency to distribute the federal postsecondary CTE funds to the state’s community colleges.

Programs of Study (POS): Education in Michigan is governed heavily through local control, meaning that all programs of study are locally developed. However, to garner state approval, CTE programs of study must have strong postsecondary connections. In recent years, the number of statewide articulation agreements has grown. The state posts all secondary CTE standards on the website, CTEnavigator.org, which state officials say has helped encourage these statewide agreements.

Notable in Michigan: Prior to 2006, Michigan had just two early/middle college high schools, which is a five-year high school that allows students to earn a high school diploma and substantial transcript college credit. Then-Gov. Jennifer Granholm targeted early colleges as a way to bolster the state’s talent pipeline in the health field, where there was a growing need for skilled workers. Granholm and lawmakers allocated funding to launch early colleges with a healthcare focus, and once state funding faded away, school districts continued to establish these early colleges. Today, there are 90 early colleges in Michigan, with many of them having an explicit CTE focus and the rest offering CTE courses for students.

Gov. Rick Snyder has long promoted CTE as a critical piece of the state’s economic development strategy, which led, most recently, to his proposal to designate $18 million funding for early colleges in his 2015 budget. Snyder also continues his effort to boost the skilled trades, including a $50 million grant program for the state’s community colleges. Last week, Snyder launched a new campaign to highlight the skilled trades with help from TV host Mike Rowe. The campaign includes videos targeting K-12 students and addresses common myths of trade careers.

Andrea Zimmermann, State Policy Associate

 

 

 

 

This Week in CTE

May 15th, 2015

TWEET OF THE WEEK
@OECD_Edu Investing in #education matters for long-term inclusive growth, but how countries invest matters more http://bit.ly/1EKk1wf  #OECDwk    blog-thumbnail-thiswek
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RESEARCH REPORT OF THE WEEK
2015 Building a Grad Nation Report
This annual report released by Alliance for Excellent Education, America’s Promise Alliance, Civic Enterprises and the Everyone Graduates Center at Johns Hopkins University states high school graduation rates have reached 81.4 percent, and that the nation is on track to reach a 90 percent on-time graduation rate by 2020.
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ARTICLE OF THE WEEK
The Classrooms Where Students Are In Charge
The United Technical Center in West Virginia hosts area high school students every day to take part in a simulated workplace, where they learn how to run meetings, show up to work on time, work with their peers among other employability skills along with the technical skills they’d normally learn in a classroom.
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VIDEO OF THE WEEK
NASDCTEc’s newest video showcases the Career Technical Education Program of Study framework and how it contributes to student success.
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PARTNER UPDATE OF THE WEEK
SkillsUSA turned 50!
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Katie Fitzgerald, Communications Associate

Inside International CTE: Australia’s Challenges and Advice

May 1st, 2015

This interview with Dr. Phillip Rutherford, one of the world’s leading experts on VET/CTE training and education systems, explores the CTE/VET system in Australia. He has been central in the introduction of such systems in many countries, including the United Kingdom, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, South East Asia, and the Middle East. The interview was conducted by Katie Fitzgerald of NASDCTEc and is part of our ongoing series examining international education systems in partnership with Asia Society’s Global Learning blog on Ed Week.

  1. Every system has its challenges – what are yours? What are some solutions you are looking to implement?

What was once one of the best CTE/VET systems in the world is now considered to be slipping by those who work within it. In the 1990s, the purpose of CTE was to prepare people for careers or lifelong learning. The system was based singularly around the skills and knowledge needed to succeed in the workplace and the successes it achieved were measured by how well individuals and teams improved and, by extension, the economy grew.

But that has changed. Today we have a system that is very similar to that which existed in the 1980s when the notion of workplace competence was centered only on what could be taught for the a specific workplace, not what was needed of a competent worker. There is reliance on the qualification as the indicator of competence, and as a result, supervisors and managers have to work hard to identify the gaps new employees have in their skills and knowledge, and provide additional resources to bring their competence to a level acceptable to the employer.

All VET systems have this objective: To help students get a job, get a better job, get better at their job, or when all else fails, to create a job. But there is not a great deal of evidence in Australia that this is happening. There are numbers that tell us how many students have undertaken VET courses, or the total of vacancies being filled having increased or decreased, but these statistics don’t tell us how well our economy is growing as a result of the VET system.

