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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

2012 National Career Clusters™ Institute Resources Available

July 6th, 2012

The National Career Clusters™ Institute resources are available online. We are still collecting remaining PowerPoints from some speakers, so please check back periodically.
Many thanks to all the volunteers from Maryland, District of Columbia, and Virginia who helped to make this years’ conference a success.

Mark your calendars now for the 2013 National Career Clusters™ Institute

2013 National Career Clusters™ Institute
June 10-12, 2013
Fort Worth, Texas
Omni Fort Worth Hotel
Details and information will be available later on this summer.

Ramona Schescke, Member Services Manager

Career Clusters™ Institute Recap: CTE and the Common Core State Standards Implementation

June 26th, 2012

The National Career Clusters™ Institute is an annual summer event that offers a range of seminars and workshops highlighting model CTE programs across the country that are aligned to the National Career Clusters Framework ™. This blog series provides a recap of the broad range of information shared over the course of the event, which took place June 18 – 20 in Washington, DC.

Margaret Reed Millar of the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) described at the National Career Clusters Institute work taking place through the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) Initiative and the State Collaborative on Assessment and Student Standards (SCASS), and how Career Technical Education (CTE) is a part of the CCSS implementation.

Millar discussed the tendency for U.S. education to cover content that is “a mile wide and an inch deep.” The CCSS, a set of high quality academic expectations adopted by 45 states, are helping states focus on fewer concepts in greater depth to provide students with a richer, more meaningful education. Millar stressed the importance of communication between districts, teacher colleges, and business and industry to ensure that students are college and career ready upon graduating high school.

A variety of digital resources are available to support CCSS implementation including;

  • CCSS implementation video vignettes from CCSS authors and the Hunt Institute
  • Achieve the Core Web site, including free CCSS resources and tools

NASDCTEc President and State Director Dr. Patrick Ainsworth also discussed work taking place in California to incorporate CTE into CCSS implementation. Ainsworth described how CTE is a central part of education reform in California; CTE is represented on every CCSS committee, and has its own section in the state’s CCSS implementation plan.

Currently, California’s CTE standards are being aligned to the CCSS. Ainsworth described CTE standards as a tool to foster the career readiness of all students and to develop a highly skilled and educated workforce which contributes to economic prosperity. He also suggested that incorporating CTE in CCSS implementation requires an emphasis on teams and groups, and on using technology to demonstrate learning and mastery.

Kara Herbertson, Education Policy Analyst

Career Clusters™ Institute Recap: National Research Center for Career and Technical Education: What the Research Reveals about Programs of Study

June 26th, 2012

The National Career Clusters™ Institute is an annual summer event that offers a range of seminars and workshops highlighting model CTE programs across the country that are aligned to the National Career Clusters Framework ™. This blog series provides a recap of the broad range of information shared over the course of the event, which took place June 18 – 20 in Washington, DC.

At last week’s National Career Clusters Institute, Dr. James Stone of the National Research Center for Career and Technical Education (NRCCTE) sought to answer the question, “If programs of study are the solution, what is the problem?”

Stone discussed the toll that the Great Recession has taken on the labor market and the current condition of education, and the challenges that have resulted. The NRCCTE has several research studies designed to examine how states and local school districts are addressing these challenges.

Since the 1980s, nearly one full year of core academics has been added to high school graduation requirements yet standardized test scores in reading and science have decreased and math scores have been stagnant. Programs of study (POS) provide a way to engage students and help them transition to further education and careers.

As states continue to develop and implement POS, the NRCCTE has been conducting numerous studies to learn more about the impact of POS on engagement, achievement, the transition from secondary to postsecondary education and/or careers, and high school completion and credentials. Current longitudinal studies include:

  • Do CTE POS Improve Student Achievement? Preliminary Analyses from a Rigorous Longitudinal Study
  • Mature POS: A structure for the transition to college and career?
  • Implementing Statewide Mandated Career Pathways/POS School Reform Model: Select Findings from a Multisite Case Study

Findings so far include:

Engagement:

  • Over 70 percent of secondary students reported that being in a POS made them more engaged in school and better prepared for college and careers.
  • Thirty-five percent of the sample enrolled in local, POS-affiliated colleges. Of these, half continued to study in their POS area.

