Archive for March, 2018

Advance CTE Spring Meeting Sponsor Blog: Lincoln Electric is Ready to Help You Train the Welding Workforce of Tomorrow

Friday, March 30th, 2018

This post is written by Lincoln Electric, a Diamon Level sponsor of the 2018 Advance CTE Spring Meeting.

According to the American Welding Society, 30,000 new welders must enter the workforce each year to keep up with demand and offset retirements, and more than 10 times as many jobs will need to be filled during the next 10 years. This equates into abundant opportunities in a variety of welding disciplines for students looking to begin a career in the trades.

But the welding profession is evolving, as is the definition of knowing how to weld.

To remain competitive globally, today’s manufacturers require welders with experience in more types of welds than ever before, as well as an understanding of robotic automation, advanced equipment, exotic materials, specialized code certification, welding theory and welding procedure specifications.

As the welding profession evolves, so, too, does education.

Welding booths and Statiflex weld fume extraction system at Lincoln Electric’s Welding Technology and Training Center.

In its second century of welding education, Lincoln Electric is responding to this evolution by offering U/LINC®, the industry’s most comprehensive curriculum, immersing students in the latest techniques and theories related to welding and cutting.

Our new Lincoln Electric Welding Technology and Training Center (WTTC) in Cleveland, Ohio, provides students with access to the most innovative welding solutions. In this showcase welding school environment, students learn on the latest advanced equipment, modes and processes. Advanced training is available on waveform technology, automation, production monitoring and metallurgy.

Students will leave the WTTC with both a better knowledge base about welding and about the underlying theories and rules behind specific processes. And educators, who typically come from industry with little or no background in teaching, will learn how to develop lesson plans, engage students, and adopt best practices in lab and classroom activities and take that knowledge back to their own schools. Industrial teams can tailor training around specific weld qualifications, equipment or knowledge needs. Welding, civil and manufacturing engineers seeking professional development will enhance their understanding of design with welding in mind.

Lincoln Electric is excited to play a leading role in the education and development of future generations of welders as we have for more than 100 years. We stand ready to deliver the highly skilled and knowledgeable welding leaders that industry demands.

Learn more about the complete portfolio of Lincoln Electric welding education equipment, curriculum, education discounts, educator professional development, welding simulators and more at:

http://education.lincolnelectric.com

By Katie Fitzgerald in Advance CTE Spring Meeting

Hello from Advance CTE’s Newest Staff Member

Thursday, March 29th, 2018

I’m Nicole Howard and I’m so excited to join Advance CTE as the new Communications Associate! I’ll be helping to implement our communications strategy and supporting states in their communications and advocacy efforts.

I have a background in communications related to the field of education. I was raised by a family of educators and have always viewed education as something every student should have equal access to. I was enrolled in the Summer Transition Enrichment Program (STEP) at American University (AU) that gave me a head start on my undergraduate education. My junior year at AU, I served as the STEP Assistant. In this role, I was able to help first-generation and minority students begin their college career with the resources and support they needed. I was impacted by watching them grow and truly succeed their own goals. Since then I’ve gained communications experience working with education-focused companies including corporate, nonprofit and postsecondary sectors. I believe writing helps to elevate the voices that need to be heard.

I believe access to a CTE program can help put students on a pathway to postsecondary and career that can benefit their future well-being as an adult. I am excited to advocate for CTE because I believe the more opportunities presented to a student the more hopeful they may become about their future and energized to complete their secondary education.

Nicole Howard, Communications Advocate

By Nicole Howard in Uncategorized
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Leaders in Data Analysis Discuss Improving Student Outcomes in Higher Education

Wednesday, March 28th, 2018

In light of Congress’ work towards reauthorizing the Higher Education Act (HEA), Results for America, Knowledge Alliance and America Forward hosted an event  on March 22 about the role that data and evidence can play in improving student outcomes in higher education. This event also came after Results for America released their bipartisan report, “Moneyball for Higher Education,” which outlines recommendations for how state leaders should use data and evidence in the financing of colleges to improve student outcomes.

The event began with remarks from U.S. Representative Grace Meng (D-NY) about the importance of evidence and innovation in higher education. Meng discussed the City University of New York’s (CUNY) Accelerated Study in Associate Programs (ASAP), which provides financial, academic and financial support to assist students in earning their associate degrees within three years. Meng highlighted the data-driven nature of ASAP, as the program tracks metrics that include advisors’ contact with students and student outcome trends to determine what is working in the program and where improvements can be made.

