Legislative Update: Perkins Reauthorization Signed into Law

July 31st, 2018

Today, the President signed the Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act (Perkins V), which reauthorizes the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act (Perkins).

As we reported, the House and Senate voted to pass this bill last week. President Trump will travel to Tampa Bay Technical High School this evening to provide remarks about the bill and host a roundtable on workforce development. Watch it live at 6:10 p.m. Eastern Time.

Advance CTE and ACTE released a joint press statement after the President signed H.R. 2353 into law. Check out additional resources on our webpage. To make sure you get the latest news and resources about federal policy that impacts Career Technical Education (CTE), sign up for our Legislative Updates!

Katie Fitzgerald, Communications Manager

Now Recruiting for the Summer 2018 CTE Virtual Institute

June 4th, 2018

Last fall, Advance CTE launched the inaugural Career Technical Education (CTE) Virtual Institute, a web-based course designed to help new audiences become experts on CTE. Participants learned about the history of CTE, addressed common myths and recognized the role they play in supporting a high-quality CTE system.

By the end of the course, each participant also designed and delivered an individual project demonstrating and applying lessons learned. Personal projects included:

  • Developing brochures for guidance counselors that use research-based messages for recruiting students into CTE programs;
  • Publishing a blog post featuring Advance CTE Excellence in Action award winners;
  • Developing a curriculum for a 9th grade career exploration course; and
  • Submitting conference proposals for a statewide CTE conference.

The CTE Virtual Institute provided the space for professionals to come together and collectively unpack the core components of a high-quality CTE system.

Today, we are excited to announce that we are recruiting a second cohort to participate in the Summer 2018 CTE Virtual Institute. The summer course will begin in mid-July and conclude in early September. New this year, participants will be able to engage directly with the foremost thinkers in the field through a series of “brown bag” calls with CTE experts.

If you are interested in joining, please apply by June 15. Otherwise, consider passing this information along to your network and/or staff. Additional details are provided below.

Join the Summer 2018 CTE Virtual Institute

  • Application window: June 4-June 15
  • Where to apply: https://careertech.org/cte-virtual-institute
  • Who should apply: Individuals new to the world of CTE or with limited backgrounds, including practitioners, policymakers, researchers and more.
  • Other details: The course will begin on July 12 and conclude by September 7, 2018. The course will be hosted on Advance CTE’s Moodle site. Click here to view a copy of the course syllabus.

Austin Estes, Senior Policy Associate

The New Fact Sheet on the Role of CTE in Statewide Attainment Goals

May 24th, 2018

More than 40 states have set statewide attainment goals for the percentage of adults holding postsecondary degrees or credentials by a certain year. These efforts have been sparked by Lumina Foundation’s 2025 national credential attainment goal – 60 percent of Americans holding a credential beyond a high school diploma by 2025.

Some states have involved Career Technical Education (CTE) from the onset and others are now looking to ensure CTE is part of their overall strategy. The new fact sheet released by Advance CTE explains why and how CTE can be a major driver of postsecondary attainment across the country.

 

What States Should Do

  • Count ALL Credentials of Value towards Attainment While many learners in CTE programs do go on to earn two- and four-year degrees, many others earn industry-recognized credentials, many of which have great labor market value. States should recognize these credentials in their attainment targets.

  • Leverage Secondary CTE to Meet Statewide Attainment Goals: Increasingly, high school students taking a concentration of CTE are just as likely to go on to postsecondary education as their non-CTE peers – and are more likely to enter with workplace experiences and/or industry-recognized credentials. States should include the expansion of CTE pathways and meaningful college and career advising systems as part of their attainment strategy.

  • Support Postsecondary CTE as a Platform for Credential and Degree Attainment: Postsecondary students enrolled in CTE programs have an average attainment rate of 56.8 percent (counting credentials, certificates and degrees at two-year institutions), well above the average graduation rate for two-year institutions.

  • Bring CTE to the Table as a Partner: A statewide attainment goal can and should serve as the driver of a state’s economic and workforce vision, of which CTE must be a part.

Read more about how Oklahoma, New Jersey and Tennessee have connected the dots between CTE and statewide attainment goals in the new fact sheet.

Kate Kreamer, Deputy Executive Director

New Video To Help You Make The Case For CTE

May 18th, 2018

We are excited to announce a new CTE video as part of the CTE: Learning that works for America® campaign for you to watch and share with your community.

Why Is This Important? 

