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

NASDCTEc 2014 Spring Meeting Recap

April 7th, 2014

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State CTE Directors, NASDCTEc members, CTE expert panelists and many more converged on the nation’s capital beginning on March 31, 2014. Over three days, NASDCTEc’s annual Spring Meeting covered a broad array of subjects, from the pending reauthorization of The Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act (Perkins) and the Workforce Investment Act (WIA) to breakout sessions on secondary-postsecondary collaboration, just in time labor market information, accountability initiatives and much more.

On Tuesday, April 1, 2014, Dr. Brenda Dann-Messier of the U.S. Department of Education Office of Career, Technical and Adult Education (OCTAE), spoke after NASDCTEc/NCTEF President, John Fischer, formally opened the Spring Meeting. In a bittersweet moment for everyone in the CTE community, we learned that Dr. Dann-Messier plans to leave OCTAE in late May. Dr. Dann-Messier received repeated praise from fellow panelists and membership for her five years of dedicated service at the head of OCTAE and at the forefront of CTE.

Tuesday’s sessions continued with panels outlining the state of federal funding and guidance on CTE, with many commentators commending the CTE community’s assiduous advocacy on behalf of CTE along with reminders to remain in contact with your senators and representatives going forward.

On Wednesday, NASDCTEc was proud to honor five critical advocates for CTE with Star of Education Awards. Co-Chairs of the Congressional CTE Caucus Representatives Glenn ‘GT’ Thompson (R-PA) and Jim Langevin (D-RI) both received the Star of Education—Congressional Award for their years of dedicated service as congressional advocates for CTE. Later, recently-retired State CTE Directors Dr. Patrick Ainsworth of California and Dr. Kathy Shibley of Ohio were inducted into the ranks of State CTE Directors Emeriti, while Ainsworth’s successor Russ Weikle received the first-ever Rising Star of CTE Award for his pioneering work in the state of California. Wednesday also included sessions on CTE’s role in the ongoing push to improve STEM enrollment and outcomes nationwide, the growth of competency-based education and CTE, and strategies to utilize postsecondary CTE as a way to maintain the American workforce’s place as one of the most highly-skilled worldwide.

More outside experts on CTE offered their perspectives on Thursday morning’s panels. Beginning with a focus on new reporting guidance regarding the Office of Management and Budget’s “Omni Circular,” Thursday’s sessions focused on developments that will affect CTE in the weeks and months ahead. Panelists throughout the morning reiterated their efforts to establish partnerships with CTE programs, and offered their insight on how the CTE community can facilitate collaboration with business and industry groups and state-level education leaders to broaden the CTE stakeholder base and stimulate the national conversation on CTE. The session closed with updates from the Division of Academic and Technical Education and the National Center for Innovation in Career Technical Education.

Couldn’t make the Spring Meeting? Resources and information on several sessions are available online! While on the site, be sure to sign-up today for the next gathering of Career Technical Education (CTE) leaders in Phoenix, June 16-18, 2014, at Achieving Excellence in CTE: The Career Clusters Institute. Don’t delay — April 8, 2014, is the last day of the early bird registration rate.

Evan Williamson, Communications Associate

NOTE: Photo courtesy Bob Witchger, all rights reserved

Announcing CTE & Literacy: The Common Core Institute

March 13th, 2014

The National Association of State Directors of Career Technical Education Consortium (NASDCTEc) in partnership with the Association for Career and Technical Education, the College Board, and Student Achievement Partners are excited to announce a two-day institute for CTE educators on the Common Core State Standards, with a focus on literacy in technical subjects on April 16-17 in New York City.

The two-day workshop is designed to be a practical, interactive and collaborative learning opportunity for CTE educators at any level, and across all Career Clusters.  Participants will gain a deeper understanding of the Common Core literacy standards, be provided with resources that they can use freely to provide local training, and have access to tools to help support the ongoing implementation of the Common Core literacy standards in their own communities.  

The Institute registration is free, although participants will be responsible for travel and accommodations.  Priority will be given to teams of educators from individuals schools, districts or states.

Learn more and register HERE!

When:  April 16-17, 2014

Where: New York City, NY

Why: To gain in-depth fluency with the Common Core literacy standards and the tools and skills needed to support effective implementation in your schools and communities.

Call for Presentations NOW OPEN for Achieving Excellence in Career Technical Education: The National Career Clusters Institute

December 23rd, 2013

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The Call for Presentations is NOW OPEN for Achieving Excellence in Career Technical Education: The National Career Clusters® Institute.

We are looking for sessions that feature high-quality programs of study, with proven track records of success; offer strategies for successful collaboration, implementation and innovation at the classroom, district or system level; and/or provide opportunities for participants to engage in interactive and hands-on learning activities.

