Archive for October, 2017

State Policy Update: How States Are Working to Increase Credential Attainment

Monday, October 30th, 2017

Strategies Include Promise Programs, Reverse Transfer and Postsecondary Credential Attainment Goals

The demand for Bachelor’s degrees may be overinflated in the labor market, but the number of jobs requiring at least some postsecondary education or training is growing. According to the Georgetown Center for Education and the Workforce, nearly all of the jobs created since the recession have gone to workers with more than a high school education. As such, many states have adopted programs and policies since the recovery to help learners obtain the knowledge, skills and credentials necessary to succeed in today’s workforce.

This month, California joined the ranks of Tennessee, Oregon, Rhode Island and New York after Governor Jerry Brown signed legislation into law establishing a California Promise program. The program is designed to reduce barriers to entry for California college-goers by providing tuition-free community college to first-time students who enroll full time and complete a FAFSA form. Under the legislation, the California Community College Chancellor’s Office would be responsible for administering the program and developing a funding formula to support the program’s objectives.

Although the California Promise program has been signed into law, the program is still subject to state appropriations. The California General Assembly estimates that the program would serve 19,000 students at a total cost of $31.1 million.

Meanwhile, Mississippi is the latest state to help Bachelor’s degree candidates obtain associate’s degrees. The program, called Complete 2 Compete, aims to increase the number of Mississippians with postsecondary credentials by identifying students who either have completed enough credits to qualify for an associate’s degree or are on the cusp of completing a degree. Many postsecondary and adult learners with their sights set on a four-year degree don’t realize that they’ve already earned enough credits for another award. Under the program, some 28,000 students already qualify to receive an associate’s degree without any further education or training.

Increasingly, states are looking to reverse transfer programs like Mississippi’s to help postsecondary and adult learners get recognition for the education they have completed. According to research from the Center for Analysis of Postsecondary Education and Employment (CAPSEE), these programs help struggling students who would not otherwise complete a four-year degree earn a postsecondary credential.

States Set Ambitious Postsecondary Attainment Goals

Separately, the number of states with ambitious goals for postsecondary credential attainment is growing. In September, the Colorado Commission on Higher Education released an update to the 2012 Master Plan, setting a postsecondary credential attainment goal of 66 percent of adults by 2025. The goal is accompanied by four strategies to increase learner success in Colorado colleges and universities:

  1. Increase credential completion
  2. Erase equity gaps
  3. Improve student success
  4. Invest in affordability and innovation

 

New Jersey and Vermont also released goals to increase postsecondary credential attainment to 65 percent and 70 percent respectively by 2025. In New Jersey, the Office of the Secretary of Higher Education, the Department of Labor and Workforce Development and the Department of Education jointly launched a new campaign to help increase the credentialed population. The campaign, titled “65 by ’25: Many Paths, One Future,” will seek to engage colleges, universities, businesses and state officials through regional summits to devise strategic plans to achieve the goal.

In Vermont, Governor Phil Scott announced the launch of a new initiative called 70x2025vt. With guidance and support from a 25-member council of employers, educators and state officials, the initiative aims to create a college-going culture, remove barriers to access for underrepresented populations, increase college preparedness, and ensure high school students enroll in and succeed in postsecondary education. To monitor progress along the way, Vermont has identified six indicators of progress, including college aspiration and postsecondary/career integration experiences (including work-based learning).

The need for skilled workers has grown in the wake of the Great Recession. Now, more than ever, postsecondary education and training is a prerequisite for a family-sustaining job. With the recovery of the national economy, these states are working overtime to help their residents gain the skills they need for career success.

Austin Estes, Policy Associate

By Austin Estes in Public Policy
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Apprenticeship Task Force Members Named, U.S. Department of Education Announces Proposed Competitive Grant Priorities

Thursday, October 26th, 2017

Both the U.S. Department of Labor and U.S. Department of Education made important announcements over the last two weeks. Read below to find out more about these announcements and how you can help push the U.S. Senate to reauthorize the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act of 2006 (Perkins).

