HEA in Practice: Title III HSI STEM Articulation Grant

January 30th, 2019

Title III of the Higher Education Act (HEA) is the main source of institutional level funding in HEA, primarily supporting minority-serving colleges. Title III authorizes the Hispanic Serving Institutions Science, Technology, Engineering or Mathematics and Articulation Program (HSI STEM). An institution is categorized as an HSI if at least 25 percent of the full time undergraduate students are Latino. As of the 2016-2017 school year, HSIs include 65 percent of Latino undergraduate students and 15 percent of colleges and universities across the country, and these number will continue to increase.

This piece of HEA has two goals: the first is to increase attainment of STEM degrees and the second is to create a model transfer and articulation agreement for STEM degrees between two- and four-year institutions. Appropriations for this program are mandatory through FY2019. Funding can be utilized for purposes such as:

  • “Improving academic quality of STEM programs through curriculum revision and development, or faculty development;
  • Developing research opportunities for students in STEM fields;
  • Providing or improving student services including counseling, tutoring, mentoring or establishing learning communities;
  • Encouraging secondary students to pursue STEM degrees and careers through outreach activities; and
  • Improving STEM facilities and equipment needed for science instruction and computer laboratories.”

A great example of how this has been implemented is the Laredo Community College in Texas, which developed its STEM Articulation and Summer Bridge program through the HSI STEM grant. The STEM articulation program supports learners interested in STEM in both the college enrollment process, as well as successfully navigating the two to four year transfer. This program includes a Summer Bridge component, which provides incoming college students with advisement on everything from what to expect academically to the interpersonal skills that will be required. Learners in this program graduated at twice the rate of the college’s overall graduation rate.

Meredith Hills, Policy Associate

States Passed 146 Policies to Support CTE in 2018

January 29th, 2019

2018 was a significant year for Career Technical Education (CTE) at the federal and state levels. On July 31, 2018, the President signed the Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act (Perkins V) into law, which reauthorized the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act of 2006 (Perkins IV). The reauthorization of Perkins signaled a federal commitment to and a recognition of the promise and value of high-quality CTE. Additionally, at the state level 42 states and Washington, D.C., passed a total of 146 policy actions related to CTE and career readiness, reflecting a commitment from state leaders to advance CTE.

Today, Advance CTE and Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE) released the sixth annual Year in Review: State Policies Impacting CTE report, examining 2018 state legislative activity, including legislation, executive orders, board of education actions, budget provisions and ballot initiatives. To develop the report, Advance CTE and ACTE reviewed state activity, catalogued all finalized state action and coded activity based on the policy area of focus. For 2018, the top policy areas of focus include:

  • Funding;
  • Industry partnerships/work-based learning;
  • Dual/concurrent enrollment, articulation and early college;
  • Industry-recognized credentials, tied with graduation requirements; and
  • Access/equity.

In total, 30 states enacted policy in 2018 that impacted CTE funding, making funding the most popular policy category for the sixth year in a row. A number of states directed funding toward the needs of underrepresented, low-income or otherwise disadvantaged populations, including California, Iowa, Maryland, Michigan, Missouri, New Jersey and North Carolina. Washington established a scholarship program to support foster and homeless youth entering postsecondary education or pursuing an apprenticeship, among other policies that supported access and equity, and New York is funding 15 early college high school programs aligned with in-demand industries in communities with low rates of graduation or postsecondary transition.

While roughly one hundred fewer policies were passed in 2018 than in 2017, this past year’s policies still reflect a commitment from state leaders to advance CTE. A decrease in the number of CTE policies passed compared to previous years should not be misinterpreted as an indication that CTE is not a priority for states. In fact, at least 16 governors identified modernizing CTE as a priority for their states during their 2018 State of State Addresses.

As states continue to pass CTE related policies, it is important to focus on the quality of the implementation of the policies and not only the quantity. To view the previous years’ Year in Review reports click here. Advance CTE and ACTE will be joined by a state leader to discuss these policies in more depth on February 14 at 2 p.m. EST – to register for the webinar click here.

Brianna McCain, Policy Associate

College or Career? At Oakland High School, Students Don’t Have to Choose

January 28th, 2019

Students were hard at work on their laptops when we walked into the 12th grade environmental science class at Oakland High School. They were writing their senior research papers on different environmental issues in their Bay Area community, the culminating project to graduate from the Environmental Science Academy. One student was writing about the the economic impact of a diminishing bee population, another was looking into the effect of recent wildfires in northern California. And they were more than happy to show off their projects.

