This Week in CTE

April 8th, 2016



America’s Promise Alliance has launched the $3 million 2016 Youth Opportunity Fund that will award one-year grants up to $250,000 to grantees that empower youth to reach their full potential.


Secondary Health Science Education – A Cross State System
The Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE) has released a new online seminar with the National Consortium for Health Science Education on their cross-state health science system for high school students looking to pursue careers in health care. Check out ACTE’s YouTube channel to watch the recorded seminar.


Two researchers at UMBC’s School of Public Policy mapped the Twitter activity around the Every Student Succeeds Act’s passage in December, and draws a set of conclusions about how the initial week’s Twitter activity may set the tone for ESSA implementation.


Education, labor and industry leaders as part of the Massachusetts Girl in Trade Advisory Group hosted its first ever Girls in Trades Conference where over 400 students from 18 high schools across the state learned about the apprenticeships, employment and mentoring opportunities in the building trades.

Katie Fitzgerald, Communications Associate 

State Policy Update: Sharing State Resources

March 30th, 2016

This month’s State Policy Update is focusing less on legislative activity and more on sharing some of the interesting things happening in the states around CTE:

New State Resources

  • The California Career Resource Network, supported by the state Department of Education, has released new “Career & College Readiness Lesson Plans.” There, you can find 45 lessons geared toward 5th-12th grade students, with around five lessons per grade. Though organized by grade level, the lessons could be used for any grade. Additionally, the Network has developed an Educator Guide, a bi-lingual career readiness glossary, and Spanish-language student handouts.
  • A new partnership between ArkansasDepartment of Career Education and the Arkansas Research Center has helped the department save time and money. In a blog post from the Workforce Data Quality Campaign, the department partnered with the research center to develop new technical solutions for Perkins reporting. The center, which has two software developers on staff, created software that reduces the burden of Perkins reporting as well as save the department an estimated $500,000 over the next 10 years.
  • In somewhat state-related news, LinkedIn, Burning Glass Technologies and the Markle Foundation have launched a new kind of job website – The site is specifically designed for middle-skills job seekers with job ads, career exploration tools, and more. The site launched in Colorado in March focusing on information technology, advanced manufacturing and health care. The site plans to expand to the Phoenix area in April.

News of Note

  • In a blog post in Education Week, the Council of Chief State School Officers illustrates how states can use their accountability systems to affect student learning. The post leans heavily on contextualized and personalized learning, a hallmark of CTE.
  • Also in Education Week, an article highlighting that while K-12 spending is expected increase for most states this year, the budgets of the state education agency are getting cut in favor of directing money to local school districts. This squeeze is coming at a time when many state departments are gearing up to consider how best to fully leverage the flexibility provided for in the new federal Every Student Succeed Act (ESSA). As a special resource for only for Advance CTE members, be sure to check out our ESSA cheat sheet about the opportunities and intersections for CTE in the new law.

And finally, because we couldn’t resist some legislative, state board and gubernatorial news:

  • Earlier this month, the Michigan Board of Education adopted energy as its 17th Career Cluster®. Michigan industry leaders led this effort in order to develop a skilled energy utility workforce to combat the state’s skills gap, which is expected to grow retirements over the next 10 years. The Energy Career Cluster will use energy industry content standards developed by the Center for Workforce Development, a non-profit consortium of energy utilities.
  • The National Skills Coalition has a round-up of the workforce development initiatives proposed by governors in their budget and State of the State addresses this year.

Andrea Zimmermann, State Policy Associate

This Week in CTE

March 25th, 2016


The National Career Pathways Network’s Career Pathways Partnership Excellence Award is accepting applications until May 25. The award focuses on career guidance and advising, professional development for both educators and employers, and work-based learning.


An infographic produced by The Kresge Foundation explains the urban higher education ecosystem.


LinkedIn, Burning Glass and Markle Foundation launched, a website middle-skills workers in Colorado, with plan to expand to Phoenix.

Katie Fitzgerald, Communications Associate 

This Week in CTE

March 11th, 2016



The Washington Post highlighted the Arlington Career Center’s proposed Arlington Tech program, which would put CTE at the center of the school’s curriculum. While students would take core academic classes, they would also participate in a multitude of project-based learning opportunities and potentially allowing students to earn postsecondary credit.


The U.S. Department of Education launched the CTE Makeover Challenge providing $200,000 to high schools to create makerspaces, providing students with both the materials and environment they need to succeed.