MORE DETAILS
  • Where: Point Hilton Tapatio Cliffs, Phoenix, AZ
  • When: June 16-18, 2014
  • Registration is slated to go live mid-February.
  • Watch for details on our website at www.careertech.org.
Proposal Deadlines
Proposals will be accepted through February 21, 2014. Speakers will be notified of status early March, 2014.
Submit your proposal now!
Ramona Schescke, Member Services Manager

NASDCTEc Fall Meeting Resources Available Online

October 29th, 2013

The National Association of State Directors of Career Technical Education Consortium (NASDCTEc) held its annual Fall Meeting last week in Baltimore, Maryland. Many State Career Technical Education (CTE) Directors and other CTE stakeholders were in attendance during the three-day event where a variety of presentations and panel discussions took place on a wide range of topics.

Presentation resources are available online. We are awaiting a few more documents to finalize the collection of all the resources, but in the meantime, please take advantage of the resources now available here.

Ramona Schescke, Member Services Manager

NASDCTEc Recognizes All Stars at Fall Meeting

October 25th, 2013

Earlier this week, the National Association of State Directors of Career Technical Education Consortium (NASDCTEc) held a luncheon at its Fall meeting to honor the organization’s All-Star sponsors. NASDCTEc is fortunate to have a group of dedicated sponsor partners who provide critical and ongoing support to the organization and its work. The NASDCTEc All Stars include:

  • Certiport
  • Cisco
  • CORD
  • CTECS
  • Kuder
  • NOCTI
  • Oracle Academy
  • Realityworks
  • Today’s Class

Representatives from eight All Stars attended the luncheon and received a certificate of appreciation, presented by NASDCTEc Vice President Scott Stump, and Region XI Representative Bernadette Howard.

Ramona Schescke, Member Services Manager

NASDCTEc Fall Meeting Blog Series: Certiport – Leading Certification in Validating Student Workforce Skills

October 11th, 2013

This blog series provides readers with insight on the valuable content that is being shared at the NASDCTEc Fall Meeting. Guest bloggers are partner organizations, supporters and other experts that will be present at the national gathering in the Baltimore, MD area October 21-23, 2013. Today’s guest blogger is Aaron Osmond, Vice President, North America Sales of Certiport (a Pearson/Vue Company), and Utah State Senator.

Certiport Helps Millions of Students Earn Industry-Recognized Certification in CTE Programs

Certiport, a Pearson VUE business, is the world leader in performance-based certification exams and practice test solutions for academic institutions, currently delivering nearly 2 million certification exams each year around the world.

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There has never been a better time for Career Technical Education (CTE) programs to implement certification.  The global job market is increasingly competitive, and the U.S. government continues to push schools to improve their CTE programs to prepare students to enter the workforce.  The quality of CTE programs varies greatly across the U.S., but certification can be a universal equalizer.

By arming students with an industry-recognized certification, CTE programs can simultaneously boost student resumes while satisfying state assessment requirements.  In North Carolina, for instance, the Department of Public Instruction entered a statewide licensing agreement with Microsoft and Certiport to give their students, wherever they lived in North Carolina, the opportunity to earn valuable information technology credentials such as the Microsoft Office Specialist or Microsoft Technology Associate.

Now, more than 100,000 students and teachers have earned certifications in North Carolina and Aaron Fleming, Director of CTE for Lee County Public Schools, is proud of what the program has accomplished.  “The Microsoft IT Academy allows students to prove to employers they have a specific skill that is in-demand.  Certification is one way to close the skills gap – it’s one way for employers to find someone to fill exactly what they need in an open position.”

Certiport manages a sophisticated portfolio of leading certification programs including: the official Microsoft Office Specialist certification program, the Microsoft Technology Associate certification program, the Adobe® Certified Associate certification program, the HP Accredited Technical Associate, the CompTIA Strata™ IT Fundamentals, the Autodesk Certified User certification program, the Intuit QuickBooks Certified User certification program and the Internet and Computing Core Certification (IC³®).

To learn more about how Certiport can help your CTE program teach and validate in-demand workforce skills with industry-recognized certification, stop by the Certiport booth at the Fall Meeting or visit www.certiport.com.

The NASDCTEc Fall Meeting will be held October 21-23, 2013 at the BWI Airport Marriott Hotel in Linthicum, MD. More information

Ramona Schescke, Member Services Manager

NASDCTEC Fall Meeting Blog Series: Our Future Depends on Putting Tech Education at the Core

October 10th, 2013

This blog series provides readers with insight on the valuable content that is being shared at the NASDCTEc Fall Meeting. Guest bloggers are partner organizations, supporters and other experts that will be present at the national gathering in the Baltimore, MD area October 21-23, 2013. Today’s guest blogger is Cullen White, Cisco Academy Instructor at Fairmont Heights High School in Washington, DC.

