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

The Common Career Technical Core, Programs of Study & Industry-Based Standards

July 30th, 2014

Yesterday, NASDCTEc released a new paper – The Common Career Technical Core, Programs of Study & Industry-Based Standards - during a webinar. Leveraging the methodology used to compare over 45 states’ CTE standards to the Common Career Technical Core (CCTC) last year for The State of Career Technical Education: An Analysis of State CTE Standards, this new paper examines how a set of 18 industry-based standards match up to the CCTC, with deep implications for state and local development of standards-based programs of study.

Critically, as we state in the paper, “The intent of this analysis is not to judge any industry-based standards…rather the intent is provide actionable information to state and local CTE leaders as think through how they use industry-based standards within the context of a program of study.”

What Did We Find?

For one, the industry-based standards, on average, were not particularly well aligned with the CCTC. However, this was largely as expected based on scope and design of the CCTC compared to most industry-based standards. The CCTC are benchmark standards that identify what a student should know and be able to do after completing a program of study. As “benchmark standards,” the CCTC are intentionally broad; as “end of program of study standards,” the CCTC cover the full range of knowledge and skills to be imparted over a sequence of courses, from the broadest career exploration to the more occupationally-specific skills. Alternatively, most industry-based standards focus squarely on those occupationally-specific skills, leading to a disconnect between them and the CCTC.

We also found that the majority of industry-based standards did not, on average, address the 12 Career Ready Practices, which are the cross-cutting skills and dispositions necessary for any individual in the workplace. Perhaps the most surprising finding was that less than half of the industry-based standards fully aligned to such Practices as “communicate clearly, effectively and with reason” and “work productively in teams while using cultural/global competence,” which are so highly demanded in today’s economy.

However, the analysis showed that many of the industry-based standards reviewed did align well with the Career Pathway-level standards, which are the most specific standards within the CCTC. Additionally, industry-based standards developed by consortia, such as the National Council for Agriculture Education and the Manufacturing Skill Standards Council, were much  more likely to address both the Career Cluster and Career Pathway-level standards.

What Are the Implications?

The bottom line is that industry-based standards play an important role in preparing students for careers, but that they cannot alone make up a program of study as they often fail to address the broader career exploration skills, as well as those key cross-cutting or “employability” skills that have utility in any career. As state leaders and other stakeholders develop, review and/or approve programs of study, they must:

  • Ensure the standards not only address the key occupationally-specific skills, but also those addressed at the Career Cluster level, as well as the Career Ready Practices, and
  • Provide guidance to local leaders and educators on how to implement the various sets of state and industry-based standards available and build out a coherent sequence of courses and learning experiences aligned to those different standards.

Read the full report here, watch the webinar recording or download the webinar PPT.

Kate Blosveren, Associate Executive Director, NASDCTEc

Upcoming Webinar: The Common Career Technical Core, Programs of Study & Industry-Based Standards

July 8th, 2014

In 2012, NASDCTEc released the Common Career Technical Core, a set of standards developed by states, that lay out what a student should know and be able to do upon completion of a program of study. Since the Common Career Technical Core (CCTC) were released, a common question asked is how do the CCTC relate to industry-based standards?

Join NASDCTEc on a webinar on July 29, 2014 at 3:00 pm ET to discuss our new report, The Common Career Technical Core, Programs of Study & Industry-Based Standards, which analyzed a range of industry-based standards to help clarify how they might fit into a program of study undergirded by the CCTC, the methodology used, and its implications for the field.

Register here!

Kate Blosveren, Associate Executive Director

College Board & PDK Publication Examines Benefits of CTE

October 31st, 2013

Last month the College Board, in conjunction with Phi Delta Kappan (PDK), released an article extolling the virtues of Career Technical Education (CTE) and how best to ensure quality and access to it across the nation. Written by Jean-Claude Brizard, former CEO of Chicago Public Schools and Senior Advisor at the College Board, the article titled Toward a Common Model of Career-Technical Education, highlights the positive impact CTE programs had on three students who each took different pathways to academic and professional success. It later expands on their individual experiences and argues that these success stories are increasingly becoming the norm for students who choose to enroll in CTE programs— an encouraging trend considering  94% of all high school students in the U.S. take at least one CTE course. Brizard identified three core components for what he termed “great CTE” programs:

