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

CTE Month: Celebrating CTE Across the Country

February 19th, 2015

ctemonththumbnailWe have  heard of some great work going on across the country for Career Technical Education (CTE) Month!

A number of states are using CTE Month as a time to raise awareness around the importance of CTE. The Missouri Department of Early and Secondary Education is running a 30 second radio spot throughout the month to help educate the public on the value of CTE Month, while the Maine Department of Education released an article in the Commissioner’s update. Also Alaska, Michigan, North Dakota, Virginia and Wisconsin proclaimed February at CTE Month.

Some states took advantage of the CTE: Learning that Works for America campaign resources, like Michigan, which requested all Department of Education employees to use the CTE Learning that Works for Michigan logo. In addition, South Dakota Career and Technical Education State CTE Promo Newsletter 2015 2Association developed a newsletter (that you can see to your right)  delivered to all legislators in the state, also using the Learning that Works branding.

Other organizations held grassroots events, like Salem Vocational Technical FFA Chapter’s road-side clean up and leadership conference and Seymour Community High School’s school tour, which was featured on the local news.

CTE Month is also a time to celebrate! The Indiana Department of Education held their 31st Annual Awards for Excellence Ceremony honoring students, instructors, programs and partnerships in CTE. The Virginia Department of Education and Virginia Community College System launched the Career and Technical Education Creating Excellence Awards to recognize programs, committees and business and industry partnerships at local, regional and state levels.

It’s thrilling to see all the excitement and good work going on from the national to grassroots levels in communities around the nation. It’s not too late to send us what you’re doing so that we can promote your excellent work too! Email your CTE Month activities to [email protected]

Katie Fitzgerald, Communications Associate 

This Week in CTE: CTE Month Edition

February 13th, 2015

TWEET OF THE WEEK
SkillsUSA  Mike Rowe talks about SkillsUSA and CTE: http://youtu.be/yihG89SB00g @mikeroweworks blog-thumbnail-thiswek#CTEMonth #SkillsUSAWeek
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VIDEO OF THE WEEK
Congressman Jim Langevin (D-RI), co-chair of the Career and Technical Education Caucus, showed his support for Career Technical Education.  “It is long past time to re-authorize the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act, and I look forward to working with all my colleagues on this important legislation,” said Langevin.
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ARTICLE OF THE WEEK
Tony Evers, superintendent of the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction, discusses the value of Career Technical Education (CTE) in Wisconsin. “Did you know that students who participate in CTE courses graduate at a notably higher rate than students who do not take CTE courses? Additionally, students who take a series of related CTE courses do even better. In part, it’s because CTE helps students grasp why they need to know and excel in academic coursework,” said Evers
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RESOURCE OF THE WEEK
Learn how to use the CTE: Learning that Works for America campaign resources to help you raise awareness, improve understanding and communicate the vital role of Career Technical Education in the nation’s future. The Learning that Works campaign provides you with a variety of materials to help you advocate for CTE in your community including fact-sheets, talking points, videos and even state-specific logos. Get a quick overview of the campaign with this one pager.

ANNOUNCEMENTS OF THE WEEK
A variety of states proclaimed February CTE Month, including Virginia, Alaska, North Dakota and Wisconsin.

Learning that Works + CTE Month

February 9th, 2015

This month we encourage you to utilize the CTE: Learning that Works for America campaign resources to help you raise ctemonththumbnailawareness, improve understanding and communicate the vital role of Career Technical Education (CTE) in the nation’s future. The Learning that Works campaign provides you with a variety of materials to help you advocate for CTE in your community including fact-sheets, talking points, videos and even state-specific logos.

To give you with a quick overview about how the Learning that Works campaign can be integrating into your promotional efforts during CTE month, we developed this 1-pager, which also highlights CTE branding examples.

We encourage you to join the 49 states and over 700 schools who have adopted the Learning that Works campaign to communicate the  importance of CTE in your community.

Katie Fitzgerald, Communications Associate 

Excellence in Action Award Deadline Extended

December 4th, 2014

Excellence in Action award banner

Good news! If you have not submitted your program of study for the Excellence in Action award, there’s still time. We’ve extended the deadline to Thursday, December 18th.  As a reminder, the Excellence in Action award will recognize and honor superior Career Technical Education (CTE) programs of study from around the nation. Selected programs of study will exemplify excellence in the implementation of the Career Clusters, and have a meaningful impact on student achievement and success.

Why should you apply? 

Receiving the Excellence in Action award means your program of study will be showcased on a national level. This includes the opportunity to present at conferences and webinars throughout the year, as well as highlighted in a monthly newsletter to members of Congress, on our website, and in our blog. It’s a chance to show the rest of the country how your school prepares students for successful and meaningful careers through high quality CTE. If you want to see examples of some stellar programs of study, take a look at last year’s winners and don’t forget to apply today!

Katie Fitzgerald, Communications Associate 

Excellence in Action Awards Due December 5th

November 19th, 2014

Excellence in Action Awards, due December 5th, lifts up model programs and shines a light on high-quality and high-impact programs of study. Each winning program of study will be featured in our communications, marketing and advocacy materials, and used during Congressional visits, with members of the media and other CTE stakeholders to support a more positive image of CTE.

