Archive for October, 2010

Final Program Integrity Rules Issued

Friday, October 29th, 2010

This summer the U.S. Department of Education released draft changes to the Higher Education Act that seek to ensure program integrity in federal financial aid programs, as well as draft changes to the gainful employment definition. The final rules for program integrity were released yesterday, and will go into effect on July 1, 2011. These rules are aimed at strengthening federal student aid programs at for-profit, nonprofit and public institutions by “protecting students from aggressive or misleading recruiting practices, providing consumers with better information about the effectiveness of career college and training programs, and ensuring that only eligible students or programs receive aid.”

“These new rules will help ensure that students are getting from schools what they pay for: solid preparation for a good job,” Secretary of Education Arne Duncan said in a statement.

Final rules on a gainful employment definition will be released in early 2011 and will go into effect on July 1, 2012. The Department plans to hold several stakeholder meetings during the next several weeks, as well as public hearings on November 4th and November 5th. These meetings will allow individuals to clarify the comments they submitted and respond to questions from Department officials.

By Nancy in Public Policy, Uncategorized
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Home Builders Institute Shares Certification Protocols for Instructors and Students at NASDCTEc Fall Meeting

Tuesday, October 26th, 2010

Today’s Fall Meeting Sponsor is the Home Builders Institute, who has exciting news about certifications for our members and attendees.

The Home Builders Institute (HBI) is excited about its certification protocols for instructors and students. HBI has partnered with The Ohio State University for the instructor online certification course and with the National Occupational Competency Testing Institute (NOCTI) for student certification through online testing.

Instructor Certification: HBI offers instructor industry certification to ensure consistency in instructor teaching/training methodologies and knowledge competency when teaching to the NAHB skill standards contained throughout the Residential Construction Academy Series curriculum.

Student Certification: Student certification will be administered through NOCTI in specific trade areas. All tests are based on industry standards as are the materials contained in the Residential Construction Academy Series. Certification is available for secondary, postsecondary and industry levels. Testing is offered at three proficiency levels, entry, semi-skilled and skilled.

For more information, contact C. Deanna Lewis, who is at the fall meeting. Please stop by her display table too!

Deanna is the Director for Career & Certification Services certification.

E-mail: dlewis@hbi.org

By Ramona in Advance CTE Announcements, Meetings and Events
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Adobe CTE Solutions Provide Essential Skills for College, Career, or Both

Monday, October 25th, 2010

Greetings CTE Friends,

The NASDCTEc fall meeting is upon us and we wish to highlight sponsors who are supporting our meeting. Today we would like to recognize Adobe Systems, Inc.

Adobe CTE Solutions provide essential skills for college, career, or both

Industry-standard design and media products are the most obvious components of a complete CTE solution for K–12. But Adobe’s world-class creative tools are complemented and supported by associate and expert level certifications, project-based curriculum guides, professional development and affordable licensing . Ideally suited for maximizing education funding, Adobe solutions for career and technical education are designed to prepare students with fundamental digital communication skills and the practical experience they need to thrive in the global workforce.

Whether students are learning skills in the context of graphic design, web design and development, or film and video design and production, Adobe software provides the same integrated workflow capabilities used by today’s working professionals. In addition to gaining the necessary technical know-how, students learn how to collaborate on projects, solve problems, manage their time and even interact with real-world clients. The result: They develop the full range of proficiencies, attitudes and skills required for on-the-job success.

Adobe is proud to be a platinum sponsor of the Fall 2010 meeting here in Baltimore.  Please see our Adobe representatives Paul Faust, Ron Richard and Lisa Deakes to learn more about Adobe’s commitment to preparing students for the workforce and higher education. And make sure to ask about our Creative Suite 5 site license promotion for your districts.

http://www.adobe.com/education/solutions/k12/careerteched/

See you at the fall meeting!

By Ramona in Advance CTE Announcements, Meetings and Events

The State of State Postsecondary Data Systems

Friday, October 22nd, 2010

A new report released by the State Higher Education Executive Officers (SHEEO), which examined 59 data systems in 44 states and the District of Columbia, has found that not all postsecondary data systems are alike. Data systems are not comprehensive, and not all share the same data elements. Even more alarming is that only eight states have the capacity to link their K12, postsecondary, and workforce data systems.  Strong Foundations: The State of State Postsecondary Data Systems describes existing state postsecondary student-level data systems and provides examples of how they have been used. Among the report’s key findings:

By Nancy in Public Policy
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Webinar Will Showcase New Integrated Curriculum for Transportation, Distribution and Logistics Career Cluster

Sunday, October 17th, 2010

Register now for the upcoming webinar Get on Board with an Integrated Curriculum for the Transportation, Distribution and Logistics Career Cluster

Join us for a webinar on November 4, 2010 from 2:00-3:00 pm CST/3:00-4:00 pm EST which will showcase new integrated curriculum for the Transportation, Distribution and Logistics (TDL) cluster.  The session will feature Clark Martin, Federal Highway Administration Division of the United States Department of Transportation (USDOT) who will provide insight on the current status and future demand for workers in the Transportation industry and how USDOT is partnering with state departments of education and the Career Clusters Initiative to address the shortage through education channels.   With financial support from USDOT, contextual learning curriculum materials tied to academic standards and geared for grades 6-12 have been developed to create student interest in Transportation, Distribution and Logistics careers.  Classroom teachers and state education staff who have been involved in the developmental work will discuss how they are integrating transportation career information into a variety of content areas using these materials. Scott Hess, United States Department of Education will discuss resources developed by the Transportation RPOS grants in Nebraska and Indiana.
Project staff will provide information on how states and schools can be involved in the national field test of these materials.
Register today at http://bit.ly/bgfDCg to reserve a spot!

