This Week in CTE

January 8th, 2016

TWEET OF THE WEEK

REPORT OF THE WEEK

Using Dual Enrollment to Improve the Educational Outcomes of High School Students
ACT released a report delving into the benefits of providing dual enrollment opportunities for high school students, with a list of recommendations to expand dual enrollment programs including creating funding structures for programming and exploring online technology to increase accessibility. Read More.

WEBINAR OF THE WEEK

Connecting Credentials is hosting a series of webinars focused on improving credentialing, the first of which is today, highlighting employer engagement in credentialing. Learn more about the series here.

ANNOUNCEMENT OF THE WEEK

350 employers, industry and education organizations from ACT, Inc. to Xerox signed a letter urging Congress to reauthorize the Carl D. Perkins Career Technical Education Act. Learn More.

Katie Fitzgerald, Communications Associate 

Register Today for NASDCTEc’s Upcoming Webinars

January 5th, 2016

Webinar: 2015 Year in Review: State Policies Impacting CTE

Register today for our newest webinar, where you can learn about state CTE policy trends around the country. Join NASDCTEc and the Association of Career and Technical Education on January 21, from 2-3 p.m. ET, as we unpack the findings of our third annual report, “2015 Year in Review: State Policies Impacting CTE,” which will also be released on January 21. Check out our 2014 and 2013 reports as well.

Speakers:
Senator Rollie Heath, Colorado State Senate District 18
Alisha Hyslop, Director of Public Policy, ACTE
Sarah Heath, Assistant Provost for Career and Technical Education, Colorado Community College System
Andrea Zimmermann, State Policy Associate, NASDCTEc


Webinar: Preparing a Globally Competent Workforce Through High-Quality Career Technical Education

And don’t forget to register for next week’s webinar on global competencies and CTE! On January 13, from 3-4 pm ET, NASDCTEc , the Asia Society, Longview Foundation and ACTE are co-hosting a webinar to release our joint publication, “Preparing a Globally Competent Workforce Through High-Quality Career and Technical Education.” Local leaders will share what globally-minded CTE programs look like at the classroom level.

Speakers:
JoAnne Honeycutt, State CTE Director, North Carolina Department of Public Instruction
Larisa K. Schelkin, CEO, President & Founder, Global STEM Education Center, Inc.
Mark Tronicke, Global Exchange Coordinator, Bergen County Academies, New Jersey
Heather Singmaster, Assistant Director, Asia Society
Jennifer Manise, Executive Director, Longview Foundation
Kate Blosveren, Associate Executive Director, NASDCTEc
Steve DeWitt, Deputy Executive Director, ACTE

This Week in CTE

October 30th, 2015

TWEET OF THE WEEK

RESOURCE OF THE WEEK

National Apprenticeships week begins Monday! The U.S. Department of Labor has a variety of resources available including fact sheets, a list of events in your community and webinars.
Learn more

NEWS OF THE WEEK

The Manufacturing Skills Standards Council and Grduation Alliance have joined forces to address the skills gap in the manufacturing sector by focusing on creating pathways to graduation for former high school dropouts along with providing students with professional training and industry certification.
Learn More

BLOG OF THE WEEK

We’re closing out the month with a lot of activity around the Carl D. Perkins Act reauthorization. Learn more about the recent hearing in the House, Senate reauthorization priorities, and what is slated to happen next. Make sure to sign up for our Learning that Works blog and follow the Legislative Update series for more information.

Katie Fitzgerald, Communications Associate 

This Week in CTE

September 18th, 2015

TWEET OF THE WEEK

ARTICLE OF THE WEEK

The Council of State Governments September/October issue of Capitol Ideas magazine focuses on Science, Technology Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) with an article specifically on how Career Technical Education intersects with STEM.
Read More

WEBINAR OF THE WEEK

NASDCTEc in partnership with the Appalachia Regional Comprehensive Center are hosting a webinar,. Reshaping Tennessee’s Work-based Learning on Thursday, October 15. The webinar will explore how Tennesee is reshaping work based learning to create a rigorous and relevant experience for all students.
Register

