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

New Report: The State of Employer Engagement in CTE

December 3rd, 2014

Today, the National Association of State Directors of Career Technical Education Consortium (NASDCTEc) released a new report exploring how employers are partnering Untitledwith the CTE enterprise to help prepare students for success in careers.

The report drew from a survey of 47 State CTE Directors as well as a dozen interviews to understand how and in what ways employers were engaging with CTE across the country and to illuminate the state’s role in fostering employer engagement.

Overwhelmingly, the State Directors reported that employer engagement has increased over the past decade and they expect this growth to continue in the next five years. As the second installment in the “State of Career Technical Education” series, the report also examined the wide range of levers that states are using through state and federal policy.

At the state level, the most common tools used to foster employer engagement include interagency collaboration and pilot initiatives as well as standards development and credentials selection. Via the federal Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act, states also have the flexibility to levy additional requirements beyond what is detailed in the law for locals seeking Perkins funds. More than 40 states said they require local advisory committees, and another 10 states said they also require locals to incorporate work-based learning, employer-related professional development and/or monetary or in-kind contributions.

In addition to the report, NASDCTEc has created an extensive list of state examples that can be used as a resource. A recording and slides from today’s webinar will be posted in the coming days.

Andrea Zimmermann, State Policy Associate

 

Experts discuss CCSSO Opportunities and Options Report on the Importance of Career Readiness

December 1st, 2014
The Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) brought together leaders in K-12, higher education and the business community today to discuss recommendations from CCSSO’s newly released report encouraging states to make career readiness a priority.

The report, Opportunities and Options: Making Career Preparation work for Students, resulted from a year-long taskforce including K-12, higher education and affiliate groups such as NASDCTEc. Opportunities and Options, supported by 43 states and territories to date, presents a clear set of actions states can take to close the skills gap and ensure more students graduate from high school prepared for high-skill, high-demand careers.

These recommendations include:

  • Developing sustainable employee and business partnerships,
  • Creating high-quality career pathways, and
  • Prioritizing accountability systems
Maura Banta, IBM’s Director of Global Citizen Initiatives in Education and task force representative reiterated the necessity of partnering business and education to create career-ready workers if the U.S. is to remain a global competitor. To accomplish this, businesses can take the lead in showcasing their passion for collaborating with education, developing staff-buy in and focusing on both short term and long term outcomes.

Terry Holliday, Kentucky Education Commissioner and Career Readiness Task Force Chairman urged states to develop high-quality pathways that help all students reach successful careers in their communities. To that end, Holliday urged local and national groups representing education, business and stakeholders, to streamline credentials and certifications to help students determine what credentials are necessary in today’s workforce.

Scott Ralls, North Carolina Community College Systems President discussed the interest gap that exists in CTE, and called on states to work with students earlier to showcase the opportunities that exist within CTE, and how it can prepare students for living wage careers.

Lastly, June Atkinson, North Carolina Superintendent of Public Instruction and incoming President of CCSSO, outlined a series of the ways in which CTE can move forward. She highlighted Opportunities and Options’ capability to serve as a resource for recommendations for Carl D. Perkins Act reauthorization; the opportunity for states to network to share information, challenges and lessons learned; and the necessity to engage State Governors to move the CTE agenda forward.

To learn more about the report, find NASDCTEc’s press release here, and the full report here.

Katie Fitzgerald, Communications Associate

Webinar: The State of Employer Engagement in CTE

November 24th, 2014

Don’t forget to register for our webinar on December 3, 2014, 2:00 – 3:00 PM ET on the state of employer engagement in CTE. From its earliest roots, employer engagement has been a part of CTE’s legacy. Yet little is known about what is really happening consistently and systematically across the country, and what state leaders can do to accelerate effective engagement

Over the summer, NASDCTEc conducted a survey of the State CTE Directors to better understand how and in what ways employers are engaging in CTE today. This webinar will unpack the survey’s results and seek to illustrate the employer engagement landscape with a particular focus on the ways in which states are and can foster and sustain meaningful employer engagement to strengthen their CTE system for all students.