As a result, many private training providers have become disillusioned with the way the Australian system is structured and managed. They don’t like being monitored by the federal government and having to reframe the programs they offer to meet the quality criteria of external auditors. This is especially true of those training providers whose main focus is on the skills needs of their students and their current or future employers.

From what I’ve seen, the best VET/CTE systems around the world have a very complex system that is made up of many moving parts, all working in tandem, to provide a whole system that begins with a vision for the national economy and finishes with an evaluation of whether or not this vision is being achieved. Our system has become very linear – beginning with the development of curriculum (with little or no needs analysis), progressing to the hands of training organizations that conduct the course, and finishing with students who are expected to apply their new skills and knowledge in the workplace. The implication of this is that being “qualified” is the same as being “competent.” More needs to be done in the Australian system to turn this belief into reality.

The real challenge is this: If the VET system in Australia is to survive, will it be better to start all over again, or cut it right back to the basics and begin to rebuild? There are many who are calling for the former as they don’t believe it can get better, but there are also many who, like me, know how well it can work and can see that within the current system there are many good elements that can be saved.

  1. What advice do you have for other systems attempting to reform their VET/CTE systems? What are some of the policies in Australia that could assist others in overcoming the challenges they face in VET/CTE?

Right now there are over 150 different VET systems in the world. Some are very linear and concentrate only on low-level training and others are highly complex and aimed at national and international competitiveness. Very few give as their prime focus the needs of the workplaces in which graduates of CTE/VET programs expect to be employed. As a result, after more than 25 years’ experience pursuing the promise of an integrated and workplace-centered education and training system, few countries can point to their CTE/VET system as being the prime reason for economic success. This, after all, should be the purpose of every CTE/VET system but there is little evidence of this either driving the systems found around the world or achieving what such a system should achieve.

I have either designed or been involved in the creation of VET systems adopted by several countries, and in each case I have strongly encouraged the key decision makers to focus on one thing – the purpose of the system. Once the purpose is defined, and everything put in place to ensure that both the purpose and the system continually adjust to meet evolving economic and individual needs, then what will emerge is the type of system that the country requires. It will do more than just train people; it will ensure that people are given the support (including training) to achieve objectives important to themselves, their employers, their communities and their country.

A national system has to be aligned against national interests which, by extension, should also be those of the states. In Australia we have a fair way to go before this ideal is achieved but we continue to look to the U.S., Japan, Switzerland and other countries for solutions to our shared challenges.

 Katie Fitzgerald, Communications Associate

CTE Research Review

April 30th, 2015

teachersToday in CTE research … a scan of career pathway models, a peek into employers’ views on competency-based education, recommendations to strengthen the teacher pipeline, and research into the labor market’s return on investment for higher education.

First up – MDRC’s new research, “New Pathways to Careers and College: Examples, Evidence, and Prospects

Over the years, the high school reform debate has evolved to view CTE as a means to prepare all students for success in college and careers, and CTE programs are changing along with it. More programs are emerging that blend CTE, rigorous academic coursework and opportunities for career exploration. With that in mind, MDRC researchers took a first-ever scan of the most prominent career pathway models and their underlying principles, the localities where they are most popular, and some evidence of success.

At least one career pathway model can be found in high schools in virtually every state and most large cities, the researchers argue, and yet still only a small percentage of students are enrolled in pathways that include the key elements of success. Much work remains to scale programs that are anchored by infrastructure that ensures high-quality implementation, sustainability and continuous improvement.

NASDCTEc Executive Director Kimberly Green and Oklahoma State CTE Director Marcie Mack were among the national experts interviewed for this report.

The Pipeline of Teachers

ACT and the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) have published new research that takes a closer look at the pipeline of future
teachers as well as how they fare during their first five years in the classroom.

In “The Condition of Future Educators 2014,” ACT examines which students are expressing interest an education career from administration to classroom teachers, and found that the number of students interested in becoming educators continues to drop significantly – just five percent of all ACT-tested graduates. There continues to be a lack of men and diversity among those who expressed interest in the profession. The study was based on the 57 percent, or 27,000 students, of the U.S. graduation class who took the ACT test in 2014.

Among the findings, just one percent, or 224 students, planned to make CTE teaching a focus of their postsecondary pursuits.

