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This Month in CTE

February 27th, 2015

In lieu of our This Week in CTE series, we are providing an overview of resources and information that came out of a stellar CTE month! Thank you to all who participated and advocated for CTE this February. CTE Month LogoTagline_CMYK

TWEETS OF THE MONTH

@NRAEF Economists say millennials should consider careers in trades: http://n.pr/1xCirYM via @NPR #CTEMonth cc: @CTEWorks @actecareertech
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You can also catch up on our Twitter chat with the College & Career Readiness & Success Center here.

ARTICLES OF THE MONTH

What all Educators can Learn from CTE Teachers
Due to new college and career readiness standards, all teachers need to be trained and prepared to integrate learning opportunities into their lessons. CTE teachers are a viable resource, as providing real-world hands on training to their students is integral to their teaching. Teachers can focus on three areas to include technical and employability skills in their education.
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College? Career Tech? In Nashville, Teens do Both
Students in Nashville, TN public schools are encouraged to take at least three Career and Technical Education courses by the time they graduate, often leading them to certifications they can use directly after high school and college credit if they decide to continue their education.
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Michigan Awards $50M for Skilled Trades Training
Michigan awarded 18 community colleges $50 million towards equipment and training benefiting an estimated 34,000 graduates.
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MEDIA OF THE MONTH

Find out the top 10 metropolitan areas for engineers.
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This infographic shows how Ohio is preparing students to be globally competitive.
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The American Association of Community Colleges released an infographic on 2015 Community College facts.
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EVENTS OF THE MONTH

Students showed their stuff on Capitol Hill for CTE Monthunnamed
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Association for Career and Technical Education hosted a school visit at Montgomery College where we heard from stellar students on how CTE has influenced their education and career goals, along with community partners and educators on what makes their programs of study such a success.
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NASDCTEc RESOURCES OF THE MONTH

CTE and Student Achievement Fact Sheet
Get the facts on students who engage in high-quality CTE
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NASDCTEc Webinars
In case you missed them, NASDCTEc held two webinars this month. First, we provided an overview of our 2014 State Policy Review, highlighting trends in policy in each state. Second, we took a deep look into Alabama and Kansas to see how they engage employers in CTE.
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NASDCTEc YouTube Videos
This month we updated our YouTube channel with eight new videos. Seven are based on the workshops based on the book developed in partnership with the Center for Occupational Research and Development, “The Career Pathways Effect: Linking Education and Economic Prosperity,” covering topics aimed at supporting CTE practitioners and leaders in the implementations and improvement of career pathways. The eighth video provides an overview of the development process for the Common Career and Technical Core.
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Katie Fitzgerald, Communications Associate 

CTE Research Review

February 25th, 2015

Nursing Shortage Projected

Select figures from the report, “Making Skills Everyone’s Business: A Call to Transform Adult Learning in the United States.” Georgetown University’s Center for Education and the Workforce (CEW) has released a new report, “Nursing: Supply and Demand Through 2020,” which says the country will soon face a shortfall of 193,000 nursing professionals. Yet despite the coming shortage and a growing interest in the nursing profession from young people, the report finds that postsecondary programs reject up to half of qualified applicants.

The researchers cite inadequate faculty, facilities and clinical placements as barriers to training all of the qualified applicants. Programs providing training for Associate’s Degree in Nursing rejected 51 percent of qualified applicants, while programs for a Bachelor’s in Nursing rejected 37 percent.

New PIAAC report: Making Skills Everyone’s Business

The U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Career, Technical, and Adult Education (OCTAE) has launched a new report, “Making Skills Everyone’s Business: A Call to Transform Adult Learning in the United States.” Using data from the 2013 Survey of Adult Skills report, the report renews the call to “upskill” those 36 million U.S. adults with low skills in numeracy, literacy and problem solving in technology-rich environments.

