Archive for September, 2015

Welcome to Utah’s New State CTE Director, Thalea Longhurst!

Tuesday, September 29th, 2015

We are pleased to welcome Thalea Longhurst, Utah’s new State CTE Director! Longhurst had an unusual introduction to the education field, beginning her career in sports medicine. While obtaining a master’s degree and working in a clinic, a local school district expressed interest in starting a sports medicine program. Longhurst started by teaching just a few hours a day, which eventually turned into a 10-year part-time teaching tenure at the local high school. Utah has the unique ability to license industry professionals to teach in the classroom, allowing her to practice sports medicine professionally, while also teaching part time.

After 10 years, Longhurst decided to dedicate her career to education and took a full-time position. After working in the district to develop standards and assessments, she transitioned to the State CTE office and rose through the ranks to her eventual appointment as State CTE Director in 2014.

As State Director, her primary goal for CTE in Utah is to take a hard look at what programs are outdated or are not aligned to the workforce needs of the state and ensure only the highest quality programs are supported moving forward. “CTE should be a part of a comprehensive approach to education that is rigorous, not less than any other type of study and is an integral part to every student’s education,” said Longhurst.

A challenge in building and supporting these high-quality programs of study has been engaging the right partners in program development. To create a program that not only focuses on high academic and technical achievement, but also provides learners with the skills employers in the community needs, the Utah CTE office has been bringing multiple partners to the table, including local industry, business, economic development agencies, workforce services, educators, and parents among others. Although engaging each partner, in addition to aligning expectations of success across these sectors, has been challenging, Longhurst is convinced this effort will strengthen the quality of Utah’s CTE programs of study.

Under Longhurst, Utah is working towards the goal of every student equipped with 21st century college- and career-ready skills with access to high-quality programs of study that are directly aligned with industry needs. Be on the lookout for exciting work happening in Utah.

Katie Fitzgerald, Communications Associate 

By Katie Fitzgerald in News

This Week in CTE

Friday, September 25th, 2015

TWEET OF THE WEEK

WEBINAR OF THE WEEK
The Alliance for Excellent Education and Asia Society are hosting a webinar, Raising the Bar for the Quality of Career Preparation Pathways: Apprenticeships on October 2 from 1 – 2 p.m. EDT. Panelists will focus on the success of the Swiss apprenticeship program and how the U.S. education system can integrate some aspects of the Swiss program.
Register today

RESOURCE OF THE WEEK
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce launched a new website this week where the business community can learn more about college and career ready standards. Achieving Tomorrow is complete with, videos, op-eds from chamber leaders, resources and a map with state assessment information, college completion rates and skills gap projects.
Learn more

Katie Fitzgerald, Communications Associate

By Katie Fitzgerald in News, Resources, Webinars

Getting to Know … Idaho

Monday, September 21st, 2015

Note: NASDCTEc has launched a new blog series called, “Getting to Know …” We are using this series to help our readers learn more about specific states, State CTE Directors, our partners and more. Check out our entries about Florida and Michigan!

State Name: Idahocte-logo-idaho

State CTE Director: Dwight Johnson, Administrator, Professional-Technical Education

About Idaho: CTE in Idaho is known as Professional-Technical Education, or PTE. The Division of Professional-Technical Education is responsible for secondary, postsecondary and adult PTE programs. PTE is delivered at the secondary level through high schools and magnet schools. At the postsecondary level, there are three community colleges, one standalone technical college and two technical colleges that are embedded within the state’s four-year universities – all with PTE programs.

With the belief that PTE sits at the nexus of education and the workforce, Johnson has been using his years of experience at the Department of Labor to strengthen connections between secondary and postsecondary PTE programs and the workforce. This starts with an intensive realignment process of secondary and postsecondary CTE programs, which will help to provide a seamless educational experience for Idaho students and best prepare them for success in their careers. Check out just a few facts about Idaho PTE here!

Notable in Idaho: Idaho has been working to expand student access to PTE programs of study through its soon-to-launch PTE Digital, which allows students to take PTE courses in health and IT. Johnson said PTE is looking to expand these options to other pathways to create more opportunities, particularly for students located in very rural areas.

Additionally, in 2014, the Idaho legislature established the Fast Forward program, which provides junior and senior high school students with up to $200 and $400, respectively, to help cover the cost of taking dual credit courses, PTE-approved industry certification exams and college-bearing exams. The program has been so successful that costs have far exceeded original projections, as more and more students take advantage of the opportunity to earn advance credit and certifications.

Finally, the Department is developing a microcertification and badging effort called SkillStack. The initiative has two primary goals: to validate students’ technical skills and competencies against industry-defined standards and to help with the articulation of credit from secondary PTE programs to postsecondary institutions. Idaho educators can track and validate student skill attainment through the site, once the Department verifies that the curriculum taught was aligned to industry standards. Soon, employers will be able to search for candidates with the badges, and skills, that they need.

