Archive for June, 2010

Applications for Smaller Learning Communities Grants Available

Wednesday, June 30th, 2010

The Department of Education is now accepting applications for the Smaller Learning Communities (SLC) grant program. According to the Federal Register notice inviting applications, the SLC program awards discretionary grants to LEAs to support the restructuring of public high schools with enrollments of 1,000 or more students into smaller units for the purpose of improving academic achievement in these schools. These smaller units include freshman academies, multi-grade academies organized around career interests or other themes, ‘‘houses’’ in which small groups of students remain together throughout high school, and autonomous schools-within-a-school. These structural changes are typically complemented by other personalization strategies, such as student advisories, family advocate systems, and mentoring programs. Each application must address two absolute priorities: preparing all students to succeed in postsecondary education and career; and common planning time for teachers.

Notice of Intent to Apply: July 15, 2010

Application Submission Deadline: August 6, 2010

The Department is estimating that there is $32 million available to award grants to up to 14 states. Each grant will be for a period of five years. For more information please see the Department of Education’s Web site.

By Nancy in Public Policy
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House May Move on Education Jobs Fund This Week

Wednesday, June 30th, 2010

The House is expected to vote on the Supplemental Appropriations Act this week. There will be two votes – one on the war funding and one on the package of additions/offsets to the Senate bill. The bill contains $10 billion for education jobs and $4.95 billion for Pell grants. In order to pay for these provisions, $12 billion in rescissions must be made including $800 million in education funding:

However, the bill still faces opposition from Republican members. House Minority Leader Boehner has said, “We’ve heard all kinds of rumors about how it might be considered, but we are not going to facilitate the passing of tens of billions of dollars of wasteful government spending on the backs of our kids.”

By Nancy in Legislation
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Institute Report Out: Postsecondary and Industry Offer Perspective on Developing a Program of Study

Monday, June 28th, 2010

ECO icon

On July 15th, the National Career Clusters Institute presented a panel of postsecondary and industry representatives as part of the Green-Focused Program of Study Series. In order to develop an effective program of study, secondary, postsecondary and industry have to collaborate. These panelists are from exemplary teams who are working on the development of a program of study through the Green-Focused Program of Study Technical Assistance Academy grant. During this session, they responded to attendees questions and offered their insights.

Todd Sanders:  Instructor – Mechanical Engineering, Portland Community College, Ohio

John Steiner: Curriculum Specialist: Allied Health and Sciences, Salem Community College, New Jersey

Jerrold Hutton: Dean, Hocking College Energy Institute, Ohio

Krisann Rehbein: Manager of Community Partnerships, Chicago Architecture Foundation, Illinois

Q&A with Postsecondary:

How do we get components from postsecondary programs into secondary programs?

Do you have any tips about working on dual credit?

Classes often close out quickly at community colleges. How can we get more high school students into community college classes?

Q&A with Industry:

How do we engage industry more with internships and apprenticeships?

Industry moves so fast, how can education keep up?

Have industry advisory committees or national organizations played a critical role?

By Emma in Career Clusters®, News
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Institute Report Out: Adams County Education Consortium Provides Students with Multiple Career-Planning Opportunities

Friday, June 25th, 2010

Institute Report Out: Individual Career and Academic Plans: Multiple Years of Exploration under the Cluster Umbrella
Presented by Sandra Steiner, Executive Director, Adams County Education Consortium

Designing relevance in academic instruction and providing students with age- and experience- appropriate access to employers ensures better post-secondary and workforce readiness. This presentation focused on proven middle and high school programs of the Adams County Education Consortium that enhance career development of all students and engage area employers.