Register

This Week in CTE

November 21st, 2014

TWEET OF THE WEEK blog-thumbnail-thiswek
@IBM How #STEM opens new worlds for women according to @bjbaenaz @amyverno http://bitly.com/ibmpodcasts #womenatibm #womenintech
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ARTICLE OF THE WEEK 
STEM vs. STEAM: Do the Arts Belong?
Join in on this discussion over whether the arts belong in the STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) curriculum. “…our children need a well-rounded, quality education that enables them to make informed decisions that will impact the world and the way they live. We need students who are motivated and competent in bringing forth solutions to tomorrow’s problems.”
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WEBINAR OF THE WEEK 
WIOA Consultation Webinar: Non-Discrimination and Equal Opportunity Provisions
The Civil Rights Center (CRC) and the Employment and Training Administration (ETA) of the U.S. Department of Labor (Department or DOL) invites equal opportunity officers, state and local workforce leaders and practitioners, workforce system partners, customers, and other stakeholders to provide input on the implementation of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act
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RESEARCH REPORT OF THE WEEK
The National STEM Report
This report reviews the 2014 graduating class in the context of STEM to determine what students are interested in and student readiness in math and science for those interested in STEM careers. You can also see the condition of STEM in your state.
More

RESOURCE OF THE WEEK 
New Professional Learning Module Supplements
Designed to complement our full-length module, Introduction to Student Learning Objectives, these supplements provide student learning objectives (SLOs) materials and resources for teachers of career and technical education (CTE) courses and SLO scoring strategies.
More

Katie Fitzgerald, Communications Associate 

CTE Research Review

November 21st, 2014

Closing the skills gap can be solved by applying supply chain management ideas to the talent pipeline, says the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Research Image_6.2013Foundation (Chamber) in a new white paper.

At an all-day event at its Washington, DC office, the Chamber called on employers to fundamentally change their relationship with education and workforce providers by taking on a much more active role – or even the lead – to ensure a steady flow of qualified workers.

During a panel of employers, VarCOM President and Founder Danny Vargas had clear messages for companies – “show up or shut up” – and education/workforce providers – “adapt or die.”

Those two messages carried through the day as stakeholders from K-12, postsecondary, workforce providers and employers discussed the challenges of aligning needs and balancing priorities while also highlight successes across the country.

During the keynote address, Harvard Business School’s Joseph Fuller reminded the attendees not to expect immediate changes, because “30 years got us here … this won’t be solved in 30 days.” Citing the theory of collective action, Fuller said such comprehensive change must be institutionalized for it to work and none of it will be easy.

Much of the day’s discussion focused on how workforce training and postsecondary programs can work with local and regional employers on pipeline problems. However, one panel, featuring Georgia State School Superintendent John Barge, discussed how K-12 fits into the talent pipeline.

Barge said the K-12 system in Georgia is responding to these pipeline issues by adapting programs and ways of teaching. Georgia recently required all 9th grade students to choose a career pathway when entering high school. It’s never too early to expose students to career options, Barge said. In Georgia, this starts as early as elementary school and continues through high school to help students make informed choices about the post-graduation options.

“There is tremendous value of being exposed to what is out there before you get there,” Barge said.

Be sure to check out the white paper along with the accompanying case studies, resources and checklists.

Related: The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development has released a new country report looking at job creation and local economic development. Here is the full report, along with a section on each country. Of particular interest would be the chapter on the United States.

Andrea Zimmermann, State Policy Associate

Congress Continues to Struggle on Appropriations Ahead of Presidential Announcement, VP Biden Talks CTE

November 20th, 2014

CapitolFollowing the midterm elections earlier this month, Congress reconvened last week to begin their final “lame duck” session of the 113th Congress. As the Republican Party prepares to take control of the Senate and with it the entire Congress, lawmakers must still grapple with a number of pressing issues before setting to work in the 114th Congress beginning in the New Year. Topping the list of Congressional to-do’s over the next several weeks is the need to pass legislation to fund the government to avert another shutdown of federal operations— something that only too recently happened late last year.