“Does this class count as an Advanced Placement course?”

It’s been a common question of my returning IT Academy students. My courses are demanding. I expect them to read and write daily, to meet online after school for concept and skills reviews, and to practice using skills that will help them in college and career. They view my Cisco Networking Academy and computer science courses as college-level, and want others to view them that way too (in addition to the grade inflation that accompanies AP courses). Unfortunately, the courses that I teach aren’t a part of the core curriculum. Instead, they’re seen by many as electives and therefore expendable.  Cisco-corp-logo (200x111)

They shouldn’t be.

My classes offer too much opportunity for academic and professional growth to be viewed that way. The things we explore together are far too interesting, too important. In one class, we’re learning how data moves from device to device, and how to build our own networks. In another, we’re building Web apps while learning how to obtain feedback from users and analyze data. There is never a dull moment. Students are constantly engaged by the meaningful, hands-on experiences that my classroom provides. Why wouldn’t they be? They know that what we learn matters, because my courses mimic the same online, tech-enabled world that they grew up in. What we do is immediately relevant to them.

There is no reason for computer science or system engineering courses to be ranked as “non-essential” in favor of more traditional English, math, and science courses that so often teach knowledge and skills out of context. Especially when the very same knowledge and skills can be taught — when they ARE taught — in technology classrooms like mine. It’s time to start thinking about how we can change the core of our education system to meet the demands of a rapidly evolving, tech-savvy world. It’s time to move computing education classes to the core. And it’s time to save our students from the same class schedules that bored us to death.

This is important. If we don’t make technology education a priority, we will face a crisis of epic proportions. It is estimated that by 2020 there will be 4.2 million jobs in IT and computing. There is no way we can fill those jobs with American students and an education system that doesn’t adequately prepare them. Reframing computing education courses as a part of the core curriculum is an important and necessary step in ensuring that our students can meet the challenges of an ever-changing global economy.

Making technology education a part of the core won’t be easy. There is, however, a logical way to proceed:

1. Educate Decision-Makers at Local Levels
I’ve been fortunate to work with school and district administrators who support my students and me as much as they possibly can. Still, I question whether admins truly understand how exceptionally important technology education is for our students, community, and nation. It’s not surprising either, given how challenging it is to understand major networking or computer science concepts when you haven’t been in the industry. Helping local leaders understand and gaining their support is key in making necessary changes. Here is where industry giants have a responsibility to get involved as well.

2. Change the Way Students View Technology Education
Above all, we have to increase the value of technology education in the eyes of students. They need to understand what opportunities they will have by pursuing higher learning in computer science or network administration. Districts need to work with instructors to develop multi-year technology education programs, then aggressively recruit students for them. Outreach through social media will be exceptionally important, but nothing is more so than making sure students have good teachers. At the very least, we need to make sure that technology education courses count as graduation requirements.

3. Raise Expectations for Technology Education Teachers
We have to develop clear and specific certification pathways for technology education teachers. As it stands, a number of states don’t have certification processes for educators in computing-related fields. This leads to confusion and permits low expectations for teachers. Our students and teachers deserve better.

4. Encourage Technology Instructors to Adopt and Integrate the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) for Literacy and Math
Core classes, English and math specifically, have been favored in the implementation of the CCSS for obvious reasons. Technology education classrooms are uniquely positioned, however, to integrate both English and math standards in a meaningful way. So much of what is done in computer science and systems engineering already requires the application of fundamental mathematics. Integration of the English language arts standards should be natural, given the need to explain solutions to complex technical problems through writing and speech.

Additionally, it is our classrooms that can lead directly to careers. Embedding the standards will further allow us to demonstrate that we are truly preparing our students for college and/or career, especially if they are linked to professional-level certification.

Finally, successful integration of literacy and math standards will help prove that our classrooms belong with other core subject areas.

5. Allow districts to develop pathways of study that work for their students and teachers.
As mentioned previously, districts have to create K-12 course pathways that ensure students are continually exposed to technology-related concepts. Allowing districts to pick their flavor of technology education allows them to play to the strengths of their staff and better meet the needs of their students and communities. Additionally, the demand for certain tech-related roles differs by region. This is exceptionally important to consider in low-income communities, as success in the right tech education courses can quickly provide opportunities for upward social mobility to students and their families.

Let’s face it: The next life-changing app isn’t going to come out of English class, unless the students have already learned how to program. Our reliance on technology is here to stay. There is no doubt that we have to rethink our current model of education. And not just for the next 10 years either. We have to build a model that is agile and ready to adapt. We have to build a model with technology at the core.

To learn more about Cisco Networking Academy courses available at high schools, colleges and universities across the country, visit www.cisco.com/go/netacad/us

The NASDCTEc Fall Meeting will be held October 21-23, 2013 at the BWI Airport Marriott Hotel in Linthicum, MD. More information

Ramona Schescke, Member Services Manager

Next Friday, October 4, is Manufacturing Day!

