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

Why Is Workplace Safety Training Important?

September 19th, 2014

According to the CDC, there were approximately 18.1 million young people entering the workforce under the age of 24 in 2013—but this does not mean that these young workers are necessarily prepared and able to handle risks and hazards that can occur in a work environment.[i] Not being knowledgeable of hazards related to a specific job or knowing how to assess and correct a problem can lead to devastating injuries or even death for a worker.

Safety training can make workers more conscious of hazards and risks such as falls, vehicle accidents, overexertion injuries, and workplace violence. Unfortunately, workplace safety has the potential to be unintentionally overlooked which can leave workers and others on the job site unprotected. Every nine minutes, a U.S. teen is injured on the job.[ii] By preparing students for their first entry-level jobs and future career opportunities with safety and health training, young workers will be more capable protecting themselves and others.

The Department of LabCareerSafe Logo Orange Blueor reports that nearly 600,000 workers miss work each year because of muscoskeletal disorders related to work injuries alone; the collective cost to employers, insurance companies, and the government is estimated at $50 billion each year.[iii]

Workplace injuries not only affect the company, but can also lead to devastating consequences for a worker. Being injured while at work can lead to lost wages, large medical bills that may not be completely covered by workers’ compensation, and even disabilities that result in long-term unemployment. In addition to learning how to identify safety and health hazards, workplace safety training, especially OSHA training, provides workers with information regarding their rights in the workplace. First and foremost, workers are entitled to working conditions that are safe and do not pose a risk of serious harm or injury.

Successful occupational health and safety programs require the collaborating efforts and participation of employers and employees. Understanding and implementing safety and health standards related to the work environment is not only the responsibility of an employer but also an employee’s. Promoting health and safety as well as implementing training in the classroom can lead to young workers actively identifying, accessing, and correcting hazards in the classroom and at work. Incorporating a health and safety training program or OSHA safety training in the classroom is a way to lower risks to young workers and begin to prepare future business leaders and workers on practicing safe methods in the workplace. Online OSHA training, like the courses offered by CareerSafe Online, is an easy and affordable way to implement workplace safety training in any career and technical education (CTE) classroom. Because 80% or more of young workers are still in high school when they begin their first job, it gives educators an opportunity to prepare their students for employment as well as apprenticeships and internships related to their studies.[iv]

The more education and training workers receive, the more likely it is that there will be a reduction in injuries and the repercussions of those injuries. Young workers who have received OSHA safety training and possess an industry recognized credential are enhancing their resumes, becoming more employable, and may receive pay increase from employers. Employers want to hire individuals who not only understand the work involved in a position, but are also aware of the risks associated with daily tasks.

Students are our future. Let’s make safety a priority and enroll them in safety training today.

[i] Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2014) Young Worker Safety and Health.

[ii] Department of Labor, YouthRules. (2012) Are You a Teen Worker?

[iii] Jeffress, Charles N. (2000) BEACON Biodynamics and Ergonomics Symposium. Occupational Safety and Health Administration, United States Department of Labor.

[iv] Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2013) Health and Safety of Young Workers.


This blog post was written by CareerSafe Online, a participant and gold level sponsor at the 2014 NASDCTEc Fall Meeting

Today’s Class: Partners for CTE Success

September 16th, 2014

Todays Class Logo- Registred Trademark-1-7-14(1)Today’s Class is a web-based educational program delivering interactive coursework to school systems and technical institutions. Today’s Class programs are designed to enhance an instructor’s curriculum with content, vivid animation, and interactive exercises. Supplying concepts and theory allows for up to 25% reduction in lecture time, which in turn allows instructors more time for hands-on lab work and in-class demonstrations.

Currently, Today’s Class offers automotive, cosmetology, health science, and agriscience programs.  Assessments are included for automotive, cosmetology, and health science programs.

The cosmetology program aligns with NIC standards that most states base their curriculum from, providing comprehensive theory and step-by-step methodology.

The health science program explores body systems, the protocol for vital sign measurement, emergency response, ethical & legal responsibilities, and other necessary health science courses.

