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Career Clusters® Institute Blog series: All Really Does Mean All – The Next Big Challenge Facing Career Clusters®

June 8th, 2013

This blog series provides readers with insight on the valuable content that is being shared at the Career Clusters ® Institute. Guest bloggers are among teachers, faculty, researchers and other experts that will present at the national gathering in Fort Worth, TX in June. Today’s guest blogger is Scott Hess, Vice President of Community Partnerships, Ascend Learning CTE (pictured below right).

So you want to be a social worker? Well how about being a nurse instead? They help people too (and, um, we don’t have that Program Of JC Pic 1Study)…

Questions and answers like these are not uncommon for students and their counselors as they try to create a Program of Study (POS) aligned with the student’s career goals and interests.

The dilemma facing many schools today is that, while they want to encourage kids to explore careers in all 16 Career Clusters®, in actuality, they may only offer options in 5 or 6 clusters.  Student participation should not be determined by the size or location of the school they attend.

The traditional ‘Vocational Education’ came under scrutiny because it only provided opportunities for a few students in a few jobs. In reality, we aren’t much better off today. The lack of access to a variety of programs of study is one of the biggest issues facing Career Technical Education (CTE), and it doesn’t only affect rural schools. We have heard from districts in the Washington, DC suburbs that want to respond to their students’ growing interest in local and organic farming, but do not have agricultural programs.  The only way to provide opportunities to all students is by “thinking out of the box,” using a little imagination, taking advantage of technology and creatively addressing outdated policies and other roadblocks.

Recognizing this dilemma, Ascend Learning’s CTE group is working with schools to help them develop and implement blended learning solutions. We bring schools modular content and interactive digital resources that can be used to craft courses that help students study towards industry-recognized credentials wherever they and whenever they have time to study. During our breakout session, we will share some of theseascendCTE_logo_color resources and talk about strategies teachers can use to engage students in a blended learning format.

We also want to help you share your insights about blended learning with other teachers. We will be putting recommendations from the breakout session participants on the Ascend Learning CTE blog following the conference.

Scott’s vendor session is scheduled for Monday, June 10 from 2:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.

Ramona Schescke, Member Services Manager

Career Clusters® Institute Series: Make the National Career Clusters® Institute Unforgettable with Kuder, Inc.

June 6th, 2013

This blog series provides readers with insight on the valuable content that is being shared at the Career Clusters ® Institute. Guest bloggers are among teachers, faculty, researchers and other experts that will present at the national gathering in Fort Worth, TX in June. Today’s guest blog is from  Kuder, Inc.
KuderAnnivAs a longtime National Career Clusters® Institute presenter and exhibitor, Kuder, Inc. is determined to make this year’s event unforgettable. 2013 marks our 75th anniversary and we want to celebrate it with you! There are a variety of ways you can connect with us during the institute to learn a little more about who we are, what we do, and how we’ve helped over 150 million users worldwide achieve lifelong success.

Let the celebration begin as you attend our pre session, “Become a Career Advising Idol,” on Sunday, June 9 at 1:00 p.m. in Texas Ballroom A. Be the envy of colleagues for your commitment to excellence and clients ‘wow’ your guidance, simply by engaging in professional development training. Our courses will increase personal performance and help you better assist those you serve.

Join us on Tuesday, June 11 at 1:20 p.m. in Fort Worth Ballroom 8 for our breakout session, “Facilitating Career Success Through One Seamless Pipeline of Comprehensive Solutions.” We’ll feature our customizable line of end-to-end education and career planning solutions uniquely tailored to the individual and developmental needs of every student and adult. Our systems are proven to boost academic performance, increase retention and completion rates, and give users hope and direction for the future.

After our breakout session, stop by our table at the sponsor showcase until 5:00 p.m. for more information.

For instant updates from us during the 2013 National Career Clusters® Institute, search for @Kuder or #KuderCCI13 on Twitter.

We look forward to meeting you and making this year’s event unforgettable!

Ramona Schescke, Member Services Manager

Career Clusters® Institute Series: Sessions on the Common Career Technical Core and on Implementing the Common Core State Standards in the Context of CTE

June 4th, 2013

This blog series provides readers with insight on the valuable content that is being shared at the Career Clusters ® Institute. Guest bloggers are among teachers, faculty, researchers and other experts that will present at the national gathering in Fort Worth, TX in June. Today’s guest blogger is Kate Blosveren, Associate Executive Director, National Association of State Directors of Career Technical Education Consortium (NASDCTEc), Silver Spring, MD.