We know that how we discuss CTE in the media, with policymakers, employers and families matters. We are thrilled to share a new video that showcases what today’s CTE looks like and how it prepares learners for their future careers while closing the skills gap for employers across the country. We know that learners who participate in CTE graduate at a higher rate, are more satisfied with their education, and just as likely as non-CTE students to go on to postsecondary education. Now, it’s time that everyone understands the incredible value of CTE.

How Can You Use This?

This video is designed to help you make the case for CTE in your community and demonstrate the many benefits of today’s CTE! Share it at your statewide meetings, with partners, and encourage your networks to use it too.

We’ve developed a promotional toolkit to get the word out on this video, which you can find here. If you’re curious about the data points in the video, check out our one-pager on the data here.

Join the Conversation: 

To get you started here are two tweets you can share right now, but be sure you are following us on twitter @CTEWorks.

Tweet: I support the work of @CTEWorks as they continue to combat false perceptions of what CTE is and who it is for. This video highlights how CTE prepares learners for success. We hope that you will watch, share and #RT! https://careertech.org/campaign-video #CTEWorks

Tweet: Learn how Career Technical Education prepares learners for their futures while closing the skills gap for employers across the country. https://careertech.org/campaign-video #CTE #CTEWorks

Katie Fitzgerald, Communications Manager 

Excellence in Action Spotlight: Jones County Junior College

April 27th, 2018

Our 2017 Excellence in Action award winner in the Health Science Career Cluster, the Emergency Medical Technical Education (EMTE) program at Jones County Junior College, located in rural Ellisville, MS exemplifies excellence. All learning – in the classroom and workplace – is facilitated by knowledgeable experts leading to program graduates prepared in Health Science careers in areas of critical shortage in rural Southeast Mississippi.

All EMTE students must complete clinical internships in the field. These consist of 500-plus hours of training under the direct guidance of a paramedic, registered nurse, physician, doctor of osteopathy, or equally qualified health care provider. The clinical and field settings provide opportunities for students to begin to observe illnesses and injuries discussed in the classroom, develop and fine-tune diagnostic skills, and put together the overall picture of patient care. Critical to these work-based learning experiences are the highly skilled and knowledgeable experts, called ‘preceptors,’ that lead field and clinical practica. Preceptors guide students during one-on-one encounters throughout their internships, assist participants while at the Human Simulation Center, and give valuable input on current changes in the business of emergency medicine.

Through the course of the program, students are evaluated on their mastery of skills by instructors, clinical/field preceptors, and members of the advisory committee, comprised of nine ambulance services, three hospitals, and the military installation at Camp Shelby.  Without the knowledge and skills of these experts the program could not as effectively evaluate students and their ability to provide patient care.

Learn more about the Emergency Medical Technical Education program at Jones County Junior College and our 2017 award winners.

Advance CTE Spring Meeting Sponsor Blog: Certiport Discusses Training Digital Natives for Academic and Workplace Success

March 26th, 2018

Below is a guest blog from Advanced CTE’s Diamond Sponsor, Certiport, a Pearson VUE Business. Certiport will host an evening of drinks and hors-d’oeuvres at a hospitality suite Wednesday, April 4, from 4:30 – 7:00 PM in Room 835 of the Omni Shoreham Hotel.

Training Digital Natives for Academic and Workplace Success

Although today’s digital natives have grown up immersed in technology, many do not know how to use productivity tools intelligently and efficiently. Students may know how to navigate Google and use a cell phone with ease, but can they format a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet?  Can they use Adobe Photoshop to cut out an unintended passerby in a photo?  Knowing how to use basic, ubiquitous technology tools is essential for academic and workplace success.

Succeeding in the Modern Workplace

Basic digital literacy skills are required in virtually every industry, but students often enter the workforce without them.  Code.org projects there will be an estimated 1 million more computing jobs than applicants who can fill them by 2020, based on estimates from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics on job creation and estimates of college graduation rates by the National Science Foundation.

This is why performance-based digital literacy certifications — such as Microsoft Office Specialist, Adobe Certified Associate, and Certiport’s IC3 Digital Literacy Certification — are critical for students.  Certification validates basic technology skills, giving students a leg up as they apply to college and start a career.

Succeeding in School

The benefits of certification are numerous – several studies show that students who earn certification have an increased graduation rate, higher G.P.A., increased post-secondary enrollment and improved confidence.  The Florida Career and Professional Education department performance report in particular shows an average G.P.A. of 3.09 for students with certification compared to 2.72 for students without certification.  An impressive 97.2% of students with certification graduate compared to 83.9% of students without.

Learn More

Certiport hosts the annual CERTIFIED Educator Conference, the perfect place to learn how much technology certification can impact your classroom, your career, and the lives of your students.  Learn more about attending the event from June 13 – 15 in Atlanta, Georgia at www.certiport.com/certified.