The automotive program covers the eight core NATEF areas and the new MLR series.  Job sheets, crosswalks, and blueprints are included in the automotive modules.

The newest program by Today’s Class is agriculture-based and contains: Concepts of Agriscience, Science of Agricultural Animals, Science of Agricultural Plants, Science of Agricultural Environment and Science of Agricultural Mechanization.

Many attendees know Dr. Rod Boyes, a long-time NASDCTEc supporter and President of the organization. Also representing Today’s Class at the meeting will be Peggy Albano – please say hello to her and learn more about Today’s Class programs and initiatives. Today’s Class is a Gold Level Sponsor at the NASDCTEc 2014 Fall Meeting.

NOCTI: Responding to the CTE Community

September 15th, 2014

NOCTI--Navy-11-2009NOCTI is proud to be an important member of the Career Technical Education (CTE) community. We have a long-standing history and commitment to providing the services that CTE needs. Data that accurately and objectively validates the competency of the nation’s technical training programs and the technically skilled individuals coming from these programs is critical for many reasons. Though we won’t discuss the specifics of those needs in this blog, we will mention how NOCTI is working to provide forward-thinking solutions for the CTE community.

Last spring our blog entry focused on a data-driven improvement book entitled “Putting Your Data to Work: Improving Instruction in CTE”, co-published with ACTE. In this entry we are excited to highlight our second book. This publication focuses on surviving and thriving in a CTE classroom during the first few months. It is written by four seasoned CTE practitioners with combined experiences totaling well over 150 years. In addition, this book contains the experiences of many others in the CTE community and provides examples of how they succeeded in their early years. Here are a few other resources worth mentioning.

Teacher Tests: We have made a commitment to expand our current teacher testing battery. This is in response to a number of states who requested the ability to use our test to assure that incoming instructors have experiences in all aspects of their particular industry. We have increased our teacher test offerings to include over 35 assessments, and more are on the way.

Prior Learning Assessment (PLA): By leveraging our association with the National College Credit Recommendation Service (NCCRS) we are able to assess experiences that have occurred outside the classroom. This service has been particularly successful with our community college partners.

Open Badges:The beta test conducted in five states and discussed in last Spring’s blog was successfully completed. Any student taking any NOCTI assessment this fall who meets the established benchmark will be eligible for a college credit recommendation digital badge at no additional cost.

Curriculum Partners: Though NOCTI is a not-for-profit company, working in the field of industry credentialing we are often asked for curriculum resources for CTE programs of study. We have begun exploring potential collaborations with several companies who are able to tie their curriculum to our industry standards. Watch our web page and social media pages for further developments.

Industry Credentials: All NOCTI assessments are industry credentials. When utilized properly, NOCTI assessments compare student competence against current industry standards in over 100 unique programs of study and use local industry practioners to make that comparison. In addition, passing scores are determined by national industry experts. We collaborate with numerous Industry association groups to deliver their credentials as well.

Contact us at [email protected] to see how we can help you. NOCTI is also a Gold sponsor of the NASDCTEc fall meeting; be sure to seek us out and say hello!

Fall Meeting: You Asked, We Listened

September 10th, 2014

Each of NASDCTEc’s annual meetings affords us an opportunity to improve as a result of feedback from session leaders and attendees. We structured the 2014 Fall Meeting with your comments, reflections and suggestions in mind to offer you the best professional development and networking opportunities we can provide.

Below are just a few illustrative comments we’ve received over the last year – and how our upcoming meeting has been designed in response to them.

From Fall Meeting 2013:  “I would have liked to see a few sessions that were more interactive and engaging…It would be beneficial for more hands-on sessions where there is group work or small group discussion.”

We heard you! This year’s meeting has adopted a new framework, including new Collaboration Roundtables on a wide range of State CTE Director-selected topics, to maximize engagement between attendees so that a variety of perspectives can contribute under the moderation of our expert session facilitators. These sessions are designed to be rich, interactive and inclusive.

From Spring Meeting 2014: “Panel sessions could have provided more Q&A from audience for increased engagement.”