With the Common Core State Standards being implemented by nearly every state in the nation and the (common) Next Generation Science Standards recently released, there is increasingly broad understanding of the value in having consistent standards used across states to allow for the sharing of materials, best practices and even economies of scale. The Career Technical Education (CTE) community has long valued cross-state models of CTE expectations, largely driven by the National Career Clusters® Framework and national industry-developed standards and assessments.

Looking ahead, CTE is poised to enter its next stage of consistent expectations with the introduction of the Common Career Technical Core (CCTC). The CCTC are a set of end-of-program of study standards, developed for states by states, to anchor CTE teaching and learning across the country at both the secondary and postsecondary level.Print

The 2013 Career Clusters® Institute will offer a number of opportunities for participants to learn more about the development of the CCTC, their design, and what comes next, including state adoption and local implementation.

CTE & the Common Core State Standards

The Career Clusters® Institute will also feature a wide array of sessions on how Career Technical Education and the Common Core State Standards intersect, with sessions on instructional tools, professional development strategies, and statewide initiatives. (This session is Monday, June 10 from 2:30 p.m.-3:30 p.m.)

I’m excited to lead two sessions on CTE and CCSS, the first of which exploring how many of the skills we often consider to be “career skills” or “employability skills” are carefully embedded in the CCSS and the implications of that blend. The other session will focus on a project done in partnership between the National Association of State Directors of Career Technical Education Consortium and Achieve to develop a protocol and set of tools to help mathematics and CTE educators come together to develop and modify instructional tasks. During this session, participants will learn about the process and model the process themselves. (Kate is referring to the session Common Core & CTE: Aligned Instructional Tasks, Wednesday, June 12 from 10 a.m.-11 a.m.)

I’m looking forward to seeing you all in Texas next week!

Kate’s session, Introduction to the Common Career Technical Core is Tuesday, June 11 from 11:15 a.m.-12:15 p.m. and repeated 1:30 p.m.-2:30 p.m.; she also has a session called “Office Hours” meant to answer your questions about the Common Career Technical Core-a follow up to the earlier two sessions.

Ramona Schescke, Member Services Manager

Career Clusters® Institute Blog Series: Teacher Training and Development – Preparing Today’s Students

June 4th, 2013

This blog series provides readers with insight on the valuable content that is being shared at the Career Clusters ® Institute. Guest bloggers are among teachers, faculty, researchers and other experts that will present at the national gathering in Fort Worth, TX in June. Today’s guest blogger is Dr. John Foster, President/CEO of NOCTI, Big Rapids, MI.

States have varying requirements for certification of Career and Technical Education (CTE) teachers who enter the system from alternative paths. In some states, these teachers fall into an “alternative certification” category.  Regardless of whether these individuals have received college-level coursework, they rarely have had extensive preparation to become a teacher, much less a CTE teacher.  Schools hiring these individuals to teach their programs require current industry experience and many times, the trade-off is an individual with limited preparation in teaching pedagogies.NOCTI--Navy-11-2009

There are many other topics that individuals who go through a traditional teacher certification track are exposed to, including student assessment which focuses on how to use assessments for instructional improvement.  As times have changed, there are additional alternative uses for assessments such as the more formal inclusion of assessments in states’ teacher evaluation models.  Assessments play a key role in each of these areas.

Thanks to a combination of universities, current needs, and NOCTI board members, modules have been developed providing research-based information about assessments.  Though module development was led by NOCTI, the majority of the content it is applicable to any third-party technical assessment.  These modules are available free of charge as a service to the CTE community we serve and focus on two areas:

1) Understanding CTE assessment/certification systems; and

2) Understanding and preparing for teacher and student level competency tests.

While our session is not intended to be a formal training in traditional teaching pedagogy, it will provide helpful information about important components of a classroom setting including assessments, psychometrics, and utilizing data within the classroom. With a high demand for high quality CTE teachers, providing resources for training these individuals to prepare tomorrow’s workforce is extremely important.

Our session will include a review of the developed CTE Teacher Modules and suggest module implementation ideas as part of a professional development workshop, an in-service for newly hired teachers and/or as a portion of a university course.  Stop by this session to learn some basics about assessment and take your skills to a new level!

Dr. Foster’s breakout session is Tuesday, June 11, 2013 in Session C, 8:45 a.m.-9:45 a.m. Co-presenter is Mrs. Amie Bloomfield, Customer Care and Outreach Manager, NOCTI, Big Rapids, MI.

