Archive for August, 2017

Excellence in Action Spotlight: Millard Education Career Academy gives students leg up on careers

Tuesday, August 29th, 2017

As teachers around the nation arrive back at their schools this month to set up their classrooms, finalize lesson plans, and take in the calm before the storm, several new members will be among their ranks. To honor the ground work done to prepare them, we’d like to highlight our 2017 Excellence in Action award winner in the Education & Training Career Cluster, the Millard Public Schools Education Career Academy, located at Millard West High School in Omaha, NE.

At Advance CTE, we believe that in order to provide the best Career Technical Education (CTE), programs of study must give all learners authentic, real-world experiences linked to the career interest of their choice. At the Education Career Academy, real-world experiences are the bedrock of the curriculum. In partnership with the school district, students participate in extensive work-based learning internships to put what they’re learning into practice and build connections with educators in their communities.

During their junior year, students enter the workplace for part of the school day one day a week for two, nine-week placements. The first placement pairs education students with a student in a special needs classroom. While education students do not have access to Individualized Education Plan (IEPs), the special education teacher gives them all the goals they are working toward with these students. On the last day of this placement, Academy students present a specialized academic and social lesson plan they’ve designed for their partnered student.

The second nine-week classroom placement is through partnerships with five elementary and three middle schools. These offer a variety of practical experiences – ranging from Montessori classrooms to IB classrooms, schools with high proportions of English language learners to schools with high proportions of low-income students. These experiences include observation and shadowing, as well as mentoring and tutoring a general education student. This array of site placements and multitude of approaches and types of teaching the students get to experience allows them to see what age group and setting they are most suited to teach, and plan their postsecondary education and career pathway accordingly.

For the last nine weeks of their senior year, students are placed for four half days per week in a classroom for an education practicum totaling 108 contact hours. This experience includes collaborating with teachers and parents, lesson design and delivery, and reflection activities throughout. Graduates of the program are armed with a portfolio of lesson plans they’ve designed and implemented and educator feedback, giving them a tremendous leg up in postsecondary and beyond.

Learn more about the Education Career Academy at Millard West High School and our 2017 award winners.

By Katie Fitzgerald in News, Resources
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In Ohio, Policymakers Modify Graduation Requirements, Expand Credential Options

Tuesday, August 29th, 2017

When Ohio state legislators passed HB487 in 2014, their intention was to increase flexibility, strengthen the rigor of high school examinations and provide more opportunities for learners to graduate ready for careers. Among other reforms, the bill formalized three pathways to graduation that would go into effect for the graduating class of 2018 (those students starting grade 12 this fall). These pathways include earning a remediation-free score on a college entrance examination, earning a cumulative passing score on seven end-of-course exams, or earning certain state-approved industry-recognized credentials.

But when local superintendents raised concerns about the policy earlier this year, state policymakers made critical last-minute changes and adopted additional graduation options. The concern was largely rooted in the idea that new end-of-course examinations were more difficult than previous versions and that many students would fall short of the full points needed to earn a diploma. Local leaders worried that the state graduation rate would fall by as much as a third under the new requirements.

In responses to this concern, Superintendent Paolo DeMaria and the State Board of Education identified a temporary solution that would provide additional flexibility and delay full implementation for a year. That modification was officially adopted and authorized by the legislature in the fiscal year 2018-19 operating budget, passed in June. Under the policy change, students in the class of 2018 will have two additional opportunities to earn a high school diploma. Under one pathway, students will still have to earn 20 course credits and take end-of-course exams, but they can also graduate by meeting at least two of the following:

An additional pathway allows students to earn a diploma by completing end-of-course examinations, finishing at least four courses in a state approved CTE program of study, and either earning a proficient score on technical skill assessments, earning an industry-recognized credential or completing 250 hours of work-based learning. While these changes only apply to the graduation class of 2018, the state hopes to develop a long-term solution soon.

Ohio Students Now Have More Options to Earn Industry-Recognized Credentials

Meanwhile, the Ohio Department of Education expanded options for students on the credential graduation pathway by adopting 49 new industry-recognized credentials. The current list spans 13 career fields ranging from health to hospitality and tourism. To be added to the list, credentials must either be aligned with in-demand occupations in Ohio or be submitted for consideration by members of the public.

To help learners take full advantage of the industry-recognized credential pathway and cross the finish line with credentials in hand, Ohio is also implementing a senior only credential program. The program is designed to help high school seniors who have met most of their graduation requirements round out their senior year and graduate career ready. Participating students can choose from several credentials — such as the National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America Approved Veterinary Assistant credential or the American Medical Certification Association Phlebotomy Technician Certification — that can be earned within a year or less. The senior year credential program is a key piece of Ohio’s career readiness strategy under the New Skills for Youth initiative.

