This Week in CTE: Arne Duncan Resigns in December

October 2nd, 2015

TWEET OF THE WEEK

ARTICLE OF THE WEEK

Assistant Superintendent says CTE is Vital for State’s Future
West Virginia’s simulated workplace program has gained international attention for providing students with real-world experiences enhancing what their learning in the classroom. Kathy D’Antoni, assistant state superintendent of schools for the Division of Technical and Adult Education Services says CTE and this type of program is necessary to prepare students to for lifelong careers in West Virginia.
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RESOURCE OF THE WEEK

Southern Regional Education Board is offering 150 teacher training grants for high school teachers and technical centers to better prepare high school students for postsecondary education and careers. Contact advancedcareer@sreb.org for more information.

MEDIA OF THE WEEK

American Graduate Day is on Saturday, October 3, and the live seven-hour broadcast will focus on the people and organizations that keep students on track to graduate. Journalists, thought leaders and celebrities will raise awareness around such topics as college and career readiness, caring consistent adults, dropout prevention, and STEAM.
Watch

Katie Fitzgerald, Communications Associate 

Celebrating Excellence for Manufacturing Day

October 2nd, 2015

In honor of Manufacturing Day, we’d like to highlight one of our 2015 Excellence in Action award winners in Microsoft Word - Letter of Reference - Excellence in Action.docthe Manufacturing Career Cluster. The Welding Technology Program at Butte-Glenn Community College (BGCC) in Oroville, California is an exemplary program of study relying on rigorous program performance standards and national curriculum standards along with quality employer partnerships to produce entry-level technicians prepared to work in the industry.

BGCC has developed articulation agreements with 20 high schools in the state, and offers opportunities for high school students to complete college courses through concurrent enrollment. In 2013-2014 almost 80 students earned postsecondary credits through these agreements, creating a true pathway to postsecondary success.

Once students enter postsecondary education, they have the opportunity to earn a variety of certifications and have access to work hands on with industry leaders. For example, PG&E and the college developed the PG&E Power Pathway for welding, providing curriculum, instructor training and scholarships for welding students. “I have found Butte College’s program to be exemplary and a model for others. Frankly, I consider them to be one of the best welding programs in our state,” said Kerry Shatell, Sr. Welding Engineer at PG&E. “The graduates are considered to be more highly qualified and able to perform journeyman level work sooner than other graduates in the marketplace.”

This sentiment rings true with data showing that 92 percent of students earned a pass rate for a certification, and all students entered the workforce or military upon completion of the program.

Read more about BGCC’s Welding program of study here, and join us in celebrating Manufacturing Day! We will be on Twitter sharing exciting news, events and resources throughout the day.

 Katie Fitzgerald, Communications Associate 

Welcome to Utah’s New State CTE Director, Thalea Longhurst!

September 29th, 2015

We are pleased to welcome Thalea Longhurst, Utah’s new State CTE Director! Longhurst had an unusual introduction to the education field, beginning her career in sports medicine. While obtaining a master’s degree and working in a clinic, a local school district expressed interest in starting a sports medicine program. Longhurst started by teaching just a few hours a day, which eventually turned into a 10-year part-time teaching tenure at the local high school. Utah has the unique ability to license industry professionals to teach in the classroom, allowing her to practice sports medicine professionally, while also teaching part time.

After 10 years, Longhurst decided to dedicate her career to education and took a full-time position. After working in the district to develop standards and assessments, she transitioned to the State CTE office and rose through the ranks to her eventual appointment as State CTE Director in 2014.

As State Director, her primary goal for CTE in Utah is to take a hard look at what programs are outdated or are not aligned to the workforce needs of the state and ensure only the highest quality programs are supported moving forward. “CTE should be a part of a comprehensive approach to education that is rigorous, not less than any other type of study and is an integral part to every student’s education,” said Longhurst.

A challenge in building and supporting these high-quality programs of study has been engaging the right partners in program development. To create a program that not only focuses on high academic and technical achievement, but also provides learners with the skills employers in the community needs, the Utah CTE office has been bringing multiple partners to the table, including local industry, business, economic development agencies, workforce services, educators, and parents among others. Although engaging each partner, in addition to aligning expectations of success across these sectors, has been challenging, Longhurst is convinced this effort will strengthen the quality of Utah’s CTE programs of study.

