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

The Common Career Technical Core, Programs of Study & Industry-Based Standards

July 30th, 2014

Yesterday, NASDCTEc released a new paper - The Common Career Technical Core, Programs of Study & Industry-Based Standards - during a webinar. Leveraging the methodology used to compare over 45 states’ CTE standards to the Common Career Technical Core (CCTC) last year for The State of Career Technical Education: An Analysis of State CTE Standards, this new paper examines how a set of 18 industry-based standards match up to the CCTC, with deep implications for state and local development of standards-based programs of study.

Critically, as we state in the paper, “The intent of this analysis is not to judge any industry-based standards…rather the intent is provide actionable information to state and local CTE leaders as think through how they use industry-based standards within the context of a program of study.”

What Did We Find?

For one, the industry-based standards, on average, were not particularly well aligned with the CCTC. However, this was largely as expected based on scope and design of the CCTC compared to most industry-based standards. The CCTC are benchmark standards that identify what a student should know and be able to do after completing a program of study. As “benchmark standards,” the CCTC are intentionally broad; as “end of program of study standards,” the CCTC cover the full range of knowledge and skills to be imparted over a sequence of courses, from the broadest career exploration to the more occupationally-specific skills. Alternatively, most industry-based standards focus squarely on those occupationally-specific skills, leading to a disconnect between them and the CCTC.

We also found that the majority of industry-based standards did not, on average, address the 12 Career Ready Practices, which are the cross-cutting skills and dispositions necessary for any individual in the workplace. Perhaps the most surprising finding was that less than half of the industry-based standards fully aligned to such Practices as “communicate clearly, effectively and with reason” and “work productively in teams while using cultural/global competence,” which are so highly demanded in today’s economy.

However, the analysis showed that many of the industry-based standards reviewed did align well with the Career Pathway-level standards, which are the most specific standards within the CCTC. Additionally, industry-based standards developed by consortia, such as the National Council for Agriculture Education and the Manufacturing Skill Standards Council, were much  more likely to address both the Career Cluster and Career Pathway-level standards.

What Are the Implications?

The bottom line is that industry-based standards play an important role in preparing students for careers, but that they cannot alone make up a program of study as they often fail to address the broader career exploration skills, as well as those key cross-cutting or “employability” skills that have utility in any career. As state leaders and other stakeholders develop, review and/or approve programs of study, they must:

  • Ensure the standards not only address the key occupationally-specific skills, but also those addressed at the Career Cluster level, as well as the Career Ready Practices, and
  • Provide guidance to local leaders and educators on how to implement the various sets of state and industry-based standards available and build out a coherent sequence of courses and learning experiences aligned to those different standards.

Read the full report here, watch the webinar recording or download the webinar PPT.

Kate Blosveren, Associate Executive Director, NASDCTEc

New NASDCTEc Paper & Webinar: CTE Is Your STEM Strategy

December 17th, 2013

Today the National Association of State Directors of Career Technical Education Consortium (NASDCTEc) released a new policy paper entitled CTE Is Your STEM Strategy, exploring the inherent relationship between CTE and STEM goals, elements and expectations.

Simply put, STEM must not be viewed as a separate enterprise from CTE. While a state’s CTE programs may not encompass everything within a state’s STEM strategy, high-quality CTE programs can provide a strong foundation for and serve as a delivery system of STEM competencies and skills for a broader range of students. Too often, STEM strategies are created separately from and without a clear understanding of how CTE can support and strengthen such efforts. This paper aims to bring this disconnect to the forefront and demonstrate the natural connection for the many stakeholders working to advance CTE and STEM in their communities.

Looking ahead, state and local leaders should work collaboratively to identify where CTE is delivering high-quality STEM skills and competencies successfully, where efforts need to be shored up, and how to best scale those programs with the greatest value to students, employers and our nation.

The paper was released during a webinar featuring Tina Marcus, Project Manager, STEM Education and Leadership, North Carolina Department of Public Instruction; Dr. Tony Baldwin, Superintendent of Buncombe County Schools in North Carolina; Dr. Linda Rosen, CEO of Change the Equation; and Kate Blosveren, NASDCTEc’s Associate Executive Director.

Click here to download CTE Is Your STEM Strategy and access the recording and slides from the webinar here.

Kate Blosveren, Associate Executive Director

July CTE Monthly: Driving the STEM, IT and Manufacturing Workforce

July 24th, 2013

CTE Monthly, a collaborative publication from the Association for Career and Technical Education and the National Association of State Directors of Career Technical Education Consortium, features the latest news on Career Technical Education (CTE) from across the nation for CTE stakeholders and Members of Congress.

In the July edition, read more about:

  • FY14 Appropriations Update: Investing in CTE is a Priority
  • Bachelor’s Degree Not Required for Many STEM Jobs
  • CTE: The Key to Economic Development in Advanced Manufacturing
  • Exemplary CTE Programs and Students in Florida, Washington and Oklahoma

View archived CTE Monthly newsletters and other advocacy resources on our Advocacy Tools webpage.

Kara Herbertson, Research and Policy Manager

May CTE Monthly Newsletter: Analysis Supports CTE As Key to Dropout Reduction, Research Shows Employees Need More Applied Skills

May 21st, 2013

CTE Monthly, a collaborative publication from the Association for Career and Technical Education and the National Association of State Directors of Career Technical Education Consortium, features the latest news on Career Technical Education (CTE) from across the nation for CTE stakeholders and Members of Congress.

In the May edition, read more about:

  • Agriculture Career Cluster®
  • Arizona Analysis Supports CTE As Key to Dropout Reduction
  • Research Demonstrates that New Employees Need More Applied Skills

View archived CTE Monthly newsletters and other advocacy resources on our Advocacy Tools Web page.