Secretary Acosta Names Members of Task Force on Apprenticeship Expansion

On October 16, U.S. Secretary of Labor Acosta announced the members who will serve on the Task Force on Apprenticeship Expansion. Members include representatives from education, business, industry and labor. The Task Force was one of the components outlined in the Executive Order, “Expanding Apprenticeship in America,” that President Trump signed in June.

U.S. Department of Education Announces Proposed Priorities for Competitive Grants, Seeks Comments

On October 12, the U.S. Department of Education (ED) announced the proposed priorities for awarding competitive grants. ED has asked the public to weigh in on these priorities through a 30-day public comment process and will later announce the finalized priorities, which may be used to award competitive grants going forward. The proposed priorities are listed below:
  1. Empowering Families to Choose a High-Quality Education that Meets Their Child’s Unique Needs.
  2. Promoting Innovation and Efficiency, Streamlining Education with an Increased Focus on Improving Student Outcomes, and Providing Increased Value to Students and Taxpayers.
  3. Fostering Flexible and Affordable Paths to Obtaining Knowledge and Skills.
  4. Fostering Knowledge and Promoting the Development of Skills that Prepare Students to be Informed, Thoughtful, and Productive Individuals and Citizens.
  5. Meeting the Unique Needs of Students And Children, including those with Disabilities and/or with Unique Gifts and Talents.
  6. Promoting Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) Education, With a Particular Focus on Computer Science.
  7. Promoting Literacy.
  8. Promoting Effective Instruction in Classrooms and Schools.
  9. Promoting Economic Opportunity.
  10. Encouraging Improved School Climate and Safer and More Respectful Interactions in a Positive and Safe Educational Environment.
  11. Ensuring that Service Members, Veterans, and Their Families Have Access to High-Quality Educational Choices.

 

You Can Still Help Push the Senate to Reauthorize Perkins 

As you may know, the  U.S. House of Representatives passed a Perkins reauthorization bill in June (find our summary and analysis online here). We have been urging the Senate to take up reauthorization swiftly, but they have yet to do so. Right now, Representatives Krishnamoorthi (D-IL) and Thompson (R-PA), the two main co-sponsors of the House Perkins reauthorization bill, are planning to send a bipartisan “Dear Colleague” letter to the Senate Health Education Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee leadership encouraging them to take up Perkins reauthorization. They are asking for their colleagues in the House to join them in signing this letter. Now is a great time to reach out to your Representative to ask them to sign on to this letter (thanks to our partners at ACTE for sharing this Action Center with the entire CTE community)!

Kathryn Zekus, Senior Associate for Federal Policy 

 

By Kathryn Zekus in Uncategorized

Staff Reflections of the 2017 Fall Meeting: Part 2

Thursday, October 26th, 2017

Staff Reflection: Ensuring Quality for All Learners
Ashleigh McFadden, State Policy Manager

High-quality CTE is always a focus area for Advance CTE, but in our Fall Meeting this year there was a special focus on how to use program approval and evaluation policies to ensure quality.

The first full day of the Meeting began with a panel discussion featuring Kim Green, Executive Director of Advance CTE; Marcie Mack, State CTE Director, Oklahoma Department of Career and Technology Education; and Donna Lewelling, Deputy Director of the Office of Community Colleges and Workforce Development, Oregon Higher Education Coordinating Commission. The panel, moderated by Kate Kreamer, began with a discussion around Advance CTE’s recently released Policy Benchmark Tool on CTE Program of Study approval policy. Marcie and Donna explained how they plan to use the tool in their states to assess current policies and make changes moving forward, particularly as the states prepare for a newly-reauthorized Perkins. The panelists then talked about program quality more broadly, including how and when to shut down programs that are not producing the right outcomes for learners.

