NASDCTEc Welcomes Jeralyn Jargo!

December 22nd, 2015

Jeralyn Jargo is Minnesota’s newest State CTE Director and has big plans for CTE in the state. Jargo has held a wide array of jobs in the education sector including teaching high school science, setting up programs of study in respiratory therapy, serving as an academic dean for a two-year college, and most recently, was the vice president of advancement and innovation at Century College.

Throughout Jargo’s career, one thing that has always held true is that collaboration across sectors and industries is critical to creating the best possible outcomes for students. One project Jargo facilitated in her most recent position was a Shark Tank-like grant initiative where students participated in a series of workshops and mentorships before delivering an idea or product to a multi-disciplinary panel of judges comprised of community leaders; business partners; and faculty in science, engineering and marketing. Winners were awarded $5,000 scholarships. This innovative approach at awarding scholarships allowed students to work across disciplines and sectors, an experience they are sure to repeat in their careers.

As the State CTE Director, Jargo is working to build an environment where collaboration like this and innovation are key components in the way her department functions, and how programs of study are delivered to students. “The majority of us aren’t going to go to Harvard or play for the Cubs, so how do we help the masses of folks who learn by touching and smelling and participating,  who are going to have a job that requires critical thinking and transferrable skills, concepts that all come from a foundation of CTE?”

One way Jargo will tackle this challenge is by building meaningful and authentic partnerships with business, industry and policymakers in the state. “There is a huge window of opportunity to focus on the understanding of CTE,” said Jargo. “It’s a very good time to promote CTE. The business community is more and more engaged and they are powerful advocates for the system.”

In addition, Jargo wants to improve the support students receive as they move in, out and back into education. A successful program would be one where students are supported through these transitions, or as Jargo put it, “If you fly over the Twin Cities and look at the on and off ramps…That’s what CTE would look like. Traffic would be flowing at a steady rate.”

Katie Fitzgerald, Communications Associate 

Excellence in Action: Marine Academy of Science and Technology

December 17th, 2015

Thank you to all of you who submitted applications to our 2016 Excellence in Action awards! We are digging through the applications ospreynow and are blown away by the number of innovative, exciting and inspiring programs of study from big cities to tiny rural towns. We’re looking forward to announcing the winners in late February.

While learning about all these new programs of study, we thought it would be a good time to look back at one of our 2015 award winners, the Marine Academy of Science and Technology (MAST), the award recipient in the Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics Career Cluster. This program has been educating secondary students in Highland, New Jersey for 34 years. Students get the chance to work with the nearby National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) lab, a 65-foot research vessel, and a four-year naval science program through the NJROTC, all while earning up to 17 college credits.

In addition to the program of study’s goal of preparing students for postsecondary education, students are also provided with work-based learning opportunities working hand-in-hand with some of the best scientists in the country at the North East Fisheries Science Center, or on research projects with the National Park Service.

MAST has set up students for incredible success, with 100 percent of students graduating high school and enrolling in postsecondary education, 50 percent of whom enrolled in a STEM field. Learn more about MAST and our 2015 award winners.

Katie Fitzgerald, Communications Associate 

This Week in CTE: ESSA

December 11th, 2015

TWEET OF THE WEEK

ARTICLE OF THE WEEK

Congress is Getting Rid of No Child Left Behind. Here’s What Will Replace It
Yesterday, President Obama signed the Every Student Succeeds Act into law, replacing No Child Left Behind. While the vast majority of power is shifted from the Federal Government back to the States, here’s a rundown of what’s left of No Child Left Behind, and what changes with the new law.
More

VIDEO OF THE WEEK

President Obama signs the Every Student Succeeds Act

Katie Fitzgerald, Communications Associate 

NASDCTEc Endorses Proposed Every Student Succeeds Act

December 2nd, 2015

The National Association of State Directors of Career Technical Education Consortium (NASDCTEc) is excited to announce its endorsement of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), the proposed legislation to reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA).

“The Every Student Succeeds Act is a significant, bipartisan legislative achievement that provides states and schools with the opportunity to offer every student equitable access to a high-quality education that truly prepares them for postsecondary and career success,” said Kimberly Green, NASDCTEc Executive Director.

The Career Technical Education (CTE) community has long-advocated for federal policy that improves collaboration between academic and CTE courses and programs.  “By recognizing that all students need a combination of academic, technical and employability skills in order to succeed and thrive in the dynamic global economy, ESSA represents an important step forward in federal policy. To that end, we urge members in both chambers of Congress to vote in support of this legislation’s swift passage.”

The Every Student Succeeds Act is the product of bipartisan, bicameral negotiations to reauthorize ESEA, the law formerly known as No Child Left Behind, which has been due for renewal since 2007. Earlier this year, NASDCTEc released a set of legislative recommendations calling for a bill that would more effectively leverage CTE in a new ESEA law.