As a result of a nationwide listening tour to solicit feedback on the state of U.S. adult education and the 2013 survey findings, this new report takes a deeper look at the 2013 data and outlines seven strategies to transform U.S. adult education. The recommended strategies are:

  • Act collectively to raise awareness and take joint ownership of solutions
  • Transform opportunities for youth and adults to assess, improve and use foundation skills
  • Make career pathways available and accessible for every community
  • Ensure that all students have access to highly effective teachers, leaders and programs
  • Create a “No Wrong Door” approach for youth and adult services
  • Engage employers to support upskilling more front-line workers
  • Commit to closing the equity gap for vulnerable subpopulations

In Case You Missed It

Image Caption: Select figures from the report, “Making Skills Everyone’s Business: A Call to Transform Adult Learning in the United States.”

Andrea Zimmermann, State Policy Associate

Inside Scoop from the State of the Union Address

February 25th, 2015

When Lisa Barnett began working as a teacher 27 years ago she had no idea she would one day attend the Kaine & IState of the Union Address representing Career Technical Education (CTE) as a personal guest of Senator Tim Kaine, co-chair of the Senate CTE Caucus. After spending more than 20 years in the classroom as a business teacher, Barnett took on the role of Instructional Coordinator at Botetourt County Public Schools in Fincastle, Virginia where right away she discovered CTE was viewed as ‘vocational education,’ and appropriate only for students not planning to further their education rather than critical education for all students.

From there her passion grew and she became a fierce advocate for CTE. You can hear the pride in Barnett’s voice as she describes her district’s impressive Standards of Learning (SOL) scores, high percentage of students earning multiple industry-recognized credentials and near 100 percent graduation rate of CTE students. She attributes her selection as Senator Kaine’s guest at the State of the Union to the good work of the entire division.

Though the event was a bit overwhelming for Barnett, attending the State of the Union Address allowed her to see how her role and the work of educators across the country is integral to the bigger picture, and was thrilled to see that CTE is a part of that conversation.

Though President Obama did not specifically mention CTE, Barnett believes the invite alone speaks volumes to the increasing value of CTE to policymakers and the general public. “People are really seeing CTE as an avenue that can help us all get to where we want to be,” said Barnett. “We’re finally seeing that recognition on the state and national level.”

Barnett is also encouraged by the growing connections between academic and Career Technical Education in her district and beyond. CTE’s ability to show students how their future is dependent on both academic and technical skills, and this will only increase in the future. Education is not just about SOLs and testing, it’s about showing students the opportunities for their careers. “These are not two different pathways,” said Barnett. “We should be walking together.”

Katie Fitzgerald, Communications Associate

This Week in CTE

February 20th, 2015

TWEET OF THE WEEK
NRAEF  Amazing stat! RT @CTEWorks “@CCRSCenter The HS grad rate for #CTE concentrators is about 90%, 10% higher than national average #CTEMonth
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ARTICLE OF THE WEEK
Jobs in Health Care on the Rise, but Skills Gap Prevents Hiring
Columbus is facing a skills gap particularly in health care and insurance sectors, New York City has over 33,000 jobs available in STEM fields, and Houston can’t find employees for petrochemical and industrial and commercial construction jobs. Career Technical Education is a way to educate students in these fields, but even more needs to be done to insure industry needs are being met. This includes: the collection of real-time labor market data and working with industry leadership to determine their needs; better funding; and scalable solutions that can be adopted across fields.
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RESOURCE OF THE WEEK
Check out our new CTEWorks YouTube page, where you can find CTE advocacy videos, along with seven video previews workshops based on the book developed in partnership with the Center for Occupational Research and Development, “The Career Pathways Effect: Linking Education and Economic Prosperity,” covering topics aimed at supporting CTE practitioners and leaders in the implementations and improvement of career pathways.
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TOOL OF THE WEEK
The College and Career Readiness and Success (CCRS) Center updated their interactive map to include eight territories including American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia, Guam, the Republic of Palau, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, to showcase how these areas are improving college and career readiness.
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CTE MONTH RESOURCE OF THE WEEK
Check out the Association for Career and Technical Education for their variety of resources for CTE Month. It’s not too late to get involved, so make sure to take a look at their fact sheets, sample press release, CTE Month logo and more!
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CTE Month: Celebrating CTE Across the Country

February 19th, 2015

ctemonththumbnailWe have  heard of some great work going on across the country for Career Technical Education (CTE) Month!