Results from the international large scale study of adult skills and life experience on education and employment, Program for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC) was released in a report, Skills of U.S. Unemployed, Young and Older Adults in Sharper Focus, this week. Conducted in the U.S. and 23 other countries in 2012/2014, the U.S. did not perform well. Overall, the study found that adults ages 16-65 scored slightly lower than average in literacy, well lower than average in numeracy, and dead last of the 23 countries in problem solving in technology-rich environments.

Katie Fitzgerald, Communications Associate

#CTEMonth @Capitol Hill

February 11th, 2016

Yesterday, employers visited Capitol Hill to explain how businesses and educators are working together to deliver innovative Career Technical Education (CTE). The Congressional staff briefing, Career and Technical Education: The Employer Perspective was sponsored by the Senate Career and Technical Education Caucus with co-chairs Senators Tim Kaine (D-VA), Rob Portman (R-OH), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) and Johnny Isakson (R-GA) and partners including the Association for Career and Technical Education, the Industry Workface Needs Coalition and Opportunity America.

While the employer panelists represented a range of sectors and included small (100 employers) to multinational ($12 billion in revenue), what they all agreed on was the importance of strong CTE programs and the need for employers to be directly involved in supporting those programs and students. That involvement can range from hosting tours for students to providing externships for teachers to building programs with high schools and community colleges.

Employers expressed the necessity of students obtaining both academic and technical skills, and nearly all of the companies represented got involved in CTE because they needed to be more proactive about building a qualified pipeline as the current system wasn’t serving them.

Kaine, Portman and Baldwin all stressed the importance of CTE and expanding access by investing in good programs and removing unnecessary barriers to access, a sentiment that was echoed by the Senate’s unanimously passed CTE Month resolution.

For those of us that couldn’t make the standing room only event, the briefing was broadcast live and CTE was celebrated from Capitol Hill to classrooms.






Katie Fitzgerald, Communications Associate 

Kicking Off #CTEMonth

February 4th, 2016

CTE Month is off to an incredible start! Only four days in, the #CTEMonth hashtag has already been used 1,500 times on Twitter in posts that feature CTE facts, photos of students at work, resources to use during the month, and support from advocates in fields spanning education, policy, funding, business, media, research, and more.

We asked NASDCTEc members and Learning that works for America campaign users how they were celebrating, and are blown away by the submissions. During the month of February, you can expect to see a post every Thursday showcasing how people are simultaneously raising awareness for and celebrating CTE at the local, state and national level around this year’s theme, “Opportunities for Career Success.” 

For our inaugural 2016 CTE Month post, we’ll kick off by highlighting how a few states are promoting CTE during the month.

Tools to Raise Awareness & Educate

Wisconsin is encouraging their networks to celebrate CTE Month in variety of ways, one of which includes providing accessible and easily adaptable tools for schools and CTE organizations to use such as the 2016 CTE Month logo, a state-wide social media calendar, and a variety of proclamations from FBLA, FCCLA, FFA and SkillsUSA declaring February CTE Month. They also have support from Tony Evers, the State Superintendent, who authored an editorial discussing the importance of CTE in Wisconsin.

Maryland also supplied a ton of resources to their state network including a sample news release, template to create a student profile, CTE Month certificate and a public service announcement. Additionally, they suggested ways to acknowledge CTE Month at both the high school and middle school levels.

While students and educators are clear audiences to engage, Maryland is also acknowledging the value of school counselors as partners in promoting CTE, and invited school counselors across the state to participate in a free webinar sponsored by Georgetown Center on Education and the Workforce called, “What Counselors Should Know about 21st Century Competencies.”

Missouri is utilizing the radio to get their CTE message across, by launching 30 second radio spots running in large, medium and small markets throughout the month to provide the general public with more information about CTE.

In Michigan, all Department of Education employees were asked to use the Learning that works for Michigan logo in their e-mail signatures. You can join the campaign and receive your own state-specific Learning that works logo here.

Recognizing & Honoring Success

CTE Month is not only about raising awareness, but also celebrating the successes of all that it takes to makes a CTE program great.

Oklahoma is honoring the contributions made by CTE teachers by distributing a hardcopy booklet, which was given to legislators at the Capital during CTSO day on February 2. A digital version is featured on Oklahoma Horizon, a weekly television show’s website, and throughout their social media.

Pennsylvania is partnering with the Pennsylvania Association of Career and Technical Administrators to recognize each of the student organizations at a celebratory dinner for CTSO students and Pennsylvania legislators. Additionally, award recipients of the state’s newest awards program –  the Career and Technical Education Excellence Award, which recognizes high schools and career and technical centers where 75 percent of students have achieved advanced technical assessments – will also be in attendance.

