Archive for August, 2011

More Career Readiness, Life Skills Needed in High School, Say Recent Graduates

Wednesday, August 31st, 2011

One year after high school graduation, most students wish they had received more life skills training and more opportunities for career readiness during high school, according to a recent survey.

The College Board, a non-profit organization seeking to connect students to college, released a national survey of high school graduates who evaluated their high school experiences based on preparation for college or careers.

Students also reported that they would have benefitted from more practical career readiness and life skills training during high school, such as managing personal finances, to better prepare for college or careers. Students also wish they had taken more rigorous high school course work in science, math and writing.

Students overwhelmingly reported that a college degree is worth the time and money, and 90 percent of respondents stated that students need to complete training or college after high school to succeed in a future career.

Career Technical Education (CTE) programs fill these gaps by combining rigorous coursework with meaningful hands-on experiences to fully prepare CTE graduates for college and careers.

Kara Herbertson, Education Policy Analyst

By Kara in Research
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Meet NASDCTEc Board Member Rich Katt, Region VII Representative

Monday, August 29th, 2011

In order for our members to know the individuals who serve them at the national level, NASDCTEc is sharing a blog series called “Meet Your Board Members;” today we are featuring Richard Katt, Region VII representative. Region VII encompasses Iowa, Kansas, Missouri and Nebraska.

Richard Katt is a graduate of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln with degrees in Career and Technical Education and Adult Education. Rich is currently an Administrator with the Curriculum and Instruction Innovation Team in the Nebraska Department of Education. He serves as State Director for Career Education, administers the Federal Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Improvement Act, and provides leadership in curriculum and instruction and school improvement for Nebraska schools and community colleges. His work currently involves creating a statewide career education system to help students PreK-12 explore career options and be both academically and technically prepared for the career of their choice.

Rich’s work involves extensive coordination of activities between workforce and economic development and education. He serves on the committee for Nebraska’s Essential Education Policy which details Nebraska’s vision for student success in PreK-16 education. He is the past chair of FutureForce Nebraska, a collaboration of PreK-12 education, postsecondary education, government agencies, workforce and economic development professionals and business and industry representatives.

He has been an educator for over 30 years as a teacher, Nebraska FFA Executive Director, and State Director for Agriculture Education prior to his current position. He is an adjunct faculty member at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Rich is Past President of the National Association of State Directors of Career and Technical Education Consortium and the National Association of Supervisors of Agricultural Education. He was named the 2001 and 2009 Manager of the year by the Nebraska Department of Education and has received the Distinguished Service Award from the Nebraska Department of Agriculture in recognition of his work with youth leadership development.

When asked for his goals as a Board Member, Rich said “One of my Gallup StrengthsFinder® strengths is Futuristic – the need and desire to think about and plan for the future. The NASDCTEc Board must provide leadership to position Career Technical Education for the future. Efforts around data quality, marketing and program improvement all help to position CTE for the future. We have a solid past, but we can’t rest on what CTE has always done, we need to build from that foundation to create the preferred future for CTE.

Another major goal is for our NASDCTEc Board to help our staff be the national voice of CTE. We are blessed to have outstanding individuals working for our association. It is the Board’s responsibility to provide the direction and resources needed for our staff to be effective in advocating for CTE. This also involves communicating with members, seeking input and providing the information needed for all of us to advocate for CTE.”

NASDCTEc is grateful to have Rich serve as a Representative. Rich Katt can be reached at

Ramona Schescke, Member Services Manager

By Ramona in Advance CTE Announcements

Mark Your Calendars for Upcoming NASDCTEc Webinar September 27: GEF Pilot Curriculum Project

Friday, August 26th, 2011

We are pleased to announce an upcoming NASDCTEc webinar on the GEF Pilot Curriculum Project.
When: September 27, 2011 at 2 p.m. Eastern

Description: Victoria Waters, Green Education Foundation (GEF) President, will be introducing two new GEF pilot offerings for CTE schools including their Green Building Course which is a one semester, environmental science elective that educates 11th and 12th grade students on green building attributes and benefits, and provides them with the educational resources necessary to understand, identify, and improve environmental inefficiencies within their own school buildings. Topics covered include: sustainable sites, energy sources and conservation, water efficiency and indoor environmental quality as related to building construction, operation and maintenance. The course utilizes a digital resource. GEF will also be showcasing its brand new professional development course for K-12 faculty entitled Sustainability Education Concepts and Teaching Methods.

