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Technical Education Consortium (NASDCTEc)

Experts discuss CCSSO Opportunities and Options Report on the Importance of Career Readiness

December 1st, 2014
The Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) brought together leaders in K-12, higher education and the business community today to discuss recommendations from CCSSO’s newly released report encouraging states to make career readiness a priority.

The report, Opportunities and Options: Making Career Preparation work for Students, resulted from a year-long taskforce including K-12, higher education and affiliate groups such as NASDCTEc. Opportunities and Options, supported by 43 states and territories to date, presents a clear set of actions states can take to close the skills gap and ensure more students graduate from high school prepared for high-skill, high-demand careers.

These recommendations include:

  • Developing sustainable employee and business partnerships,
  • Creating high-quality career pathways, and
  • Prioritizing accountability systems
Maura Banta, IBM’s Director of Global Citizen Initiatives in Education and task force representative reiterated the necessity of partnering business and education to create career-ready workers if the U.S. is to remain a global competitor. To accomplish this, businesses can take the lead in showcasing their passion for collaborating with education, developing staff-buy in and focusing on both short term and long term outcomes.

Terry Holliday, Kentucky Education Commissioner and Career Readiness Task Force Chairman urged states to develop high-quality pathways that help all students reach successful careers in their communities. To that end, Holliday urged local and national groups representing education, business and stakeholders, to streamline credentials and certifications to help students determine what credentials are necessary in today’s workforce.

Scott Ralls, North Carolina Community College Systems President discussed the interest gap that exists in CTE, and called on states to work with students earlier to showcase the opportunities that exist within CTE, and how it can prepare students for living wage careers.

Lastly, June Atkinson, North Carolina Superintendent of Public Instruction and incoming President of CCSSO, outlined a series of the ways in which CTE can move forward. She highlighted Opportunities and Options’ capability to serve as a resource for recommendations for Carl D. Perkins Act reauthorization; the opportunity for states to network to share information, challenges and lessons learned; and the necessity to engage State Governors to move the CTE agenda forward.

To learn more about the report, find NASDCTEc’s press release here, and the full report here.

Katie Fitzgerald, Communications 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

NASDCTEc Fall Meeting Blog Series: The State of CTE: Employer Engagement

November 3rd, 2014

In late October, at NASDCTEc’s annual Fall Meeting, five state and business leaders joined a panel to discuss their reactions to The State of Career Technical Education: Employer Engagement in CTE, a paper to be released accompanied by a free webinar (register now) on December 3rd. The following are highlights from the panel.

Marie Barry, Director of Career and Technical Education, New Jersey Department of Education, started us off by highlighting ways in which state leaders can use the report once it is released. First, she suggested using it as a reflection tool to answer questions such as: does your state have the right employers at the table? How can your state help in defining what a quality employer and CTE partnership is? She also encouraged states to employee a model of working with schools to ensure states are engaging businesses effectively, while also finding businesses to champion CTE in the state.

Next, Andrew Musick, Director of Policy and Research, New Jersey Business & Industry Association spoke about his group’s support of an effort to pass an eight-bill package, which among other objectives, would increase funding for the state’s Country Vocational Technical Schools. Along with the eight bills, which delve into everything from funding and teacher preparedness to implementation of indicators for student career readiness, Musick identified further goals:

  1. Focus on workforce alignment;
  2. Promote CTE as a resource for employers;
  3. Create a strong infrastructure for school and employer partnerships

Lolita Hall, State CTE Director, Virginia Department of Education, showcased a premier partnership example the Virginia Department of Education has with the Virginia Automobile Dealers Association. Through this partnership, the Association has place over 1,000 students in automobile internships since 2000. Using this collaboration as a model, Hall cited the following steps in developing an effective partnership:

  • Determine compatible procedures and policies;
  • Agree on roles and responsibilities of each partner organization;
  • Define ways in which you can leverage resources;
  • Define common outcomes and communicate it to stakeholders;
  • Establish mutual goals and objectives;
  • Monitor results;
  • Implement measures to mature partnerships; and
  • Recognize partners.

Lastly, Matthew James, President and CEO, Peninsula Council for Workforce Development, Newport News, Virginia, provided a call to action to states. “Your advantage is relevancy; there is a sense of urgency. Entrepreneurs need you.” Though CTE has the opportunity to create a workforce ready population, he stated the importance of recognizing the international implications developing career-ready students has on the U.S. “Businesses will leave if you don’t provide a skilled workforce,” said James.

