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

UNESCO Releases Report on Global Trends in TVET

October 18th, 2013

The United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) recently published a digital volume of essays encompassing a broad swath of current practices, trends, debates, and ideas in the field of technical and vocational education and training (TVET). At its core TVET is the global terminology used to describe much of what the United States labels as CTE. According to UNESCO TVET is concerned primarily with, “the acquisition of knowledge and skills for the world of work.”UNESCO

Titled Revisiting Global Trends in TVET: Reflections on Theory and Practice, this e-publication was produced by UNESCO’s International Centre for Technical and Vocational Education and Training (UNEVOC) at a time when global policymakers and stakeholders are becoming increasingly aware of the importance and value of TVET programs around the world. This global appreciation culminated with the 3rd International Congress on TVET which took place in Shanghai in May of last year. At its core TVET is the global terminology used to describe much of what the United States labels as CTE. According to UNESCO TVET is concerned primarily with, “the acquisition of knowledge and skills for the world of work.”

This international meeting provided a forum for discussion about the future trajectory of TVET and the challenges UNESCO member states and TVET stakeholders face. What resulted from this forum was a set of policy recommendations, known as the Shanghai Consensus, which put forward seven overarching principles for how to promote and better implement TVET programs worldwide. They were:

  • Enhancing the relevance of TVET
  • Expanding access and improving quality and equity
  • Adapting qualifications and developing pathways
  • Improving the evidence base
  • Strengthening governance and expanding partnerships
  • Increasing investment in TVET and diversifying financing
  • Advocating for TVET

These broad-based recommendations echo many of the core principles found in NASDCTEc’s vision paper Reflect, Transform, Lead: A New Vision for Career Technical Education and put them into a larger global context. To that end, the set of essays contained in the UNESCO publication seeks to further develop, explain, and more fully realize the doctrine set forth in the Shanghai Consensus.

Please check our blog over the next few weeks as we examine in further detail specific chapters within this e-publication.

Steve Voytek, Government Relations Associate

Resources Now Available for Advanced Placement® Across the Career Clusters® Webinar July 25 Broadcast

July 26th, 2013

Resources are now available for the July 25 webinar: Advanced Placement® Across the Career Clusters®.

PrintTraditionally Advanced Placement® (AP) courses and exams have not been recommended for students in Career Technical Education (CTE) programs. To bust this myth, NASDCTEc and the College Board worked together to draft a document – Career and Technical Education and Advanced Placement – that shows how AP courses and exams can be relevant to a student’s program of study across the 16 Career Clusters®.

This webinar featured that work, explored how AP courses and exams are being embedded in students’ programs of study at the local level, and engaged participants around additional strategies for including AP courses and other rigorous courses within CTE Career Pathways.

When:  Thursday July 25 at 3 p.m. ET and featured the following speakers:

  •  Kate Blosveren, Associate Executive Director, The National Association of State Directors of Career Technical Education Consortium (NASDCTEc)
  • Barbara Dittrich, Program Supervisor, Advanced Placement, Washington Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction
  • Tom Evans, Principal, Eastern Technical High School, Baltimore County, Maryland
  • Betty Klattenhoff, CTE Director, Washington Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction
  • Wanda Monthey, Senior Director, Career Readiness and CTE, The College Board

Webinar Recording

Power Point of webinar in PDF format

Accompanying brief Career and Technical Education and Advanced Placement

Ramona Schescke, Member Services Manager

New Book for State Leaders Highlights CTE and NASDCTEc

July 18th, 2013

The Council of State Governments (CSG), a forum that encourages the exchange of ideas that help state officials shape public policy, releases The Book of States annually to serve as a resource for state leaders and a catalyst for innovation and excellence in state governance. This year, CSG featured an article written by National Association of State Directors of Career Technical Education Consortium (NASDCTEc) to highlight initiatives that are underway to transform and guide Career Technical Education (CTE) programs across the nation.

The six-page article includes an overview of CTE, the CTE: Learning that works for America® campaign, and Reflect, Transform, Lead: A New Vision for Career Technical Education. The article also describes current projects that support each principle of the State Directors’ vision for CTE. Lastly, the resource includes a table of CTE State Directors including contact information and Common Career Technical Core participation status as of April 2013.

Access the article on CTE and NASDCTEc here.

The Book of States includes chapters that consist of several articles and in-depth tables and cover the following areas: State constitutions; Federalism and intergovernmental relations; State legislative, executive, and judicial branches; State finance; State management, administration, and demographics; Selected state policies and programs; and State pages.

Read the full The Book of States here.