Mark your calendars and bookmark this link
You do not need to register in advance for this webinar. Save the link on your calendar, and join the webinar (by clicking into the link) a few minutes prior to the top of the hour. We sure hope you can attend!

Ramona Schescke, Member Services Manager

By Ramona in Webinars

Introducing Eric Suhr, NASDCTEc Region II Representative

Friday, August 26th, 2011

In order for our members to know the individuals who serve them at the national level, NASDCTEc is sharing a blog series called “Meet Your Board Members;” today we are featuring Eric Suhr, Region II Representative. Region II encompasses New Jersey, New York, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands.

Eric Suhr is currently Bureau Chief for Education Programs -Career and Technical Education and Team Leader for the CTE Team in the Office of Curriculum, Instruction and Field Services within the New York State (NYS) Education Department. This twelve person unit provides oversight for all CTE activities at the middle and secondary levels in NYS. New York Career and Technical Education is committed to providing high-quality CTE opportunities for all students. New York State’s CTE delivery system consists of over 1,100 CTE providers, serving over one million students in school districts, BOCES, and postsecondary institutions. CTE studies are organized in New York in the following content areas: Agricultural education, Business & Marketing education, Family & Consumer Sciences education, Health Occupations education, Technology education, Trade, Technical & Industrial education. The CTE Unit is a major effort in school reform and the raising of academic standards for all students. The CTE team monitors State and Federal funds to assure that they are properly expended and provides technical assistance to school districts and BOCES. The CTE team also oversees activities in Perkins grant administration, Civil Rights, Workplace Learning, and Driver Education.

Eric’s previous assignments have been in the Office of Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment and Office of Workforce Preparation and Continuing Education on the Adult Education Team. Before coming to the Department, under contract with the Research Foundation of CUNY to help implement the Regents Action Plan providing curriculum development and in-service activities for occupational education teachers throughout NYS, and was a Technology Education teacher for six years.

Eric has been involved in educational endeavors since 1980 in support of improving education for all students in New York State.

When asked for his goals as a Board Member, Eric said “As a Board member I would like to share what we are doing in NYS CTE as it relates to implementation of the Common Core Standards and involvement in Race to the Top initiatives. Additionally, our overarching goal in NYS is to provide greater access to CTE opportunities for all students. We hope these efforts will be recognized as our State Board of Regents considers revisions to NYS graduation requirements.”

NASDCTEc appreciates Eric’s service to the Board. Eric can be reached at

Ramona Schescke, Member Services Manager

By Ramona in Advance CTE Announcements

CompTIA Supports Fight to Recover Perkins Funding

Thursday, August 25th, 2011

Federal funding cuts to Perkins will scale back the number of educated and skilled workers who are needed to help rebuild the nation’s economy, according to a recent blog by CompTIA. The non-profit is dedicated to advancing the global interests of information technology (IT) professionals and companies including manufacturers, distributors, resellers, and educational institutions.

CompTIA is urging its members to contact their local Congressman, discuss the importance of career and technical education (CTE), and urge Congress to restore funding to the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act.

“In the IT industry, 400,000 jobs are open on any given day, waiting to be filled with qualified personnel,” says Todd Thibodeaux, president and CEO of CompTIA, said in the blog. “Further cuts to Perkins will damage a key conduit in our nation’s IT workforce pipeline. “

Kimberly Green, NASDCTEc Executive Director, said Perkins supporters should expect a tough fight for Perkins funding as all federal spending is expected to be scrutinized.

“The CTE community has to do a more thorough job of educating the members of Congress about the value and success of CTE programs. We need to shift the mindset that these crucial federal funds are an investment, bringing a positive return to the economy, not just an expenditure.”

By Erin in Public Policy
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White House Report Shows Fewer Rural Students Attend College

Tuesday, August 23rd, 2011

Despite greater parental and community involvement, students in rural schools have college-going rates that are 10 to 15 percentage points lower than those of urban school students.

Through his recently-launched White House Rural Council, President Barack Obama aims to conquer this issue and other problems faced by rural communities today. The Rural Council released a report this month, Jobs and Economic Security for Rural America, that briefly addresses education and focuses more on job creation and economic growth.

The report shows ways that the Obama administration is working to close gaps between rural schools and other public schools, mostly by increasing access to Pell Grants and making student loans more affordable.

