Getting to Know Advance CTE’s Work in Scaling Work-Based Learning Opportunities

December 17th, 2020

The “Getting to Know” blog series will feature the work of State CTE Directors, state and federal policies, innovative programs and new initiatives from the Advance CTE staff. Learn more about each one of these topics and the unique contributions to advancing Career Technical Education (CTE) that Advance CTE’s members work on every day.

Meet Brian Robinson! Brian is a policy associate for Advance CTE’s state policy team. Brian supports our data and knowledge management work, the Advancing Postsecondary CTE Data Quality Initiative (PDI), funded by ECMC Foundation, research and data collection around the nation’s area technical centers and leads communities of practice where we bring together states in the cohort to share best practices and work through data challenges and needs. 

Brian also manages our Learning that Works Resource Center which is a resource repository of all things CTE with over 500 reports, case studies, and more spanning 14 different topic categories.

Q: How would you define work-based learning, and the role it plays in high-quality Career Technical Education?

A: Work-based learning is pretty broad in definition; it is the opportunity for learners to develop awareness and exposure to different careers, explore different career paths, make connections between classroom learning and programs of study, and demonstrate their skills in an authentic real-world setting.

Work-based learning has the power to make the abstract real for learners, providing the opportunity to apply industry skills in the field and learning directly from practitioners. Work-based learning also has the power of building social and cultural capital for learners that we know is important for career advancement. Learners have the opportunity to build professional networks, find mentors, and learn soft skills like how to show up to work on time, how to interact with colleagues and clients, how one dresses for work or an interview, how to develop a resume, etc. All of this matters when we’re thinking about high-quality CTE and equitable career development.

Q: During the pandemic and distance learning, in what innovative ways have states continued to provide work-based learning opportunities for learners? 

A: This has been one of the most challenging aspects of CTE during the pandemic – work-based learning. A lot of businesses were closed, businesses nor schools wanted to take on the liability of having a student working during the pandemic, and of course parents did not want their children being exposed either. Many states turned to virtual experiences for work-based learning opportunities on the lower end of the spectrum because those were easier. Work-based learning coordinators in South Carolina created virtual tour videos for learners in place of “field trips”. Many states and local school districts partnered with for-profit companies to create experiences such as live industry chats with industry professionals. In some limited cases students were able to engage in virtual internships. In Miami-Dade, Florida, they turned their summer youth internship program into a virtual experience. Almost 3,000 learners worked in South Florida this summer in a wide range of industries. However, most programs of study are very difficult to deliver virtually and even when you can, there’s the issue of the digital divide that’s been exacerbated by COVID-19 (coronavirus). 

Q:  What are some ways states can continue to think boldly about scaling their work-based learning opportunities across their CTE programs?

A: Advance CTE is currently rewriting our work-based learning guide with a focus on approaches states can take to ensure equitable access to high-quality work-based learning experiences regardless of race, socioeconomic status, ability, or geography. There are five – that provide the basis for the guide- approaches states can take to boldly scaling work-based learning opportunities:

  1. Establish a clear and ambitious statewide vision for equitable access and create the policy environment and infrastructure to support this vision. 
  2. Create and/or support statewide and local/regional intermediaries who do the on-the-ground work of recruiting learners and employers, helping to facilitate work-based learning experiences, and supporting both learners and employers through the process. 
  3. Use data to advance equity and program quality. It’s not enough to just collect data, but leverage that data to track learner participation and success in high-quality work-based learning opportunities. Use the data to identify opportunity gaps and create a plan to close those gaps. 
  4. Engage with employers to meet the needs of the labor market while expanding opportunities to traditionally underrepresented learner populations and maximizing learning outcomes. 
  5. Lastly, identify successful programs or create pilot programs that can be scaled to create more opportunities for all learners

 

Q: What resources can you share with states on work-based learning?

A: States looking to scale their current work-based learning opportunities can leverage the Work-based Learning tab in the Learning that Works Resource Center where all of our great resources are. Some specific ones are:

Brittany Cannady, Digital Media Associate 

New Congressional Research Report: Labor Market Implications of COVID-19 for Women

December 16th, 2020

The Congressional Research Service (CRS) released a new report on The COVID-19 Pandemic: Labor Market Implications that explores labor market outcomes in 2020, long-term effects on women in the labor force and possible continuing impacts. The COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic has caused both a health and economic crisis, including devastating unemployment rates. It has become evident that women’s employment has seen greater declines than that of men’s. Women’s employment decreased by 17.8 percent (13.3 million people) between January 2020 and April 2020. Men’s employment decreased by 14.3 percent (12 million people) in that same period. 

