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National Association of State Directors of Career
Technical Education Consortium (NASDCTEc)

New Resources Available for Employability Skills

June 2nd, 2014

The Office of Career, Technical, and Adult Education (OCTAE) has released new resources to help educators further integrate employability skills into high quality CTE programs.

To introduce the new resources released last week, our own Executive Director Kimberly Green participated in a webinar entitled Why Do Employability Skills Matter? A video of her presentation and those of fellow presenters is available via the Perkins Collaborative Resources Network.

The Employability Skills Framework website also offers sections for educators, employers and policymakers as well as a variety of assessments and crosswalks between these skills, the Common Core State Standards and the Common Career Technical Core. Check out this presentation to explore these new resources further.

Andrea Zimmermann, State Policy Associate

NASDCTEc and ACTE Release Report on Developments in CTE

March 28th, 2014

NASDCTEc and ACTE wrapped 2013 by conducting an extensive poll to track developments in CTE state by state. The report, “State Policies Impacting CTE: 2013 Year in Review” contains several key findings indicating that CTE Picture6has not only weathered the storm of tight budgets and shifting education policy, it has thrived in most states.

Crucially, 47 states and the District of Columbia were found to have taken action on CTE in 2o13, many with multi-year initiatives to shake up the structure and practice of CTE in their state. 31 states increased funding to CTE programs in the last year, and multiple governors have already conveyed an interest in expanding funding and access further in 2014.

The report features a state-by state breakdown of policy developments, as well as an overall summary. Check the table (right) for more details and read the whole report at the link above!

Evan Williamson, Communications Associate

Financial Aid Toolkit Now Available from the U.S. Department of Education

January 17th, 2014

The U.S. Department of Education has announced the launch of an online “one-stop shop” aimed at guidance counselors and other advisers, such as staff or volunteers at community-based organizations, who assist students through the process of selecting and financing their higher education. The Financial Aid Toolkit, available at FinancialAidToolkit.ed.gov, consolidates financial aid resources and content into a searchable online database, making it easy for individuals to quickly access the information they need to support their students. Press Release

Ramona Schescke, Member Services Manager

Connecting Youth and Adult Learners: Youth and Adult Career Pathways Event Series

December 5th, 2013

Continuation of the Youth and Adult Career Pathways Event Series

The U.S. Department of Education is pleased to announce the continuation of its Youth and Adult Pathways (YAP) Event Series, a new microgroup series within the Career Pathways community on the LINCS Platform.  The YAP Event Series is designed to bring together professionals with a shared interest in connecting youth and adult learners with career pathways.  Presenters are experts in their fields, and events are designed to enhance your knowledge and give you usable information in each area.  Centered around a live webinar with an established expert, each topic in the series is presented as a month-long “microgroup” within the LINCS Career Pathways community and will include ongoing engagement and discussion before and after the live events.  If you miss one of the live webinars, all materials and webinar recordings will be available for download.

Upcoming events include:

  • Starting Dec. 2: View or download the “Building Strategic Partnerships” webinar with Subject Matter Expert Debbie Mills, recorded at the NCPN Conference
  • Dec. 11th: Participate live in the “Designing Contextualized Instruction” webinar with Subject Matter Expert Lyn Velle
  • All Month Long: Log on for discussions, blog posts, and downloadable resources related to the topics of “Building Strategic Partnerships” and “Designing Contextualized Instruction”

The full schedule of events in the YAP Event Series is as follows:

  • Dec. 2013: Building Strategic Partnerships / Designing Contextualized Instruction
  • Jan. 2014: Integrating Career Planning & Counseling into Adult Education
  • Feb. 2014: Sustaining Adult Career Pathways: Funding, Leadership, Policy, & Professional Development
  • March 2014: Using Data for Continuous Improvement
  • April 2014: Business Engagement in Supporting the Education Pipeline
  • May 2014: Developing Effective Bridge Programs

To join the YAP Event Series, log on to:

https://community.lincs.ed.gov/group/youth-and-adult-pathways-yap-series 

To receive regular updates on the series, sign up for our email list at:

http://bit.ly/1k1l2p4 

For further information, please contact

[email protected]

Ramona Schescke, Member Services Manager

Resource Update: New Toolkits Now Available

November 26th, 2013

This past week, two new toolkits became available to assist in the implementation of Career Technical Education planning efforts.