Kara Herbertson, Research and Policy Manager

New NASDCTEc Publication on Career Academies

May 13th, 2013

Career academies are a proven way of delivering high-quality Career Technical Education (CTE). Through small learning communities, college-preparatory curriculum, and strong partnerships with local employers, career academies offer work-based learning opportunities and rigorous pathways to postsecondary education and careers. Research strongly supports the efficacy of career academies in increasing the academic success, attendance levels and future earning potential of participating students.

Learn more about these dynamic academies in our latest publication, Career Academies: An Investment in Students, the Workforce and the Economy. An archived webinar on this topic, featuring representatives from the national, state and school levels, is now available here.

Kara Herbertson, Research and Policy Manager

NASDCTEc Releases Publication on Area CTE Centers

April 29th, 2013

Career Technical Education (CTE) inherently emphasizes partnerships with employers and encourages input from business and industry on CTE curriculum and other collaborative opportunities so that students graduate with the knowledge and skills that employers demand. But despite increased interest in CTE by students and businesses, states and school districts are struggling to maintain or expand CTE programs due to limited federal, state and local funding. Given the current fiscal situation, area CTE centers area an especially viable option for districts wanting to provide students with high-quality CTE in a cost-effective way.

Last week, the National Association of State Directors of Career Technical Education Consortium (NASDCTEc) released a new publication on this topic – Area CTE Centers: Conquering the Skills Gap through Business and Industry Collaboration. The paper provides information on the history, benefits, and cost effectiveness of area CTE centers. Several examples of best practices are highlighted including Miami Valley Career Technology Center in Ohio and Canadian Valley Technology Center in Oklahoma. Read more

A webinar recording on area CTE centers, featuring leaders from the schools mentioned above, is now available here.

Kara Herbertson, Research and Policy Manager

April CTE Monthly Newsletter: Bipartisan Support for CTE, Senate Perkins Sign-On Letter

April 25th, 2013

CTE Monthly, a collaborative publication from the Association for Career and Technical Education and the National Association of State Directors of Career Technical Education Consortium, features the latest news on Career Technical Education (CTE) from across the nation for CTE stakeholders and Members of Congress.

In the April edition, read more about:

  • Senate Perkins Appropriations Letter Sign-on
  • Bipartisan Support for CTE in the House
  • Research Depicts the Convergence of CTE and Academics
  • Exemplary CTE Programs, Business-Education Partnerships and Students in New Jersey, Florida and California

View archived CTE Monthly newsletters and other advocacy resources on our Advocacy Tools Web page.

Kara Herbertson, Research and Policy Manager

March CTE Monthly: Interest in STEM Careers Rising; Exemplary CTE in NY, TX and OH

March 19th, 2013

CTE Monthly, a collaborative publication from the Association for Career and Technical Education and the National Association of State Directors of Career Technical Education Consortium, features the latest news on Career Technical Education (CTE) from across the nation for CTE stakeholders and Members of Congress.

In the March edition, read more about:

  • Rep. Glenn Thompson (R-PA) and Rep. Jim Langevin (D-RI) Recognized as CTE Policymakers of the Year
  • Interest in STEM Careers Rising
  • Human Services Career Cluster® 
  • Exemplary CTE Programs and Students in New York, Texas, and Ohio

View archived CTE Monthly newsletters and other advocacy resources on our Advocacy Tools Web page.

Kara Herbertson, Research and Policy Manager

February CTE Monthly: CTE Month; Report on Student Engagement

February 22nd, 2013

CTE Monthly, a collaborative publication from the Association for Career and Technical Education and the National Association of State Directors of Career Technical Education Consortium, features the latest news on Career Technical Education (CTE) from across the nation for CTE stakeholders and Members of Congress.

In the February edition, read more about:

  • How to celebrate CTE Month
  • Marketing Career Cluster™
  • Tennessee Technology Center at Chattanooga State Community College

View archived CTE Monthly newsletters and other advocacy resources on our Advocacy Tools Web page.

Kara Herbertson, Research and Policy Manager

New NASDCTEc Publications: CTE Trend Analysis: Governance and Funding

February 21st, 2013

Every other year, NASDCTEc conducts a survey of the membership to gauge trends in Career Technical Education (CTE) across the country. Based on analyses of this year’s survey results from 50 states and territories, and comparisons to surveys administered in 2008 and 2010, NASDCTEc has authored a series of synopsis papers that describe trends in four key areas: Career Clusters™ and Programs of Study, CTE Teacher/Faculty Shortages, Governance, and Funding.

Today, NASDCTEc released the final two issue briefs in this series:

2012 Synopsis of CTE Trends: Governance

CTE programs are offered in a variety of settings including comprehensive high schools, middle schools, area technical centers, and four-year universities. Within these institutions, the level of CTE programs offered ranges from exploratory to in-depth. With such a wide variety of learners served through many types of institutions, state governance of CTE programs is understandably complex and varies considerably from state to state.

2012 Synopsis of CTE Trends: Funding

Despite budget shortfalls, states such as Nebraska are leveraging students’ voices to show state legislators the importance of funding CTE. While long-term projections on Perkins funding levels are uncertain – due in part to issues like sequestration – a vigilant focus on high-quality CTE programs, data-driven decision making, and return on investment will best position CTE to ward off as many additional funding cuts as possible.

An archived webinar on these two topics is available here.

Stay tuned for more information on a NASDCTEc Legislative Update webinar on Monday, March 25th at 3:00 pm ET.

Kara Herbertson, Research and Policy Manager

 

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