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This Week in CTE: CTE Month Edition

February 13th, 2015

TWEET OF THE WEEK
SkillsUSA  Mike Rowe talks about SkillsUSA and CTE: http://youtu.be/yihG89SB00g @mikeroweworks blog-thumbnail-thiswek#CTEMonth #SkillsUSAWeek
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VIDEO OF THE WEEK
Congressman Jim Langevin (D-RI), co-chair of the Career and Technical Education Caucus, showed his support for Career Technical Education.  “It is long past time to re-authorize the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act, and I look forward to working with all my colleagues on this important legislation,” said Langevin.
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ARTICLE OF THE WEEK
Tony Evers, superintendent of the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction, discusses the value of Career Technical Education (CTE) in Wisconsin. “Did you know that students who participate in CTE courses graduate at a notably higher rate than students who do not take CTE courses? Additionally, students who take a series of related CTE courses do even better. In part, it’s because CTE helps students grasp why they need to know and excel in academic coursework,” said Evers
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RESOURCE OF THE WEEK
Learn how to use the CTE: Learning that Works for America campaign resources to help you raise awareness, improve understanding and communicate the vital role of Career Technical Education in the nation’s future. The Learning that Works campaign provides you with a variety of materials to help you advocate for CTE in your community including fact-sheets, talking points, videos and even state-specific logos. Get a quick overview of the campaign with this one pager.

ANNOUNCEMENTS OF THE WEEK
A variety of states proclaimed February CTE Month, including Virginia, Alaska, North Dakota and Wisconsin.

CTE in Singapore: Looking to the Future

February 13th, 2015

Today we continue our joint series on international CTE practice and programs with Education Week’s Global Learning. This is the second part of Heather Singmaster’s interview with Mr. TAN Seng Hua, Dean, ITE Academy in Singapore and one of the architects of Singapore’s CTE/VET system. Be sure to also read Part 1

Q: What are the challenges VET/CTE faces? What are some solutions you are looking to implement?

A: There are multiple challenges faced by CTE globally. First, we need to ensure that the training programs are up-to-date and the curriculum is able to address the skilled manpower (workforce) needs of the economy. Working in close partnership with employers to plan and design the CTE curriculum, developing an authentic learning environment, and providing real work and workplace experience to the students are essential approaches adopted by ITE.

Second, we need to understand the profile of CTE students and their learning behavior to better design pedagogic approaches and enrichment activities to bring out their full potential. Pedagogic innovation to make training fun and engaging will further help to develop and retain the interest of students in CTE, given their preference for activity-based learning. To a certain extent, ITE colleges are designed as “Education Wonderlands”, allowing students to acquire relevant skills and knowledge through fun and authentic learning activities.

Q: What is the role of employers/labor/industry in your VET/CTE system? 

A: Partnership with industry is a key strength of Singapore’s CTE system. Over the years, ITE has established a network of industry partners to support its training programmes. These are industry leaders in their respective fields locally and globally, and they support ITE in the setting of skill standards and curriculum design, workplace training and attachment, skills promotion and marketing, employment and engagement of our graduates, sponsorship of students and industry project collaboration, and constructive feedback on both the performance of our student interns/graduates and the improvement needed in our training structure and contents.

The labor movement in Singapore is also very active in promoting the importance of skills acquisition among their members. Many of the union leaders play the role of “skills champions” to encourage their members to acquire new skills and train for deeper skills to improve their career advancement opportunities and enhance their earning power.

Q: What do you think the future of VET/CTE in Singapore looks like?

A: CTE will continue to be a key component of Singapore’s education system in the years ahead. It is a key strength of our education and human resource development structure and a major contributing factor to the success of Singapore’s economic development over the past few decades.

Moving forward, CTE in Singapore would evolve to further engage the employers in the training of the present and future workforce. While the present college-based CTE system has worked well in the past to prepare the youths for the workplace, given the fast changing economy and technology, the skilled manpower needs of the employers have also changed rapidly. To avoid a potential mismatch of the competency of our graduates with the skills demand of the employers amid this shorter product and technology life-cycle, we need to work in close partnership to redesign our curriculum to enable the acquisition of industry-specific and new skills at the workplace.

