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

NASDCTEc Webinar on Area CTE Centers – Today at 3:00 pm ET

April 25th, 2013

Area CTE Centers operate in a variety of ways – from shared-time centers offering primarily technical training to full-time centers that provide students with both academic instruction and technical training – but all provide opportunities for students to receive relevant, rigorous CTE. And at a time when employers say that they are unable to find workers who have the right skills to fill job vacancies, area CTE centers provide a crucial link between the knowledge and skills that students learn and those demanded by local businesses.

Join us for a webinar that features state and local leaders who will discuss area CTE centers in their states and how they are making connections to the needs of business and industry and their communities.

The webinar will be held TODAY, Thursday, April 25th at 3:00 pm ET. Register here

Speakers include:

  • Steve Gratz, Ph.D., Director, Office of Career-Technical Education
    Ohio Department of Education
  • Harold Niehaus, Director of Instructional Development
    Miami Valley Career Technology Center, Clayton, OH
  • Paula Bowles, Chief Communications and Marketing Officer
    Oklahoma Department of Career and Technology Education
  • Bill Kramer, Communications and Marketing Coordinator
    Canadian Valley Technology Center, El Reno, OK

Kara Herbertson, Research and Policy Manager

Please Welcome Todd Schwarz, State Director for Idaho

March 14th, 2013

NASDCTEc is pleased to welcome new State Director Dr. Todd Schwarz, Administrator of the Idaho Division of Professional-Technical Education. The value of Career Technical Education was found early in his career when he found relevance and success at the College of Southern Idaho (CSI). He first discovered the Drafting Technology Program, then found employment in the industry, and then returned to CSI to teach the program from which he’d graduated. As he continued to pursue his education part time, new opportunities arose and he entered into program coordination, department chairmanship, and was eventually promoted to Instructional Dean for technical programs at CSI. While working at CSI, Dr. Schwarz completed a Bachelor’s degree in Trade and Industrial Education from the University of Idaho, a Master’s degree in Educational Technology from Boise State University, a Ph.D. in Education from the University of Idaho, and the Idaho PTE Leadership Institute.

ToddAbout the Idaho Division of Professional-Technical Education

The Division of Professional-Technical Education is responsible for secondary, postsecondary, and adult professional-technical programs that are delivered throughout all Idaho public school districts and to the six technical colleges at the College of Western Idaho, College of Southern Idaho, Eastern Idaho Technical College, Idaho State University, Lewis-Clark State College, and North Idaho College. Professional-technical education programs start at the 9th grade and provide the foundation for portable, stackable credentials that can be pursued after high school at the postsecondary level up to, and including, an Associate of Applied Science degree. Tech Prep provides an Advanced Learning Opportunity for high school students seeking postsecondary credit. PTE provides a valuable relevance and application to many traditional subjects, including science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM).

The Division of Professional-Technical Education provides technical assistance to both teachers and administrators in school districts and the technical colleges. In addition, the Division provides resources and facilitates industry input in the development of statewide curricula to meet industry standards. The Division also works in collaboration with other agencies to address the changing needs of the workforce and supports this collaboration with apprenticeship and short term training through the Workforce Training Network (WTN).

In his new role as Administrator of the Idaho Division of Professional-Technical Education, Dr. Schwarz continues to improve, advocate for, and promote Career Technical Education in Idaho.
Please join NASDCTEc in a warm welcome to Dr. Schwarz. He may be reached at [email protected].

Ramona Schescke, Member Services Manager

Webinar Reminder: Register for CTE Trend Analysis: Governance and Funding Issues

February 15th, 2013

Every other year, the National Association of State Directors of Career Technical Education Consortium (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 ClustersTM and Programs of Study, CTE Teacher/Faculty Shortages, Governance, and Funding. February’s webinar will focus on the final two synopsis papers: CTE Governance and CTE Funding.

Date: Thursday, February 21, 2013 at 3:00 pm ET

Please join us as Kara Herbertson, NASDCTEc Research and Policy Manager, gives an overview of trends in CTE funding and governance. Rich Katt, CTE State Director of Nebraska, will describe how his state successfully garnered support for state CTE funding through social media and CTE student organizations.

Please note: this webinar is not intended to provide a legislative update. NASDCTEc will hold a separate legislative update webinar in March. Stay tuned for more details.