The report offered three recommendations to help drive more high-achieving and diverse students into the teacher pipeline:

  • Recruit high-achieving college students who are undecided about their future careers;
  • Promote alternative pathways to teaching; and
  • Improve educator benefits.

At NCES, researchers provided a first look at the results of a nationally representative study of 2,000 teachers who entered the profession in 2007-08. After five years in the field, 17 percent of the teachers were no longer teaching, the study found. Salary was one of the greatest reasons why teachers remained in the profession. Education level had little impact. Those teachers who started with a $40,000 salary were more likely to still be teaching a year later.

Competency-based Education

Competency-based education (CBE) is gaining traction in communities across the country, particularly within higher education. But what do we know about how employers see it?

The American Enterprise Institute recently published a first-of-its-kind survey of 500 hiring managers to better understand how employers view CBE. The study found:

  • Overall employer awareness of CBE was low despite engagement efforts;
  • Those who were aware of CBE, a small minority, generally viewed the model and its graduates favorably;
  • The lack of awareness correlated to employers’ lack of understanding the benefits of hiring graduates of CBE programs;
  • Employers struggle to articulate discreet needs as competencies, and rather continue to hire based on generalizations of a new hire’s “fit”, which makes it difficult to create an effective competency map;
  • Two-thirds of employers believe they could be doing a better job of identifying students with the specific skill set required for the job.

Andrea Zimmermann, State Policy Associate

Inside International CTE: Australia

April 29th, 2015

This interview with Dr. Phillip Rutherford, one of the world’s leading experts on VET/CTE training and education systems, explores the CTE/VET system in Australia. He has been central in the introduction of such systems in many countries, including the United Kingdom, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, South East Asia, and the Middle East. The interview was conducted by Katie Fitzgerald of NASDCTEc and is part of our ongoing series examining international education systems in partnership with Asia Society’s Global Learning blog on Ed Week.

  1. What is the progression of Vocational Education and Training (VET)/CTE in Australia?australia

The VET system in Australia is unique in that it was among the first in the world to identify, on a national basis, the skills and knowledge required of competent employees in the workplace. Competent, in this respect, meaning not only the possession of certain skills and knowledge but also the proven ability to apply these in different situations and contexts, individually as well as in teams (where necessary), and in a managed, self-directed and self-motivated way.

This enabled employers to have greater control over what was taught to potential employees and helped smooth their pathway into the workforce. However, over the years the processes has become more aligned with what adult educators are capable of teaching as opposed to what workplaces need, and has begun to lose its direct connection to the workplace. So even though VET in Australia continues to focus on trades and entry-level professional skills, those who teach within this system are expected to be in continuous touch with what current and future employers want from graduates of their courses even though that is not always possible. For example, in a large city it is easy to teach ICT programs on the assumption that students have access to a wide range of technology and software, whereas in a small country center it has to be assumed that students do not have such access. Regardless of access to the technology or industry, the curriculum remains pretty much the same and is just contextualized to local conditions.

One unique feature of Australia’s VET system is that the standards against which vocational curricula are developed are based on the skills and knowledge required within individual industries, and are created to meet the needs of specific industries and trade sectors. They are not aligned against individual workplaces but are sufficiently flexible to enable trainers to contextualize their programs to meet the needs of local and regional employers.

Students’ skills and knowledge can then be assessed on the job and under realistic working conditions. Once students meet the standards – whether through the studies they undertake as part of the course or by bringing forward skills and knowledge they gained elsewhere – they receive the same certification as someone who entered the training program directly.

  1. Please describe the landscape of Career Technical Education/VET in Australia:

What percentage of the student population is a CTE/VET student?

Students in Australia completing their secondary studies go either directly to university as undergraduates or into the labor market. Therefore, under law, all students must take part in VET studies, either integrated with their academic subjects or as stand-alone apprenticeships or trainee programs as part of their secondary education.

VET is taught in schools as a means of giving all students part or all of a vocational qualification (certificate) prior to entry into the workforce. Like the U.S., each state in Australia has a slightly different approach to VET where some schools have comprehensive VET programs which they run themselves or programs which are conducted by an external training organisation and provide students with real workplace experience. Regardless of where the program is conducted, the standards remain the same across the country.

What sectors/fields of study does it encompass? Which are most popular with students?