A number of states are using CTE Month as a time to raise awareness around the importance of CTE. The Missouri Department of Early and Secondary Education is running a 30 second radio spot throughout the month to help educate the public on the value of CTE Month, while the Maine Department of Education released an article in the Commissioner’s update. Also Alaska, Michigan, North Dakota, Virginia and Wisconsin proclaimed February at CTE Month.

Some states took advantage of the CTE: Learning that Works for America campaign resources, like Michigan, which requested all Department of Education employees to use the CTE Learning that Works for Michigan logo. In addition, South Dakota Career and Technical Education State CTE Promo Newsletter 2015 2Association developed a newsletter (that you can see to your right)  delivered to all legislators in the state, also using the Learning that Works branding.

Other organizations held grassroots events, like Salem Vocational Technical FFA Chapter’s road-side clean up and leadership conference and Seymour Community High School’s school tour, which was featured on the local news.

CTE Month is also a time to celebrate! The Indiana Department of Education held their 31st Annual Awards for Excellence Ceremony honoring students, instructors, programs and partnerships in CTE. The Virginia Department of Education and Virginia Community College System launched the Career and Technical Education Creating Excellence Awards to recognize programs, committees and business and industry partnerships at local, regional and state levels.

It’s thrilling to see all the excitement and good work going on from the national to grassroots levels in communities around the nation. It’s not too late to send us what you’re doing so that we can promote your excellent work too! Email your CTE Month activities to [email protected]

Katie Fitzgerald, Communications Associate 

CTE Research Review

February 18th, 2015

Although so-called millennials are on track to be the most educated generation in American history, they are still lagging behind their international peers in critical skill areas such as literacy, numeracy and problem solving in technology-rich environments, according to a new report.

The report, “America’s Skills Challenge: Millenials and the Future,” takes a closer look at Americans born after 1980, ages 16-34, and finds that not only do they lag behind those in other countries, the numbers show millennials are lagging behind previous surveys of U.S. adult skills.

Researchers drew from data from the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development’s Programme for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies, (PIAAC). The researchers looked not only at the lower quartile of Americans, as in previous PIAAC work, but also found alarming results for the best-educated U.S. millennials as well.

The answer is not simply to acquire more education, the authors argue, but rather a greater focus on skills in order to combat growing inequality for current and future Americans.

Some of the highlighted findings include:

  • In literacy, U.S. millennials scored lower than 15 of the 22 participating countries. Only millennials in Spain and Italy had lower scores. In numeracy, U.S. millennials ranked last, along with Italy and Spain.
  • In problem-solving in technology rich environments, U.S. millennials also ranked last, along with the Slovak Republic, Ireland, and Poland.
  • The best-educated U.S. millennials — those with a master’s or research degree — only scored higher than their peers in Ireland, Poland and Spain.

CHART: Average scores on the PIAAC literacy, numeracy, and problem solving in technology-rich environments scales for adults age 16–34 (millennials) and adults age 16–24, by participating country/region

Average scores on the PIAAC literacy, numeracy, and problem solving in technology-rich environments scales for adults age 16–34 (millennials) and adults age 16–24, by participating country/region

Andrea Zimmermann, State Policy Associate

This Week in CTE: CTE Month Edition

February 13th, 2015

TWEET OF THE WEEK
SkillsUSA  Mike Rowe talks about SkillsUSA and CTE: http://youtu.be/yihG89SB00g @mikeroweworks blog-thumbnail-thiswek#CTEMonth #SkillsUSAWeek
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VIDEO OF THE WEEK
Congressman Jim Langevin (D-RI), co-chair of the Career and Technical Education Caucus, showed his support for Career Technical Education.  “It is long past time to re-authorize the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act, and I look forward to working with all my colleagues on this important legislation,” said Langevin.
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ARTICLE OF THE WEEK
Tony Evers, superintendent of the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction, discusses the value of Career Technical Education (CTE) in Wisconsin. “Did you know that students who participate in CTE courses graduate at a notably higher rate than students who do not take CTE courses? Additionally, students who take a series of related CTE courses do even better. In part, it’s because CTE helps students grasp why they need to know and excel in academic coursework,” said Evers
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RESOURCE OF THE WEEK
Learn how to use the CTE: Learning that Works for America campaign resources to help you raise awareness, improve understanding and communicate the vital role of Career Technical Education in the nation’s future. The Learning that Works campaign provides you with a variety of materials to help you advocate for CTE in your community including fact-sheets, talking points, videos and even state-specific logos. Get a quick overview of the campaign with this one pager.