  •  Relevant and rigorous curriculum that leads to an independently recognized and validated credential
  •  High quality teachers who have the content knowledge & technical expertise within the area they are teaching
  •  Ample opportunities for work-based learning and experiences

The author asserts that CTE offers, “the greatest opportunity for multiple entry and exit points,” and notes  that, “Students may exit the educational experience with an industry credential, go to work, and then re-enter at a later time to stack a credential on ones previously earned.” This is an important feature of many CTE programs and one that is not lost on students who must compete in a rapidly evolving global economy. More than ever before, new technologies are changing the nature of the workplace and CTE is one of the best ways to equip students with the skills necessary to stay competitive and relevant.

However, Brizard does contend that CTE suffers from a slight perception problem with some students and parents. Despite studies indicating that two-thirds of new jobs in the United States will require at least some form of postsecondary education—half of which are expected to go to candidates with an associate’s degree or occupational certificate— some families still view CTE from the vantage point of, “a 1950s economic model in which a large percentage of occupations required unskilled labor.” Brizard dispels this notion without qualification and argues that CTE prepares students both for college and careers, invoking the experiences of many of his CTE students who went on to college and even advanced degrees.  He also pointed out that 27 percent of workers with postsecondary licenses or certificates earn more than the average B.A. recipient– a fact which runs counter to the notion that a college degree is the only pathway into a high-wage career.

Brizard also identifies the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) as a primary component to ensuring quality and rigor in education. He goes on to argue that similar standards should be applied to CTE and he was supportive of the National Association of State Directors of Career Technical Education Consortium’s (NASDCTEc) recent efforts to develop the Common Career Technical Core (CCTC), a set of state-developed, common, program-level standards for CTE programs. These standards are critical to ensuring quality and access to CTE programs throughout the United States. According to Brizard the CCTC represents, “the highest academic and industry standards” which, “successfully serves both education and industry sectors.”

The full publication can be found here and a recent NASDCTEc webinar in which the College Board participated can be found here.

Steve Voytek, Government Relations Associate 

Career Clusters® Institute Series: Sessions on the Common Career Technical Core and on Implementing the Common Core State Standards in the Context of CTE

June 4th, 2013

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 Fort Worth, TX in June. Today’s guest blogger is Kate Blosveren, Associate Executive Director, National Association of State Directors of Career Technical Education Consortium (NASDCTEc), Silver Spring, MD.

With the Common Core State Standards being implemented by nearly every state in the nation and the (common) Next Generation Science Standards recently released, there is increasingly broad understanding of the value in having consistent standards used across states to allow for the sharing of materials, best practices and even economies of scale. The Career Technical Education (CTE) community has long valued cross-state models of CTE expectations, largely driven by the National Career Clusters® Framework and national industry-developed standards and assessments.

Looking ahead, CTE is poised to enter its next stage of consistent expectations with the introduction of the Common Career Technical Core (CCTC). The CCTC are a set of end-of-program of study standards, developed for states by states, to anchor CTE teaching and learning across the country at both the secondary and postsecondary level.Print

The 2013 Career Clusters® Institute will offer a number of opportunities for participants to learn more about the development of the CCTC, their design, and what comes next, including state adoption and local implementation.

CTE & the Common Core State Standards

The Career Clusters® Institute will also feature a wide array of sessions on how Career Technical Education and the Common Core State Standards intersect, with sessions on instructional tools, professional development strategies, and statewide initiatives. (This session is Monday, June 10 from 2:30 p.m.-3:30 p.m.)

I’m excited to lead two sessions on CTE and CCSS, the first of which exploring how many of the skills we often consider to be “career skills” or “employability skills” are carefully embedded in the CCSS and the implications of that blend. The other session will focus on a project done in partnership between the National Association of State Directors of Career Technical Education Consortium and Achieve to develop a protocol and set of tools to help mathematics and CTE educators come together to develop and modify instructional tasks. During this session, participants will learn about the process and model the process themselves. (Kate is referring to the session Common Core & CTE: Aligned Instructional Tasks, Wednesday, June 12 from 10 a.m.-11 a.m.)

I’m looking forward to seeing you all in Texas next week!