Elsewhere, States Authorize New Grants, Modify Course Requirements and Finalize ESSA Plans

Austin Estes, Policy Associate

By Austin Estes in Public Policy
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Congress Plans Appropriations Action in September & New WIOA Resources

Wednesday, August 23rd, 2017

While Congress is in recess until September 5, they’re likely to move quickly on the appropriations process for the 2018 Fiscal Year (FY18) when they return. Read below to find out more about what’s on the agenda for Congress in September and new resources on the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), including a report and three short videos.

House to Consider Omnibus Spending Bill After Recess

The U.S. House of Representatives is scheduled to consider an eight bill omnibus appropriations bill when they return from recess the week of September 4. The bill will include the Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies spending bill, which included level-funding for the FY18 allocation for Perkins Basic State Grants and National Programs. It will be bundled with seven other appropriations bills in H.R. 3354, the Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Appropriations bill, when it goes to the House floor. In addition, the appropriations process in the Senate is likely to pick up again in early September –  now is a great time to reach out to your members of Congress (thanks to our partners at the Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE) for sharing their resources with the entire CTE community) to let them know that you support a strong federal investment in Career Technical Education (CTE)!

New Report on Importance of Partnership Between States and the Federal Government on Workforce Development 

The National Governors Association and the National Associations of State Workforce Liaisons and State Workforce Board Chairs just released a report, The Promise of the State-Federal Partnership on Workforce Development & Training, that outlines three cornerstones of successful state workforce development systems. One of these cornerstones is “Education Partnerships Align Education and Training with Skill Needs,” which calls for supporting and expanding opportunities for work-based learning and CTE (page 3). The report also highlights how WIOA and a continued federal investment in state workforce programs are key to growing state economies and provides seven recommendations for the Trump Administration.

Looking for Videos about WIOA Implementation?

Check out three new videos from WorkforceGPS, sponsored by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration, that were filmed during the 2017 WIOA National Convenings. In these short videos, attendees answered the following questions: “What is Innovation?“, “How Has WIOA Changed the Work You Do?” and “What WIOA Work Has You Excited?” and shared stories about their efforts to implement WIOA.

Kathryn Zekus, Senior Associate for Federal Policy

By Kathryn Zekus in News

Latest Advance CTE Brief Examines Rural CTE Program Quality

Tuesday, August 22nd, 2017

When Todd County School District received a $103,000 grant in 2014 under Governor Dennis Daugaard’s South Dakota Future Fund, the rural South Dakota district put the money to use, administering a survey of local business leaders to identify the career pathways that were most in need in the community. With the information collected through the survey, Todd County School District updated and aligned Career Technical Education (CTE) curriculum to better reflect employer needs.

Targeted investments like Gov. Daugaard’s fund, which has since evolved into South Dakota’s Workforce Education Grant program, provide a catalyst for rural districts and institutions to improve CTE program quality and ensure career pathways are aligned with labor market needs and student interest.

Improving CTE quality in rural communities is an imperative for all states, yet rural CTE programs often face unique challenges that are not present in more densely populated areas. For example, decentralization, lack of resources and more limited employer relationships in rural communities can result in the preservation of legacy programs over more industry-relevant career pathways. Decisions about what programs to offer are too often driven by the availability of equipment or facilities, teacher supply and even tradition.

To help states improve the quality of rural CTE, Advance CTE today released the first in a series of briefs titled CTE on the Frontier: Catalyzing Local Efforts to Improve Program Quality. The brief explores state strategies to improve the quality of local CTE programs to ensure they meet industry needs and expand opportunities for rural learners, drawing on promising practices from the states:

These examples demonstrate different approaches state leaders can take to empower local leaders and support program improvement in rural areas. Future briefs in the CTE on the Frontier series will tackle other common challenges, including learner access to the world of work, employing strategic partnerships to increase program offerings and strengthening the rural CTE teacher pipeline.

CTE on the Frontier: Catalyzing Local Efforts to Improve Program Quality was developed through the New Skills for Youth initiative, a partnership of the Council of Chief State School Officers, Advance CTE and the Education Strategy Group, generously funded by JPMorgan Chase & Co.

