CTE Month State Highlights

February 26th, 2016

As CTE Month comes to a close, we’d like to highlight some states that promoted CTE Month onsite and in the virtual world throughout the month.

CTE Month was celebrated far and wide in New Jersey. A variety of schools hosted competitions, site visits and open houses, attended by US Reps. Tom MacArthur, Donald Narcross and Donald Payne. Governor Christie and Lt. Governor Guadango signed a proclamation designating February as CTE Month and the NJ Senate unanimously approved a CTE Month Resolution.

Other states launched significant online campaigns, such as Utah, who posted a blog post highlighting CTE a student every weekday in February, and had a substantial social media presence throughout the month. Kansas also launched a social media effort promoting local activities using the hashtag #iSucceedwithCTE.

South Dakota recognized CTE educators across the state in a weekly email blast and on the CTE Month webpage. Additionally, a webinar (recorded) was offered every Wednesday where educators shared best practices around topics from industry engagement to advisory committees. Students took part in a state-wide competition to create a CTE infographic, which received over 100 submissions.

Pennsylvania also focused on promoting best practices by releasing an e-book that promoted best practices and innovative concepts submitted by Pennsylvania CTE Centers and Schools.

Katie Fitzgerald, Communications Associate 

Advance CTE Unifies CTE Field

February 26th, 2016

While I’ve held a variety of positions at the state leader level in Florida, Washington and Arkansas including my current role as the Florida Department of Education’s Chancellor for the Division of Career, I began my career in the classroom as a teacher. From the local to the state level, I’ve seen first-hand the impact high-quality CTE has in preparing students for meaningful careers, and have spent my career advocating so that all students have access to CTE opportunities.

The rebrand of Advance CTE allows the field – from classroom teachers to state leaders – to unify under a common message about who we are and how we value CTE. While CTE directly engages policymakers, businesses, state leaders and educators, in many cases there is still the perception of CTE as the “vocational” education model of previous days. The Advance CTE brand is fresh, new, and forward thinking, and represents the CTE of today and the future, while still honoring our past.

This rebrand process was an exciting opportunity to hear from the membership and Board of Directors who represent CTE across the nation about what Career Technical Education represents to them, and where we are headed. In the end, we were able to come together as a unified Board around a new brand that will certainly propel us into the future. On a personal note, as someone who has been an associate member, a state member and now the President of Advance CTE’s Board of Directors, it has been a particularly exciting journey to me.

Rod Duckworth, Chancellor, Division of Career and Adult Education, Florida Department of Education, Advance CTE Board of Directors President

Advance CTE 2015 Annual Report

February 24th, 2016

In the excitement around the news of our new name, you may have missed our 2015 Annual Report. The infographic below provides an overview of our accomplishments for the year, and where we’re headed in 2016. For further information find the full report here.

 

Katie Fitzgerald, Communications Associate 

#CTEMonth @ the Local Level

February 19th, 2016

So far during CTE Month we’ve covered some of what’s happening at the State level and on the Hill. Today, we’ll take a look at how schools, employers, students and educators are celebrating CTE Month on the ground.

CTE Site Visits

Earlier this week, the Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE) held a site visit at Cardozo Education Campus, IMG_4753serving students grades 6-12 with world-class Career Technical Education (CTE) programs of study in Washington, D.C. One program, the TransSTEM academy, which includes Project Lead the Way curriculum, creates opportunities for work-based learning in both the classrooms and off campus. One of the only schools in the country, Cardozo includes a FLEX-ACE lab, which replicates a test-range control room and operations center with state-of-the-art computers, flight simulators and a miniature air-traffic tower. Additionally, the academy partners with a multitude of employers at the national and local level to provide students with job shadowing, internships and mentors. The site visit included representation from the program’s alumni, national partners, Hill staff and students themselves.

Career Exploration

In addition to site visits, CTE Month is a perfect time to help students plan for their futures and to highlight how CTE programs of study can get them there.

Speight Middle School in Stantonsburg, North Carolina focused on career exploration at the middle school level. All rising freshman were required to complete a career self-assessment and research a career based on their assessment results. Educators assisted and monitored the research, which students then translated into a project to be showcased at the school’s first annual career fair. Eight graders will present their projects to their younger peers and community partners who will judge the event.

