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

Finding the IB’s Career-Related Program (CP) was like Finding that Sweet Spot…

March 19th, 2015

This blog series provides readers with insight on the valuable content that is being shared at the NASDCTEc Spring Meeting. Guest bloggers are partner organizations, supporters and other experts that will be present at the national gathering in Washington, DC in April. 

What students really think of the International Baccalaureate Career-related Programgirls

On a recent visit to South Lakes High School in Reston, Virginia a group of CP Fashion Design students were asked what they thought of the IB’s Career-related Programme (CP).

Q: How have colleges reacted to the CP?

“They like it, they think it’s a cool program. They think of it highly, just  like the IB (Diploma) program.

Q: What about the CP do you like?

“I think it’s a good alternative for students who are more well-rounded, as opposed to just academic students because it gives you more flexibility with scheduling and time. I have plenty of time for my sports now because I do a lot of things outside of school, different coaching jobs, sports and stuff, so that with (CP) I don’t have the pressure of the full IB Diploma. I can do sports and still get sleep at night! Finding out about this program was like finding that sweet spot, I was able to do all that I wanted to do (outside of school) and take all the IB classes that I wanted.”

There are now 80 million millennials in America, more than their Baby Boomer parents. They have different IB_logo_FCattitudes from their parents too, less financially secure, but more optimistic about their future. Millenials are determined to steer their own course, entrepreneurial and willing to do what it takes to custom-fit their lives to their passions.

Programs like the IB Career-related Programme are tailor-made for both the parents of millenials who want assurance that their children are academically well- prepared for college and for their offspring who are specializing at an earlier age than ever and want to pursue a course of study that uniquely fits their interests.

The CP is a  framework of international education that incorporates the values of the IB into a unique program addressing the needs of students engaged in career-related education.

CP students undertake a minimum of two IB Diploma Programme (DP) courses, a CP core consisting of four components and a career-related study. For CP students, DP courses provide the theoretical underpinning and academic rigor of the program; the career-related study further supports the program’s academic strength and provides practical, real-world approaches to learning; and the CP core helps them to develop skills and competencies required for lifelong learning.

Schools choose their own externally recognized career-related study. Typical offerings include culinary arts, engineering, health science, business and marketing, but are not limited to these pathways.

Prior to now, schools were required to have the IB Diploma Programme in place   in order to offer the CP.   Beginning in 2016 any school can apply to become a CP school. For further information about the program and how to join the international community of IB World Schools , complete the School information form at: ibdocs@ibo.org/ibcc/

Thank you to International Baccalaureate for sponsoring the 2015 Spring Meeting!

Today’s Class – Interactive Online Textbook and eLearning Tool

March 16th, 2015

This blog series provides readers with insight on the valuable content that is being shared at the NASDCTEc Spring Meeting. Guest bloggers are partner organizations, supporters and other experts that will be present at the national gathering in Washington, DC in April. 

Today’s Class is an interactive online textbook and eLearning resource.  The educational program with learning management system Todays Class Logo- Registred Trademark-1-7-14(1)delivers interactive coursework to school systems and technical institutions. Today’s Class programs are designed with the instructor in mind and enhance an instructor’s curriculum with content, vivid animation, and interactive exercises. The program provides quizzes, final exams, eBooks, and a student time just to name a few features.  By supplying concepts and theory it allows for up to 25% reduction in lecture time, which allows instructors more time for hands-on lab work and in-class demonstrations.

Currently, Today’s Class offers automotive, cosmetology, health science, anatomy & physiology, and agriscience programs.  Assessments are included for automotive, cosmetology, and health science programs.

The cosmetology program aligns with NIC standards that most states base their curriculum from, providing comprehensive theory and step-by-step methodology.  Also included within the program is an assessment to gauge if the student is ready to take their state board exam.

The health science program explores body systems, the protocol for vital sign measurement, emergency response, ethical & legal responsibilities, and other necessary health science courses.

