Siemens USA CEO Keynotes Advance CTE Fall Meeting

October 26th, 2018

On Tuesday, October 23, Barbara Humpton, CEO of Siemens Foundation gave the keynote address at the Advance CTE 2018 Fall Meeting in Baltimore, Maryland. Humpton’s many responsibilities include managing the company’s strategy and engagement and leading more than 50,000 employees. Humpton began her remarks by emphasizing the importance Siemens places on investing in their employees. The Siemens Foundation has invested more than $100 million in the United States to advance workforce development and education initiatives in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM).

Humpton also shared her personal connection to Career Technical Education (CTE). She developed her passion for STEM early in her education and the opportunity to gain experience working directly with IBM inspired her to continue in this area. Humpton’s passion grew as she saw the impact of her work. “What matters to me is the mission, what matters to me is purpose, doing things because they are making a big change in the world,”  she said.

Her search for meaning in her career mirrors the aspiration of learners and their parent’s across the country. She cited The Value and Promise of Career Technical Education: Results from a National Survey of Parents and Students to emphasize this key finding – discovering a career passion is the most important critical goal for both learners and parents– even surpassing having a career that pays well.

Humpton challenged the attendees to work to reach more people and help them see CTE’s true potential. How we talk about CTE is important and continuing to create platforms that share learner success stories and high-quality programs can contribute to changing outdated perceptions.

She closed by stating that this is an important moment for CTE. She encouraged all of us to be bold, to reach out to employers, to discover and utilize the talent in each community and thanked the CTE leaders for their commitment to students and public service.

Nicole Howard, Communications Associate 

Advance CTE Fall Meeting Staff Reflections Part 1

October 26th, 2018

Advance CTE reflects on sessions and activities at the Advance CTE Fall Meeting held earlier this week in Baltimore, Maryland. Learn more about sessions you may have missed in this series. 

Moving Beyond a Seat at the Table

This year’s Fall Meeting included a session called, “Moving Beyond a Seat at the Table: Advancing CTE Through Partnerships and Collaboration” on how state leaders in Career Technical Education (CTE) can build meaningful relationships. Kate Kreamer, Deputy Executive Director of Advance CTE, moderated this session, and encouraged the room to be intentional when building partnerships and evaluate not just the strength of the relationship but also the value.

There were many good points from the panelists, but one that I found particularly compelling was the push to consider whether there are mutual benefits coming out of a partnership. As CTE increasingly gains national traction, leaders in the area are being pulled into a variety of conversations. However, the panelists encouraged us to consider whether we are being included in order to “check a box,” or whether we are gaining anything substantive from each other.

I found the push to consider what we can bring to the table in a partnership, and what type of role our partner can play for our own goals, to be especially valuable. Quality of engagement, instead of quantity, is something that we can all consider as we continue on in our own work.

Meredith Hills, Policy Associate

Equity in CTE

Since I’ve joined Advance CTE’s team in March 2018, equity in CTE has been a constant topic in the office. Advance CTE has reached out to state leaders as well as partner organizations to learn about how we may help state leaders advance equity in CTE. It was exciting to share some of our findings from this outreach with our members during the Building Trust to Ensure Equity in CTE session at Fall Meeting.

The session allowed our members to learn about how Wisconsin is using policy levers to advance equity in CTE for historically marginalized populations and how Oklahoma is promoting a culture in the state agency and teacher workforce that values equity through diversity and inclusion trainings. I’m excited to use the questions and comments from session participants to inform Advance CTE’s future equity briefs.

Brianna McCain, Policy Associate

Discussing Data and Funding at the Fall Meeting

Here are two topics that don’t often get a lot of attention: data and funding. All too often states are constrained by resources, capacity, funding and policy from making any real progress on either front, leaving these two very important issues to take a back seat to more pressing concerns. But all that is beginning to change. In 2017, funding was the number one policy priority across the states – and that’s during a year in which 49 states and Washington, DC collectively passed more than 240 CTE-related policies. The federal government has also increased funding for CTE through the Fiscal Year 2018 and FY 2019 budgets. And with Perkins V implementation on the horizon, states are starting to think very seriously about restructuring their data systems to meet more rigorous expectations for data collection and reporting.

