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

CTE Research Review

March 18th, 2015

SkillsIndustry-related research is leading the news this month with new reports from the manufacturing and technology sectors.

First up, new data from the National Federation of Independent Business shows that while 98 percent of small business owners say they are optimistic overall, but finding qualified workers remains a problem. In fact, 29 percent reported difficulty in finding and hiring skilled workers – the highest since April 2006 – and of that number, 89 percent said they are seeing few to no applicants.

However, despite this struggle to attract skilled workers, only 20 percent reported raising wages over the past three months and 14 percent plan to raise them in the coming months.

Manufacturing Industry

The Manufacturing Institute, in partnership with Deloitte, released two parallel studies that explore at the manufacturing skills gap and public perceptions of the industry.

In the skills gap study, researchers predict that the United States will need to add nearly 3.5 million manufacturing jobs over the next 10 years, but roughly 2 million of those jobs will go unfilled due to a shortage in skilled labor.

The second survey is part of The Manufacturing Institute’s Public Perceptions Index, which first started in 2009. The 2015 update found that the U.S. public greatly supports the manufacturing industry and would choose a manufacturing plant be built in their region over other employers. However, the same public said they were “unwilling to encourage their children to pursue careers in manufacturing.”

Also, from the Brookings Institution, a new report looks at the German manufacturing industry for shareable lessons and strategies to aid the U.S. manufacturing industry.

Technology Industry

IBM released a new study on Millennials (those aged 21-34) and how they and others view their effect in the workplace. The survey looked at the preferences and behavioral patterns of Millennials, Gen X (aged 35-49) and Baby Boomers (aged 50-60), and found that Millennials “want the same things their older colleagues do. While there are some distinctions among the generations, Millennials’ attitudes are not poles apart from other employees’.”

The findings are categorized around five common myths about Millennials and three “uncomfortable truths”.

Andrea Zimmermann, State Policy Associate

 

 

Today’s Class – Interactive Online Textbook and eLearning Tool

March 16th, 2015

This blog series provides readers with insight on the valuable content that is being shared at the NASDCTEc Spring Meeting. Guest bloggers are partner organizations, supporters and other experts that will be present at the national gathering in Washington, DC in April. 

Today’s Class is an interactive online textbook and eLearning resource.  The educational program with learning management system Todays Class Logo- Registred Trademark-1-7-14(1)delivers interactive coursework to school systems and technical institutions. Today’s Class programs are designed with the instructor in mind and enhance an instructor’s curriculum with content, vivid animation, and interactive exercises. The program provides quizzes, final exams, eBooks, and a student time just to name a few features.  By supplying concepts and theory it allows for up to 25% reduction in lecture time, which allows instructors more time for hands-on lab work and in-class demonstrations.

Currently, Today’s Class offers automotive, cosmetology, health science, anatomy & physiology, and agriscience programs.  Assessments are included for automotive, cosmetology, and health science programs.

The cosmetology program aligns with NIC standards that most states base their curriculum from, providing comprehensive theory and step-by-step methodology.  Also included within the program is an assessment to gauge if the student is ready to take their state board exam.

The health science program explores body systems, the protocol for vital sign measurement, emergency response, ethical & legal responsibilities, and other necessary health science courses.

The automotive program covers the eight core NATEF areas, the new Maintenance and Light Repair (MLR) series, and other automotive related materials to enhance student development.  The Automotive Service Technician (AST) modules will be released this summer.  Job sheets, crosswalks, and blueprints are included in the automotive modules.

The agriscience program contains: Concepts of Agriscience, Science of Agricultural Animals, Science of Agricultural Plants, Science of Agricultural Environment and Science of Agricultural Mechanization.

Many attendees know Dr. Rod Boyes, a long-time NASDCTEc supporter and President of the organization. Also representing Today’s Class at the meeting will be Peggy Albano – please say hello to them both and learn more about Today’s Class programs and initiatives. Today’s Class is a Gold Level Sponsor at the NASDCTEc Meeting.

Thank you to Today’s Class for being a NASDCTEc Spring Meeting Sponsor!

