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
The past two weeks have been an exciting time for Career Technical Education. Last week, President Obama announced the expansion of the U.S. Presidential Scholars Program to include CTE students, and earlier this week the White House held a special event to recognize CTE Innovators with remarks by First Lady Michelle Obama. We were thrilled that the event included a few of our Excellence in Action Award winners, Moody High School, Upper Valley Career Center, Tennessee College of Applied Technology and Henderson County High School.
RESOURCE OF THE WEEK
America’s Promise Alliance and Pearson launched GradNation State Activation Initiative to increase high school graduation rates to 90 percent. As part of the initiative, there is a grant opportunity open to state agencies, nonprofits, community based organizations, coalitions, and association or membership groups. Grants are for up to $200,000. Read More
WEBINAR OF THE WEEK
Did you miss our most recent webinar with the Appalachia Regional Comprehensive Center (ARCC)? We explored how West Virginia’s Simulated Workplace is reinventing Career Technical Education (CTE) by bringing the workplace inside the four walls of a CTE classroom for a student-centered simulated experience. Launched in 2013 as a pilot, the Simulated Workplace is poised for statewide implementation in the 2016-17 school year. You can watch the recording here.
Two new reports explores the history and potential of career pathways.
First, a new report from the Office of Career, Technical, and Adult Education (OCTAE) examines the evolution of career pathways over the past 30 years as the country has adapted and responded to the need for a skilled workforce. Further, it also offers strategies for state and local stakeholders to consider when developing a comprehensive pathways system that connects and aligns education and workforce development systems.
The paper, published as part of OCTAE’s three-year initiative to advance CTE in state and local career pathways, cited the 2014 passage of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act and the Administration’s Ready to Work initiative as “game-changing” actions that will continue to drive cross-systems alignment.
“When looking at what has worked in career-related education and training programs historically, it becomes clear that a comprehensive Career Pathways systems approach holds significant promise for providing Americans with the skills and credentials needed for high-demand jobs and careers,” the report states.
The report was produced by Jobs for the Future, which is contracted by OCTAE to manage the career pathways project.
Meanwhile, from the Brookings Institute, economics expert Harry Holzer calls for expanding high-quality CTE – including career pathways and work-based learning, to help the nation better meet the needs of employers’ skill demands. Specifically, Holzer writes that community colleges and employers need better incentives to invest in middle-skill workers and adapt as the labor market changes. He offers three solutions:
Provide more resources to community colleges and smaller four-year institutions while also creating incentives and accountability through performance-based funding;
Expand high-quality CTE and work-based learning such as apprenticeships; and
Incentivize employers to create more good jobs, as well as other supportive policies including higher minimum wages.
What Happens When Students Transfer
A new study examines what happens when students transfer from and to four-year institutions.
From the Community College Research Center, “What We Know about Transfer,” takes a look at student transfer patterns, outcomes, barriers and the economic benefits of transferring in a new brief, and call transferring a “vital route to a bachelor’s degree for many underserved students.” Yet, the authors caution that policymakers should pay keen attention to the transfer process to protect the credits students have earned in order to create an efficient, seamless process for college attainment.
Data, Data, Data
The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) released a new brief in its “Data Point” series that looks at the relationship between education and work credentials. Analyzing the U.S. Census Bureau’s Survey of Income and Program Participation, NCES found that more than one in five adults, nearly a quarter, have a work credential. Of these, 71 percent have a license and 29 percent have a certification. Also, more than half of those holding a work credential have less than a bachelor’s degree.
NCES also released two new data sets of note:
An update to its High School Longitudinal Study, which includes a look at CTE coursetaking
Trends in high school dropout and completion rates from 1972-2012
ARTICLE OF THE WEEK Kaine’s CTE Push Wins a White House Nod
Earlier this week President Barack Obama expanded the U.S. Presidential Scholars Program to include up to 20 CTE students per year, a big win for Senator Tim Kaine who led the charge. More
RESOURCE OF THE WEEK Reflect, Transform & Lead
Five-Year Progress Reports
This week, NASDCTEc released five progress reports looking back at five years of the CTE Vision. Learn what successes and achievements we’ve accomplished, and what work still needs to be done. More
INTERNATIONAL ARTICLE OF THE WEEK The Government Confirms that it has Smashed its Target of Supporting 20,000 Higher Apprenticeship Starts
For the past two years, The United Kingdom has not only increased the number of people participating in apprenticeships, but also improved the quality of those apprenticeships. The government will support another three million apprenticeships by 2020. More
Five years ago, the National Association of State Directors of Career Technical Education Consortium (NASDCTEc) with support from all 50 states released Reflect, Transform & Lead: A New Vision for Career Technical Education. This bold document laid out key principles and actions the community needed to take for CTE to reach its full promise in the years ahead.
Since 2010, the landscape has changed dramatically, and CTE has advanced in many significant ways. To take stock of what has – and hasn’t – been accomplished since 2010, NASDCTEc today is releasing a series of Five-Year Progress Reports on each of the five principles:
CTE is critical to ensuring that the United States leads in global competitiveness;
CTE actively partners with employers to design and provide high-quality, dynamic programs;
CTE prepares students to succeed in further education and careers;
CTE is delivered through comprehensive programs of study aligned to The National Career Clusters® Framework; and
CTE is a results-driven system that demonstrates a positive return on investment.
These briefs celebrate our collective accomplishments but also aim to motivate us on where more work is needed for CTE to fully meet the needs of students employers and our economy.
ARTICLE OF THE WEEK CTE and STEM Education: Two Sides of the Same Vital Coin Career Technical Education is key to improving STEM literacy and interest among students for a variety of reasons. This includes providing access to underrepresented students, adding relevance to STEM subjects through hand-on and work based learning and integrating the business community. Read More
RESOURCE OF THE WEEK Transforming Career Counseling: Bridging School to Career in the Workforce of the Future The Manufacturing Skills Standards Council, SME and Bray Strategies released a paper outlining recommendations to improve the career guidance counseling system in middle and high schools. Read More
WEBINAR OF THE WEEK In partnership with the Appalachia Regional Comprehensive Center, NASDCTEc is conducting a webinar exploring the highly successful Simulated Workplace system in West Virginia. Register Today