Under Longhurst, Utah is working towards the goal of every student equipped with 21st century college- and career-ready skills with access to high-quality programs of study that are directly aligned with industry needs. Be on the lookout for exciting work happening in Utah.

Katie Fitzgerald, Communications Associate 

This Week in CTE

September 25th, 2015

TWEET OF THE WEEK

WEBINAR OF THE WEEK
The Alliance for Excellent Education and Asia Society are hosting a webinar, Raising the Bar for the Quality of Career Preparation Pathways: Apprenticeships on October 2 from 1 – 2 p.m. EDT. Panelists will focus on the success of the Swiss apprenticeship program and how the U.S. education system can integrate some aspects of the Swiss program.
Register today

RESOURCE OF THE WEEK
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce launched a new website this week where the business community can learn more about college and career ready standards. Achieving Tomorrow is complete with, videos, op-eds from chamber leaders, resources and a map with state assessment information, college completion rates and skills gap projects.
Learn more

Katie Fitzgerald, Communications Associate

This Week in CTE

September 18th, 2015

TWEET OF THE WEEK

ARTICLE OF THE WEEK

The Council of State Governments September/October issue of Capitol Ideas magazine focuses on Science, Technology Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) with an article specifically on how Career Technical Education intersects with STEM.
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WEBINAR OF THE WEEK

NASDCTEc in partnership with the Appalachia Regional Comprehensive Center are hosting a webinar,. Reshaping Tennessee’s Work-based Learning on Thursday, October 15. The webinar will explore how Tennesee is reshaping work based learning to create a rigorous and relevant experience for all students.
Register

REPORT OF THE WEEK

Don’t Quit on Me, a report released by America’s Promise Alliance, explores how the role of relationships in a student’s life impacts their chances of graduating high school.
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AWARD OF THE WEEK

The Alliance for Excellent Education opened applications for their Excellence and Innovation In Secondary Schools award. The awards will identify exemplary high schools and/or districts that are improving outcomes for undeserved students.
Apply

Katie Fitzgerald, Communications Associate 

NASDCTEc Legislative Update: Obama Administration Announces College Scorecard and Apprenticeship Grants as Congress Edges Closer to Funding Deadline

September 17th, 2015

United States CapitalEarlier this year, the Obama Administration announced its intention to create a college ratings system where postsecondary institutions would be sorted into three broad categories of high, medium, and low performing schools. Many stakeholder groups, including NASDCTEc, provided feedback on this proposal to the U.S. Department of Education (ED) and many groups had significant reservations about the newly proposed effort.

After taking these comments into consideration, ED announced earlier this summer that they would change direction with this initiative and create a new public-facing information tool that would make institution specific information available to consumers to make more informed choices about their postsecondary education options without making a value judgement.

Last week, the Department released this tool, known as the College Scorecard which is now available on their website. The tool offers information on an institution’s costs, graduation rates, the percentage of students receiving federal aid, and significantly, the median earnings of graduates 10 years after completion. Most of this information comes with caveats—as a related technical paper from ED notes, the earnings information only covers those students receiving federal grants or loans, includes graduates and non-completers alike, and excludes currently enrolled students.

More detailed information on the scorecard can be found via the Workforce Data Quality Campaign of which NASDCTEc is a national partner.

While the scorecard is a significant step in the right direction, more can still be done to improve upon this work such as refocusing the effort to look at program-level data where it would be far more useful to students and their families. In the coming weeks, NASDCTEc plans to work with its partners to provide comment on the scorecard and will continue to think through ways in which the tool could be improved.

Administration Announces More Funding for Apprenticeships

Another big development happened last Wednesday when President Obama and Dr. Jill Biden announced the 46 grantees for this year’s U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) American Apprenticeship grant program (AAG). Using Macomb Community College in Michigan as a backdrop for the announcement, this $175 million investment is part of the Admisntration’s wider effort to double the number of apprenticeships in the country—a realistic goal considering the U.S. lags behind nearly every other advanced country when it comes to participation in apprenticeships. While this is the second year for the AAG program, the Admisntration’s move to increase the amount of funding available by an additional $75 million underscores their strong commitment to what they’ve dubbed the “earn and learn” model for the coming years.

