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CTE Research Review: New Georgetown Report Projects Job Growth and Education Requirements through 2020

June 26th, 2013

Research Image_6.2013Georgetown University’s Center on Education and the Workforce just released an update of its widely-cited 2010 report, Help Wanted. The updated report, Recovery: Job Growth and Education Requirements through 2020, includes projections for two additional years – 2019 and 2020 – and provides pertinent labor market information such as which fields are expected to create the most jobs, the education requirements required to gain employment in the United States, and the skills demanded most by employers. A state report was also released.

New findings include:

  • There will be 55 million job openings in the economy through 2020: 24 million openings from newly created jobs and 31 million openings due to baby boom retirements.
  • 35 percent of the job openings will require at least a bachelor’s degree, 30 percent of the job openings will require some college or an associate’s degree, and 36 percent of the job openings will require a high school diploma or less.
  • STEM, Healthcare, and Community Services will be areas of fastest growth but also will require higher levels of postsecondary education.
  • The United States will fall short by 5 million workers with postsecondary education – at the current production rate – by 2020.

The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) released its annual analysis containing data on the structure, finances, and performance of education systems in more than 40 countries. This year’s study finds that the gap between those with some postsecondary education and those without is widening, with unemployment rates three times higher for those who haven’t graduated high school.

As OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurria noted, “Leaving school with good qualifications is more essential than ever. Countries must focus efforts on helping young people, especially the less well-educated who are most at risk of being trapped in a low skills, low wage future. Priorities include reducing school dropout rates and investing in skills-oriented education that integrates the worlds of learning and work.”

The report found that countries with high percentages of “vocational graduates,” such as Austria, Germany, and Switzerland, experienced lower unemployment rates for 25-34 year olds in this category than high school graduates. Unfortunately, data for the United States were not included in this portion of the report. The report also found that more young women than ever, 45 percent, are graduating from secondary vocational programs. In many countries – such as Australia, China, Finland, and Belgium, vocational graduation rates are higher for women than for men.

Kara Herbertson, Research and Policy Manager

New Blog Series: CTE Research Review

June 19th, 2013

NASDCTEc is excited to launch a new blog series – CTE Research Review! This blog will feature the latest research and reports about CTE and other related education and workforce issues. 

Research Image_6.2013The Council on Foreign Relations released a new report, “Progress Report and Scorecard: Remedial Education,” that has been referenced several times this week by figures such as U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan to illustrate the importance of educating and training a globally-competitive workforce. The authors of this report stress that the United States is slipping in global competitiveness and that the achievement gap between wealthy and non-wealthy students is widening. The authors also write that “Human capital is perhaps the single most important long-term driver of an economy,” and challenge the federal government to put in place programs that will expand high-quality education for all students.

ACT’s “STEM Education Pipeline: Doing the Math on Recruiting Math and Science Teachers,” reviews the proposed federal STEM Teacher Pathway program – aimed at getting 100,000 qualified science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) professionals into the classroom over the next decade – and finds an insufficient number of STEM college graduates who would be qualified or willing to become STEM teachers. To meet the number of teachers needed, the authors suggest recruitment strategies targeted toward “STEM-capable students interest in education and STEM-capable students undecided of their college major.”

A new issue brief from the Education Commission of the States, “Reimagining Business Involvement: A New Frontier for Postsecondary Education,” lays out research-backed models and strategies to improve the quality of credentials and increase alignment with the needs of business and industry. Suggestions include possible methods of engagement to strengthen partnerships between business/industry and education, the role of state policy in building a statewide partnership plan, and economic benefits for states.

A recent study from the National Research Center for Career and Technical Education examines South Carolina’s programs of study and career pathways developed through the state’s Education and Economic Development Act (EEDA) and finds some positive impacts for the students. The study indicates that EEDA positively impacts career-focused activities at all schools and enhances the role of school guidance counselors.