1. A new Planning for Students’ Successful Transition to Postsecondary Education and Employment Toolkit has been developed by members of the Career Pathways and Technical Education Task Force of the Minnesota Department of Education.

This  tool contains the following transition elements with accompanying strategies, example resources for implementations, and partnerships.

  • Provide a comprehensive academic plan for completing a college and career ready curriculum premised on meeting state and local academic standards
  • Developing 21st century skills such as teamwork, collaboration, and good work habits
  • Emphasize academic rigor and high expectations
  • Help students identify personal learning styles that may affect their postsecondary education and employment choices
  • Help students succeed at gaining/gain access to postsecondary education and career options.
  • Integrate strong academic content into career focused courses and integrate relevant career focused courses into strong academic content
  • Help students and families identify and gain access to appropriate counseling and other supports and assistance that enable students to complete required coursework, prepare for postsecondary education and careers, and obtain information about postsecondary education costs and eligibility for financial aid and scholarship
  • Help students and families identify collaborative partnerships of kindergarten through grade 12 schools, postsecondary institutions, economic development agencies, and employers that support students’ transition to postsecondary education and employment and provide students with experiential learning opportunities

2. The Department of Health & Human Services’ (HHS) Office of Family Assistance recently released Career Pathways: Catalog of Toolkits, an online compendium of free resources available for use in planning a Career Pathways initiative. In an effort to better coordinate efforts by the Departments of Education, Labor, and HHS, the catalog seeks to serve as a directory for model Career Pathways programs and details strategies for implementation. Users are able to browse toolkits and filter results based on the indented audience, target population, career pathway element, industry, and publisher.

Ramona Schescke, Member Services Manager

New Tool Available for State Higher Education Leaders: Structured Pathways and Completion Policy Self-Assessment

November 6th, 2013

The Postsecondary State Policy Network, led by Jobs for the Future (JFF), has released a new tool to find out how well your state is implementing evidence-based policies to build structured pathways and encourage community college completion.
 
State higher education leaders can assess their state’s existing policies and compare them to those advocated by state and national reform leaders with the Structured Pathways and Completion Policy Self-Assessment Tool.

Since 2004, JFF and policy partners across 15 states have developed and codified policies that empower college leaders, enable useful data gathering and analysis, provide students with financial aid access and other non-academic supports, and reward institutions for student outcomes. This tool aims to help higher education leaders facilitate college completion discussions, prioritize needed policy changes, and track policy changes over time.

The Postsecondary State Policy Network is a multistate collaboration committed to advancing state policies that accelerate community college student success and completion.  Also available: you can also sign up to receive Achieving Success, the Network’s newsletter on postsecondary state policy.

For more information about the Structured Pathways and Completion Policy Self-Assessment Tool, please contact Lindsay Devilbiss, Project Associate, Jobs for the Future at [email protected].

Ramona Schescke, Member Services Manager

CTE Research Review

November 5th, 2013

Research Image_6.2013Over the past few weeks, a number of critical reports and research papers came out with wide-spreading implications for Career Technical Education (CTE). Below are summaries of a few that caught our attention.

The Center for Great Teachers and Leaders released 21st Century Educators: Developing and Supporting Great Career and Technical Education Teachers, a new special issue brief focusing on the human capital management policies impacting CTE educators: certification, performance evaluation and professional learning opportunities. The issue brief, which NASDCTEc had an opportunity to review, provides a comprehensive overview of the current policies in place across the country and raises issues for greater consideration as states refine their certification, evaluation and professional development systems. The brief also contains a useful glossary of key terms.

The Center for Education Policy issued Career Readiness Assessments across States: A Summary of Survey Findings, the result of a survey of 46 State CTE Directors on the range of assessments used in their states to measure students’ career readiness and how those assessments are used, which NASDCTEc also had the opportunity to review. Some key findings from the report include:

  • Nearly all (45) of the survey states reported facing challenges in assessing high school students’ career education or their level of career readiness
  • States are more likely to use career readiness assessments for federal accountability than school accountability
  • Most states are using multiple assessments to measure the various facets of students’ career readiness, including the academic, technical and employability skills.

U.S. States in a Global Context: Results from the 2011 NAEP-TIMSS Linking Study offers an analysis that allows state scores on the National Assessment of Education Progress (NAEP) and the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) to be compared. In short, the study found that 36 states were above the TIMSS average in mathematics (with only six states lower) and 47 were above the TIMSS average in science for 8th-grade students. While this is heartening, it’s also important to note that Massachusetts was the only state to reach the “high benchmark” rating on TIMSS, defined as “students can apply their understanding and knowledge in a variety of relatively complex situations,” joined by five high-performing countries.

