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. More
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
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
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
This post was contributed by Mike Honeycutt, Managing Director, National Council for Agricultural Education.
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
NJ County Vocational-Technical Schools Lead Newsweek’s ‘America’s Top High Schools’ List Newsweek’s 2015 “America’s Top High Schools” list, six of the top ten schools are New Jersey county vocational-technical schools one of which is a 2015 Excellence in Action award winner. In all, 15 New Jersey vocational-technical schools are included in the top 150 (out of 500) high schools speaking to the high caliber of CTE in the state. Read More
REPORT OF THE WEEK
Despite the increasing demands placed on professionals in the education sectors whether in public education, government agencies, foundations or nonprofits to manage the K-12 education system, professional development opportunities are consistently left on the backburner. EdFuel released a report, Hidden in Plain Sight: Tomorrow Education Leaders Already Work for You, diving into the benefits and necessity of training and educating education leaders.
ANNOUNCEMENT OF THE WEEK
While women represent 50 percent of the labor force, only 25 percent of the manufacturing workforce are women. To celebrate and promote women in this sector, the STEP Ahead Awards program by the Manufacturing Institute launched the Women in Manufacturing award recognizing women at all levels of the industry. Nominate someone you know today!
ARTICLE OF THE WEEK Putting a Spotlight on Technical and Vocational Skills
Despite the projected demand for skilled trade jobs in the next decade, little attention, support or funding is lacking for Career Technical Education students. To shine a light on this area of education, WorldSkills hosted their 43rd WorldSkills Competition in Sao Paulo, Brazil. The USA sent 18 students who competed with 70 other countries in areas such as manufacturing and heavy vehicle equipment maintenance. Read More
WEBINAR OF THE WEEK Integrating Employability Skills into Everyday Instruction
On Wednesday, September 2nd, join the College and Career Readiness and Success Center, Center on Great Teachers and Leaders and RTI International for a webinar highlighting the new learning module, Integrating Employability Skills: A Framework for All Educators focusing on how educators can integrate employability skills into their curriculum. Register
RESOURCE OF THE WEEK
Achieve launched the Rising to the Challenge: Views on High School Graduates’ Preparedness for College and Careers. This PowerPoint breaks down their most recent survey of college instructors and employers who work with recent high school graduates and their career readiness into easy to read graphs and graphics. Read More
America is in a teacher recruitment crisis, and every community is feeling the pinch. The size of our school system demands 350,000 new hires each year for K-12 teaching positions. Districts are scrambling to find skilled teachers for high-needs areas like Career Technical Education (CTE); science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), English as a second language (ESL), and special education.
While demand is exploding, our supply is drying up. An alarming recent ACT report showed the future teacher pipeline narrowing even further, with only five percent of high school seniors taking the ACT indicating a desire to pursue a career as an educator. Each year that number is decreasing.
Our existing teacher pipeline isn’t getting the job done.
The good news is that CTE is perfectly positioned to play a crucial role in the solution to this pressing issue. Creating and spreading high-impact Education and Training programs focused on cultivating skilled K-12 educators is a must.
To meet labor market needs and develop the teaching workforce our country deserves, teacher recruitment must become more proactive and start earlier.
Young people can get excited about the potential impact and leadership of a career in education, but essentially only when they engage with substantive, authentic opportunities to test-drive teaching.
Most teachers are homegrown; in fact, over 60 percent of teachers teach within 20 miles of where they went to high school. The next generation of each community’s teachers – whom everyone is counting on to be highly skilled and well prepared on day one – are already in our classrooms right now, but as students.
Encouraging CTE models are out there; it’s time to double down and take them to scale.
The Teacher Academy of Maryland program, developed in partnership with Towson University and the Maryland State Department of Education offers CTE students ParaPro, the certification exam for school-based paraprofessionals. This – along with dual credit partnerships – elegantly addresses the question of how to embed a professional certification into a high school-level CTE program that aims students towards a career that requires a bachelor’s degree.