At the Fall Meeting, attendees had the chance to hear from leading states that are using funding and data to improve outcomes for learners. One of the breakout sessions highlighted Tennessee’s efforts to braid funding across a variety of funding streams including the Perkins reserve fund, the state’s Experienced Professional in the Classroom (EPIC) project to support CTE teacher pathways, and the New Skills for Youth initiative. Participants also heard about the North Carolina Community College system’s tiered funding structure, which is designed to incentivize and support programs in high-demand industries.

During a general plenary about using CTE data, participants got to hear a conversation with State CTE Directors facilitated by Elizabeth Dabney of the Data Quality Campaign. Elizabeth talked about common challenges and policy recommendations for making the most of data by building trust, protecting privacy and, most importantly, measuring what matters. State leaders from Hawaii, Ohio and Texas shared some of their own lessons and strategies for using CTE data.

Austin Estes, Senior Associate, Policy

What the 2020 Decennial Census Means for Education Funding

October 25th, 2018

Every 10 years the U.S. Census Bureau collects data from the residents of the United States through the national census. The census is pivotal to understanding the composition of the country, but it also plays a large role in federal funding levels of major programs. In fact, the U.S. Census Bureau reported that education programs are some of the biggest to use census data to determine funding. For example, the Pell Grant program utilizes census data and was allotted $29.8 billion dollars in 2015.

Additionally, the annual American Community Survey (ACS) relies on census data and plays a significant role in distributing funding to education programs. Census data, and correlated data from the ACS, decide how much funding should be allocated to different areas of education research, as well as how much money is needed for a variety of education programs. It is estimated that at least $47 billion in federal education funding is affected by census and ACS results.

According to the Leadership Conference Education Fund, Georgetown Law Center on Poverty and Inequality and Economic Security and Opportunity Initiative, data from the census and ACS impacts education research and programs in ways such as:

  • How much federal funding was directed toward Career Technical Education (CTE) programs through the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act (Perkins IV);
  • States rely on ACS data to finalize funding for local adult education programs;
  • The census and ACS provide data on educational attainment related to labor market demand; and
  • ACS data gives insight into inequities in higher education enrollment.

Because the census is the only nation-wide survey that attempts to collect comprehensive data on each resident, preparation for the 2020 Census has been focused on how to reach every individual and increase response rates. For the first time, the 2020 Census will have the option to fill out and submit entirely online. In addition, the Integrated Partnership and Communications division pays special attention to populations that are typically under-represented in the census.

Meredith Hills, Policy Associate

Register for Insights into the 2019 Excellence in Action Award Webinar

October 19th, 2018

Advance CTE’s annual Excellence in Action award recognizes and honors superior Career Technical Education (CTE) programs of study from across the nation. Do you think you have one of the best CTE programs of study?

Apply for the 2019 Excellence in Action award to showcase the amazing work of your learners, instructors, partners and faculty at the national level. The application submission deadline is November 21, 2018.

Join us for a webinar on November 1, 2018 from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. EST to learn all about the application process from Advance CTE staff. You will also hear from a 2018 award winner, the Building Construction Technology program of study at the Dauphin County Technical School in Pennsylvania.

Learn more about what makes an award-winning program and get tips on how to fill out your application directly from an award winner. Register Today!

Nicole Howard, Communications Associate

 

This Week in CTE

October 19th, 2018

TWEET OF THE WEEK

ANNOUNCEMENT OF THE WEEK

Advance CTE Excellence in Action Award Applications are Open!

Advance CTE’s annual Excellence in Action award recognizes and honors superior Career Technical Education (CTE) programs of study from across the nation. Selected programs of study will exemplify excellence in the implementation of the Career ClustersⓇ, show a true progression from secondary to postsecondary education, provide meaningful work-based learning opportunities and have a substantial and evidence-based impact on student achievement and success.

Do you think you have one of the best CTE programs of study in the nation? Apply for the 2019 Excellence in Action award to showcase the amazing work of learners, instructors and faculty at the national level. Be sure to submit the application before the deadline of November 21, 2018 at 5 p.m. ET.

