Archive for August, 2018

This Week in CTE

Friday, August 31st, 2018



Recently, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation announced more than $90 million in grants toward the Networks for School Improvement, groups of middle and high schools from around the country. The networks will be groups of schools to work directly with supporting organizations such as nonprofits, districts, charter management organizations, universities, or community-based organizations. They will work together to address barriers to student success. Overtime they will use data to assess their efforts. Learn more here.




Mississippi Construction Education Foundation Launches Statewide Awareness Campaign

We know that despite the many benefits of high-quality Career Technical Education (CTE) there are challenges with changing outdated perceptions of CTE programs. The Mississippi Construction Education Foundation understands this barrier to attracting learners to theses programs and is launching a statewide awareness campaign to help solve this problem.

In Mississippi there is a need for nearly 80,000 craft professionals in the construction and manufacturing industry. The initiative, called Trade Up will focus on learners seeking hands-on training and high-skill, high-wage and in-demand career opportunities that do not require a four-year college degree. The initiative is also focused on educating parents.

Watch this video to learn more.


Report: Taking the Long View: State Efforts to Solve Teacher Shortages by Strengthening the Profession

According to the report, states identified shortages of teachers in mathematics, special education, science, world languages, career and technical education, and teachers of English learners. The cause of these shortages include declining enrollments in teacher education. It also notes that teachers leave the profession for reasons such as a lack of adequate preparation and mentoring, pressures of test-based accountability, lack of administrative supports, low salaries, and poor teaching conditions.

This report focuses on six evidence-based policies that states are pursuing to address these shortages and how they are investing funding to create long-term solutions. These policies are:
• Service scholarships and loan forgiveness for teacher education
• High-retention pathways into teaching such as teacher residencies
• Mentoring and induction for new teachers
• Developing high-quality school principals
• Competitive compensation
• Recruitment strategies to expand the pool of qualified educators

States are looking to create a stable teaching profession for the future. The report notes specific programming and investments states are making to address this issue. Highlighted states include North Carolina, Nebraska, Indiana, Nevada, Iowa, California, Texas, Pennsylvania, Louisiana, Mississippi, Colorado and more. The resources used for the report include submitted and approved Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) state plans, reviews of recent, relevant state legislation; publicly available program documents; and administrative data.

Read the full report here.

Nicole Howard, Communications Associate

By Nicole Howard in Uncategorized

Principal Tommy Welch Incorporated CTE Programming to Improve Student Success Outcomes

Wednesday, August 29th, 2018

Tommy T. Welch, Ph.D., Principal of Meadowcreek High School in Norcross, Georgia, understands his students’ engagement relates to their ability to connect what they are learning in the classroom to their future goals. He was once a social studies teacher at the school and in 2011; he became the high school principal. Welch knew the high school was labeled as low performing and he would use his role as principal to change that.

Welch, who was named the Georgia School Principal of the Year in 2017-2018, has transformed Meadowcreek High School into a high performing school with impressive student outcomes. In seven years, the graduation rate has improved from 48.54 percent in 2011 to 75 percent in 2017 and SAT scores rose 40 percent. Welch credits adding Career Technical Education (CTE) courses as one of the key components of this improvement plan.

Meadowcreek has five college and career academies known as “The Schools of Meadowcreek U,” which includes the School of International Business, School of Communication and Arts, School of Information Technology, School of Health & Hospitality, and School of Science, Technology & Engineering. Each academy also features a school-based enterprise. Creating Meadowcreek U was made possible by a $3.3 million three-year federal School Improvement Grant.

Along with adding CTE courses to the high school, Welch built partnerships with the local community. These partnerships led to having Georgia’s first full-service bank in the school providing learners with invaluable work-based learning experiences. Last year the school also had a ribbon cutting ceremony with long-term partner Georgia-Tech celebrating the opening of a new makerspace for STEM related projects.

To determine the offerings leadership utilized labor market data to determine where the greatest need would be in 2020. Now, learners select an academy that relates to specific careers that align with industry demand. This strategy not only prepares learners with the skills they need for careers in their own community, but also gives students a better understanding of what they are learning, how it relates to their future careers, and increases overall student engagement and attendance.