By Ramona in Career Clusters®
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Report: NASDCTEc, ACTE and P21 Address 21st Century and Technical Skills Demands

Friday, October 15th, 2010

The Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE), National Association of State Directors of Career Technical Education Consortium (NASDCTEc) and P21 released a report that highlights the demand for skills in the global economy and explains how CTE and 21st century skills-focused programs can answer the need.

The report, Up to the Challenge, outlines how fusing the four Cs (critical thinking and problem solving, collaboration, communication and creativity and innovation) into curriculum and the implementation of CTE can prepare students to be college- and career-ready. The paper highlights the importance of rigorous academics, 21st century skills and CTE strategies in bridging the gap between academic, employability and technical skills.

The report notes that competencies in the full range of 21st century skills enable students to build and reinforce knowledge. In CTE programs, students “learn by doing” with practical collaborative applications, such as hands-on activities, project- and problem-based learning, laboratory and field work, and simulations and internships. Incorporated throughout education, these hallmarks of CTE would give all students robust and sustained opportunities to practice 21st century skills, according to the report.

By Erin in Publications
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New Federal Career Pathways Funding Toolkit Available

Wednesday, October 13th, 2010

In an effort to support inter-agency state teams to identify and use federal resources that support career pathways and career pathway bridge models, the Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP) has recently released a toolkit to support state planning and design. The resource provides a Funding Options Worksheets and information on ten Federal programs that can interweave the legislative priorities or “braid” the design and development of career pathways and bridges in a more thoughtful and effective manner. The toolkit also may assist teams to identify state policy barriers to using federal resources and strategies for managing the challenges.

More information and links to the toolkit, released as part of its forthcoming Center for Postsecondary and Economic Success, the Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP) is available under Funding Career Pathways and Career Pathway Bridges: A Federal Policy Toolkit for States at http://www.clasp.org/resources_and_publications/publication?id=0762&list=publications

By Dean in Career Clusters®, News, Publications, Resources
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Community College Grant Solicitation Expected This Month

Wednesday, October 13th, 2010

Last year, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act amended the Trade Act to authorize a new Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training Grant Program, which was then funded at $2 billion over four years by the healthcare bill in March. These grants will be available to institutions of higher education to expand their capacity to provide education and career training to TAA for Workers program participants and other individuals to upgrade their knowledge and skills so that they can find family-sustaining employment. The grant solicitation is expected to be released later this month.

The Department of Labor has released a fact sheet on the grant program outlining key issues and questions for colleges interested in applying for funds. Additional information can be found in the most recent issue of the Association of Community College Trustees’ Trustee Quarterly magazine, which features Q&A with Department of Education Under Secretary Martha Kanter and Department of Labor Assistant Secretary Jane Oates.

By Nancy in Legislation
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Advantages and Disadvantages of Postsecondary Accountability Databases

Wednesday, October 13th, 2010

Shortly after taking office last year, President Obama announced that “by 2020, America will once again have the highest proportion of college graduates in the world,” thrusting the spotlight on postsecondary accountability. A new report from the American Council on Education, College Graduation Rates: A Look Behind the Numbers, explores the complexities of measuring college graduation rates and finds that existing databases do not give a full picture of student outcomes and success at the postsecondary level.

The report details the most commonly reported graduation rates and the databases used to calculate these rates, as well as the advantages and disadvantages of each database. The report also suggests several factors for policy makers to consider before using graduation rate data from existing databases. What this report does not do is focus on disparities in graduation rates, or on how to improve graduation rates, or how to fix graduation rates calculations. Rather, the goal of this report is “to help policy makers better understand the challenges inherent in using current graduation rate data to determine or inform federal or state policy decisions regarding postsecondary education institutions.”

As the President and other policymakers advance their goal of improving postsecondary completion rates, it will be important for them to take into consideration all the caveats and work to capture all of the missing information in the current system.

By Nancy in Public Policy
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Education and Skills Are Key Components to Economic Recovery Action Plan

Friday, October 8th, 2010

Community college and business leaders must make deliberate efforts to partner and develop the capacity to train individuals with skills and provide them with relevant degrees because employers are demanding “more practical skills and education” in this competitive economy, according to a recent report released by Business Champions, Inc.

Business Champions, Inc. — a group of more than 30 business, education and philanthropy leaders — last week submitted an action plan, How to Create High-Impact Partnerships for Jobs & Economic Vitality in the U.S., to the White House Summit on Community Colleges. The plan outlines action steps for two key groups: employers/leaders from the business community and community college boards.

The report, focusing on moving from “analyzing America’s skilled workforce problem to implementing solutions,” includes principles aligned or mirrored to NASDCTEc’s vision for CTE. For instance, the report notes that employers must make employee acquisition of career technical skills and credentials a priority and a possibility for individuals. Other areas of alignment include focused on the importance of encouraging the attainment of degrees beyond four-year degrees such as industry-based certifications, two-year credentials, and apprenticeship programs.

Business Champions outline the major initiatives the two groups must make to implement change.

Employers and leaders from the business community can make a difference by:

• Investing in individuals and workers

• Partnering with community colleges to strengthen program relevance and performance

• Making community colleges a focus of corporate philanthropy and corporate social responsibility efforts

• Taking the lead in advocacy for public policies to strengthen community colleges

Community college boards can make a difference by:

• Making workforce development a top priority

• Planning for success and measuring results

• Following the money: Ensuring incentives align with intended outcomes

• Using data-based decision making

• Working effectively with the college president to build the workforce development and partnership agenda

By Erin in Public Policy, Research
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