The Australian VET/CTE system encompasses almost every trade, para-professional or professional field found in the workplace. The only areas not covered are those for which students must attend university to study such as engineering, medicine and dentistry. Therefore, students are able to study any subject they wish, just so long as the school has the capacity to support them.

The choice of fields usually depends on student interest and the competencies required in those areas where they intend to seek work. For example, in rural areas subjects of study such as agriculture, water control, horticulture, transportation and nursing are very popular, while in urban locals subjects such as IT and management tend to attract the most students. There are also a lot of international students studying in Australia and they pursue skills that they can utilize when they return to their home countries.

How is CTE/VET funded in Australia (publicly, privately, by federal or local funds, etc.)?

Funding for VET comes from three sources:

For VET in secondary school programs, funding comes from the state government and is subsidized by families and, in some cases, employers who train and assess students in the workplace.

National programs, such as programs for unemployed people and the socially disadvantaged, are funded by the state government as a study assistance loan. This means the costs of the VET program must be paid back when the individual graduates and earns above a certain wage. This is in effect, a loan paid by the state to the student (but paid directly to the training provider) that the student does not have to repay until they achieve an income above a certain level.

Finally, individuals and/or the organisation with whom they are employed can pay on a fee-for-service basis. VET in Australia is not only taught in schools, but also by public and private training providers who serve secondary students, employees of companies and individuals who sign up to learn new skills or enhance those they already have. School-based apprenticeships and traineeships are generally run in conjunction with a private training provider. The government largely funds the creation of the curriculum against which all VET training is conducted, and provides a quality assessment of training providers registered to offer nationally-accredited courses. The training is conducted by qualified trainers who are employed by either public colleges (known as Technical and Further Education – TAFE – colleges) or private for-profit or not-for-profit training organisations.

CTE is integrated within a framework or hierarchy of qualifications (certificates) known as the Australian Qualifications Framework. This framework starts with foundational knowledge and skills and increases in industry-specific knowledge as students move through their education and training. For example, Certificate I focuses on entry-level skills, Certificate II on skills for competent or experienced employees, Certificate III on skills for supervisors or those who need greater depth of understanding and so on. The VET hierarchy has eight certification levels with the last two integrated with undergraduate degrees providing students with the opportunity to earn Bachelors and Doctorate degrees. The certification structure is funded by the federal government, which provides financial support to industry bodies at the state level that create and administer the curriculum for each vocational or professional area.

  1. What are the major goals of VET/CTE in Australia?

There have been many objectives of the VET system but the most recent one is more of a statement of purpose than objective: ‘….enable students to gain qualifications for all types of employment, and specific skills to help them in the workplace.’

While it isn’t the most inspiring goal, we consider it to be accurate and achievable. As can be seen, however, this ‘purpose’ has more to do with what the trainer or educator does than what the student achieves as a result.

Katie Fitzgerald, Communications Associate

This Week in CTE

April 17th, 2015

TWEET OF THE WEEK
@JamesBSchultz #CTE Program Honored for Excellence http://hubs.ly/y0HRY00  via @educationweek @CTEWorks @WaltersState #CTEWorks #HealthScience #CareerTechEd
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ARTICLE OF THE WEEKblog-thumbnail-thiswek
Could Vocational Education be the Answer to Failing High Schools?
With a higher focus on college and career readiness, high-quality Career Technical Education programs in linking secondary, postsecondary and work-based learning to successfully prepare students to enter the workforce.
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RESOURCE OF THE WEEK
Confused about Education Lingo? You’re Not Alone
This list of acronyms and abbreviations is incredibly helpful to students and parents when wading through educational jargon.
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RESEARCH OF THE WEEK
Crunched by the Numbers: The Digital Skills Gap in the Workforce
A study conducted by Burning Glass Technologies found that middle-skill jobs that require digital skills are increasing. Eight in 10 middle-0skilled jobs require digital skills like word processing and digitally intensive middle-skilled jobs typically pay more than middle-skilled jobs that do not require any digital knowledge.
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NASDCTEc RESOURCE OF THE WEEK
Couldn’t make it to the 2015 Spring Meeting? Visit our Meeting Resource Page to find many of the resources presented.
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Getting to Know … Florida

March 25th, 2015

Note: NASDCTEc is introducing a new blog series called, “Getting to Know …” We will be using this series to help our readers learn more about specific states, State CTE Directors, our partners and more.