Dinwiddie High School in Dinwiddie County, Virginia held its annual Career & Industry Day with over 40 vendors including local and state police, medical professionals, culinary & event planning employers, Amazon, Walmart, Veterinarians and more. The event was expected to attract almost 1,000 students.

CTE Month in the News:

While CTE has been a hot topic in the news lately, there are still plenty of misconceptions about what CTE is and how it prepares students for successful careers. Getting the local media engaged during CTE month is a way to communicate the impact of your CTE program, and raise up the voices of your students, educators and partners who make your program great.

The Frederick News Post in partnership with the CTE Advisory Council in Maryland will publish a series of four articles written by journalism students that highlight successful CTE alumni during the month.

A Future Business Leader of America educator in Montgomery, Alabama won the local news station’s Golden Apple Award after nomination by a student.

Janet Goble, CTE Director in Canyons School District in Utah, was featured on the local news talking about the many ways schools prepare high schools students for careers.

CTE Month on Social Media

The #CTEMonth hashtag is still going strong on Twitter, where schools are highlighting their awards programs, featuring learning happening in the classroom, and honoring their CTE students and educators.

 

 

 

Katie Fitzgerald, Communications Associate 

Inside International CTE: China

February 18th, 2016

Vivien Stewart, Senior Advisor for Education, Asia Society, shares what China’s education system is doing to raise the quality of its workforce. This post part of our ongoing partnership with Asia Society’s Global Learning Blog on EdWeek

The Shanghai Construction School
Last fall members of Asia Society’s Global Cities Education Network (GCEN), including representatives from Denver, Hangzhou, Hiroshima, Houston, Lexington, Melbourne, Seattle, Seoul, Shanghai, Singapore, and Toronto met in Shanghai. Their focus: how to implement 21st century competencies in their schools. One of the site visits was to a school run by the Shanghai Construction Group. The 16th largest construction company in the world, the Shanghai Construction Group has built some of China’s most spectacular skyscrapers, in collaboration with the world’s most famous architects, and increasingly works outside of China as well. It recruits more than 1,500 employees a year, about half from university and half from its own upper secondary vocational school and college. Students who attend the vocational school and college are drawn from those who did not do well enough in school to pursue an academic route to university. Most are from poor backgrounds, including rural students who board at the school. The curriculum includes math, Chinese, English, construction engineering, computer-aided design, and mechanics. In the third year, students do practical work in the company, rotating through several departments and receiving a stipend. The company employs about one third of the graduates of the school and college and many other companies come to the school to recruit its highly regarded graduates.

GCEN members were impressed that students work on the most up-to-date equipment, for tunnel construction for example, and use leading edge construction simulations. Teachers in the school include construction managers from the company as well as regular teachers with backgrounds in academic engineering, who work in the construction company in the summer to keep their knowledge up to date. The school’s curriculum is constantly adjusted to follow new developments in the construction industry, including those from the company’s own research center on innovation in construction. Shanghai Construction Group is a strong believer in lifelong education and graduates of the secondary vocational school can rise through the ranks and may eventually be sent by the company to get a BA or MBA, often at institutions abroad.

China’s economic and skills transition
All in all, the Shanghai Construction School is an impressive model of vocational education – imparting modern skills in high demand and providing social mobility to its graduates. But not all vocational and technical education in China is like this. “Made in China” has become a ubiquitous label as China has become the manufacturing workshop of the world, powering three decades of astounding economic growth. But the label is often synonymous with low quality and China’s surging economic growth has come at huge costs in terms of environmental degradation and inequality. The global recession of 2008-2009 caused massive unemployment in China and created a sense of urgency about the need to shift from an economy based heavily on low-cost, low-skill manufacturing for export to an economy based on higher quality goods and services. To achieve this transition, China needs to massively ramp up its skill levels. Critical shortages of skilled workers, qualified technicians, and service providers exist in many industries including electronics and information technology, steel and equipment manufacturing, automobile repair, and hotels/tourism. Where are these skilled workers to come from?