REPORT OF THE WEEK

Don’t Quit on Me, a report released by America’s Promise Alliance, explores how the role of relationships in a student’s life impacts their chances of graduating high school.
Read More

AWARD OF THE WEEK

The Alliance for Excellent Education opened applications for their Excellence and Innovation In Secondary Schools award. The awards will identify exemplary high schools and/or districts that are improving outcomes for undeserved students.
Apply

Katie Fitzgerald, Communications Associate 

Henderson County High School Honored at the White House

July 7th, 2015

Last week, the White House hosted the Celebrating Innovations in Career and Technical Education (CTE) event IMG_0349-300x199honoring students, educators and administrators who excel in CTE. The event followed President Barack Obama’s announcement expanding the U.S. Presidential Scholars program to include awards in CTE. The day included remarks from the First Lady, and a ceremony honoring award winners. One of these award recipients was 2015 Excellence in Action awardee in the Human Services Career Cluster, Henderson County High School in Henderson, Kentucky. Emily West, coordinator of the Early Childhood Education program, represented the school at the White House.

“My experience at the White House was very rewarding and humbling. I was extremely honored to be able to listen to two panels of CTE experts from around the country discuss the importance of CTE as well as hearing the First Lady speak,” said West. “What stood out to me the most was the underlying message that CTE is considered of high importance in our nation and was seen as needed in every high school nationwide!”

In addition to reiterating the importance of CTE, West highlighted the importance of Family and Consumer Sciences and its inclusion in the CTE world. “This recognition not only acknowledged Henderson County High School but also the outstanding Early Childhood Education program and the program’s future,” said West. “I am hoping that this recognition will help increase the number of students interested in the program as well as to give students an increased opportunity for future job placements.”

The Early Childhood Education program provides students with the opportunity to earn certifications, up to nine college credits and requires an impressive 180 hours of work-based learning. A dedication to a rigorous curriculum, strong partnerships and  stellar work-based learning opportunities has resulted in 100 percent of students graduating high school, and 68 percent enrolling in postsecondary education. Read more about Henderson County High School’s Early Childhood Education program here.

Katie Fitzgerald, Communications Associate 

What did Education, Policy and Foundation Leaders Have to Say About the Global Skills Race?

May 27th, 2015

Last week, New America held The Great Skills Race: Innovations in U.S. Education and Training from a Global Perspective to discuss what the skills gap looks like abroad and in the United States, and how it impacts employers, students, policy, the education system and more. Simon Field, Project Leader, OECD, started off the event by discussing what some big global trends are emerging around developing employees with the skills they need in both developed and emerging countries.

He explained that there is a global disillusion with the college for all concept, and that though it remains politically popular, increasingly studies show that it does not yield career-ready employees. For example, 70 percent of Koreans attend college, but this includes two-year programs to become a barista, and similar lower-skilled positions, where after two years students may not have very marketable or essential skills.

On the other hand, countries are ramping up their efforts to provide students with high-quality academic and work-based skills such as Indonesia, which is making a concerted effort to expand Career Technical Education (CTE). Currently, about a fourth of the population takes part in some CTE, and the country has a goal of expanding this number to 90 percent through a massive growth of CTE high schools.

Countries need to focus on education that bridges the gap between the world of learning and the world of work through strengthening employer engagement, educating the teacher workforce and developing work-based learning opportunities through apprenticeships, internships and more.

The panel then turned to Holly Zanville, Strategy Director at the Lumina Foundation who spoke about the value of credentials in the Foundation’s work. At this time, there is no system for evaluating credentials or certificates, or a way for educators, students, employers and parents to determine how credentials and certificates connect to jobs. Lumina is developing a website to address these issues along with:

  1. Creating a national dialog around credentials and certificates
  2. Developing a translation platform to connect credentials
  3. Developing a prototype of a credential registry including the competencies, quality of the credential, cost and more
  4. Launching a new website (in two weeks) as a clearinghouse for credential information to help students understand the value of the credential, and employers understand how credentials and certificates may increase the skills of their employees.