Balancing time for presentations, networking, and feedback is of paramount importance. In years past we have attempted to open the floor earlier and limit panel discussion so that the crowd could participate. This year we’ve made sure there is ample time for each session and made sure no session has too many speakers (or PPTs).

From Spring Meeting 2014: “Would like to see more discussion around building industry partnerships.”

Collaboration is at the core of this meeting. Business and industry partnerships are a crucial element of the future of CTE and our agenda reflects that, with the release of new cross-state data, a collaboration roundtable and morning panel all focused on employer engagement.

From Fall Meeting 2013: “It would be nice to have more restaurant options” and “It would be great to be closer to the Inner Harbor”

We agree! We’re excited to offer buses to and from Baltimore’s Inner Harbor for dinner on Tuesday night. (All other meals are provided in the meeting itself).  Get ready for some crab cakes!

Learn more about the amazing array of speakers and resource experts participating at our Fall meeting here and register today!

Kate Blosveren, Associate Executive Director

Secure Your Early Bird Registration!

August 28th, 2014

Early bird pricing for the 2014 Fall Meeting: Preparing for the Future ends Friday

Summer is drawing to a close, and many of us are looking forward to one last weekend in the sun before autumn hits. But before your last venture to the pool, be sure to take a moment to register for NASDCTEc’s Fall Meeting. Our early bird special pricing – $100 off 2014 Fall Meeting registrations – ends TOMORROW, August 29, 2014.


Fall mtg table

General registration will remain open until October 8, 2014, but waiting will cost you!NASDCTEc’s 2014 Fall Meeting: Preparing for the Future is a professional learning event geared toward Career Technical Education (CTE) leaders, including State CTE Directors, state and district administrators, resource experts and national partners. Built around a series of collaborative group discussions, this meeting will tap all the talent in the room with expert facilitators leading focused discussions among attendees. Through this framework, participants will confront and collaboratively build solutions to an array of issues facing the enterprise today, as well as learn about major national initiatives to advance CTE.

Register now to get $100 off general registration

Help chart the future of CTE with the best and brightest in field this October. Click here for facilitator information and meeting agenda.

Evan Williamson, Communications Associate

Five Reasons to Attend NASDCTEC’s 2014 Fall Meeting

August 21st, 2014

For 94 years, the National Association of State Directors of Career Technical Education Consortium (NASDCTEc) has represented chief Career Technical Education (CTE) administrators from across the country. Through leadership, advocacy and partnerships, NASDCTEc supports innovative CTE that prepares individuals to succeed in education and their careers, and poises the United States to flourish in a dynamic global economy.


Bringing together creativity and expertise, NASDCTEc’s 2014 Fall Meeting is a cooperative professional development event where CTE leaders can confront challenges to the enterprise in collaboration with colleagues from across the country.

So, why join should you join us at the NASDCTEc Fall Meeting: Preparing for the Future, October 20 – 22, 2014, in Baltimore? Here are five reasons:

  1. Learn what works: Sessions at NASDCTEc’s Fall Meeting are collaborative, led by expert moderators and presenters with vast institutional knowledge on major initiatives and emerging practices. From State Directors to national researchers to federal administrators, diverse and well-informed perspectives will guide constructive sessions to the cutting edge of the current practice and implementation and break new ground on the future of CTE.
  2. Share your ideas…: In discussion with your colleagues, you’ll have unparalleled opportunities to share your latest innovations and build solutions to the stickiest problems you face.
  3. …And develop new ones: Inspiration strikes when innovation meets experience, as it will at NASDCTEc’s Fall Meeting. You’ll be able to apply new ideas and strategies learned to your own work when you get back home.
  4. Build your network: NASDCTEc’s Fall Meeting will be populated with a diverse crowd — not only our State Directors and Associate Members, but also national associations, researchers and top-class sponsors with deep commitment to the CTE. Over three days, you’ll be afforded opportunities to add to your professional network and start conversations that will carry on well after the meeting adjourns.
  5. Gain national exposure: Looking to expand your brand? Want to contribute to the national conversation on CTE? At the Fall Meeting, you’ll get the chance to join CTE leaders from across the country to contribute your own unique perspective to the national conversation.