Want to learn more? Register for Insights into the 2019 Excellence in Action Award Webinar taking place on  November 1 from 2 – 3 p.m. ET!

VIDEO OF THE WEEK

Tom Vander Ark of Getting Smart Explores World of Work at Cajon Valley Union School District

Watch this video to get a glimpse into how the Cajon Valley Union School District is sharing the World of Work with learners from elementary to middle school. The Cajon Valley Union School District offers 54 career exploration experiences for learners between kindergarten and eighth grade. The district is connecting industry to education through technology such as work-based learning resources and video chats with industry professionals. The district is working to help learners identify their strengths and interests and encourage the community to open their doors to create meaningful partnerships with the schools.

Read the full article to learn more.

RESOURCE OF THE WEEK

Three Educational Pathways to Good Jobs: High School, Middle Skills, and Bachelor’s Degree

A recent report by the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce titled, Three Educational Pathways to Good Jobs: High School, Middle Skills, and Bachelor’s Degree explores the pathways to ‘good jobs’ defined as as one that pays at least $35,000 for workers 25-44 and at least $45,000 for workers 45-64.  The research finds that in 1991, there were 15 million good careers requiring a high school diploma, 12 million good middle-skills jobs, and 18 million good careers requiring a bachelor’s degree. By 2016, careers requiring only a high school diploma decreased to 13 million good jobs, middle-skills careers  grew to 16 million, and those careers requiring a bachelor’s degree doubled to 36 million. Other key findings include:

  • Twenty percent of workers with good jobs have no more education than a high school diploma and on-the-job training;
  • More than 20 million new good jobs were created in skilled-services industries while the net number of good jobs in blue-collar industries slightly declined;
  • Skilled-services industries accounted for 77 percent of good job growth for workers with middle skills; and
  • Blue-collar industries added 800,000 good jobs on the middle-skills pathway and 500,000 good jobs for workers with  bachelor’s degree or higher.

Learn more by reading the full report here: https://cew.georgetown.edu/cew-reports/3pathways/

Nicole Howard, Communications Associate

Advance CTE Fall Meeting Sponsor Blog: Gold Sponsor, Ohana Solutions

October 19th, 2018

According to recent social media trends, modern Americans, especially Millennials, would happily trade traditional gift-giving for the gift of travel or experience in relation to how they most want to enjoy a contribution toward life.

Because we know this (or had at least heard about it on our own perusing around social media), my husband and I offered a last time adventure opportunity for our oldest daughter the summer before she left for college.  We decided to embark on a family trip from our home in Florida all the way out west to Yellowstone.

This trip was, of course meaningful on all parenting levels, but it also made me wonder about all the states we had not explored.  With the passing thru of all, I rattled off state statistics, highlights, and fun facts of each one, and we all learned a little something new.  I started to wonder, how many children actually know things about states that make them appealing outside of the wonders they maybe once had to do a diorama about in grade school.

For instance, do the students of Alabama know that their state built the rocket ship that took the first Americans to the moon?  What about Utah—do the students there know it was here that the Jarvik-7, the first artificial heart was created and surgically implanted? Or how about Massachusetts’ claim toward the invention of the World Wide Web.

This trip made the former educator in me wonder what if we ever actually explore the benefits of our own backyards—the inventions, the manufacturing, the industries that create and contribute to our own communities?   Are we aware of how our state contributes toward the greater vision of the entire nation and even global economic advancements? Do our children know?

Thankfully, with workforce incentive programs, placing an emphasis on classroom content that pairs students to the particulars of their own home states, can make some real headway into bringing back a tradition of career-leveled job opportunities. And students won’t have to travel halfway across the world to see this as new or innovative.  In fact, with content paired directly to local industries, students should be able to not only define what it is their state might claim as bragging rights, but they can also see where they might fit in the local workforce.

As Americans, we all deserve an opportunity to contribute in some way toward the appreciation of our own state industry.  We need to know what exists there, how we might contribute toward it, or how we might advance it toward a far-reaching goal only before imagined. Like me, Ohana Solutions believes in this promise for American students as well.  We want to see industries highlighted and communities enhanced–and the content we created for specific career pathways will do just that.