Following the panel discussion, Danielle Mezera, formerly the State CTE Director in Tennessee, and I led a breakout discussion on program evaluation policy. In that session, we discussed with state leaders and organizational partners the crucial questions that high-quality evaluation policies should ask and answer. State leaders brainstormed about how specific evaluation data could be collected, using the Benchmark Tool as a thought-starter.

It was wonderful to be able to participate in these conversations during the meeting, and I look forward to helping our members continue those conversations now that the Fall Meeting has ended.

Staff Reflection: Focusing on Postsecondary CTE 
Kate Kreamer, Deputy Executive Director 

Advance CTE’s meetings always strive to not only be engaging, relevant and informative – but also personalized to our diverse members, who represent every facet of the CTE system. Over the years, we have worked to ensure we have a strong balance of national and state experts, as well as sessions that resonate with participants who work in the secondary, postsecondary and workforce development spaces. This year, with some input from an informal “postsecondary member kitchen cabinet,” we made sure we had sessions on some of the top issues facing postsecondary leaders – including expanding dual/concurrent enrollment and the use of labor market information.

We also know that there is much those working in secondary can learn from those working in postsecondary (and vice versa), which is why we had a session that reflected on what worked – and didn’t work – around stakeholder engagement strategies under both the Every Student Succeeds Act and the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act to inform future stakeholder engagement strategies when Perkins is (finally) reauthorized.

Finally, given so much of the conference focused on high-quality CTE, we were excited to feature the Aspen Institute’s College Excellence Program, the annual competition honoring institutions that strive for and achieve exceptional levels of success for all learners, including the current winner, Lake Area Technical Institute of South Dakota.

Ultimately, Advance CTE’s goal is to hold meetings and professional learning opportunities that reflect our vision for the future of CTE and put learner success first by ensuring aligned programs, aligned policies and aligned commitments to high-quality CTE.

Staff Reflection: Sharing Early Lessons from the New Skills for Youth Initiative
Austin Estes, State Policy Associate 

Earlier this year it was announced that ten states were selected to participate in the New Skills for Youth initiative, an ambitious, national effort — supported by three-year, two-million dollar state grants from JPMorgan Chase — to transform career readiness systems, expand access to high-quality career pathways for all students, and develop replicable practices that could be emulated in other states. At Advance CTE’s Fall Meeting, participants got to see how the New Skills for Youth work is progressing and learn early lessons from the ten participating states. Sessions on the agenda, many of which pulled from work in the New Skills for Youth states or Advance CTE research funded by the initiative, included:

This is just a slice of the work Advance CTE and partners are conducting under New Skills for Youth. As the initiative progresses, there will be ample opportunity to identify and elevate best practices from the participating states. New Skills for Youth is a partnership of the Council of Chief State School Officers, Advance CTE and the Education Strategy Group, generously funded by JPMorgan Chase & Co.

Staff Reflection: Effective Stakeholder Engagement
Kathryn Zekus, Senior Associate, Federal Policy 

This year’s Fall Meeting featured a session called, “Building Effective Stakeholder Engagement for Perkins V,” which was designed to share the best practices and lessons learned from states’ stakeholder engagement processes used during the state planning process for the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) and the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA). The panelists provided many helpful pointers for states preparing for the stakeholder engagement process for a reauthorized Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act (Perkins), but I’ll focus on just three:

These three ideas stood out to me not only because they apply to Perkins and other statewide planning efforts, but also because they apply to advocacy planning. When building out an advocacy plan to accomplish a goal, it is unlikely that the work can be done by one person, agency or organization – building relationships and partnerships is key. A strong communications plan can help with this – stakeholders and partners won’t know they can contribute if they aren’t aware of the process. Or, as one panelist noted, “Asking who else should be involved is like saying “raise your hand if you’re not here.” Setting clear expectations about a request for a partner or stakeholder to weigh in or do something related to a plan is also important to the plan’s ultimate success. Lastly, advocacy, like stakeholder engagement, is most effective when it is proactive and informed by a larger vision, not limited to one time-bound initiative.