Innovations in China’s VET system
China’s vocational and technical education system has been plagued with problems, many of them similar to those here. It is widely viewed as a weak link in the education system and has low status in the public mind. As in the U.S., many of China’s VET schools have had a narrow curriculum, relatively weak connections to industry, and lower funding than academic education. Teachers typically lack industry background and there are few pathways between vocational education and academic education. In China, there is a huge mismatch between employer expectations and the skills of graduates of both the academic and technical education systems—especially with regard to their inability to apply their knowledge.

Read the full article here

Sheila Ruhland, Institutional Leader and Board of Directors Representative, Applauds Advance CTE

February 18th, 2016

As President of Tacoma Community College, someone who has held a number of positions at various community and technical colleges and a graduate of Madison Area Technical College (Madison College) myself, I am a strong believer in the importance of high-quality Career Technical Education (CTE) as an essential component of a student’s education.

Having dedicated my professional life to supporting CTE students and programs, it has been so exciting to see CTE in the well-deserved spotlight. The future of CTE is very bright, with employers investing their time, money and resources; Congress and the Administration supporting such efforts like apprenticeships, community colleges and career readiness; and increasing demand from students, parents, educators and employers for an education system that truly prepares one for a long and fulfilling career.

Speaking as both an institutional leader and as the Board of Directors representative for all Advance CTE associate members, I believe this is the perfect time for the organization to undertake a rebrand, particularly one that better highlights the many voices it takes to deliver high-quality CTE. The Advance CTE: State Leaders Connecting Learning to Work brand clearly articulates the many state leaders who are necessary to build the partnerships and programs that are key to workforce and economic growth in our communities.

Advance CTE has engaged the organization’s leadership and members every step of the way through this process, evident by a brand that perfectly represents the breadth and depth of their work, mission and members. It has been an exciting journey and I am looking forward to continue my life’s work to ‘advance CTE.’

Sheila K. Ruhland, Ph.D. President, Tacoma Community College

Advance CTE Legislative Update: President Obama Unveils Final Budget Request to Congress as Senate Honors CTE Month

February 17th, 2016

United States CapitalLast Tuesday, President Obama released his final budget request to Congress for Fiscal Year (FY) 2017. This document formally kicks off the federal budget and appropriations process for the coming year. As has been the case for much of the President’s time in office, this process is again shaping up to be rather contentious as both parties debate issues of spending and taxation in the context of the looming Presidential and Congressional elections this November.

Overall, the President’s budget outlines an extremely ambitious set of spending priorities for the coming year, totaling $4.1 trillion overall. The budget proposes significant new investments in a number of new and existing education and workforce development programs, but disappointingly does not propose any additional funding for states via the Carl D. Perkins Act’s (Perkins) basic state formula grant program.

Instead the President has renewed his proposal for the creation of an “American Technical Training Fund” (ATFF) that, if created, would constitute a new competitive grant program outside the scope of this foundational support for CTE. ATTF can best be understood as a successor program to the Admisntration’s 2013 Youth Career Connect Initiative, but so far Congress has not acted to formalize this proposal which was also included in the President’s budget last year for $100 million at that time.

As Kimberly Green, Advance CTE Executive Director and others noted on the day of the release, the President’s request for level-funding for Perkins state grants is concerning at a time when demand for high-quality Career Technical Education (CTE) programs is rising— a fact even the Administration has recently highlighted. While the Obama Administration does request an additional $2 million for CTE national activities under Perkins, this increase would also be used for the purposes of evaluating the effectiveness of the proposed ATTF.

Despite these concerning elements, the President’s budget does put forth a set of somewhat more encouraging spending proposals as part of a wider skills development agenda that could compliment much of the work already underway in the CTE field:

  • $500 million in mandatory funding for the creation of a “Workforce Data Science and Innovation Fund” along with a doubling of funding for state longitudinal data systems. Read more on these data investments at the Workforce Data Quality Campaign’s blog.
  • $2 billion to expand apprenticeship programs, and $200 million specifically for youth apprenticeship and pre-apprenticeship programs.
  • Increases for the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act’s youth, adult, and dislocated formula grant programs that are each consistent with the funding levels proposed in the law.
  • $60.8 billion in mandatory funding for the President’s proposed “America’s College Promise” program that would provide two years of postsecondary education tuition-free for eligible students in qualifying programs.
  • $500 million for business tax credits (up to $5,000 each) for employers to partner with community colleges in high-demand industry areas and incentivize the hiring of graduates. The grants would be available from 2017-2021 and more information can be found here and here.