Oakland High School – or O-High as it is affectionately called by students and teachers – is one of several schools in California that is implementing an industry-based educational model called Linked Learning. Linked Learning is not unique – it outlines a framework for what we would consider “high-quality Career Technical Education (CTE):” an integrated pathway that combines rigorous CTE, college preparatory course work, work-based learning and wraparound student supports. But Linked Learning is quickly becoming the gold standard approach to career pathways in California. With funding from the James Irvine Foundation and strategic guidance and partnership from the Linked Learning Alliance, the approach has spread to high schools and districts across the state.

In Oakland, the power and value of Linked Learning is in the diversity of its student body. The city is situated across the bay from San Francisco and is home to an incredibly diverse community – many students are the children of immigrants or were themselves born in other countries. Recently, Oakland has experienced rapid gentrification and a steadily increasing cost of living, making it harder for families to stay in the area. To maintain Oakland’s rich diversity, O-High Principal Matin Abdel-Qawi believes it is his school’s mission to equip each and every student with the skills they need to earn family-sustaining wages so they can afford to work and live in Oakland once they graduate.

So what does this look like in practice? O-High has drawn upon the four components of the Linked Learning model to provide a student-centered experience. The school offers wall-to-wall career academies that each include:

Integrated academics with a rigorous, college-preparatory curriculum:  As students progress through their pathway, they receive rigorous instruction aligned to California’s A-G college prep standards and graduate fully prepare to enroll in Easy Bay Community College, UC Berkeley, or other colleges and universities in the state.

High-quality CTE classes that prepare learners for in-demand careers: Every student enrolls in a career academy: Environmental Science, Visual Arts (VAAMP), Public Health, Project Lead the Way (engineering), Social Justice and Reform, or an academy for recent immigrants called R.I.S.E (Recent Immigrant Support and Engagement Academy). Students take math, history and other academic subjects with their pathway peers, and instructors adapt the curriculum to apply a career-focused lens.

A continuum of work-based learning experiences: Throughout their pathway, students have the opportunity to engage with industry experts through field trips, guest lectures and offsite internships with nearby institutions like the Alameda County health system, which regularly hosts students from the Public Health Academy. In 2018, 1,393 students participated in career awareness activities and 145 completed an internship.

Wraparound supports to guide learners along their pathway: Perhaps the most remarkable element of O-High’s Linked Learning academies is the extensive mentorship and wraparound supports students can access. A wellness center on campus provide medical and dental services to students, ensuring that health is not a barrier to success. The high school is also home to a Future Center that helps students apply for college, perfect their resume, and identify and apply for scholarships.

The Linked Learning approach has had a notable impact on O-High student outcomes. In 2018, 81 percent of students graduated and 70 percent enrolled in college within one year. Part of this success is attributable to the high school’s absolute focus on equity. School leaders take special care to ensure that enrollment in each pathway reflects the broader student population, with parity across ethnicity, gender and disability. And in 2010, Oakland Unified launched the Office of African American Male Achievement (AAMA) to support and develop young black males throughout the district. As a result, the African American graduation rate at O-High jumped from 58 percent in 2014 to 90 percent in 2018.

As states prepare to implement the Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act (Perkins V), they will have a unique opportunity to redefine what high-quality CTE looks like and ensure equity is front and center in the statewide delivery of CTE. There are a lot of lessons to draw from Linked Learning. For one, Linked Learning’s integrated career pathway approach, mixed with work-based learning and wraparound student supports, is a tried-and-true framework for a strong CTE program. States can replicate this approach and free up resources to expand access to work-based learning and student supports.

Further, O-High’s intense focus on equity should be instructive to other school, district and state leaders. In Oakland, equity means more than expanding opportunity. It means ensuring that each and every learner is supported, welcomed and successful in their given career pathway. With wraparound services to support students’ health, academic and career needs, Oakland High School delivers on its promise to graduate students prepared to stay and contribute to their diverse community.

Thanks to Oakland High School, the Linked Learning Alliance and the Alliance for Excellent Education for organizing the Linked Learning site visit.