For more information and resources from the 2014 Fall Meeting, visit the Fall Meeting page.

Katie Fitzgerald, Communications 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

Welcome to new Delaware State CTE Director Luke Rhine

October 16th, 2014

cte-socialmedia-delawareWe are pleased to welcome Delaware’s new State Director of Career Technical Education Luke Rhine!

State Director Rhine’s career in CTE began as a career technical educator. After years in the classroom, he transitioned into leadership as a program specialist with the Maryland State Department of Education, building statewide programs of study in Manufacturing, Engineering, and Technology as well as Arts, Media and Communication. He moved into his current role as State CTE Director of Delaware late this summer.

With his on-the-ground experience as an engineering CTE instructor and years spent programming in Maryland, State Director Rhine understands the crossover between CTE and traditional core courses. He highlights aligning CTE and academic courses—particularly STEM—as a key touchpoint for the development of CTE in Delaware and across the country.

State Director Rhine sees Delaware as uniquely positioned to exploit the integration of CTE and traditional courses, as the state already requires public school students to complete a career pathway (three credits in a related area) in addition to the courses traditionally required for high school graduation. This requirement, he says, is usually met with a mix of CTE and relevant academics. The entire process is mapped out within the framework of a customizable five-year student success plan, providing flexibility in the development of career pathways while emphasizing the importance of long-term pathway planning.

Learn more about Delaware CTE here, and be sure to welcome State Director Rhine at the 2014 Fall Meeting!

Evan Williamson, Communications Associate

Introducing Dwight Johnson, State Director of Idaho

October 9th, 2014

Photo of DwightWe are pleased to welcome Idaho’s new State Director of Career Technical Education Dwight Johnson!

Officially the Administrator of Idaho’s Division of Professional-Technical Education, State Director Johnson has worked for decades in the Idaho Departments of Labor and Commerce on workforce development, and also spent 18 months as the interim executive director of the Idaho State Board of Education.

State Director Johnson emphasizes the cross-cutting nature of his experience, bridging the worlds of work and education among labor, industry and education. He sees collaboration between all three as vital to making CTE learning that works for Idaho.

“It’s crucial to connect systems and create more seamless transitions between education providers,” he said in an interview with NASDCTEc last month.

During the same conversation, State Director Johnson repeatedly cited the need to integrate CTE with workforce development priorities and workforce data to ensure that at every level—secondary, postsecondary and beyond— CTE serves students and stakeholders reliably and adaptively.

Learn more about Idaho CTE here, and welcome State Director Johnson at the 2014 Fall Meeting!

Evan Williamson, Communications Associate

Recapping the National Dialogue on Career Pathways

September 26th, 2014

On September 23, 2014 the U.S. Departments of Education, Labor and Health and Human Services brought together a diverse array of stakeholders, including NASDCTEc President Scott Stump, for a day of discussion around the future of the career pathways movement.

Looking to build on the momentum surrounding the recent passage and ongoing implementation of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), the day presented a diverse array of stakeholders with the opportunity to describe the promise of career pathways, as well as the challenges inherent in implementing a system that touches education, workforce development and social services. It was a day full of constructive dialogue reinforcing the notion that people at all levels of the process are ready to work together to make sure students are both college and career ready upon graduation.

The event began by highlighting how pathways fit into the Obama Administration’s goal to construct “ladders of opportunity,” and ensure that graduates are coming out of school with the skills that they need to thrive in the modern economy, noting the repeated references to career pathways in the Vice President’s report Ready to Work: Job Driven Training and American Opportunity. Citing their ongoing work in encouraging state-level career pathways systems, representatives from each of the three hosting departments (as well as meeting attendees) voiced enthusiasm about the prospect of deeper collaboration at the federal level while agreeing that industry, communities and the public must also take part in the process.

NASDCTEc President Scott Stump, State Director of CTE in Colorado, sat on the panel “Advancing Career Pathways Systems.” Representing a postsecondary-led career pathways system, President Stump described Colorado’s evolution toward career pathways approach as the product of close collaboration between secondary and postsecondary leaders, as well as key leaders from business and industry. President Stump was joined on the panel by Judy Montrude of the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development, Zoe G. Thompson of the Kansas Department of Commerce and Kansas Board of Regents, CharlotteWorks’ Steve Partridge and Nancy Dischinat from the Lehigh Valley Workforce Investment Board, each of whom echoed his sentiments that a career pathways system cannot be built unilaterally, but must be built in consultation with stakeholders from every phase of the career pathway process. They also echoed his sentiment that, while worth it, that process can be hard work!