Ramona Schescke, Member Services Manager

 

For more information, please go to www.nocti.org

Ramona Schescke, Member Services Manager

Career Clusters® Institute Blog Series: Data Mining to Improve Instruction: CTEDDI

June 3rd, 2013

This blog series provides readers with insight on the valuable content that is being shared at the Career Clusters ® Institute. Guest bloggers are among teachers, faculty, researchers and other experts that will present at the national gathering in Fort Worth, TX in June. Today’s guest blogger is Dr. Sandra Pritz, Senior Consultant, NOCTI.

Strategies to improve instruction are embedded in your students’ data if you know how to mine for them.  CTEDDI (Career Technical Educators using Data-Driven NOCTIInstruction) is a researched professional development mining tool, and the model can be implemented in various ways to meet needs at the state or local level.

Educators say they welcome evaluations of their practice and programs, but need more support in interpreting and using student assessment data to make their instruction more effective and help their students achieve at higher levels and meet their learning objectives. Increasingly, evaluations of schools, programs, and teachers are being tied to student achievement.

To help schools, teachers, and students excel, NRCCTE researchers at NOCTI spent three years researching, developing, and pilot testing CTEDDI—a professional development model that empowers CTE administrators and educators to use student assessment data to enrich classroom practice, capture student interest, effectively target individual and group learning needs, and meet student learning objectives (SLOs).

CTEDDIUnlike out-of-the-box, one-shot professional development, with CTEDDI:

  • Training is highly interactive and customized.
  • Professional development is a year-long process rather than a one-time event, with participants receiving ongoing support and mentoring.
  • Educators use their own students’ data to create classroom- and student-level instructional improvement plans.
  • Educators participate in an online collaborative community of practice with CTEDDI participants across the country.
  • Educators are assisted in making systematic and strategic instructional decisions that can result in higher student scores and teacher performance evaluations.

CTEDDI technical assistance is available at the secondary and postsecondary level for states, districts, and/or schools and can be customized to meet specific needs. Join educators in California, Maine, Minnesota, Pennsylvania, and Chicago who are currently participating in CTEDDI.                                   Data

Come and find out how the process model can be replicated using the action planning process as long as you have mined your data. At the session, small groups will mine ideas from sample technical skills data.

For more information, go to www.nocti.org

Dr. Pritz’s breakout session is Tuesday, June 11, 2013 in Session C, 8:45 a.m. – 9:45 a.m. and is described more fully on page 19 in the Institute program booklet.

NRCCTE

Ramona Schescke, Member Services Manager

Career Clusters® Institute Blog Series: College Credit for CTE Competency … Now Available

June 3rd, 2013

This blog series provides readers with insight on the valuable content that is being shared at the Career Clusters ® Institute. Guest bloggers are among teachers, faculty, researchers and other experts that will present at the national gathering in Fort Worth, TX in June. Today’s guest blogger is Dr. John C. Foster, CEO, NOCTI and NOCTI Business Solutions.NOCTI

Education is at a crossroad in many ways, and there are so many external influences on public education that it can make one’s head spin. The current focus on Career and College Readiness brings with it its own set of external influences which, in addition to the indirect influences on education in general, impact the Career Technical Education (CTE) community directly and more specifically.

Just a few examples of these impacts are big picture issues like teacher evaluations based on student outcome data, return on investment in technical training based on workplace success, researching, categorizing and assessing the value of industry certification systems and, of course, Perkins IV reauthorization. In relation to assessment in the CTE community, we have other layers of impacts including implementation of Programs of Study (POS), the use of data for instructional improvement, articulation agreement foundations, dual credit, and inconsistency of rigor of CTE programs in similar technical areas.

CCRS

In our session we will briefly explore some of these issues with a focus purposely on solutions that exist for several of them. Specifically, we will focus on collaboration with the National College Credit Recommendation Service (NCCRS), a program of the USNY Regents Research Fund; NCCRS has conducted an academic evaluation showing competence on technical assessments delivered by NOCTI. Over 1500 colleges and universities may consider awarding college credit for NOCTI assessments based on NCCRS credit recommendations.

The presentation will explore the first year of implementation of this innovative approach, what we learned, and how we improved our process and product for the second year. This whole process underscores the rigor of CTE programs and highlights the commitment of non-profits like NOCTI and NCCRS to see that CTE programs have the data they need to prove their success. If time permits we will also discuss the concept of how badges fit into the equation. Please join us for an informative and innovative session!