Austin Estes, Senior Policy Associate

This Week in CTE

January 25th, 2019


New Members on the House Committee on Education and Labor

On January 23, House Republicans named the members that will serve on the House Committee on Education and Labor for the 116th Congress. This finalizes the composition of the Committee, which has 28 Democrats, 14 of whom are new to the Committee, and 22 Republicans, 10 of whom are new to the Committee. As the Committee begins its work, Advance CTE will continue to provide updates on hearings, votes and more.

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


Need a fun way to work across CTE programs of study in your school? Try creating a “How-To” video as a class project that helps learners grasp an important skill and work with your Art or Audio Visual program to do the filming and editing. In this quick video, you can see learners in the Electronic Media and Journalism class are producing ‘how-to’ videos with those who are studying in the Automotive Technology program.

For more ideas on incorporating video into your programs check out the Washington Workforce Training & Education Coordinating Board’s video toolkit to help local schools, instructors, and students develop their own videos promoting CTE in their communities. The guide provides technical tips for setting up shots, capturing sound, and conducting interviews. Read it here.

Watch the video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P87dWbuzLtE


In a report, No More “Sink or Swim:” Incorporating Subgroup Accountability into the Higher Education Act, Third Way, discusses the equity gaps in higher education, who is impacted and in what ways. This resource will inform state leaders concerned about equity gaps in postsecondary CTE. Currently, there are few accountability measures in the Higher Education Act (HEA) around this, but reauthorization provides an opportunity for this to change.

The report proposes that inclusion of subgroup accountability in HEA reauthorization is one way to understand and respond to the issue. A framework for subgroup accountability in HEA is provided that includes:

  • Which student subgroups should be used;
  • What should be measured;
  • How to identify and compare institutions for subgroup accountability;
  • What should happen when an institution has low equity outcomes;
  • How to mitigate unintended consequences; and
  • How to improve outcomes.

Read the full report here: https://careertech.org/resource/2018-incorporating-subgroup-accountability-HEA

Nicole Howard, Communications Associate

Members of House Committee on Education and Labor Announced, Secretary DeVos Focuses Remarks on CTE

January 24th, 2019

This week brings news from Congress, remarks on Career Technical Education (CTE) from the Administration, questions about when states will release report cards required by the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) and a report on food insecurity on college campuses. Read below to learn more about these updates.

New Members on the House Committee on Education and Labor 

On January 23, House Republicans named the members that will serve on the House Committee on Education and Labor for the 116th Congress. This finalizes the composition of the Committee, which has 28 Democrats, 14 of whom are new to the Committee, and 22 Republicans, 10 of whom are new to the Committee. As the Committee begins its work, Advance CTE will continue to provide updates on hearings, votes and more.

Secretary DeVos Focuses Remarks on CTE at Conference of Mayors 

On January 24, U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos spoke at the annual United States Conference of Mayors Winter Meeting, emphasizing the theme of “rethinking” education throughout her speech. She highlighted that mayors can help build relationships between educators and industry and how this can happen through Perkins V planning efforts. During her remarks, she highlighted CTE programs across the country that offer opportunities like apprenticeships, the ability for high school students to earn associate’s degrees and business partnerships that offer upskilling opportunities through community colleges.

When Are States Publishing ESSA Report Cards?

Shortly after the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) was passed, the Obama administration developed regulations requiring states to publish their performance report cards by December 31, 2018. When Congress overturned those rules in early 2017, it left states without clear guidance on the deadline to release their report cards. While several states have published information on 2017-18 student performance, many have yet to do so. Significantly, more than 30 states are measuring career readiness on their state, district and high school report cards, some for the first time. Looking for more information about ESSA and the career-ready indicators states are using? Check out the ESSA pageon Advance CTE’s website.

In Case You Missed It: New Report on Food Insecurity Among College Students

The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO), in response to a 2017 request by Senate Democrats, released Food Insecurity: Better Information Could Help Eligible College Students Access Federal Food Assistance Benefitsa report that looks into 31 studies on food insecurity among college students. This report found that in 2016 about two million students eligible for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) did not receive benefits and that income level was the biggest indicator of food insecurity. The report discusses what was previously considered to be a typical college experience and how the college student population has changed. The report comes at a time when the reauthorization of the Higher Education Act is considered a top priority for this Congress.