While ASAP costs CUNY more per student initially than students not involved in ASAP, by graduation, CUNY spends less per ASAP student compared to students not in the program because the students in ASAP graduate at a faster rate than students not in ASAP. Graduation rates for students in ASAP have increased to 40 percent, compared to 22 percent for CUNY students overall.

The event ended with a panel that featured experts in the field of education and data analysis. James Kvaal, the President of the Institute for College Access and Success, outlined what he would like to see come from a reauthorized HEA: investing in ways to measure critical outcomes, sectioning off one percent of the higher education budget for evaluation and systemically channeling resources into programs that work. Michael Weiss, a senior associate from MDRC, mentioned the need for more comprehensive, long-lasting interventions, such as the ASAP program, that address multiple barriers to education across an extended period of time.

The panel concluded with the panelists discussing what they would change about the education system. Greg Johnson, CEO of Bottom Line, advocated tying Pell grants to an advising requirement. Kvaal emphasized the importance of colleges deciding what outcomes they want to produce and then investing the necessary resources so that those outcomes can come to fruition. Weiss expressed his desire for the use of a funding model that would allow for experimentation on the lowest level and an investment in data driven programs like ASAP on the highest level.

While the panelists recognized that the current education system is inequitable and touched on ways that data can be used to improve student outcomes in higher education, it would have been great to hear more on how data could be used to align labor market needs with student outcomes, as well as how data from the secondary system can be used to create higher-quality postsecondary programs.

Brianna McCain, Policy Associate

By Brianna McCain in Uncategorized
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FY18 Omnibus Appropriations Bill Includes Increase for Perkins

Tuesday, March 27th, 2018

Last week marked a big week for Congress’ work on both Fiscal Year 2018 (FY18) and 2019 (FY19) appropriations. Read below to learn more about what was included for education and workforce programs in the FY18 omnibus appropriations bill, the FY19 “Dear Colleague” letters to request a strong investment in the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act (Perkins) Basic State Grants and U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos’ testimony on the President’s FY19 Budget Request for the U.S. Department of Education.

FY18 Omnibus Signed Into Law, Perkins Receives $75 Million Increase

Last week, Congress passed and President Trump signed an omnibus appropriations bill for FY18. Notably, the omnibus included a $75 million boost to the Perkins Basic State Grant, bringing this investment up to nearly $1.2 billion. This increase will be allocated to states based on the federal to state formula included in Title I of the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act of 2006 (Perkins). You can find more information about the the omnibus in Advance CTE’s press release and some notable increases (compared to FY17 levels) to education and workforce programs are outlined below:

Looking for additional information on program allocations? The National Skills Coalition has a helpful table that compares the FY17 and FY18 omnibus appropriations levels for key education and workforce programs and the Committee for Education Funding has a new table that shows the FY16, FY17 and FY18 appropriations levels as well as the Presidents’ FY18 and FY19 requests for many education programs.

170 Representatives Sign Letter to Support Federal Investment in Perkins

As we reported, Representatives Langevin (D-RI) and Thompson (R-PA) led an effort to send a “Dear Colleague” letter to the leaders of the House Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies Appropriations Subcommittee requesting strong funding for Perkins. A record 170 Representatives from both parties across 40 states and territories signed the letter – a strong show of support for CTE and a reflection of your advocacy efforts! Advance CTE will be sending thank you letters to these members of Congress and we encourage you to do so as well if your Representative signed on to the letter (and you can find their contact information through the U.S. House of Representatives Directory).

Contact Your Senator About Signing the FY19 Perkins Funding Letter

Senator Blumenthal (D-CT), along with two of the co-chairs of the Senate CTE Caucus, Senators Baldwin (D-WI) and Kaine (D-VA), will be sending a letter to the Chairman, Senator Blunt (R-MO) and Ranking Member, Senator Murray (D-WA), of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies encouraging that they consider increasing the federal investment in Perkins to $1.3 billion. Right now, these Senators are asking for their colleagues to join them in signing this letter (their request is formally called a “Dear Colleague” letter). Please consider contacting your Senators to encourage them to sign on to the letter by using the Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE) Action Center or by calling the Capitol Switchboard at 202-224-3121 and asking your Senators to sign onto the Fiscal Year 2019 (FY19) Perkins appropriations letter.

Secretary DeVos Testifies on U.S. Department of Education FY19 Budget 

On March 20, Secretary DeVos testified on the President’s FY19 Budget Request before the House Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies (Labor-HHS) Appropriations Subcommittee. After opening statements, Members of the subcommittee used the entire time allotted for the hearing for their questions, which focused on a variety of topics, including school safety, school choice and more. Secretary DeVos discussed CTE briefly in her opening statement and in response to remarks from Representatives who noted their support of CTE, she said, “we would advocate for making the CTE programming through the Perkins program more flexible to reach down even into middle school to help students know and understand, again what pathways they might have beyond high school to consider.”