State Name: Floridacte-logo-florida

State CTE Director: Rod Duckworth, Chancellor, Division of Career & Adult Education, Florida Department of Education

Postsecondary Counterpart: Chancellor of the Florida College System

About Florida CTE: Florida uses 17 Career Clusters — the original 16 Career Clusters® as well as one for energy. The Career Cluster with the highest enrollment is business management and administration. The state has 67 counties, each with its own school district. In addition, there are two university lab schools, the Florida School for the Deaf and Blind, and the Florida Virtual School, which also offer secondary Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs.

About the State CTE Office: Mr. Duckworth’s office is responsible for the administration of CTE (secondary and postsecondary clock-hour certificate), adult education, apprenticeship, the farmworker career development program, among others. The Division of Career & Adult Education is responsible for distributing the roughly $61 million in federal funding from the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act (Perkins).  In addition, the office is responsible for state funding of more than $200 million for district postsecondary CTE programs.

Programs of Study (POS): In Florida, POS are primarily delivered through the state’s career academies, a structure codified in the 2007 law, the Florida Career and Professional Education Act (CAPE).  Florida has leveraged its Perkins State Plan to develop additional requirements, which must be met by eligible secondary and postsecondary recipients.  Those requirements include the following:

  • A written articulation agreement for each Program of Study (POS).
  • Articulation agreements signed and approved by the agency head of each participating secondary and postsecondary entity.
  • Must include a locally endorsed sequence of core academic and CTE courses (Grade 9 through postsecondary).
  • Must lead to a postsecondary credential, which may include a certificate, diploma, associate or baccalaureate degree, an industry certification, or a licensure.
  • Each POS is expected to be guided by the workforce and economic development needs of business/industry, the community and employment opportunities for students.

Every secondary and postsecondary recipient of Perkins funds offers at least one CTE POS and documents that through the annual Perkins application process.

 Issue in Focus: Industry-recognized credentials (IRCs) have long been an area of focus for Florida, due in part to the CAPE Act, which created statewide planning partnerships between business and education communities to expand and retain high-value industries and support the state economy. During the 2013-2014 school year, more than 60,000 high school students participating in registered CAPE career academies earned a total of 66,167 IRCs.

In recent years, Florida has put in place a number of incentives to support student attainment of IRCs, including incentives in the K-12 funding model and inclusion in high school and middle school grading formulas.  More recently, legislation has addressed counting IRCs in a student’s weighted grade point average and awarding teacher bonuses for certain high-value credentials.

The approval process for IRCs requires that industry certifications for non-farm occupations are recommended by the state’s workforce board (CareerSource Florida), which is comprised of business, industry, and education representatives.

Andrea Zimmermann, State Policy Associate

Adding Industry Recognized Certification to your CTE Program

March 12th, 2015

This blog series provides readers with insight on the valuable content that is being shared at the NASDCTEc Spring Meeting. Guest bloggers are partner organizations, supporters and other experts that will be present at the national gathering in Washington, DC in April. We encourage you to join Certiport’s hospitality suite on Thursday evening, April 9th! Details available at the Certiport exhibit table at the Spring Meeting.

In today’s digital age, most schools with successful career and technical education (CTE) programs don’t have to be convinced of the merits of offering industry-recognized certification.  The benefits are clear from engaging students to validating standards to college and career readiness.  However, most educators are overloaded and may not have time to start something new.

Take these simple steps to start now:Certiport-Pearson-Logo-Final (1)

First, look at the courses you are offering and see if there is an industry-recognized certification that fits into the current curriculum.  If you don’t have to recreate the wheel it will be very easy to implement.  Do you have a digital literacy or intro to technology course?  Try IC3 Digital Literacy certification.  Teaching a database course for more advanced students?  Look into the Microsoft Technology Associate exam in Database Fundamentals.

Next, funding can be a hurdle to climb.  Get creative – look at Perkins and other grants, or pass the cost on to students.  Once schools see the benefits of certification, they often end up building it into their standard budgets.

Finally, partner with the certification provider and let them help.  They have worked with hundreds, or thousands of schools just like yours and can guide you through the process.