Kathryn Zekus, Senior Associate for Federal Policy, Austin Estes, Senior Policy Associate & Meredith Hills, Policy Associate 

New Advance CTE and College Board Guide Examines How CLEP can be Integrated into CTE Programs of Study

January 24th, 2019

The College-Level Examination Program® (CLEP®) allows learners from a wide range of ages and backgrounds to demonstrate mastery of introductory college-level material and earn college credit. CLEP and Career Technical Education (CTE) can and should work in tandem to support career readiness.

With an estimated 65 percent of jobs in the economy requiring postsecondary education and training beyond high school, career readiness is increasingly dependent on success at two- and four-year colleges. The powerful combination of CLEP with CTE allows students to reach their chosen careers faster, either by accelerating their entry into the field, or freeing up their time to take more advanced college courses sooner.

To help state, district and school leaders think through how to place students on pathways that prepare them for college and career, Advance CTE and the College Board partnered to develop College-Level Examination Program and Career and Technical Education. This guide examines how specific CLEP exams can be embedded into or used to augment programs of study by Career Cluster®. For example, when designing programs of study in marketing, it’s important to consider embedding the Principles of Marketing CLEP exam in the programs of study. To learn more about CLEP, look out for Advance CTE’s future report on credit for prior learning, slated to come out in the Spring of 2019.

Brianna McCain, Policy Associate

Excellence in Action Spotlighting: Nashua High School South, Video Production & Broadcasting Program

January 23rd, 2019

Learner success depends on a number of factors including having access to learning that is personalized and flexible. To make education personalized learners have to be able to express and follow their interests. For example, the development of the Video Production and Broadcasting program of study – a 2018 Excellence in Action Award winner in the Arts, A/V Technology & Communications Career Cluster®, housed at Nashua High School South, in Nashua, New Hampshire – is the result of a school responding to the needs of its students.  

“I didn’t get into teaching for the awards. I got into it to help prepare students for the real world — whether they go into video production or not. We really work hard with the students to make sure they get a great education in film and media but also learn crucial college and career readiness skills so that they are prepared for the real world,” said Jeffrey Leone, Instructor of the Video Production and Broadcasting Program.

A survey revealed that learners at Nashua High School had a significant interest in the TV and Video Broadcasting Career Pathway. After a few years of planning with industry and education partners in the community, the Video Production & Broadcasting program was established in 2001.

To support success in both career and college, learners earn a user certification in Avid Media Composer editing software and up to three college credits through the New Hampshire Community College system. The learner success outcomes demonstrate why this program is excelling. 86 percent of learners in the 2016-17 class enrolled in postsecondary education and 100 percent participated in work-based learning.

Schools must rely on partners, especially employers and community-based organizations, to supplement learners’ in-class experiences. The City of Nashua’s Public Education Television Channel, for example, has been a program partner for seven years. They offer internship opportunities for learners to produce local community programming, including election debates and community forums. Students also regularly attend field trips to WMUR Channel 9 in Manchester, NH and WHDH Channel 7 in Boston, MA, where they take tours of the facilities and speak with professionals.

Learn more about the Video Production and Broadcasting Program at Nashua High School South and our 2018 award winners.

Nicole Howard, Communications Associate


This Week in CTE

January 18th, 2019



Senate Releases Committee Report on the Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act (Perkins V)

The Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee recently released the Committee Report on the Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act (Perkins V). The report provides key details on legislative intent, a section-by-section analysis and shows how the new law made changes to Perkins IV. Read our blog to learn more.

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


In this video, you get an inside look at what class looks like for learners in the Animal Science program of study at Wichita Southeast High School in Kansas. The instructor gives an overview of the program while learners showcase hands-on experiences happening right on campus.

Watch the video here: https://youtu.be/ef6Ee9Z6ZOs


Improving Skills Through America’s Workforce Development System

There is a skills gap across the country for jobs that require more than a high school education but less than a bachelor’s degree. In a new report, Improving Skills Through America’s Workforce Development System, the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), explores what is behind the skills gap, how Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) is structured to address this and what challenges continue to exist.

