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Technical Education Consortium (NASDCTEc)

This Week in CTE

November 21st, 2014

TWEET OF THE WEEK blog-thumbnail-thiswek
@IBM How #STEM opens new worlds for women according to @bjbaenaz @amyverno http://bitly.com/ibmpodcasts #womenatibm #womenintech
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ARTICLE OF THE WEEK 
STEM vs. STEAM: Do the Arts Belong?
Join in on this discussion over whether the arts belong in the STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) curriculum. “…our children need a well-rounded, quality education that enables them to make informed decisions that will impact the world and the way they live. We need students who are motivated and competent in bringing forth solutions to tomorrow’s problems.”
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WEBINAR OF THE WEEK 
WIOA Consultation Webinar: Non-Discrimination and Equal Opportunity Provisions
The Civil Rights Center (CRC) and the Employment and Training Administration (ETA) of the U.S. Department of Labor (Department or DOL) invites equal opportunity officers, state and local workforce leaders and practitioners, workforce system partners, customers, and other stakeholders to provide input on the implementation of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act
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RESEARCH REPORT OF THE WEEK
The National STEM Report
This report reviews the 2014 graduating class in the context of STEM to determine what students are interested in and student readiness in math and science for those interested in STEM careers. You can also see the condition of STEM in your state.
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RESOURCE OF THE WEEK 
New Professional Learning Module Supplements
Designed to complement our full-length module, Introduction to Student Learning Objectives, these supplements provide student learning objectives (SLOs) materials and resources for teachers of career and technical education (CTE) courses and SLO scoring strategies.
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Katie Fitzgerald, Communications Associate 

CTE Research Review

November 21st, 2014

Closing the skills gap can be solved by applying supply chain management ideas to the talent pipeline, says the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Research Image_6.2013Foundation (Chamber) in a new white paper.

At an all-day event at its Washington, DC office, the Chamber called on employers to fundamentally change their relationship with education and workforce providers by taking on a much more active role – or even the lead – to ensure a steady flow of qualified workers.

During a panel of employers, VarCOM President and Founder Danny Vargas had clear messages for companies – “show up or shut up” – and education/workforce providers – “adapt or die.”

Those two messages carried through the day as stakeholders from K-12, postsecondary, workforce providers and employers discussed the challenges of aligning needs and balancing priorities while also highlight successes across the country.

During the keynote address, Harvard Business School’s Joseph Fuller reminded the attendees not to expect immediate changes, because “30 years got us here … this won’t be solved in 30 days.” Citing the theory of collective action, Fuller said such comprehensive change must be institutionalized for it to work and none of it will be easy.

Much of the day’s discussion focused on how workforce training and postsecondary programs can work with local and regional employers on pipeline problems. However, one panel, featuring Georgia State School Superintendent John Barge, discussed how K-12 fits into the talent pipeline.

Barge said the K-12 system in Georgia is responding to these pipeline issues by adapting programs and ways of teaching. Georgia recently required all 9th grade students to choose a career pathway when entering high school. It’s never too early to expose students to career options, Barge said. In Georgia, this starts as early as elementary school and continues through high school to help students make informed choices about the post-graduation options.

“There is tremendous value of being exposed to what is out there before you get there,” Barge said.

Be sure to check out the white paper along with the accompanying case studies, resources and checklists.

Related: The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development has released a new country report looking at job creation and local economic development. Here is the full report, along with a section on each country. Of particular interest would be the chapter on the United States.