As we have previously shared, Congress failed to pass the necessary appropriations legislation to fund the federal government for Fiscal Year (FY) 2015. Instead, lawmakers passed a temporary stopgap funding measure known as a Continuing Appropriations Resolution (CR) which extended FY 2014 spending levels into the current 2015 federal fiscal year that began on October 1, 2014. However due to differences in revenue levels and lost savings elsewhere in the federal budget, this extension resulted in an across-the-board cut of 0.054 percent to all programs, including the Carl D. Perkins Act (Perkins).

Until recently, it was widely anticipated that a comprehensive omnibus appropriations bill— legislation that combines all of the necessary 12 appropriations bills into one package— would be passed by Congress sometime before the expiration date for the CR on December 11 of this year. Doing so would replace the current CR with a long-term agreement on federal spending until the next fiscal year and could possibly restore some of the funding reductions that were a result of the CR’s passage this past September. Senator Mikulski (D-MD) and Representative Hal Rogers (R-KY), the current Appropriations Committee Chairpersons in both the Senate and the House, have been working to finalize such a bill for the past several weeks and appear to be close to a final agreement.

However, it remains uncertain at this time if lawmakers will be able come to such an agreement before the December 11th deadline. Congressional Republicans and the Obama Administration are currently at odds over a widely expected Executive Action from the President on immigration— an announcement that will likely occur this evening. Many Republican lawmakers are opposed to such a move and have debated a number of responses including passing another short-term CR or possibly passing an Omnibus, but eliminating funding for federal departments or agencies which carry out aspects of the President’s expected action on immigration. Publicly, the Republican Party remains divided on how they will respond— whether through the appropriations process or otherwise.

Nonetheless, as Chairman Rogers recently pointed out, “We need to do an omnibus bill funding the entire government for the rest of the year, and get that whole business behind us, so that come January, [we] will have a clean slate rather than looking backwards to old fights that we could look forward to making positive changes.” NASDCTEc applauds this sentiment and remains hopeful that Congress will pass a comprehensive omnibus bill for the remainder of FY 2015. Along with the Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE), NASDCTEc has recently called on Congress to pass this much needed legislation and restore the remaining cuts to the Perkins Act.

As this process unfolds we urge you, the Career Technical Education community, to do the same. Don’t know who your members of Congress are? Find out here.

AFL-CIO & AFT Host Vice President Biden for CTE & Workforce Development Summit

vpbidenLate last week, the AFL-CIO, along with the American Federation of Teachers (AFT), hosted a “Career and Technical Education (CTE) Workforce Development Summit” which explored the ways CTE and workforce development programs can create multiple pathways for student success. “CTE has the promise and potential to help equip a new generation of workers with the skills and knowledge needed for the jobs of today and tomorrow, and to forge a new path to college and life,” said AFT President Randi Weingarten.

Vice President Joe Biden delivered the keynote address for the event, emphasizing the importance of education and employer partnerships. “These partnerships provide a seamless transition so folks can go from a classroom to a job, and from job to job within the industry they’re in,” he said, adding, “We have to maintain and enhance our workforce so we have the most sophisticated, best-trained workforce in the world.” Later on in the day, Snap-on Inc. Chairman and CEO, Nicholas Pinchuk couched this in even clearer terms declaring, ““We are in a global competition for jobs and the single best weapon is CTE. We need to out-skill the competition.”

During the all-day summit, several panels explored a number of CTE and workforce development issues, including employer engagement, apprenticeship programs, effectively using labor market information and strategies for scaling up other innovative education and workforce program models. Yet, the most common theme throughout the day centered on CTE’s evolution over the past several decades from vocational education and into today’s modern conception of CTE. Nearly every panelist agreed that today’s CTE has made extraordinary progress and is now very much a viable pathway for any number of postsecondary and career ambitions.