Kate’s session, Introduction to the Common Career Technical Core is Tuesday, June 11 from 11:15 a.m.-12:15 p.m. and repeated 1:30 p.m.-2:30 p.m.; she also has a session called “Office Hours” meant to answer your questions about the Common Career Technical Core-a follow up to the earlier two sessions.

Ramona Schescke, Member Services Manager

NASDCTEc Launches Common Career Technical Core Alignment Study Across States

January 24th, 2013

This week, the National Association of State Directors of Career Technical Education Consortium (NASDCTEc) launched an alignment study to compare the Common Career Technical Core (CCTC) against state Career Technical Education (CTE) standards. The goal of the study is to assist states and territories in their effort to improve the quality of CTE programs. NASDCTEc is partnering with Global Skills Exchange (GSX) and The Center on Education and Training for Employment (CETE) at The Ohio State University (OSU) to conduct the alignment study.

The CCTC is a state-led initiative to establish a set of rigorous, high-quality standards for CTE that states can adopt voluntarily. The CCTC, released in June 2012, was informed by state and industry standards and developed by a diverse group of teachers, business and industry experts, administrators and researchers.

The CCTC includes a set of standards for each of the 16 Career Clusters™ and supporting career pathways that encompass a comprehensive collection of industry-validated expectations of what students should know and be able to do after completing instruction in a program of study. The CCTC also includes an overarching set of Career Ready Practices that apply to all 16 Career Clusters™. The Career Ready Practices include 12 statements that address the knowledge, skills and dispositions that are important to becoming career ready.

NASDCTEc plans to publicly release the results of the alignment study in October 2013 during the fall membership meeting.

About NASDCTEc’s Partners

GSX was founded in 2003 to create a link between the world of work and the world of learning. Within education, GSX provides comprehensive solutions for educational institutions that strengthen the preparation of all students to meet the skills demand in the market economy. In collaboration with partners from industry and government, GSX develops solutions to drive the achievement of various student performance goals including college entry and completion, industry-based certification, gainful employment and career advancement. Using the context of regional labor market projections, GSX creates programmatic relevance for local K-16 education systems that prepares students to master skills in real time and for future demand. To learn more about GSX, visit <http://www.gskillsxchange.com>.

OSU CETE is one of the United States’ leading institutions for workforce and career technical education and training. Established in 1965, CETE is a full-service organization whose mission is to facilitate workforce improvement by providing leadership, curriculum, information, professional development, program evaluation, and learner assessment products and services for public and private clients throughout the world. To learn more about OSU CETE, visit <http://www.cete.org>.

 Erin Uy, Communications & Marketing Manager

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Register Now for NASDCTEc Webinar – Common Career Technical Core (CCTC) Progress Update

December 21st, 2012

This webinar is designed to share an update on the progress toward implementation and use of the Common Career Technical Core (CCTC) through the planning and engagement phase. Updated information about the gap analysis / alignment study process that will provide a state level policy scan, a pilot alignment study and a complete state-by-state gap analysis of CTE standards will be provided as well. Hear from the collaborative partner about the timing and efforts to support information and implementation of the CCTC in the states as well as the proposed timeline of the study. Opportunity for question and answers associated with the implementation process of the CCTC will also be provided.

Dean Folkers, Deputy Executive Director of NASDCTEc, will lead the discussion.

When: January 31, 2013 at 3 p.m. Eastern

Register NOW

Ramona Schescke, Member Services Manager

NASDCTEc releases Request for Proposal

October 26th, 2012

The National Association of State Directors of Career Technical Education Consortium (NASDCTEc) is issuing a Request for Proposals (RFP) to identify a contractor to conduct an alignment study to compare the Common Career Technical Core (CCTC) against state Career Technical Education (CTE) standards.

The CCTC, released in June 2012, includes a set of standards for each of the 16 Career ClustersTM and supporting career pathways, a comprehensive collection of industry-validated expectations of what students should know and be able to do after completing instruction in a program of study. The CCTC also includes an overarching set of Career Ready Practices that apply to all 16 Career Clusters™. The Career Ready Practices include 12 statements that address the knowledge, skills and dispositions that are important to becoming career ready.

To help states facilitate the adoption and implementation of the CCTC, the NASDCTEc Board of Directors has called for a comparable, uniform evaluation of current state and territory standards against the CCTC. The purpose of the alignment study is two-fold. First, to provide feedback to individual states and territories about alignment to inform the development of an adoption plan and an implementation plan. Second, to provide a broad understanding of the needs of states and territories in adopting and implementing the CCTC so that NASDCTEc can develop targeted technical assistance and resources. NASDCTEc also anticipates that the results of this study could contribute to the development of assessments in the future.