Sean Carchidi, a Computer Maintenance and Repair Teacher at Mercy Vocational High School in Philadelphia found out how easy it can be to add industry-recognized certification to a CTE program.  He says, “Finding the Microsoft Technology Associate certifications completely revolutionized the Computer Technician program at the Career and Technical school where I work…When I saw all of the certifications MTA offers, I started researching how to implement it as part of the curriculum. MTA will help shape the future of the class as we are always exploring new certifications!”

At Certiport, a Pearson VUE business, we have more than 13,000 testing centers set up around the world.  We know how simple it is to become an Certiport Authorized Testing Center today and start offering any of our certifications such as the Microsoft Technology Associate certification program, the Adobe® Certified Associate certification program, or the IC3 Digital Literacy certification.

This June 18 – 20 Certiport will hold the inaugural 2015 CERTIFIED Educators Conference to help you explore the power and potential of technology certification in your classroom.  CERTIFIED will be the place to learn how simple it is to implement certification and hear from others who have done it successfully.

To learn more about how Certiport can help your CTE program teach and validate in-demand workforce skills with industry-recognized certification, visit Certiport at booth or www.certiport.com.

Thank you to Certiport for sponsoring the 2015 Spring Meeting!

 

Register & Submit Sessions for CareerTech VISION Today!

March 11th, 2015

Vision15_Site Banner

Registration is now open for CareerTech VISION 2015! NASDCTEc is particularly excited about this year’s VISION as we are organizing a series of sessions on the National Career Clusters Framework and its implementation through programs of study, featuring successful practices from Alabama, Florida, North Carolina, North Dakota, California and elsewhere.

VISON 2015 features a rich array of CTE topics and programming, including:

  • 200+ breakout sessions in a variety of formats, including lecture, hands-on labs, and roundtable discussions
  • A wide range of secondary and an increased number of postsecondary CTE topics, addressing such issues as secondary to postsecondary transitions and multiple pathways to college and career readiness
  • Sessions to help attendees improve outcomes on federal and state performance indicators
  • NCAC and NAF Career Academy sessions
  • And more!

This is the biggest conference of the year for CTE educators, administrators and leaders, so don’t miss out and register today!

For those of you interested in sharing your best practices, innovative resources or relevant research you still have until March 27 to submit a proposal. Click here to submit your idea today.

 Kate Blosveren, Associate Executive Director, NASDCTEc

Top Five Reasons to Attend NASDCTEc’s Spring Meeting

March 2nd, 2015

Thinking about coming to NASDCTEc’s upcoming Spring meeting on April 8-10 in Washington D.C., but haven’t decided yet? cherry-blossoms-at-jefferson-150x150Here are five reasons why you should definitely attend!

1. To mix it up with secondary, postsecondary, workforce development leaders and employers: Our agenda, speakers and participants are leaders representing the full spectrum of CTE. We’re kicking off Wednesday with a panel of high-level leaders from the Departments of Education, Health and Human Services and Labor talking about inter-agency collaboration, followed by sessions focused on aligning efforts to better serve learners at all levels.

2. To help build common solutions: We are bringing back the Collaboration Roundtables, based on the positive feedback from the Fall meeting, however, we are changing them in important ways. This time around, they will focus on building solutions to common challenges such as CTE teacher recruitment and retention, busting myths about CTE, and selecting industry credentials and technical skills assessments. These roundtables allow for unique cross-state sharing and collective problem solving.

3. To stay on top of moving targets: With a new Workforce Innovation & Opportunity Act (WIOA) to implement, Congress moving forward on the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) and more media attention on CTE than ever before, change is happening and it’s happening fast. Our meeting is designed to prepare you for these changes, with sessions on implementing WIOA, ESEA, the Higher Education Act, new employer-led initiatives to credential skills, and CTE in the press with reporters on the CTE beat.

4. To experience excellence in action: For the first time ever, our Spring meeting will recognize Excellence in Action award-winning programs of study from across the country. Learn about the best CTE has to offer and celebrate excellence at a special lunch and reception in their honor.

5. To catch up with old friends and make some new ones: Did you know that there are new State CTE Directors in more than a dozen states and territories? Our Spring meeting is the perfect time to connect with new members, and catch up with those you only have a chance to see a few times a year. Over three days, you’ll be afforded opportunities to network formally and informally, and start conversations that will carry on well after the meeting ends.

Bonus reason: Cherry blossoms! Why wouldn’t you want to be in Washington, DC during cherry blossom season?

Learn more and register today!

 

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