Andrea Zimmermann, State Policy Associate

This Week in CTE

November 14th, 2014

TWEET OF THE WEEK
@AFTunion : Jobs like welding are not jobs “other people’s kids” have. They’re jobs with pride & dignity that’s the American dream -Pinchuk #ctesummit
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ARTICLE OF THE WEEK
DECA is challenging students from elementary school to college to come up with a unique use for a household item. The challenge, which launched November 12th, will end November 20th. All submissions should be entered through YouTube.
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RESOURCE OF THE WEEK
O*NET Interest Profiler, sponsored by the U.S. Department of Labor, helps individuals identify their CTE interests and provides information on how those interests can be translated into jobs.
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RESEARCH REPORT OF THE WEEK
A variety of institutions, organizations and Foundations convened a committee of experts to learn more about the health, safety and well-being of adults ages 18-26. The resulting report, Investing in the Health and Well-Being of Young Adults, provides guidance for policy makers, program leaders, non profits, businesses and communities on developing programs and policies to improve young adult well-being.
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WEBINAR OF THE WEEK
Did you miss the National Alliance for Partnerships in Equity webinar, Engage Students to Pursue STEM and Trades Careers: Next Steps after Vermont’s Women Can Do Conference, a Student Event? Not to worry, you can learn more about how to encourage women and girls to pursue STEM education and careers from both national and state perspectives through the archived webinar.
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Katie Fitzgerald, Communications Associate 

Study: State Strategies for Financing CTE

November 13th, 2014

The U.S. Department of Education has released a new study that explores how states fund their Career Technical Education (CTE) systems beyond the formulas prescribed in the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act of 2006 (Perkins).

The study, prepared by the National Center for Innovation in Career and Technical Education, focuses primarily on how state funding, which is often used to off-set the higher cost of technical instruction, is distributed to local secondary and postsecondary programs. The report used survey data collected by the National Association of State Directors of Career Technical Education Consortium (NASDCTEc) that asked State CTE Directors how categorical funds were distributed during academic year 2011-12, as well as the use and perception of performance-based funding for CTE.

In short, the survey found that state approaches to CTE funding varies in emphasis and complexity, and no single approach will meet the needs of every state. The study also called for more research to better understand what impact, if any, the each of the state funding approaches has on program and student outcomes.

Financing Secondary and Postsecondary CTE

State financing approaches broke down into three main categories: foundational funding only, funding for area CTE centers and categorical funding.

Foundational Funding Only – All states distribute basic state aid to finance secondary education programming using a variety of formulas. In this approach, local administrators decide how to distribute funds across instructional priorities, including CTE. Nine respondents indicated they rely exclusively on foundational funding. At community or technical colleges, 30 states reported distributing funds to postsecondary institutions through block grants and not distinguishing funding for CTE.

Funding for Area CTE Centers – Through this method, funds are dedicated to support programming at area CTE centers that deliver CTE services to part-time students. Centralizing CTE programs can be a cost-effective strategy. Seven states reported having separate state funding for these centers at the secondary level and sometimes use a categorical funding approach to distribute funds.

Categorical Funding – This approach dedicates funding to support career-related instructional services and typically targets state funding for the exclusive use of CTE programming. In fact, 37 states earmarked state funds for secondary CTE using one of the following formulas: student-based (21 states), cost-based (7 states) and/or unit-based (9 states). At the postsecondary level, seven states indicated providing categorical funding, while most opted to allocate funding through basic state aid.

Performance-based Funding

Just seven states use performance-based formulas to allocate secondary CTE funds by tying funding to performance measures such as placement of CTE students into postsecondary education or employment, attainment of industry-recognized credentials or CTE completion rates.

For federal Perkins dollars, two states (Texas and South Carolina) do this for secondary CTE. Five states (Arizona, Florida, Kansas, Missouri and West Virginia) indicated using this formula to allocate state CTE funds on the secondary level.

At the postsecondary level, four states (Arkansas, Georgia, Minnesota and North Dakota) reported using this approach with state funding, while none reported doing this with Perkins funds.

For the vast majority of states that do not use performance-based funding, the most common reason was a lack of understanding from state leaders. Almost half of states expressed an interest in adopting this approach to allocate a portion of their Perkins funds; however, training would be necessary if required by legislation.

Andrea Zimmermann, State Policy Associate

CTE Research Review

November 13th, 2014

Research Image_6.2013New research offers insight into key workforce development issues as it relates to middle-skills jobs, a state’s STEM workforce and a sector-focused program for the career advancement of low-skilled adults.