This Week in CTE

March 13th, 2015

TWEET OF THE WEEK
@DiscoveryEd There are 600,000 unfilled manufacturing jobs right now.  Think about that. Not always about ‘future’ jobs.  #CorpsInEdu blog-thumbnail-thiswek@alcoafoundation
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ARTICLE OF THE WEEK
Career and Technical Education Should be the Rule, Not the Exception
Tim Hodges, PhD, Director of Research for Gallup’s Education Practice makes a detailed case for why Career Technical Education (CTE) is critical to all student’s education. Research shows not only are skills more important than where a student graduated from to employers, but also that CTE concentrators in high school are 15 percent more likely to graduate than the national average. Hodges goes on to highlight his own experience in CTE courses, and how learning skills like fundraising, budgeting, teamwork and mentorship were key components to his work today.
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MEDIA OF THE WEEK
Digital Learning Day
It’s Digital Learning Day, and the Alliance for Excellent Education is live streaming the event featuring schools from across the country as they discuss how using technology effectively benefits their school. The program begins at 1 p.m. eastern.
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PARTNER UPDATE OF THE WEEK
Teaching 21st Century Skills
March 18, 8 p.m. Eastern Time
This month, the College and Career Readiness and Success (CCRS) Center is partnering with the Center on Great Teachers and Leaders (GTL Center) for their monthly Twitter chat. Join the conversation on Wednesday, March 18, using #CCRSchat.

Katie Fitzgerald, Communications Associate 

Adding Industry Recognized Certification to your CTE Program

March 12th, 2015

This blog series provides readers with insight on the valuable content that is being shared at the NASDCTEc Spring Meeting. Guest bloggers are partner organizations, supporters and other experts that will be present at the national gathering in Washington, DC in April. We encourage you to join Certiport’s hospitality suite on Thursday evening, April 9th! Details available at the Certiport exhibit table at the Spring Meeting.

In today’s digital age, most schools with successful career and technical education (CTE) programs don’t have to be convinced of the merits of offering industry-recognized certification.  The benefits are clear from engaging students to validating standards to college and career readiness.  However, most educators are overloaded and may not have time to start something new.

Take these simple steps to start now:Certiport-Pearson-Logo-Final (1)

First, look at the courses you are offering and see if there is an industry-recognized certification that fits into the current curriculum.  If you don’t have to recreate the wheel it will be very easy to implement.  Do you have a digital literacy or intro to technology course?  Try IC3 Digital Literacy certification.  Teaching a database course for more advanced students?  Look into the Microsoft Technology Associate exam in Database Fundamentals.

Next, funding can be a hurdle to climb.  Get creative – look at Perkins and other grants, or pass the cost on to students.  Once schools see the benefits of certification, they often end up building it into their standard budgets.

Finally, partner with the certification provider and let them help.  They have worked with hundreds, or thousands of schools just like yours and can guide you through the process.

Sean Carchidi, a Computer Maintenance and Repair Teacher at Mercy Vocational High School in Philadelphia found out how easy it can be to add industry-recognized certification to a CTE program.  He says, “Finding the Microsoft Technology Associate certifications completely revolutionized the Computer Technician program at the Career and Technical school where I work…When I saw all of the certifications MTA offers, I started researching how to implement it as part of the curriculum. MTA will help shape the future of the class as we are always exploring new certifications!”

At Certiport, a Pearson VUE business, we have more than 13,000 testing centers set up around the world.  We know how simple it is to become an Certiport Authorized Testing Center today and start offering any of our certifications such as the Microsoft Technology Associate certification program, the Adobe® Certified Associate certification program, or the IC3 Digital Literacy certification.

This June 18 – 20 Certiport will hold the inaugural 2015 CERTIFIED Educators Conference to help you explore the power and potential of technology certification in your classroom.  CERTIFIED will be the place to learn how simple it is to implement certification and hear from others who have done it successfully.

To learn more about how Certiport can help your CTE program teach and validate in-demand workforce skills with industry-recognized certification, visit Certiport at booth or www.certiport.com.

Thank you to Certiport for sponsoring the 2015 Spring Meeting!

 

Register & Submit Sessions for CareerTech VISION Today!

March 11th, 2015

Vision15_Site Banner

Registration is now open for CareerTech VISION 2015! NASDCTEc is particularly excited about this year’s VISION as we are organizing a series of sessions on the National Career Clusters Framework and its implementation through programs of study, featuring successful practices from Alabama, Florida, North Carolina, North Dakota, California and elsewhere.

