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

NASDCTEc Spring Meeting Blog Series – Today’s Class: Engaging, Empowering, ELearning

March 26th, 2014

This blog series provides readers with insight on the valuable content that is being shared at the NASDCTEc Spring Meeting. Guest bloggers are partner organizations, supporters and other experts that will be present at the national gathering in Washington, DC in April.

TodaysClassLogo295Today’s Class is a web-based educational program delivering interactive coursework to school systems and technical institutions. Today’s Class programs, supplemental resources, are designed to enhance an instructor’s existing curriculum with self-paces textual content, vivid animation, and interactive exercises. Supplying concepts and theory allows for up to 50% 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 cosmetology, health science, and automotive programs. The cosmetology program aligns with most states’ standard cosmetology curricula, providing comprehensive theory and step-by-step methodology. The health science program explores each system of the body and the protocol for vital sign measurement and emergency response. The automotive program touches on seven of the eight core NATEF areas and related technician services.

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.

Over 5,600 instructors currently manage their classes and students using the Today’s Class Learning Management System.

Today’s Class offers more than 55 uniquely interactive courses designed to enhance student learning.

Many attendees know Dr. Rod Boyes, a long-time NASDCTEc supporter and President of the organization. Representing Today’s Class at the Spring 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 Spring Meeting. Today’s Class is also on Twitter!

The NASDCTEc Spring Meeting will be held in Washington, DC April 1-3 at the Omni Shoreham Hotel.

Ramona Schescke, Member Services Manager

NASDCTEc Spring Meeting Blog Series: Certiport Partners with CTE Programs to Bridge Technology Skills Gap with Certification

March 25th, 2014

Certiport-Pearson-Logo-Final (214x51)This blog series provides readers with insight on the valuable content that is being shared at the NASDCTEc Spring Meeting. Guest bloggers are partner organizations, supporters and other experts that will be present at the national gathering in the Washington, DC area.

Certiport, a Pearson VUE business, is the world leader in performance-based certification exams and practice test solutions for academic institutions, currently delivering nearly 2 million certification exams each year around the world.

There has never been a more important time for Career Technical Education programs to implement certification. There is a global technology skills gap, with more open positions in technology than there are qualified individuals to fill them. Helping students earn relevant certification builds their resumes and prepares them to win jobs and internships.

Many CTE programs are already arming students with industry-recognized certification to boost student resumes while satisfying state assessment requirements. In Alabama, for instance, the Department of Education started a statewide technology program just one year ago that has already reaped amazing results. Alabama’s Microsoft IT Academy provides opportunities for students to earn Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS) certification in areas such as Microsoft Excel, Microsoft Word and Microsoft PowerPoint.

“Through this program, we can assure business and industry of a skill set in the area of technology and ensure students entering college are equipped with the technical skills to succeed academically,” Alabama State Superintendent of Education Tommy Bice said.

During the 2012-2013 school year 96 Alabama schools offered MOS certification and students earned over 1900 certifications.  An additional 51 schools have joined the program during the 2013-2014 school year and the number of certified students is expected to double.

Greene County High School’s Career Center Certification Wall

Greene County High School’s Career Center Certification Wall

In addition to MOS, Certiport manages a sophisticated portfolio of leading certification programs including: the Microsoft Technology Associate certification program, the Adobe® Certified Associate certification program, the Adobe Certified Expert certification program, the HP Accredited Technical Associate, the CompTIA Strata™ IT Fundamentals, the Autodesk Certified User certification program, the Intuit QuickBooks Certified User certification program and the Internet and Computing Core Certification (IC³®).

To learn more about how Certiport can help your CTE program teach and validate in-demand workforce skills with industry-recognized certification, visit Certiport’s sponsor table or visit www.certiport.com.

Ramona Schescke, Member Services Manager

NASDCTEc Spring Meeting Blog Series: CompTIA – Supporting Efforts in Helping Students Succeed

March 24th, 2014

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This blog series provides readers with insight on the valuable content that is being shared at the NASDCTEc Spring Meeting. Guest bloggers are partner organizations, supporters and other experts that will be present at the national gathering in the Washington, DC area.

Greetings to all conference attendees and organizers!

We look forward to seeing you at the NASDCTE Spring event in Washington!

The students in your states are in the process of becoming the workforce of tomorrow and they need to be as prepared as possible to meet the challenges of the workplace. The rapid pace of change in computer technology has created a constantly growing skills gap. Businesses are struggling to find qualified job candidates that have the documented skills they need to implement critical innovation or to simply keep them current on existing technologies.