By Katie Fitzgerald in Advance CTE Fall Meeting

Staff Reflections of the 2017 Fall Meeting: Part 1

Thursday, October 19th, 2017

Staff Reflection: Honoring Our State CTE Directors
Kimberly Green, Executive Director 

One of the best parts of working for a membership organization is the chance to meet interesting, inspiring leaders from every state in the country! During my tenure with the organization, I began in 1993, I have seen a lot of State CTE Directors come and go but the one constancy among them has been leadership. Our members, by definition of the positions they hold, are leaders; they are also leaders because of the beliefs they hold and the work they do every day to help more students find success by demanding excellence, ensuring equity and building support and visibility for Career Technical Education.

What often gets lost in our drive for improvement and achievement is the celebration of success. That is why I am so happy that annually Advance CTE’s Star of Education award recognizes former State Directors who have helped pave the way to get us where we are today, as well as rising stars who will pick up the ball and continue to move the work forward. Congratulations to this year’s winners – Kathy Cullen (former State Director in Wisconsin); JoAnn Simser (former State Director in Minnesota); Francis Tuttle (posthumous recognition, former State Director in Oklahoma); and our Rising Star – Marcie Mack, current State Director in Oklahoma! CTE and the lives of many are indelibly better because of each of you.

Staff Reflection: Supporting Our Members
Andrea Zimmermann, Senior Associate, Member Engagement and Leadership Development

During Monday’s Star of Education Award Ceremony, there was one comment that would stick with me for the rest of the meeting. Tom Friedemann, superintendent and CEO of the Francis Tuttle Technology Center, accepted the award on behalf of Dr. Francis Tuttle, who is known as the grandfather of Oklahoma Career and Technology Education. Friedemann said Tuttle always surrounded himself with “idea people.” This habit helped him create the infrastructure that still supports CTE in Oklahoma today.

Over the next few days, I would walk around the conference hotel and pop into various sessions. I’d listen in on the conversations and Friedemann’s words about “idea people” kept coming back to me.

As the staff member who is responsible for member engagement, leadership development and the Advance CTE meetings, I was struck by how many “idea people” were in these session rooms both as speakers and attendees. My favorite part of each session is the rich cross-state sharing and “a-ha moments.” Those were in abundance at this year’s Fall Meeting, and I know this was driven by the people in the room.

This year’s meeting saw attendees from 46 states and the District of Columbia, and they hailed from all corners of the CTE landscape – from K-12 and postsecondary to workforce development and even industry representatives. A point of pride for me was that 77 percent of attendees are Advance CTE members, and of that, 25 percent are brand-new members experiencing their first Advance CTE meeting. Most of these new members are part of Advance CTE’s newly expanded state membership structure.

Advance CTE members enjoy up to 35 percent off the price of a regular registration. Join today and take advantage of discounted registration rates for the 2018 Advance CTE Spring Meeting, which will be held April 4-6 in Washington, DC.

Staff Reflection: States Leading the Way in Shifting the Perception of CTE
Katie Fitzgerald, Senior Associate, Communications 

CTE’s continued success is evident in the compelling sessions held throughout the Fall Meeting, where states were featured prominently in sessions spanning a variety of topics from supporting rural learners through innovative strategies, to strengthening secondary-postsecondary credit alignment.

While dedicated state leaders have continued to focus on program quality and demonstrated that Career Technical Education is an option that is truly for all learners, states are still grappling with how to ensure that students, parents, employers, educators and policymakers understand that CTE sets up learners for both college and careers.

To tackle the ongoing CTE stigma challenge, we dedicated a half day of sessions to highlight our communications and messaging research and explore how states are improving their communications in an effort to shift the perception of CTE.