The conference report for the Every Student Succeeds Act was released earlier this week and is expected to be voted on by the U.S. House of Representatives later today. It will then move to the Senate next week for further consideration.

Katie Fitzgerald, Communications Associate 

Welcome to Colorado’s Newest State CTE Director, Sarah Heath!

November 30th, 2015

Sarah Heath, Colorado’s newest State CTE Director began her career in education by chance, occasionally substitute teaching a computer applications class at a local high school while finishing her undergraduate degree in business in Georgia. Dr. Heath found that working with students was much more compelling and fulfilling than her previous work on management information and database systems, and when the job became available, Dr. Heath took on a full time teaching position.

Upon completion of her master’s degree in business education at the University of Georgia, Dr. Heath became very active in the Georgia Association for Career and Technical Education, attended the national conference, and worked on a variety of committees. Finding she excelled in leadership roles, Dr. Heath rose the ranks quickly after transitioning to the administrative side of education, and became the state program director in Georgia.

After completing her PhD in Georgia, Dr. Heath moved to Colorado and worked as the local district CTE director for the Jefferson County (Jeffco) Public School system, the largest public school system in Colorado, while also serving as ACTE’s national president. While at Jeffco, she experienced a completely different CTE system than in Georgia. In Georgia, the state oversees much of its CTE, from professional development of educators to course selection. In comparison, in Colorado, CTE is controlled primarily at the local level. And, whereas Georgia has a long history and tradition of CTE, Dr. Heath saw a greater need for stronger workforce and employer engagement strategy in Colorado.

In her new role as the State CTE Director, Dr. Heath is committed to creating stronger connections between business and industry partners and local districts. Instead of business taking a passive approach to CTE, Dr. Heath envisions a system where employers from the state, regional and local level will take center stage and not only serve on advisory committees, but also direct the curriculum of CTE programming. “Employers can talk about their needs, and CTE can be an answer to those needs,” said Dr. Heath. “We need to help agencies, associations, industry and education across the state be a part of each other’s way of doing business. CTE is relevant to what business is doing, and the more we can demonstrate that the brighter our future will be.”

In addition to engaging industry as equal partners in the development of CTE in the state, Dr. Heath will focus on using the data and employment projections from labor and workforce agencies and organizations in Colorado to assist in deciding what is relevant to a student’s education, and training locals to make programmatic decisions the same way.

In addition to building relationships between education and industry, Dr. Heath wants to create more defined transitions between secondary and postsecondary CTE, along with raising the profile of CTSOs and their value to students.

After years of working with Dr. Heath in her role as ACTE national president, NASDCTEc is excited to have her join our ranks as one our newest State CTE Directors!

Katie Fitzgerald, Communications Associate 

Three Weeks Left to Apply to the Excellence in Action Award

November 18th, 2015

Three Weeks Left to Apply to the 2016 Excellence in Action Award!2016ExcellenceinActionapp

The National Association of State Directors of Career Technical Education Consortium is searching the country for superior programs of study across the 16 Career Clusters that have a meaningful impact on student success.

Why Should I Apply?

Receiving the Excellence in Action award means your program of study will be showcased on a national level through conferences, webinars, in a monthly newsletter to members of Congress, 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 and 2015 winners, some of which were featured at the White House.

How to Apply

Complete the Award Application and follow steps for submission of your application by the application deadline, Wednesday, December 9, 2015.5:00 p.m. ET.

For questions or more information email awards@careertech.org.

Katie Fitzgerald, Communications Associate 

This Week in CTE: #YesSheCan

November 13th, 2015

TWEET(S) OF THE WEEK

The White House hosted an all-day forum on Friday, “Advancing Equity for Women and Girls of Color,” taking on topics such as education, health, economic conditions and portrayal in the media.

RESOURCE OF THE WEEK

Earlier this week, the White House hosted the Summit on Next Generation High Schools and announced more than $375 million to support secondary education that re-imagines the high school experience with things such as including personalized learning, providing access to work-based learning and expanding STEM. Learn more about the endeavor here.

VIDEO OF THE WEEK

Eleventh graders at Washington, D.C.’s Cardozo High School learn how to fly a F-35 Fighter Jet in the school’s new aviation lab, one of only 18 in the country. Watch

Katie Fitzgerald, Communications Associate 

Webinar: Building a Strong Relationship Between Competency-Based Pathways and CTE

October 20th, 2015

On November 5, 2015 from 2:00 – 3:00 pm ET, the National Association of State Directors of Career Technical Education Consortium (NASDCTEc) and Achieve are co-hosting a webinar to highlight our recently released brief, “Building a Strong Relationship between Competency-Based Pathways and Career Technical Education.” This webinar will provide an overview of the many leverage points between Career Technical Education (CTE) and Competency-Based Pathways (CBP) to support states’ adoption and implementation of integrated CTE and CBP.

