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Research Review: Value of Higher Education

May 28th, 2015

The value of higher education has been a hot topic lately, and the following research and reports provide insight into returns on an investment in higher education.

  • Career Technical Education and Labor Market Outcomes: Evidence from California Community Colleges released by the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) discusses how Career Technical Education (CTE) impacts students’ future earnings in California. The study of 112 community college campuses with 2.6 million students is critical to helping students decide the worth of attending higher education for their desired career field. Health careers were one of the occupations that students found extremely high returns on their college investment.
  • A study of employers through the recent CareerBuilder survey found that 65 percent of employers are looking to hire recent college graduates and the most sought after candidates will have skills in IT, customer service, finance, sales and business development.
  • The Aspen Institute released From College to Jobs: Making Sense of Labor Market Returns to Higher Education exploring the ways in which labor market data are collected and used to determine the value of higher education. A collection of eight short papers resulted in a variety of findings, one of which was that the skills valued by employers are not always found within one field. For example, skills associated with STEM degrees are valued across non-STEM fields.

Katie Fitzgerald, Communications Associate 

What did Education, Policy and Foundation Leaders Have to Say About the Global Skills Race?

May 27th, 2015

Last week, New America held The Great Skills Race: Innovations in U.S. Education and Training from a Global Perspective to discuss what the skills gap looks like abroad and in the United States, and how it impacts employers, students, policy, the education system and more. Simon Field, Project Leader, OECD, started off the event by discussing what some big global trends are emerging around developing employees with the skills they need in both developed and emerging countries.

He explained that there is a global disillusion with the college for all concept, and that though it remains politically popular, increasingly studies show that it does not yield career-ready employees. For example, 70 percent of Koreans attend college, but this includes two-year programs to become a barista, and similar lower-skilled positions, where after two years students may not have very marketable or essential skills.

On the other hand, countries are ramping up their efforts to provide students with high-quality academic and work-based skills such as Indonesia, which is making a concerted effort to expand Career Technical Education (CTE). Currently, about a fourth of the population takes part in some CTE, and the country has a goal of expanding this number to 90 percent through a massive growth of CTE high schools.

Countries need to focus on education that bridges the gap between the world of learning and the world of work through strengthening employer engagement, educating the teacher workforce and developing work-based learning opportunities through apprenticeships, internships and more.

The panel then turned to Holly Zanville, Strategy Director at the Lumina Foundation who spoke about the value of credentials in the Foundation’s work. At this time, there is no system for evaluating credentials or certificates, or a way for educators, students, employers and parents to determine how credentials and certificates connect to jobs. Lumina is developing a website to address these issues along with:

  1. Creating a national dialog around credentials and certificates
  2. Developing a translation platform to connect credentials
  3. Developing a prototype of a credential registry including the competencies, quality of the credential, cost and more
  4. Launching a new website (in two weeks) as a clearinghouse for credential information to help students understand the value of the credential, and employers understand how credentials and certificates may increase the skills of their employees.

Next, Todd Greene, Vice President of the Federal Reserve System of Atlanta explained that the Federal Reserves is involved in workforce development, something not typically addressed by the Reserves, due to the financial crisis. Greene took over 40 meetings with local communities including business leaders, employers and educators to see what workforce development looked like on the ground. Through this work, Greene found that there was a vast disconnect between these groups, and many did not have any type of meaningful relationship resulting in educators often teaching the wrong skills, and employers disengaged with the community and experiencing a skills gap with their employees.

Now, all 12 Federal Reserves are involved in workforce development, often using convening as a method to combat unemployment. One of these convenings included over 30 historically black colleges to help the Federal Reserves understand why Black unemployment is vastly higher regardless of education level compared to White unemployment.

Last on the panel was Byron Auguste, Managing Director of Opportunity@Work who attributed the skills gap to a variety of things. The first concept Auguste described is that the skills gap is a result of market failure; it’s not just the government or education systems that are failing, it is also the duty of employers and industry to help solve the skills gap problem. Also, the country has been highly disinvested in this work. All of the focus and spending has been centered on former higher education with very little investment in adult learning.

In addition to changes in policy, there needs to be a change in business practice. Instead of hiring on degrees, there needs to be a focus on hiring based on skills, whether gained through a degree, previous work, credentials, certificates, apprenticeships, internships or more.

To watch a video of this lively discussion visit New America’s website.