Bridge the Gap: Rebuilding America’s Middle Skills – New research from Harvard Business School, Accenture and Burning Glass Technologies found that 69 percent of human resources executives believe “their inability to attract and retain middle-skills talent frequently affects their firm’s performance.” In a new analysis that take a closer look at the skills gap for middle-skills jobs, the authors examine job market data with a focus on competitiveness and offer a framework for business leaders to prioritize jobs that matter for their business, industry, community and region.

The report offers overarching recommendations for an array of stakeholders:

  • Educators in community and technical colleges must embrace their roles as employment partners;
  • Business leaders must champion an employer-led skills-development system; and
  • Policymakers must actively foster collaboration between employers and educators by improving access to labor market data, revising metrics for educators and workforce development programs and advocate for the critical role of middle-skills jobs.

Cracking the Code on STEM: A People Strategy for Nevada’s Economy – Nevada’s newly diversified economic strategy is beginning to work, according to a new report from the Brookings Institution, but now the state must focus on growing the talent pipeline to fill the high-demand jobs, particularly in STEM-related fields. Although many of the currently available opportunities “require no more than the right community college certificate, insufficient numbers of Nevadans have pursued even a little STEM training.” Without a targeted effort from the state to address this critical workforce need, the skills shortages could limit the state’s growth.

Along with a series of policy memos, this new analysis looks at Nevada’s STEM economy and labor market as well as the actions of the state’s leaders – public, private and philanthropic – can take to develop a skilled workforce. Specifically, the report draws three conclusions:

  • Growth in Nevada’s STEM-oriented sectors such as Business IT Ecosystems and Health and Medical Services is challenging the state’s ability to deliver an adequate supply of both technical and professional STEM workers;
  • Significant challenges threaten to undercut the state’s ability to cultivate the workforce needed to advance its economic diversification; and
  • Nevada needs to create a people strategy to complement its economic strategy.

WorkAdvance: Meeting the Needs of Workers and Employers – A new report from MDRC presents the early findings of four WorkAdvance programs around the country that are implementing the sector-focused career advancement program for low-skilled adults. Sharing the programs’ successes and lessons learned, the report gives an early insight into the challenges of, and best practices for implementing a program like WorkAdvance, which are currently operating in Oklahoma, Ohio and New York City. In late 2015, MDRC plans to release a report examining the program’s effects on employment and earnings as well as costs.

Andrea Zimmermann, State Policy Associate

This Week in CTE

November 7th, 2014

TWEET OF THE WEEK:
Opportunity Nation: If we promise to stop trying to make #fetch happen, will you promise to help us make #CTE happen? http://huff.to/1y3unEW

ARTICLE OF THE WEEK: In South Carolina, A Program That Makes Apprenticeships Work
South Carolina was facing a shortage of qualified workers, so launched an innovative apprenticeship program in a variety of fields including nursing, pharmacy and IT. The tax credit for companies certainly helps, but the major influence has been the German companies, BMW and Bosch, who have plants in South Carolina and developed a system of apprenticeships similar to Germany’s. “Apprenticeships are win-win,” says Labor Secretary Thomas Perez. “Apprentices are opportunities for young people to punch their ticket to the middle class and for employers to get that critical pipeline of skilled labor.”
Read More 

RESOURCE OF THE WEEK: What is CTE? Fact Sheet
We released a new fact sheet this fall providing an overview about what CTE is and why it’s important, all backed up by hard data. For example: CTE concentrators are far less likely to drop out of high school than the national average, estimated savings of $168 billion per year.
Read More

WEBINAR OF THE WEEK: The State of Employer Engagement in CTE
Over the summer, NASDCTEc conducted a survey of the State CTE Directors to better
understand how and in what ways employers are engaging in CTE today. December 3rd from 2:00 – 3:00 PM ET, we will host a free webinar that will unpack the survey’s results and seek to illustrate the employer engagement landscape with a particular focus on the ways in which states are and can foster and sustain meaningful employer engagement to strengthen their CTE system for all students.
Register for free

RESEARCH REPORT OF THE WEEK: Labor Market Returns to Sub-Baccalaureate Credentials: How Much Does a Community College Degree or
Certificate Pay?
A new study published in Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, which studied 24,000 first-time community college students in Washington, found that short-term certificates have ‘minimal to no positive effects.’ However, it is important to note the value of these short-term certificates as stackable credentials that can lead to more training and experience. “It can be a foundation that gets you in the door and it gives you something you can work towards,” said Kate Blosveren, Assistant Executive Director of NASDCTEc.
Read More 

Katie Fitzgerald, Communications Associate

This Week in CTE

October 31st, 2014

We’re excited to launch a new series, This Week in CTE, which will feature a roundup of articles, Twitter conversations, events and announcements you may have missed during the week.