Each academy also incorporates an after school component. For example, a learner can enroll in the School of Health & Hospitality and focus on the Culinary Arts program. Learners then have the opportunity to participate in the school-based enterprise, the Creek Catering company. Participation allows learners to gain work-based learning experience in the culinary field, building technical and employability skills, applying what they learn in the classroom, while also being paid. The money the organization earns funds instructional labs, field trips, competitive events and scholarships for secondary education. Paying students was a direct result of evaluating data, which revealed that the low participation in after-school programs was related to students need to help support their families financially. (Over 80 percent students receive free or reduced lunch.)

Welch attributes the following strategies to dramatically increasing student success:

The model for Meadowcreek High School is receiving national attention for its success in boosting student engagement, student participation in afterschool programs, a decrease in the dropout rate and increases in graduation rates. In fact, it’s so successful that the state has taken notice exploring duplicating this model with the opening of additional CTE-focused schools in the areas of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics and Health Sciences.

To learn more visit their website here.

Nicole Howard, Communications Associate

By Nicole Howard in Uncategorized

Joint Paper Promoting Collaboration in STEM Education Released

Tuesday, August 28th, 2018

All too often, policy conversations concerning science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) happen separately from conversations related to Career Technical Education (CTE). Recently, Advance CTE partnered with the Association of State Supervisors of Mathematics, Council of State Science Supervisors, and International Technology and Engineering Educators Association to release STEM4: The Power of Collaboration for Change to highlight the importance of collaborating and coordinating strategically in these areas.

The document notes that, despite an abundance of initiatives and efforts, our nation is not achieving its goals in preparing students for college majors or careers in STEM and offers three main principles to drive and implement outstanding STEM education research and practices:

Principle 1: STEM education should advance the learning of each individual STEM discipline.

Principle 2: STEM education should provide logical and authentic connections between and across the individual STEM disciplines.

Principle 3: STEM education should serve as a bridge to STEM careers.

Each principle is accompanied by a set of recommended actions that may be taken to shift toward access to and equity in STEM preparedness that is felt to be crucial.

The paper is the product of an organized and coordinated effort among the leadership of our respective organizations to address the challenges faced when implementing STEM education and providing access to the knowledge, skills, and career pathways necessary for all students, particularly those in underserved populations.

To read the document, click here.

Ashleigh McFadden, State Policy Manager

By Ashleigh McFadden in Research

This Week in CTE

Friday, August 24th, 2018



Senate Advances FY19 Appropriations Bill that Includes Key Education and Workforce Programs

On August 23, the Senate voted 85-7 to pass their FY19 Defense and Labor, Health and human Services, Education and Related Agencies Appropriations bills together (often called a “minibus”). Overall, the bill included a $541 million increase (over the FY18 level) for the U.S. Department of Education and level-funding (at the FY18 level) for the U.S. Department of Labor. Read more here.

To make sure you get the latest news and resources about federal policy that impacts Career Technical Education (CTE), sign up for our Legislative Updates!


Family Maker’s Space Program 

“Our space is your space. To explore, laugh, learn with the people you love and see what you can create.”

We know technology is a major part of our lives and can be a barrier to success if learners and their families do not have access to the tools they need. Deb Harding and Tara Hardman co-run the Family MakerSpace at STEM Launch K-8, an Adams 12 school located in Thornton, Colorado. The mission is to provide a community space for learners and families to explore engineering and provide equitable access to technology. The tools and programs available include circuit boards, app development software and 3D printers. Learners focus on being innovative and share their knowledge with their families. Incorporating family helps learners feel more comfortable in the space and they can teach them new things about technology. Watch this video to learn more.


Report: Rocky Mountain Divide: Lifting Latinos and Closing Equity Gaps in Colorado

According to the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce (Georgetown Center), only 19 percent of Latino learners who enrolled in a Colorado public college earn a bachelor’s degree compared to 39 percent of Whites. The report is focusing on this population because it is the fast growing racial and ethnic group in the state. The report includes policy recommendation that are centered around creating a system of that recognizes that high school, college, and careers are interconnected so high school to college and careers needs to include academic and experiential learning.

Policy Recommendations include:

Key findings include:

Read the full report here.