The grantees plan to create training opportunities for 34,000 apprenticeships at these 46 public-private partnerships, mostly in areas such as advanced manufacturing, healthcare, and information technology while scaling up many existing programs in construction, transportation, and energy over the next few years. Many of the grantees plan to develop or build upon existing state or local career pathways, sector partnerships, and the Registered Apprenticeship College Consortium initiative that have boosted activity in this area throughout the country in recent years.

For instance, the Illinois Advance Apprenticeship Consortium grant, which will receive $3.9 million in grant funding, plans to create 600 new apprenticeship positions that link to the state’s career pathway initiative, in order to create new on and off ramps for students to pursue these opportunities.

NASDCTEc applauds the Admisntration’s commitment to investing in the nation’s workforce and looks forward to the work that lies ahead as these grants start to reap benefits for students across the country. More information on the announcement can be found here and here.

Administration Launches “Heads Up America” Campaign and Continues to Push College Promise Proposal

Apprenticeships were only half of the conversation when President Obama and Dr. Jill Biden spoke at Macomb Community College last week. The President has continued to advocate for his America’s College Promise proposal which would make the first two years of college tuition free for qualifying students.

As part of that effort, the President has announced the creation of an independent advisory board for this effort, chaired by Dr. Jill Biden and former Wyoming Governor Jim Geringer, to convene like-minded postsecondary leaders, share best practices and models for the effort’s expansion, and to serve as recruiting tool to get more individuals involved in the work to expand the initiative throughout states and local communities. A full list of the board members is located here.

To that end, one of the core functions of this new board will be to spearhead a public awareness and grassroots campaign called “Heads Up America”. The goal of this effort is to spread awareness about community colleges and to create a nationwide movement to support the President’s call for lawmakers to take action on his America’s College Promise proposal. More information on this effort can be found here.

Odds & Ends

  • With the Fiscal Year 2016 funding deadline on September 30th fast approaching, lawmakers are currently working to avoid a government shutdown over Republican opposition to any funding measure that contains support for Planned Parenthood. While no deal has been reached as of today, the likelihood of a temporary stop-gap spending measure, known as a Continuing Resolution or CR, is growing increasingly likely. NASDCTEc will provide further information about that process next week.
  • The Workforce Data Quality Campaign hosted a Congressional briefing on the need to more effectively leverage education and workforce data to improve education and employment outcomes for students. The briefing also examined ways in which data systems could be improved, from local, state, and federal perspectives. More information on the event can be found here.
  • Chairman John Kline (R-MN) of the House Education and Workforce Committee recently announced that he will not seek reelection in 2016. While he will remain Chair of the Committee through next year, his likely replacement still remains uncertain, but includes among others, Reps. Virginia Foxx (R-NC) and Joe Wilson (R-SC).
  • The U.S. Secretaries of Labor and Education recently wrote an Op-Ed piece for the Philadelphia Inquirer calling for a renewed focus on improving the K-12 education experience. The piece highlights IBM’s P-Tech model as one way to improve student learning and outcomes. More here.

Steve Voytek, Government Relations Manager 

This Week in CTE: President Obama Announces Apprenticeship Program

September 11th, 2015

TWEET OF THE WEEK

RESOURCE OF THE WEEK

Association for Career and Technical Education released a two-page brief describing the different types of credentials including who they are awarded by, what the credential indicates, and examples of each type.
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EVENT OF THE WEEK

National Tech Ag Day is hosting a live webcast on September 24 from 1:45 0 4:00 p.m. EDT where the American Farm Bureau Federation Office will host panels, national and state education leaders, agriculture teachers and more.
More

ARTICLE OF THE WEEK

President Obama visited Michigan Technical Education Center in Michigan this week to announce a $175 million Labor Department program that will create 34,000 apprenticeships around the country.
More

Katie Fitzgerald, Communications Associate 

This Week in CTE

September 4th, 2015

TWEET OF THE WEEK

ARTICLE OF THE WEEK

Why We Desperately need to Bring Back Vocational Training in Schools
While the four-year college system is failing many students, career technical education programs are being cut across the country leaving high school graduates with few skills and fewer job opportunities.
More

VIDEO OF THE WEEK

NCCER and Build Your Future have partnered to create the I BUILT THIS video contest for professionals and instructors to highlight their construction projects and designs. Submit by October 18!
More