Next, Todd Greene, Vice President of the Federal Reserve System of Atlanta explained that the Federal Reserves is involved in workforce development, something not typically addressed by the Reserves, due to the financial crisis. Greene took over 40 meetings with local communities including business leaders, employers and educators to see what workforce development looked like on the ground. Through this work, Greene found that there was a vast disconnect between these groups, and many did not have any type of meaningful relationship resulting in educators often teaching the wrong skills, and employers disengaged with the community and experiencing a skills gap with their employees.

Now, all 12 Federal Reserves are involved in workforce development, often using convening as a method to combat unemployment. One of these convenings included over 30 historically black colleges to help the Federal Reserves understand why Black unemployment is vastly higher regardless of education level compared to White unemployment.

Last on the panel was Byron Auguste, Managing Director of Opportunity@Work who attributed the skills gap to a variety of things. The first concept Auguste described is that the skills gap is a result of market failure; it’s not just the government or education systems that are failing, it is also the duty of employers and industry to help solve the skills gap problem. Also, the country has been highly disinvested in this work. All of the focus and spending has been centered on former higher education with very little investment in adult learning.

In addition to changes in policy, there needs to be a change in business practice. Instead of hiring on degrees, there needs to be a focus on hiring based on skills, whether gained through a degree, previous work, credentials, certificates, apprenticeships, internships or more.

To watch a video of this lively discussion visit New America’s website.

Katie Fitzgerald, Communications Associate 

Spring Meeting Recap: Career Pathways Systems and Performance Based Funding

April 24th, 2015

During NASDCTEc’s Spring Meeting in Washington, D.C., attendees had the opportunity to participate in a variety of concurrent workshops. Below we have highlighted two workshops, one focused on advancing CTE in Career Pathway and another on Performance Based Funding systems. 

Since 2012, five states have worked with the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Career, Technical, and Adult Education to integrate CTE programs of study with state and local career pathways systems.

During a breakout session, CTE leaders from Kansas, Minnesota and Colorado discussed their wide-ranging efforts that include employer engagement initiatives, a transformational state pathways project and a toolkit for industry-recognized credentials.

In 2013, the U.S. Department of Transportation added funding to the Career Pathways initiative specifically to support transportation-related career pathways. As part of this work, the Transportation Learning Center launched a large data project to examine the current and future workforce needs across six transportation sectors.

Age is one of the greatest liabilities for the industry, with 49 being the average age for a new mechanic hire. Through retirements and attrition, it’s estimated that 4.2 million jobs will be open between 2012 and 2022. When accounting for industry growth, the Center estimates that one new transportation worker will need to be hired every minute over the next 10 years to fill industry demand.


During a concurrent session led by Steve Klein and Laura Rasmussen Foster of RTI International and the National Center on Innovation in Career Technical Education, presenters discussed opportunities and challenges to performance-based funding (PBF) systems.

This session drew on findings from the recent report, State Strategies for Financing CTE, which was discussed in detail on this co-hosted webinar, but was moderated as an open forum, with state leaders engaging in an candid discussion on what was working and what barriers stood in the way in supporting PBF.

For example, Texas shared details on their incentive grant program, which uses Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act (Perkins) funds to encourage higher enrollment in CTE programs, particularly in rural communities. Districts meeting a certain threshold of their Perkins performance indicators are eligible for a sliding amount of incentive funds. Kansas shared early successes of its (state-funded) district incentive grants for students earning state-approved industry-recognized credentials.

Some of the major takeaways shared include:

  • Be clear about the goals and intent when designing PBF (“If you pay for it, you will get more of it”),
  • A little money can go a long way in changing behavior,
  • PBF systems will only work if they are based on quality indicators, which rely on valid and reliable data, and
  • Be sure to build support among policymakers and practitioners early and often to make PBF happen.

