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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

CTE in Singapore: Education Wonderlands – Part 1

February 11th, 2015

We are delighted to announce our partnership with Education Week’s Global Learning blog to bring you a monthly profile of international practice in Career Technical Education (CTE) or Vocational Education and Training (VET), which it is called in many countries. To start us off, Heather Singmaster, the Assistant Director of Education with the Asia Society, interviewed Mr. TAN Seng Hua, Dean, ITE Academy in Singapore and one of the architects of Singapore’s CTE/VET system. This interview will be in two parts, so be sure to check back with us on Friday to learn what Mr. Tan sees as challenges facing CTE around the world, and how to overcome them. 

Q: What is the progression of VET/CTE in Singapore? 

A: Structured as post-secondary education options, CTE in Singapore collectively enrolls some 65% of each cohort of students (aged 17 and above), who have completed at least 10 years of academic education, including four years at the secondary school level. Please see the following chart depicting the education system in Singapore. (Editors Note: Or view an interactive chart.)

sg-education-landscape-printsm

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Based on their career interests and national exam results, students with keen interest in technical and vocational education may apply to either a Polytechnic college for a “para-professional/technical specialist” level of training or the Institute of Technical Education (ITE) for “technical skills” training. Those who do well in these programs will be able to progress further within the Singapore education system. For instance, students can progress from ITE colleges to a Polytechnic and eventually to a university.

To prepare these students for CTE options, the curriculum of the secondary schools in Singapore places great focus on English language, mathematics, and sciences. Students are also given opportunities to participate in career guidance activities such as the Experience ITE Programme during their secondary school education. Similarly, secondary school educators are engaged in learning journeys to the CTE colleges to better prepare them for a career and education counseling role in the secondary schools.

Q: What sectors/fields of study does VET encompass? Which are most popular with students?

A: ITE offers a wide range of courses including manufacturing, engineering, info-comm technology, business and services, design and media, applied science, health sciences, and hospitality-related training. These courses are regularly reviewed and new courses are introduced based on the demand for these skills projected by the various sectors of the economy and government economic agencies. As of January 2015, there are more than 100 different courses offered by ITE. Based on recent trends, those related to services and certain niche courses such as aerospace technology appear to be more popular among applicants of full-time ITE courses. For adult learners, their choice of training is largely steered by their job requirements and career aspirations.

Q: How is CTE/VET funded in Singapore?

A: Singapore views CTE as an investment by the government to enhance the competitiveness of the nation. The cost of ITE education is almost fully funded by the government, up to 97%. Students only need to pay a nominal portion of the fees to show their commitment to the training. Needy students from low-income families will be further supported by private funds donated by foundations, employers, the community, and individual donors.

For working adults attending continuing education and training at ITE, their course fees are also heavily subsidized by the government, in addition to sponsorships given by their employers. The main objective is to encourage more working adults to develop a culture of life-long learning and regularly upgrade and update their skills and knowledge to remain relevant in this fast changing world.

Q: What are the major goals of VET/CTE in Singapore?

A: The main goal of CTE in Singapore is to maintain its relevance to the workforce needs of the economy. This is a great challenge as there may be a mismatch between the interests and aspiration of youth and the manpower demand of the employers. Working closely with employers to enhance the career development opportunities in their respective technical sectors, to provide good career counseling, and to make CTE fun and attractive for youth, are key strategies to ensure the success of CTE.

Follow Singapore’s ITE and Asia Society on Twitter.

Seng Hua TAN has spent more than four decades planning and transforming the Vocational and Technical Education (VTE) in Singapore. In his previous appointment as Deputy CEO (Academic) of ITE, Mr. Tan led a major project to revamp all training courses of ITE from single occupation oriented to Career-Cluster Based Curriculum, incorporating work-based and personal life skills learning to prepare ITE students for the fast changing work environment.

Katie Fitzgerald, Communications Associate

Register today for NASDCTEc’s 2015 Spring Meeting!

February 11th, 2015

The NASDCTEc Spring meeting is just around the corner, so register now!
With confirmed speakers from the U.S. Departments of Education and Health and Human Services, Aspen Institute, Education Week, Education Daily, U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation, the Manufacturing Institute, among others, our upcoming Spring meeting is shaping up to be our best yet!

Participants will learn from national experts and each another on topics such as career pathways, private sector credentialing and CTE in the media, and get the latest on federal policy through panels, collaboration roundtables and breakout sessions. Visit our agenda page for more details.

Don’t miss out on this exciting and informative event!

Member registration
Non-member registration

Katie Fitzgerald, Communications Associate

Learning that Works + CTE Month

February 9th, 2015

This month we encourage you to utilize the CTE: Learning that Works for America campaign resources to help you raise ctemonththumbnailawareness, improve understanding and communicate the vital role of Career Technical Education (CTE) 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.

To give you with a quick overview about how the Learning that Works campaign can be integrating into your promotional efforts during CTE month, we developed this 1-pager, which also highlights CTE branding examples.

We encourage you to join the 49 states and over 700 schools who have adopted the Learning that Works campaign to communicate the  importance of CTE in your community.

Katie Fitzgerald, Communications Associate 

 

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