These findings are even more extreme for Black and Latinx women. Black women’s employment decreased by 17.1 percent between January and April, compared to a 16 percent decrease for white women. Employment for Latinx women decreased by 22.5 percent between January and April, compared to a 16.2 percent decrease for non-Latinx women.

CRS names two main factors in women’s declining employment: 

  1. Women are more concentrated in the occupations that have been impacted by business restrictions and closures, and 
  2. Women are more likely to reduce employment as a result of caregiving needs, which increased due to school closures, family members falling sick or family members needing assistance during the pandemic.


There is concern that there can be long-term impacts on women in the labor force, dependent on factors such as: length of time that the recession spans; “speed and robustness” of economic recovery; how current employment status will affect future employment; and changes (or not) in choices about caregiving. The disparities in employment may persist past the pandemic, and current unemployment for women can impact their earnings even when they return to the workforce in the future. Time out of the workforce can lead to a skill loss, and make it challenging for women to grow in their careers and access new job opportunities.  

With millions of Americans unemployed, Black and Latinx workers, female workers and workers with a high school education or less have been disproportionately impacted. A significant number of adult learners need fast but quality upskilling and reskilling through avenues such as short-term programs that will result in living-wage, in-demand careers. While there is great uncertainty about the pandemic’s ongoing and long-term impact on employment in our country, there is certainty that CTE is a vital solution to decreasing unemployment and to economic recovery. Read Advance CTE’s transition priorities for the Biden-Harris Administration, including making CTE a central part of the Administration’s economic recovery strategy, here

The full report by CRS can be viewed here.

Meredith Hills, Senior Associate for Federal Policy

Legislative Update: One-Week Stopgap Funding Bill and Stimulus Proposal Details

December 11th, 2020

This week, Congress passed a one-week appropriations bill in an effort to avoid a government shutdown. Read below to learn more about what this means for federal funding, as well as details on a stimulus proposal.

Congress Passes One-Week Stopgap Appropriations Bill

This afternoon the Senate passed a one-week spending bill to extend government funding to December 18, 2020 before it expires at midnight today. This follows the House introduction and vote to pass the continuing resolution H.R. 8900 earlier this week. This bill simply extends funding at currently enacted levels for one more week. It includes the Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies (Labor-HHS-Ed) appropriations bill, which designates funding for the Perkins Basic State Grant.

Now, the president must sign this bill by midnight tonight, December 11, when federal funding expires. Congress will then take the next week to propose and vote on either a full appropriations package for the remainder of Fiscal Year 2021, or another CR. 

Bipartisan Senate Group Releases Additional Stimulus Details

The bipartisan group of Senators who announced a $908 billion coronavirus stimulus framework last week shared out additional information on funding allocations this week. The outline includes $82 billion for education funding, which will be split into a Governors Emergency Relief Fund, Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund, Higher Education Emergency relief fund (including set asides for minority serving institutions) and relief for territories and the Bureau of Indian Education. Funding levels for each of those streams are still not clear. This proposal also includes $160 billion for state, local and tribal governments to be used “as the basis for good faith negotiations.” At this time, there is no additional information about how these funds can be used. Full legislative text has not been released yet. If this bill were to pass, it would operate retroactively to December 1, 2020 and extend through March 31, 2021.   

Meredith Hills, Senior Associate for Federal Policy

The Impact of High Quality Short-Term Programs

December 10th, 2020

A high quality short-term program- one that leads to a recognized postsecondary certificate, license or credential and is aligned to local, regional or state labor market demand- is essential to leveling the field for learners of all backgrounds to pursue meaningful and diverse career pathways. The majority of the country’s labor market requires education attainment beyond high school, but not a four-year degree. Short-term programs can be directly responsive to labor market demand and designed to align with employer needs to the learner with the skills and knowledge needed to be successful. Further, these programs support the lifelong learning that is important for today’s evolving world of work, and often contribute to the stackable credentials that coincide with a career pathway. Short-term programs can be part of a full career pathway, putting an individual on track for a career in their area of interest that provides a family-sustaining salary. 