Kathryn Zekus, Senior Associate, Federal Policy 

By Kathryn Zekus in Legislation

Advance CTE Spring Meeting Sponsor Blog: Certiport Discusses Training Digital Natives for Academic and Workplace Success

Monday, March 26th, 2018

Below is a guest blog from Advanced CTE’s Diamond Sponsor, Certiport, a Pearson VUE Business. Certiport will host an evening of drinks and hors-d’oeuvres at a hospitality suite Wednesday, April 4, from 4:30 – 7:00 PM in Room 835 of the Omni Shoreham Hotel.

Training Digital Natives for Academic and Workplace Success

Although today’s digital natives have grown up immersed in technology, many do not know how to use productivity tools intelligently and efficiently. Students may know how to navigate Google and use a cell phone with ease, but can they format a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet?  Can they use Adobe Photoshop to cut out an unintended passerby in a photo?  Knowing how to use basic, ubiquitous technology tools is essential for academic and workplace success.

Succeeding in the Modern Workplace

Basic digital literacy skills are required in virtually every industry, but students often enter the workforce without them.  Code.org projects there will be an estimated 1 million more computing jobs than applicants who can fill them by 2020, based on estimates from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics on job creation and estimates of college graduation rates by the National Science Foundation.

This is why performance-based digital literacy certifications — such as Microsoft Office Specialist, Adobe Certified Associate, and Certiport’s IC3 Digital Literacy Certification — are critical for students.  Certification validates basic technology skills, giving students a leg up as they apply to college and start a career.

Succeeding in School

The benefits of certification are numerous – several studies show that students who earn certification have an increased graduation rate, higher G.P.A., increased post-secondary enrollment and improved confidence.  The Florida Career and Professional Education department performance report in particular shows an average G.P.A. of 3.09 for students with certification compared to 2.72 for students without certification.  An impressive 97.2% of students with certification graduate compared to 83.9% of students without.

Learn More

Certiport hosts the annual CERTIFIED Educator Conference, the perfect place to learn how much technology certification can impact your classroom, your career, and the lives of your students.  Learn more about attending the event from June 13 – 15 in Atlanta, Georgia at www.certiport.com/certified.

We also invite you to read more about the need for foundational technology skills in the issue brief that will be included in your Advance CTE Spring Meeting conference bag.  Certiport offers learning curriculum, practice tests, and performance-based IT certification exams to open up academic and career opportunities for learners.  Our offerings include:

Please join us the evening of Wednesday, April 4 for hors d’oeuvres, drinks, and discussion at our hospitality suite (Room 835 at the Omni Shoreham Hotel) from 4:30 – 7:00 PM.

We look forward to visiting with you at the Spring 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 Resources, Advance CTE Spring Meeting

How Leading States are Strengthening the CTE Teacher Pipeline in Rural America

Thursday, March 22nd, 2018

In Nebraska, rural districts have been undertaking a wholesale needs assessment of local Career Technical Education (CTE) program offerings under the state’s reVISION initiative. Under reVISION, school and district leaders examine regional labor market data and hear from local employers to determine whether or not the programs available to students are those that are most in-demand.

If programs are out of sync with workforce needs, or deemed to be low-quality, local leaders will phase those programs out and transition resources and staff to higher-need program areas. This includes retraining teachers to teach classes in subject areas with the highest need, such as agriculture, health care and precision manufacturing.

Nebraska is just one of many states working to strengthen the CTE teacher pipeline in rural areas by recruiting qualified instructors, preparing them for success on day one, and providing professional development and re-certification opportunities to help them grow professionally throughout their career.

Today, Advance CTE released the fourth, and final, installment in the CTE on the Frontier series, which examines challenges and strategies for expanding access to high-quality career pathways in rural areas. The series is funded 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.

Today’s brief explores one of the most pressing challenges rural schools and institutions face: strengthening the pipeline of qualified CTE teachers and faculty. Recruiting and retaining qualified teachers can make or break a CTE program. The following are some approaches leading states are taking to support rural CTE teachers:

CTE teacher recruitment is a challenge that has dogged state leaders for decades. According to a recent survey of State CTE Directors, 98 percent said that increasing access to industry experts is a high priority in their state. And 20.4 percent of rural districts with CTE teacher vacancies report that CTE positions were either very difficult or impossible to fill.

Such teacher shortages are exacerbated in rural areas, where the pool of qualified candidates is often much smaller. This brief aims to elevate promising practices across the states to help state leaders address rural CTE teaching capacity challenges.