The day began with a panel featuring leaders from Washington and Maryland, who shared their findings from a one-year pilot that tested communications and recruitment strategies anchored by our research outlined in “The Value and Promise of Career Technical Education.” Both states focused on virtual campaigns including developing a video template that Washington’s 200+ districts can use to ‘sell’ their own CTE programs, and developing sample social media posts and a how-to social media guide for two districts in Maryland.

Following the panel, attendees were able to choose from four workshops to further dig into the most effective ways to communicate about CTE including:

Be sure to check out the 2017 Fall Meeting agenda to view session PowerPoints and handouts, and learn more about the communications research in a recent webinar here.

By Katie Fitzgerald in Uncategorized

Four Essential Components of a Quality CTE Program

Monday, October 16th, 2017

This post is written by the NOCTI, a Gold Level sponsor of the 2017 Advance CTE Fall Meeting.

For the past decade, our community has grown accustomed to the public’s perception about CTE and how the perception swings back and forth like a pendulum. At times, the perception is focused on how beneficial CTE is to both our students and the nation, and at other times, CTE is viewed as a path for only “certain” students.  Recently, the pendulum has been swinging toward the side of positivity and credibility. CTE has gone from “odd-man-out” to the person everyone wants to befriend.

It is a bit ironic that this popularity is occurring at a time when some of the factors that attributed to CTE’s popularity are weakening a bit.  It is critical that the entire CTE community focuses on addressing and strengthening any shortcomings if the growth and “popularity” of CTE are to be sustained. NOCTI has been working in the CTE arena for over 50 years and our mission is to provide tools and services to build a world-class workforce. There are four important factors that we believe should be part of every quality CTE program:

  1. Quality Administrators: Organizations like Advance CTE, ACTE, NOCTI, SREB, and numerous others have all noticed a disturbing trend. Many CTE administrators are not coming from the ranks of the CTE teaching community. In addition, most universities have eliminated formal programs that prepare CTE administrators. This creates a situation whereby a large cohort of well-meaning individuals are being hired in CTE administrator positions and are continuously challenged with understanding the nuances of a quality CTE program. Those nuances are essentially the differences in basic education and CTE including mission, governance, instructional delivery, financing of CTE programs, as well as the professional development needs of CTE teachers. The over-arching difference also relates to the ability to embrace and determine a strategy for engaging business and industry.
  2. Quality Programs: CTE responds to the needs of local economies, helps individuals become independent, assures our nation’s standard of living, and helps maintain our infrastructure. It is critical that the programs are not only high quality, but are also offered based on need and potential growth within the community. This is an entrepreneurial model and one that may be foreign to those who do not have a CTE background.
  3. Quality Teachers: Like quality administrators, CTE teachers need a deep understanding of and experience in the related technical content they deliver. Often CTE teachers are individuals coming to CTE as their second career and follow what many refer to as an “alternate pathway” to CTE teaching. It is important that the processes for bringing new CTE teachers to the classroom are straightforward and that efforts are made and supported to ensure these individuals are kept up to date with new methods, materials, and products that are occurring within the workforce. At the same time, it is as equally important that classroom pedagogies are reinforced.  
  4. Quality Tools and Data: CTE schools, programs, and teachers need tools that can help to objectively measure and reward both individual and program success. Third-party data is important for schools, programs, and teachers for a variety of reasons. It can be used to underscore a program’s credibility, help in identifying instructional areas of improvement, and serve as a useful tool in determining areas in which professional development should be offered.

The four components briefly described above are critical to program success. As the focus on CTE increases, these topics—as well as others—will be in the spotlight. NOCTI has developed collaborative products and services that can assist state leaders in addressing these and other areas within CTE. Check out our website for further details.  We are looking forward to seeing you at the Fall Meeting in Baltimore. Stop by our table and say hello!