For more information go to www.nocti.org and www.nationalccrs.org

Dr. Foster’s breakout session (identified as a vendor session) is Tuesday, June 11, 2013 in Session D, 11:15 a.m. – 12:10 p.m. and described on page 25 in the Institute program booklet. Co-presenter is Ms. Tina Grant, Director, National College Credit Recommendation Service, Albany, NY.

Ramona Schescke, Member Services Manager

Career Clusters® Institute Blog Series: Real World in the Classroom

May 31st, 2013

This blog series provides readers with insight on the valuable content that is being shared at the Career Clusters ® Institute. Guest bloggers are among teachers, faculty, researchers and other experts that will present at the national gathering in Fort Worth, TX in June. Today’s guest blogger is Jennifer Robinson, Program Director of InVEST

InVEST, a 501(c)(3) non-profit, has been providing real world skills and knowledge to high school students for decades, enabling them to enter careers in the insurance industry after graduation, and arming them with powerful consumer knowledge.

Students who have gone through the InVEST program have received almost $600,000 in scholarship dollars, landed insurance careers in their areas and continue to be top notch insurance consumer. How does this work?

  • Insurance Training: InVEST students learn insurance basics, like terms, how premiums are calculated, types of insurance needed, how to file claims and more.
  • Real Life Software: With the help of local insurance volunteers, students learn how to use insurance rating software used in real insurance agencies.
  • Simulation: Students break into small groups and simulate an insurance agency, using the rating software, forms, agency management systems, etc. to mock sell insurance policies.
  • Professional Skills: By interacting with insurance professionals, students learn how to interact in a professional setting while gaining office experience like paying office expenses, creating an agency brand and marketing collateral, and more.

View this brief video to see the inside of an InVEST program in St. Petersburg, Fla. and understand more about the benefits to students of the free program. Learn more by visiting InVEST at www.investprogram.org or their student website at www.learninsurance.org.

Jennifer Robinson, InVEST program director, will be hosting an in depth session about the InVEST program at the 2013 National Career Clusters Institute on June 11th at 10:00 am titled “Insurance Education and Career Training for Free.

Ramona Schescke, Member Services Manager

Career Clusters® Institute Blog Series: Infusing Entrepreneurship Education across the Career Clusters

May 31st, 2013

This blog series provides readers with insight on the valuable content that is being shared at the Career Clusters ® Institute. Guest bloggers are among teachers, faculty, researchers and other experts that will present at the national gathering in Fort Worth, TX in June. Today’s guest blogger is Gregg Christensen, Entrepreneurship and Career Education Specialist at the Nebraska Department of Education.

43%, 42%, 91%…

Why Infuse Entrepreneurship Education throughout CTE?: The end game of career technical education is to help students achieve greater success in college and career.  In the minds of many though, career conjures up the image of a job working for someone else. The reality is that career technical education should embrace both employment (a job) and entrepreneurship.

Most new jobs created in the United States come from the creative efforts of entrepreneurs engaged in endeavors ranging from micro-businesses to large scale ventures. But, our lead in innovation and entrepreneurship in the global economy is narrowing. Other countries are catching up and surpassing us. Case in point: In 2009, 51% of U.S. patents were awarded to non-U.S. companies.

How can CTE Embrace Entrepreneurship and Innovation?: E4 is a tagline used by the Nebraska Entrepreneurship Task Force (NETForce) to describe the mission to “Educate, Engage and Empower Entrepreneurs.” NETForce is an actively engaged group of collaborating partners focused on the high income, high skill and high demand entrepreneurial career opportunities available to youth and adults. Nebraska Career Education (NCE) is one of those partners.

This session will share examples of how NCE and other NETForce members have strategically and intentionally worked to infuse entrepreneurship education at all levels, K-16 through adult. You will also learn about the exciting new entrepreneurial talent assessment for high school aged youth that is being piloted in Nebraska. After completing the assessment, each student will receive a confidential, customized report that explains how he or she can develop each of 10 entrepreneurial talents and apply his or her entrepreneurial style to succeed in an entrepreneurial role and tap into their entrepreneurial energy. Students will be able to use this information in school, in any career, or in starting a new business. The goal is to offer it nationwide in 2014.

So, do young people and adults see entrepreneurship as a career choice?: Back to the percentages from the start of the blog. Gallup surveyed 1,217 U.S. students in the fifth through 12th grades in 2012 about their business and entrepreneurial intentions as part of their HOPE Index.