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

A: ITE in Singapore has gone through waves of transformation in the past two decades. We have raised the quality and image of CTE in Singapore and gained the acceptance and recognition by employers, parents, students, and the community as a whole that CTE is a viable post-secondary education option that can prepare youth for a rewarding career.  We have developed three world-class campuses, designed to provide authentic learning environment to support the total development of our students. We have also developed an innovative curriculum structure to better prepare our students for the changing work environment in industry, and creative pedagogy to inject fun learning in CTE. Last but not least, we have put in place a strong and effective academic quality assurance system to instill professional pride and discipline among our CTE leaders and staff to continually improve our CTE system and delivery.

The success of ITE in Singapore is a result of system review and staff competency at all levels. There are many useful lessons that could be shared with the global CTE community. At the national level, there are important policy decisions, which must be addressed to position CTE appropriately in relation to the education and economic development of the nation. At the institution level, the philosophy of education and the strategic focus of the management team will determine the quality and relevance of the programs offered, and at the individual level, the passion and commitment to provide innovative solutions and learning activities will contribute to the success of the CTE system in developing and retaining the interest of students.

Our success story has attracted the interest of many countries globally. We have frequent visit requests from the CTE community globally, and many of these visits ended up with requests for assistance to review/enhance their CTE system and development of their CTE leadership and professional competency. Currently, we have CTE consultancy projects in some 25 countries around the world, and they cover a wide spectrum of areas including CTE Infrastructure Planning and Development, CTE Leadership Development, CTE Technology and Pedagogic Development, CTE Assessment and Certification Systems, and CTE Academic Quality Assurance System.

 Follow the ITE and Heather on Twitter.

Katie Fitzgerald, Communications Associate

2015 School Counselor of the Year Honored at White House

February 12th, 2015

On January 30th, I had the pleasure of being a guest at the White House as the First Lady Michelle Obama hosted the School Counselor of the YearAmerican School Counselor Association’s School Counselor of the Year awards ceremony. This is the first time this event has been held at the White House. 36 finalists and semifinalists and 2015 School Counsel of the Year Cory Notestine of Alamosa High School in Colorado received recognition from the First Lady and actress, Connie Britton who played a school counselor on the popular television series Friday Night Lights.

The First Lady shared that “Every day, our school counselors help young people become the people they’re meant to be and achieve what they were put on the earth to achieve.  That is truly an awesome responsibility.  It’s also a tremendous privilege.”  The First lady published an op-ed and also spoke about the event, as well as her Reach Higher Initiative, on Entertainment Tonight.  View a video of the White House ceremony here.

Photo Credit: Official White House Photo by Amanda Lucidon

Kimberly Green, Executive Director

CTE in Singapore: Education Wonderlands – Part 1

February 11th, 2015

We are delighted to announce our partnership with Education Week’s Global Learning blog to bring you a monthly profile of international practice in Career Technical Education (CTE) or Vocational Education and Training (VET), which it is called in many countries. To start us off, Heather Singmaster, the Assistant Director of Education with the Asia Society, interviewed Mr. TAN Seng Hua, Dean, ITE Academy in Singapore and one of the architects of Singapore’s CTE/VET system. This interview will be in two parts, so be sure to check back with us on Friday to learn what Mr. Tan sees as challenges facing CTE around the world, and how to overcome them. 

Q: What is the progression of VET/CTE in Singapore? 

A: Structured as post-secondary education options, CTE in Singapore collectively enrolls some 65% of each cohort of students (aged 17 and above), who have completed at least 10 years of academic education, including four years at the secondary school level. Please see the following chart depicting the education system in Singapore. (Editors Note: Or view an interactive chart.)

sg-education-landscape-printsm

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Based on their career interests and national exam results, students with keen interest in technical and vocational education may apply to either a Polytechnic college for a “para-professional/technical specialist” level of training or the Institute of Technical Education (ITE) for “technical skills” training. Those who do well in these programs will be able to progress further within the Singapore education system. For instance, students can progress from ITE colleges to a Polytechnic and eventually to a university.