Achievement:

  • Taking more CTE courses is related to taking more math and science credits, and to a higher GPA in science.
  • CTE course-taking has a positive relationship with academic motivation and skills.

Transition:

  • Of the students who entered POS-affiliated colleges, nearly half stayed in the same POS as in high school. More than half stayed in the same Career Cluster.

While the studies are ongoing, Stone noted that guidance and counseling, opportunities to acquire postsecondary credits, and coursework that leads to an industry-recognized credential or degree are critical components of POS.

Kara Herbertson, Education Policy Analyst

Career Clusters™ Institute Recap: Career Academies: An Effective CTE Strategy

June 25th, 2012

The National Career Clusters™ Institute is an annual summer event that offers a range of seminars and workshops highlighting model CTE programs across the country that are aligned to the National Career Clusters Framework ™. This blog series provides a recap of the broad range of information shared over the course of the event, which took place June 18 – 20 in Washington, DC.

At a breakout session during last week’s National Career Clusters Institute, JD Hoye, President of the National Academy Foundation, and David Stern of the University of California, Berkeley, shared their insights on career academies as an effective way of preparing students for postsecondary education and careers.

Career academies prepare students for success through a research-backed model that includes Career Technical Education (CTE) curricula, work-based learning experiences, and business partner expertise.

Stern discussed recent studies showing that students participating in career academies have improved grades, attendance, credits earned, and are more likely to stay in high school than similar students who are not in career academies. In California, where more than half of students entering career academies meet certain high risk categories, Stern reported that 95 percent of career academy seniors graduate on time compared to the statewide graduation rate of 85 percent.

Hoye also discussed the recent federal-level policy focus on career academies and what that could mean for CTE. Hoye stated that quality and proven practice should drive policy, that in-class time is not equal to proficiency, that real world application should be stressed as part of education, and that the workplace is a powerful extension of the classroom. From research, policy, and practice perspectives, career academies have proven to be an effective mechanism for implementing high quality CTE.

Kara Herbertson, Education Policy Analyst

Career Clusters™ Institute Recap: Perspectives from the Hill

June 25th, 2012

The National Career Clusters™ Institute is an annual summer event that offers a range of seminars and workshops highlighting model CTE programs across the country that are aligned to the National Career Clusters Framework ™. This blog series provides a recap of the broad range of information shared over the course of the event, which took place June 18 – 20 in Washington, DC.

On Tuesday afternoon we were joined by a panel of Congressional staffers who shared with attendees their outlook on budget topics, as well as the status of a number of education and workforce related bills. We were reminded that the remainder of the year is going to be a challenging one for Congress as they tackle issues such the national debt, sequestration, and tax cuts that are set to expire in December. The combination of these fiscal problems will undoubtedly lead to cuts in many federal programs.  Given that it is an election year, most of these issues will not be taken up until the lame duck session in November and December.

Because Perkins is not due for reauthorization, Congress is focused on other programmatic bills, such as the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, the Workforce Investment Act, and the Child Development Block Grant. There has been a lot of action around ESEA in both chambers this session, but things have seemed to slow done. The outlook was that it probably would not be reauthorized this year. While there has been a flurry of activity on the Workforce Investment Act in the House, it is unlikely that the bill will progress much further because of stalled negotiations on the Senate side.

However, the panelists did give their perspective on Perkins-related issues. As far as the Obama Administration’s Blueprint is concerned, it could be a discussion starting point for Members of Congress as they begin talking about reauthorization. More specifically, the proposal for competitive funding is not popular in Congress, while there is agreement that accountability and data needs to be stronger. Congress would also like to see better alignment with other federal programs such as ESEA and the Higher Education Act.

All of the panelists stressed that they want to hear from you! Constituent input is very important as they decide how to allocate federal dollars most effectively, and as they work on bills such as Perkins. So if you haven’t already, contact your Member of Congress now and let him or her know how critical CTE and Perkins is. Preliminary conversations about Perkins could be starting this year, and Congress needs to hear from the field about what is working, what is not working, and changes you would like to see made.