VIDEO OF THE WEEK: Michigan’s Manufacturing Future Pure Michigan: Michigan Economic Development Corporation, released a video showcasing the importance of workforce development to Michigan’s economy, with a focus on Manufacturing Day. “As manufacturing in Michigan continues to evolve, Michigan’s talent is a key component to ensuring this industry’s success.”
October 2014
Pure Michigan
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ARTICLE OF THE WEEK: #SBSTEM Pathways: Q&A with LeAnn Wilson, ACTE LeAnn Wilson, executive director of the Association for Career and Technical Education discusses the connection between STEM and CTE. “I heard it best from a CTE teacher when he said that CTE really brings the curriculum to life for students; it turns a concept like slope of a line, which might be a challenge for some students, into something they can understand like the pitch of a roof,” said Wilson. October, 28, 2014
SmartBlog on Education
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REPORT OF THE WEEK: Accelerating U.S. Advancing Manufacturing This month the Steering Committee of the Advanced Manufacturing Partnership 2.0 (AMP2.0) released a report, Accelerating U.S. Advancing Manufacturing, detailing the steps the Federal government needs to take to expand advanced manufacturing in the U.S. AMP2.0 developed three recommendations: Implement a Federal strategic plan across all Federal activities to improve advanced manufacturing, ensure research in developing the workforce pipeline, and use Federal organizations to deliver information to manufacturers.
White House
October 2014
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WEBINAR OF THE WEEK: Partnerships that Deliver Results: The Workforce System and Registered Apprenticeship – Part 1 (Webinar Series)
This two-part webinar series will highlight the importance of apprenticeships and their contribution to creating more skilled workers, who have the education and experience necessary to earn higher wages. The series was developed in response to the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), and will showcase effective partnerships, provide resources and give attendees the opportunity to ask questions. Webinars will take place November 6th and November 20th.
Workforce One More

TWEET OF THE WEEK: House Congressional CTE Caucus Hearing Live Tweet
On Friday, the House Congressional Career and Technical Education (CTE) Caucus hosted a field hearing in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, to explore the ongoing challenges with the nation’s skills gap and the role CTE has in addressing it. You can read an overview of the hearing on NASDCTEc’s Blog and read our live tweet updates here.

Katie Fitzgerald, Communications Associate

CTE Research Review

October 29th, 2014

Research Image_6.2013As talk of data increasingly dominates education and employment conversations across the country, 37 states are working to track the employment outcomes of participants in education and workforce programs, according to a new report from the Workforce Data Quality Campaign (WDQC).

WDQC promotes a 13-point state blueprint for inclusive, aligned and market-relevant education and workforce data systems that identifies key features of high-quality data infrastructure to provide useful information for policymakers, educators, employers and more. NASDCTEc is a WDQC partner.

The report surveyed 40 states and the District of Columbia about their progress implementing the 13 indicators including:

  • Expanding use of labor market information;
  • Assessing employment outcomes;
  • Counting industry-recognized credentials;
  • Including all students and pathways; and
  • Ensuring data access and appropriate use.

The results found a majority of states had achieved or were progressing toward establishing cross-agency councils to oversee statewide data collection, capturing employment outcomes such as graduates’ employment status and cross-state data sharing, and creating scorecards for students and workers. More than half of states, however, reported not having starting initiatives related to industry-recognized credentials such as increasing the range of credentials being counted or developing a process for industry validation of credentials.

WDQC highlighted several standout states such as Utah, Maryland, Florida, North Carolina and Maine. Be sure to check out the report for many more outstanding state examples.