To prepare these students for CTE options, the curriculum of the secondary schools in Singapore places great focus on English language, mathematics, and sciences. Students are also given opportunities to participate in career guidance activities such as the Experience ITE Programme during their secondary school education. Similarly, secondary school educators are engaged in learning journeys to the CTE colleges to better prepare them for a career and education counseling role in the secondary schools.

Q: What sectors/fields of study does VET encompass? Which are most popular with students?

A: ITE offers a wide range of courses including manufacturing, engineering, info-comm technology, business and services, design and media, applied science, health sciences, and hospitality-related training. These courses are regularly reviewed and new courses are introduced based on the demand for these skills projected by the various sectors of the economy and government economic agencies. As of January 2015, there are more than 100 different courses offered by ITE. Based on recent trends, those related to services and certain niche courses such as aerospace technology appear to be more popular among applicants of full-time ITE courses. For adult learners, their choice of training is largely steered by their job requirements and career aspirations.

Q: How is CTE/VET funded in Singapore?

A: Singapore views CTE as an investment by the government to enhance the competitiveness of the nation. The cost of ITE education is almost fully funded by the government, up to 97%. Students only need to pay a nominal portion of the fees to show their commitment to the training. Needy students from low-income families will be further supported by private funds donated by foundations, employers, the community, and individual donors.

For working adults attending continuing education and training at ITE, their course fees are also heavily subsidized by the government, in addition to sponsorships given by their employers. The main objective is to encourage more working adults to develop a culture of life-long learning and regularly upgrade and update their skills and knowledge to remain relevant in this fast changing world.

Q: What are the major goals of VET/CTE in Singapore?

A: The main goal of CTE in Singapore is to maintain its relevance to the workforce needs of the economy. This is a great challenge as there may be a mismatch between the interests and aspiration of youth and the manpower demand of the employers. Working closely with employers to enhance the career development opportunities in their respective technical sectors, to provide good career counseling, and to make CTE fun and attractive for youth, are key strategies to ensure the success of CTE.

Follow Singapore’s ITE and Asia Society on Twitter.

Seng Hua TAN has spent more than four decades planning and transforming the Vocational and Technical Education (VTE) in Singapore. In his previous appointment as Deputy CEO (Academic) of ITE, Mr. Tan led a major project to revamp all training courses of ITE from single occupation oriented to Career-Cluster Based Curriculum, incorporating work-based and personal life skills learning to prepare ITE students for the fast changing work environment.

Katie Fitzgerald, Communications Associate

Register today for NASDCTEc’s 2015 Spring Meeting!

February 11th, 2015

The NASDCTEc Spring meeting is just around the corner, so register now!
With confirmed speakers from the U.S. Departments of Education and Health and Human Services, Aspen Institute, Education Week, Education Daily, U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation, the Manufacturing Institute, among others, our upcoming Spring meeting is shaping up to be our best yet!

Participants will learn from national experts and each another on topics such as career pathways, private sector credentialing and CTE in the media, and get the latest on federal policy through panels, collaboration roundtables and breakout sessions. Visit our agenda page for more details.

Don’t miss out on this exciting and informative event!

Member registration
Non-member registration

Katie Fitzgerald, Communications Associate

Learning that Works + CTE Month

February 9th, 2015

This month we encourage you to utilize the CTE: Learning that Works for America campaign resources to help you raise ctemonththumbnailawareness, improve understanding and communicate the vital role of Career Technical Education (CTE) in the nation’s future. The Learning that Works campaign provides you with a variety of materials to help you advocate for CTE in your community including fact-sheets, talking points, videos and even state-specific logos.

To give you with a quick overview about how the Learning that Works campaign can be integrating into your promotional efforts during CTE month, we developed this 1-pager, which also highlights CTE branding examples.

We encourage you to join the 49 states and over 700 schools who have adopted the Learning that Works campaign to communicate the  importance of CTE in your community.