Using the localized careers found within the career and technical industries of each state, students will be able to cite off those statistics necessary for prosper and advancement. I hope to find the careers those states produce being enhanced in great ways by a generation who wants to lead it toward greater findings and contributions.

And I hope to someday see, on those push-pinned maps of teenage bedrooms, the industries lead by a team of innovators who successfully contributed toward putting their states on that map simply because they were taught about it in grade school, and they believed they could.

Advance CTE Fall Meeting Sponsor Blog: Diamond Sponsor, YouScience

October 18th, 2018

This post is written by YouScience, a Diamond Level sponsor of the 2018 Advance CTE Fall Meeting.

YouScience is a revolutionary career guidance platform that is poised to change the way learners explore Career Technical Education (CTE) programs of study and plan for their futures.

CTE has changed quite a bit over the years. CTE programs offer great exposure to many postsecondary options, but there is often a missed opportunity to get learners into CTE programs – a problem that is perpetuated by current interest-based surveys. Results from interest-based surveys are limited by learners’ exposure, reinforce social bias, and don’t often recommend young women and minorities to explore high-wage, high-demand CTE career paths.  

A recent study found that while there was a significant disparity in reported interest between males and females for careers like construction, information technology and manufacturing, gender aptitude fits were comparable across all industries. That is, there are just as many young women with the natural talent, and potential to succeed in technical careers.

States that are becoming aware of this “exposure bias” limitation are shifting their focus and are having great success. Georgia, for example, is using its Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act (Perkins V) dollars to identify non-traditional learners with the aptitude for underrepresented pathways by using an aptitude-based advisement tool called YouScience.

“It frustrated me in the past that all we did were interest inventories. As a career pathway educator, I really did not put a whole lot of stock in an interest-only survey or test.  You have to put the aptitude part in to understand students’ real, natural abilities,” said Tim Brown, Career Pathways Director Marietta City Schools. “And for some of these students, truly it’s been the first time that someone has told them that they’re good at doing something.”

Technology is changing at a rapid pace and so should career guidance. By using real measures of natural aptitudes, combined with interests, YouScience uniquely helps administrators guide learners into their best-fit programs, and gives learners hope, purpose and relevance. “Beyond simply preparing our students with the skills and training to be successful in high-demand careers, YouScience allows each school’s faculty to engage students in making proactive choices that will maximize the value of their education,” said Georgia Lt. Governor, Casey Cagle.

Three Takeaways from the National Forum to Advance Rural Education

October 17th, 2018

Last week’s National Forum to Advance Rural Education was the nation’s 110th annual gathering of rural teachers, administrators, superintendents and state leaders from across the country.

I attended the meeting on behalf of Advance CTE to talk about our work on high-quality CTE and the CTE on the Frontier series. The meeting also served as a powerful opportunity to hear and learn from state and local innovators from rural America. Over the course of the conference, three themes stood out to me:

1. Preparing learners for careers is a priority for rural educators

We spend a lot of time trying to convince policymakers that what follows the “and” in “college and career ready” is just as important as what precedes it. But at the conference this was already understood. From the breakouts to the keynotes to the tabletop conversations, everyone emphasized the importance and value of exposure to real-world learning in high school and in college. This idea was best captured by student panelist Savannah Burris, a senior at Holyoke High School in northeast Colorado, who said that high school students need to get “real world life experience” to be prepared once they graduate. Throughout the rest of the conference, participants heard about efforts to strengthen regional career pathways, provide robust career guidance to high school students, expand access to rural career centers, and partner with employers and industry leaders in rural communities.

2. Collaboration is key in rural schools and communities

I heard a lot of stories of local and state leaders who are working collaboratively with employers, neighboring school districts and members of their community to prepare learners for success in the real world. One example is a partnership between the Widefield and Peyton School Districts, which are both located just outside of Colorado Springs. Over the past three years, Widefield and Peyton have collaborated to purchase and design a facility for hands-on instruction in industries such as woods manufacturing and construction.