We encourage you to review the book and use it as a reference tool for accessing relevant, timely information and state comparisons.

Kara Herbertson, Research and Policy Manager

CTE Research Review: New Georgetown Report Projects Job Growth and Education Requirements through 2020

June 26th, 2013

Research Image_6.2013Georgetown University’s Center on Education and the Workforce just released an update of its widely-cited 2010 report, Help Wanted. The updated report, Recovery: Job Growth and Education Requirements through 2020, includes projections for two additional years – 2019 and 2020 – and provides pertinent labor market information such as which fields are expected to create the most jobs, the education requirements required to gain employment in the United States, and the skills demanded most by employers. A state report was also released.

New findings include:

  • There will be 55 million job openings in the economy through 2020: 24 million openings from newly created jobs and 31 million openings due to baby boom retirements.
  • 35 percent of the job openings will require at least a bachelor’s degree, 30 percent of the job openings will require some college or an associate’s degree, and 36 percent of the job openings will require a high school diploma or less.
  • STEM, Healthcare, and Community Services will be areas of fastest growth but also will require higher levels of postsecondary education.
  • The United States will fall short by 5 million workers with postsecondary education – at the current production rate – by 2020.

The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) released its annual analysis containing data on the structure, finances, and performance of education systems in more than 40 countries. This year’s study finds that the gap between those with some postsecondary education and those without is widening, with unemployment rates three times higher for those who haven’t graduated high school.

As OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurria noted, “Leaving school with good qualifications is more essential than ever. Countries must focus efforts on helping young people, especially the less well-educated who are most at risk of being trapped in a low skills, low wage future. Priorities include reducing school dropout rates and investing in skills-oriented education that integrates the worlds of learning and work.”

The report found that countries with high percentages of “vocational graduates,” such as Austria, Germany, and Switzerland, experienced lower unemployment rates for 25-34 year olds in this category than high school graduates. Unfortunately, data for the United States were not included in this portion of the report. The report also found that more young women than ever, 45 percent, are graduating from secondary vocational programs. In many countries – such as Australia, China, Finland, and Belgium, vocational graduation rates are higher for women than for men.

Kara Herbertson, Research and Policy Manager

New NASDCTEc Publication on Career Academies

May 13th, 2013

Career academies are a proven way of delivering high-quality Career Technical Education (CTE). Through small learning communities, college-preparatory curriculum, and strong partnerships with local employers, career academies offer work-based learning opportunities and rigorous pathways to postsecondary education and careers. Research strongly supports the efficacy of career academies in increasing the academic success, attendance levels and future earning potential of participating students.

Learn more about these dynamic academies in our latest publication, Career Academies: An Investment in Students, the Workforce and the Economy. An archived webinar on this topic, featuring representatives from the national, state and school levels, is now available here.

Kara Herbertson, Research and Policy Manager

NASDCTEc Releases Publication on Area CTE Centers

April 29th, 2013

Career Technical Education (CTE) inherently emphasizes partnerships with employers and encourages input from business and industry on CTE curriculum and other collaborative opportunities so that students graduate with the knowledge and skills that employers demand. But despite increased interest in CTE by students and businesses, states and school districts are struggling to maintain or expand CTE programs due to limited federal, state and local funding. Given the current fiscal situation, area CTE centers area an especially viable option for districts wanting to provide students with high-quality CTE in a cost-effective way.

Last week, the National Association of State Directors of Career Technical Education Consortium (NASDCTEc) released a new publication on this topic – Area CTE Centers: Conquering the Skills Gap through Business and Industry Collaboration. The paper provides information on the history, benefits, and cost effectiveness of area CTE centers. Several examples of best practices are highlighted including Miami Valley Career Technology Center in Ohio and Canadian Valley Technology Center in Oklahoma. Read more

A webinar recording on area CTE centers, featuring leaders from the schools mentioned above, is now available here.

Kara Herbertson, Research and Policy Manager

From the Ground Up: Case Study Describes Creation of New Community College at CUNY

April 29th, 2013

The New Community College (NCC) at the City University of New York was developed in response to Chancellor Matthew Goldstein’s interest in creating an innovative community college that increases student learning, achievement, and graduation rates, and improves student retention. NCC, with support from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, recently released Rethinking Community College for the 21st Century, a case study that follows the development of NCC from its initial planning in 2008 through its opening in August 2012.

The planners of the NCC combed through best practices and research to inform the design of their community college, with the ultimate goal of building an institution that would increase its graduation rate after three years to 35 percent with students transferring to four-year institutions or entering related careers. NCC is specifically designed to provide students with Career Technical Education (CTE) through curriculum that links classroom learning to practical career experiences.