The President’s budget can be viewed in its entirety here. The U.S. Department of Labor and Education’s (USDOL / USDE) budgets can be accessed here and here respectively. Of particular note is USDE’s budget justification for CTE and Adult Education which can be accessed here. This document provides further insight into the administration’s thinking behind their Perkins proposals contained in the budget and outlined above.

It is important to note that this budget request is simply that— it does not constitute formal policy and Congress must still pass a budget and respective spending bills to enact any of these proposals. Given Congressional Republican’s continued concerns on federal spending, deficits, and the national debt, there is little chance that most of what is being proposed by the President will become law. In fact, the Congressional budget committees have gone so far as to “snub” the administration and have not asked the Director of the Office of Management and Budget to testify on this proposal—a key indicator on how far this proposal is likely to get in Congress this year.

As the Congressional budget and appropriations process continues to take shape, be sure to check back here for more updates and analysis.

Senate Passes CTE Month Resolution and Hosts Employers to Talk About the Value of CTE

As many are aware, every year February is informally known as “CTE Month”—a time to celebrate and lift up all of the great work underway in the CTE community. Last week, the Senate voted unanimously in support of a resolution—sponsored by Senate CTE Caucus co-chairs Sens. Kaine (D-VA), Portman (R-OH), Baldwin (D-WI), and Isakson (R-GA)— that formally recognizes and honors February as CTE month. The resolution can be viewed in its entirety here.

The resolution was co-sponsored by 17 other Senators from both parties and the Senate’s unanimous recognition and support of this resolution underscores the chamber’s continued commitment to the CTE enterprise. Advance CTE applauds this move by the Senate and looks forward to celebrating the rest of CTE month in the coming days and weeks.

In addition to this effort, the Senate CTE Caucus also played host to a briefing on employer engagement with CTE programs last week. The briefing, co-hosted by the Industry Workforce Needs Coalition and Opportunity America, gave employers—ranging in size and location from a small manufacturing firm in Wisconsin to a large engineering firm in Texas— a chance to speak about the importance of CTE to their respective enterprises and industries. Each of the panelists emphasized the importance of employers having a “seat at the table” during program development and implementation and underscored that there are many ways for employers of all shapes and sizes to engage with states’ CTE systems and with local CTE programs.

Three of the four Senate CTE Caucus co-chairs provided remarks during this event, each speaking about their unique interests in CTE and how they view CTE meeting the needs of students and employers alike in the coming years. The full video of the event can be accessed here—we encourage you take a look!

Odds and Ends

  • USDOL has announced another delay for the forthcoming final regulations for the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA). Significantly, state WIOA plans will now be due April 1 of this year. The final WIOA rules will now be published sometime in “June 2016”. Moreover, USDOL has also clarified that requirements related to the sharing of One-Stop infrastructure costs will not go into effect until the next program year rather than the one set to begin this summer. More recently, Congress has begun to express disappointment with this announcement.
  • USDE has continued to provide the field with more information about the ongoing implementation of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). The Department has created a website to house all of these updates and plans to regularly update it the coming years. Early this month USDE formally began the negotiated rulemaking process which is set to begin later this spring.

Steve Voytek, Government Relations Manager

Announcing our new name, Advance CTE!

February 16th, 2016

Print

We are thrilled to announce the National Association of State Directors of Career Technical Education Consortium has launched the new name, Advance CTE: State Leaders Connecting Learning to Work.

Advance CTE, the sole organization dedicated to representing state leaders of Career Technical Education (CTE) for nearly 100 years, will continue the tradition of serving as the voice for our state CTE leaders, as well as carrying out our overall vision of an innovative CTE system that prepares individuals and the U.S. economy for success under this new brand.