Last year, NASDCTEc awarded six schools with exemplary programs of study from around the country. This includes the Medical Sciences Program at Bollman Technical Education Center (BTEC), which received the award in the Health Science Career Clutser. Along with providing 16 career pathways aligned with the National Consortium for Health Science Education’s standards, and Colorado state standards for CTE, BTEC greatly encourages work-based learning through a variety of strong partnerships. BETC’s program of study provides a great example of what Excellence in Action looks like. We encourage you to learn more about the 2014 winners, and submit your program of study to join this wonderful cohort of leaders in CTE. Apply today!

Katie Fitzgerald, Communications Associate

Excellence in Action Award Submissions Open

November 13th, 2014

Excellence in Action award banner

We want to learn more about and recognize high-quality and high-impact programs of study happening in every corner of the country. We encourage you to apply for the 2015 Excellence in Action award, or pass along this information to any stellar programs of study you know.

By lifting up model programs, NASDCTEc will shine a light on exemplary programs of study and provide examples to be used in our advocacy and communications efforts over the year. Each winning program of study will be featured in our communications, marketing and advocacy materials, and used during Congressional visits, with members of the media and other CTE stakeholders to support a more positive image of CTE. Learn more about last year’s winners here.

Winners will receive:

  • A banner to hang in their school or institution of higher education.
  • A digital banner (i.e., a customized logo) to use in email and print materials as they so choose.
  • Travel to and one-night accommodations in Washington, D.C. for the award winner to be recognized at an awards ceremony on April 8, 2015.

Winners will be featured:

  • At an awards ceremony on April 8, 2015 in Washington, D.C.
  • In a national press release that will be distributed to national media.
  • NASDCTEc will also create individualized press releases for each winner, which will be distributed to State CTE Directors.
  • In a one-pager, used as part of NASDCTEc’s federal advocacy toolkit.
  • In a monthly newsletter sent to members of Congress.
  • On webinars and/or conferences during the year.
  • In a stand-alone blog on NADSCTEc’s Learning that Works blog.
  • On the NASDCTEc website.

Apply today!

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

Adobe’s Hiring for the Future Report Carries Implications for CTE

October 15th, 2014

Last month, Adobe surveyed 1,068 American hiring managers seeking insight into what the gatekeepers of tomorrow’s careers believe are the most critical skills, habits and credentials for job-seekers in the 21st century labor market.

The result? An overwhelming number of responses emphasizing the importance of digital literacy, creative thinking, problem-solving and flexibility. Hiring managers rejected the notion that students in technical fields fundamentally lack the creativity succeed (only 36% agree), but even more believe that positions requiring technical skills also benefit from creative thinking (81% agree).

Technical skills are still viewed as one of the top three factors identified as having gained the most value over the last five years (46% identified as one of top three skills gaining value), suggesting that competency remains crucial to employer hiring decisions. Also in the top three, however, were problem solving/critical thinking (51%) and creativity/innovation (47%).

Taken as a whole supports the need for more high-quality CTE, with its emphasis on skill building through career pathways and comprehensive, integrated programs of study. modern approach

Unsurprisingly, many policies prioritized by CTE programs of study, including internships, mentors and courses specifically designed to prepare students for the world of work by teaching both broad and specific skills, ranked high on the list of proposed solutions to boost preparedness (see chart, at right).

Other findings concur with similar past surveys of employer needs, including the impression that students are underprepared for jobs when entering the workforce, with 69% of hiring managers agreeing that new job seekers lack the necessary skills for success and 61% calling lack of communications skills as a top factor in underpreparedness.

Read the full report here.

Evan Williamson, Communications Associate

Achieving Excellence in the New School Year: Union County Academy for Performing Arts

October 2nd, 2014

This summer was one of progress and change at the Union County Academy for Performing Arts (APA), with program administrator Scott Rubin moving on to East Hanover School District and supervisor Kelly Douglas-Jackson taking over in his place. In spite of turnover at the top of this innovative program, Ms. Douglas-Jackson reported that APA has only gotten stronger from last year, when it earned our Excellence in Action award for the Arts, A/V Technology and Communications Career Cluster®.

Deepening its partnership with Kean University, which sees APA students spend their entire senior year attending college courses while earning full credit toward their high school diploma, APA students amassed over 1,500 credit hours at Kean with 3.4 collective GPA. APA was also ranked as one of the top high schools in America by Newsweek.

APA also has set a course for expansion, inviting more industry professionals to the school to teach master classes and will add a Technical Theatre program including, scenic design, lighting design, sound design, and costume design. The new major will coincide with another bump in enrollment putting the program at its highest enrollment in its six-year history.

Continuing with their tradition of extremely high postsecondary placement, APA recorded a 100 percent graduation rate and a 100% postsecondary placement rate in the 2013-2014 school year. Check out all the details of APA’s Excellence in Action award here. Also, keep an eye on the Learning that Works Blog for the opening of Excellence in Action application period this fall!

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

 

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