Key components of the NCC model include:

  • First-year program of study: Integrates credit-bearing and developmental coursework, and mandatory participation in a summer bridge program.
  • City seminar: Two-semester course, including reading, writing, and quantitative aspects, on issues in New York City and other major cities.
  • Partnerships: Workplace partners provide increased opportunities for hands-on student learning.
  • Learning outcomes: Rubrics assess student progress and each student has an electronic portfolio.

In addition to providing CTE majors in Business Administration, Information Technology, and other areas, NCC also requires a two-semester course, Ethnographies of Work (EoW), that helps students investigate different occupations to make informed decisions about their majors and career paths. EoW provides students with a background in basic research methodology, analysis, professional skill training, and encourages students to deeply consider their future academic and career pursuits. The course also provides students with an introduction to the school’s five majors, information on various workplaces, and the programs of study that are available at NCC.

NCC is one of many postsecondary institutions delivering high-quality, innovative CTE. We welcome you to send information on how your schools are delivering CTE through innovative design and practice to [email protected].

Kara Herbertson, Research and Policy Manager

Report: State Policy Approaches for Incentivizing CTE

February 28th, 2013

Career Technical Education (CTE) has become a top priority in education policy – receiving recognition from governors and members of Congress – because of its relevance to local, state, and national economies.

The Education Commission of the States (ECS), a group that facilitates the exchange of information among state policymakers and education leaders, released this month an issue brief describing how states are depending on CTE to address many issues – such as the skills gap and alignment of education with labor market needs – and what states are doing to incentivize the use of CTE. Some incentives include:

  • “Carrot” policies to encourage high school students to earn CTE credentials or to perform well on WorkKeys
  • “Stick” policies for schools and districts to ensure that CTE students are progressing toward career readiness
  • Development of supports for students at risk of falling short of career readiness

The report also draws attention to the integration of academic and technical courses and content through the Common Core State Standards and the reframing of dual enrollment programs to include CTE.

View the ECS issue brief here.

Kara Herbertson, Research and Policy Manager

Alliance for Quality Career Pathways Releases New Papers

February 22nd, 2013

The Alliance for Quality Career Pathways, a state-led initiative organized by the Center for Law and Social Policy, has released two working papers to help identify criteria that define high-quality career pathways and to create shared performance measures.

In the first paper, The Alliance for Quality Career Pathways Approach: Developing Criteria and Metrics for Quality Career Pathways, a conceptual model is provided of career pathway state and local/regional systems and career pathways programs. The paper defines important terms, provides examples, and describes the Alliance’s approach to creating a framework for quality criteria and performance metrics.

The second paper, A Framework for Measuring Career Pathways Innovation, presents a framework for measurement and looks at key considerations when developing career pathway metrics including:

  • Level of measurement
  • Use of metrics
  • Scope of each measure

The working papers are part of a greater initiative to  identify benchmarks of high-quality career pathways and the most relevant metrics for measuring their success.

Kara Herbertson, Research and Policy Manager

New NASDCTEc Publications: CTE Trend Analysis: Governance and Funding

February 21st, 2013

Every other year, NASDCTEc conducts a survey of the membership to gauge trends in Career Technical Education (CTE) across the country. Based on analyses of this year’s survey results from 50 states and territories, and comparisons to surveys administered in 2008 and 2010, NASDCTEc has authored a series of synopsis papers that describe trends in four key areas: Career Clusters™ and Programs of Study, CTE Teacher/Faculty Shortages, Governance, and Funding.

Today, NASDCTEc released the final two issue briefs in this series:

2012 Synopsis of CTE Trends: Governance

CTE programs are offered in a variety of settings including comprehensive high schools, middle schools, area technical centers, and four-year universities. Within these institutions, the level of CTE programs offered ranges from exploratory to in-depth. With such a wide variety of learners served through many types of institutions, state governance of CTE programs is understandably complex and varies considerably from state to state.

2012 Synopsis of CTE Trends: Funding

Despite budget shortfalls, states such as Nebraska are leveraging students’ voices to show state legislators the importance of funding CTE. While long-term projections on Perkins funding levels are uncertain – due in part to issues like sequestration – a vigilant focus on high-quality CTE programs, data-driven decision making, and return on investment will best position CTE to ward off as many additional funding cuts as possible.

An archived webinar on these two topics is available here.

Stay tuned for more information on a NASDCTEc Legislative Update webinar on Monday, March 25th at 3:00 pm ET.

Kara Herbertson, Research and Policy Manager

 

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