September 27th, 2013

Next Friday, October 4, 2013, more than 600 manufacturers, technical schools, and professional societies will host open houses, public tours, career workshops and other events to illustrate what manufacturing is really like in today’s modern economy. Career Technical Education (CTE) programs across the country are an integral part of preparing workers for these types of high-skill manufacturing careers.State Map

Manufacturing Day was first launched in 2012 by a group of industry associations led by the Commerce Department’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and its Hollings Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP), the Fabricators & Manufacturers Association (FMA), the Manufacturing Institute (MI), and the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM).

Through this collective effort, Manufacturing Day is changing the public image of manufacturing and encouraging job seekers to pursue a career in this secure and growing sector of the economy. Manufacturing Day gives manufacturers the opportunity to connect directly with job seekers and students to showcase diverse manufacturing careers.

Next week’s Manufacturing Day events are an opportunity for policymakers, parents, educators, students, and the public at large to learn about career opportunities and celebrate manufacturing’s contributions to their local communities and the nation.

For more information about Manufacturing Day please click here for their official webpage. A comprehensive list of the day’s events can be found here.

Steve Voytek, Government Relations Associate 

NASDCTEc Fall Meeting Blog Series – NOCTI: Still Looking Forward

September 27th, 2013

NOCTI--Navy-11-2009This blog series provides readers with insight on the valuable content that is being shared at the NASDCTEc Fall Meeting. Guest bloggers are partner organizations, supporters and other experts that will be present at the national gathering in the Baltimore, MD area in October.

About this time last year we touted the resources contained in “The Career Pathways Effect”, a joint publication between NASDCTEc and CORD that offered many practical applications for CTE stakeholders.  The publication deserves to be mentioned again because it provides not only a context for policy conversations, but also a roadmap of sorts for program implementation at the local level.  This article still believes that it is the credibility and applicability of program assessment that will drive improvements to all phases of CTE. These assessments provide reliable, valid, and actionable data for continuous improvement.

NOCTI, a not-for-profit entity  governed by an unpaid board elected by the state directors of CTE in all 50 states, works solely for the CTE community to provide the data and support that schools and students need.  NOCTI works closely with ACTE, NRCCTE, NASDCTEc, and the Institute for Educational Sciences (IES), just to name a few.  New collaborations and initiatives are underway. Here are just a few worth mentioning:

  • Additional Certification credentials have been added to the NOCTI line-up including the American Medical Certification Association (AMCA), Automotive Service Excellence (ASE), National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), and the Green Education Foundation (GEF).
  • Discussions continue with the International Baccalaureate regarding the Career-Related certificate (IBCC) and with College Board.
  • College credit is now available to CTE students for over 50 assessment titles, with the remainder slated for the 2014-15 school year.
  • A new Student Growth Measures package is being implemented as a tool to assist with the new teacher evaluation requirements.
  • Reports aligning common core standards to all NOCTI technical assessments will be available in 2014.
  • Free modules to assist with training new CTE teachers regarding assessment and the use of data have been completed and are available for use.
  • A strategy for digital badges in CTE assessments will be beta tested this spring.

Contact us at [email protected] to see how we can help you.  NOCTI is also a gold sponsor of the NASDCTEc fall meeting; stop by and say hello!

The NASDCTEc Fall Meeting will be held October 21-23, 2013 at the BWI Airport Marriott Hotel in Linthicum, MD. More information

Ramona Schescke, Member Services Manager

NASDCTEc Fall Meeting Update – Special Reservation Rate Ends Today

September 20th, 2013

Have you made your hotel reservations for the Fall Meeting yet? Today is the last day to get the group rate!

The reduced group RESERVATION rate will end today, September 20. After that date, special rates and room availability are not longer guaranteed.

The Fall Meeting will be held at the Marriott BWI Airport Hotel and is geared toward professional development, sharing of best practices, state policy updates and other topical sessions. An important topic covered at this meeting will be the release of “The State of Career Technical Education: An Analysis of State CTE Standards.” It is a national report examining how states organize and implement CTE standards, using the Common Career Technical Core as the benchmark.

The agenda includes confirmed presenters and will provide the professional development and content you need to stay on top of all the latest Career Technical Education happenings.

  • Access the robust Fall Meeting AGENDA to see confirmed presenters!
  • Early bird REGISTRATION rate is available until September 23; main registration available September 24 through time of meeting
  • Meeting location: Marriott BWI Airport Hotel, 1743 Nursery Road, Linthicum, MD 21090 (near BWI airport – Baltimore area)
  • Meeting dates: October 21-23, 2013

Make your plans to attend the Fall Meeting in Baltimore, MD.

 

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