Archive for October, 2012

Pilot Project on Improving Data Exchange Between Industry Certification Organizations and State Education and Workforce Longitudinal Data Systems

Wednesday, October 31st, 2012

NASDCTEc is serving on the advisory committee, led by ACTE and collaboration of national and state partners, to support a project that expands and improves data exchange between industry certification organizations and state longitudinal data systems.

 The project is based on a multi-year roadmap for the development of a national data exchange clearinghouse that will allow states and educational institutions to gain access to data on industry-recognized certifications earned by students.

The clearinghouse could serve as an excellent resource to inform the decisions associated with programming, teaching and learning within CTE and provide a crucial missing link in the pursuit of quality data reflecting student performance of CTE programs.

Over the next year, in addition to a focus on raising awareness of the need for improving data exchange a pilot project will be conducted between states and industry partners on how data can be effectively and securely exchanged and used for the benefit of all parties. Current industry partners include CompTIA and The Manufacturing Institute (an affiliate of the National Association of Manufacturers, or NAM).

The Department of Education is also interested in the development and outcome of this project. Industry certifications and licensure are a growing part of the expected outcomes of career and technical education (CTE) programs, and the Department is interested in the identification of solutions to the issues surrounding state collection of valid and reliable data.

This pilot project is based on a recent Illinois and CompTIA project that demonstrated the feasibility of linking state and certification data, and states are currently being recruited to participate.

To find out more about the project or to submit a state application to participate in the pilot project please go to the web page to view the documents and information or contact Alisha Hyslop at ACTE.

 

Dean Folkers, Deputy Executive Director

 

By Dean in Advance CTE Announcements, Career Clusters®, News
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NASDCTEc releases Request for Proposal

Friday, October 26th, 2012

The National Association of State Directors of Career Technical Education Consortium (NASDCTEc) is issuing a Request for Proposals (RFP) to identify a contractor to conduct an alignment study to compare the Common Career Technical Core (CCTC) against state Career Technical Education (CTE) standards.

The CCTC, released in June 2012, includes a set of standards for each of the 16 Career ClustersTM and supporting career pathways, a comprehensive collection of industry-validated expectations of what students should know and be able to do after completing instruction in a program of study. The CCTC also includes an overarching set of Career Ready Practices that apply to all 16 Career Clustersâ„¢. The Career Ready Practices include 12 statements that address the knowledge, skills and dispositions that are important to becoming career ready.

To help states facilitate the adoption and implementation of the CCTC, the NASDCTEc Board of Directors has called for a comparable, uniform evaluation of current state and territory standards against the CCTC. The purpose of the alignment study is two-fold. First, to provide feedback to individual states and territories about alignment to inform the development of an adoption plan and an implementation plan. Second, to provide a broad understanding of the needs of states and territories in adopting and implementing the CCTC so that NASDCTEc can develop targeted technical assistance and resources. NASDCTEc also anticipates that the results of this study could contribute to the development of assessments in the future.

NASDCTEc plans to publicly release the results of the full gap analysis in October 2013 during the fall membership meeting. NASDCTEc plans to share each individual state or territory report with the respective CTE State Director by August 31, 2013, prior to the public release.

The RFP and Budget Template can be found online at: http://www.careertech.org/career-technical-education/cctc/cctcrfp.html.

 

Dean Folkers, Deputy Executive Director

By Dean in Advance CTE Announcements, Career Clusters®, Common Career Technical Core
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Meet Mike Raponi, NASDCTEc Region IX Representative

Thursday, October 25th, 2012

In order for our members to know the individuals who serve them at the national level, NASDCTEc presents a blog series called “Meet Your Board Members;” today we are featuring Mike Raponi, Region IX Representative, and State Director of Nevada. Region IX encompasses Arizona, California and Nevada.

Mike Raponi has worked in technical education for over twenty-seven years as a teacher and program administrator, including his current position as director for the Office of Career Technical Education (CTE) at the Nevada Department of Education. He has a bachelor’s degree in industrial education from the University of Wisconsin–Stout and a master’s degree in adult education and from Oregon State University. Mike also holds a school administration endorsement.

At the Department of Education, Mike is responsible for staff supervision, grants administration, and program development for CTE and adult education. His primary focus for CTE has been the development of common state standards, common course names and sequences, end-of-program assessments, curriculum frameworks and programs of study for all of CTE. This work is to provide the infrastructure to support state-level priorities for economic and workforce development.

