Archive for September, 2017

New Advance CTE Brief on Rural Access to the World of Work

Thursday, September 28th, 2017

High school students at Tolsia High School in West Virginia have created an industry-validated carpentry business within their classroom.  Students at Haynesville Junior/Senior High School in Louisiana are connected with physical therapists, diesel mechanics, a marriage and family counselor and other industry professionals on a biweekly basis through virtual “micro-industry engagements.” In North Dakota, nursing students can earn their associate’s degree through one of four community colleges, while taking their classes at rural hospitals and health care facilities.  And in Montana, a mobile laboratory is deployed across the state to engage students around various career opportunities.

These are just some of the strategies states are leveraging to ensure all learners – regardless of geography, transportation barriers or the size or diversity of their local industries – are exposed to the world of work.

To help states identify innovative and scalable strategies for ensuring geography doesn’t limit access to real-world experiences, Advance CTE today released the second in a series of briefs titled CTE on the Frontier: Connecting Rural Learners with the World of Work. (You can read the first brief on program quality here). The brief explores state strategies to expand access to work-based learning, employer engagement and industry-driven pathways for rural learners, drawing on promising practices from the states:

While there is no simple solution or silver bullet, states are making important progress and leveraging innovative ways to bring the world of work to learners and provide the necessary resources, technical assistance and supports to ensure local communities can support and sustain those efforts.

CTE on the Frontier: Connecting Rural Learners with the World of Work was developed through the New Skills for Youth initiative, a partnership of the Council of Chief State School Officers, Advance CTE and Education Strategy Group, generously funded by JPMorgan Chase & Co.

Kate Kreamer, Deputy Executive Director

By Kate Blosveren Kreamer in Advance CTE Resources, Publications, Resources
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President Trump Signs STEM Memo, U.S. Department of Education Adds Senior Staff

Wednesday, September 27th, 2017

It’s been a busy week in Washington! President Trump signed a memorandum on promoting Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM). In addition, the U.S. Department of Education has announced new hires and decisions about guidance on campus sexual misconduct. Read below to find out more about the memo, the U.S. Department of Education’s new staff and new guidance.

President Trump Signs Memo on Increasing Access to High-Quality STEM Education

On September 25, President Trump signed a Presidential Memorandum for the Secretary of Education that establishes “promotion of high-quality STEM education, with a particular focus on Computer Science as a Department of Education priority.” In addition, it directs the Secretary of Education to devote “at least $200 million in grant funds per year to the promotion of high‑quality STEM education, including Computer Science in particular.”

New Senior Staff at the U.S. Department of Education

On September 26, Secretary DeVos announced that two new Senior Staff will be joining the U.S. Department of Education on October 2, 2017. Dr. Michael Wooten will be the Deputy Assistant Secretary and Acting Assistant Secretary for the Office of Career, Technical, and Adult Education (OCTAE). Dr. Leonard Haynes will be the Senior Advisor to the Under Secretary. You can find additional information about both new hires in the U.S. Department of Education’s press release here.

U.S. Department of Education Withdraws Guidance, Releases Q&A on Campus Sexual Misconduct

On September 22, the U.S. Department of Education announced that the April 4, 2011 Dear Colleague Letter on Seuxal Violence and the April 29, 2014 Q&A on Title IX Sexual Violence would be withdrawn. In addition, a new interim Q&A on Campus Sexual Misconduct was released. The Department’s press release noted that “In the coming months, the Department intends to engage in rulemaking on Title IX responsibilities arising from complaints of sexual misconduct. The Department will solicit comments from stakeholders and the public during the rulemaking process, a legal procedure the prior administration ignored.”

Kathryn Zekus, Senior Associate for Federal Policy 

By Kathryn Zekus in News

ESB is Now Open for Business

Tuesday, September 26th, 2017

This post is written by the Certiport, A Pearson VUE Business, who is a Platinum Level sponsor of the 2017 Advance CTE Fall Meeting.

Certiport will host an evening of drinks and small bites at a hospitality suite Tuesday, October 17, from 6 to 8 p.m. in Room 917 of the BWI Marriott. Your RSVP is appreciated, but not required– https://certiportsuite917.eventbrite.com/.