Katie Fitzgerald, Communications Associate 

This Week in CTE

February 6th, 2015

TWEET OF THE WEEK wordle-thumbnail
@OfficeofEdTech: @BarackObama’s budget incl. $200M to ensure Ts receive support & training to effectively use #edtech tools http://tech.ed.gov/eett/ #edchat
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ARTICLE OF THE WEEK
Getting Credit for What You Know
Increasingly occupational certifications in areas like IT, manufacturing, healthcare and energy are filling the skills gap, and helping students find well-paying jobs.
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RESEARCH REPORT OF THE WEEK
Gallup Student Poll: Job Confidence Lower in Higher Grades
A new poll by Gallup finds students in elementary and middle school are more optimistic about job prospects than those in high school. Only about half of students grades 10 through 12 strongly agreed with the statement, “I know I will find a good job after I graduate,” compared to 68 percent of fifth graders that strongly agree.
Read More

RESOURCE OF THE WEEK
Delivering Career Technical Education Fact Sheet
We recently released a fact sheet, Delivering Career Technical Education, providing a quick overview of the variety of systems career technical education is delivered through, from comprehensive high schools to career academies.
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ANNOUNCEMENT OF THE WEEK
NASDCTEc and ACTE Release State Policies Impacting CTE: 2014 Year in Review
February 5 NASDCTEc and the Association for Career Technical Education released State Policies Impacting CTE: 2014 Year in Review, providing a state-by-state review of policy changes impacting CTE during 2014 across the country. To learn more read our blog post, press release and full report.

CTE MONTH
Wisconsin Governor, Scott Walker, proclaimed February CTE Month!
Read More

Katie Fitzgerald, Communications Associate 

Legislative Update: Obama Administration Releases FY16 Budget Request

February 4th, 2015

CapitolOn Monday, President Obama formally kicked-off the Fiscal Year (FY) 2016 budget and appropriation process by releasing his annual budget request to Congress.  The request makes funding level recommendations to Congress for all federally funded programs, charts the course for the Administration’s policy priorities over the next year, and serves as a vehicle for new proposals the President would like to see enacted by the 114th Congress.

Overall the President proposed $74 billion in additional funding above and beyond the spending limits imposed by the Budget Control Act (BCA) of 2011— limits more commonly known as sequestration. These caps have come back into full force this year, after the Bipartisan Budget Agreement (BBA) of 2014 slightly expanded the overall caps for Fiscal Years 2014 and 2015. With these caps back in full effect for the upcoming 2016 fiscal year and beyond, the President’s budget request amounts to an overall increase of 7 percent over these mandatory spending limits with increases for both defense and non-defense discretionary (NDD) split nearly evenly.

The President’s proposal to set spending levels above these caps is significant as we approach the budget and appropriations cycle for the upcoming fiscal year. Without changes to sequestration there is little room for further investment in education and other critically important programs. As a consequence the President’s budget proposal is a strong message to Congress that more needs to be done to address these harmful mandated limits on federal investment.

In light of this, the President’s request proposes $70.7 billion in discretionary spending for the U.S. Department of Education (ED) which is an increase of $3.6 billion over enacted FY 2015 levels or 5.4 percent overall. The U.S Department of Labor (DOL) saw an overall proposal of $13.2 billion for their discretionary budget which is an increase of $1.2 billion over the last fiscal year or a 10.3 percent increase.

Of particular significance to the CTE community was an additional $200 million proposal for the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act (Perkins)— an increase that would be realized through the creation of the American Technical Training Fund (ATTF), a newly proposed competitive grant program to, “support the development and operation of innovative, evidence-based job training programs in high-demand fields” to be jointly administered by both ED and DOL. While an additional $2 million was proposed to be included for Perkins’ national activities to provide technical assistance for the ATTF, no new funding was proposed by the administration for the formula-based basic state grant program— the core program under Perkins which still remains approximately $5 million below pre-sequestration spending levels.