We also invite you to read more about the need for foundational technology skills in the issue brief that will be included in your Advance CTE Spring Meeting conference bag.  Certiport offers learning curriculum, practice tests, and performance-based IT certification exams to open up academic and career opportunities for learners.  Our offerings include:

  • Microsoft Office Specialist
  • Microsoft Technology Associate
  • Adobe Certified Associate
  • Autodesk Certified User
  • QuickBooks Certified User
  • IC3 Digital Literacy Certification
  • IC3 Spark
  • Entrepreneurship and Small Business

Please join us the evening of Wednesday, April 4 for hors d’oeuvres, drinks, and discussion at our hospitality suite (Room 835 at the Omni Shoreham Hotel) from 4:30 – 7:00 PM.

We look forward to visiting with you at the Spring Meeting.

Eldon Lechtenberg, Vice President, Sales-Americas
Mike Maddock
, VP, Microsoft Volume Licensing Business – Americas
Lori Monson
, Senior Director, NOAM Sales
Brent Clark
, Director, Strategic Accounts – NOAM

Advance CTE Spring Meeting Sponsor Blog: Oracle Academy Reflects on CTE

March 14th, 2018

This post is written by the Oracle Academy, a Diamon Level sponsor of the 2018 Advance CTE Spring Meeting.

One of the many advantages of being the North America Oracle Academy Regional Director, is the opportunity to spend time talking with education leaders at the State, K12 District, school site, and post-secondary level from all over the nation. I spend time learning, sharing ideas, celebrating successes, and understanding challenges that these leaders face each day. These conversations and experiences are often the most exciting yet humbling part of my job. February is celebrated as CTE Month and this year, I found myself reflecting on the impact that Career Technical Education (CTE) has on our students both now and in the future. A few thoughts to share are:

Reflection #1: CTE continues to evolve to meet changing needs. State and District leadership continue to strive to build sustainable and real-world CTE Pathways that lead our students to college and career success.  It’s the CTE leadership that can both anticipate and leverage, through research and relationships, the corporate workforce need and then translate that need into CTE pathways for students to pursue. Many of these pathways include applicable industry certifications, apprenticeship/internships, and defined articulation programs with feeder post-secondary institutions. At Oracle Academy, we work to ensure our resources continue to support the needs of CTE leadership through curriculum and certification opportunities that reflect industry needs.

Reflection #2: Collaboration between local industry and education leadership continue to drive CTE student success. This isn’t a new concept but what I’ve noticed is an uptick in our education and industry leadership working together to create applicable internships, apprenticeships, and mentorships to support the interest of our students. I’ve heard over and over again the importance that these roles play in supporting and creating sustainable CTE programs.  At Oracle Academy, our role revolves around building the best classroom resources for the student and teacher so that their content knowledge and often times, confidence, is foundationally strong so that attainment of first time internships and/or apprenticeships are successful.

Reflection #3: A focused effort and persistence will prevail!  As we all know, the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act is critical to ensuring that quality and sustainable CTE programs meet the changing needs of learners and employers. This act works to improve the academic and technical achievement of CTE students, helps to strengthen the bridge between secondary and post-secondary, and balances the student need with that of a new economy.  As parents, educators, and leaders, it’s our duty to encourage organizations, like CareerTech, that advocate on behalf of CTE programs as well as the teachers and students dedicated to CTE success. Oracle Academy supports this mission by continuing to provide our world-class student-facing curriculum and educator professional development – aligned to the IT Career Cluster Pathway – for FREE.

For those of you not familiar, Oracle Academy is Oracle’s flagship program in education philanthropy, currently supporting more than 3.5 million students annually in 120 countries. We advance computing technology education to increase knowledge, skills development, innovation and diversity in computing fields by providing:

Two years ago, we introduced Oracle Certified Junior Associate certifications in database and Java; these certification exams align to our Java Foundations and Database Foundations courses and are specifically designed with students in mind to help support internship, summer job, and first job applications.

Oracle Academy exists to improve the computing technology skills of young people, globally! If we strengthen the computing technology pathway between secondary, post-secondary, and career, we are essentially strengthening the future for our children!

Career Technical Education holds a very special place in my heart and I hope this blog reflects both the love and respect that I have for CTE programs and its significant impact on student achievement!

This Week in CTE: States Take to Social Media to Celebrate CTE Month

February 16th, 2018

To celebrate CTE Month, states are taking the lead in honoring the students, educators, administrators, industry partners and all those it takes to make high-quality CTE happen in every community across the nation. Many states are using social media as a way to highlight CTE, with a focus on lifting up impressive student success stories.