Like you, our main interest is student success.  We’re participating in this conference to meet with educational leaders, listen to your ideas and concerns and discuss ways that we can assist you in helping prepare students for their careers. We believe that working together with you, we can begin to close that skills gap.

Schools and dedicated teachers are on the front line – doing their best to lead their students to high achievement and prepare them for the challenges of college and careers.

We can help your teachers keep their skills current and provide industry recognized documentation of skills that provide your students with a valuable credential to accompany their diplomas or degrees.

CompTIA has been facilitating the development of high stakes certification exams with subject matter experts from the IT industry for over 20 years. As the technology industry has expanded into more specialized areas, CompTIA has been a leader in developing standards that detail the knowledge and skills needed by the workforce.  Since the release of our first A+ exam in 1993, we now have 18 vendor neutral certifications that are consistently listed as some of the most valuable credentials for job seekers.

The CompTIA Academy program is our Association’s academic outreach program that was designed to help schools implement effective technology program and help students gain experience and industry credibility as they transition from education to the workforce.

We would like to meet with you and share information about our programs, our professional development conference and the other services that we provide to support your efforts in helping your students succeed.

Visit us in our Studio in the Calvert Room April 1-2, 2014.

Ramona Schescke, Member Services Manager

Early Bird Registration Rate Ends Soon for NASDCTEc Spring Meeting – Register NOW

January 28th, 2014

DoubleLogoEARLY BIRD REGISTRATION REMINDER for the 2014 NASDCTEc Spring Meeting

To get the Early Bird registration rate, register now! Early Bird registration runs through February 3, 2014. Registration continues after that date, but at the main registration rate. Our annual Spring Meeting is a must-attend professional development experience in the nation’s Capital! Get ready for exciting sessions for State Career Technical Education (CTE) Directors, CTE leaders, and individuals who contribute to the CTE community at the national, state, and local levels. These sessions will equip you with the information and tools you need to be an effective leader in an ever-changing environment. We have invited speakers to address the following topics. As speakers are confirmed, we’ll be regularly updating the agenda online and adding more detail and depth to the conversation.

  • Federal funding (i.e., updates on appropriations and budget)
  • View from the Hill on Perkins and other relevant legislation
  • Trends from NASDCTEc’s state Perkins Implementation Survey
  • Skill building for CTE leaders
  • Views from leading policy organizations on CTE and pending legislation
  • Initiatives in data and accountability
  • And much more!

When: 8 a.m. Tuesday, April 1, 2014 – Noon Thursday, April 3, 2014

Where: Omni Shoreham, 2500 Calvert Street NW, Washington, DC 20008

Agenda DRAFT is online. As speakers are confirmed, we’ll be regularly updating the agenda online.

Registration Information

Meals included in your registration fee include three continental breakfasts and two lunches.

Registration Rates and Dates:

  • NASDCTEc Member: $450 early bird/$550 main; Non-Member (General Registration) $625 early bird/$725 main

Early Bird Registration: January 17, 2014 – February 3, 2014; Main Registration: February 4, 2014 – online registration will close March 17, 2014

Be sure to REGISTER NOW

Hotel Information

Guest rooms have been reserved at the historic Omni Shoreham, 2500 Calvert Street NW (at Connecticut Avenue), Washington DC 20008. Hotel rooms should be reserved at the Omni Shoreham Hotel for all meeting days. You can make your hotel reservations today in one of two ways:

RESERVE YOUR ROOM NOW at our special group reservations link (preferred) or Guests can call 1-800-THE-OMNI (1-800-843-6664) 24 hours a day to make their reservations and request group name: NASDCTEc Spring Meeting 2014.

Please use one of these registration methods to be assured the special room rate of $224, plus applicable taxes. This rate is only available until March 7, 2014 or when our block fills – whichever comes first. So make your reservation today! At the time of your lodging reservation, you will be asked for a major credit card to hold your room. Reservations may be cancelled up until 3 days prior to arrival – by noon Eastern Time, or forfeit one night’s stay plus tax.

More about the Omni Shoreham

  • Hotel map and directions (includes various transportation options)
  • Guest room accommodations
  • Check in is 3 p.m./check out is Noon.
  • Parking: Valet parking including in/out privileges ($35 + 18% tax  per car daily); subject to increase at any time

Travel to hotel:

The least expensive way to get to the hotel is by metro. Save money by using Washington DC Metro’s Trip Planner to get to the hotel. It’s fast, easy and inexpensive. The Metro rail is just steps away from the Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA), and the Woodley Park-Zoo/Adams Morgan metro stop about a 5 minute walk away.