By Nicole Howard in Uncategorized

Senate Advances FY19 Appropriations Bill that Includes Key Education and Workforce Programs

Friday, August 24th, 2018

There were a number of key updates from the Capitol this week. Read below to find out more about a a new resource on Perkins V, the Senate’s work to advance the Fiscal Year 2019 (FY19) Appropriations process and an announcement from the Administration about leadership for the Office of Postsecondary Education.

Advance CTE and ACTE Release New Perkins V One-Pager

Looking for a short resource about the major tenets of the Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act (PerkinsV)? Check out a new one-pager from Advance CTE and the Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE) on our website here and find all of Advance CTE’s Perkins V resources on our webpage.

Senate Advances FY19 Appropriations Bill that Includes Key Education and Workforce Programs 

On August 23, the Senate voted 85-7 to pass their FY19 Defense and Labor, Health and human Services, Education and Related Agencies Appropriations bills together (often called a “minibus”). Prior to its passage, over 300 amendments to the bill were filed on a wide range of topics and more than 50 were incorporated into the final bill. Some of the education-related amendments included in the final bill were: an amendment by Senators Heller (R-NV) and Klobuchar (D-MN) to require the U.S. Secretary of Education to send Congress a report on the coordination across some agencies on Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) programs for secondary students; an amendment by Senators Reed (D-RI) and Murkowski (R-AK) to require that the Comptroller General of the United States to submit a report about the condition public schools in the U.S.; an amendment by Senators Wicker (R-MS) and Peters (D-MI) about the need to expand computer science education; and an amendment by Senators Cassidy (R-LA) and Cantwell (D-WA) about the need to make funding for coding courses a top priority for students in grades K-12.

Overall, the bill included a $541 million increase (over the FY18 level) for the U.S. Department of Education and level-funding (at the FY18 level) for the U.S. Department of Labor. The Senate bill includes level funding for the following programs at the FY18 level: Perkins Basic State Grants, the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), and
Supporting Effective Instruction State Grants authorized under Title II of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). The Senate bill includes increases for the following programs: Student Support and Academic Enrichment grants authorized under Title IV-A of ESSA, Apprenticeship Grants and Adult Education and Family Literacy State Grants.

Differences between the House and Senate Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies FY19 appropriations bills will need to be resolved before FY19 allocations for education and workforce programs will be finalized. Advance CTE will continue to provide information about this process as it becomes available.

President Trump to Nominate Robert King for Assistant Secretary for Postsecondary Education

On August 21, President Trump announced his intent to nominate Robert King for Assistant Secretary for Postsecondary Education. King formerly led the State University of New York (SUNY) System and was most recently the president of the Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education. Diane Jones will continue to serve as acting Assistant Secretary for Postsecondary Education until King is confirmed by the Senate.

Kathryn Zekus, Senior Associate, Federal Policy

By Kathryn Zekus in Legislation

New Research Sheds Light on the Value of Credentials, Dual Credit and Apprenticeships

Thursday, August 23rd, 2018

It is common knowledge that earning a postsecondary credential, particularly in a high-skill, high-wage, in-demand industry, can help learners land good jobs. But how do learners get there? New research sheds light on the different pathways learners take to get to a good job and the economic returns of credential attainment.

$224 million a year. That’s how much more money the most recent cohort of graduates from Tennessee public colleges and universities can expect to make every year compared to non-credential holders. That figure comes from a new report published by the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development in June. The report attributes much of the wage gains to the impact of community and technical colleges across Tennessee.

While a postsecondary credential pays a premium for graduates, many learners work through college. In fact, according to a new brief from the National Center for Education Statistics, 32 percent of students at public 2-year colleges worked full-time while enrolled in the 2011-12 school year. The study also finds that students were more likely to complete a degree if they worked 20 hours or less a week compared to students who worked full time or did not work at all. The study did not say whether or not these students were working in fields related to their program of study, however.

Learners can start working on their postsecondary credential even before they graduate high school. New research from the University of Texas system shows just how much of an impact dual enrollment has for Texas students. According to the study, dual credit students had higher college graduation rates and higher GPAs than their peers. And students who entered the University of Texas system with credits from both Advanced Placement and dual credit classes were five times as likely as their peers to graduate in four years.