Katie Fitzgerald, Communications Associate 

This Week in CTE

May 8th, 2015

TWEET OF THE WEEKblog-thumbnail-thiswek
@APS_Foundation
“If you’re in business in CO & not investing in education, then you’re not in business in CO.” -Kelly Brough of @DenChamber #GradNation
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ARTICLE OF THE WEEK
School Reform for Rural America
With one in four rural children living in poverty, and the vast majority of the 50 U.S. counties with the highest child-poverty rate being rural, it is clear that much is to be done to improve the education system in rural communities.
Read More

MEDIA OF THE WEEK
This week we celebrated Teacher Appreciation Week with this video. Thankful to all of our CTE educators out there!
Watch the video

REPORT OF THE WEEK
The Economic Value of College Majors analyzes 137 college majors and their economic benefits. The report includes a list of key findings, one of which is that the top-paying college majors  like STEM and business earn $3.4 million more than the lowest-paying majors such as early childhood education and the arts, over a lifetime.
Read More

Katie Fitzgerald, Communications Associate

CTE Research Review

April 30th, 2015

teachersToday in CTE research … a scan of career pathway models, a peek into employers’ views on competency-based education, recommendations to strengthen the teacher pipeline, and research into the labor market’s return on investment for higher education.

First up – MDRC’s new research, “New Pathways to Careers and College: Examples, Evidence, and Prospects

Over the years, the high school reform debate has evolved to view CTE as a means to prepare all students for success in college and careers, and CTE programs are changing along with it. More programs are emerging that blend CTE, rigorous academic coursework and opportunities for career exploration. With that in mind, MDRC researchers took a first-ever scan of the most prominent career pathway models and their underlying principles, the localities where they are most popular, and some evidence of success.

At least one career pathway model can be found in high schools in virtually every state and most large cities, the researchers argue, and yet still only a small percentage of students are enrolled in pathways that include the key elements of success. Much work remains to scale programs that are anchored by infrastructure that ensures high-quality implementation, sustainability and continuous improvement.

NASDCTEc Executive Director Kimberly Green and Oklahoma State CTE Director Marcie Mack were among the national experts interviewed for this report.

The Pipeline of Teachers

ACT and the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) have published new research that takes a closer look at the pipeline of future
teachers as well as how they fare during their first five years in the classroom.

In “The Condition of Future Educators 2014,” ACT examines which students are expressing interest an education career from administration to classroom teachers, and found that the number of students interested in becoming educators continues to drop significantly – just five percent of all ACT-tested graduates. There continues to be a lack of men and diversity among those who expressed interest in the profession. The study was based on the 57 percent, or 27,000 students, of the U.S. graduation class who took the ACT test in 2014.

Among the findings, just one percent, or 224 students, planned to make CTE teaching a focus of their postsecondary pursuits.

The report offered three recommendations to help drive more high-achieving and diverse students into the teacher pipeline:

  • Recruit high-achieving college students who are undecided about their future careers;
  • Promote alternative pathways to teaching; and
  • Improve educator benefits.

At NCES, researchers provided a first look at the results of a nationally representative study of 2,000 teachers who entered the profession in 2007-08. After five years in the field, 17 percent of the teachers were no longer teaching, the study found. Salary was one of the greatest reasons why teachers remained in the profession. Education level had little impact. Those teachers who started with a $40,000 salary were more likely to still be teaching a year later.

Competency-based Education

Competency-based education (CBE) is gaining traction in communities across the country, particularly within higher education. But what do we know about how employers see it?

The American Enterprise Institute recently published a first-of-its-kind survey of 500 hiring managers to better understand how employers view CBE. The study found:

  • Overall employer awareness of CBE was low despite engagement efforts;
  • Those who were aware of CBE, a small minority, generally viewed the model and its graduates favorably;
  • The lack of awareness correlated to employers’ lack of understanding the benefits of hiring graduates of CBE programs;
  • Employers struggle to articulate discreet needs as competencies, and rather continue to hire based on generalizations of a new hire’s “fit”, which makes it difficult to create an effective competency map;
  • Two-thirds of employers believe they could be doing a better job of identifying students with the specific skill set required for the job.

Andrea Zimmermann, State Policy Associate

This Week in CTE

April 24th, 2015

TWEET OF THE WEEK
@VP By the end of the decade, we need: ✓ 1.3 million IT jobs ✓ 600,000 nurses ✓ 100,000 high skilled manufacturing jobs https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-blog-thumbnail-thiswekoffice/2015/04/24/fact-sheet-administration-announces-new-commitments-support-president–0 …
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GRAPHIC OF THE WEEK
The Bloomberg Recruiter Report: Job Skills Companies Want But Can’t Get
Bloomberg surveyed corporations to find out what skills are missing from recent MBA graduates. Though the survey is focused on this demographic, this chart provides insight into what businesses are looking for in their employees.
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REPORT OF THE WEEK
Employer Perspectives on Competency-Based Education
Employers weigh in on how competency-based education (CBE) impacts hiring. A survey of 500 hiring managers found that there is very little awareness around CBE and how hiring credential-bearing graduates may benefit them and their organization.
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RESOURCE OF THE WEEK
Lifelong Learning Skills for College and Career Readiness: Considerations for education policy
The College & Career Readiness & Success Center (CCRS) developed an annotated bibliography of the research into lifelong learning skills, the skills needed to master a subject and translate knowledge into action. From the bibliography, CCRS Center developed a brief summarizing the policy considerations for including lifelong learning skills in educational objectives.
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Katie Fitzgerald, Communications Associate