Austin Estes, Policy Associate

 

By Austin Estes in Publications, Resources
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How to Sell CTE to Parents & Students: States Share Lessons Learned

Tuesday, August 15th, 2017

In the spring, Advance CTE conducted focus groups and a national survey with parents and students to explore their attitudes towards Career Technical Education (CTE). Detailed in the recent report,  “The Value and Promise of Career Technical Education: Results from a National Survey of Parents and Students,”  Advance CTE found that students involved in CTE, and their parents, are extremely satisfied with their education experience – from the quality of their courses to the opportunity for work-based learning. Additionally, those not involved in CTE want more of these same opportunities, which we know CTE can provide.

Four states piloted the messages developed through the research in a series of onsite and online events with the goal of increasing enrollment into CTE programs of study. On September 7, join us from 3 – 4 p.m. ET for a webinar to hear how two states, Maryland and New Jersey, developed their recruitment strategies and activities, utilized the messages and research, and empowered educators, employers, administrators and even students to carry out the messages to middle and high school students and their parents.
Speakers: 
  • Marquita Friday, Program Manager, Maryland State Department of Education
  • Lori Howard, Communications Officer, Office of Career Readiness, New Jersey Department of Education
  • Katie Fitzgerald, Senior Associate, Communications, Advance CTE
Space is limited to be sure to register now! 
Katie Fitzgerald, Senior Associate, Communications 

By Katie Fitzgerald in Advance CTE Announcements, Advance CTE Resources, CTE: Learning that works for America, Meetings and Events, Research, Resources, Webinars

Welcome to Chad Maclin, DC’s new State CTE Director!

Tuesday, August 15th, 2017

Chad Maclin grew up in Fairfax, Virginia, in a family full of educators. He knew from a young age that he also wanted to become a teacher, but it wasn’t until a high school drafting class that he realized he wanted to teach Career Technical Education (CTE).

“CTE is where I felt most comfortable in school. It was my favorite class,” Maclin said.

Maclin also recognized that it wasn’t just the drafting class that made an impact, it was the teacher.

“He made geometry make sense to me through drafting,” he said. “This course was offering me more than content. It was the through-lines to understand how these other classes mattered.”

Maclin went on to receive his CTE teaching degree from Old Dominion University, and began his teaching career in Tampa, Florida.  A few years later, he returned to his hometown of Fairfax to teach technology education courses.

“I wanted to make my class the favorite class where students could go to make sense of their core academics,” he said.

Over the next two decades, Maclin served as a CTE teacher and administrator for Fairfax County Public Schools. He earned his Master’s Degree from George Mason University and he also served as president for the Virginia Association of Career and Technical Education.

In July, he moved into a new role when he was chosen to be the State CTE Director for the District of Columbia. Maclin said he was excited about this incredible opportunity, and is looking to increase CTE dual enrollment participation, engage with local and regional business leaders to determine which industry certifications that are meaningful and recognized, and bolster student engagement and learning through Career Technical Student Organizations.

Maclin said he also wants to make sure CTE programs are promoted far and wide so students and parents can make the most informed choices.

“So many times we hear, ‘I didn’t know schools offered that,’” Maclin said. “I’ve heard it for 20 years. I want to help students and parents know those options are out there.”

Andrea Zimmermann, Senior Associate, Member Engagement and Leadership Development

By Andrea Zimmermann in Advance CTE State Director
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Early Bird Registration Ends Friday

Monday, August 14th, 2017

Early bird registration closes on Friday for the Advance CTE Fall Meeting! We invite you to join us October 16-18, in Baltimore, Maryland, for two days of informative, thought-provoking sessions and networking with your peers across the country.

Register today to save $100!

Check out the newly released agenda to get a peek into the critical professional development you will gain by attending. We’ve crafted programming designed to help state leaders build the buy-in necessary to affect systemic change and ensure quality and excellence in CTE.

We’re also bringing back our popular workshop format, where you can:

Andrea Zimmermann, Senior Associate, Member Engagement and Leadership Development

By Andrea Zimmermann in Advance CTE Fall Meeting

Unpacking Putting Learner Success First: Commitment Across Systems

Friday, August 11th, 2017

A little over one year ago, Advance CTE launched Putting Learner Success First: A Shared Vision for the Future of CTE. This document, which was developed using input from a broad array of stakeholders, calls for a systematic transformation of the education system grounded in five principles. This blog series will dive into each principle, detailing the goals and progress made in each area.

For more resources related to Putting Learner Success First, including state and local self-assessments, check out our Vision Resources page.

All systems work together to put learner success first.

In order to deliver high-quality CTE for all learners, state systems must work together at every level. Secondary and postsecondary must work together and with agencies that handle workforce and economic development issues. All of those agencies must also engage with employer partners and local districts and institutions to inform the design, validation and implementation of CTE programs.

This engagement should include a common vision and goals, along with shared terminology and data, so that each system can function together efficiently.

