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National Association of State Directors of Career
Technical Education Consortium (NASDCTEc)

Fall Meeting: Focus on Program Quality: Partnerships

For this session, panelists discussed how partnerships help to improve Career Technical Education programs and offerings for students, including business partnerships and connections between learner levels.

Alaska State Director Helen Mehrkens moderated the panel which included Gretchen Koch, Senior Director, Workforce Development Programs of CompTIA, and Curtis Biggs of the National Alliance for Concurrent Enrollment Partnerships.

Koch outlined how CompTIA has been the Information Technology (IT) Career Cluster™ and National Advisory Committee Leader since 2006, and that CompTIA participated in the development of new Green IT Pathways. Different partnering organizations they work with include:

• Partnering on Advocacy for CTE: Sullivan High School CTE Program for Health Sciences, with Senator Durbin (D-IL)
• Partnering with Federal Agencies such as the Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration, and the Department of Education, Office of Vocational and Adult Education
• Partnering with CTE Programs including Chicago Public Schools, the Illinois IT Task Force, Illinois Race to the Top, and Illinois Health IT Task Force
• Partnering with other Career Clusters™

Koch also showed how Health and IT Career Clusters™ were cross walked for secondary and postsecondary programs of study; implementation pilot program of study is at Chicago Public Schools.

The National Alliance for Concurrent Enrollment Partnerships’ (NACEP) Representative, Curtis Biggs, explained how NACEP Standards and Accreditation strengthen dual credit programs. Sharing how accelerated learning options – concurrent enrollment, Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate, among several models – are accepted by public institutions, Biggs showed how the NACEP standards strengthen an institution’s dual credit program by:

• Giving students assurance that they are taking true college courses;
• Aiding students in seeking credit recognition;
• Enhancing reputation of college and high school partners;
• Leverage to gain commitments from college faculty and staff;
• Enhancing relationships and cooperation of all partner groups;
• The knowledge that school districts value accreditation when communicating with parents; and
• Schools consulting with college when making new hires.

Koch and Biggs shared a PowerPoint of their joint presentation, which provides additional information on large-scale research results comparing students who took dual or concurrent enrollment compared to those who did not.

Ramona Schescke, Member Services Manager

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