In addition to the initiatives noted above, the President’s request also includes several other proposals of interest to the CTE stakeholder community contained in both the ED and DOL budgets:

  • $60.3 billion over ten years for America’s College Promise proposal— an initiative to provide free tuition for qualifying students for their first two years of postsecondary education
  • A new $125 million competitive grant program to promote the high school re-design efforts with a particular focus on STEM-themed schools and focused on underrepresented student populations
  • $2 billion over the next four years for apprenticeship grants, including $100 million for the American Apprenticeship Grant Program, the successor program to the Youth Career Connect Program
  • $500 million for Industry Credentialing and Career Pathways Grants— a competitive program that would encourage the wider use of industry-recognized credentials
  • $33 million in additional funding for the Workforce Data Quality Initiative— an existing program to support the development and expansion of state longitudinal data systems

NASDCTEc and the Association of Career and Technical Education (ACTE) released a statement upon the request’s release expressing appreciation for the budget’s stronger focus on CTE issues. Find the press release here.

More information on ED’s budget can be found here and additional coverage of DOL’s budget is here.  It is important to note that this is only the beginning of the FY 2016 budget and appropriations process. The budgetary baton has now been passed to the House and Senate budget committees who must now craft a similar proposal outlining funding levels for federal programs in the coming fiscal year. As that gets underway, check back here for updates and analysis for how the CTE community will likely be impacted.

Steve Voytek, Government Relations Manager 

Celebrating CTE Month

February 3rd, 2015

Happy CTE Month! Throughout the month we will highlight CTE resources, examples of stellar progctemonththumbnailrams from around the country, major onsite and online events and more. To start of us off, below are a list of a few events.

CTE Month is kicking off tonight, Tuesday, February 3 from 5-8 p.m. as the Senate Career and Technical Education Caucus in conjunction with the Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE) and Project Lead The Way (PLTW) host a cocktail reception featuring student demonstrations, titled: TODAY’S INNOVATION, TOMORROW’S CAREER SUCCESS. We’ll be live Tweeting the event @CTEWorks too! RSVP by contacting [email protected].

Can’t join us in person? You can find us on Twitter on February 12 at 1 p.m. as we chat with the College and Career Readiness and Success Center using the @CTEWorks and @CCRSCenter twitter handles.

Friday, February 20 from 9:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m., ACTE will partner with Montgomery College of Maryland and Montgomery County School District to host a school visit at the college’s Rockville, Maryland, campus on Friday. This visit will give congressional staff and education stakeholders the opportunity to see an example of a successful postsecondary CTE program and hear from educators, students and business leaders about how these programs are preparing students for college and career success. To learn more, email [email protected].

We look forward to highlighting and celebrating CTE over the next few weeks. If you have anything you’d like to share that you’re doing in your community, email [email protected]

Katie Fitzgerald, Communications Associate

This Week in CTE

January 30th, 2015

TWEET OF THE WEEK blog-thumbnail-thiswek
@CCRSCenter Join us Feb. 12 for our #CTEMonth #CCRSchat with @CTEWorks, we’ll be asking them questions about #CTE and #careerreadiness.
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ARTICLE OF THE WEEK
How Tech Ed Has Transformed with the Times
In Vermont, 16 regional career and technical education centers provide stellar CTE to students, with a focus on employer partnerships in terms of internships and apprenticeships, as well as aligning courses with industry-recognized credentials. “I have half academic classes, so half high school classes, then I have three hours a day here. It’s really nice to have that split up, so you have the best of both worlds. I have my math classes at school and I have all the creative learning here with the designing,” said Jake Maurer, Essex High School junior.
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VIDEO OF THE WEEK
Connecting the Classroom to Promising Health Careers
This PBS special dives into Oakland’s Life Academy highly successful academic and work-based learning approach, making it clear to students what opportunities awaits them in the healthcare field.
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RESOURCE OF THE WEEK
Registered Apprenticeship College Consortium (RACC)
The RACC is a network of colleges and apprenticeship programs, created by the US Department of Labor, dedicated to ensuring students are provided with opportunities to move from college to career.
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ANNOUNCEMENT OF THE WEEK
CTE Month kicks off February! Keep an eye out for Twitter chats, articles, videos, onsite events and more. If you’re doing anything for CTE Month, let us know by emailing [email protected]

Katie Fitzgerald, Communications Associate

 

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