We look forward to seeing you in Washington, DC!

Spring Meeting information page

Ramona Schescke, Member Services Manager

Announcing the 2014 NASDCTEc Spring Meeting

January 17th, 2014

DoubleLogo

ANNOUNCING the 2014 NASDCTEc Spring Meeting

NASDCTEc is pleased to invite you to participate in our annual Spring Meeting, a must-attend professional development experience in the nation’s Capital!

Get ready for exciting sessions for State Career Technical Education (CTE) Directors, CTE leaders, and individuals who contribute to the CTE community at the national, state, and local levels. These sessions will equip you with the information and tools you need to be an effective leader in an ever-changing environment.

We have invited speakers to address the following topics. As speakers are confirmed, we’ll be regularly updating the agenda online and adding more detail and depth to the conversation.

  • Federal funding (i.e., updates on appropriations and budget)
  • View from the Hill on Perkins and other relevant legislation
  • Trends from NASDCTEc’s state Perkins Implementation Survey
  • Skill building for CTE leaders
  • Views from leading policy organizations on CTE and pending legislation
  • Initiatives in data and accountability
  • And much more!

When: 8 a.m. Tuesday, April 1, 2014 – Noon Thursday, April 3, 2014

Where: Omni Shoreham, 2500 Calvert Street NW, Washington, DC 20008

Agenda DRAFT is online. As speakers are confirmed, we’ll be regularly updating the agenda online.

Registration Information

Meals included in your registration fee include three continental breakfasts and two lunches.

Registration Rates and Dates:

  • NASDCTEc Member: $450 early bird/$550 main; Non-Member (General Registration) $625 early bird/$725 main

Early Bird Registration: January 17, 2014 – February 3, 2014; Main Registration: February 4, 2014 – online registration will close March 17, 2014

Be sure to REGISTER NOW

Hotel Information

Guest rooms have been reserved at the historic Omni Shoreham, 2500 Calvert Street NW (at Connecticut Avenue), Washington DC 20008. Hotel rooms should be reserved at the Omni Shoreham Hotel for all meeting days. You can make your hotel reservations today in one of two ways:

RESERVE YOUR ROOM NOW at our special group reservations link (preferred) or Guests can call 1-800-THE-OMNI (1-800-843-6664) 24 hours a day to make their reservations and request group name: NASDCTEc Spring Meeting 2014.

Please use one of these registration methods to be assured the special room rate of $224, plus applicable taxes. This rate is only available until March 7, 2014 or when our block fills – whichever comes first. So make your reservation today! At the time of your lodging reservation, you will be asked for a major credit card to hold your room. Reservations may be cancelled up until 3 days prior to arrival – by noon Eastern Time, or forfeit one night’s stay plus tax.

More about the Omni Shoreham

  • Hotel map and directions (includes various transportation options)
  • Guest room accommodations
  • Check in is 3 p.m./check out is Noon.
  • Parking: Valet parking including in/out privileges ($35 + 18% tax  per car daily); subject to increase at any time

Travel to hotel:

The least expensive way to get to the hotel is by metro. Save money by using Washington DC Metro’s Trip Planner to get to the hotel. It’s fast, easy and inexpensive. The Metro rail is just steps away from the Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA), and the Woodley Park-Zoo/Adams Morgan metro stop about a 5 minute walk away.

We look forward to seeing you in Washington, DC!

Spring Meeting information page

Ramona Schescke, Member Services Manager

 

 

NASDCTEc Recognizes All Stars

April 24th, 2013

Last week, the National Association of State Directors of Career Technical Education Consortium (NASDCTEc) held a luncheon at its annual Spring meeting to honor the organization’s All-Star sponsors.

NASDCTEc is fortunate to have a group of dedicated sponsor partners who provide critical and ongoing support to the organization and its work. The NASDCTEc All Stars include:

  • Cisco
  • CORD
  • Home Builders Institute
  • NOCTI
  • Career Communications
  • Oracle
  • Kuder
  • CTECS
  • Realityworks
  • Today’s Class
  • Adobe

Representatives from seven All Stars attended the luncheon and received a certificate of appreciation, presented by NASDCTEc’s current Board President, Marie Barry, and the past Board President, Patrick Ainsworth.