The facility, called the Manufacturing Industry Learning Labs (MiLL) National Training Center, is equipped with state-of-the-art machinery that was acquired through relationships with nearly 70 industry, education and community partners. Students in the program can enroll in Widefield’s Project Lead the Way engineering program and earn CTE credit, math credit and even postsecondary credit. MiLL has gained such attention and interest that the center is now offering evening classes to community college students and is working with employers to train new hires.

3. Rural America is an incubator for innovation — because it has to be

Tight budgets, teacher shortages and small student populations have forced rural schools and institutions to be creative with how they deliver high-quality educational experiences for learners. These same challenges make rural institutions better positioned to test new ideas and see what works. Collins Career Technical Center in Lawrence County, Ohio, for example, organized a student learning experience earlier this year called “No Hazards Here.” The experience, which simulated a chemical spill resulting from a collision between a truck and a bus, involved students across all programs offered at the career center. Students in the health academy were responsible for performing CPR and caring for the dummies who suffered from the crash. Students in the auto body repair and automotive technology programs serviced the damaged vehicles. Meanwhile, forensics students tested the chemicals in the spill using full-body HAZMAT suits and rinsing hoods. Dedication from the center staff, as well as relationships with the local community college, helped make the event a success.

As Rural Teacher of the Year Wade Owlett, a Pennsylvania elementary school teacher who was awarded the title on the second day of the conference, eloquently said: “innovation is not the key to success. It is the key to survival.” The same features that make it challenging to scale high-quality CTE in rural communities can also be assets that allow for flexibility, creativity and collaboration.

Austin Estes, Senior Policy Associate

CTE and Workforce Systems Alignment: Lessons Learned from States

October 16th, 2018

Aligning systems is one of five key principles of the shared vision, Putting Learner Success First. System alignment can ensure a shared vision and commitment to seamless college and career pathways for every learner; by maximizing resources, reducing inefficiencies and holding systems accountable, every learner can have the supports they need to find success.

The recent enactment of the Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act (Perkins V), the reauthorization of the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act (Perkins IV), presents new opportunities to align Career Technical Education (CTE) and state workforce systems to strengthen and expand opportunities for learners. States have taken different approaches to align CTE and the workforce systems, from submitting Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) combined state plans with Perkins IV as a partner program to establishing strong connections between CTE and the workforce systems via strategic partnerships and plans. As states think about improving the effectiveness of this connection, it’s critical to reflect on and learn from states’ efforts to enhance CTE and workforce system alignment.

To inform this post, Advance CTE interviewed several State CTE Directors to learn about how they align CTE and workforce systems in their respective states. Below are key takeaways from those conversations and highlights of a few state examples.

Approaches to Promoting CTE and Workforce Systems Alignment
While states take different approaches to aligning CTE and workforce systems depending on their needs, some common approaches to aligning CTE and workforce systems emerged.

  • Local advisory boards: Many states leverage local employer advisory boards to inform CTE programs. For instance, Pennsylvania has a state mandate that requires all secondary schools and Perkins recipients to engage local workforce development boards to inform their programming.
  • Shared goals: Other states establish shared strategic targets and goals across the education and workforce systems. In Washington, the Workforce Training and Education Board is responsible for the administration of Perkins and WIOA, which allows the state to easily set goals for Perkins and WIOA that align. Even though Washington does not have a WIOA combined state plan with Perkins IV as a partner program, its state workforce plan has included CTE in its strategy for more than thirty years and state law requires WIOA and Perkins plans to align. As a result, Washington makes it a point to establish Perkins performance goals that align with WIOA goals.
  • Strategic Initiatives: States also align CTE and workforce systems through strategic initiatives. In Oklahoma, the Oklahoma Works initiative aligns resources, education, training and job opportunities to promote workforce development in the state. Through this initiative, Oklahoma examines education, workforce and economic data to ensure that programs of study align with labor market data. Ensuring that CTE programs of study have labor market relevance is a key strategy for aligning CTE and workforce systems.

Systems Alignment Sustainability
Trend data from Advance CTE surveys since 2005 suggests that coordination between CTE and other state initiatives is more common when there is an external forcing event, such as state or federal legislation that triggers a statewide planning process. As states expand upon or strengthen their work to align CTE and workforce systems, they must consider how they will sustain systems alignment even when these statewide planning processes conclude.