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Certiport, a Pearson VUE business, has a new certification exam: Entrepreneurship and Small Business! The Entrepreneurship and Small Business (ESB) certification, practice tests, and supporting curriculum were released in early 2017. The ESB certification is built to test and validate foundational-level concepts and knowledge in entrepreneurship and small business management with a 50-minute exam covering topics such as: recognizing and evaluating opportunities, starting and operating a business, marketing and sales, and financial management.

What is the Entrepreneurship and Small Business Certification (ESB)?

ESB is the first in the new Certiport® Business Fundamentals Certification Program, which will also include certification exams in business disciplines such as Digital Marketing and Finance. The ESB exam is intended for use primarily in academic settings including K-12 and vocational schools as well as community and technical colleges.

Candidates for ESB certification will be expected to have key conceptual knowledge of entrepreneurial and small business principles, although it is not required for students to have had real-world experience as a small business manager in order to take and pass the exam. Successful completion of this certification will validate skills and knowledge for those students interested in working in a middle-skill trade profession as their own bosses, and those with entrepreneurship and small business career aspirations.

Why should students study and seek certification in ESB?

Whether it is a beauty salon in a large metropolitan city, a taco shop in a booming resort location, or a car repair garage in the suburbs, an incredible number of small businesses can be found almost everywhere. In fact, in a recent report from Business.com, “every minute, a new business is started in the U.S. and, according to some, more than 50 percent of all workers will be self-employed by 2020.” (The State of Small Business in America, 2015, Business.com, emphasis added.)

ESB certification engages and prepares students who will pursue additional vocational training after their formal schooling or those who elect to enter the small business sector immediately upon graduation. The entrepreneurial concepts validated by this certification ensure that these students are career ready.

Learn More

Learn more about Entrepreneurship and Small Business certification at www.certiport.com/ESB.

We look forward to visiting with you at the Fall Meeting.

Eldon Lechtenberg, Vice President, Sales-Americas
Mike Maddock, VP, Microsoft Volume Licensing Business – Americas
Lori Monson, Senior Director, NOAM Sales
Brent Clark, Director, Strategic Accounts – NOAM

By Katie Fitzgerald in Advance CTE Announcements, Advance CTE Fall Meeting, Resources

This Week in CTE

Friday, September 22nd, 2017

WEBINAR OF THE WEEK

Safe Students, Safe Workers: Construction Safety Programs in Post-Secondary Career Technical Education Webinar: Learn what post-secondary Career Technical Education programs (CTE) in construction are doing and how to support development of students’ skills for safe work in the classroom and on the job. What administrative systems, instructor support, curriculum content and teaching activities are needed? Presenters will share concrete examples and results from site visits, interviews, and a national survey of instructors and administrators in construction CTE programs in 2-year colleges, as well as action steps and resources for administrators and instructors of CTE programs from a new guide.

ANNOUNCEMENT OF THE WEEK 

Submit a proposal to the 2018 Linked Learning Convention. The Convention brings together more than 900 leaders from education, workforce, research, policy, and nonprofits for strategic conversations and meaningful professional learning aimed at ensuring all students are well prepared for college, career, and life.

TOOL OF THE WEEK 

CNA recently released its interactive labor market analysis tool, which is intended to help CTE stakeholders identify high-wage, high-demand careers and associated education and/or training requirements. The tool was created using data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ national job projections until 2024.

Katie Fitzgerald, Senior Communications Associate

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

New Tool Helps Instructors Embed Global Competence in CTE Coursework

Wednesday, September 20th, 2017

Today, a free professional development course and toolkit was released to help educators address a critical imperative: to prepare all students for work and civic roles in an environment where success increasingly requires the ability to compete, connect, and cooperate on an international scale.

Created by the Center for Global Education in partnership with the Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE) and Advance CTE and supported through the generosity of the Project Management Institute Educational Foundation (PMIEF), “Global Competence Through Career and Technical Education” is a customizable, 10-12 hour, online course and toolkit for middle and secondary school CTE teachers.