Short-term programs may be for-credit or noncredit, with many categorized as noncredit. A large and rapidly increasing portion of all postsecondary learners enroll in noncredit courses, and this figure is expected to continue to grow. This is because these programs typically lead to a postsecondary credential that often has a more immediate connection to an occupational skill or competency than most associate or baccalaureate degree programs and are frequently offered at a substantially lower cost to learners. Short-term programs can be especially beneficial for adult learners returning to education who are looking for a more affordable program that is designed to be more flexible than the traditional, and longer, degree option. These can better fit into the schedule of a student who is working full-time or is responsible for a family. 

The affordability and flexibility of short-term programs is especially significant since the notion of a “traditional” college student, one who enrolls immediately after high school, is shifting. In fact, over 70 percent of those enrolled in postsecondary education fall into at least one category of a nontraditional learner. 54 percent of short-term programs take place over one year or less, and make up 24 percent of all postsecondary awards in the country. 

Now, during the economic and health crisis, high quality short-term programs will play an important role in economic recovery. With millions of Americans unemployed, Black and Latinx workers, workers with a high school education or less and female workers have been disproportionately impacted. A significant number of learners of all ages now need fast but quality upskilling and reskilling through avenues such as short-term programs that will result in living-wage, in-demand careers. 

Meredith Hills, Senior Associate for Federal Policy

Welcome Jeran Culina to Advance CTE!

December 8th, 2020

My name is Jeran Culina and I am excited to be the new Senior Policy Associate for Advance CTE, supporting states and communities as they create, share, use and manage information about nationwide efforts to expand high-quality and equitable career pathways. As Senior Policy Associate, I will also support the development of policy tools and resources leveraged by state and local leaders, national partners and other key stakeholders to help ensure each learner has access to high-quality CTE and preparation for the careers of their choice.

I started my career right out of the State University of New York at Buffalo working in low income households for Catholic Charities. From there I continued to find my passion for working with vulnerable populations to empower them to pursue their dreams. That meant working in everything from foster care, mentoring and military programs across the state of Michigan. 

As I started working within school districts, I found an even stronger passion for policy within education. To build on that passion I decided to go back for my master’s in 2018 at Michigan State University for a degree in Educational Leadership. That program catapulted my career into working at a systems level on policy from early childhood education through postsecondary. I am excited for the next steps in my career to support states through their work with Advance CTE. 

Outside of work, I am passionate about fitness and even work as a trainer at a local gym. I also enjoy being with family, hiking, kayaking, and visiting all art museums. I especially love cheering every Sunday for my favorite team the Buffalo Bills!

Jeran Culina, Senior Policy Associate 

This Week in CTE

December 4th, 2020

We have compiled a list of highlights in Career Technical Education (CTE) from this week to share with you.

SCHOLARSHIP OF THE WEEK 

A new scholarship opportunity for learners seeking college funding, a mentorship and have an interest in transportation has been announced. The purpose of The Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE)’s Diversity Scholars Program is to grow underrepresented populations’ participation in the transportation profession by supporting increased diversity at the undergraduate level. Diversity in the transportation industry is critical as practitioners seek to fully understand the transportation needs of communities and develop equitable mobility improvements to many areas of our society. 

This program is open to any U.S. high school student of Black; Native American, Alaskan, and Hawaiian; or Latinx heritage with an interest in a career in transportation and who is seeking to study transportation engineering, planning, or in a related-field at a school with an established ITE Student Chapter. 

For more information and to apply, click here. Applications are due March 15, 2021.

CTE PROGRAM OF THE WEEK

One Nevada school has been responsive to industry changes in their area and adopted a new manufacturing program tying in curriculum from Project Lead the Way and Intelitek. Palo Verde High School will have a four-year program teaching learner 3D modeling, applied physics, computer-integrated manufacturing and engineering design. 

Stephen Turbie, Engineering Instructor, says, “Automation is an essential part of any manufacturing business. Learning about automation and manufacturing provides good training for many future technical careers.”

Learn more about the addition of this manufacturing program in this article published by SmartBrief. 

CTSO OF THE WEEK

Despite the challenges states have faced with offering work-based learning opportunities during the pandemic, students from King City High School’s (King City, California) agricultural pathway and members of the Future Farmers of America (FFA) have worked diligently to utilize social media to overcome barriers and continue to have their work-based learning opportunities, Supervised Agricultural Experience (SAE), externships and virtual career fairs for the current school year.