VISON 2015 features a rich array of CTE topics and programming, including:

  • 200+ breakout sessions in a variety of formats, including lecture, hands-on labs, and roundtable discussions
  • A wide range of secondary and an increased number of postsecondary CTE topics, addressing such issues as secondary to postsecondary transitions and multiple pathways to college and career readiness
  • Sessions to help attendees improve outcomes on federal and state performance indicators
  • NCAC and NAF Career Academy sessions
  • And more!

This is the biggest conference of the year for CTE educators, administrators and leaders, so don’t miss out and register today!

For those of you interested in sharing your best practices, innovative resources or relevant research you still have until March 27 to submit a proposal. Click here to submit your idea today.

 Kate Blosveren, Associate Executive Director, NASDCTEc

You Spoke – We Listened. How we’ve Changed the 2015 Spring Meeting

March 11th, 2015

Every year we take your evaluations from previous meetings and adjust our agenda, presentations and topics based on your reviews. Here are some of the ways we’ve made changes to this year’s NASDCTEc Spring Meeting in Washington, DC. For more information, take a look at our full agenda.cherry-blossoms-at-jefferson-150x150

“Suggest in future you think about having interactive breakout sessions. We ask that our teachers engage our students in contextualized…we should do the same.”

Great suggestion! To make sure that there’s a balance between didactic and hands-on learning, we’ve structured this year’s meeting around a variety of keynotes, panels, breakout sessions and discussion roundtables. We want to make sure that you’re hearing from panelists, but encourage you as a CTE leader, to share during these sessions as well.

“How do we change the perceptions of CTE amongst key stakeholders (parents, business, students, administrators, etc.)?”

Though we have come a far way in advocating for CTE as education for all students, we still have work to do. We encourage you to join the Overcoming CTE Myths collaboration roundtable, where you’ll work with your peers to come up with actionable solutions, guided by states leading the way. In addition, we’re hosting a panel Featuring CTE Excellence in the Press, where journalists on the education beat will talk about how to make a successful pitch to press, what has changed in the CTE narrative and how to tell your CTE story.

The conference seemed to be very heavy on secondary CTE. Many of the sessions did not offer enough for those of us in postsecondary or higher education.”

Given the importance of secondary, postsecondary and workforce development engagement in CTE, we have an entire day focused on cross-sector collaboration, as well as other postsecondary-focused content offered throughout the meeting. With panels on federal agency coordination around WIOA implementation and the Higher Education Act, two breakout sessions on efforts to implement career pathway systems and WIOA, and relevant collaboration roundtables, there’s something for everyone.

 “How do states finance CTE through performance-based funding?”

It’s no surprise that in today’s financial climate questions on funding come up again and again. We have some stellar examples of how states are utilizing performance-based funding systems which you’ll learn about from two national experts during one of our concurrent sessions, Paying for Performance: Developing State Performance-Based Funding Systems.

 “We need more discussions around industry certifications and the impact on state programs.”

Employer and industry engagement has been a hot topic this year, and we’re excited to offer two panels and a roundtable discussion on how employers are getting involved at the state and local levels, and, in particular, around credentialing. We’ll also be kicking the meeting off with a keynote address from Chauncy Lennon, Managing Director and Head of Workforce Initiatives at JPMorgan Chase, who will discuss their efforts to close the skills gap.

Registration and discounted hotel rates closes Friday, March 20, so register today!

Katie Fitzgerald, Communications Associate

Pathways for all – With CTE at the Heart

March 9th, 2015

This blog series provides readers with insight on the valuable content that is being shared at the NASDCTEc Spring Meeting. Guest bloggers are partner organizations, supporters and other experts that will be present at the national gathering in Washington, DC in April.

For a very long time, American education has offered an either/or choice for students: Either follow a career track OR enter the (default) baccalaureate track which, while well-intended, is failing LARGE numbers of students. Today’s Pathways model offers a third choice, combining the best of both. And CTE Leaders have an incredible opportunity today to provide leadership in defining and driving the NC3T logo clean largePathways agenda.

At NC3T (National Center for College and Career Transitions), we promote the notion that school districts thrive when they work with employers and postsecondary partners to create a “pathways for all” approach. The Pathways for All approach is more flexible, individualized, and based on the real needs and opportunities in today’s workforce, where skills and knowledge, not years of schooling, leads to meaningful work and family-sustaining earnings.  To accomplish this, each district develops a broad array of pathways, some which are more career- or occupation-specific, and some which are more thematic, like social justice, visual arts, and global leadership.  Ideally, each pathway is designed to lead to several post-secondary options, such as programs leading to certificate programs, associate degrees, and baccalaureate degrees.