ANNOUNCEMENTS OF THE WEEK
A variety of states proclaimed February CTE Month, including Virginia, Alaska, North Dakota and Wisconsin.

CTE in Singapore: Looking to the Future

February 13th, 2015

Today we continue our joint series on international CTE practice and programs with Education Week’s Global Learning. This is the second part of Heather Singmaster’s interview with Mr. TAN Seng Hua, Dean, ITE Academy in Singapore and one of the architects of Singapore’s CTE/VET system. Be sure to also read Part 1

Q: What are the challenges VET/CTE faces? What are some solutions you are looking to implement?

A: There are multiple challenges faced by CTE globally. First, we need to ensure that the training programs are up-to-date and the curriculum is able to address the skilled manpower (workforce) needs of the economy. Working in close partnership with employers to plan and design the CTE curriculum, developing an authentic learning environment, and providing real work and workplace experience to the students are essential approaches adopted by ITE.

Second, we need to understand the profile of CTE students and their learning behavior to better design pedagogic approaches and enrichment activities to bring out their full potential. Pedagogic innovation to make training fun and engaging will further help to develop and retain the interest of students in CTE, given their preference for activity-based learning. To a certain extent, ITE colleges are designed as “Education Wonderlands”, allowing students to acquire relevant skills and knowledge through fun and authentic learning activities.

Q: What is the role of employers/labor/industry in your VET/CTE system? 

A: Partnership with industry is a key strength of Singapore’s CTE system. Over the years, ITE has established a network of industry partners to support its training programmes. These are industry leaders in their respective fields locally and globally, and they support ITE in the setting of skill standards and curriculum design, workplace training and attachment, skills promotion and marketing, employment and engagement of our graduates, sponsorship of students and industry project collaboration, and constructive feedback on both the performance of our student interns/graduates and the improvement needed in our training structure and contents.

The labor movement in Singapore is also very active in promoting the importance of skills acquisition among their members. Many of the union leaders play the role of “skills champions” to encourage their members to acquire new skills and train for deeper skills to improve their career advancement opportunities and enhance their earning power.

Q: What do you think the future of VET/CTE in Singapore looks like?

A: CTE will continue to be a key component of Singapore’s education system in the years ahead. It is a key strength of our education and human resource development structure and a major contributing factor to the success of Singapore’s economic development over the past few decades.

Moving forward, CTE in Singapore would evolve to further engage the employers in the training of the present and future workforce. While the present college-based CTE system has worked well in the past to prepare the youths for the workplace, given the fast changing economy and technology, the skilled manpower needs of the employers have also changed rapidly. To avoid a potential mismatch of the competency of our graduates with the skills demand of the employers amid this shorter product and technology life-cycle, we need to work in close partnership to redesign our curriculum to enable the acquisition of industry-specific and new skills at the workplace.

Q: What advice do you have for other systems attempting to reform their VET/CTE systems? What are some of the policies in Singapore that could assist others in overcoming the challenges they face in VET/CTE?

A: ITE in Singapore has gone through waves of transformation in the past two decades. We have raised the quality and image of CTE in Singapore and gained the acceptance and recognition by employers, parents, students, and the community as a whole that CTE is a viable post-secondary education option that can prepare youth for a rewarding career.  We have developed three world-class campuses, designed to provide authentic learning environment to support the total development of our students. We have also developed an innovative curriculum structure to better prepare our students for the changing work environment in industry, and creative pedagogy to inject fun learning in CTE. Last but not least, we have put in place a strong and effective academic quality assurance system to instill professional pride and discipline among our CTE leaders and staff to continually improve our CTE system and delivery.