Some states, such as West Virginia, established CTE and workforce systems alignment sustainability through building partnership infrastructure. West Virginia has a WIOA combined state plan with Perkins IV as a partner program, which helps to promote collaboration between the CTE and workforce systems. Representatives from the West Virginia Division of Technical, Adult and Institutional Education (WV-CTE) serve on the WIOA State Board and helped to develop the state goals articulated in the WIOA combined state plan. Representatives attend a quarterly WIOA group that meets to ensure that the state is making progress on the goals articulated in its WIOA plan.

Additionally, WV-CTE has a Governor’s Economic Initiative office within it that ensures CTE programs of study are aligned to industry needs and developed collaboratively between business, industry and education. West Virginia is able to sustain its CTE and workforce systems alignment through establishing statewide goals via the WIOA combined state plan, clearly defining roles through committees and establishing routine accountability checks.

Conclusion
CTE and workforce systems alignment is necessary to ensure that learners are on a path to securing in-demand, high-wage careers. While the state examples in this resource showcase the importance of elevating partnerships and collaboration to achieve alignment, CTE and workforce systems alignment can take many different forms. A state’s approach to CTE and workforce systems alignment should be guided by its state vision, goals and infrastructure.

Brianna McCain, Policy Associate

Free College: Looking Ahead

October 15th, 2018

Advance CTE wrote a series of blog posts profiling the policies and practices of free college in the United States. This post will explore the future landscape of community college. Check out previous blogs on the history of free college, Indiana’s 21st Century Scholars Program and challenges and limitations to free college programs.

As of September 2018, there are over 350 local and state college promise programs across the country. Though the source of funding for free college varies , the goal of increasing access despite the growing cost of college is the commonality. So far, the 2018 election cycle has seen a number of candidates include some form of free college in their platform. Overall, ten Democratic gubernatorial candidates are promoting free college in their campaign. For example, Maryland gubernatorial candidate Ben Jealous is advocating for free community college and debt free four-year college, Arizona gubernatorial candidate David Garcia is supporting a proposal to make four-year public colleges free and Connecticut gubernatorial Ned Lamont is proposing making the first two years free at any state public college.

At the federal level, various members of Congress have introduced legislation that promotes free college. Perhaps most well known is Senator Bernie Sanders’ (VT-I) “College for All,” proposed in the spring of 2017, that promotes measures such as making all public colleges free for learners with a household income of up to $125,000 and having all community colleges be tuition free. In the spring of 2018 Senator Brian Schatz (HI-D) introduced the “Debt Free College Act” that proposes measures to make college debt free with a focus on the total fees associated with college (such as textbooks, food and housing) instead of only tuition.

The Institute for Higher Education explored the concept of free college, and came up with five ways to fix current programs and build “equity-driven federal and state free-college programs:”

  1. Invest first and foremost in low-income students;
  2. Fund non-tuition expenses for low-income students;
  3. Include four-year colleges in free college programs;
  4. Support existing state need-based grant programs; and
  5. Avoid restrictive or punitive participation requirements, such as post-college residency requirements

 

Additionally, the Education Trust evaluated free college programs through an equity lens, and developed equity driven guidelines to rate and improve current state tuition-free college programs or proposals. They built an eight-step evaluation to use when assessing free college program quality:

  1. Whether the programs cover living expenses;
  2. Whether they cover fees;
  3. Whether they cover the total cost of tuition for at least four years of college;
  4. Whether they include bachelor’s-degree programs;
  5. Whether adult students are eligible;
  6. Whether repayment of aid is required under certain circumstances;
  7. Whether there are GPA requirements; and
  8. Whether there are additional requirements to maintain eligibility

 

Although there is a growing national focus on free college, and even more state-level attention on this issue, a uniform agreement on what this should look like is lacking. There is no general consensus on what free college should look like and the scope of what “free” would truly mean. However, the overarching common goal of making college affordable and accessible will keep the conversation around free college moving forward.

Meredith Hills, Policy Associate

 

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