This Week in CTE

March 20th, 2015

TWEET OF THE WEEK
@NOCTI1 “Your First Year in CTE: 10 Things to Know” provides many hands-on examples and resources for use in teaching within the CTE classroom blog-thumbnail-thiswek
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ARTICLE OF THE WEEK
Obama and Walker: Both Wrong
A study of 150 CEOs, plant managers, human resource directors, educators and administrators throughout Wisconsin show that filling the skills gap is a multipronged approach. Employers not only want employees with strong technical expertise, but someone who will work hard and think creatively to solve problems, a true mix of hard and soft skills. A few educators and trainers in Wisconsin have developed innovative models of education for training learners across the skills spectrum.
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RESOURCE OF THE WEEK
A Framework for Coherence: College and Career Readiness Standards, Multi-Tiered Systems of Support and Educator Effectiveness
Center on Great Teachers & Leaders at the American Institutes for Research released an issue brief detailing how the alignment of college and career readiness standards, educator effectiveness systems and positive behavioral supports, or Multi-tiered systems of support, can positively impact instruction while also supporting at-risk learners.
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MEDIA OF THE WEEK
National Agriculture Day
FFA’s National Agriculture day was March 18. Learn more through this video.
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PARTNER UPDATE OF THE WEEK
DECA has partnered with Working in Support of Education (w!se) and American Hotel and Lodging Educational Institute (AHLEI) to offer a variety of certifications.
More

Katie Fitzgerald, Communications Associate

CTE Research Review

March 18th, 2015

SkillsIndustry-related research is leading the news this month with new reports from the manufacturing and technology sectors.

First up, new data from the National Federation of Independent Business shows that while 98 percent of small business owners say they are optimistic overall, but finding qualified workers remains a problem. In fact, 29 percent reported difficulty in finding and hiring skilled workers – the highest since April 2006 – and of that number, 89 percent said they are seeing few to no applicants.

However, despite this struggle to attract skilled workers, only 20 percent reported raising wages over the past three months and 14 percent plan to raise them in the coming months.

Manufacturing Industry

The Manufacturing Institute, in partnership with Deloitte, released two parallel studies that explore at the manufacturing skills gap and public perceptions of the industry.

In the skills gap study, researchers predict that the United States will need to add nearly 3.5 million manufacturing jobs over the next 10 years, but roughly 2 million of those jobs will go unfilled due to a shortage in skilled labor.

The second survey is part of The Manufacturing Institute’s Public Perceptions Index, which first started in 2009. The 2015 update found that the U.S. public greatly supports the manufacturing industry and would choose a manufacturing plant be built in their region over other employers. However, the same public said they were “unwilling to encourage their children to pursue careers in manufacturing.”

Also, from the Brookings Institution, a new report looks at the German manufacturing industry for shareable lessons and strategies to aid the U.S. manufacturing industry.

Technology Industry

IBM released a new study on Millennials (those aged 21-34) and how they and others view their effect in the workplace. The survey looked at the preferences and behavioral patterns of Millennials, Gen X (aged 35-49) and Baby Boomers (aged 50-60), and found that Millennials “want the same things their older colleagues do. While there are some distinctions among the generations, Millennials’ attitudes are not poles apart from other employees’.”

The findings are categorized around five common myths about Millennials and three “uncomfortable truths”.

Andrea Zimmermann, State Policy Associate

 

 

CTE Research Review

February 25th, 2015

Nursing Shortage Projected

Select figures from the report, “Making Skills Everyone’s Business: A Call to Transform Adult Learning in the United States.” Georgetown University’s Center for Education and the Workforce (CEW) has released a new report, “Nursing: Supply and Demand Through 2020,” which says the country will soon face a shortfall of 193,000 nursing professionals. Yet despite the coming shortage and a growing interest in the nursing profession from young people, the report finds that postsecondary programs reject up to half of qualified applicants.

The researchers cite inadequate faculty, facilities and clinical placements as barriers to training all of the qualified applicants. Programs providing training for Associate’s Degree in Nursing rejected 51 percent of qualified applicants, while programs for a Bachelor’s in Nursing rejected 37 percent.

New PIAAC report: Making Skills Everyone’s Business

The U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Career, Technical, and Adult Education (OCTAE) has launched a new report, “Making Skills Everyone’s Business: A Call to Transform Adult Learning in the United States.” Using data from the 2013 Survey of Adult Skills report, the report renews the call to “upskill” those 36 million U.S. adults with low skills in numeracy, literacy and problem solving in technology-rich environments.