U.S. Secretary of Labor, Thomas Perez, capped off the day with a rousing address on the U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) work on apprenticeships. Perez made a number of references to DOL’s upcoming grant program, the America Apprenticeship Initiative.  Grantees for this $100 million program— the successor to last year’s Youth CareerConnect grants— are expected to be announced by the end of the year.

More information on the summit can be found here.

NASDCTEc Finalizes Higher Education Recommendations

With the next Congress widely expected to take up the reauthorization of the Higher Education Act, the consideration of the nation’s primary legislation governing the nation’s postsecondary education system presents a unique opportunity for the CTE community to have their voices heard as this process unfolds. To that end, NASDCTEc has recently finalized a set of recommendations for the reauthorization of the legislation which can be viewed here.

Odds & Ends

Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH) recently released a document outlining the “pillars” of his vision for a new Republican Congressional majority. Although education is part of this platform, the Perkins Act and CTE more generally were notably absent.

Yesterday the U.S. Departments of Labor and Education hosted a town hall listening session on the implementation of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) to aid in implementation of the new law. More recently, the Department of Education released a short video outlining the various intersection points between WIOA and Perkins IV.

The U.S. Department of Education’s recently finalized regulations defining “gainful employment” have been challenged in court by the Association of Private Sector Colleges and Universities. Pending action by the court system, these regulations are still set to go into effect next year.

Steve Voytek, Government Relations Manager 

Excellence in Action Awards Due December 5th

November 19th, 2014

Excellence in Action Awards, due December 5th, lifts up model programs and shines a light on high-quality and high-impact programs of study. Each winning program of study will be featured in our communications, marketing and advocacy materials, and used during Congressional visits, with members of the media and other CTE stakeholders to support a more positive image of CTE.

Last year, NASDCTEc awarded six schools with exemplary programs of study from around the country. This includes the Medical Sciences Program at Bollman Technical Education Center (BTEC), which received the award in the Health Science Career Clutser. Along with providing 16 career pathways aligned with the National Consortium for Health Science Education’s standards, and Colorado state standards for CTE, BTEC greatly encourages work-based learning through a variety of strong partnerships. BETC’s program of study provides a great example of what Excellence in Action looks like. We encourage you to learn more about the 2014 winners, and submit your program of study to join this wonderful cohort of leaders in CTE. Apply today!

Katie Fitzgerald, Communications Associate

This Week in CTE

November 14th, 2014

TWEET OF THE WEEK
@AFTunion : Jobs like welding are not jobs “other people’s kids” have. They’re jobs with pride & dignity that’s the American dream -Pinchuk #ctesummit
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ARTICLE OF THE WEEK
DECA is challenging students from elementary school to college to come up with a unique use for a household item. The challenge, which launched November 12th, will end November 20th. All submissions should be entered through YouTube.
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RESOURCE OF THE WEEK
O*NET Interest Profiler, sponsored by the U.S. Department of Labor, helps individuals identify their CTE interests and provides information on how those interests can be translated into jobs.
More

RESEARCH REPORT OF THE WEEK
A variety of institutions, organizations and Foundations convened a committee of experts to learn more about the health, safety and well-being of adults ages 18-26. The resulting report, Investing in the Health and Well-Being of Young Adults, provides guidance for policy makers, program leaders, non profits, businesses and communities on developing programs and policies to improve young adult well-being.
More

WEBINAR OF THE WEEK
Did you miss the National Alliance for Partnerships in Equity webinar, Engage Students to Pursue STEM and Trades Careers: Next Steps after Vermont’s Women Can Do Conference, a Student Event? Not to worry, you can learn more about how to encourage women and girls to pursue STEM education and careers from both national and state perspectives through the archived webinar.
More

Katie Fitzgerald, Communications Associate 

Study: State Strategies for Financing CTE

November 13th, 2014

The U.S. Department of Education has released a new study that explores how states fund their Career Technical Education (CTE) systems beyond the formulas prescribed in the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act of 2006 (Perkins).