Learn more in this article on how CTE teachers and students in California are working together despite the virtual learning challenges. King City High School FFA students are also ranked number one in the region and third in the state of California.

LEGISLATIVE UPDATE OF THE WEEK

Following the retirement of House Appropriations Committee Chair Nita Lowey (D-NY), Representative Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) was voted to be the new committee chair. DeLauro’s win came after her endorsement by the Democratic House Steering and Policy Committee earlier this week. Currently, DeLauro serves as the Chair of the Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies (Labor-HHS-ED) Appropriations Subcommittee so she is well versed in Career Technical Education (CTE), education and workforce funding.

View more Legislative Updates from this week here

RESOURCE OF THE WEEK

Recent calculations suggested that 32-42 percent of job losses that have resulted from the COVID-19 (coronavirus) may be permanent. CTE can reskill and upskill learners and prepare them for reentry into the workforce by offering industry-recognized credentials of value. 

Credential Currency: How States Can Identify and Promote Credentials of Value is a roadmap for how states can identify which credentials have labor market value, and recommended strategies and opportunities to advance learner attainment. This roadmap is informed by national, state and local CTE leaders from K-12 education, postsecondary education and industry. 

View Credential Currency: How States Can Identify and Promote Credentials of Value in our Learning that Works Resource Center.

Brittany Cannady, Digital Media Associate

Legislative Update: New COVID-19 Stimulus Framework and Appropriations Committee Chair

December 3rd, 2020

This week, a bipartisan group of Senators introduced a new COVID-19 (coronavirus) stimulus framework. Read below to learn more about this proposal, as well as committee leadership changes in the House, the revamped College Scorecard, a formal request for information on work-based learning programs for youth and the significance of having an educator in the White House. 

Senate Announces Coronavirus Relief Bill

On Tuesday, a bipartisan group of Senators announced a $908 billion coronavirus stimulus framework. This is significantly lower than what has been proposed by Democrats and Republicans in Congress so far, and the intention is to provide short-term and immediate pandemic relief. The bill includes $82 billion for K-12 and higher education, though the breakdown between funding levels for K-12 and postsecondary education is not clear. The proposal also includes $160 billion for state, local and tribal governments, as well as $10 billion for broadband. If this bill were to pass, it would operate retroactively to December 1, 2020 and extend through March 31, 2021.   

House Elects New Appropriations Chair

Today, following the retirement of House Appropriations Committee Chair Nita Lowey (D-NY), Representative Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) was voted to be the new committee chair. DeLauro’s win came after her endorsement by the Democratic House Steering and Policy Committee earlier this week. Currently, DeLauro serves as the Chair of the Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies (Labor-HHS-ED) Appropriations Subcommittee so she is well versed in Career Technical Education (CTE), education and workforce funding.   

ED Expands College Scorecard 

U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos announced the revamped College Scorecard to further improve an individual’s ability to navigate data and make informed decisions about higher education. The College Scorecard now includes median income data two years post-graduation. Earnings data will continue to be added each year moving forward to provide both short and long-term outcomes information. Additionally, Parent PLUS Loans are now included in this resource. In the short term, the College Scorecard will continue to be updated to include federal loan repayment data in an effort to demonstrate how former federal student loan borrowers from a specific program within an institution were able to meet repayment obligations. 

ED Requests Information on Expanding Work-Based Learning for Youth

This week the U.S. Department of Education (ED) Office of Career, Technical and Adult Education (OCTAE) announced a new Request for Information on Expanding Work-Based Learning Opportunities for Youth. OCTAE is “interested in learning about successful approaches to expanding work-based learning opportunities for youth from States, Tribes, state and local educational agencies, community-based and other nonprofit organizations, employers, industry associations, philanthropic organizations, faith-based organizations, researchers, and other interested individuals and entities.” This stakeholder input will inform ED’s implementation of the Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act (Perkins V) and coordination on federally supported youth employment initiatives with Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) partners. 

The full notice in the Federal Register asks specific questions on successful practices and strategies, public and private partnerships, outcomes data and evaluation design, student barriers and employer barriers. Submissions are due by January 13, 2021. 