Andrea Zimmermann, State Policy Associate

By Andrea Zimmermann in Uncategorized

This Week in CTE

Friday, September 18th, 2015

TWEET OF THE WEEK

ARTICLE OF THE WEEK

The Council of State Governments September/October issue of Capitol Ideas magazine focuses on Science, Technology Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) with an article specifically on how Career Technical Education intersects with STEM.
Read More

WEBINAR OF THE WEEK

NASDCTEc in partnership with the Appalachia Regional Comprehensive Center are hosting a webinar,. Reshaping Tennessee’s Work-based Learning on Thursday, October 15. The webinar will explore how Tennesee is reshaping work based learning to create a rigorous and relevant experience for all students.
Register

REPORT OF THE WEEK

Don’t Quit on Me, a report released by America’s Promise Alliance, explores how the role of relationships in a student’s life impacts their chances of graduating high school.
Read More

AWARD OF THE WEEK

The Alliance for Excellent Education opened applications for their Excellence and Innovation In Secondary Schools award. The awards will identify exemplary high schools and/or districts that are improving outcomes for undeserved students.
Apply

Katie Fitzgerald, Communications Associate 

By Katie Fitzgerald in Advance CTE Resources, Meetings and Events, News, Publications, Research, Resources, Webinars

NASDCTEc Legislative Update: Obama Administration Announces College Scorecard and Apprenticeship Grants as Congress Edges Closer to Funding Deadline

Thursday, September 17th, 2015

United States CapitalEarlier this year, the Obama Administration announced its intention to create a college ratings system where postsecondary institutions would be sorted into three broad categories of high, medium, and low performing schools. Many stakeholder groups, including NASDCTEc, provided feedback on this proposal to the U.S. Department of Education (ED) and many groups had significant reservations about the newly proposed effort.

After taking these comments into consideration, ED announced earlier this summer that they would change direction with this initiative and create a new public-facing information tool that would make institution specific information available to consumers to make more informed choices about their postsecondary education options without making a value judgement.

Last week, the Department released this tool, known as the College Scorecard which is now available on their website. The tool offers information on an institution’s costs, graduation rates, the percentage of students receiving federal aid, and significantly, the median earnings of graduates 10 years after completion. Most of this information comes with caveats—as a related technical paper from ED notes, the earnings information only covers those students receiving federal grants or loans, includes graduates and non-completers alike, and excludes currently enrolled students.

More detailed information on the scorecard can be found via the Workforce Data Quality Campaign of which NASDCTEc is a national partner.

While the scorecard is a significant step in the right direction, more can still be done to improve upon this work such as refocusing the effort to look at program-level data where it would be far more useful to students and their families. In the coming weeks, NASDCTEc plans to work with its partners to provide comment on the scorecard and will continue to think through ways in which the tool could be improved.

Administration Announces More Funding for Apprenticeships

Another big development happened last Wednesday when President Obama and Dr. Jill Biden announced the 46 grantees for this year’s U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) American Apprenticeship grant program (AAG). Using Macomb Community College in Michigan as a backdrop for the announcement, this $175 million investment is part of the Admisntration’s wider effort to double the number of apprenticeships in the country—a realistic goal considering the U.S. lags behind nearly every other advanced country when it comes to participation in apprenticeships. While this is the second year for the AAG program, the Admisntration’s move to increase the amount of funding available by an additional $75 million underscores their strong commitment to what they’ve dubbed the “earn and learn” model for the coming years.

The grantees plan to create training opportunities for 34,000 apprenticeships at these 46 public-private partnerships, mostly in areas such as advanced manufacturing, healthcare, and information technology while scaling up many existing programs in construction, transportation, and energy over the next few years. Many of the grantees plan to develop or build upon existing state or local career pathways, sector partnerships, and the Registered Apprenticeship College Consortium initiative that have boosted activity in this area throughout the country in recent years.

For instance, the Illinois Advance Apprenticeship Consortium grant, which will receive $3.9 million in grant funding, plans to create 600 new apprenticeship positions that link to the state’s career pathway initiative, in order to create new on and off ramps for students to pursue these opportunities.

NASDCTEc applauds the Admisntration’s commitment to investing in the nation’s workforce and looks forward to the work that lies ahead as these grants start to reap benefits for students across the country. More information on the announcement can be found here and here.

Administration Launches “Heads Up America” Campaign and Continues to Push College Promise Proposal

Apprenticeships were only half of the conversation when President Obama and Dr. Jill Biden spoke at Macomb Community College last week. The President has continued to advocate for his America’s College Promise proposal which would make the first two years of college tuition free for qualifying students.

As part of that effort, the President has announced the creation of an independent advisory board for this effort, chaired by Dr. Jill Biden and former Wyoming Governor Jim Geringer, to convene like-minded postsecondary leaders, share best practices and models for the effort’s expansion, and to serve as recruiting tool to get more individuals involved in the work to expand the initiative throughout states and local communities. A full list of the board members is located here.

To that end, one of the core functions of this new board will be to spearhead a public awareness and grassroots campaign called “Heads Up America”. The goal of this effort is to spread awareness about community colleges and to create a nationwide movement to support the President’s call for lawmakers to take action on his America’s College Promise proposal. More information on this effort can be found here.