Yet learners often do not complete their credential at their initial institution. According to the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center, 38 percent – or 1,069,243 students – in the fall 2011 cohort transferred within six years. The study also revealed this startling statistic: only 5.6 percent of transfers from two-year colleges leave with a certificate or associate degree.

Postsecondary credentials reinforce the technical and academic skills learners will exercise in their future careers. But employers often look for candidates with a more rounded skill set that can only be learned through experience. A new survey from Bloomberg Next finds that 43 percent of employers say new recruits lack the soft skills to be effective, skills like teamwork, critical thinking and adaptability.

One way to build these skills is through work-based learning experiences like internships and apprenticeships. Adults in the U.S. are increasingly recognizing the value of apprenticeships. The American Staffing Association reports that 94 percent of Americans say that apprenticeships are helpful in leading to a new career and 62 percent even think apprenticeships make people more employable than going to college.

At any rate, learners have multiple pathways to lifelong career success – be it through an apprenticeship, a two-year college or a four-year university – and should be empowered to choose the path that is right for them.

Austin Estes, Senior Policy Associate

By Austin Estes in Research
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Getting to Know… Hawai’i

Wednesday, August 22nd, 2018

Note: This is part of Advance CTE’s blog series, “Getting to Know…” We are using this series to help our readers learn more about specific states, State CTE Directors, partners and more.

State Name: Hawai’i

State CTE Director: Bernadette Howard, State Director for Career and Technical Education,
University of Hawai’i

About Hawai’i:
Hawai’i’s Career Technical Education (CTE) system is unique in that it is composed of one K-12 system, one postsecondary system and one workforce system. Hawai’i’s K-12 system consists of one local education agency and the University of Hawai’i system is composed of 10 campuses- seven community colleges and three four-year institutions. This straightforward system aids Hawai’i in its efforts to align the secondary system with the postsecondary and workforce systems.

Hawai’i ensures that its secondary system is aligned with its postsecondary and workforce system through the use of CTE programs of study. The high schools and colleges partner together to make sure their programs are aligned. Each programs of study is approved by the appropriate Pathway Advisory Council, which consists of representatives from industry, the postsecondary system, the secondary system and the CTE office.

Hawai’i divides the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act of 2006 (Perkins IV) funding evenly among the secondary and postsecondary CTE systems. Forty-three high schools and seven college programs receive funding. Hawai’i uses more than 85 percent of its Perkins funding to support local level CTE programs, which is more than the required amount in Perkins IV.

Notable in Hawai’i- Rural Employment Engagement

Hawai’i is looking to connect industry to classroom and increase the overall recognition of CTE. The plan will include piloting the initiative in three middle schools and three high schools on the island of Kauai. Teachers will receive access to technology such as the online platform Nepris, which allows teachers to virtually connect students to industry professionals. This is an expansion from the original pilot when only CTE teachers received access to the platform. Hawai’i wants to ensure students see the variety of career option available versus what is the most popular among their peers, especially for those in the more rural areas.

Notable in Hawai’i- Longitudinal Data System

One of the strengths of Hawai’i’s CTE system is its access to the longitudinal data system, the Hawai’i Data Exchange Partnership, to track learners’ progression and outcomes and to influence policy and programmatic decisions. The Hawai’i Data Exchange Partnership is a statewide, cross-agency data system that links early learning, K-12, postsecondary and labor data. This systems alignment allows Hawai’i to evaluate and improve learner outcomes. Additionally, through this partnership, Hawai’i is hiring a full time staff member at the data exchange to focus solely on CTE data.

Notable in Hawai’i- P-20 Partnerships for Education

Hawai’i has worked to connect career, college, and community through the Hawai’i- P-20 Partnerships for Education initiative. The goal is for 55 percent of Hawai‘i’s working age adults to have a two- or four- year college degree by the year 2025. To help inform this work they have formed the P-20 Advisory Council, a group of 30 leaders from education, business, labor, government and community who all seek to improve educational outcomes by actively and continually providing their support and guidance to the state.