One in ten Americans is foreign born, and local communities-urban, suburban, and rural-are growing more diverse. To take advantage of global market opportunities, companies must hire workers with global competence-that is, the capacity and disposition to understand and act on issues of global significance. With an anchor in preparing students for the careers of their choice and a focus on the critical academic, technical, and employability skills needed for success, CTE offers a natural platform on which to build global competencies. Furthermore, integrating project management into CTE curricula helps students strengthen the skills necessary to cooperate in teams, identify and mitigate risk, and execute and monitor collaborative work, skills imperative in the 21st century workforce.

The online course is available through ACTE’s CTE Learn community and the toolkit is available on the Center for Global Education website.
The project addresses three main objectives:

Check out the toolkit here.

Katie Fitzgerald, Senior Associate, Communications 

By Katie Fitzgerald in Uncategorized

States Can Strengthen Career Readiness Under ESSA; Will Round Two States Seize the Opportunity?

Wednesday, September 20th, 2017

Nearly two years of planning came to a head on Monday as states hit the second plan submission window under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). Under the law, states are required to engage in stakeholder consultation and develop a comprehensive, statewide strategy for spending and holding districts and schools accountable for billions of dollars in K-12 federal education funding.

Secretary Betsy DeVos’s Education Department is now responsible for reviewing and approving state implementation plans. However, review of the first round of state plans is still ongoing and four round two states have been granted an extension due to this year’s catastrophic hurricane season. Since the initial submission window in April of this year, Sec. DeVos has publicly approved 14 out of 17 plans, with Michigan, Massachusetts and Colorado still waiting for approval. The department is expected to approve those plans shortly. Among the states scheduled to submit plans this week, Texas, Florida, Alabama and South Carolina — each still reeling from the effects of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma — have been permitted to submit their pans later this fall.

Not all state plans have gone without controversy either. The extensive plan development process surfaced differences of opinion between various policymakers and stakeholders. In a few cases, state governors refused to sign their state plans before they were submitted to the U.S. Department of Education. While states are required to provide the governor 30 days to review and comment on the plan, ESSA does not explicitly require the governor’s approval.

Career Readiness in ESSA

As Advance CTE has discussed at length, there are several leverage points within ESSA — most of them new in this version of the law — that policymakers can use to drive career readiness in their states. The primary leverage points include:

While 11 of the first 17 submitted state plans included (or plan to include) a career-focused measure in their high school accountability rating systems, states overall missed the opportunity to fully leverage ESSA to maximize career readiness. Only five states describes specific state-level activities to support career readiness, STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics) and/or dual enrollment under Title IV, Part A. And only two states identified opportunities to support blended academic and technical professional development under Title II, Part B.

Nevertheless, there is still flexibility for state and local leaders to go beyond what is specifically laid out in their ESSA plans to adopt career readiness strategies and prepare learners for post-high school transitions. Local education agencies must develop their own strategic plans for using ESSA funds. Depending on their local context, school districts may elect to prioritize work-based learning, credential attainment and CTE programs of study.

In the coming months, Advance CTE will review the 34 remaining ESSA plans to determine where and how states are making connections between ESSA and career readiness. This analysis, to be released later this year, will update this summer’s “Mapping Career Readiness in State ESSA Plans” report.

Austin Estes, Policy Associate

By Austin Estes in Public Policy
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Congress Continues Appropriations Process, Secretary DeVos on “Rethink School” Tour

Friday, September 15th, 2017

News This Week

Congress is back in session and the pace is picking up again in Washington! Both the House and Senate have been busy with the Fiscal Year 2018 (FY18) appropriations process. In addition, Secretary DeVos is on a “Rethink School” tour this week. Read below to find out more about FY18 spending decisions and details on Secretary DeVos’ tour.

Continuing Resolution Approved

On September 8, President Trump signed H.R. 601, a short-term spending measure (known as a continuing resolution) that would fund the government through December 8. While the measure keeps the government open until that time, it included a small reduction in funds across all programs in order to comply with current budget caps. This means that some states may see a slightly smaller allocation for the portion of funds in the Perkins Basic State Grant that will be disbursed October 1st. However, there will be opportunities to restore these funds when appropriators work on their final FY18 spending bills (more on this below).