The National Center for Education Statistics released its annual “Condition of Education” report. Two areas of relevance highlighted by this year’s report are “Trends in Employment Rates by Educational Attainment” and “The Status of Rural Education.” Not surprisingly, the report shows that employment for males and females (ages 25 – 64) was lower in 2012 than in 2008 regardless of education levels due to recovery from the economic recession. Between 1990 and 2012, employment rates for those with a bachelor’s degree remained higher than those with less than a bachelor’s degree.

The report on rural education found that students in rural districts experienced higher graduation rates (80 percent) than students in city (68 percent) or town districts (79 percent) but slightly lower rates than suburban districts (81 percent).

Kara Herbertson, Research and Policy Manager

McKinsey Report Outlines Common Elements of Innovative Programs to Close the Skills Gap

May 24th, 2013

The McKinsey Center for Government surveyed 8,000 individuals – from employers to educational institutions to students – to answer one question: how can we close the skills gap? Their results include an examination of more than 100 innovative programs and suggest many strategies already implemented through Career Technical Education (CTE).

The McKinsey Global Institute estimates that by 2020 there will be a global shortfall of 85 million high- and middle-skilled workers. Nearly 40 percent of employers find that applicants lack the skills needed for entry-level jobs. And while 72 percent of education providers reported that graduates are ready to enter the job market, only 42 percent of employers and 45 percent of youth agreed. On top of this disconnect, the authors indicate that there is no comprehensive data on skills required for employment or on the performance of specific education providers in building those skills.

The report identifies common elements of innovative and effective programs, many of which reflect aspects of CTE as laid out in Reflect, Transform, Lead: A New Vision for Career Technical Education, including:

  • Educators and employers actively partner to design program and curricula together.
  • The “education-to-employment journey” is treated as a non-linear continuum.

What is needed to close this knowledge and skills gap? Again, the authors suggest improvements that align with the work that many state and local CTE stakeholders are already putting into action:

  • Better data to inform students’ choices and manage performance.
  • Clearer expectations for students.
  • Partnerships between multiple education providers and employers within a specific sector.
  • An organization or institution at a high-level that can work to develop solutions, gather data and identify and disseminate best practices.

Access the full report here.

Kara Herbertson, Research and Policy Manager

Community Colleges in the Spotlight

May 8th, 2013

This week, the National Center for Education and the Economy released a new report at a day-long event in Washington, DC. The report – “What Does It Mean to Be College and Work Ready?” –  explores the first-year expectations for students across nine different disciplines (Accounting, Automotive Technology, Biotech/Electrical Technology, Business, Criminal Justice, Early Childhood Education, Information Technology/Computer Programming, Nursing, and General Studies) in mathematics and English Language Arts, and finds that there is a misalignment between what students learn in high school and what they need to know for success in their first year at community college.

Specifically in mathematics, the report finds that the first-year expectations are rarely above the Algebra I bar and largely focus on mathematics taught in middle school. The report identifies some key content areas that are typically untaught in high school, namely schematics, geometric visualization, and complex applications of measurement. One recommendation is to refocus K-12 mathematics instruction so students can gain a deeper conceptual understanding of the foundational knowledge and skills in elementary and middle school mathematics rather than rushing them to, and through, advanced course-taking in high school.

In English, the report finds that while the texts assigned in the first-year of community college programs are at the 11th and 12th grade level, the assignments and tests demand little from students by way of reading comprehension or writing – or, in other words, there is high text complexity but low test rigor. The Common Core State Standards’ focus on discipline-specific literacy, reading informational texts, and writing from evidence should help shore up students’ abilities in these areas, but community colleges will need to adjust their instruction in kind.

Over the course of six panel discussions, a number of topics were explored, but two themes came up time and again, the first being the tradeoff between community colleges shifting their mission away from providing open access to all students to the accountability-driven goal of retaining students. The question was raised, but largely unanswered, of whether this shift has led community colleges to lower their expectations and standards for incoming students to ensure more stay enrolled and complete. On the other hand, remediation has long been an issue among community colleges and hasn’t dramatically improved since institutions have begun to focus on completion.