Thank you for your continued work in CTE and support of our organization. We hope you enjoy the new name and look.

Vision & Mission
Our name may be different, but our Mission and Vision remain the same. Our current name and tagline strongly reflect our:

Vision: Through leadership, advocacy and partnerships, we support an innovative CTE system that prepares individuals to succeed in education and their careers and poises the united states to flourish in a global, dynamic economy.

Mission: Support visionary state leadership, cultivate best practices and speak with a collective voice on national policy to promote academic and technical excellence that ensures a career-ready workforce.

What’s Changed?
While our logo and name have changed, the majority of our resources, our membership structure, our Board structure and staff all remain the same. We have revamped and retooled a few sections on our website including the CTE: Learning that works for America section to make information more easily accessible and up-to-date.

Learn More
We’ve developed a variety of resources to further explain what the new brand means and how it will impact the organization. You can find more information on our updated About Us page, FAQ and Press Release, and, please reach out with any questions or comments.

2015 Annual Report
2015 was an amazing year of growth and change for the field and for us – of which our new brand is a reflection. From the continued interest in CTE on Capitol Hill, in state houses across the country, by major national reform organizations, and even in the media, CTE is very much in the spotlight as a strategy for and solution to addressing many of our education and workforce challenges. Learn more about our many accomplishments throughout the year in our 2015 Annual Report.

Katie Fitzgerald, Communications Associate 

#CTEMonth @Capitol Hill

February 11th, 2016

Yesterday, employers visited Capitol Hill to explain how businesses and educators are working together to deliver innovative Career Technical Education (CTE). The Congressional staff briefing, Career and Technical Education: The Employer Perspective was sponsored by the Senate Career and Technical Education Caucus with co-chairs Senators Tim Kaine (D-VA), Rob Portman (R-OH), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) and Johnny Isakson (R-GA) and partners including the Association for Career and Technical Education, the Industry Workface Needs Coalition and Opportunity America.

While the employer panelists represented a range of sectors and included small (100 employers) to multinational ($12 billion in revenue), what they all agreed on was the importance of strong CTE programs and the need for employers to be directly involved in supporting those programs and students. That involvement can range from hosting tours for students to providing externships for teachers to building programs with high schools and community colleges.

Employers expressed the necessity of students obtaining both academic and technical skills, and nearly all of the companies represented got involved in CTE because they needed to be more proactive about building a qualified pipeline as the current system wasn’t serving them.

Kaine, Portman and Baldwin all stressed the importance of CTE and expanding access by investing in good programs and removing unnecessary barriers to access, a sentiment that was echoed by the Senate’s unanimously passed CTE Month resolution.

For those of us that couldn’t make the standing room only event, the briefing was broadcast live and CTE was celebrated from Capitol Hill to classrooms.

 

 

 

 

 

Katie Fitzgerald, Communications Associate 

This Week in CTE

February 5th, 2016

TWEET OF THE WEEK

February is CTE Month, a celebration of all things CTE! To learn more about how states, schools, partners and students are raising awareness for and celebrating CTE, follow our weekly blog series.

ARTICLE OF THE WEEK

White House to Seek Nearly $6 Billion for Youth Unemployment, Job Training
It is expected that next week’s FY 17 budget request will include a proposal for $3.5 billion for communities and employers to build partnerships and connect a million young people to jobs, $2 billion to help students obtain a diploma, jobs and internships, and $200 million for youth apprenticeships.
Read More

VIDEO OF THE WEEK

President Obama speaks about his proposed Computer Science for All Initiate, designed to provide all students with the opportunity to learn computer science, a skill necessary to succeed in today’s economy.  The proposal would provide $4 billion in funding for states and $100 million for districts in his upcoming budget. Watch

WEBINAR OF THE WEEK

Innovative Transportation, Distribution and Logistics Partnership Webinar
On February 24, the Southwest Transportation Workforce Center and NASDCTEc will co-host a webinar highlighting teachers, administrators and industry partners who will provide insights and best practices about innovative education programs and teaching modules for grades 6-12 students when delivering transportation-related curricula. Register

Katie Fitzgerald, Communications Associate 

 

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