Nancy Conneely, Public Policy Manager

Career Clusters Institute Blog Series: Service-Learning-Setting a New Standard

June 18th, 2012

This blog series provides readers with insight on the valuable content that will be shared at the Career Clusters ™ Institute. Guest bloggers are among teachers, faculty, researchers and other experts that will present at the national gathering in Washington, DC in June.

Presenter Stefonie Sebastian is a Team Leader of the National FFA Organization; and co-presenter Dedra Andreko is Program Manager of the National FFA Organization, Indianapolis, Indiana.

Have you ever wondered how you would truly engage our students in their education? Well, then this session is for you! During this interactive session with the Living to Serve team from the National FFA Organization, you will learn how to utilize service-learning to truly set a new standard of engagement for your students. Learn how agriculture education teachers are implementing this pedagogy in their classrooms to increase grades, attendance and social responsibility as well as how it applies to other CTE areas. Participants of this session will:

•Understand the differences between community service, experiential learning and service-learning
•Learn the benefits of utilizing service-learning in CTE programs
•Implement the steps to develop a service-learning project

We look forward to sharing with you how service-learning has truly moved the National FFA Organization forward in ensuring that we are developing students potential for premiere leadership, personal growth and career success through agriculture education.

Ramona Schescke, Member Services Manager

Career Clusters ™ Institute Blog Series: The New IQ

June 18th, 2012

This blog series provides readers with insight on the valuable content that will be shared at the upcoming Career Clusters ™ Institute. Guest bloggers are among teachers, faculty, researchers and other experts that will present at the national gathering in Washington, DC in June.

Shauna King, M.Ed., is passionate about working with today’s teachers to help keep their skills sharp and their students at the top of their learning game. King is currently a graduate course instructor with The Regional Training Center. She has worked in various roles in public and non-public school settings, including principal, program and intervention specialist, peer mediation teacher and classroom teacher. Shauna worked as the PBIS coordinator in one of the largest school districts in the state of Maryland and served as a state-level trainer through Maryland PBIS State Leadership Team.

Research has demonstrated that strength in executive-function skills is more important to academic success than IQ. Children with solid executive-function abilities are happier, more resilient and independent, use time wisely, possess excellent social skills, are effective problem solvers, and are more self-aware and socially attuned. More than any other education adults can provide, teaching children executive function skills places them on the most direct path to success and happiness.

The New IQ is a highly-interactive, “learn and do” workshop that highlights brain imaging video, movement and manipulatives to ensure engagement, extended attention, and tactics to deepen memory as methods and approaches to help enhance a student’s executive-function skills.

Participants in this workshop will first learn what constitutes an executive function skill and where these thinking processes happen in the brain. The workshop identifies the “Top 7 Skills for School and Life Success” and provides parents and teachers practical tools for assessing executive-function abilities in their children and students.

Participants will then be introduced to a variety of exercises and techniques to directly teach the Top 7 Skills to children at every developmental level, pre-school through college.

Testimonials
“This is the first time I’ve been to a training and never got bored. I thoroughly enjoyed learning about executive functions skills and I also enjoyed the presenter.”
—Participant at Punahou School District, Honolulu, HI

“Please take this workshop if you can, the information is valuable and can be used and put to practical use immediately and benefit all. Great energy, well presented and funny too.”
—Maria Nickelson, Loudon County Family Services, VA

“Thank you for simplifying the information. It helps with making all the concepts to be meaningful and memorable. I enjoyed learning about how the brain works and the strategies that can be used to help children learn the executive functions.”
—Participant at Alamo

Learn more about what the strength in executive-function skills by attending King’s presentation entitled The New IQ at the 2012 Career Clusters™ Institute.

Ramona Schescke, Member Services Manager

Career Clusters™ Institute Blog Series: There’s Nothing “Standard” About Standards!

June 18th, 2012

This blog series provides readers with insight on the valuable content that is being shared at the Career Clusters ™ Institute. Guest bloggers are among teachers, faculty, researchers and other experts that will present at the national gathering in Washington, DC in June.