Nicole Howard, Communications Associate and Brianna McCain, Policy Associate

By Brianna McCain in Uncategorized
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New Resources: Designing Meaningful Career-Ready Indicators (Part 2)

Tuesday, August 21st, 2018

Earlier this summer, Advance CTE in partnership with Education Strategy Group (ESG) and the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO), released two profiles highlighting how states were integrating career-ready indicators into their accountability systems, specifically Progress towards Post-High School Credential and Assessment of (college and career) Readiness.

Today, we are releasing the final two of these profiles aligned with the remaining categories in  Destination Known: Valuing College AND Career Readiness in State Accountability Systems: Co-Curricular Learning and Leadership Experiences and Transitions Beyond High School. The Co-curricular Learning and Leadership Experiences profile focuses on how states like Georgia, Oklahoma and South Carolina are measuring work-based learning within their accountability system, while the Transitions Beyond High School profile explores how Colorado and Missouri are holding schools accountable for learners’ post-high school success in college and careers. While these are newer indicators and less likely to be included in states’ accountability systems, they are a critical to measuring college and career readiness in learners.

Read all four of the Career-Focused Indicator Profiles here and stay tuned for an update to Making Career Readiness Count (3.0) soon:

Kate Kreamer, Deputy Executive Director

By Kate Blosveren Kreamer in Advance CTE Resources, Uncategorized
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This Week in CTE

Friday, August 17th, 2018



Senate to Consider Appropriations Bill on the Floor This Week

The Senate is expected to begin consideration of the FY19 Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies appropriations bill this week, which covers a number of key education and workforce programs.

Read more of the news this week from the Administration, the U.S. Departments of Education and Labor and Congress related to Career Technical Education (CTE) on our blog.


Watch this Journey to Career, Robotics video from Idaho Career & Technical Education.

David Engle is a student at Idaho State University in the Robotics and Communications Systems Engineering Technology program where he is gaining hands-on learning experiences. His senior year of high school he started to get familiar with the field.  He even traveled to Washington, DC to speak with congressmen and legislators about funding Career Technical Education. Hear his story here.


Making the Most of Outcomes-based Funding: Aligning Postsecondary Funding with Labor Market Needs

This blog post gives an overview of the latest information about outcomes-based funding formulas for postsecondary education. It includes resources and examples from Arkansas, Washington, Tennessee, and Wisconsin. Read the blog here.

By Nicole Howard in Uncategorized

U.S. Department of Education Plans to Rescind Gainful Employment Regulations, Senate Considers FY19 Appropriations Bills

Wednesday, August 15th, 2018

While the U.S. House of Representatives remains in recess until September 4, there’s still news from the Capitol this week. Read below to learn more about a recent announcement from the U.S. Department of Education and the Senate’s plans to continue work on the Fiscal Year 2019 (FY19) appropriations process.

U.S. Department of Education Announces Plan to Rescind Gainful Employment Regulations 

On August 10, the U.S. Department of Education released details about a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking that includes rescinding the federal gainful employment regulations. Developed in 2014, these regulations established criteria for eligibility for federal student aid based on the debt-to-earnings ratio for students who had received federal student aid for programs at for-profit colleges and certificate programs at non-profit community colleges and other postsecondary institutions. Additionally, the notice in the Federal Register states that, “The Department plans to update the College Scorecard, or a similar web-based tool, to provide program-level outcomes for all higher education programs, at all institutions that participate in the programs authorized by title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965.” Comments on the proposal can be submitted through the Federal Register until September 13.

Senate to Consider Appropriations Bill on the Floor This Week

The Senate is expected to begin consideration of the FY19 Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies appropriations bill this week, which covers a number of key education and workforce programs. The bill will be bundled with the Senate’s Defense appropriations bill into a “minibus.” The House has not yet considered its FY19 Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies appropriations bill on the floor. Given that October 1 marks the beginning of the government’s new fiscal year, Congress will need to take action before then to avoid a government shutdown. As we reported, any differences between the House and Senate Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies FY19 appropriations bills (e.g., the House bill proposes a $102 million increase for the Perkins Basic State Grant for FY19 and the Senate bill proposes funding at the FY18 level) would need to be worked out before allocations for education and workforce programs could be finalized.

Kathryn Zekus, Senior Associate, Federal Policy

By Kathryn Zekus in Legislation