The automotive program covers the eight core NATEF areas, the new Maintenance and Light Repair (MLR) series, and other automotive related materials to enhance student development.  The Automotive Service Technician (AST) modules will be released this summer.  Job sheets, crosswalks, and blueprints are included in the automotive modules.

The agriscience program contains: Concepts of Agriscience, Science of Agricultural Animals, Science of Agricultural Plants, Science of Agricultural Environment and Science of Agricultural Mechanization.

Many attendees know Dr. Rod Boyes, a long-time NASDCTEc supporter and President of the organization. Also representing Today’s Class at the meeting will be Peggy Albano – please say hello to them both and learn more about Today’s Class programs and initiatives. Today’s Class is a Gold Level Sponsor at the NASDCTEc Meeting.

Thank you to Today’s Class for being a NASDCTEc Spring Meeting Sponsor!

This Week in CTE

March 13th, 2015

TWEET OF THE WEEK
@DiscoveryEd There are 600,000 unfilled manufacturing jobs right now.  Think about that. Not always about ‘future’ jobs.  #CorpsInEdu blog-thumbnail-thiswek@alcoafoundation
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ARTICLE OF THE WEEK
Career and Technical Education Should be the Rule, Not the Exception
Tim Hodges, PhD, Director of Research for Gallup’s Education Practice makes a detailed case for why Career Technical Education (CTE) is critical to all student’s education. Research shows not only are skills more important than where a student graduated from to employers, but also that CTE concentrators in high school are 15 percent more likely to graduate than the national average. Hodges goes on to highlight his own experience in CTE courses, and how learning skills like fundraising, budgeting, teamwork and mentorship were key components to his work today.
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MEDIA OF THE WEEK
Digital Learning Day
It’s Digital Learning Day, and the Alliance for Excellent Education is live streaming the event featuring schools from across the country as they discuss how using technology effectively benefits their school. The program begins at 1 p.m. eastern.
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PARTNER UPDATE OF THE WEEK
Teaching 21st Century Skills
March 18, 8 p.m. Eastern Time
This month, the College and Career Readiness and Success (CCRS) Center is partnering with the Center on Great Teachers and Leaders (GTL Center) for their monthly Twitter chat. Join the conversation on Wednesday, March 18, using #CCRSchat.

Katie Fitzgerald, Communications Associate 

Pathways for all – With CTE at the Heart

March 9th, 2015

This blog series provides readers with insight on the valuable content that is being shared at the NASDCTEc Spring Meeting. Guest bloggers are partner organizations, supporters and other experts that will be present at the national gathering in Washington, DC in April.

For a very long time, American education has offered an either/or choice for students: Either follow a career track OR enter the (default) baccalaureate track which, while well-intended, is failing LARGE numbers of students. Today’s Pathways model offers a third choice, combining the best of both. And CTE Leaders have an incredible opportunity today to provide leadership in defining and driving the NC3T logo clean largePathways agenda.

At NC3T (National Center for College and Career Transitions), we promote the notion that school districts thrive when they work with employers and postsecondary partners to create a “pathways for all” approach. The Pathways for All approach is more flexible, individualized, and based on the real needs and opportunities in today’s workforce, where skills and knowledge, not years of schooling, leads to meaningful work and family-sustaining earnings.  To accomplish this, each district develops a broad array of pathways, some which are more career- or occupation-specific, and some which are more thematic, like social justice, visual arts, and global leadership.  Ideally, each pathway is designed to lead to several post-secondary options, such as programs leading to certificate programs, associate degrees, and baccalaureate degrees.

To explore this comprehensive Pathways-for-All system, CTE local administrators and state leaders are well positioned (probably best-positioned) to help drive the conversation.  You can drive the Pathways conversation from several entry points, including   Readiness, Teaching and Learning, Effective Employer Engagement, Postsecondary Connections, and Career Development.