Programs highlighted included:

Adams County Commissioners’ Career Expo

The Adams County Commissioners’ Career Expo is a unique, one-of-a-kind career fair designed to get 8th grade youth thinking about their future education and career goals. This annual event is particularly remarkable since it is designed to accommodate the total county 8th grade population and introduce them to professionals in their selected industry choices. Guidelines for preparing a student Career Expo

Backpacks to Briefcases

Backpacks to Briefcases is a free sit down dinner and training session for Adams County high school graduating seniors. The first annual event took place February 10, 2010 and included 140 seniors and 42 professional table host/sponsors. This event was designed to help students make the transition from the high school classroom to the world work and/or higher education by providing information on how to best handle themselves in business/professional settings. More

Experience 9 to 5

This is a multi industry career exploration program that is offered over several dates in the fall. The multiple night programs will allow students the chance to dig deeper into an industry of choice.  Students will get hands-on opportunities to “try out” the job and learn more about what is required to be successful. More

By Ramona in Career Clusters®
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Institute Report Out: Taking on the Necessary Challenges of Developing a Model Program of Study

Friday, June 25th, 2010

ECO iconTeam representatives from Illinois, New Jersey, Georgia, Oregon and Ohio came together at the Career Clusters Institute last week to share how they met challenges to developing a green-focused program of study. As winners of the Green-Focused Program of Study Technical Assistance Academy, they are pioneers in this endeavor and offer a unique learning opportunity to all who work within an established program of study or are in the process of developing one. Through the challenges they have faced so far, the challenges they anticipate in the future and what they might have done differently, you can find insights into how to take on what is most difficult in developing a model program of study.

Faced Challenges:

Anticipated Challenges:

What would you have done differently?

By Emma in Career Clusters®, News
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Legislative Update: Education Jobs Fund, Budget, For-Profit Schools

Friday, June 25th, 2010

Education Jobs Fund Shrinking

The House will not take up the emergency was supplemental (which includes the education jobs fund) this week amid reports that Republicans plan to vote “present” on the bill, forcing Democrats to come up with 218 votes in support of the bill. The House has already cut the education jobs fund is down from $23 billion to $10 billion and will offset that spending, however none of that offset will come from ARRA education funds. Despite the offset, Republicans are now saying they will oppose the addition of education jobs fund or other provisions because they want to keep the supplemental just to war and disasters spending.

House Democrats Will Not Pass a Budget

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (MD) announced on Tuesday that rather than passing a budget this year, the House plans to adopt a budget enforcement resolution, which would cut spending even more than the President requested in his budget earlier this year. Hoyer said that until the nation’s deficit is addressed, it “isn’t possible to debate and pass a realistic, long-term budget.” Hoyer wished to see recommendations from the President’s bipartisan National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform, which has been charged with balancing the budget by 2015, before proposing a longer term budget. Recommendations are expected in December.

Senate Holds Hearing on For-Profit Schools

Yesterday the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee held the first in a series of hearings to address the Federal investment in for-profit education and to find out what is happening to students who enroll in these schools. In his opening remarks, Chairman Tom Harkin (IA) unveiled “Emerging Risk?: An Overview of Growth, Spending, Student Debt and Unanswered Questions in For-Profit Higher Education” a report that investigates the Federal investment in for-profit schools and how these schools are using taxpayer dollars. It also identifies gaps in available information about enrollment, student performance, and loan debt and repayment. Harkin said, “We don’t know how many students graduate, how many get jobs, how schools that are not publicly traded spend their Title IV dollars, and how many for-profit students default over the long term. More broadly, we don’t know exactly what risk we are taking by investing an increasing share of our Federal financial aid dollars in this sector.”

Ranking Member Michael Enzi (WY) agreed that there are some “bad actors” among the for-profit schools, but made the point that “these schools are increasingly reaching more and more Americans who are not served by traditional higher education. They are an essential part of our efforts to provide every American with the skills necessary to be a valuable part of the workforce.” He also quoted Secretary Duncan who gave the keynote address at DeVry’s policy forum last month and said that “for-profit institutions play a vital role in training young people and adults for jobs. They are critical to helping America meet the President’s 2020 goal. They are helping us meet the explosive demand for skills that public institutions cannot always meet.”

By Nancy in Legislation
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Senate Confirms Assistant Secretary of Postsecondary Education

Thursday, June 24th, 2010

Sonoma State Uochoa316niversity (SSU) Provost Dr. Eduardo M. Ochoa was confirmed by the U.S. Senate this week and will serve in the U.S. Department of Education as Assistant Secretary for Postsecondary Education. Dr. Ochoa has served as provost and vice president for Academic Affairs at Sonoma State University since 2003, where he was responsible for all of the university’s academic programs, strategic planning, diversity initiative, and its role in the California State University Graduation Initiative which aims to raise system-wide graduation rates.