Those who have signed onto the principle have committed to accomplishing this objective through the following actions:

Since the launch of Putting Learner Success First, Advance CTE has been conducting research and policy scans to raise up examples and promising practices related to this principle. Now, when state leaders place their focus on cross-sector coordination, they have access to multiple resources related to secondary and postsecondary partnerships, governance, accountability systems and statewide longitudinal data systems.

Principle in Action

Relevant Resources

Ashleigh McFadden, State Policy Manager

By Ashleigh McFadden in Uncategorized
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Veterans Education Bill Passes Congress

Thursday, August 10th, 2017

With both the House and Senate now in recess until September 5, the pace has slowed down in Washington. Read below to find out more about what Congress accomplished before the break, what you can do to encourage Congress to invest in CTE when they return, and new resources from the Workforce Information Advisory Council (WIAC).

Veterans Education Bill Goes to President’s Desk

On July 13, Rep. Roe (R-TN) introduced H.R. 3218, the Harry W. Colmery Veterans Educational Assistance Act of 2017, which passed the House unanimously on July 24. The bill was then introduced in the Senate by Senators Isakson (R-GA) and Tester (D-MT) on July 20 and passed the Senate on August 2. It now heads to the President for his signature. The bill would make a number of updates to the Post-9/11 G.I. Bill, including removing the requirement that they use their G.I. Bill benefits within 15 years and allowing for the education benefits received to be used at Area Career Technical Education (CTE) centers, including distance learning opportunities offered by these centers. Find more about the bill in the press release here and the one-page summary here.

Now is the time to Contact your Members of Congress about Investing in CTE

Even though Congress is in recess, your Senators and Representatives still need to hear from you! When Congress returns from recess, they will continue their work on the Fiscal Year 2018 (FY18) budget and appropriations process and must take action before October 1 (the start of FY18 for the government) in order avoid a government shutdown. Now is a great time to reach out to your members of Congress (thanks to our partners at the Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE) for sharing their resources with the entire CTE community) to let them know that you support a strong federal investment in CTE! Please continue to send your stories about what the proposed 15 percent cut to the Perkins Basic State Grant would mean for you to Katie Fitzgerald, kfitzgerald@careertech.org and we will follow up with you about featuring your story in our advocacy communications.

New Resources from the Workforce Information Advisory Council (WIAC)

The Workforce Information Advisory Council (WIAC), a group that Congress established via the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act of 2014 (WIOA) to make recommendations about the workforce and labor market information (LMI) systems at the state and federal levels and advise the Secretary of Labor on these issues. This group just released a new report, Challenges and Opportunities in Workforce and Labor Market Information, which examines how policymakers, researchers and educators can use labor market information to help build the national, state and local workforce and help strengthen the economy. Additionally, the report makes the case for enhancing workforce data quality in order to provide more accurate employment projections and equip learners with resources to make informed decisions about their career paths. WIAC also published a shorter brief and infographic to go along with this report.

Kathryn Zekus, Senior Associate for Federal Policy 

By Kathryn Zekus in Legislation, News

Welcome to Chris Deaton, Indiana’s New State CTE Director!

Wednesday, August 9th, 2017

Nearly 17 years ago, Chris Deaton’s first real job out of college was with the Indiana Department of Workforce Development, where he expected to do accounting and operations work for a federal grant he knew little about at the time – the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act (Perkins).

About two weeks in, his supervisor asked him to take over the office’s data collection and accountability responsibilities. Though he didn’t have much experience doing data and accountability work, he set out to teach himself whatever was necessary to do the job.

Soon after, Deaton realized Career Technical Education (CTE) had its hooks in him.

“It didn’t take me very long, but I fell in love with it. I could have left several times but I just can’t,” Deaton said. “I became very passionate about CTE and the students, what we can do for them, and how we can benefit the economy [through CTE].”

In July, Deaton was named as the State CTE Director at the Indiana Department of Education. While there is always some learning curve to any new job, Deaton feels at home in his new office, because in some ways, what’s new is actually old. That’s because for several years, Deaton’s former office at the Department of Workforce Development was the eligible state agency for the state’s Perkins grant. Now that the Department of Education serves as the Perkins eligible agency, Deaton said he is settling back into the familiar work.

Deaton said he is excited about the work ahead, which includes a major initiative to overhaul the state’s career pathways. The effort will require engaging key stakeholders across the state to reimagine how these should look to ensure every high school student has access to a true career pathway.

Andrea Zimmermann, Senior Associate, Member Engagement and Leadership Development

By Andrea Zimmermann in Advance CTE State Director
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