Post written by Andrea Zimmermann, State Policy Associate and Kate Blosveren, Associate Executive Director 

Spring Meeting Recap: Ohio’s Unified State Plan and Vermont’s Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy

April 23rd, 2015

During NASDCTEc’s Spring Meeting in Washington, D.C., attendees had the opportunity to participate in a variety of concurrent workshops. Below we have highlighted two workshops, one focused on how states can develop a Unified State Plan, with Ohio as a premier example while another discussed how Vermont integrated Career Technical Education (CTE) in their state’s Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS).

With the passage of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), there is a lot of discussion about cross-program and systems collaboration. The state of Ohio is a well ahead of the game. At the behest of Governor Kasich, the state has been engaged in a collaborative planning process among state agencies with the goal of creating and submitting a unified state plan under the Workforce Investment Act (WIA) that would fulfill planning requirements for the state’s three largest workforce programs – WIA, Adult Basic and Literacy Education and the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act (Perkins).

The vision for the collaboration was to make sure Ohio had a literate and prepared workforce by ensuring Ohioans had the knowledge, skills and abilities to fill the top in-demand jobs in the state. This meant a shift in thinking away from planning driven by institutions or the delivery system and instead a focus on students and career pathways. The state also developed a Workforce Success Measures data dashboard and common metrics focused on outcomes (employment, increased skills, increased wages and value to employers) to help guide the work.

Some lessons learned:

  • Leadership must be committed: This is crucial. Leadership needs to be engaged at the highest levels and be committed to a shared vision. In Ohio, the Governor set the vision and tasked agency leadership with the specific goal of developing the unified plan.
  • Be patient: Change is difficult and often feared. This sort of shift takes time and building of trust. In Ohio this was accomplished through a lot of outreach, meetings, learning, and stakeholder/public input.
  • Be Open to Learning: A lot of learning happened as the agencies shared through what they do, who they serve, etc. With the shared commitment and focus on student success, an openness to see the potential of new partnerships and ways to serve Ohioans emerged.

The Ohio unified state plan was submitted to the federal agencies for approval. At the time of the presentation, the plan was pending approval.  The state will likely have to resubmit a plan under WIOA but with the groundwork laid to break down silos and to focus on students and results, Ohio is well-positioned to lead the way!

For more information make sure to check out a copy of Ohio’s presentation, delivered by Steve Gratz, Tony Landis and Bill Bussey.


 

Last summer, after facing a series of economic and natural challenges, Vermont became one of only a handful of states in the country to develop and implement a comprehensive economic development strategy (CEDS). The strategy brought together stakeholders from the state’s education, workforce and economic development communities to develop a cohesive economic development “road map” for the next five years. Much of this planning was supported by funding from the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration’s (EDA) CEDS program which sought to help businesses prosper in the state while ensuring all student populations— both traditional and nontraditional— were fully served.

So what was notable about this endeavor? Quite a bit according to Vermont CTE Director John Fischer and David Ives, a Sustainability and Planning Coordinator for EDA. The two took an in-depth look at Vermont’s CEDS during a breakout session at the 2015 NASDCTEc Spring meeting which looked at Career Technical Education’s (CTE) role in the plan and ongoing implementation. One message was clear throughout— education and training is a “key ingredient” to economic development and should be incorporated into the wider “workforce ecosystem.” Significantly, Vermont’s CEDS has served as a catalyst for the state to prioritize its CTE investments and has been a strong policy lever for leaders to implement high-quality statewide CTE programs of study.

Be sure to check out the plan and the newly updated CEDS guidelines on the meeting resource page!

Post written by Kimberly Green, Executive Director and Steve Voytek, Government Relations Manager

Spring Meeting Recap: Featuring Excellence in the Press

April 16th, 2015

Last week, NASDCTEc held its 2015 Spring Meeting in Washington, D.C. bringing together leaders from across the country in Career Technical Education (CTE). As part of the meeting, NASDCTEc hosted a panel, Featuring Excellence in the Press, highlighting why the media is telling CTE’s story, and to offer insights into how CTE advocates can best and most effectively engage the media in support of CTE.