Help Define Student Readiness For Work and Life Success
CTE leaders can continue to advance the idea that readiness requires more than academic skills.  Readiness for all students includes Learning Skills, Thinking Skills, Communication Skills, Executive Skills, Persistence and Work Ethic, Interpersonal Competencies, Career Search and Career Management, Civic Awareness and Commitment.

We should stand against definitions that define Career Readiness separately from Postsecondary Readiness.  Yes, there are specific technical skills that are a gateway for certain careers.  But apart from that narrow band of skills, for the most part, the skills and knowledge and attitudes for work success and postsecondary success are the same, but they’re just applied differently based on the learner’s or worker’s context.  A student is really just a worker whose immediate job is learning.

Create Dynamic Teaching and Learning
CTE leaders can work to ensure that CTE teachers learn and apply the most promising and effective teaching practices, utilizing active learning strategies like project-based, problem-based, and inquiry-based learning.  Although CTE content is based on industry-based skills, CTE instruction can easily fall prey to the same trap as a core academic course, in which a teacher “stands and delivers,” conveying information about a career field or the processes of that field, without challenging the students to engage in deeper learning, problem solving, and creativity.  Some CTE teachers deep down may believe that their students can’t learn more deeply, and that simple regurgitation of information and imitation of skills are the best they will be able to accomplish.  This is where strong professional development, and challenging teacher perceptions through collaborative leadership, are essential.

Model effective employer involvement
In a strong pathways system, employers and volunteers are actively involved in classrooms, interacting regularly with students, and helping students get into the workplace.  CTE programs can always get better at utilizing employers in multiple facets of their work.  A good first step is to re-purpose your program Advisory Councils into “Partnership Councils” with the goal of driving deep business-industry involvement in all aspects of instruction, career mentoring, and experiential learning.

Engage leaders from postsecondary education
Each pathway program of study needs active collaboration among teachers and faculty, so that curriculum can be well-aligned and offer early college credits.  CTE teachers and administrators can create the structures and processes for collaboration and recognizing student learning for college credit that others in the school system and colleges can build upon.

Inform Career Exploration
CTE leaders and staff usually have the best understanding and access for career-based information.  They can help inform a comprehensive K-12 career exploration and career development system.

Start the Bigger Conversation
CTE leaders are particularly able, and well-positioned, to develop good working relationships with K-12 system leaders, postsecondary education, and employers. As a result, they are the ideal point people to convene these sectors and begin to explore what a Pathways System looks like.  You can host a business-education summit; create a Readiness-forum among K-12, postsecondary and employers; or call partners together to discuss the merits and challenges of the Pathways-for-All approach.

Positive Momentum
If you’re in the CTE movement, you may already recognize that the wind is behind our backs in this work.  Many educators, parents, and business/community leaders are troubled and looking for better answers: They realize that core standards and testing are necessary, but not sufficient, because alone they do not adequately engage enough students. They recognize that too many students are pursuing college and taking on debt without a realistic career objective. And they understand there is a broad continuum of postsecondary options for which our guidance systems and programs of study don’t match up well. The result is that only 40 percent of our young adults complete an Associate’s degree or BA program, and about half of young adults lack tangible knowledge and skills that are in-demand.

Just promoting college-going isn’t enough: We must promote discovery, exploration and postsecondary education that has purpose.

So, the wind is behind our backs, but it could change direction at any time. We need to act quickly and help build consensus about what a Pathways-for-All system can be in our communities.

Federal rules, regulations and funding are slow in coming, which is why the pioneering leadership we’re seeing at the state and local levels now is so critical. CTE isn’t the full answer, but it is a foundational part of what a pathways system will become, and CTE leaders can help leverage and engage all facets of our education system to create Pathway Systems that work.

Thank you for your indispensable leadership.  We are standing with you.

Hans Meeder, President and Co-Founder
National Center for College and Career Transitions

Thanks to NC3T for being a NASDCTEc Spring meeting sponsor!