Odds & Ends

Steve Voytek, Government Relations Manager 

By Steve Voytek in News, Public Policy
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CTE Research Review: Making Sense of Credentials

Wednesday, September 16th, 2015

The number of high-demand jobs requiring an occupational license has grown over the past several years. This shift requires changes from the education community when considering the requisite training and preparation that students will need to enter these careers.

A new report from the White House offers policymakers a framework for the growing field of occupational licensing as well some best practices to consider.

Some interesting facts:

Also, licenses are just one type of credential that students can obtain in their educational journey, and with states working to meet the new Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), understanding the different types is more important than ever.

The Association of Career and Technical Education recently published a primer on credentials, in particular the postsecondary space between high school and a two-year degree. Check out the full brief here.

Finally, the two-year degree attracts students of all ages, but which of those age groups are most likely to continue on to earn their bachelor’s degree? A quick fact sheet from the American Association of Community Colleges’ “Data Points” series has the answer.

certs

Source: Association of Career and Technical Education

Andrea Zimmermann, State Policy Associate

By Andrea Zimmermann in Research
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Inside International CTE: CTE From an International Employer Perspective

Tuesday, September 15th, 2015

Our previous international blog posts have largely focused on international Career Technical Education (CTE)/Vocational education systems and how they operate. Today, we will look at CTE through the lens of an international employer in an interview with Aaron Coulson, New Talent Manager at National Grid in the UK. This is part of our ongoing blog series with Asia Society’s Global Learning Blog on Education Week. 

Can you describe a little bit about your company and your need for global talent?

National Grid is an international electricity and gas company based in the UK and northeastern U.S. As owners and operators of the high-voltage electricity transmission network in England and Wales and the high pressure gas transmission system in Britain, we are committed to safeguarding our global environment for future generations and providing all our customers with the highest standards of service through investment in our networks and through our talented, diverse workforce.

In my role working with Our Academy, our largest training center in the UK, I am responsible for all of National Grid’s entry-level talent development programs, an integral component of the company’s ‘grow your strategy,’ that helps develop the skills and knowledge of new employees in the company. The following best outlines our focus areas:

Our Academy has garnered much recognition for our approach to developing new talent and our training programs receive a high number of applicants per year.

Read more about National Grid’s role in the UK CTE system including their work developing new employer-led apprenticeship standards and advice for organizations who want to engage in the field on Education Week’s Global Learning blog.

Katie Fitzgerald, Communications Associate 

By Katie Fitzgerald in Uncategorized

This Week in CTE: President Obama Announces Apprenticeship Program

Friday, September 11th, 2015

TWEET OF THE WEEK

RESOURCE OF THE WEEK

Association for Career and Technical Education released a two-page brief describing the different types of credentials including who they are awarded by, what the credential indicates, and examples of each type.
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EVENT OF THE WEEK

National Tech Ag Day is hosting a live webcast on September 24 from 1:45 0 4:00 p.m. EDT where the American Farm Bureau Federation Office will host panels, national and state education leaders, agriculture teachers and more.
More

ARTICLE OF THE WEEK

President Obama visited Michigan Technical Education Center in Michigan this week to announce a $175 million Labor Department program that will create 34,000 apprenticeships around the country.
More

Katie Fitzgerald, Communications Associate 

By Katie Fitzgerald in News, Publications, Resources

EMS Program Models Secondary and Postsecondary Partnerships

Friday, September 11th, 2015

Walter’s State Community College’s (WSCC) Emergency Medical Services (EMS) program in Morristown, Full page photoTennessee is a model of partnerships between a postsecondary institution and 23 surrounding high schools. Students being the program of study as early as ninth grade where they can earn up to four college credits and have the opportunity to transfer seamlessly into WSCC to become a certified emergency medical technician or paramedic.

The EMS program of study truly spans secondary and postsecondary education and has yielded some incredible results. Of the 28 secondary students participating in the program, all graduated high school and nearly all earned articulated credit and/or a postsecondary credential and enrolled in postsecondary education. For those completing the postsecondary component, they enjoyed a very impressive post-program placement rate from WSCC of 96 percent.

WSCC will be featured during a session at the Association for Career and Technical Education’s annual CareerTech VISION conference in New Orleans, LA in November. Don’t miss the chance to hear from this best practice program and register for the conference today. You can also learn more about WSCC’s EMS program here.

Katie Fitzgerald, Communications Associate 

By Katie Fitzgerald in Advance CTE Resources
Tags:

This Week in CTE

Friday, September 4th, 2015

TWEET OF THE WEEK

ARTICLE OF THE WEEK

Why We Desperately need to Bring Back Vocational Training in Schools
While the four-year college system is failing many students, career technical education programs are being cut across the country leaving high school graduates with few skills and fewer job opportunities.
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VIDEO OF THE WEEK

NCCER and Build Your Future have partnered to create the I BUILT THIS video contest for professionals and instructors to highlight their construction projects and designs. Submit by October 18!
More

RESOURCE OF THE WEEK

The National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation announced it’s CTE program, ProStart, which teaches culinary arts and restaurant management, is now available throughout the United States.
More

Katie Fitzgerald, Communications Associate 

By Katie Fitzgerald in News, Resources

 

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