“Yesterday was really enjoyable,” President Stump said. “It presented a great chance for our community to once again remind those involved in pathways that Career Technical Education is the critical core to any career pathway system, because it’s about more than one course or one diploma. Career pathways are about providing people with a sequence of learning and an arsenal of skills that they can carry with them into the workforce and continue to tap throughout their careers.”

For a Twitter recap of the event, check out our Storify. The livestream will be available here, by next week and complete your recap by checking out the agenda and official watch party instructions.

Evan Williamson, Communications Associate

National Dialogue on Career Pathways Approaches

September 5th, 2014

ndcpSave the date: September 23, 2014 at 9 a.m.!

The Department of Education, Department of Labor, and Department of Health and Human Services are convening the National Dialogue on Career Pathways. Presenters, panelists and participants (including NASDCTEc President and Colorado State CTE Director Scott Stump) will discuss the crucial role of career pathways in ensuring that today’s students are tomorrow’s high-skilled, employed workforce. Leading voices in CTE and workforce development will discuss lessons learned and best practices, mapping both onto the future of career pathways. The departments have also promised “information about a new technical assistance opportunity to help states, local areas, and discretionary grantees to develop or expand their efforts around career pathways system building will be announced during the meeting.”

Among the diverse array of confirmed participants include Portia Wu, Assistant Secretary for Labor’s Employment and Training Administration; Johan Uvin, Acting Assistant Secretary for Education’s Office of Career, Technical and Adult Education; Mark Greenberg, Acting Assistant Secretary for Health and Human Services’ Administration for Children and Families; David L. Casey, Vice President for Workforce Strategies and Chief Diversity Officer at CVS Caremark and Maura Banta, Director of Global Citizenship Initiatives at IBM USA

The event will be livestreamed here on September 23, 2014, beginning at 9 a.m. Don’t miss it!

Evan Williamson, Communications Associate

Council of State Governments’ National Conference

August 15th, 2014

Earlier this week, I had the opportunity to attend The Council of State Governments’ (CSG)  annual national conference as a member of the National Task Force on Workforce Development and Education, which is part of their “State Pathways to Prosperity initiative.”  With members representing all three branches of state government, CSG brought a broad set of perspectives together to discuss the key challenges and opportunities in developing a strong education and workforce pipeline.  The final Task Force framework and recommendations will be further developed and released in the coming months.

In addition to the Task Force meeting, I also had the opportunity to attend a policy academy where I learned about an array of  impressive state- and business-led efforts to support students’ career readiness and U.S. competitiveness. One such example is the MC2 STEM High School, developed through a partnership between the Cleveland Metropolitan School District and GE Lighting.  Students attend school on the GE campus during their sophomore year, where they engage in a year-long project that culminates in a presentation to GE leaders, and then spend their junior and senior years at Cleveland State University. All students complete at least one internship, have a GE “buddy” and must demonstrate 90 percent “proficiency” to earn credits. Since the school opened in 2008, nearly 100 percent of MC2 STEM students have graduated, and 84 percent of the graduates have matriculated into college.

Another fascinating model shared was the Automotive Manufacturers Technical Education Collaborative (AMTEC), or the National Center for Excellence in Advanced Automotive Manufacturing. AMTEC is an effort supported by the major automotive manufacturers – Ford, GM, Toyota, Honda, etc. – to develop a set of common expectations to anchor training programs for multi-skilled employees. AMTEC provides industry-developed and verified curriculum and assessments to its member community colleges, companies and high schools, as well as professional development and other resources.

Alaska 1And did I mention the meeting was in Anchorage, Alaska as a bonus? As evidence, here’s a picture of me…and a picture of a moose. 

Alaska 2

 
Kate Blosveren, Associate Executive Director

 

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

July 8th, 2014

In 2012, NASDCTEc released the Common Career Technical Core, a set of standards developed by states, that lay out what a student should know and be able to do upon completion of a program of study. Since the Common Career Technical Core (CCTC) were released, a common question asked is how do the CCTC relate to industry-based standards?

Join NASDCTEc on a webinar on July 29, 2014 at 3:00 pm ET to discuss our new report, The Common Career Technical Core, Programs of Study & Industry-Based Standards, which analyzed a range of industry-based standards to help clarify how they might fit into a program of study undergirded by the CCTC, the methodology used, and its implications for the field.

Register here!

Kate Blosveren, Associate Executive Director

 

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