WDQC will host a webinar on Thursday, Nov. 6, to discuss the report and highlight the work being done to connect and use workforce data in Utah and Indiana.

In Case You Missed It:

Check out new research from Burning Glass, Education Development Center and more!

Andrea Zimmermann, State Policy Associate

NASDCTEc Fall Meeting Blog Series: Teachers, Employers, Students and the System: What needs to change?

October 24th, 2014

Earlier this week at NASDCTEc’s annual Fall Meeting, Brandon Busteed, Executive Director of Gallup Education, delivered a strong call to action to the CTE community. Highlighting Gallup’s research on the education system the economy in America today, Busteed urged attendees to leverage this data to reframe CTE in national and local conversations about education and careers.

Gallup conducted a national poll of students and found that students become significantly less engaged each year they are in school. More than 75 percent of elementary school students identify as engaged, while only 44 percent of high school students report feeling engaged at some point during the school day.

Busteed noted that there are reasons for student disengagement. Student success is measured through graduation rates, SAT scores, and G.P.A., which rarely – if ever – takes into account the student as a whole person. While these measures are certainly important, hope, mentorship and the opportunity to work on long-term projects are stronger indicators of success.

“What are we doing to identify entrepreneurship in our schools right now?” said Busteed. “We identify athletic talent with ease, we identify IQ; we don’t work to identify the next Bill Gates or Mark Zuckerberg. There are no indicators the education system uses to determine who will be an effective or successful entrepreneur.”

To that end, Busteed cited a recent interview with Laszlo Bock, Senior Vice President of People Operations at Google, who called grades and test scores worthless predictors of successful employees.

Just as internships are valuable experiences for students, teacher externships can be incredible opportunities that may be key in helping connect classroom curriculum to the modern workplace. Given the typical capacity issues for work-based learning, 3 million teacher externships would be the equivalent of more than 50 million student internships.

Businesses also value a stronger partnership with higher education. Currently, only 13 percent of business leaders think there is “a great deal” of collaboration between higher education and employers, while almost 90 percent favor an increased level of collaboration.

What implications does this research have for CTE? High-quality CTE programs provide all the opportunities Busteed called essential to student success: a focus on employability skills and technical skills, mentorship through work-based learning and curriculum that is made relevant by tying learning to the real world.

Busteed left the group with a final charge – the CTE community needs to better communicate career technical education not as option B, but instead as a staple of all students’ educational experience.
To view Busteed’s PowerPoint, please visit our 2014 Fall Meeting page.

Katie Fitzgerald, Communications Associate

Adobe’s Hiring for the Future Report Carries Implications for CTE

October 15th, 2014

Last month, Adobe surveyed 1,068 American hiring managers seeking insight into what the gatekeepers of tomorrow’s careers believe are the most critical skills, habits and credentials for job-seekers in the 21st century labor market.

The result? An overwhelming number of responses emphasizing the importance of digital literacy, creative thinking, problem-solving and flexibility. Hiring managers rejected the notion that students in technical fields fundamentally lack the creativity succeed (only 36% agree), but even more believe that positions requiring technical skills also benefit from creative thinking (81% agree).

Technical skills are still viewed as one of the top three factors identified as having gained the most value over the last five years (46% identified as one of top three skills gaining value), suggesting that competency remains crucial to employer hiring decisions. Also in the top three, however, were problem solving/critical thinking (51%) and creativity/innovation (47%).

Taken as a whole supports the need for more high-quality CTE, with its emphasis on skill building through career pathways and comprehensive, integrated programs of study. modern approach

Unsurprisingly, many policies prioritized by CTE programs of study, including internships, mentors and courses specifically designed to prepare students for the world of work by teaching both broad and specific skills, ranked high on the list of proposed solutions to boost preparedness (see chart, at right).

Other findings concur with similar past surveys of employer needs, including the impression that students are underprepared for jobs when entering the workforce, with 69% of hiring managers agreeing that new job seekers lack the necessary skills for success and 61% calling lack of communications skills as a top factor in underpreparedness.

Read the full report here.

Evan Williamson, Communications Associate

 

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