The Rural Council describes educational training, job certification and credential attainment as critical to supporting military families and the 6.1 million veterans who live in rural communities. Additionally, the Rural Council includes “training a globally competitive workforce” as a key area for strengthening rural America. The report references several of the administration’s initiatives that are already in place to meet this goal including: the Education Jobs Fund program, the Rural Education Achievement program and the Department of Labor’s Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training grants.

Career Technical Education (CTE) helps close the college-going gap between rural and urban schools by providing education and skills training to prepare veterans, displaced workers, career changers, and other individuals for further education and careers in high-demand fields.

By Kara in News, Resources
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Draft Model Content Frameworks Feedback Deadline Extended to August 31

Friday, August 19th, 2011

The Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) has extended the deadline to submit feedback on draft model content frameworks to August 31. The change was made to provide the greatest number of stakeholders with the time needed to offer substantive and thorough comments.

The draft model content frameworks are being designed to develop K-12 assessments. PARCC, a 24-state consortium dedicated to creating common assessments, are aiming to align the assessments with the Common Core State Standards. PARCC received an $186 million Race to the Top grant to design an assessment system.

PARCC says the assessments will “build a pathway to college and career readiness by the end of high school, mark students’ progress toward this goal from 3rd grade up, and provide teachers with timely information to inform instruction and provide student support.”

Provide your feedback through PARCC’s survey by August 31.

By Erin in News
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Register for NASDCTEc Fall Meeting

Friday, August 19th, 2011

Registration is open for the upcoming NASDCTEc Fall Meeting!

NASDCTEc is pleased to invite you to participate in our annual Fall Meeting, a must-attend professional development experience. The meeting will be held at the Westin BWI Airport Hotel,1110 Old Elkridge Landing Road, Linthicum, MD 21090 (Baltimore MD area) on October 24-26, 2011.

Registration is open to members and non-members. If you are a member and need help logging in to register, please call our office at 301-588-9630 to find out how to access your username and password.

More information about the meeting, and meeting agenda

By Ramona in Uncategorized

Legislative Update: House Hearing on Higher Ed and Jobs

Friday, August 19th, 2011

On Tuesday, the House Education and Workforce Subcommittee on Higher Education and Workforce Training hosted a field hearing in South Carolina, “Reviving Our Economy: The Role of Higher Education in Job Growth and Development.” The hearing featured two panel discussions: The first examined the local economy and job opportunities, and the second focused on the ability of higher education institutions to successfully prepare graduates to join the workforce.

During the second panel, Dr. Keith Miller, President of Greenville Technical College, spoke about the importance of partnerships between education and employers to ensure economic success. His college is working with employers to bridge the skills gaps that exist industries such as manufacturing, healthcare, and IT. Dr. Miller encouraged members to support WIA funding and talked about the benefit of dual enrollment programs. While he did not speak about Perkins specifically, it is important that the subcommittee heard about the skills gaps that exist and the need to train workers to fill existing jobs. Hearing this message from constituents reinforces the message that we take the Hill with us – that Perkins funding and CTE programs are the key drivers in training these workers and closing the skills gap.

By Nancy in Public Policy
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NASDCTEc Signs on to Extended Graduation Brief

Friday, August 19th, 2011

NASDCTEc has signed on in support of a new brief that encourage states’ use of extended-year graduation rates in adequate yearly progress calculations and incorporation of these rates into their state accountability frameworks/systems. Written by the American Youth Policy Forum, Gateway to College National Network, and the National Youth Employment Coalition, this brief, Making Every Diploma Count: Using Extended-Year Graduation Rates to Measure Student Success, aims to educate and inform states about the flexibilities that currently exist to use extended-year graduation rates as a policy mechanism to encourage schools and districts to continue to work with over-age, under-credit students.

These rates provide for the inclusion of students who take longer than four years to earn a high school diploma, but who successfully earn their credential in five or six years. Extended-year graduation rates allow states to document increases in graduation rates compared to the traditional four-year measure and highlight the successful work of schools and districts to get struggling and out-of-school students back on-track to graduation. The brief encourages states to calculate five- and six-year high school graduation rates to ensure that schools’ and districts’ efforts to serve struggling and off-track students are recognized and not discouraged.

The brief recommendations the following:

• In addition to four-year graduation rates, states should gather and report extended-year graduation rates.
• States should use extended year graduation rates for purposes of accountability.
• States should use extended graduation rates to create incentives for schools and districts to serve struggling and off-track students.

By Nancy in Publications
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