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John Foster & Amie Bloomfield of NOCTI

Debbie Mills & Hope Cotner of CORD

Barb Orwig & Jim Dick of Career Communications

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Scott Vandever of Kuder

Tim Withee & Ken Potthoff of CTECS

Timmothy Boettcher of Realityworks

Peggy Albano of Today’s Class

All photos were taken by Bob Witchger, Director of Career and Technical Education for North Carolina Community Colleges

Kate Blosveren, Associate Executive Director

 

Spring Meeting Recap: Federal Career Pathways Initiatives

April 19th, 2013

Earlier this week, the National Association of State Directors of Career Technical Education Consortium (NASDCTEc) held its annual Spring Meeting where during one  session, participants heard updates on three national programs that are aiming to better coordinate and strengthen career pathways systems across states. Importantly, all of the presenters expressed an appreciation for each other’s efforts and noted that there was a lot of coordination across the projects.

Mary Clagett of Jobs for the Future discussed Advancing Career and Technical Education (CTE) in State and Local Career Pathways Systems, which is a federally-funded program working with a cohort of states to support, coordinate, and develop non-duplicative education and training programs that will help build skills among low skilled adults. The focus of the initial research and ongoing technical assistance in states is on identifying the most impactful programmatic and policy solutions to building and maintaining a strong career pathway system.

Similarly, the Alliance for Quality Career Pathways, coordinated by the Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP), is focused on supporting pathways for adults and disconnected youths. As described by Vickie Choitz of CLASP, the primary focus of the Alliance is developing a framework of quality criteria and indicators and a shared set of performance metrics to help align CTE programs of study, high school to college transitions, and adult career pathway across state. The framework will be customizable for states and include a self-assessment tool to ensure the framework is best meeting states’ needs. Ten states are currently participating in the Alliance.

Finally, participants learned more about CORD’s professional development and curriculum support for Adult Career Pathways. Hope Cotner of CORD talked about efforts of states, districts and institutions of higher education to design instruction to support career pathways and learning for students of all ages. You can download her presentation here.

During the discussion and Q&A period, participants again raised the issue of ensuring the federal government, national initiatives, states, and localities in using common definitions and language when using some common phrases as “career pathways” and “programs of study.”

Kate Blosveren, Associate Executive Director

 

Spring Meeting Recap: What is Career Readiness?

April 19th, 2013

Earlier this week, the National Association of State Directors of Career Technical Education Consortium (NASDCTEc) held its annual Spring Meeting, where the notion of ‘career readiness’ was front and center. One session squarely focused on the work of the Career Readiness Partnership Council (CRPC) in convening a broad group of partners to develop a common definition of Career Readiness (which can be found at www.careerreadynow.org) and potential next steps for the partnership and the definition itself.

The urgency behind the CRPC and the development of a common understanding of what career readiness was driven by a number of factors, and Patrick Ainsworth, who coordinated much of the work of the CRPC pointed out a few: the ongoing development of the Common Core Technical Core, the widespread adoption of the college- and career-ready Common Core State Standards (which cover only the academic foundation of career readiness), and the lack of understanding of what career readiness means and looks like across the nation. The CRPC, therefore, aimed to create a “north star” for each of the participating organizations around career readiness to help guide and drive policy and practice.

The other two panelists, representing partnership organizations, each discussed what compelled them to join the CRPC and what the definition will mean for them moving ahead. Martin Simon of the National Governors’ Association described how governors are concerned not only about the skills gap but also the coordination gap between educators and workforce investment boards. He discussed the need for a more comprehensive system to better link education, training and workforce needs that will build career pathways, not just training for jobs. About half of all governors discussed career pathways or Career and Technical Education (CTE) in their 2013 state of the state addresses, demonstrating they not only care about these issues but consider them to be priorities.

Andrew Moore from the National League of Cities described the unique role mayors can play in connecting and convening the education and business communities. Mayors are deeply concerned about the skills gap and the extremely high unemployment rates among teenagers.

After the panelists’ remarks, the participants were asked how they might use the career readiness definition moving forward. Some responses included:

  • Identify ways to apply the definition to key audiences, included, but not limited to: policymakers, business and industry, high school educators, higher education, parents, students, and community-based organizations and service providers.
  • Formalize the definition and identify how it can be embedded in state policy.
  • Engage governors to embrace the definition as a framework for coordinating CTE, workforce development and economic development initiatives.
  • Embed the definition in Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act reauthorization.
  • Provide the definition as a model for districts to use in whole or as a starting point when developing their own definitions of career readiness.