Kara Herbertson, Research and Policy Manager

Please Welcome New Advocacy Manager David Beckett to the NASDCTEc Team

February 6th, 2013

NASDCTEc is pleased to announce a new staff member, David Beckett, who will be filling the role of Advocacy Manager. David joins NASDCTEc with a wide range of experience in education and public policy, both in Europe and the U.S. After graduating from the University of Aberdeen with a degree in Psychology, David worked for the Scottish Government’s Education Department, for New Educational Developments. David left the Scottish Government to work as the Youth & Education Officer at the Scottish National Party’s (SNP) Headquarters for the 2007 parliamentary campaign, around which time he was selected to stand for election.

David was elected as a City Councilor in the 2007 elections for the City Center Ward of Edinburgh, Scotland’s capital city. He was appointed as the Vice Chair of the Education, Children & Families Committee, which oversaw an annual budget of around $700m and was responsible for a school district of 47,000 pupils, social work for those aged under 18, and adult education. Other Committees David served on include Pensions & Trusts; Health, Social Care & Housing and Audit, and he worked as a Senior Councilor to balance the city budget of $2 billion for 500,000 people.

In 2011, David moved to Massachusetts to study Education Policy & Management at Harvard University. The courses David took at the Harvard Graduate School of Education and the Kennedy School of Government included Education Finance and Budgeting, Managing and Running Political Campaigns, Microeconomics, Politics & Education Policy in the United States, State & Local Public Finance and Statistics. David also worked for Secretary Paul Reville in the Massachusetts Executive Office of Education and for Representative Peisch, the Joint Chair of the Massachusetts Education Committee.

After graduating from Harvard, David moved to Washington, DC as an Education Pioneers Fellow where he worked on matters including charter school metrics, labor-management relations & state education reform policies. After the fellowship, David joined Representative Jim Moran’s campaign in Virginia’s 8th Congressional District where he worked as a coordinated campaign representative, before joining NASDCTEc.

When asked for his goals in his new position, David said “I would like to represent our members on the Hill and serve as their voice, promoting Career Technical Education.” He also shared “I would like to let our members know that I am available to assist with policy-related issues, and am looking forward to meeting everyone at our upcoming Spring Meeting.”

NASDCTEc Executive Director Kimberly Green said “We are excited to have David to serve as our new Advocacy Manager. His experience and passion for education and workforce policy are a great addition to our team as we begin the important work of reauthorizing Perkins and protecting the federal investment in CTE during these challenging fiscal times.”

Please extend a warm welcome to Mr. Beckett, who can be reached at [email protected] or by phone 301-588-9630.

Learn MORE about the 2013 NASDCTEc Spring Meeting

Ramona Schescke, Member Services Manager

CTE Month: National CTE Leaders Celebrate CTE Month

February 4th, 2013

The Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE), National Association of State Directors of Career Technical Education Consortium (NASDCTEc), and Career and Technical Student Organizations (CTSOs) and career and technical education (CTE) professionals across the country will celebrate CTE Month™ in February, raising the public’s awareness of the value of CTE programs for students, schools, communities, business and industry and the economic well-being of our nation. CTE encompasses 94 percent of high school students and 13 million postsecondary students in the United States.

During the month of February, CTE programs and CTSOs across the country host a variety of events showcasing their programs and students’ successes to their community, policymakers and business leaders. This year’s theme is “Career and Technical Education Works!” to emphasize that CTE works for students, business and industry and the economy. CTE programs can be found at the secondary and postsecondary levels and prepares students to be college-and career-ready by providing core academic skills, employability skills and technical, job-specific skills. High school students involved in CTE are more engaged, perform better and graduate at higher rates. The average high school graduation rate for students concentrating in CTE programs is 90.18 percent, compared to an average national freshman graduation rate of 74.9 percent.

As the American economy recovers, the role of CTE is critically important. The skilled trades are the hardest jobs to fill in the United States, with recent data citing 550,000 jobs open in the trade, transportation and utilities sector and 246,000 jobs open in manufacturing. Additionally, middle-skill jobs, or jobs that require education and training beyond high school but less than a bachelor degree, are a significant part of the economy. Of the 46.8 million job openings created by 2013, 30 percent will require some college or a two-year associate degree.

As part of the CTE Month activities, ACTE is hosting a Social Media Advocacy Week, February 11-15. CTE professionals and students from across the country will bring their stories and voices to social media platforms to illustrate the positive impacts of CTE programs.