John Foster, NOCTI President/CEO
Amie Bloomfield, NOCTI Executive Vice President

By Katie Fitzgerald in Advance CTE Fall Meeting

Congress Continues to Recognize Importance of CTE

Friday, October 13th, 2017

Congress continued to recognize Career Technical Education (CTE) this week. Read below to find out more about a bipartisan “Dear Colleague” letter about reauthorization of the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act of 2006 (Perkins), a recent briefing and a resolution about workforce development.

59 Senators Sign on to Letter to Encourage Perkins Reauthorization 

On October 12, Senators McCaskill (D-MO) and Inhofe (R-OK) sent a letter, along with 57 additional Senators, to the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee leaders Senators Alexander (R-TN) and Murray (D-WA). The letter encouraged them to take up reauthorization of the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act of 2006 (Perkins), emphasizing that “It is crucial that the Senate work in a bipartisan effort to help our nation’s students acquire the skills needed to be successful in today’s work environment.”

Communicating the Value and Promise of CTE Briefing 

On October 11, Advance CTE, in coordination with the House and Senate CTE Caucuses, held a briefing, “Communicating the Value and Promise of CTE.” The briefing highlighted the key findings from research that Advance CTE commissioned with support from the Siemens Foundation and focused on how to combat negative stereotypes about CTE, and more effectively communicate the many benefits of CTE with parents, students and additional critical audiences. Read more about the event in Advance CTE’s blog post here.

In Case You Missed It: Workforce Development Resolution

On September 26, Senators Feinstein (D-CA), Hatch (R-UT), Baldwin (D-WI) and Enzi (R-WY) introduced a resolution, co-sponsored by an additional 11 Senators, designating September 2017, “National Workforce Development Month.” Advance CTE was proud to support his resolution. The resolution recognizes a number of workforce development programs and highlights CTE, noting the number of CTE students across the country, CTE’s role in dropout prevention, and that all states report higher graduation rates for CTE students.

Kathryn Zekus, Senior Associate for Federal Policy

 

 

 

By Kathryn Zekus in Uncategorized

Communicating the Value & Promise of CTE on the Hill

Wednesday, October 11th, 2017

Today,  Advance CTE, in coordination with the House and Senate Career Technical Education (CTE) Caucuses held a briefing focusing on how to combat negative stereotypes about CTE, and more effectively communicate the many benefits of CTE with parents, students and additional critical audiences.  The briefing, “Communicating the Value and Promise of CTE,” highlighted the key findings from research that Advance CTE commissioned with support from the Siemens Foundation. Kate Kreamer, Advance CTE’s Deputy Executive Director, moderated the briefing and shared some of the most important findings from this research, including:  

The briefing highlighted these findings and began with opening remarks from Representative Glenn Thompson (R-PA), who emphasized CTE as “an important rung on the ladder of opportunity,” and its ability to provide a pathway to in-demand and high-wage careers. He also discussed the necessity to communicate effectively about CTE to combat CTE’s stigma issue.

Each panelist provided remarks, including David Etzwiler, CEO of the Siemens Foundation. He emphasized the importance of effective messaging about CTE, noting that “far too few youth choose high-quality CTE programs in high school, even though they lead to strong postsecondary outcomes.  While that choice might be because of a personal preference, it’s often because of a stigma that exists around CTE and the careers it supports.”

Dr. Lynne Gilli, the Assistant State Superintendent, Division of Career and College Readiness at the Maryland State Department of Education shared details about the focus groups conducted in Maryland as part of their involvement in this work. She shared that students and parents often knew about specific programs, but that they didn’t always connect those programs to the term  “CTE.” Additionally, she noted that parents and students were excited to learn about how CTE programs deliver project-based, problem-solving curriculum and hands-on experiences.

Lauren Fillebrown, a senior at Penn State University shared her experiences as a CTE student and how it helped her discover her purpose in both her education and career, opened up opportunities for her to pursue a variety of internships and allowed her to meet teachers, coaches and mentors who invested in her. She noted how this network of people is dedicated to her growth and helped her to believe that she can impact the world.