The other major theme discussed was the need for more curricular pathways for students in high school, particularly in mathematics. While the report recommends that Algebra II no longer be required for all students, most of the panelists agreed that Algebra II still had value to students, but that there need to be more contextualized learning opportunities for students, based on their learning styles and post-high school interests.

What struck me about the event is that Career Technical Education (CTE) has long been tackling the challenges and opportunities raised in the report and event including building partnerships between K-12 and community college and between community colleges and employers, and offering contextualized learning pathways to students. While CTE was barely mentioned (explicitly) over the course of the day – and is not mentioned at all in the report – it is a major component of any strategy to address students’ readiness for college and careers.

Click here to read the report and watch video from the release event.

Kate Blosveren, Associate Executive Director

NCES Report: Half of All High Schools Offer Opportunities for Dual Credit in CTE

February 25th, 2013

Dual credit courses offer public high schools students the opportunity to take college-level courses and earn postsecondary credits while still in high school. A new report shows that most U.S. high schools are providing these opportunities for students, and many Career Technical Education (CTE) students are taking advantage to gain a head start into postsecondary education.

In Dual Credit and Exam-Based Courses in U.S. Public High Schools: 2010-11, the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) reveals that more than four out of five U.S. high schools report that their students are enrolled in dual credit courses. The report explores enrollment in dual credit courses, eligibility requirements for enrolling in dual credit courses, types of instructors in dual credit courses, and expenses paid by students and parents for dual credit courses. Findings include:

  • Half of all high schools reported that students took dual credit courses with a CTE focus (table 4).
  • High schools reported about 601,500 enrollees in dual credit courses with a career and technical/vocational focus (table 6).
  • Among high schools with students enrolled in dual credit courses, 42 percent reported that students took dual credit courses with a CTE focus taught on the high school campus (table 10).
  • High school students enrolled in dual credit courses with a CTE focus were less likely to pay tuition or fees than students enrolled in dual credit courses with an academic focus (table 12).
  • For high schools with students enrolled in dual credit courses with a CTE focus taught on a postsecondary campus, 62 percent reported that both high school and postsecondary students were enrolled in the courses – similar to courses with an academic focus (table 15).

View our Dual Enrollment resource for more information on this topic.

Kara Herbertson, Research and Policy Manager  

New Report: Understanding the Skills in the Common Core State Standards

December 21st, 2012

The Common Core State Standards “provide a strong platform for students to apply and master the skills they need, and as students apply those skills, they have more opportunities to fully master the content within the CCSS,” according to a recent analysis of the standards by Achieve.

The CCSS covers most of the skills in greatest demands by employers, postsecondary institutions and society overall, according to Understanding the Skills in the Common Core State Standards. The report suggests that because the skills — working collectively, thinking critically, communicating effectively solving routine and nonroutine problems, and analyzing information and data – imparted by the CCSS are needed to excel in academic, technical and life settings.

However, the report also does note that “some skills — mostly technical or work-based in nature, such as career planning, ethical reasoning and conflict resolution skills — are simply outside the scope of the mathematics and ELA/literacy CCSS.”

The report identifies the level of preparation all students learning to the CCSS will acquire and offers insight into opportunities for Career Technical Education to help address career-focused skills. Learn more at http://www.achieve.org/skills-ccss.

Erin Uy, Communications & Marketing Manager

 

ED Releases New Provisional High School Graduation Rates

November 29th, 2012

For the first time since all states have adopted a common, rigorous measure for four-year high school graduation rates, the U.S. Department of Education has released preliminary data on how states measured up for the 2010-2011 school year.

The graduation rates and data notes are available on the Department’s website.

Using the new measure, 26 states reported lower graduation rates and 24 states reported unchanged or increased rates for the 2010-2011 school year. However, the new graduation rates are not comparable to those of previous years since a new formula was used.

The top ranking states were:

  • Iowa: 88 percent
  • Vermont and Wisconsin: 87 percent
  • Indiana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Tennessee, and Texas: 86 percent

The lowest ranking states were:

  • New Mexico: 63 percent
  • Nevada: 62 percent
  • District of Columbia: 59 percent

The new graduation rates show state leaders’ willingness to create more uniformity and transparency in reporting these data. Additional information can be found at ED Data Express.