Let us know what you are doing for CTE Month by emailing, or tagging us in your Twitters posts @CTEWorks.

Katie Fitzgerald, Communications Associate  

This Week in CTE

January 29th, 2016



236 students across the country were nominated for the 2016 inaugural class of Presidential Scholars in CTE. See who was nominated from your state.


Workforce Data Quality Campaign launched their online state pages resource featuring information about higher education and workforce data in each of the 50 states and D.C. Learn more.


The AT&T/DECA Mentoring Project released a video this week showcasing the impact the mentoring project has made in its first year, providing more than 31,000 hours of mentoring to 11,500 students in 20 schools across the United States. Watch the video.


America’s Promise Alliance released the 2016 Building a Grad Nation Data Brief, which provides an overview of the 2013-2014 high school graduation rates across the country. While the nation hit a record 82.3 percent graduation rate in 2014, there are still major discrepancies in graduation rates for minority students, those from low-income families, and students with disabilities. Read the report.

Katie Fitzgerald, Communications Associate 

This Week in CTE

January 8th, 2016



Using Dual Enrollment to Improve the Educational Outcomes of High School Students
ACT released a report delving into the benefits of providing dual enrollment opportunities for high school students, with a list of recommendations to expand dual enrollment programs including creating funding structures for programming and exploring online technology to increase accessibility. Read More.


Connecting Credentials is hosting a series of webinars focused on improving credentialing, the first of which is today, highlighting employer engagement in credentialing. Learn more about the series here.


350 employers, industry and education organizations from ACT, Inc. to Xerox signed a letter urging Congress to reauthorize the Carl D. Perkins Career Technical Education Act. Learn More.

Katie Fitzgerald, Communications Associate 

Preparing Students for Careers in the Global Economy

January 6th, 2016

Today, the National Association of State Directors of Career Technical Education Consortium (NASDCTEc), Asia Society, Longview Foundation and Association for Career and Technical Educators (ACTE) jointly released a new white paper: Preparing a Globally Competent Workforce Through High-Quality Career Technical EducationThis paper explores why it is so critical that global competencies are embedded throughout CTE programs of study to ensure students are fully prepared for the competitive economy, and offers examples of local CTE programs successfully integrating global concepts through partnerships, projects and other student experiences.

Learn more about the paper and this key issue in a blog co-authored by NASDCTEc, Asia Society, Longview Foundation and ACTE at Education Week.

This paper is intended to spark  conversations at the national, state and local levels about ways in which CTE and global competencies can be integrated. To be part of these conversations, please join us for a special #GlobalEdChat on Twitter on Thursday, GlobalPaperJanuary 7 at 8 pm ET as well as an interactive webinar on January 13, 2016 at 3:00 pm ET.


Register Today for NASDCTEc’s Upcoming Webinars

January 5th, 2016

Webinar: 2015 Year in Review: State Policies Impacting CTE

Register today for our newest webinar, where you can learn about state CTE policy trends around the country. Join NASDCTEc and the Association of Career and Technical Education on January 21, from 2-3 p.m. ET, as we unpack the findings of our third annual report, “2015 Year in Review: State Policies Impacting CTE,” which will also be released on January 21. Check out our 2014 and 2013 reports as well.

Senator Rollie Heath, Colorado State Senate District 18
Alisha Hyslop, Director of Public Policy, ACTE
Sarah Heath, Assistant Provost for Career and Technical Education, Colorado Community College System
Andrea Zimmermann, State Policy Associate, NASDCTEc

Webinar: Preparing a Globally Competent Workforce Through High-Quality Career Technical Education

And don’t forget to register for next week’s webinar on global competencies and CTE! On January 13, from 3-4 pm ET, NASDCTEc , the Asia Society, Longview Foundation and ACTE are co-hosting a webinar to release our joint publication, “Preparing a Globally Competent Workforce Through High-Quality Career and Technical Education.” Local leaders will share what globally-minded CTE programs look like at the classroom level.

JoAnne Honeycutt, State CTE Director, North Carolina Department of Public Instruction
Larisa K. Schelkin, CEO, President & Founder, Global STEM Education Center, Inc.
Mark Tronicke, Global Exchange Coordinator, Bergen County Academies, New Jersey
Heather Singmaster, Assistant Director, Asia Society
Jennifer Manise, Executive Director, Longview Foundation
Kate Blosveren, Associate Executive Director, NASDCTEc
Steve DeWitt, Deputy Executive Director, ACTE