Don’t wait, register now!

Evan Williamson, Communications Associate

Announcing NASDCTEc Fall Meeting Registration

July 31st, 2014

As teachers and administrators gear up for the school year, we’re gearing up for our Fall Meeting! This year’s program will stimulate discussion between State Directors, Associate Members and a number of outside experts as we touch on exciting developments surrounding CTE today and how we can help CTE realize its full potential as learning that works for America. 

Join us in Baltimore from October 20 – 22, 2014 to expand your professional network and to gather examples of high-quality CTE programs nationwide to apply in your state or community.

More information on the Fall Meeting is available on the event homepage, including the agenda and logistical information. Keep your eyes open — our blog and homepage will be updated repeatedly with more details as we approach the Fall Meeting kickoff!

NASDCTEc Member and non-member registration portals opened July 30, 2014 and are currently featuring a $100 early bird discount (expires August 29, 2014). Don’t delay, sign up to contribute your perspective today!

Evan Williamson, Communications Associate

Fall Meeting Recap: Top Tweets

November 1st, 2013

Last week, NASDCTEc held its annual Fall Meeting, its first ever since joining Twitter. Below are some of the top tweets from the meeting, where participants joined the conversation using #CTEFallMtg

NASDCTEc @CTEWorks: 1st full day of #ctefallmtg with sessions on #eddata, #ccss, comp-based ed, @PARCCPlace@SmarterBalanced, #PerkinsCTE#careerteched & more!

NOCTI @NOCTI1: OECD report shows US post-sec system is diverse, flexible & responsive. Need more balance of quality, coherence & transparency. #CTEFallMtg

Academic Benchmarks @AcadBenchmarks: #ctefallmtg Excellent discussion of the realities of assessing career and college readiness. Next up: competency-based education.

NASDCTEc @CTEWorks:  Checkout from @DECAInc @SkillsUSA @NationalTSA
@nationalffa FBLA_National @NationalHOSA @National_BPA @NationalFCCLA @young_educators

NOCTI @NOCTI1: NOCTI is a NASDCTEc All Star Sponsor! We are big fans of CTE, recognizing its importance to our economy! #CTEFallMtg

Academic Benchmarks @AcadBenchmarks: #ctefallmtg Great presentation by Russ Weikle from CA DOE on integrating CTE standards into #CommonCore-arts,media,entertainment,and trades!

NASDCTEc @CTEWorks: Great resources from @WisconsinDPI on disc literacy and the #ccss… #ctefallmtg

Dan Brown @DanBrownTeacher: Career and technical education today is not your father’s vo-tech. Relevant, engaging, real-world learning. Readiness for life. #CTEFallMtg

NASDCTEc @CTEWorks: See the smallest pie of the funding pie? That’s all of our federal funding for education#ctefallmtg

NASDCTEc @CTEWorks: Thank you @Certiport for your Diamond Level sponsorship! #ctefallmtg

Certiport @Certiport: @CTEWorks Thanks for allowing us to participate! We too believe in the value of #careerteched in helping students to succeed! #ctefallmtg

NASDCTEc @CTEWorks: Thanks to @Gradcast a diamond level sponsor of #ctefallmtg

NASDCTEc @CTEWorks: We’re very proud to announce the release of “State of #careerteched: An Analysis of State CTE Standards” #ctefallmtg

Academic Benchmarks @AcadBenchmarks: #ctefallmtg @CTEWorks 1st ever analysis of state approves standards for secondary and postsecondary CTE!

John Fischer @fischer_vt: #ctefallmtg NASDCTE Executive Director Kim Green introduces Common Career Tech Core

NASDCTEc @CTEWorks: #careerteched needs to be for all students.” @IBM‘s Maura Banta. Amen! #ctefallmtg

Academic Benchmarks @AcadBenchmarks: #ctefallmtg @CTEWorks @SkillsUSA @IBM @actecareertech @MeridianTech One of the best panels of the conference!