Mike’s background includes time spent in the grocery and construction industries, and service as a Peace Corps volunteer in Honduras.
Mike Raponi
Mr. Raponi said his states’ work in developing a common set of standards for employability skills based on the twenty-one Workplace Readiness Standards established by the Commonwealth of Virginia, was recently adopted by the Nevada State Board of Education.

When asked for his goals as NASDCTEc Region IX representative, Mr. Raponi said he was excited to move forward on initiatives to help CTE nationwide, and to assist states in achieving goals of the new vision for CTE.

Mr. Raponi brings a rich history of CTE knowledge to the table and can be reached at mraponi@doe.nv.gov.

Ramona Schescke, Member Services Manager

By Ramona in Advance CTE Announcements, Advance CTE State Director

Huffington Post Highlights Career Readiness Definition

Thursday, October 25th, 2012

The Career Readiness Partner Council (CRPC), a coalition of education, business, philanthropic, and policy groups including NASDCTEc, released last week a vision statement on what it means to be career ready. The definition broadens the college and career readiness conversation by emphasizing the essential link between education, employment, and lifelong learning.

This week, Gallup research director Tim Hodges penned a blog on Huffington Post about how the CRPC’s vision provides clear guidance for policymakers, educators, students, and others to move toward career readiness.

Hodges wrote that, “This new definition challenges the historical belief that career readiness is a one-way street that starts in K-12 and runs through college, ending as one enters a career. The CRPC recognizes that career readiness is a lifelong process that connects education and employment to achieve a fulfilling, financially secure and successful career.”

Learn more about the CRPC and career readiness at www.careerreadynow.org.

Kara Herbertson, Research and Policy Manager

 

By Kara in News
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NASDCTEc Webinar Registration Reminder for Career Clustersâ„¢ Crosswalks and the Crosswalk Validation Project

Tuesday, October 23rd, 2012

This is a reminder to register now for the Career Clustersâ„¢ Crosswalks and the Crosswalk Validation Project upcoming webinar on October 25.

This webinar will discuss the Crosswalk Validation Project and provide an understanding of why it is necessary use a validated crosswalk when trying to develop and implement programs of study (POS), career pathways, or, more, generally career preparation areas. In addition, discussion about the crosswalk uses for state education agencies (SEAs) and local education agencies (LEAs) in building linkages for career guidance and a discussion about the necessity for SEAs and LEAs to use a validated resource for reporting Perkins accountability requirements.

The Crosswalk Validation Project was a two-year long project led jointly by the National Association of State Directors of Career and Technical Education Consortium (NASDCTEc) and the National Research Center for Career and Technical Education (NRCCTE). The Crosswalk Validation Project focuses on updating and refining the original national crosswalk (known as Table 7 on www.careertech.org) used by SEAs and LEAs for career guidance as well as Perkins accountability.

When: October 25, 2012; 3-4 EDT
Link to Register

Presenters:

Ramona Schescke, Member Services Manager

By Ramona in Webinars
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New York’s P-Tech Program Leads Students to Success

Tuesday, October 23rd, 2012

In New York, the Pathways in Technology Early College High School (P-Tech) is a new style of Career Technical Education (CTE) school that weaves high school and college curriculums into a six-year program tailored for a job in the technology industry.

Students are following a course of studies developed in consultation with IBM, and are expected to emerge with associate’s degrees in applied science in computer information systems or electromechanical engineering technology. The first group of students is slated to complete coursework by 2017.

Other school systems around the country are encouraged by this approach. The Chicago area opened five similar schools this year with corporate partners in telecommunications and technology. Besides New York and Illinois, education officials in Maine, Massachusetts, Missouri, North Carolina and Tennessee have committed to creating such schools as well.

According to a New York Times article by Al Baker, John B. King, Jr., the state education commissioner said “When we view high-quality CTE programs, we see how engaged those students are and what clear aspirations they have for their future.”

CTE programs such as these enable students to be successful by gaining the skills and training needed through specialized programs of study. These programs achieve added strength through a partnership with IBM that provides mentoring to students and assistance to the school’s educators.

Ramona Schescke, Member Services Manager

By Ramona in News
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Integrating Writing into CTE to Improve Test Scores

Monday, October 22nd, 2012

A recent article from Education Daily shows how an Oregon high school seeks to improve academic test scores by targeting writing through Career Technical Education (CTE).

Educators at Molalla High School noticed that students’ state test scores were weak in a specific area: writing to perform a task. CTE teachers collaborated with academic subject staff to identify opportunities in CTE classrooms for increasing writing instruction and assignments. Through their efforts, teachers recommended the following items for infusing more writing into CTE:

Education Daily is an online publication available only to its subscribers.