House and Senate Work on Appropriations Bills 

The House Rules Committee held hearings on the eight bill omnibus appropriations bill, H.R. 3354 starting on Tuesday, September 5 and continued their considerations of testimony and amendments through Wednesday, September 13. This bill includes 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. The bill was bundled with seven other appropriations bills in H.R. 3354, which passed the House on September 14 on a 211-198 vote. The bill now heads to the Senate, where it faces an uncertain future.

The Senate is also working on its appropriations bills. On September 6, the Senate Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies Appropriations Subcommittee held a mark up of their appropriations bill. On September 7, the full Senate Appropriations committee approved the bill, which which included level-funding for the FY18 allocation for Perkins Basic State Grants and National Programs. Congress will need to finalize all of the FY18 spending bills by December 8 in order to avoid a government shutdown.

Secretary DeVos Embarks on “Rethink School Tour”

On Tuesday, September 12, Secretary DeVos headed to two schools in Wyoming to kick off the “Rethink School” tour. The tour will “showcase creative ways in which education leaders are meeting the needs of students in K-12 and higher education” according to the media advisory. From September 13-15, Secretary DeVos traveled to schools across Colorado, Nebraska, Missouri, Indiana and to Johnson County Community College in Kansas. Find out more about the tour and which schools she visited here.

Kathryn Zekus, Senior Associate for Federal Policy 

By Kathryn Zekus in Uncategorized

Colleges Play Important Role in Creating Alternative Credentialing Pathways

Tuesday, September 12th, 2017

A new report commissioned by The Commission on the Future of Undergraduate Education at the American Academy of Arts and Sciences examines the landscape of non-degree postsecondary training. The report focused on five categories: certificate programs, work-based training, skills-based short programs, massive open online courses and other online microcredentials, and competency-based education programs, and provides in-depth analyses of each. While these types of trainings vary widely across sectors and states, the authors found that they all tended to be shorter, more flexible, and more directly aligned with employer-defined skills than traditional postsecondary degree programs.

However, data on learner enrollment and outcomes for these programs is limited, so it is difficult to tell how effective an option they ultimately are for learners. With that in mind, the report also found that more traditional degree programs, which have clearer data on outcomes, are increasingly incorporating elements of alternative pathways into their programs to create programs that provide academic and non-academic instruction.

Survey Measures Student Interest and Readiness for Postsecondary

A recent online survey of over 55,000 high school students revealed some interesting findings related to the enthusiasm and readiness for postsecondary education. 84 percent of students indicated a desire to go to college, with only five percent definitely saying no to college. 68 percent of students had plans to attend a 2- or 4-year college immediately after high school.

Interestingly, only 50 percent of 12th grade students feel that their school has helped them develop the skills and knowledge they will need for college-level classes. Students are aware of the various support services offered, and they generally agree those services are helpful. However, not many students are actually choosing to take advantage of them. This could be for a number of reasons, but advertising these services and reducing the stigma of using them might help.

Odds and Ends

The Education Commission of the States launched a 50-state scan highlighting how states issue and analyze postsecondary feedback reports. An interesting finding is that 39 states publicly report high school feedback reports with data on postsecondary enrollment and/or performance.

A new report finds that English language learners are proportionally under-enrolled in New York City’s CTE programs, and that they are less likely to successfully complete the programs once enrolled. The report’s authors feel that this is a major opportunity to enroll more English language learners in CTE programs, as those who do complete their CTE programs graduate at a rate that is 30 percent higher than other English language learners in the city.

Ashleigh McFadden, State Policy Manager

By Ashleigh McFadden in Research
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New PDK Poll Shows that Americans Overwhelmingly Support Career Preparation in High School

Tuesday, September 5th, 2017

The 49th annual PDK Poll of the Public’s Attitudes Toward the Public Schools was released recently, and once again showed the importance of career preparation in K-12 for American students. Respondents overwhelmingly supported the idea that students need classes devoted to preparing them for the real world, including training for specific careers and training on employability and interpersonal skills. Over 80 percent indicated that they would prefer career and jobs preparation courses even if it meant students spending less time in academic courses.