Tim Hodges @TimHodges402: @fischer_vt with brilliant #ctefallmtg closing statement that should be obvious:  “postsecondary” doesn’t always mean traditional higher ed. #readybyexit #multiplepathways

NASDCTEc @CTEWorks: Big day for @CTEWorks! Released report on state CTE standards, closed our #ctefallmtg &hit 200 followers on Twitter!

PARCC Place @PARCCPlace: Thanks for having us & @SmarterBalanced yesterday @CTEWorks! Great questions from your state leaders. #askPARCC

Fall Meeting Recap: Common Core State Standards & Career Technical Education

October 29th, 2013

CCSS LogoLast week, the National Association of State Directors of Career Technical Education Consortium (NASDCTEc) held its annual Fall Meeting,  which featured a panel of state CTE leaders sharing their strategies for implementation the Common Core State Standards (CCSS).

Kicking off the panel was Meredith Liben, Director of Literacy at Student Achievement Partners (SAP), who described the three major instructional shifts within the CCSS in English Language Arts/Literacy, which in essence boil down to “texts worth reading, questions worth answered and work worth doing.” Liben highlighted the challenge among CTE teachers who often don’t have a literacy background in internalizing such shifts within their classrooms, and gave a sneak peek into the work SAP plans to take on in this space moving forward.

Next up was Katharine Oliver, Assistant State Superintendent of Career and College Readiness at the Maryland State Department of Education who described the state’s efforts to identify ways to measure student growth in CTE through the development of student learning objectives (SLOs), as well as the professional development that brings interdisciplinary teams of teachers together to collaborate to understand and identify complex texts. An early lesson learned is the importance of keeping teachers in “like groups,” as CTE teachers want to be able to see literacy through the lens of their own content areas rather than for all CTE subjects. Oliver also mentioned a new Blackboard site where the state will be posting lessons in “those difficult to teach areas” including CTE.

Russ Weikle, Director of Career and College Transition Division at the California Department of Education framed much of the work in his state as “deliberate” alignments to the CCSS. The approach California took when modifying their CTE standards framework was to create anchor standards (a term borrowed from the CCSS’s ELA/Literacy standards) that are consistent across all Career Clusters, making them “CTE standards that CTE teachers can own, while still teaching CCSS.” Under the anchor standards are performance indicators that are specific to the state’s Career Pathways. Next, the state convened educators to review the Career Pathway-level standards and look for “substantial and natural alignment” between them and the CCSS. The task put before them was to determine if a pathway standard would enhance, reinforce or apply a specific core subject standard.” The result of this effort are Academic Alignment Matrices for each of the state’s 15 Career Clusters.

In addition, 500 educators in California have gone through a train the trainer module around disciplinary literacy and are not replicating the training in their schools and districts. The module can be found here.

Sharing Wisconsin’s efforts to date, Sharon Wendt, Director of Career and Technical Education at the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction discussed the state’s efforts around literacy, jumpstarted by the adoption of the CCSS and the launch of a Governor’s Task Force on literacy in 2010. With CTE engaged in the task force from the get-go, it has allowed for that work to inform the revision of the state’s CTE standards and for CTE to inform the broader statewide discussion of college and career readiness.   One major takeaway Wendt shared is how the CCSS are helping core academic teachers better understand what happens within CTE classrooms through such inter-disciplinary professional development and resources being developed. Wisconsin has some terrific materials for disciplinary literacy, which can be found here.

Most of the conversation was focused around the ELA/Literacy standards and the panelists did admit much less work had been done in mathematics to date in part because they are not technically required for CTE educators and because there is more resistance from the mathematics community to integrate. Maryland is working to develop senior year transition courses in mathematics, particularly for students who do not meet the college- and career-ready determination on the state test, with a heavy emphasis on mathematics applications. Another idea on the table in Maryland is to identify where a CTE course or sequence of courses with enough math may count as a fourth-year math requirement.

While it is too early to measure results with implementation still underway, all of the panelists noted “appreciative teacher”s and “positive feedback” from core academic educators as early signs of success.

Kate Blosveren, Associate Executive Director

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