As a result of a nationwide listening tour to solicit feedback on the state of U.S. adult education and the 2013 survey findings, this new report takes a deeper look at the 2013 data and outlines seven strategies to transform U.S. adult education. The recommended strategies are:

  • Act collectively to raise awareness and take joint ownership of solutions
  • Transform opportunities for youth and adults to assess, improve and use foundation skills
  • Make career pathways available and accessible for every community
  • Ensure that all students have access to highly effective teachers, leaders and programs
  • Create a “No Wrong Door” approach for youth and adult services
  • Engage employers to support upskilling more front-line workers
  • Commit to closing the equity gap for vulnerable subpopulations

In Case You Missed It

Image Caption: Select figures from the report, “Making Skills Everyone’s Business: A Call to Transform Adult Learning in the United States.”

Andrea Zimmermann, State Policy Associate

CTE Research Review

February 18th, 2015

Although so-called millennials are on track to be the most educated generation in American history, they are still lagging behind their international peers in critical skill areas such as literacy, numeracy and problem solving in technology-rich environments, according to a new report.

The report, “America’s Skills Challenge: Millenials and the Future,” takes a closer look at Americans born after 1980, ages 16-34, and finds that not only do they lag behind those in other countries, the numbers show millennials are lagging behind previous surveys of U.S. adult skills.

Researchers drew from data from the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development’s Programme for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies, (PIAAC). The researchers looked not only at the lower quartile of Americans, as in previous PIAAC work, but also found alarming results for the best-educated U.S. millennials as well.

The answer is not simply to acquire more education, the authors argue, but rather a greater focus on skills in order to combat growing inequality for current and future Americans.

Some of the highlighted findings include:

  • In literacy, U.S. millennials scored lower than 15 of the 22 participating countries. Only millennials in Spain and Italy had lower scores. In numeracy, U.S. millennials ranked last, along with Italy and Spain.
  • In problem-solving in technology rich environments, U.S. millennials also ranked last, along with the Slovak Republic, Ireland, and Poland.
  • The best-educated U.S. millennials — those with a master’s or research degree — only scored higher than their peers in Ireland, Poland and Spain.

CHART: Average scores on the PIAAC literacy, numeracy, and problem solving in technology-rich environments scales for adults age 16–34 (millennials) and adults age 16–24, by participating country/region

Average scores on the PIAAC literacy, numeracy, and problem solving in technology-rich environments scales for adults age 16–34 (millennials) and adults age 16–24, by participating country/region

Andrea Zimmermann, State Policy Associate

CTE Research Review

February 12th, 2015

A lot of new research and resources have been released over the past month. Here’s what you may have missed:

New Studies

Georgetown’s Center for Education and the Workforce has published two new reports of interest to the CTE community. The first, “College Is Just the Beginning,” examines the world of post-secondary education and training and found that roughly $1.1 trillion is spent annually.cew

Researchers split the sum between colleges and universities ($417 billion) and employers ($177 billion in formal training; $413 billion informal on-the-job training). However, that employer number comes with a caveat – employers spend more because education providers may only have a student for a handful of years while an employer may have them for decades. The study also found that federally funded job training is the smallest component, ringing in at $18 billion.

The cost of training also varies widely among industries depending on the intensity of the training. Manufacturing, for example, was found to be the most training intensive.

The center also released a new report called, “The Undereducated American,” which looks at the country’s number of college-going workers and claims that supply has failed to keep pace with growing demand since the 1980s, resulting in widening income inequality.

Other studies of note:

New Surveys and Forecasts

A new public opinion poll from the Association of American Colleges and Universities found strikingly large gaps between employers and recent college graduates regarding career readiness.

While the survey found that employers continue to overwhelmingly endorse the need for broad learning and cross-cutting employability skills, they gave their recent hires very low marks on 17 learning outcomes related to being well-prepared for careers.

Meanwhile, recent graduates held a very different view of their preparedness with some of the largest gaps being critical thinking, written communication and working with others.

Another survey of note:

New Data

A new report from the Government Accountability Office takes aim at state data systems. Despite the $640 million federal investment, the results are state systems linking education and workforce data that are riddled with holes. While the systems have had some success, there are many challenges remaining and questions about sustainability when federal funding goes away.

Other data of note:

  • The National Center for Education Statistics has updated two data sets of interest
    • Revenues and Expenditures for Public Elementary and Secondary Education at the national and state level (FY 2012)
    • Revenues and Expenditures for Public Elementary and Secondary Education School Districts (FY 2012)

Andrea Zimmermann, State Policy Associate

 

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