The report makes seven recommendations to improve the workforce development system at the federal level through WIOA implementation:

  • Clarify services offered by the workforce development system;
  • Enhance coordination between higher education financial aid officers and WIOA caseworkers;
  • Reduce or modify reporting requirements on outcomes if the tools are not provided to deliver the reports;
  • Consider new ways to prioritize training at american job centers;
  • Help WIOA participants use other available federal and state funding;
  • Encourage private businesses to offer training to nonemployees, especially in high-demand occupations; and
  • Expand reciprocity agreements between states.

Read the full report here: https://careertech.org/resource/2018-improving-skills-workforce-dev-system


Partnership to Advance Youth Apprenticeship  Accepting Applications for New Grants

Partnership to Advance Youth Apprenticeship (PAYA) is inviting applications for their new grants– four to eight grants valued at approximately $200,000 each. Advance CTE is proud to support PAYA in announcing the first-ever joint, national philanthropic investment focused on developing high-quality youth apprenticeship programs. These grants aim to support employers, community partners and policy leaders who are working together to build high-quality youth apprenticeship programs that will meet local economic needs.

PAYA is inviting proposals from public-private partnerships with innovative strategies and established relationships that can deliver high-quality implementation. Successful bids include organizations that have leadership and support from a wide range of sectors including business and industry, the K-12 system, postsecondary institutions and government bodies.

Submissions for the open application must be completed online by 11:59 p.m. PST on Friday, March 8. You can also register to participate in an informational webinar about the application and selection process on Thursday, January 24th at 4:00 p.m. EST.

Nicole Howard, Communications Associate

Perkins V: How can states expand work-based learning?

January 17th, 2019

This new bi-monthly blog series will highlight key Perkins V questions and topics and link them to relevant Advance CTE reports, guides and policy profiles featuring research, promising practices and examples of state policies.

Work-based Learning and Perkins V

Work-based learning is an increasingly popular strategy for learners to reinforce and deepen their classroom learning, explore future career fields and demonstrate their skills in an authentic setting. In addition, the Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act (Perkins V) features a formal definition of work-based learning and references it throughout the law, including in the state plan and local application sections. Perkins V also includes participation in work-based learning as one option for states as they select their accountability indicators. As states set their vision for Career Technical Education (CTE) and develop Perkins V plans that expand access to high-quality CTE programs of study, how can they increase access to work-based learning opportunities, chart a new course or scale efforts already underway? Check out the resources below to learn more.

GUIDE: Connecting the Classroom to Careers: A Comprehensive Guide to the State’s Role in Work-based Learning: This guide provides key considerations and guiding questions to walk states through the steps of building and scaling a high-quality work-based learning system, drawing on state examples to highlight innovative solutions to common challenges.

REPORT: Opportunities for Connecting Secondary Career and Technical Education Students and Apprenticeship Programs: This report profiles eight secondary apprenticeship programs to identify strategies to connect CTE with apprenticeship program and outlines key takeaways and recommendations for program design, program effectiveness, student-parent engagement and communications, financing, and equity and access. Watch a related webinar here.

GUIDE: CTE on the Frontier: Connecting Rural Learners with the World of Work: This brief on rural CTE access and quality, explores how states have identified ways to bring the physical experience of work-based learning and employer engagement directly to learners through simulated workplace experiences, innovative satellite campuses and mobile labs.


The next blog in this series will include accountability resources and in the meantime, please be sure to check out the Learning that Works Resource Center.

Kathryn Zekus, Senior Associate, Federal Policy & Austin Estes, Senior Policy Associate

2019 Spring Meeting Registration is Now Open!

January 17th, 2019










Join state Career Technical Education (CTE) leaders from across the country April 8-10 in Washington, D.C. for a three-day professional development conference that will explore the latest issues and challenges influencing CTE today.

The annual Spring Meeting will equip you with the resources and knowledge you need to be innovative and bold as you begin to implement the Strengthening Career Technical Education for the 21st Century Act (Perkins V) and help you develop a clear vision to guide CTE in your state. Our agenda features breakout sessions featuring promising practices, roundtable discussions for peer-to-peer learning and panels led by CTE experts.

This meeting is more important than ever as it will be Advance CTE’s only public conference this year while we support state efforts to implement Perkins V.

Register today here

April 8-10, 2019
Omni Shoreham
2500 Calvert St NW
Washington, DC 20008

Deadline to register: March 15, 2019

Deadline to reserve a hotel room: March 18, 2019