The results support infusing entrepreneurship education across all career clusters:

  • 43% plan to start their own business,
  • 42% say they will invent something that changes the world, and
  • 91% of adult Nebraskans believe entrepreneurship is a positive career choice (according to Entrepreneurship in Nebraska-Conditions, Attitudes and Actions).

Gregg’s breakout session is Tuesday, June 11 from 1:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.

Ramona Schescke, Member Services Manager

 

Career Clusters® Institute Blog Series: Business – Industry Certification (BIC): CTE Programs that Provide 21st Century Skills

May 30th, 2013

This blog series provides readers with insight on the valuable content that is being shared at the Career Clusters ® Institute. Guest bloggers are among teachers, faculty, researchers and other experts that will present at the national gathering in Fort Worth, TX in June. Today’s guest blogger is Randy Swann, Education Administrator, Alabama State Department of Education.

The Alabama State Department of Education, Office of Career and Technical Education/Workforce Development partnered with business and industry to develop a certification process that establishes and maintains a quality-oriented accountability system for the improvement and enhancement of Career Technical Education (CTE). All CTE programs must participate in an annual local evaluation for business/industry certification (BIC). BIC promotes program improvement that enhances the preparedness of Alabama’s students for society and tomorrow’s workforce. AL

Alabama requires all CTE programs to certify to industry standards, either through the state’s BIC process or through a national certification process. The BIC process is certified to standards as developed by the International Organization for Standardization (“ISO”) and these standards are referred to as ISO 9001:2000 certification.

The ISO 9001:2000 certification is process-based and recognizes organizations that link business objectives with operating effectiveness. ISO indicates that CTE demonstrates effective implementation of BIC documentation and records management; has the commitment of top management to local career and technical programs; has established clear policies; conducts good planning and implementation; performs good resource management; and has efficient process control, measurement, and analysis. The ISO certification ensures that the BIC process is quality-oriented, consistently administered, and focused on customer satisfaction. The purpose of BIC is to ensure that CTE programs meet industry standards so that students will be equipped for postsecondary education, apprenticeship, employment, and life.

For more information, please go to Alabama’s Department of Education Web site.

Randy’s breakout session is Tuesday, June 11, 2013 in Session E, 1:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.

Ramona Schescke, Member Services Manager

Career Clusters® Institute Blog Series: Reviewing and Using Eight Key Indicators of Rigorous Career Technical Education to Improve Programs of Study

May 23rd, 2013

This blog series provides readers with insight on the valuable content that is being shared at the Career Clusters ® Institute. Guest bloggers are among teachers, faculty, researchers and other experts that will present at the national gathering in Fort Worth, TX in June. Today’s guest blogger is Scott Warren, Director of State Initiatives, Southern Regional Education Board (SREB)-High Schools that Work. The SREB is located in Atlanta, GA.

Who says rigorous CTE is not key to improving student achievement?  Consider these figures: 17 percent more students meeting college and career readiness goals in reading and science and 13 percent more meeting college and career readiness goals in mathematics.  Where did these percentages come from, you ask?   When High Schools That Work analyzed data from its 2012 national assessment of seniors we found when students had classroom experiences in their CT classrooms they were much more likely to meet college and career readiness standards.  This was true even when the students all took the same academic classes! HSTW_Red_Logo.jpg.tn

High Schools That Work compared two groups of students from the 2012 assessment. The first group included students who experienced more than four of the eight indicators for a rigorous CT course.  We then took a similar group in terms of ethnicity, socio-economic and gender who experienced less than four of these indicators.  The results were staggering.  Even when students took the “right” academic classes, rigorous CT resulted in a significant increase in achievement.  For reading, 63 percent of the students who took a college preparatory academic core but did not experience rigorous CT met college and career readiness goals. However, 80 percent of the students who took that same academic core and had rigorous CT met college and career readiness goals – a 17 percent increase! Similar data holds true for science and mathematics.

In this breakout session on Monday afternoon, participants will learn more about these eight critical CT classroom experiences that make a difference.  Participants will also learn a simple strategy to engage teachers in taking ownership of them by developing tools for leaders to use to look for them in classrooms.

Scott’s breakout is Monday, June 10, 2013 in session B: 3:45 p.m. – 5 p.m. 

More information about the National Career Clusters® Institute

Ramona Schescke, Member Services Manager

 

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