NASDCTEc plans to publicly release the results of the full gap analysis in October 2013 during the fall membership meeting. NASDCTEc plans to share each individual state or territory report with the respective CTE State Director by August 31, 2013, prior to the public release.

The RFP and Budget Template can be found online at: http://www.careertech.org/career-technical-education/cctc/cctcrfp.html.

 

Dean Folkers, Deputy Executive Director

NASDCTEc Unveils Common Standards for Career Technical Education

June 19th, 2012

Career Technical Education (CTE) State Directors unveiled the Common Career Technical Core (CCTC), a shared set of high-quality CTE standards. The CCTC is a state-led initiative to ensure that CTE programs are consistent and high-quality across our nation.

“Career Technical Education State Directors have put to action their vision for all CTE programs to meet consistent and rigorous standards by coordinating the development of the Common Career Technical Core,” said Dr. Patrick Ainsworth, President of the National Association of State Directors of Career Technical Education Consortium and CTE State Director.

“The CCTC, which was developed with input from education and industry experts, will help to ensure that our nation’s students are poised to meet the education and workforce demands of the global economy.”

States may voluntarily adopt the CCTC, which will complement and support other comprehensive college and career ready standards, such as the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) in English Language Arts and mathematics.

Over the course of the next year, NASDCTEc will launch an initiative to coordinate a comprehensive gap analysis to compare each state’s current course-level standards against the CCTC program-level standards to determine alignment. The gap analysis will be conducted by a team of third-party experts to ensure quality and consistency across the states.

DOWNLOAD the CCTC Standards here. 

Erin Uy, Communications & Marketing Manager

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

NASDCTEc Will Unveil the Common Standards for CTE at National Career Clusters™ Institute on June 19

June 14th, 2012

The National Association of State Directors of Career Technical Education Consortium (NASDCTEc) will release the Common Career Technical Core (CCTC) — a set of rigorous, high-quality CTE standards to be shared by states– at the National Career Clusters ™ Institute  on June 19, 2012.

Forty-two states, Washington, DC and Palau participated in the development of the CCTC. The development of the CCTC was a multi-step process that incorporated input at various stages from approximately 3,500 individuals representing K-12 education, business and industry and higher education from across the nation.

Who:  National Association of State Directors of Career Technical Education Consortium

What: Common Career Technical Core Unveiling

Where:   National Career Clusters ™ Institute at the Omni Shore, located at 2500 Calvert Street NW,  Washington, DC 20008

When:  Tuesday, June 19, 8 a.m. – 9 a.m.

The 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™.  More than 800 secondary and postsecondary educators and administrators, workforce development and industry partners, and counselors will attend. The NASDCTEc Spring Meeting, an event in which CTE State Directors from across the nation convene to discuss public policy issues, will run concurrently with the Institute.

Media interested in attending the Institute or scheduling an interview should contact Erin Uy at [email protected] or 301-641-9358.

 

Erin Uy, Communications & Marketing Manager

CTE in the News: Standards Exist for Career and Technical Education

June 13th, 2012

Students deserve access to CTE programs that educate and train to high standards and industry demands, and now is the time to support the adoption of a next set of CTE standards that will allow for more opportunities for students and our nation, said Dean Folkers NASDCTEc/NCTEF Deputy Executive Director in a recent editorial featured in Education Week (available only to Education Week subscribers). The editorial is featured in Education Week’s June 13, 2012 print edition.

“I agree with U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, who said that the largest federal career and technical education, or CTE, program “must be transformed if it is to live up to its potential,” he said.

“State CTE directors across the nation are taking action. We have united around a vision and developed the Common Career Technical Core, a shared set of standards that meet a quality benchmark for CTE programs, which will be released June 19.”

Forty-two states, the District of Columbia, and Palau supported the development of the CCTC, which will help to answer our need for consistent, rigorous standards that are essential to preparing students for college and careers, he noted.

Learn more about the CCTC, which will be unveiled at the National Career Clusters ™ Institute June 19:

Erin Uy, Communications & Marketing Manager

 

 

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