To explore this comprehensive Pathways-for-All system, CTE local administrators and state leaders are well positioned (probably best-positioned) to help drive the conversation.  You can drive the Pathways conversation from several entry points, including   Readiness, Teaching and Learning, Effective Employer Engagement, Postsecondary Connections, and Career Development.

Help Define Student Readiness For Work and Life Success
CTE leaders can continue to advance the idea that readiness requires more than academic skills.  Readiness for all students includes Learning Skills, Thinking Skills, Communication Skills, Executive Skills, Persistence and Work Ethic, Interpersonal Competencies, Career Search and Career Management, Civic Awareness and Commitment.

We should stand against definitions that define Career Readiness separately from Postsecondary Readiness.  Yes, there are specific technical skills that are a gateway for certain careers.  But apart from that narrow band of skills, for the most part, the skills and knowledge and attitudes for work success and postsecondary success are the same, but they’re just applied differently based on the learner’s or worker’s context.  A student is really just a worker whose immediate job is learning.

Create Dynamic Teaching and Learning
CTE leaders can work to ensure that CTE teachers learn and apply the most promising and effective teaching practices, utilizing active learning strategies like project-based, problem-based, and inquiry-based learning.  Although CTE content is based on industry-based skills, CTE instruction can easily fall prey to the same trap as a core academic course, in which a teacher “stands and delivers,” conveying information about a career field or the processes of that field, without challenging the students to engage in deeper learning, problem solving, and creativity.  Some CTE teachers deep down may believe that their students can’t learn more deeply, and that simple regurgitation of information and imitation of skills are the best they will be able to accomplish.  This is where strong professional development, and challenging teacher perceptions through collaborative leadership, are essential.

Model effective employer involvement
In a strong pathways system, employers and volunteers are actively involved in classrooms, interacting regularly with students, and helping students get into the workplace.  CTE programs can always get better at utilizing employers in multiple facets of their work.  A good first step is to re-purpose your program Advisory Councils into “Partnership Councils” with the goal of driving deep business-industry involvement in all aspects of instruction, career mentoring, and experiential learning.

Engage leaders from postsecondary education
Each pathway program of study needs active collaboration among teachers and faculty, so that curriculum can be well-aligned and offer early college credits.  CTE teachers and administrators can create the structures and processes for collaboration and recognizing student learning for college credit that others in the school system and colleges can build upon.

Inform Career Exploration
CTE leaders and staff usually have the best understanding and access for career-based information.  They can help inform a comprehensive K-12 career exploration and career development system.

Start the Bigger Conversation
CTE leaders are particularly able, and well-positioned, to develop good working relationships with K-12 system leaders, postsecondary education, and employers. As a result, they are the ideal point people to convene these sectors and begin to explore what a Pathways System looks like.  You can host a business-education summit; create a Readiness-forum among K-12, postsecondary and employers; or call partners together to discuss the merits and challenges of the Pathways-for-All approach.

Positive Momentum
If you’re in the CTE movement, you may already recognize that the wind is behind our backs in this work.  Many educators, parents, and business/community leaders are troubled and looking for better answers: They realize that core standards and testing are necessary, but not sufficient, because alone they do not adequately engage enough students. They recognize that too many students are pursuing college and taking on debt without a realistic career objective. And they understand there is a broad continuum of postsecondary options for which our guidance systems and programs of study don’t match up well. The result is that only 40 percent of our young adults complete an Associate’s degree or BA program, and about half of young adults lack tangible knowledge and skills that are in-demand.

Just promoting college-going isn’t enough: We must promote discovery, exploration and postsecondary education that has purpose.

So, the wind is behind our backs, but it could change direction at any time. We need to act quickly and help build consensus about what a Pathways-for-All system can be in our communities.

Federal rules, regulations and funding are slow in coming, which is why the pioneering leadership we’re seeing at the state and local levels now is so critical. CTE isn’t the full answer, but it is a foundational part of what a pathways system will become, and CTE leaders can help leverage and engage all facets of our education system to create Pathway Systems that work.

Thank you for your indispensable leadership.  We are standing with you.