Kara Herbertson, Research and Policy Manager

 

Study: Texas Dual Enrollment Students Twice as Likely to Earn Associate Degree or Higher

October 19th, 2012

Dual enrollment provides high school students the opportunity to take college courses while in high school, and research suggests that participation could increase the likelihood that students will attend and graduate from college. Another recent study, following more than 30,000 Texas high school graduates, adds to a growing body of research that supports dual enrollment as a powerful connector of high school and postsecondary education.

For six years, Jobs for the Future, a nonprofit organization helping align education with high-demand careers, followed the 2004 Texas high school graduates. Half of the students had participated in dual enrollment opportunities while in high school, and the other half had not.

The findings from the Texas study are powerful:

  • College Entry and Persistence: Dual enrollment students were more than twice as likely to enroll in a Texas two-year or four-year college. They were twice as likely to return for a second year of college.
  • College Completion: Dual enrollment students were nearly twice as likely to earn an Associate degree or higher within six years of graduating high school. This held true for all racial groups and for students from low-income families.

Jobs for the Future recommends that policymakers expand dual enrollment opportunities for students. State policy should ensure support and policies to support low-income and underrepresented students in participating in dual enrollment.

Through programs of study that strategically connect secondary education with postsecondary and workforce options, Career Technical Education (CTE) widely supports student participation in dual enrollment programs as a research-based path to postsecondary credential and degree completion.

Kara Herbertson, Research and Policy Manager  

NCES Updates CTE Statistics Web Site

October 1st, 2012

The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) updated its Career Technical Education (CTE) Web site to show more recent high school transcript data on the persistence, attainment, and labor market outcomes of CTE students as of 2009. Updated tables include:

  • CTE high schools as of the 2007-2008 school year
  • CTE teachers’ perceptions of and satisfaction with their jobs

Click here to access the most recent secondary and postsecondary CTE tables from NCES.

Kara Herbertson, Research and Policy Manager

New Report: CTE Key to Landing Middle-Class Jobs

September 26th, 2012

Career Technical Education (CTE) prepares students for challenging careers and further education at the high school level and beyond, resulting in attainment of credentials like certificates, associate degrees, and bachelor’s degrees. While CTE spans a range of learner levels, a recent report from Georgetown University’s Center on Education and the Workforce focuses on the subbaccalaureate level, stating that middle-class jobs are abundant for those with subbaccalaureate CTE degrees.

The report reveals that there are currently 29 million “middle jobs,” or jobs requiring a two-year degree or less, in the United States that pay middle-class wages between $35,000 and $75,000 annually. Such jobs include certified nursing assistants, occupational therapists, licensed practical nurses, paralegals, refrigeration technicians, and more. Five options for training – available through CTE schools and programs across the country – are featured as high-quality, cost-effective ways to prepare individuals for middle jobs:

  • Associate degrees
  • Postsecondary certificates
  • Employer-based training
  • Industry-based certifications
  • Apprenticeships

The authors also suggest two ways to advance the nation’s CTE infrastructure. First, a “Learning & Earning Exchange” should be established to connect data from CTE to the labor market. This information system would make clear to students the labor market demand for specific education and training, help educators improve their practice, and help employers find qualified candidates for job openings. Second, the authors support further federal investment in programs of study, and suggest investing in specific programs of study that include employer-based training.

In international comparisons, the U.S. ranks second in baccalaureate attainment; 31 percent of U.S. workers over 25 years old hold a bachelor’s degree or more. However, the subbaccalaureate rate falls at just 10 percent, ranking the U.S. 16th among industrialized nations. Greater federal investments in CTE will help more individuals pursue CTE at the subbaccalaureate level to attain middle-class jobs, and will give decision makers more information linking CTE and labor market outcomes.

Click here to view the report.

Kara Herbertson, Research and Policy Manager

 

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