Kara Herbertson, Research and Policy Manager

By Kara in News

Study: Texas Dual Enrollment Students Twice as Likely to Earn Associate Degree or Higher

Friday, October 19th, 2012

Dual enrollment provides high school students the opportunity to take college courses while in high school, and research suggests that participation could increase the likelihood that students will attend and graduate from college. Another recent study, following more than 30,000 Texas high school graduates, adds to a growing body of research that supports dual enrollment as a powerful connector of high school and postsecondary education.

For six years, Jobs for the Future, a nonprofit organization helping align education with high-demand careers, followed the 2004 Texas high school graduates. Half of the students had participated in dual enrollment opportunities while in high school, and the other half had not.

The findings from the Texas study are powerful:

Jobs for the Future recommends that policymakers expand dual enrollment opportunities for students. State policy should ensure support and policies to support low-income and underrepresented students in participating in dual enrollment.

Through programs of study that strategically connect secondary education with postsecondary and workforce options, Career Technical Education (CTE) widely supports student participation in dual enrollment programs as a research-based path to postsecondary credential and degree completion.

Kara Herbertson, Research and Policy Manager  

By Kara in Research
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NASDCTEc Joins Broad Coalition, Releases United Statement on Career Readiness

Thursday, October 18th, 2012

NASDCTEc is among a remarkably broad coalition of 27 education, business, philanthropic and policy groups that have come together to create a clear, unified and focused vision for what it means to be career ready.

The Career Readiness Partner Council is aiming to enhance reform efforts around college and career readiness to include a more comprehensive understanding of what it means to be career ready. The Council’s statement, Building Blocks For Change: What it Means to be Career Ready, makes clear that career readiness is a process of connecting “education and employment to achieve a fulfilling, financially-secure and successful career.” Further, it establishes that career readiness must foster “adaptability and a commitment to lifelong learning, along with a mastery of key knowledge, skills and dispositions that vary from one career to another and change over time.”

“The notion of college and career readiness must be broadened, shifting from its primary focus on college entrance and completion to include a mastery of key knowledge, skills and dispositions that students must foster throughout the life of their careers,” said Kimberly Green, NASDCTEc Executive Director.

“The vision laid out by the Career Readiness Partner Council brings the nation closer to developing programs that truly prepare students to compete in the global economy.”

This Council’s definition will help inform policy in states and communities across the country. It offers clear guidance, and lays out next steps for groups from policymakers to educators.  The coalition consulted leading researchers and practitioners during the development, and drew heavily from the rich body of work from many of the participating organizations.

Organizations represented in the Council include the Association for Career and Technical Education, Achieve, American Association of Community Colleges, Council of Chief State School Officers, Ford, National Academy Foundation and the National Governors Association.

“We hope,” the document says, “this definition spurs conversation and action in communities across the nation. The inextricable link between education and the economy has never been more apparent, the urgency for change unparalleled.”

The full report and a complete list of the participating organizations can be found at CareerReadyNow.org

By Erin in News
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Friends of CTE Blog: The Strength of America: It’s in the American Workforce and Technical Careers

Wednesday, October 17th, 2012

Nicholas T. Pinchuk is chairman and chief executive officer of Snap-on Incorporated, and serves on the Corporation’s board of directors. He was named president and chief operating officer in April 2007. He joined Snap-on in 2002. Mr. Pinchuk has been a strong advocate for career and technical education and has provided leadership in the development of new initiatives to link industry and education.

Nicholas T. Pinchuk is chairman and chief executive officer of Snap-on Incorporated

Ideas and Amplifiers

Harvard professor David Landes in his landmark book Wealth and Poverty of Nations recognizes that the success of our nation is rooted in our workforce. The American workforce – focused on individual aspirations and pursuing collective goals – has been our country’s strength for generations.

But, when we rise any morning and watch TV or read the newspaper, we hear that we are under challenge . . . that we’re in a global competition. Well, the best thing we can do in this conflict is to enable our workforce with Career Technical Education (CTE). This is the way forward . . . there is no more important task in contemporary America.

The American workforce has delivered us from evil, generation after generation. We’ve had brilliant people such as Thomas Edison, Alexander Graham Bell, and Henry Ford. Ford, like the others, had a groundbreaking idea but his vision would not have been actionable without an assisting amplifier.  And, he chose the greatest commercial amplifier of the day . . . the American workforce . . . committed, focused and energetic. In the process, he created the American auto industry and he got rich for it, as he should have.  But, along the way, he also created the opportunity to build prosperous and fulfilling lives for the millions of Americans who helped make his vision a reality.