New Administration Includes Educators 

As we prepare for the transition of the new presidential administration and session of Congress, it is significant to note that the incoming First Lady, Dr. Jill Biden, is a career educator and education advocate. Dr. Biden teaches writing and English at Northern Virginia Community College, and plans to continue in this role following President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration. Dr. Biden plans to use her platform to speak about education issues such as tuition-free community college, broadband and technology access and food insecurity. 

You can read about Advance CTE’s priorities for the Biden-Harris Administration here

Meredith Hills, Senior Associate for Federal Policy

Research Review: CTE Course Taking Is the Norm Among High School Graduates, but Equity Gaps Remain 

December 1st, 2020

Eighty-eight percent of high school graduates earned Career Technical Education (CTE) course credit in 2013. That’s the major takeaway from a new data brief published by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). The data brief provides a glimpse into how course taking patterns have changed over time and how participation in CTE varies by race, ethnicity, gender, disability and English learner status.

While states publicly report information on CTE participation, concentration and performance, the methods states use to identify CTE concentrators and categorize programs can differ, making an apples-to-apples comparison across states and over time challenging. The data brief from NCES cuts through some of the noise by coding student transcripts using the School Courses for the Exchange of Data (SCED) and Secondary School Course Taxonomy (SSCT) codes. The research uses comparative longitudinal data from the National Education Longitudinal Study of 1988, the Education Longitudinal Study of 2002 and the High School Longitudinal Study of 2009. 

CTE Course Taking Is the Norm for High School Graduates in the U.S.

The major finding from the research is that CTE course taking is the norm for high school graduates in the U.S. However, while 88 percent of high school students graduate with some CTE credit, this has declined from 95 percent in 1992. The most popular subject area is business, finance and marketing. 

Additionally, high school students are more likely to sample CTE courses as elective credits than concentrate in a specific program. Approximately two in five high school students graduated with at least two credits in a specific CTE area, and only one in five completed at least three aligned CTE credits. 

Equity Gaps Remain 

The data brief also illuminates disparities in CTE course taking by subgroup. For decades, CTE — historically called “vocational education” — prepared learners who were determined not to be “college material” for dead-end jobs after high school. Overwhelmingly, learners of color and learners from low-income families were tracked into these programs and shut out from the opportunity for postsecondary education and a pathway to career success. 

Tracking continues to take place in some schools across the country today, but as CTE has strengthened in quality and rigor, access to high-quality CTE programs in some cases have been closed off to learners from diverse backgrounds through “gatekeeping” practices such as the use of admissions requirements or the placement of programs in affluent communities. 

According to the NCES data brief, learners with an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) and learners whose parents had lower levels of education earned more CTE credits than their peers. Conversely, the report found lower levels of CTE course taking among English learners, female learners and learners of color compared to learners whose first language was English, male learners and White learners respectively.

Unfortunately, the report does not include information about program enrollment by subgroup or the quality and rigor of different programs, which would illuminate whether these patterns are cause for concern or celebration. Under enrollment could be an indication of gatekeeping policies and practices, just as over enrollment could be an indication of tracking.

The data brief from NCES illuminates a trend, but more investigation is needed to understand whether there are disparities by discipline or quality of the program and to what degree course taking patterns result from specific policies or practices at the state or local level. 

Austin Estes, Manager of Data & Research 

Communicating CTE: The Get There Florida Initiative

November 24th, 2020

This post is the first in a series that will highlight innovative efforts by states to communicate the benefits of Career Technical Education (CTE) to key stakeholders including learners, families, policymakers and employers. Today’s post will dive into the Get There Florida campaign that launched in September 2020. 

Changing the CTE Narrative 

The Get There Florida initiative strives to increase enrollment in Florida’s 48 technical schools and 28 state colleges, specifically in high-value, short-term CTE programs that lead to a meaningful credential. The initiative is a statewide marketing campaign through earned, paid, and organic digital media led by the Florida Department of Education focused on changing the narrative on how students view state and technical colleges, and illustrating the quality and value of Florida’s short-term CTE programs for sustainable career pathways. The campaign is funded in part by Florida Governor Ron DeSantis Governor’s Emergency Education Relief Fund (GEER) grants through the CARES Act, aiming to assist postsecondary institutions in helping students enroll in and complete high-value, short-term CTE programs. 

Statewide and Personalized Approach 

Get There takes a two-pronged approach to enhance the CTE brand statewide while also providing students easy access to information at the institution level. The two main elements of the campaign are a customizable communications toolkit and a targeted digital campaign. 