RESOURCE OF THE WEEK

The National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation announced it’s CTE program, ProStart, which teaches culinary arts and restaurant management, is now available throughout the United States.
More

Katie Fitzgerald, Communications Associate 

National Council for Agricultural Education Releases Revised Content Standards

September 3rd, 2015

For the past 32 years, the National Council for Agricultural Education (The Council) has provided leadership for stakeholders in agriculture, food, fiber and natural resources systems education. As part of its goal of to stimulate positive growth in agricultural education, The Council recently completed a review and revision of the agriculture, food and natural resources (AFNR) Career Cluster Content Standards.

The AFNR Career Cluster Content Standards originally were developed as part of the 2003 U.S. Department of Education (USDE) Career Clusters Project. Last revised in 2009, the new version of the standards have a number of advancements, with the revision focused on ensuring that they:

  • Reflect essential and up-to-date knowledge and skills that students need to be ready for early-career success in a variety of AFNR disciplines;
  • Provide a sound basis upon which to design AFNR related Career and Technical Education (CTE) courses; and
  • Provide a sound basis for developing end of course/program assessments to measure students’ attainment of essential disciplinary knowledge and skills.

Another goal of this revision project was to identify strategies for encouraging greater adoption and use at the state and local level. One way we did this was by partnering with NASDCTEc to fully align our work to the Common Career Technical Core (CCTC) Career Ready Practices and the AFNR Career Cluster standards to encourage State Directors of CTE to see them as a viable resource to build courses in the AFNR cluster and assess performance, as well as to help agricultural educators better demonstrate how their students perform within the CCTC. Prior to the 2015 revision, the correlation and alignment between this standards set and the AFNR CCTC had been vague. The standards were also cross-walked to several other key frameworks including the Next Generation Science Standards, the Common Core Standards, and the National Standards for Financial Literacy.

The AFNR Career Cluster Content Standards provide state agricultural education leaders and educators with a high-quality, rigorous set of standards to guide what students should know and be able to do after completing a program of study in each of the eight AFNR career pathways.

State leaders and local educators are encouraged to use the standards as a guide for the development of well-planned curriculum and assessments for AFNR-related CTE programs. These standards are intended to help shape the design of all components of an agricultural education program including:

  • Classroom and laboratory instruction.
  • Career and Technical Student Organization (CTSO) experiences through organizations such as the National FFA Organization and the Post-Secondary Agriculture Students Organization (PAS).
  • Work-based learning experiences such as Supervised Agricultural Experience (SAE) Programs and internships.

Just as agriculture varies throughout our nation and around the world, so will our agricultural education programs. While adoption and use of these standards is voluntary, states and local entities are encouraged to adapt the standards to meet local needs. States should explore these standards in conjunction with state and local advisory committees to determine what is most relevant and appropriate for their students in providing that all-important link between the school and the business community.

The AFNR industry is a highly technical and ever-changing sector of the global economy upon which everyone is dependent. We will continue to meet national and global demand for a safe and abundant food, fiber and fuel supply only if we invest in the growth and development of the human capital for the AFNR industry. Strong, relevant AFNR CTE programs that are informed by industry and education stakeholders are one way we can meet workforce needs now and in the future.

For further information professionals are asked to consult the standards documents online at https://www.ffa.org/thecouncil/afnr or by contacting The Council directly at 317-753-3319 or mhoneycutt@ffa.org.

This post was contributed by Mike Honeycutt, Managing Director, National Council for Agricultural Education. 

This Week in CTE

August 28th, 2015

TWEET OF THE WEEK

ARTICLE OF THE WEEK
25 Ways to Strengthen Workforce Education
A California Community College task force comprised of representatives from community colleges, businesses, labor groups and public agencies, has released 25 recommendations to strengthen workforce education and close the skills gap in the state.
More

VIDEO OF THE WEEK
Hawaii high school students created videos around the prompt, “What does CTE mean to you?” Check out the top three finalists in the video contest.
More

RESOURCE OF THE WEEK
National Skills Coalition launched the first ever scan of sector partnership policies in all 50 states. The study found that 21 states have specific policies to support local sector partnerships. See how your state measures up.
More

Katie Fitzgerald, Communications Associate 

 

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