Before arriving at SSU, Dr. Ochoa served as dean of the College of Business Administration at California State Polytechnic University, Pomona from 1997 to 2003, and as professor of economics at California State University, Los Angeles from 1984 to 1997.

Dr. Ochoa holds a Bachelors degree in  Physics and Philosophy from Reed College, a Masters degree in Nuclear Engineering from Columbia University, and a Ph.D. in Economcis from the New School for Social Research. He will be sworn in July 1.

By Nancy in Public Policy, Uncategorized
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Common Core Standards: Opportunities Rise for CTE

Thursday, June 24th, 2010

As the education community dissects the details of the recently-released Common Core State Standards, leaders of the initiative remind the education community that these standards do not address all of what students need to be college and career ready. In fact, career technical education (CTE) has its own distinct role to play in outlining the career skills that students should acquire to achieve readiness, said Gene Wilhoit, Council of Chief State School Officers Executive Director and a leader in the standards movement.

At a NASDCTEc webinar just days before the Common Core released its math and language arts standards this month, Wilhoit said “these are academic standards that need to be mastered by a CTE or college student. They are essential but not necessarily sufficient…..they are not everything that a student would need.” He added that CTE has a “tremendous opportunity” to step forward and fill in the gaps of the nation’s college and career ready agenda. The Common Core Standards allow room for curriculum that integrates rigorous academic standards with relevant career training, Wilhoit said.

Further, he noted the significant advantages a CTE student would have in an obtaining an educational experience that was aligned to core academic standards and enhanced by a career-focused curriculum. He added that CTE programs that provide students access to earn credentials or certifications would certainly put students at a greater advantage in the competitive workplace.

Wilhoit’s statement should put to ease the concerns some over what impact the Common Core may have on CTE’s approach to college and career readiness. In a previous blog, we noted comments of Dane Linn, Education Division Director of the NGA Center for Best Practices, who said that the Common Core Initiative had CTE specifically in mind when adding exemplars of technical writing and technical manuals in their common core document.

NASDCTEc is working to identify how the Common Core aligns with the Career Clusters Knowledge and Skills Statements, which will begin a re-validation process this fall. A designated committee will assess the Knowledge and Skills Statements, which identify the core career and academic competencies a student needs, and implement any relevant alignment with the Common Core initiative. Further, the Knowledge and Skills Statements will also have to be recalibrated to reflect NASDCTEc’s new vision, which calls for all students to be college and career ready.

By Erin in Career Clusters®, News, Public Policy
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Institute Report Out: North Carolina Career Clusters Guide

Thursday, June 24th, 2010

The North Carolina Career Clusters Guide was shared by:
Felicia Gray-Watson , Section Chief, CTE Support Services, lead speaker
North Carolina Department of Public Instruction

The North Carolina Department of Public Instruction and the North Carolina Community College System collaboratively developed a career clusters resource for counselors to implement career clusters. Using the North Carolina Career Clusters Guide, counselors are able to assist students identify career options, educational goals, and make plans for success. This helpful guide includes “Discover Your Career Personality,” an interest inventory designed to provide focus and direction for future planning. (Note: the guide is a very large file, and will need additional time to download)

By Ramona in Career Clusters®
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2018 Job Projections Show Need for Postsecondary Education

Wednesday, June 23rd, 2010

Without a dramatic change in how our nation prepares individuals for the workforce and to obtain necessary postsecondary education, the nation will fall dramatically short in cultivating a workforce to fulfill demand, according to a recent report by Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce. Help Wanted: Projections of Jobs and Education Requirements Through 2018 projects that by 2018, 63 percent of all jobs will require a degree in higher education, leaving only 37 percent of jobs to individuals who did not finish high school or did not go on to college.

This report — authored by Anthony P. Carnevale, Nichole Smith and Jeff Strohl — underscores why we must ensure that students are equipped to enter into this competitive workforce in which postsecondary education and training will be requirements for a middle class job. CTE can provide support in this area by offering students the opportunity to obtain training and skills and a postsecondary degree.  These credentials will allow individuals to gain a competitive edge that will make them more desirable in the current and future job market.

Other highlights from the report include:

By Nancy in Public Policy
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