Austin Estes, Senior Policy Associate

By Austin Estes in Advance CTE Resources, Publications, Resources
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Happy National Ag Day!

Tuesday, March 20th, 2018

Happy National Ag Day! Ag Day is about recognizing, and celebrating, the contribution of agriculture in our everyday lives. When honoring agriculture and it’s contributions – from the clothes we wear to the food we eat – it is important to understand how Career Technical Education (CTE) prepares learners for careers in this vital industry.

Programs of study across the nation in urban, suburban and rural areas are providing learners with rigorous academic coursework, technical skills and hands-on experiences in all aspects of agriculture – from food science to horticulture. An exemplary agriculture program that deserves recognition as we celebrate National Ag Day is  Advance CTE’s 2017 Excellence in Action award winner in the Agriculture, Food & Natural Resources Career Cluster®, the Culinology® program at Bergen County Technical Schools’ Teterboro High School in Paramus, New Jersey.

Remaining flexible to evolving profiles of students and reinventing traditional CTE programs of study in innovative ways to also meet industry needs is the cornerstone of the Culinology program of study. While Teterboro High School has had a Culinary Arts program for well over twenty years, in the past decade faculty started to see a slight change in their student profile. Increasingly, students were not only interested in culinary arts and the food industry, but were also drawn by a strong intrinsic interest in science. More and more, students demonstrated an interest in obtaining a four-year degree.

Recognizing a need to modify the program to better match their students’ needs, Bergen County partnered with the Rutgers University Departments of Biological Sciences and Food Sciences as well as the the Research Chefs Association to develop a first-of-its-kind high school program blending agriculture, food science, culinary arts and Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics – Culinology®. All academic courses are delivered at the honors or AP level and students from the program now go on to some of the most prestigious four-year institutions in the nation.

The program now delivers a curriculum that includes college-credit courses (beyond the AP courses referred to above); rigorous academic and occupational skill requirements in agriculture, mathematics, humanities, culinary arts, and sciences; and an emphasis on critical analysis, problem-solving and employability skills. The program also includes a focus on key industry certifications needed to support success in the workplace. The class of 2016 boasted 100 percent high school completion, 100 percent of students having earned postsecondary credit, and 100 percent of students enrolled in postsecondary education. We should be able to hold all CTE programs to this standard of excellence.

Learn more about the Culinology® program of study at Bergen County Technical Schools’ Teterboro High School and our 2017 award winners.

By Katie Fitzgerald in Uncategorized

New Fact Sheet Highlights How CTE Teacher Shortages Align with Labor Market Demands

Tuesday, March 20th, 2018

In August 2017, Advance CTE conducted a survey of State CTE Directors to gather information about how states are implementing provisions in the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act of 2006 (Perkins). Responses to this survey demonstrated the consistent challenge of Career Technical Education (CTE) teacher and faculty shortages, with the highest shortages typically occurring in the Career Clusters® that feed into the industries with the highest labor market demand.

Some of the takeaways include:

Check out the full fact sheet to learn more! We also encourage you to read our report, in partnership with the Center on Great Teachers and Leaders at AIR, on increasing access to industry experts in high schools.

By Meredith Hills in Uncategorized

Secretary DeVos Scheduled to Testify on FY19 Department of Education Budget

Friday, March 16th, 2018

Congress is continuing to finalize the Fiscal Year 2018 (FY18) appropriations bills, with an omnibus package expected before next Friday, March 23 in order to avoid a government shutdown. At the same time, Congress is looking to begin the FY19 appropriations process, with Secretary DeVos scheduled to testify on the FY19 Department of Education Budget next week. Read below to learn more about the upcoming hearing, a new brief from the National Skills Coalition and bills related to Career Technical Education (CTE) that were introduced recently.

Secretary DeVos to Testify on FY19 Department of Education Budget 

On Tuesday, March 20, the U.S. House of Representatives Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies Appropriations Subcommittee will hold a hearing at 10 a.m. Eastern Time on the President’s FY19 Budget for the U.S. Department of Education. U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos is scheduled to testify during the hearing, which will be webcast on the subcommittee’s website.

New Brief: Putting Pell Grants to Work for Working Students

The National Skills Coalition recently released a new brief, Putting Pell Grants to Work for Working Students. The brief discusses how Pell Grant eligibility could be expanded to include high-quality, short-term programs and “calls for the modernization of our federal financial aid system so that it can truly meet the needs of today’s students and employers. The paper makes the case for this policy change by laying out the evolution of the postsecondary landscape, highlighting favorable outcomes of short-term programs, underscoring the role of sector partnerships in bridging the existing financial aid gap and highlighting the efforts of two states-Iowa and Virginia-to enroll students in programs that will lead to jobs in in-demand industries.”