Nancy Null is a Curriculum Lead at Towson University in Towson, Maryland and Co-Director at Maryland CTE IT Program Affiliate.

Why aren’t Career Technical Education (CTE) instructors providing the professional development to academic disciplines around Common Core State Standards? Having taught in both academic (English) and CTE (Cisco Networking Academy) worlds, I can state unequivocally that academic teachers have much to learn from any outstanding CTE instructor.

Standards are nothing new to either academic or CTE worlds; however, CTE standards do more closely model that common set of skills now recognized as crucial to both college-and career-readiness. Moreover, exemplary real-world CTE instruction more closely aligns with the learning style of today’s youth than the paper-centric, two-dimensional world of traditional academia.

Don’t get me wrong: I loved teaching English. But I found myself continually searching outside the literary box for ways to connect my students to a real world of prose and poetry that spoke to them. Making that connection from “the other side”—from CTE to reading, writing, speaking and listening—was much easier. My Cisco students were already comfortable and confident in their technical world, armed with knowledge just waiting to be communicated. They could connect to authentic contexts for the “deeper dive” that the Common Core State Standards require.

CTE teachers have long and deep experience shaping and guiding diverse populations of students toward common industry-standard goals; we know that real education takes place only when teachers have a reason to teach, and students have a reason to learn. We can lead the way in creating a real 21st century schoolhouse—a place where students hear the same message in all classes, meet the same expectations, and develop the same skillsets throughout their educational experience. That schoolhouse will be standards-driven, but there will be nothing “standard” about it!

Come hear more at our session: Techniques to Show Alignment to National Education Standards (Common Core) and How to Use Them, Tuesday, June 19: 2:30 p.m. – 3:15 p.m.

You’ll see a process one technology education program uses to map and document alignment to national education standards such as Common Core and STEM, and the tool I use to help education institutions articulate alignment and hear from one university how they put into action.

Ramona Schescke, Member Services Manager

Career Clusters™ Institute Blog Series: Arkansas Works – Creating a Competitive Workforce through State and Community Collaboration

June 18th, 2012

This blog series provides readers with insight on the valuable content that is being shared at the Career Clusters ™ Institute. Guest bloggers are among teachers, faculty, researchers and other experts that will present at the national gathering in Washington, DC in June.

Sonja Wright-McMurray is the Associate Director for the Arkansas Department of Career Education – Career and Technical Education Division (Arkansas Works). She is the founding Director and responsible for providing statewide oversight of the Arkansas Works Initiative. Wright-McMurray holds a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and a Master of Education in Higher Education Administration from the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville. She also holds a Master of Science in Rehabilitation Counseling from Drake University.
As Career and Technical Education (CTE) administrators and teachers try to ensure that a qualified workforce stands ready to fill 21st century jobs, one of our struggles is ensuring our students are college- and career-ready. That is the mission of Arkansas Works.

Arkansas Works is a collaborative effort among the departments of Career Education, Education, Higher Education, Workforce Services, and Economic Development; the Arkansas Science and Technology Authority; the Arkansas Association of Two-Year Colleges, and the State Chamber of Commerce.

Funded by the Arkansas Department of Workforce Services through Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) and Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation, this initiative is a three-component system that includes:

•The Arkansas College and Career Planning System, a web-based career planning system powered by Kuder™;
•The College and Career Coaches Program and;
•The ACT Academy Program

Over the past two years, Arkansas Works has addressed the issue of students being under-prepared to pursue postsecondary education and enter the workforce in the most impoverished areas of the state. The program strongly emphasizes the benefits of CTE courses, apprenticeship programs and work-based learning opportunities. Arkansas high schools served by the program have seen an increase in applications for financial aid, increase in the college-going rate, increase in ACT scores, increase in opportunities for employment and a decrease in the amount of students taking remediation courses at the postsecondary level.

Learn more about how you replicate this program and achieve similar results in your state for your students by attending Sonja’s session at the National Career Clusters™ Institute: Arkansas Works – Creating a Competitive Workforce through State and Community Collaboration on Wednesday, June 20.

Ramona Schescke, Member Services Manager

 

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