Utah has taken their campaign to Facebook and Twitter, highlighting student success:

Arkansas is similarly highlighting student stories, in addition to using video to capture some amazing student projects, including this student-build hoverboard made in a CTE class!

While North Dakota is using the hashtag #ND_CTE to showcase CTE Month activities and accomplishments.

I Love Nebraska Public Schools released a new video for CTE Month, demonstrating CTE’s importance in career exploration, and that finding out what you don’t love, is just as important as finding out what you do.

RESOURCES

Signing up for the CTE: Learning that works for America® campaign is a great way to get the word out about CTE at the state and local level. We’ve created both national and state-specific Learning that works logos, as well as a number of resources and tools to help you make the case for CTE. Check out our fact sheets, tips for celebrating CTE Month, and a new guide to help you put the campaign into action.

States are also helping locals communicate about CTE Month by providing a number of resources including:

  • Wisconsin, which put together a CTE Month Toolkit and social media calendar, and an online portal where students can submit their own successes in CTE; and
  • Maryland released a social media guide to help users get the most out of Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat, and communicate about CTE in a way that most resonates with parents and students.

Career Technical Student Organizations are also incredible resources to turn to throughout the month. Unfamiliar with Snapchat? DECA just released a guide on how to create Snapchat filters.

Katie Fitzgerald, Communications Manager 

 

 

This Week in CTE: Happy CTE Month!

February 9th, 2018

TWEET OF THE WEEK

RESOURCES OF THE WEEK

Join the CTE: Learning that works for America campaign to get the word out about CTE in your community! Joining the brand gives you access to the national and state logos, in addition to a variety of new tools and resources. Check out our guide for putting the campaign into action, and check out our tips on how to celebrate CTE Month.

REPORT OF THE WEEK

Not only is it CTE Month, it’s also School Counselors Week! To better understand the connection between CTE and school counseling, we conducted research and released a report with the American School Counseling Association. The report finds that, across the board, states are not overly confident in the effectiveness of their career advising and development systems. Fifty-eight percent believe they are only somewhat effectively serving K-12 students, and 55 percent believe they are either only somewhat effective or not effective at serving postsecondary CTE students. And while school counselors who connect students with CTE coursework and career pathways find it an effective career advising and development strategy, relatively few are able to make these connections.

How are you celebrating CTE Month? Let us know by sending an email to Katie at kfitzgerald@careertech.org 

Katie Fitzgerald, Communications Manager

Words Matter: A Response to President Trump’s Recent Remarks on CTE

February 7th, 2018

Twice last week, President Trump praised Career Technical Education (CTE) and called for its expansion – at the State of the Union and during a meeting of Republican leaders in West Virginia.

Unfortunately, his support was muted by the way he described CTE, which was both off-base and off-message. Our friends at ACTE responded from a substantive stand point, laying out the many ways CTE has evolved into high-quality pathways that ALL learners can and should benefit from. We obviously agree – as we articulate in Putting Learner Success First: A Shared Vision for the Future of Career Technical Education – and remain committed to making this vision a reality through advocacy and policy support for our members and the field.

Given the extensive work we’ve done over the last year to identify the best way to talk about CTE, we wanted to take this opportunity to focus on why it’s so important that we use the right words and messages with respect to CTE.

Last year, we conducted focus groups and a national survey of current and prospective CTE parents and students, and found that, across the board, high school CTE programs are most valued for their ability to provide real-world skills within the education system. Prospective parents and students are hungry for these types of opportunities, including gaining real-world skills, engaging employers through internships or networking and earning college credit while in high school.

At the same time, the vast majority of parents and students (85 percent) continue to value college as the post-high school aspiration.

Bringing us to my point: any message about CTE must emphasize that CTE is a pathway to careers AND college.

When parents and students hear descriptions that focus on CTE being for those who aren’t the “greatest” students or not “college material,” it’s immediately positioned as a lesser track rather than a pathway to success (as the data very much supports) – and is in direct conflict with parents’ and students’ aspirations.

Similarly, when CTE is pigeon-holed into a few blue collar fields, it deemphasizes the vast opportunities available in a variety of industries and sectors – from culinology to architecture – and can turn off students who want to explore their options.

Again, we appreciate the President’s interest and excitement over CTE and look forward to more opportunities to work with the Administration and Congress to put in place the right policies that will support our vision for high-quality CTE for all learners across high schools, area technical centers and community colleges. But, if we don’t talk about the policies and pathways in the right way, too many parents and students continue to see it as a great option – for someone else.

Kate Kreamer, Deputy Executive Director

 

 

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