This Week in CTE

March 6th, 2015

TWEET OF THE WEEK
@CareerBuilder  The title says it all: 13 growing occupations with certifications to boost your hireability and pay grade: http://cb.com/1DENJld .
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ARTICLE OF THE WEEK
How Google and Coursera May Upend the Traditional College Degree
Coursera, the online education firm and Google, who needs no introduction, have teamed up to bring together Instagram and a variety of other tech companies to launch microdegrees. These microdegrees will consist of online courses and a hands-on capstone project designed with input from universities and tech industry focused on providing learners less expensive and customizable degrees.
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VIDEO OF THE WEEK
Power of Entrepreneurship
Intel released this video on how today’s technology can help people overcome barriers to starting the businesses they want.
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EVENT OF THE WEEK
NASDCTEc 2015 Spring Meeting!
NASDCTEc’s Spring Meeting is only a month away! Join us in Washington, D.C. to hear from national leaders, work together to build common solutions to problems facing Career Technical Education, get the latest state and federal policy updates, hear from best practice programs of study from across the country and network with State CTE Directors and partnering organizations. Registration closes March 20, so register today!
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Katie Fitzgerald, Communications Associate

CompTIA: The IT Industry Trade Association

March 6th, 2015

This blog series provides readers with insight on the valuable content that is being shared at the NASDCTEc Spring Meeting. Guest bloggers are partner organizations, supporters and other experts that will be present at the national gathering in Washington, DC in April.

CompTIA is the voice of the world’s information technology (IT) industry. As a non-profit trade association, we advance the global interests of IT professionals and IT channel organizations and enable them to be more successful with industry-leading certifications and business credentials, education, resources and the ability to connect with like-minded, leading industry experts.
Learn about our focus areas and find out who we are and what we do.CompTIA_Logo_Pantone

Membership
Becoming a CompTIA member indicates a commitment to learning, growing and personal and business success in the IT channel. All of our benefits are aimed at providing our members with a wealth of resources that, when leveraged, result in measurable impact to the member organization.

Education
You can’t get a job or successfully run a business without all the right tools. In the ever-changing IT industry, education is essential. CompTIA’s educational efforts include a comprehensive suite of channel training, a variety of events and meetings and a steady stream of research and market intelligence studies. Everything is designed to help you succeed.

Certifications
It all started with A+. Back in 1993, we developed a revolutionary IT certification that was not tied to a particular manufacturer, but vendor-neutral. The concept took off and today CompTIA offers four IT certification series that test different knowledge standards, from entry-level to expert.

Public Advocacy
TechAmerica, the public sector and public policy department of CompTIA, champions member-driven business and policy priorities that impact the entire continuum of technology companies – from small IT service providers and software developers to large equipment manufacturers and communications service providers.

Philanthropy
The shortage of IT workers in the U.S. stands at about 300,000 and there continues to be high demand for motivated and capable employees. It’s the job of CompTIA’s philanthropic arm, the Creating IT Futures Foundation, to help unemployed individuals and populations under-represented in the field obtain the right training for an IT role; not just a job, but a foothold into a career. In order to help supply the IT worker pipeline, Creating IT Futures is exploring ways to nudge more youth in the direction of tech careers.

Click here to learn more about CompTIA and get involved today!

Thanks to CompTIA for being a NASDCTEc Spring meeting sponsor!

New Teaching Standards for CTE Released

March 4th, 2015

The National Board for Professional Teaching Standards released revised standards for teachers in Career and Technical Education (CTE). The standards were developed by educators, board-certified teachers and researchers organized around eight pathways including:

  • Business, Marketing and Financial Services
  • Community Services
  • Decorative Arts and Design
  • Engineering, Design and Fabrication
  • Information Systems and Technology, Communications and the Arts
  • Leisure and Recreation Services
  • Natural Resources
  • Transportation Systems and Services

The new standards are up-to-date with evolving content in each of the pathways, as well as encourage teachers to adapt their teaching according to the needs and abilities of their students. Additionally, they also allow teachers without a bachelor’s degree obtain CTE certification unless their state requirements state otherwise. Learn more about the new standards here.