ACTE provides free promotional resources for CTE professionals wishing to participate in CTE Month, including student-made PSA videos, promotional posters that can be downloaded, a calendar of nationwide activities during the month and more. For more information on CTE Month and the activities ACTE, NASDCTEc and the CTSOs are hosting, please visit

For more information about CTSO’s, NASDCTEc and ACTE, please visit:

Business Professionals of America:
DECA Inc.:
Family, Career and Community Leaders of America:
Future Business Leaders of America-Phi Beta Lambda:
Future Educators Association:
Health Occupations Students of America:
The National FFA:
Technology Student Association:
National Association of State Directors of Career Technical Education Consortium:
Association for Career and Technical Education:

Announcing the 2013 NASDCTEc Spring Meeting

January 31st, 2013

NASDCTEc is pleased to invite you to participate in our annual Spring Meeting, a must-attend professional development experience in the nation’s capital!

The Spring Meeting will be held from 9 a.m. on Monday, April 15 through 4 p.m. on Wednesday, April 17. In keeping with our collaboration with the Office of Vocational and Adult Education of the U.S. Department of Education (OVAE), we are coordinating on program content and are excited that OVAE will be hosting the meeting at the U.S. Department of Education on April 17 to continue critical presentations and discussions. All meeting functions will take place at the Omni Shoreham on April 15 and 16.

Hotel rooms should be reserved at the Omni Shoreham Hotel for all meeting days. On April 17, NASDCTEc will provide breakfast at the Omni, then attendees will be responsible for their own transportation to the U.S. Department of Education. More details will be provided to confirmed meeting attendees.

We have crafted a program that will bring together leading policymakers, Congressional representatives, and researchers to share with you, hear from you and for all of us to learn together. There will be a blend of plenary sessions and breakouts sessions and opportunities for informal learning and networking.

We have invited speakers to address the following topics. As speakers are confirmed, we’ll be regularly updating the agenda online.

  • The Future of Federal Funding (sequestration, appropriations and budget)
  • Is Congress talking about CTE? A panel of Congressional Staff will discuss Congressional proposals impacting CTE
  • Will Perkins’ reauthorization happen this year? A panel Congressional staff and association leaders will forecast and discuss issues related to Perkins reauthorization
  • Career Pathways: Updates on the numerous federal projects have emerged supporting career pathways development in states
  • Measuring Success: Learning about the emerging Workforce Data Quality Campaign and efforts to align education and workforce data systems
  • National College and Career Readiness Center and Great Teachers and Leaders Center Update
  • Innovations in CTE curriculum
  • Leading the Way: State Policies Promoting CTE
  • Reauthorization Perspectives: Views of Leading Policy Organizations
  • Career Readiness
  • Updates on the CCTC Gap Analysis, the SCED and Crosswalks Projects
  • Updates on FAUPL negotiations
  • The National Center on Innovation in CTE

For more information about registration, hotel reservations and more CLICK HERE.
We look forward to seeing you in Washington, DC!

Ramona Schescke, Member Services Manager

Announcing the 2013 National Career Clusters™ Institute Call for Presentations

November 14th, 2012

The National Career Technical Education Foundation (NCTEF) is currently accepting presentations for the 2013 National Career Clusters™ Institute. We are looking for Institute sessions that promote the use of Career Clusters™ to drive collaboration and innovation in state and local education and workforce systems. The 2013 Institute theme is Career Clusters™: Achieving Excellence

Presenter candidates, our participants are looking for:
• Specific how-to, replicable advice that goes beyond awareness of Career Clusters™ to specific implementation strategies;
• Interactive sessions which engage the attendee and provide collaborative discussion and/or hands-on activities; and
• Sharing of best practices and awesome take-aways!

How to Submit:

Simply go online to access and complete a submission form. All presentations must be received by December 13, 2012 by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time. NCTEF looks forward to reading your submissions. Notification e-mails will be sent December 18, 2012. The National Career Clusters™ Institute will be in Fort Worth, TX at the Omni Fort Worth June 10-12, 2013. Aimed toward providing a venue for sharing of effective practices, ideas, and research, the Institute is designed to increase student success and ensure our nation’s economic growth and security.

General registration is slated to go live mid-January 2013.

Learn more about Career Clusters™
Printable Call for Presentations announcement

Ramona Schescke, Member Services Manager

Pilot Project on Improving Data Exchange Between Industry Certification Organizations and State Education and Workforce Longitudinal Data Systems

October 31st, 2012

NASDCTEc is serving on the advisory committee, led by ACTE and collaboration of national and state partners, to support a project that expands and improves data exchange between industry certification organizations and state longitudinal data systems.