The Mississippi Department of Education recently revamped its Teacher Academy curriculum to align with the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards’ vision of accomplished teaching. This raises the bar for the prestige and impact of programs, and opens the doors for current National Board Certified Teachers from many content areas to become outstanding CTE instructors in new Teacher Academy programs.
The Arizona Department of Education commissioned an Educator Retention and Recruitment Report with a top recommendation: “Develop high school programs such as [Educators Rising] to encourage students to evaluate the field of education as they review their options for post-secondary studies.”
A newly revitalized career technical student organization (CTSO) partner is ready to support the effort. Earlier this month, the Future Educators Association evolved to become Educators Rising, a transformed, 21st-century national network of aspiring educators.
Educators Rising, a member of the National Coordinating Council of Career and Technical Student Organizations, offers all of the classic CTSO opportunities (competitions, conferences, scholarships, leadership opportunities) with no dues; students and teacher leaders join for free directly through the new EdRising Virtual Campus, an online platform packed with resources and opportunities integral to the instructional program of quality Education and Training pathways.
Here’s a 3-minute video tour of what the EdRising Virtual Campus offers:
Transforming teacher recruitment is a massive issue. CTE, with leadership from states, can provide the boost that communities need.
Dan Brown is Co-Director of Educators Rising and a National Board Certified Teacher. He recently completed a term as board chair of the National Coordinating Council of Career and Technical Student Organizations. He tweets @danbrownteacher.
ARTICLE OF THE WEEK Vocational Education Should be for Everyone Despite some negative perceptions of vocational or Career Technical Education (CTE), schools across the country are taking different approaches in improving CTE and connecting academic, technical and real-world learning for students. “We’re thinking about that now, to take more old school programs and reimagine them into career pathways, so we’re thinking about how you take traditional construction and woodworking classes and change the structure so it aligns with a high-demand advanced manufacturing pathway,” said Laurent Trent, Manager of Strategic Partnerships at Denver Public School’s Office of College and Career Readiness. More
VIDEO OF THE WEEK
Learn about competency-based learning in 60 seconds
RESOURCE OF THE WEEK Join The “E” in STEM Education: Why Engineering is Vital to Science Standards webinar on July 28 from 3 – 4 p.m. to learn why engineering is vital to STEM and the role the Next Generation Science Standards plays in incorporating engineering in content standards. The webinar will feature leaders from Portland, Oregon and Washington, D.C. More
ARTICLE OF THE WEEK Top U.S.-Based Companies Launch the “100,000 Opportunities Initiative” to Create Pathways to Economic Opportunity for Young Americans Over a dozen companies from Alaska Airlines to Walgreens have partnered for the 100,000 Opportunities Initiative with the goal of creating pathways to employment for young Americans. To kick off the initiative, Chicago hosted the first Opportunity Fair & Forum where organizations trained and made job offers to local youth. Read More
RESOURCE OF THE WEEK Integrating Employability Skills: A Framework for All Educators The College & Career Readiness & Success Center in partnership with the Center on Great Teachers and Leaders and RTI International developed this Professional Learning Module – a collection of PowerPoints, handouts, workbooks and various tools – to help assist state and regional educator centers and staff in increasing their knowledge and capacity in integrating employability skills in their work. Read More
NASDCTEc RESOURCE OF THE WEEK
There’s a lot moving on Capitol Hill. Follow our Legislative Update series to find out the latest on the Early and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) reauthorization. Read More
Association for Career and Technical Education launched their third video as part of the Stories of Putting America to Work series. Check out Green Collar: Sustainable Jobs of Tomorrow highlighting the Phelps Architecture, Construction and Engineering High School in Washington, D.C. View the Video
ARTICLE OF THE WEEK
Digital ‘Merit Badges’ Coming to Aurora Public Schools
Digital merit badges, an online credentialing system that rewards students for ‘soft skills’ such as collaboration, critical thinking and invention, are being introduced to 19 Aurora, Colorado public schools. Read More
RESOURCE OF THE WEEK
Embracing the Millennial Generation for Success
This white paper and accompanying webinar delves into how manufacturers can attract and retain millennial workers through a training and development program. Read More