Katie Fitzgerald, Communications Associate

NOCTI: Honoring our Past and Embracing our Future

March 3rd, 2015

This blog series provides readers with insight on the valuable content that is being shared at the NASDCTEc Spring Meeting. Guest bloggers are partner organizations, supporters and other experts that will be present at the national gathering in Washington, DC in April.

From our early days 49 years ago as part of the “vocational” teacher certification process, to our current leadership in the areas of technical data-driven instructional improvement, credentialing and digital badging, NOCTI has always been proud to be an important member of the career NOCTI--Navy-11-2009and technical education (CTE) community.  As a non-profit entity lead by a board elected by the 56 state directors of CTE around the country and in US territories, we do our best to stay ahead of the needs of the field we serve. Though we won’t discuss the specifics of those needs in this blog, we will mention how NOCTI is working to provide forward-thinking solutions for the CTE community.

At our core, we consider everyone we work with to be a partner striving to make CTE as strong as it can be.  Recognizing outstanding established and promising CTE teachers and administrators is important to NOCTI and one reason why we provide awards each year to these CTE professionals. NOCTI’s awards focus on the qualities important to our founders and are awarded each year at the ACTE Vision conference.  In addition, we participate in additional opportunities for our students to show off their skills, most recently through the NOCTI-sponsored Video Contest as part of CTE Month.  NOCTI received 44 video submissions from media classrooms across the nation focused on the 2015 theme “Mission CTE.”  Check out the videos here!  Finally, here are a few other resources worth mentioning.

Collaborations: In addition to the numerous industry association partnerships we maintain, we believe that connecting to our community and related communities is critical. NOCTI has close relationships with NASDCTEc and Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE) as well as the National Academy Foundation, the International Baccalaureate Program, Mozilla, the National College Test Administrators and the Association of Test Publishers.

Teacher Tests: We continue to fulfill our commitment to expand our current teacher testing battery. We recognize that we are the only organization with the ability to assure that incoming instructors have experiences in all aspects of their particular industry, and that this has always been part of our history. NOCTI has increased its teacher test offerings to reinforce a commitment to this important population.

Prior Learning Assessment (PLA): By leveraging our association with the National College Credit Recommendation Service (NCCRS), NOCTI is able to assess experiences that have occurred outside the classroom through Prior Learning Assessments. This service has been particularly successful with our returning servicemen and servicewomen and community college partners.

Digital Badges: NOCTI currently offers over 120 digital badges. We are collaborating with multiple partners to deliver badges that include both summative and formative structures, as well as badges for both cognitive and hands-on skills.  Badges are also being explored that are based on both asynchronous and synchronous evaluation.  Lastly, we have also started work with a number of our industry partners in building customized badging platforms.

Deep Analytical Reports: By utilizing NOCTI-collected data, we can assist states and regions in identifying which programs–and by extension which teachers–are able to deliver technical instruction that facilitates student competence. What would you do as a curricular leader in your state if you were able to objectively identify the best blueprint reading program in your state? We think we know the answer and we are providing the data to help states get there.

Industry Credentials: All NOCTI assessments are industry credentials and include benchmarks established by industry.  When utilized properly, the assessments provide a way to compare student competence against current industry standards in over 100 unique programs of study.  Local industry practitioners play an important role in assisting with the comparison between knowledge and skills learned and applied.  NOCTI also currently delivers over 40 collaborative industry association credentials.

Contact us at nocti@nocti.org  to see how we can help you. NOCTI is excited to be a Gold sponsor of the NASDCTEc Spring Meeting in Washington, D.C.; be sure to seek us out and say hello!

Thank you NOCTI for sponsoring the 2015 Spring Meeting!

This Month in CTE

February 27th, 2015

In lieu of our This Week in CTE series, we are providing an overview of resources and information that came out of a stellar CTE month! Thank you to all who participated and advocated for CTE this February. CTE Month LogoTagline_CMYK

TWEETS OF THE MONTH

@NRAEF Economists say millennials should consider careers in trades: http://n.pr/1xCirYM via @NPR #CTEMonth cc: @CTEWorks @actecareertech
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You can also catch up on our Twitter chat with the College & Career Readiness & Success Center here.