Hans Meeder, President and Co-Founder
National Center for College and Career Transitions

Thanks to NC3T for being a NASDCTEc Spring meeting sponsor!

This Week in CTE

March 6th, 2015

TWEET OF THE WEEK
@CareerBuilder  The title says it all: 13 growing occupations with certifications to boost your hireability and pay grade: http://cb.com/1DENJld .
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ARTICLE OF THE WEEK
How Google and Coursera May Upend the Traditional College Degree
Coursera, the online education firm and Google, who needs no introduction, have teamed up to bring together Instagram and a variety of other tech companies to launch microdegrees. These microdegrees will consist of online courses and a hands-on capstone project designed with input from universities and tech industry focused on providing learners less expensive and customizable degrees.
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VIDEO OF THE WEEK
Power of Entrepreneurship
Intel released this video on how today’s technology can help people overcome barriers to starting the businesses they want.
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EVENT OF THE WEEK
NASDCTEc 2015 Spring Meeting!
NASDCTEc’s Spring Meeting is only a month away! Join us in Washington, D.C. to hear from national leaders, work together to build common solutions to problems facing Career Technical Education, get the latest state and federal policy updates, hear from best practice programs of study from across the country and network with State CTE Directors and partnering organizations. Registration closes March 20, so register today!
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Katie Fitzgerald, Communications Associate

CompTIA: The IT Industry Trade Association

March 6th, 2015

This blog series provides readers with insight on the valuable content that is being shared at the NASDCTEc Spring Meeting. Guest bloggers are partner organizations, supporters and other experts that will be present at the national gathering in Washington, DC in April.

CompTIA is the voice of the world’s information technology (IT) industry. As a non-profit trade association, we advance the global interests of IT professionals and IT channel organizations and enable them to be more successful with industry-leading certifications and business credentials, education, resources and the ability to connect with like-minded, leading industry experts.
Learn about our focus areas and find out who we are and what we do.CompTIA_Logo_Pantone

Membership
Becoming a CompTIA member indicates a commitment to learning, growing and personal and business success in the IT channel. All of our benefits are aimed at providing our members with a wealth of resources that, when leveraged, result in measurable impact to the member organization.

Education
You can’t get a job or successfully run a business without all the right tools. In the ever-changing IT industry, education is essential. CompTIA’s educational efforts include a comprehensive suite of channel training, a variety of events and meetings and a steady stream of research and market intelligence studies. Everything is designed to help you succeed.

Certifications
It all started with A+. Back in 1993, we developed a revolutionary IT certification that was not tied to a particular manufacturer, but vendor-neutral. The concept took off and today CompTIA offers four IT certification series that test different knowledge standards, from entry-level to expert.

Public Advocacy
TechAmerica, the public sector and public policy department of CompTIA, champions member-driven business and policy priorities that impact the entire continuum of technology companies – from small IT service providers and software developers to large equipment manufacturers and communications service providers.

Philanthropy
The shortage of IT workers in the U.S. stands at about 300,000 and there continues to be high demand for motivated and capable employees. It’s the job of CompTIA’s philanthropic arm, the Creating IT Futures Foundation, to help unemployed individuals and populations under-represented in the field obtain the right training for an IT role; not just a job, but a foothold into a career. In order to help supply the IT worker pipeline, Creating IT Futures is exploring ways to nudge more youth in the direction of tech careers.

Click here to learn more about CompTIA and get involved today!

Thanks to CompTIA for being a NASDCTEc Spring meeting sponsor!

New Teaching Standards for CTE Released

March 4th, 2015

The National Board for Professional Teaching Standards released revised standards for teachers in Career and Technical Education (CTE). The standards were developed by educators, board-certified teachers and researchers organized around eight pathways including:

  • Business, Marketing and Financial Services
  • Community Services
  • Decorative Arts and Design
  • Engineering, Design and Fabrication
  • Information Systems and Technology, Communications and the Arts
  • Leisure and Recreation Services
  • Natural Resources
  • Transportation Systems and Services

The new standards are up-to-date with evolving content in each of the pathways, as well as encourage teachers to adapt their teaching according to the needs and abilities of their students. Additionally, they also allow teachers without a bachelor’s degree obtain CTE certification unless their state requirements state otherwise. Learn more about the new standards here.

Katie Fitzgerald, Communications Associate

 

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