Kate Blosveren, Associate Executive Director

Spring Meeting Recap: A View from the Hill – Federal Policy Impacting Career Technical Education

April 19th, 2013

Earlier this week, the National Association of State Directors of Career Technical Education Consortium (NASDCTEc) held its annual Spring Meeting. One of the featured sessions had representatives from several Congressional offices and a legislative liaison from Association of Career and Technical Education (ACTE) discussing current and future Career Technical Education (CTE) related activity on the Hill.

U.S. Senator Mark Begich (D-AR) has introduced three bills supporting CTE and science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM): the Professional Development for Educators Act (S.441), Career and Technical Education Facilities Modernization Act (S.439), and the Counseling for Career Choice Act (S.282). The Counseling for Career Choice Act, in particular, focuses on developing a strong framework for career counseling that promotes local pathways, a full array of postsecondary options, and the alignment of curriculum to locally-available jobs.

Sam Morgante from Congressman Jim Langevin’s (D-RI) office – who co-chairs the CTE Caucus – described the drivers of the Congressman’s interest in CTE and actions he currently is taking to put Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act (Perkins) reauthorization at the forefront. Congressman Langevin is working to coordinate a letter, signed by over 50 members of Congress, calling for Perkins to be fully funded in the 2014 budget, given the increased demand at the local level and the skills gap, which is impacting Rhode Island in particular as the state with the second highest unemployment rate in the nation.

Beth Meloy, representing U.S. Senator Al Franken (D-MN), discussed the skills gap and the Senator’s interest in promoting opportunities for students to have more integrated academic and technical experiences. Senator Franken plans to introduce legislation that will incentivize partnerships between community colleges and local businesses. Members of the audience cautioned against focusing only on community colleges as using such narrow language can exclude other degree- and certificate-granting institutions and technical centers that are not formally considered “community colleges.”

Brendan Desetti, a legislative liaison from the ACTE, noted that given the fact that Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) ESEA, Perkins, and Workforce Investment Act (WIA) – and soon to be the Higher Education Act (HEA) – are all up for reauthorization, there is a good chance that these bills will be better aligned, in terms of language, programs, and accountability measures, than ever before. Of course, this is still dependent on movement from Congress, which all panelists noted is still an uphill battle given the perpetual budget “crises” that are taking up most of the Congress’ and media’s attention. Throughout the entire NASDCTEc Spring Meeting, participant consistently discussed how the range of definitions – and interpretations of definitions – in Perkins and related programs is an ongoing challenge.

Finally, Brendan also raised the issue of other laws and regulations that may not be directly related to CTE but still can have a direct impact on state’s and district’s ability to deliver CTE, such as the Healthy Hunger Free Kids Act, which has the potential to negatively impact Family and Consumer Sciences programs.

The session ended with the panelists encouraging the participants to reach out to their senators and representatives to build relationships with staffers, communicate the importance of CTE, and highlight how programs are benefiting students and the state’s economic development. ACTE has an Action Center to facilitate direct communications between individuals and their members of Congress.

Kate Blosveren, Associate Executive Director

Spring Meeting Recap: CTE in the Spotlight

April 19th, 2013

The education and workforce communities have increasingly focused on Career Technical Education (CTE) as an effective strategy for preparing college- and career-ready students. At this week’s Spring Meeting of the National Association of State Directors of Career Technical Education Consortium (NASDCTEc), representatives from several national policy organizations discussed their interest in CTE and ways that they can partner with CTE stakeholders to promote high quality CTE programs.

Tom Rudin, a Senior Vice President at the College Board, noted his organization’s commitment to supporting college and career readiness aspirations for all students. He described the College Board’s interest in working with NASDCTEc to advocate for CTE and issues surrounding college and career readiness.

Melanie Anderson, Director of Government Affairs at Opportunity Nation, discussed her organization’s role in decreasing the “opportunity gap.” Opportunity Nation is particularly interested in bringing the private sector into conversations about CTE and ensuring the alignment of CTE programs with business and industry needs. Visit the opportunity index, a tool that uses a number of indicators to demonstrate economic mobility and opportunity, to view the impact of the opportunity gap where you live. View Melanie’s presentation here.

Martha Ross of the Brookings Institution described her organization’s interest in regionally-based, industry-responsive pathways and CTE as a human capitol issue. Lastly, Tess Mason-Elder of Civic Enterprises described CTE as a way to address educational access issues by improving persistence rates and presenting students with affordable postsecondary options.

Kara Herbertson, Research and Policy Manager

 

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