Advance CTE is thankful to the CTE caucus and our panelists for sharing the importance of communicating effectively about CTE.

Kathryn Zekus, Katie Fitzgerald, Advance CTE

By Katie Fitzgerald in Uncategorized

New Report Examines Nondegree Credentials and Their Value

Tuesday, October 10th, 2017

The National Center for Education Statistics recently released a new report summarizing the results from the 2016 Adult Training and Education Survey, which gathered nationally representative data on U.S. adults’ training and education.

Overall, 27 percent of adults aged 16-65 have a nondegree credential, with 21 percent having an occupational certification or license and 8 percent having a postsecondary certificate. Among those who have an occupational certification or license, 67 percent prepared for their most important certification or license by taking classes from a college, technical school or trade school. Additionally, 21 percent of adults have completed an apprenticeship or internship, with 14 percent doing so as part of an educational program after high school.

According to the NCES’ blog post on the survey, “the data show that nondegree credentialing and work experience programs are particularly common in the healthcare field. In fact, health care was the most common field in which both certifications and licenses were held and the most common field for which adults had completed a work experience program.

The ATES also found that adults perceive nondegree credentials to be useful for many labor market outcomes. For example, 82 percent of adults who have a certification or license reported that it was very useful for ‘getting a job’, 81 percent reported that it was very useful for ‘keeping you marketable to employers or clients’, and 66 percent reported it that was very useful for ‘improving your work skills.’”

University Innovation Alliance Expected to Exceed Public Attainment Goals

A recent article highlights the successes of the University Innovation Alliance (UIA), a group of 11 research universities who banded together to implement strategies that would help more low-income students complete postsecondary programs. Over the past three years, the universities have increased the number of low-income graduates at their institutions by 24.7 percent, and they are on track to surpass their initial goal of increasing the number of low-income graduates by 34,000 students.

Among other strategies, the universities encouraged students to take a minimum of 15 credits per semester to increase their likelihood of completion and shared data analyses and studies with each other to help problem-solve. Their approach has had noticeable effects, even over a short time period. A comparative study recently revealed that 31 percent of the UIA undergraduate students receive Pell Grants compared to 15 percent of undergraduates at Ivy League institutions and at 50 other selective liberal arts colleges. This information is significant in that these 11 research universities are serving vastly more low-income students than many universities, and they are actively committed to helping those students succeed.

Odds and Ends

The Bureau of Labor Statistics recently released a report showing the current and projected entry-level degree requirements for various employment sectors. Interestingly, 6.5 percent of entry-level employment in 2016 was in occupations that typically require postsecondary education for entry. From May 2007 to May 2016, the share of U.S. employment in occupations typically requiring a high school diploma or equivalent for entry fell by nearly 2.6 percentage points, from over 38.3 percent to slightly less than 35.8 percent. Over the same period, the share of employment in occupations typically requiring postsecondary education for entry rose by 2.3 percentage points, from 34.2 to 36.5 percent.

Gallup and the Strada Education Network released a report diving into how individuals choose their field of study, based on a survey of 22,000 adults. Respondents were asked from where they received advice about their major, with responses falling into four main groups: formal, informal social network, informal school-based and informal work-based. Somewhat surprisingly, the survey found that the majority of adults used their informal social networks for advice, rather than the more formal (and likely more helpful and informed) channels available to them.

More great news has emerged for the Tennessee Promise program, as results on student outcomes continue to come in. Fifty-six percent of Tennessee Promise students who entered college in 2015, the program’s first year, had graduated, transferred to a four-year university or remained in school two years later. Only 39 percent of recent high school graduates outside of Tennessee Promise had done the same — a difference of 17 percentage points. While officials agree there is still more work to do, they are encouraged by these results.

Ashleigh McFadden, State Policy Manager

By Ashleigh McFadden in Research
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Welcome to Laura Scheibe, South Dakota’s New State CTE Director!