The same story is true of Snap-on. We were founded on an innovation and the people from the state of Wisconsin helped take our products around the world and, in the process, built lives of fulfillment and prosperity for themselves and their successors.

Competitive Advantage in the Global Workforce

We know there are urgent challenges to our economy and to our workforce. Thirty percent of America’s manufacturing jobs have disappeared in the past 20 years. So what’s changed since Henry Ford? A lack of innovation . . . I don’t think so.  We can just look around and see that there are still many new ideas, clearly evident in the progress across modern America.

It’s not the American workforce.  Clearly…I can tell you, when I walk the hallways and the factory floors of Elizabethton, Tennessee, or Murphy, North Carolina, or Milwaukee, Wisconsin, I see the same commitment and focus and energy that I suspect Henry Ford saw all those years ago.

What is different is that when I tour those same passages in Shanghai or Delhi, as I do regularly, I also see commitment, focus and energy . . . I see a workforce hungry for advancement and motivated to build their own prosperity.

What has changed is that qualities like commitment and energy are no longer differentiating in the global competition to be the preferred enabling workforce for the ideas of today.

So, we can only win the global economic competition for broad prosperity by creating an advantage…by arming our workforce with capability and technical skills. If we learn anything from American history, it is that society advances through the hands, minds and hearts of its professional workers. In fact, America has consistently moved forward over the years on the brilliance of the few and on the efforts of the many.

Now, Snap-on is – I believe – a great example of what I’m talking about. We make 80 percent of what we sell in the United States right here in America. And, most of what we make has high labor content.  This  can be hard to accomplish successfully in a developed environment like the United States. We’re able to do it because we have a capable and flexible workforce, proximate to the world’s greatest market. This approach, using proximity and capability as an advantage, can be duplicated all across this country.  But, what’s needed is an American workforce armed with the right skills…a workforce enabled by technical education.

Industry and Government both must participate in this effort.  In that regard, I see two major areas of focus:

Industry needs to enable technical institutions.  We must ensure that schools are using the best equipment and facilities.  Industry also needs to help set standards for education so that students learn the specific skills that are necessary, that are actionable in the marketplace, and that can get them the jobs that create prosperity. That’s first.

Second, is that somewhere along the way, America – in my opinion – has lost a bit of its respect for technical occupations.  They are now often viewed as a consolation for not earning a four-year degree. Both Government and Industry need to work in tandem to change this view.  Young people must be encouraged to pursue technical professions.

The Clarion Call

People might recognize the importance of training for a technical career, but how do they react when someone close to them follows such a path?  I’m not sure…probably not so positively.  The truth is that technical education and the associated careers are viewed by many as a consolation prize.  Now, the facts don’t support this view.  But, there’s no denying that there is a gap between perception and reality for technical education.  It’s an optics problem that I believe must be remedied by leaders . . . national leadership from business, government and education.

During the space race, President Kennedy recognized that Americans felt threatened by the Russians with the launch of Sputnik. He appeared on national TV and said: “We are going to put a man on the moon in this decade.” He made it a national priority and young people all over this country viewed entering technical careers as a national calling.

Just like in the space race, we need to make skilled workforce training a national priority. And, we need to make skilled careers a national calling. Technical education must possess that kind of priority focus. That’s one reason why I’m so enthusiastic about student organizations like SkillsUSA. They enable young people with the capabilities they need to win the global competition, and they create an excitement so that these young men and women readily embrace technical learning and avidly pursue those careers with pride.

When some say the American worker is the problem, I say no . . . the American worker is the answer. But, the strength of any workforce is based on technical capabilities. As a nation, we must transform the view of a technical degree from being a consolation to an aspiration. We need to enable workers with both training and respect. Because of that, CTE and SkillsUSA have never been more important to assure a prosperous American future.

How Can You Get Involved?

Now is the time to act.  Form partnerships involving all stakeholders – education, industry and government.  Understand the skills requirements on a local level.  And celebrate technical education and career achievements at every opportunity.

The Friends of CTE Guest Blog Series provides advocates – from business and industry, to researchers and organizations – an opportunity to articulate their support for Career Technical Education. The monthly series features a guest blogger who provides their perspective on and experience with CTE as it relates to policy, the economy and education.

Are you interested in being a guest blogger and expressing your support for CTE? Contact Erin Uy, Communications and Marketing Manager, at euy@careertech.org.

By Erin in News
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