ARTICLES OF THE MONTH

What all Educators can Learn from CTE Teachers
Due to new college and career readiness standards, all teachers need to be trained and prepared to integrate learning opportunities into their lessons. CTE teachers are a viable resource, as providing real-world hands on training to their students is integral to their teaching. Teachers can focus on three areas to include technical and employability skills in their education.
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College? Career Tech? In Nashville, Teens do Both
Students in Nashville, TN public schools are encouraged to take at least three Career and Technical Education courses by the time they graduate, often leading them to certifications they can use directly after high school and college credit if they decide to continue their education.
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Michigan Awards $50M for Skilled Trades Training
Michigan awarded 18 community colleges $50 million towards equipment and training benefiting an estimated 34,000 graduates.
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MEDIA OF THE MONTH

Find out the top 10 metropolitan areas for engineers.
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This infographic shows how Ohio is preparing students to be globally competitive.
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The American Association of Community Colleges released an infographic on 2015 Community College facts.
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EVENTS OF THE MONTH

Students showed their stuff on Capitol Hill for CTE Monthunnamed
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Association for Career and Technical Education hosted a school visit at Montgomery College where we heard from stellar students on how CTE has influenced their education and career goals, along with community partners and educators on what makes their programs of study such a success.
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NASDCTEc RESOURCES OF THE MONTH

CTE and Student Achievement Fact Sheet
Get the facts on students who engage in high-quality CTE
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NASDCTEc Webinars
In case you missed them, NASDCTEc held two webinars this month. First, we provided an overview of our 2014 State Policy Review, highlighting trends in policy in each state. Second, we took a deep look into Alabama and Kansas to see how they engage employers in CTE.
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NASDCTEc YouTube Videos
This month we updated our YouTube channel with eight new videos. Seven are based on the workshops based on the book developed in partnership with the Center for Occupational Research and Development, “The Career Pathways Effect: Linking Education and Economic Prosperity,” covering topics aimed at supporting CTE practitioners and leaders in the implementations and improvement of career pathways. The eighth video provides an overview of the development process for the Common Career and Technical Core.
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Katie Fitzgerald, Communications Associate 

This Week in CTE

February 20th, 2015

TWEET OF THE WEEK
NRAEF  Amazing stat! RT @CTEWorks “@CCRSCenter The HS grad rate for #CTE concentrators is about 90%, 10% higher than national average #CTEMonth
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ARTICLE OF THE WEEK
Jobs in Health Care on the Rise, but Skills Gap Prevents Hiring
Columbus is facing a skills gap particularly in health care and insurance sectors, New York City has over 33,000 jobs available in STEM fields, and Houston can’t find employees for petrochemical and industrial and commercial construction jobs. Career Technical Education is a way to educate students in these fields, but even more needs to be done to insure industry needs are being met. This includes: the collection of real-time labor market data and working with industry leadership to determine their needs; better funding; and scalable solutions that can be adopted across fields.
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RESOURCE OF THE WEEK
Check out our new CTEWorks YouTube page, where you can find CTE advocacy videos, along with seven video previews workshops based on the book developed in partnership with the Center for Occupational Research and Development, “The Career Pathways Effect: Linking Education and Economic Prosperity,” covering topics aimed at supporting CTE practitioners and leaders in the implementations and improvement of career pathways.
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TOOL OF THE WEEK
The College and Career Readiness and Success (CCRS) Center updated their interactive map to include eight territories including American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia, Guam, the Republic of Palau, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, to showcase how these areas are improving college and career readiness.
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CTE MONTH RESOURCE OF THE WEEK
Check out the Association for Career and Technical Education for their variety of resources for CTE Month. It’s not too late to get involved, so make sure to take a look at their fact sheets, sample press release, CTE Month logo and more!
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