The webinar will also explore Connecticut’s and Oregon’s strategies for integrating CTE into their CBP and the opportunities and challenges faced along the way. This webinar is for anyone looking to learn more about CTE, CBP and their potential when implemented together.

Speakers will include:

  • Suzanne Vita Loud, Associate Consultant, Connecticut State Department of Education
  • Tom Thompson, Education Specialist, Oregon Department of Education
  • Stephen DeWitt, Association for Career and Technical Education
  • Kate Blosveren, NASDCTEc
  • Alissa Peltzman, Achieve
  • Andrew Valent, Achieve

How to participate?
To add this meeting to your calendar, click here
To join the web conference, click here
Dial-In: 1-866-297-6395 Confirmation Number: 41021850

Katie Fitzgerald, Communications Associate 

Getting to Know … Idaho

September 21st, 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 entries about Florida and Michigan!

State Name: Idahocte-logo-idaho

State CTE Director: Dwight Johnson, Administrator, Professional-Technical Education

About Idaho: CTE in Idaho is known as Professional-Technical Education, or PTE. The Division of Professional-Technical Education is responsible for secondary, postsecondary and adult PTE programs. PTE is delivered at the secondary level through high schools and magnet schools. At the postsecondary level, there are three community colleges, one standalone technical college and two technical colleges that are embedded within the state’s four-year universities – all with PTE programs.

With the belief that PTE sits at the nexus of education and the workforce, Johnson has been using his years of experience at the Department of Labor to strengthen connections between secondary and postsecondary PTE programs and the workforce. This starts with an intensive realignment process of secondary and postsecondary CTE programs, which will help to provide a seamless educational experience for Idaho students and best prepare them for success in their careers. Check out just a few facts about Idaho PTE here!

Notable in Idaho: Idaho has been working to expand student access to PTE programs of study through its soon-to-launch PTE Digital, which allows students to take PTE courses in health and IT. Johnson said PTE is looking to expand these options to other pathways to create more opportunities, particularly for students located in very rural areas.

Additionally, in 2014, the Idaho legislature established the Fast Forward program, which provides junior and senior high school students with up to $200 and $400, respectively, to help cover the cost of taking dual credit courses, PTE-approved industry certification exams and college-bearing exams. The program has been so successful that costs have far exceeded original projections, as more and more students take advantage of the opportunity to earn advance credit and certifications.

Finally, the Department is developing a microcertification and badging effort called SkillStack. The initiative has two primary goals: to validate students’ technical skills and competencies against industry-defined standards and to help with the articulation of credit from secondary PTE programs to postsecondary institutions. Idaho educators can track and validate student skill attainment through the site, once the Department verifies that the curriculum taught was aligned to industry standards. Soon, employers will be able to search for candidates with the badges, and skills, that they need.

Andrea Zimmermann, State Policy Associate

Inside International CTE: CTE From an International Employer Perspective

September 15th, 2015

Our previous international blog posts have largely focused on international Career Technical Education (CTE)/Vocational education systems and how they operate. Today, we will look at CTE through the lens of an international employer in an interview with Aaron Coulson, New Talent Manager at National Grid in the UK. This is part of our ongoing blog series with Asia Society’s Global Learning Blog on Education Week. 

Can you describe a little bit about your company and your need for global talent?

National Grid is an international electricity and gas company based in the UK and northeastern U.S. As owners and operators of the high-voltage electricity transmission network in England and Wales and the high pressure gas transmission system in Britain, we are committed to safeguarding our global environment for future generations and providing all our customers with the highest standards of service through investment in our networks and through our talented, diverse workforce.

In my role working with Our Academy, our largest training center in the UK, I am responsible for all of National Grid’s entry-level talent development programs, an integral component of the company’s ‘grow your strategy,’ that helps develop the skills and knowledge of new employees in the company. The following best outlines our focus areas:

  • Providing the resources and support they need to develop and build on the wealth of experience and talent that already exists across the organization.
  • Attracting and retaining high-quality employees.
  • Developing new talent through apprenticeships, our graduate training program and engineer training program.
  • Supporting the development of our employees in order to ensure the future success of our organization.

Our Academy has garnered much recognition for our approach to developing new talent and our training programs receive a high number of applicants per year.

Read more about National Grid’s role in the UK CTE system including their work developing new employer-led apprenticeship standards and advice for organizations who want to engage in the field on Education Week’s Global Learning blog.

Katie Fitzgerald, Communications Associate 

 

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