Similarly, in science, eight states (Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Montana, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Vermont and Wisconsin) reached the “high benchmark,” defined as “students can reason with information, draw conclusions, make generalizations and solve linear equations.”

The first of its kind OECD Skills Outlook 2013: First Results from the Survey of Adult Skills presents the initial results of the Survey of Adult Skills (PIAAC), which evaluates and compares the skills of 166,000 adults from 24 countries. A major component is the direct assessment of key information-processing skills: literacy, numeracy and problem solving in the context of technology-rich environments.

A new report by the Brookings InstituteStandardized Testing and the Common Core Standards: You Get What You Pay For? – explores the (very minimal) impact states leaving either the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium or Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers have on the price of those assessments per student. The paper makes a strong case to states to not sacrifice test quality by presumably leaving either consortia, in order to save $10 or $20 per student – a drop in the bucket of an education system that spends more than $10,000 per student annually.

The Hamilton Project, out of the Brookings Institute, released a policy brief on Redesigning the Pell Grant Program for the Twenty-First Century, calling for three major structural reforms to a policy that has largely remained unchanged over the past forty years since it was first launched:

  1. Augmenting the Pell program’s financial support with tailored guidance and support services that have been shown to improve academic and/or labor-market success (which has implications for One-Stop Career Centers);
  2. Simplifying the eligibility and application process to ensure that the program reaches those who need it most;
  3. Strengthening incentives for student effort and timely completion, including providing more flexibility for when and how students earn credits

 

Kate Blosveren, Associate Executive Director

NASDCTEc Fall Meeting Resources Available Online

October 29th, 2013

The National Association of State Directors of Career Technical Education Consortium (NASDCTEc) held its annual Fall Meeting last week in Baltimore, Maryland. Many State Career Technical Education (CTE) Directors and other CTE stakeholders were in attendance during the three-day event where a variety of presentations and panel discussions took place on a wide range of topics.

Presentation resources are available online. We are awaiting a few more documents to finalize the collection of all the resources, but in the meantime, please take advantage of the resources now available here.

Ramona Schescke, Member Services Manager

September CTE Monthly: CTE Credentials Lead to Big Earnings

September 23rd, 2013

CTE Monthly, a collaborative publication from the Association for Career and Technical Education and the National Association of State Directors of Career Technical Education Consortium, features the latest news on Career Technical Education (CTE) from across the nation for CTE stakeholders and Members of Congress.

In the September edition, read more about:

  • ACTE and NASDCTEc Resources for Navigating Friday’s Perkins Hearing
  • Research Demonstrates that CTE Credentials Lead to Big Earnings—and Parents are Getting the Message
  • Exemplary CTE Programs and Students in Indiana, New Hampshire and New Jersey

View archived CTE Monthly newsletters and other advocacy resources on our Advocacy Tools webpage.

Kara Herbertson, Research and Policy Manager

CTE Research Review: OECD Report Examines Postsecondary CTE in the U.S.

August 8th, 2013

Research Image_6.2013A new report from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) examines strengths and challenges for postsecondary Career Technical Education (CTE) in the U.S.  The authors identified positive aspects including strong labor market returns on associate degrees and certificates, and the inclusiveness of U.S. postsecondary CTE. Broad recommendations were provided in three key areas – funding for quality, aligning credentials to industry needs, and strengthening transitions into and within postsecondary education and the labor market – and more specific recommendations included:

  • Linking Title IV student aid (Higher Education Opportunity Act) with stronger quality assurance
  • Establishing quality standards for industry certifications
  • Supporting postsecondary transitions more systematically
  • Developing better data
  • Strengthening career counseling
  • Improving use of work-based learning

The U.S. Department of Education also released a background piece on postsecondary CTE that was used to inform the study.

NASDCTEc and the College Board recently partnered on a webinar and issue brief to show the relevance of Advanced Placement® (AP) courses and exams to CTE Programs of Study. The issue brief includes information on each Career Cluster® and potential AP courses and exams that could apply to each area. Students, parents, counselors and teachers may find this document especially useful to help CTE students follow programs of study that lead to college and career readiness and success.

Kara Herbertson, Research and Policy Manager

 

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