The panel began stressing how the CTE conversation has shifted over the years including rebranding from the more traditional vocational education programming. Along with the shift in moving from ‘vocational education’ to ‘career technical education,’ panelists noted a focus on the concept of college and career readiness and showing students early in schooling how their education is relevant to careers they can have in the future. In addition, speakers saw a noted shift in CTE’s inclusion of career-ready and employability skills as integral to today’s CTE.

Emily Hanford, Education Corresponded at American RadioWorks and correspondent and producer of Ready to Work highlighted how her year working on the documentary greatly influenced her perspective on CTE. “CTE is really exciting and refreshing,” said Hanford. “I came away from filming this documentary with a sense of envy. No one had challenged me to see what I wanted to do.”

Panelists also offered up tips to the audience on how to best tell their CTE story. Emily Ann Brown, K-12 Education Policy Reporter at Education Daily stressed the importance of introducing high-quality data, along with providing access to a variety of stakeholders when pitching a story to the press. Caralee Adams, Contributing Writer at Education Week emphasized showing the press that your story is backed up by local and national trends, but also showing how those trends translate into real-life successes by including the voice of teachers, administrators and students. Hanford, on the other hand, suggested a missing voice in the CTE narrative is alumni of CTE reflecting on how their education successfully prepared them for their career.

Check on a wide array of materials and resources shared by the speakers on our Spring meeting resource page.

Katie Fitzgerald, Communications Associate 

Microsoft IT Academy & CTE Community: Bridging the worlds of technology education and business

March 23rd, 2015

This blog series provides readers with insight on the valuable content that is being shared at the NASDCTEc Spring Meeting. Guest bloggers are partner organizations, supporters and other experts that will be present at the national gathering in Washington, DC in April. 

Demand for technology education is surging from both students and employers. Interest in technology programs is spiking IT Academy-stacked-largeamongst incoming college freshmen, according to academic surveys (source). Concurrently, the business world is facing a shortfall of tech-literate graduates, with a projected one million more jobs than qualified graduates by 2020; as well as reports that 77% of all jobs require some degree of technology skills (IDC Research).

Academic institutions face the critical challenge of responding to student and business demand for technology curriculum in a race to produce enough skilled workers to fill future jobs This is where Microsoft and the Career Technical Education community join forces to close the gap.

Microsoft IT Academy (ITA) brings academic institutions and their educators, students and staff classroom-ready digital curriculum and certifications covering three areas of study—Productivity, Computer Science, and IT infrastructure—providing essential technology skills to be successful in today’s evolving world.

Currently, there are 17 Microsoft IT Academy statewide partnerships in place, with several more in the works for the next academic year. Microsoft IT Academy and the CTE community are helping drive economic development by improving education outcomes for students and pathways for current workers to advance their careers. See our blog for recent success stories.

Microsoft certifications differentiate students in today’s competitive job market and broaden their employment opportunities. Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS) exams prepare students to be more productive in school and business careers. For students considering IT careers, Microsoft Technology Associate (MTA) exams provide an entry-level opportunity to explore various technical careers. Both MOS and MTA certification validates a student’s knowledge of specific technology concepts and helps them stand out when submitting college and internship applications.

Bring Computer Science Into Any Classroom

Jobs requiring computer science skills outnumber trained graduates by 3-to-1, yet 90% of schools don’t teach it. Reverse the trend and prepare your students for success with the Microsoft IT Academy Computer Science curriculum. For more information on Microsoft IT Academy benefits visit: http://www.microsoft.com/education/itacademy/Pages/benefits.aspx

Microsoft IT Academy is a proud sponsor of the 2015 NASDCTEc Spring Meeting.  Amy Merrill and Lance Baldwin will be representing Microsoft Learning Experiences Group (LeX) and IT Academy at the conference. For the latest information on Microsoft IT Academy, follow us on social media!

Twitter: @MS_ITAcademy   |    Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/MicrosoftITAcademy

Contacts: Amy Merrill – MS Learning, Business Deployment Manager: amyme@microsoft.com

Lance Baldwin – MS Learning, Senior Solutions Specialist: Lance.Baldwin@microsoft.com

This blog was contributed by Microsoft IT Academy, diamond level sponsor at the 2015 Spring Meeting.

 

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