Prior to the campaign launch, the Florida Department of Education established a working group of marketing and communications professionals from 12 technical and state colleges throughout the state to ensure messages and tools met the needs of their target audiences. 

The Get There communications toolkit provides a variety of materials produced by the Florida Department of Education that are ready-made for postsecondary institutions, but also provides files that allow institutions to customize the materials to meet their unique needs. The toolkit was made with small schools in mind that may not have the staff or resources to develop a large-scale marketing campaign. The full toolkit includes social media graphics, 15 and 30 second video clips, fliers and one pagers, press release and presentation templates, and logo files personalized for each school. 

On a statewide level, the Department is executing a hyper-targeted digital campaign targeted to prospective learners in areas close to a technical or state college. The Get There website www.GetThereFL.com serves as a central hub for users to explore Florida’s 17 Career ClustersⓇ, read student testimonials, and locate a convenient school on an interactive statewide map. 

A System-Wide Partnership 

One of the priorities of the Get There campaign is to connect with a population where the need for reskilling and upskilling is highest – displaced workers. Department staff developed a strong partnership with CareerSource Florida, the state’s workforce development agency that launched a Help is Here campaign in the spring focused on connecting displaced workers to career counseling and workforce training programs. The partnership has allowed the two campaigns to complement each other and provide much-needed support for students to overcome traditional barriers to accessing and completing postsecondary education. 

Henry Mack, Chancellor, Division of Career, Technical and Adult Education at the Florida Department of Education, believes Get There breaks new ground as a system-wide media campaign to advance shared goals. “Perhaps the most novel thing about the Get There Florida campaign is that it has never been done before, namely, there has never been a time where the state of Florida attempted a system-wide, integrated digital media outreach and recruitment campaign, said Mack. “Additionally, the development of a statewide resource toolkit, designed to provide materials to ALL colleges, has really transformed the way the state looks at marketing CTE, because for the first time we have a consistent brand and message that everyone has access to.” 

An Eye Towards Equity and Transformative Change 

While increasing enrollment at community and technical colleges is the primary goal, Get There is also the first step of a larger movement to raise awareness and build more connective pathways among K-12 programs, credentialing, apprenticeships and postsecondary institutions. 

Subsequent campaign phases launching this winter will focus on reaching more targeted audiences through toolkits with messages and materials that meet the unique needs of traditionally underserved populations, particularly individuals with disabilities and veterans. These toolkits were developed through partnerships with Florida’s Division of Blind Services, Agency for Persons with Disabilities, employU, Veterans Florida, and others. 

For more information, visit www.GetThereFL.com . If your state is interested in being featured in a future post, please contact Senior Associate for Communications and State Engagement Stacy Whitehouse.

Stacy Whitehouse, Senior Associate for Communications and State Engagement

Welcome Christina Koch to Advance CTE

November 23rd, 2020

Hello! I’m Christina and I’m excited to be joining the state policy team at Advance CTE where I will be supporting the New Skills ready network project and collaborating on a new shared vision for Career Technical Education (CTE) and Advance CTE’s equity initiatives. I’m excited to work towards dismantling historical barriers to CTE and expanding high-quality opportunities for learners. 

I recently graduated with a Master of Social Work from the University of Maryland, Baltimore with a macro (social policy) concentration. Here, I spent one year providing direct social services to students and their families in a Title I school and one year as a Policy Fellow for an organization that provides restorative practices and racial equity trainings to schools and districts. I was also very honored to receive the Julee Cryder-Coe Award for Advocacy and Social Action presented by faculty at graduation. 

Before receiving my Master of Social Work, I was the Professional Relations Manager for the National Association of School Psychologists for about four years, supporting their public policy agenda. Here is where I first became interested in societal and community factors that affect student mental health and inhibit their ability to learn, such as access to housing, jobs and health care. 

I also hold a Bachelor of Arts in Public Communication from American University, where I interned for several education-focused organizations, including the U.S. Department of Education, The National Geographic Channel, Capital Partners for Education, and completed a year of classroom service with AmeriCorps.

I’m passionate about community-led solutions to reduce barriers to educational opportunities, investing in historically-disinvested neighborhoods and engaging those directly affected by social problems in the legislative process.

Originally from Cape Cod, Massachusetts, I also enjoy going to the beach, drawing and my dog, Carlos.

Christina Koch, Policy Associate

 

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