In Case You Missed It: Gateway to Careers, GIRLS-STEM Act Introduced 

On February 8, Senator Hassan (D-NH), along with three co-sponsors introduced the “Gateway to Careers Act.” The bill’s press release highlights that it will, “provide grants to support partnerships between community or technical colleges and workforce development partners such as state workforce boards, industry associations, and community-based organizations.” A one-page summary of the bill can be found here.

On March 6, Representative McNerney (D-CA) introduced the “Getting into Researching, Learning & Studying of STEM (GIRLS-STEM) Act of 2018.” The bill would “provide grants to local educational agencies to develop plans that would encourage young women to study STEM, educate students’ parents about STEM opportunities for their children, provide training and mentoring opportunities for students and prepare secondary students for college STEM programs.” Advance CTE is proud to support both of these bills.
Kathryn Zekus, Senior Associate for Federal Policy

By Kathryn Zekus in Legislation

Iowa, Oregon, North Carolina Expand Career Readiness, CTE Efforts

Thursday, March 15th, 2018

At the beginning of this year, governors delivered their State of the State addresses and highlighted the 2018 policy priorities for their states. Many of this year’s State of the State addresses underscored the importance of workforce development and Career Technical Education (CTE). According to the Education Commission of the States (ECS), 23 governors encouraged expanding workforce development efforts, 19 governors mentioned the need to improve postsecondary affordability, and 16 governors identified modernizing CTE as a priority. Unsurprisingly, as the 2018 legislative session moves forward, governors have recognized and announced new initiatives that highlight the importance of job readiness and CTE.

In Iowa, Gov. Kim Reynolds recognized the recent launch of the Work-based Opportunity Regional Referral Consortium (WORRC), a partnership with the Iowa Community Colleges and the Iowa Association of Business and Industry (ABI) to expand and improve work-based learning in the state. The 15 Iowa Community Colleges and more than 1,500 member companies represented by the ABI will partner together to increase the number of work-related learning opportunities, such as internships and apprenticeships, available to learners. According to ABI, the partnership aims to:

In addition to addressing the demand for highly skilled workers, the WORRC will collaborate with Gov. Reynold’s Future Ready Iowa initiative, which focuses on building Iowa’s talent pipeline, to implement workforce recommendations from the governor’s initiative.

Oregon’s Gov. Kate Brown launched the Future Ready Oregon initiative, which aims to address the “skills gap” in Oregon and provide jobs and skills training to adults and students. Currently, middle skill jobs, which require some post-secondary education and training, account for 50 percent of Oregon’s job market, but only 45 percent of workers in Oregon are qualified for those jobs. This governor’s initiative recognizes that CTE can address this “skills gap,” and involves dedicating $300 million to CTE classes in the 2019-2021 state budgets, expanding existing apprenticeship opportunities, and introducing legislation that will help mid-career construction professionals start their own business. The initiative also places a significant emphasis on equity and access, calling for an investment in rural areas, communities of color, and Oregon’s nine Native American tribes, an increase in affordable housing supply in rural Oregon, and for hands-on learning to be available in every school district in Oregon.

In North Carolina, Gov. Roy Cooper recently announced NC Job Ready, a job readiness initiative that aims to equip North Carolinians with the skills, employer guidance, and economic opportunities necessary to secure high wage, high demand careers. This governor’s initiative consists of three core elements: skills and education attainment, employer leadership, and local innovation. Governor Cooper’s calls for improved skills and education attainment in North Carolina comes after a recent report ranked the state’s public schools 40th in the nation, a worse ranking than the year before. NC Job Ready aims to make North Carolina a top ten educated state and focuses on increasing public awareness about job growth in local areas and training programs that can provide North Carolinians with the skills for high-demand jobs. The initiative draws on North Carolina’s already existing 27 Certified Career Pathways to increase the accessibility of job training.

NC Job Ready recognizes that obtaining a quality education is just one part of the equation to ensuring success for North Carolinians. The initiative focuses on the importance of employer-led job training programs and utilizing the partnerships among workforce and economic development agencies to advance career-readiness. The initiative also will support innovation and replication funds so that local leaders may pilot new ideas for local workforce development, which if successful can be replicated in other parts of the state.

These recent governors’ actions are just some examples of governors’ plans to leverage existing and new programs and partnerships in their states to promote CTE and workforce development.

Brianna McCain, Policy Associate

By Brianna McCain in Public Policy
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