The success of ITE in Singapore is a result of system review and staff competency at all levels. There are many useful lessons that could be shared with the global CTE community. At the national level, there are important policy decisions, which must be addressed to position CTE appropriately in relation to the education and economic development of the nation. At the institution level, the philosophy of education and the strategic focus of the management team will determine the quality and relevance of the programs offered, and at the individual level, the passion and commitment to provide innovative solutions and learning activities will contribute to the success of the CTE system in developing and retaining the interest of students.

Our success story has attracted the interest of many countries globally. We have frequent visit requests from the CTE community globally, and many of these visits ended up with requests for assistance to review/enhance their CTE system and development of their CTE leadership and professional competency. Currently, we have CTE consultancy projects in some 25 countries around the world, and they cover a wide spectrum of areas including CTE Infrastructure Planning and Development, CTE Leadership Development, CTE Technology and Pedagogic Development, CTE Assessment and Certification Systems, and CTE Academic Quality Assurance System.

 Follow the ITE and Heather on Twitter.

Katie Fitzgerald, Communications Associate

CTE Research Review

February 12th, 2015

A lot of new research and resources have been released over the past month. Here’s what you may have missed:

New Studies

Georgetown’s Center for Education and the Workforce has published two new reports of interest to the CTE community. The first, “College Is Just the Beginning,” examines the world of post-secondary education and training and found that roughly $1.1 trillion is spent annually.cew

Researchers split the sum between colleges and universities ($417 billion) and employers ($177 billion in formal training; $413 billion informal on-the-job training). However, that employer number comes with a caveat – employers spend more because education providers may only have a student for a handful of years while an employer may have them for decades. The study also found that federally funded job training is the smallest component, ringing in at $18 billion.

The cost of training also varies widely among industries depending on the intensity of the training. Manufacturing, for example, was found to be the most training intensive.

The center also released a new report called, “The Undereducated American,” which looks at the country’s number of college-going workers and claims that supply has failed to keep pace with growing demand since the 1980s, resulting in widening income inequality.

Other studies of note:

New Surveys and Forecasts

A new public opinion poll from the Association of American Colleges and Universities found strikingly large gaps between employers and recent college graduates regarding career readiness.

While the survey found that employers continue to overwhelmingly endorse the need for broad learning and cross-cutting employability skills, they gave their recent hires very low marks on 17 learning outcomes related to being well-prepared for careers.

Meanwhile, recent graduates held a very different view of their preparedness with some of the largest gaps being critical thinking, written communication and working with others.

Another survey of note:

New Data

A new report from the Government Accountability Office takes aim at state data systems. Despite the $640 million federal investment, the results are state systems linking education and workforce data that are riddled with holes. While the systems have had some success, there are many challenges remaining and questions about sustainability when federal funding goes away.

Other data of note:

  • The National Center for Education Statistics has updated two data sets of interest
    • Revenues and Expenditures for Public Elementary and Secondary Education at the national and state level (FY 2012)
    • Revenues and Expenditures for Public Elementary and Secondary Education School Districts (FY 2012)

Andrea Zimmermann, State Policy Associate

2015 School Counselor of the Year Honored at White House

February 12th, 2015

On January 30th, I had the pleasure of being a guest at the White House as the First Lady Michelle Obama hosted the School Counselor of the YearAmerican School Counselor Association’s School Counselor of the Year awards ceremony. This is the first time this event has been held at the White House. 36 finalists and semifinalists and 2015 School Counsel of the Year Cory Notestine of Alamosa High School in Colorado received recognition from the First Lady and actress, Connie Britton who played a school counselor on the popular television series Friday Night Lights.

The First Lady shared that “Every day, our school counselors help young people become the people they’re meant to be and achieve what they were put on the earth to achieve.  That is truly an awesome responsibility.  It’s also a tremendous privilege.”  The First lady published an op-ed and also spoke about the event, as well as her Reach Higher Initiative, on Entertainment Tonight.  View a video of the White House ceremony here.

Photo Credit: Official White House Photo by Amanda Lucidon

Kimberly Green, Executive Director

 

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