The study, prepared by the National Center for Innovation in Career and Technical Education, focuses primarily on how state funding, which is often used to off-set the higher cost of technical instruction, is distributed to local secondary and postsecondary programs. The report used survey data collected by the National Association of State Directors of Career Technical Education Consortium (NASDCTEc) that asked State CTE Directors how categorical funds were distributed during academic year 2011-12, as well as the use and perception of performance-based funding for CTE.

In short, the survey found that state approaches to CTE funding varies in emphasis and complexity, and no single approach will meet the needs of every state. The study also called for more research to better understand what impact, if any, the each of the state funding approaches has on program and student outcomes.

Financing Secondary and Postsecondary CTE

State financing approaches broke down into three main categories: foundational funding only, funding for area CTE centers and categorical funding.

Foundational Funding Only – All states distribute basic state aid to finance secondary education programming using a variety of formulas. In this approach, local administrators decide how to distribute funds across instructional priorities, including CTE. Nine respondents indicated they rely exclusively on foundational funding. At community or technical colleges, 30 states reported distributing funds to postsecondary institutions through block grants and not distinguishing funding for CTE.

Funding for Area CTE Centers – Through this method, funds are dedicated to support programming at area CTE centers that deliver CTE services to part-time students. Centralizing CTE programs can be a cost-effective strategy. Seven states reported having separate state funding for these centers at the secondary level and sometimes use a categorical funding approach to distribute funds.

Categorical Funding – This approach dedicates funding to support career-related instructional services and typically targets state funding for the exclusive use of CTE programming. In fact, 37 states earmarked state funds for secondary CTE using one of the following formulas: student-based (21 states), cost-based (7 states) and/or unit-based (9 states). At the postsecondary level, seven states indicated providing categorical funding, while most opted to allocate funding through basic state aid.

Performance-based Funding

Just seven states use performance-based formulas to allocate secondary CTE funds by tying funding to performance measures such as placement of CTE students into postsecondary education or employment, attainment of industry-recognized credentials or CTE completion rates.

For federal Perkins dollars, two states (Texas and South Carolina) do this for secondary CTE. Five states (Arizona, Florida, Kansas, Missouri and West Virginia) indicated using this formula to allocate state CTE funds on the secondary level.

At the postsecondary level, four states (Arkansas, Georgia, Minnesota and North Dakota) reported using this approach with state funding, while none reported doing this with Perkins funds.

For the vast majority of states that do not use performance-based funding, the most common reason was a lack of understanding from state leaders. Almost half of states expressed an interest in adopting this approach to allocate a portion of their Perkins funds; however, training would be necessary if required by legislation.

Andrea Zimmermann, State Policy Associate

Excellence in Action Award Submissions Open

November 13th, 2014

Excellence in Action award banner

We want to learn more about and recognize high-quality and high-impact programs of study happening in every corner of the country. We encourage you to apply for the 2015 Excellence in Action award, or pass along this information to any stellar programs of study you know.

By lifting up model programs, NASDCTEc will shine a light on exemplary programs of study and provide examples to be used in our advocacy and communications efforts over the year. Each winning program of study will be featured in our communications, marketing and advocacy materials, and used during Congressional visits, with members of the media and other CTE stakeholders to support a more positive image of CTE. Learn more about last year’s winners here.

Winners will receive:

  • A banner to hang in their school or institution of higher education.
  • A digital banner (i.e., a customized logo) to use in email and print materials as they so choose.
  • Travel to and one-night accommodations in Washington, D.C. for the award winner to be recognized at an awards ceremony on April 8, 2015.

Winners will be featured:

  • At an awards ceremony on April 8, 2015 in Washington, D.C.
  • In a national press release that will be distributed to national media.
  • NASDCTEc will also create individualized press releases for each winner, which will be distributed to State CTE Directors.
  • In a one-pager, used as part of NASDCTEc’s federal advocacy toolkit.
  • In a monthly newsletter sent to members of Congress.
  • On webinars and/or conferences during the year.
  • In a stand-alone blog on NADSCTEc’s Learning that Works blog.
  • On the NASDCTEc website.

Apply today!

Katie Fitzgerald, Communications Associate

 

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