Fewer than half of public school parents (47 percent) expect their child to enroll in a four-year college full time. Other parents expected their child to enroll in two-year colleges or vocational programs, while others expect their students will enroll in postsecondary training part-time while also working. These findings indicate that parents are thinking deliberately and strategically about their students’ futures in the real world.

New Research Highlights Number of Jobs Available for Those without Bachelor’s Degree

A new report from the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce, in collaboration with JPMorgan Chase & Co. details the 30 million “good” jobs available in the US for workers without Bachelor’s degrees. These jobs pay a median wage of $55,000 annually, and are largely found in the manufacturing and skilled-services industries.

The research also points out that even though there is a wide public perception that there are no jobs available for those without Bachelor’s degrees, workers without them still comprise 64 percent of all workers. However, this does not mean that workers do not require any postsecondary training. Increasingly, jobs are requiring Associate’s degrees or other postsecondary credentials, so future job seekers should still plan on attaining some level of postsecondary experience.

Odds and Ends

The Education Commission of the States recently put together a comprehensive summary of state policy actions taken related to high-quality computer science education. These actions include adopting statewide computer science standards and creating banks of high quality resources for educators to use.

The Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce also recently released a report detailing the effects of the current healthcare debate on the nursing profession. The report finds that a college education is increasingly important to be successful in nursing, and also finds that lack of diversity remains a challenge for the field.

Ashleigh McFadden, State Policy Manager

By Ashleigh McFadden in Uncategorized
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Welcome to Dr. Colleen McCabe, Wisconsin’s New State CTE Director!

Tuesday, September 5th, 2017

Earlier this year, Colleen McCabe was visiting the Wisconsin state capitol to meet with legislators about funding for her local school district, or as she describes it, “happily minding my own business.”

That’s when she got a text from a close friend, Morna Foy, who also happens to be the president of the Wisconsin Technical College System (WTCS). Foy asked McCabe to consider joining her at WTCS as Provost and Vice President of Student Affairs.

McCabe knew this would require her to fill the very big shoes of Kathy Cullen, who was retiring after having served in that role for more than a decade. Ultimately, she accepted and was named to the position in early August.

As she settles into her new role, McCabe said she is looking forward to learning more about the shape and history of the technical college system, and using her well-honed skills of innovation and collaboration to look across the system to make sure WTCS is best serving their learners.

Starting from her time as a college athlete and later a coach, McCabe said she believes in understanding the individual gifts of each player or student, rather than trying to force them into a prescribed system. Her greatest coaching challenge came when she served as the coach for a high school boys’ basketball team.

“Working with 19 ninth grade boys, you learn a lot about how to get your message across and get people working together toward a common goal,” she said.

McCabe began her career in education teaching high school health and physical education in Wisconsin. She went on to get her master’s degree in curriculum and instruction, from St. Mary’s, Winona, because she wanted to work to help integrate health skills and competencies across discipline areas in education. After 14 years of K-12 instruction, she joined the University of Wisconsin-Platteville as an assistant volleyball coach and lecturer. During her 17 years at the Platteville campus, she completed her doctorate in educational leadership, from Edgewood College and then entered into a faculty role, where she continued to teach and served as department chair of Health and Human Performance for 14 years.

McCabe also consulted with the state’s Department of Public Instruction on their health education initiative to help K-12 educators revamp their curricula to focus on the development of the health-related skills, through use of content activities and assessments. This “Skills are the Units” concept prompts developmental learning so that students know how to use health content effectively throughout life. Because of her work in both K-12 and teacher education training, the Wisconsin Health and Physical Education Association, honored her as the 2014 Health Educator of the Year.

Now at WTCS, she plans to leverage all of this experience to keep the technical college system on the cutting edge. She noted to support the vision, planning, and work needed to remain a leader in career and technical education requires the ability to adapt and make changes.

“Change is hard,” McCabe said. “No one welcomes it, even the minute changes. I believe my role at WTCS is about supporting people when they have to get out of their comfort zone when change is needed.”

Andrea Zimmermann, Senior Associate, Member Engagement and Leadership Development

By Andrea Zimmermann in Advance CTE State Director
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