 The project is based on a multi-year roadmap for the development of a national data exchange clearinghouse that will allow states and educational institutions to gain access to data on industry-recognized certifications earned by students.

The clearinghouse could serve as an excellent resource to inform the decisions associated with programming, teaching and learning within CTE and provide a crucial missing link in the pursuit of quality data reflecting student performance of CTE programs.

Over the next year, in addition to a focus on raising awareness of the need for improving data exchange a pilot project will be conducted between states and industry partners on how data can be effectively and securely exchanged and used for the benefit of all parties. Current industry partners include CompTIA and The Manufacturing Institute (an affiliate of the National Association of Manufacturers, or NAM).

The Department of Education is also interested in the development and outcome of this project. Industry certifications and licensure are a growing part of the expected outcomes of career and technical education (CTE) programs, and the Department is interested in the identification of solutions to the issues surrounding state collection of valid and reliable data.

This pilot project is based on a recent Illinois and CompTIA project that demonstrated the feasibility of linking state and certification data, and states are currently being recruited to participate.

To find out more about the project or to submit a state application to participate in the pilot project please go to the web page to view the documents and information or contact Alisha Hyslop at ACTE.


Dean Folkers, Deputy Executive Director


NASDCTEc releases Request for Proposal

October 26th, 2012

The National Association of State Directors of Career Technical Education Consortium (NASDCTEc) is issuing a Request for Proposals (RFP) to identify a contractor to conduct an alignment study to compare the Common Career Technical Core (CCTC) against state Career Technical Education (CTE) standards.

The CCTC, released in June 2012, includes a set of standards for each of the 16 Career ClustersTM and supporting career pathways, a comprehensive collection of industry-validated expectations of what students should know and be able to do after completing instruction in a program of study. The CCTC also includes an overarching set of Career Ready Practices that apply to all 16 Career Clusters™. The Career Ready Practices include 12 statements that address the knowledge, skills and dispositions that are important to becoming career ready.

To help states facilitate the adoption and implementation of the CCTC, the NASDCTEc Board of Directors has called for a comparable, uniform evaluation of current state and territory standards against the CCTC. The purpose of the alignment study is two-fold. First, to provide feedback to individual states and territories about alignment to inform the development of an adoption plan and an implementation plan. Second, to provide a broad understanding of the needs of states and territories in adopting and implementing the CCTC so that NASDCTEc can develop targeted technical assistance and resources. NASDCTEc also anticipates that the results of this study could contribute to the development of assessments in the future.

NASDCTEc plans to publicly release the results of the full gap analysis in October 2013 during the fall membership meeting. NASDCTEc plans to share each individual state or territory report with the respective CTE State Director by August 31, 2013, prior to the public release.

The RFP and Budget Template can be found online at:


Dean Folkers, Deputy Executive Director

Meet Mike Raponi, NASDCTEc Region IX Representative

October 25th, 2012

In order for our members to know the individuals who serve them at the national level, NASDCTEc presents a blog series called “Meet Your Board Members;” today we are featuring Mike Raponi, Region IX Representative, and State Director of Nevada. Region IX encompasses Arizona, California and Nevada.

Mike Raponi has worked in technical education for over twenty-seven years as a teacher and program administrator, including his current position as director for the Office of Career Technical Education (CTE) at the Nevada Department of Education. He has a bachelor’s degree in industrial education from the University of Wisconsin–Stout and a master’s degree in adult education and from Oregon State University. Mike also holds a school administration endorsement.

At the Department of Education, Mike is responsible for staff supervision, grants administration, and program development for CTE and adult education. His primary focus for CTE has been the development of common state standards, common course names and sequences, end-of-program assessments, curriculum frameworks and programs of study for all of CTE. This work is to provide the infrastructure to support state-level priorities for economic and workforce development.

Mike’s background includes time spent in the grocery and construction industries, and service as a Peace Corps volunteer in Honduras.
Mike Raponi
Mr. Raponi said his states’ work in developing a common set of standards for employability skills based on the twenty-one Workplace Readiness Standards established by the Commonwealth of Virginia, was recently adopted by the Nevada State Board of Education.

When asked for his goals as NASDCTEc Region IX representative, Mr. Raponi said he was excited to move forward on initiatives to help CTE nationwide, and to assist states in achieving goals of the new vision for CTE.

Mr. Raponi brings a rich history of CTE knowledge to the table and can be reached at [email protected].

Ramona Schescke, Member Services Manager