Tuesday, October 10th, 2017

Before joining the South Dakota Department of Education, Laura Scheibe’s career as an American diplomat took her all over the world from Belarus to Southeast Asia. Her journey three years ago to South Dakota came as she and her young family were looking to move away from Washington, DC, and closer to relatives. Her move into education, she said, was a natural fit after having spent her career in public service.

Prior to being named the State CTE Director, Scheibe served as the deputy director of the South Dakota Department of Education’s Division of Accountability Systems, which includes state report cards, K-12 accreditation and helping to lead the creation of the state’s new plan for the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA).

One of her top priorities is to use that experience crafting the state’s ESSA plan to find more ways to integrate Career Technical Education (CTE) more fully into education and bring the benefits of CTE to more students.

Scheibe is becoming the State CTE Director at an exciting time in South Dakota, where Gov. Dennis Daugaard is challenging the state to reimagine what high school looks like for students and how it prepares students for success and opportunity in life.

For Scheibe, she knows that robust CTE programs can do exactly that by helping students find their passion and discover their strengths.

“It’s about throwing our preconceived notions out a bit to help better prepare kids for the future,” she said.

Andrea Zimmermann, Senior Associate, Member Engagement and Leadership Development

By Andrea Zimmermann in Advance CTE State Director, Uncategorized
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Are We Doing Better Than They Know?

Friday, October 6th, 2017

This post is written by Fleck Education, a Gold Level sponsor of the 2017 Advance CTE Fall Meeting.

Perhaps you have sat in a meeting like the one I attended recently. State leaders were once again discussing graduation requirements when one said, “What we really need is to bring back vocational education.”

As those at the table nodded in agreement, my mind quickly disregarded the outdated term for Career Technical Education (CTE) and shifted to the disappointing lack of awareness of CTE’s amazing accomplishments in our state.  “Bring it back?” I said to myself, “Doesn’t he know how well it’s working?”

While trying hard not to dismiss the speaker as out of touch, my perspective slowly began to change. How much of his lack of awareness was my fault?  And how many others – I wondered – were also unaware of the positive impact of our CTE programs?  How is it that intelligent men and women who set important policies and honestly want to do the right thing for students are sometimes in the dark about our work?

Of course, this is not a new problem. When I was a State CTE Director, we had similar communication challenges. At that time, I naively presumed that once we expanded our communication efforts all would be better; that somehow, once you got the word out it stayed.  But advocacy is not a website or news release that needs occasional tending. Effective CTE communication is an ever-changing entity that needs constant weeding, fertilizing and replanting.

What I had not considered when I was a State Director was our office’s responsibility for getting out ahead of the issue and the importance of advocacy as a proactive, front-end strategy instead of an after the fact approach. At my recent meeting, I wanted to raise my hand and explain – in what could have sounded like a condescending tone – all of the progress being made by CTE in the state. Doing so, however, would have only made me feel better and likely embarrassed the state leader.

As obvious as constantly advocating for CTE is, the important work is what is done beforehand. Advance CTE’s new Virtual CTE Institute, announced earlier this month, is a perfect example of this strategy seeking to “to raise awareness and create new advocates for high-quality CTE. “ So are annual state CTE summary reports like those Fleck Education has produced for the state of Indiana the last four years. When we changed the title from “CTE Review…” to “Career Readiness Report…” and added colorful graphics, more people took notice.

Perhaps your state is already ahead of the advocacy challenge. Use these questions as a gauge.

If some of these questions give you pause, we can help.

At Fleck Education, our staff includes two former State CTE Directors as well as former CTE teachers, school counselors and district leaders who know the CTE landscape well. We combine our seasoned CTE perspective with practical solutions that both accelerate your CTE accomplishments and help your state address the challenges.

That way, more leaders in more meetings will know and support CTE even before the conversations begin.

By Katie Fitzgerald in Uncategorized

 

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