Work-based Learning is Predictive of Future Job Quality, According to New Study

December 10th, 2018

The Brookings Institution looks at employment outcomes for low-income learners

It’s a question that has puzzled education researchers for decades: what is the right mix of experiences in early adolescence that is most predictive of future career success and lifelong learning?

For the longest time, the rule of thumb has been “get a bachelor’s degree and you’ll get a good job.” But we know that there are other experiences on the path to a four-year degree (such as participating in work-based learning or earning an industry-recognized credential) that are just as powerful in preparing learners for their future careers. What are these experiences? And how should they be delivered to maximize learner outcomes?

New research from the Brookings Institution sheds a little bit of light on this question. The study looks at different factors that are correlated with economic success among 29-year-olds from “disadvantaged” backgrounds. The study finds that:

  • Participating in work-based learning is correlated with attainment of “high-quality” jobs later in life
  • Working (and earning high wages) at a young age predicts higher job quality in adulthood
  • Earning credentials is still the biggest predictor of career success, but sub-baccalaureate credentials are also important

Specifically, the researchers find that participating in “relationship-focused CTE” (a term they use to refer to work-based learning and other activities where students interact with industry mentors) is significantly related to higher job quality scores at age 29. This would seem to suggest that building relationships with industry mentors and completing work-based learning at an early age can help learners, particularly low-income learners, get a leg up on their careers. While the data do not provide a full picture of the quality of work-based learning in the study, the evidence is promising.

For the purpose of the study, the researchers define “disadvantaged adolescents” as those who, when they were between the ages of 12 and 18, had a family income equal to or less than 200 percent of the federal poverty line; did not have a parent with more than a high school education; had a mother who was a teenager when her first child was born; or whose family received public assistance. They defined job quality based on four factors: earnings, benefits, hours of work and job satisfaction.

CTE Research Roundup

  • In a new research brief, MDRC summarizes findings from studies of three different career-focused learning programs: New York City’s Young Adult Internship Program (YAIP), YouthBuild and Year Up. Using a random assignment research design, the researchers find significant positive wage increases for completers of each program.
  • JFF explores how the scope and length of Registered Apprenticeships can vary and poses the question: Are apprenticeships the next stackable credential?
  • The NewDeal Forum Working Group, a national network of state and local leaders, published recommendations for policymakers to help the economy adapt to the future of work. The report includes recommendations for skill development and workforce training; modernizing the social safety net; and supporting entrepreneurship, innovation and access.  
  • Mathematica Policy Research shares an update on new partnerships and research focused on pathways to postsecondary education, including an examination of free tuition programs for adult learners, a study of the Better Careers initiative in California, and research into community college career planning through the Working Student Success Network. Keep an eye out for future research.
  • A new study from JFF looks at Maine’s proficiency-based education system and finds some promising early results. According to the study, high school students who received a medium amount of exposure to proficiency-based education had significantly higher reported engagement; however, exposure to proficiency-based education was negatively correlated with SAT scores.

Austin Estes, Senior Policy Associate

Advance CTE Recommendations for HEA Reauthorization

December 6th, 2018

The turnover to the 116th Congress provides a renewed opportunity for the reauthorization of the Higher Education Act (HEA). There is agreement across both parties that higher education is a priority area, which could lead to a bipartisan approach to advance HEA reauthorization. In fact, since 1980, HEA has only been reauthorized when control across the House of Representatives, Senate and White House is shared between parties.

Advance CTE offers recommendations for the reauthorization of HEA under the following topics:

  • Higher Education is Workforce Development;
  • Eliminate Barriers to Financial Aid Program Access;
  • Streamline Data Collection and Ensure Cross-systems Alignment;
  • Increase Flexibility for Innovative Educational Models; and
  • Develop and Nurture the CTE Teacher Workforce

As the new Congress considers reauthorization, the major challenges facing the economy, most notably the skills shortage, must be central to these debates. Our higher education system must be more responsive to the evolving demands of an ever more competitive global economy. Too many employers report a shortage of qualified workers, while university and college graduates burdened with tremendous debt are unable to find work related to their fields of study. This calls for a major realignment of our nation’s higher education policies.

The upcoming reauthorization process will provide Congress a critically important opportunity to achieve this vision for investing in America’s workforce by ensuring affordable and accessible postsecondary opportunities for every learner.

Meredith Hills, Policy Associate

Numerous States Pass Policies Related to Computer Science in 2018

December 5th, 2018

Digital literacy and computer science skills are increasingly necessary for success in today’s workforce, even in fields that are not directly related to information technology. As such, state leaders are recognizing the role that a robust computer science education strategy plays in preparing learners for their future careers and numerous states passed policies related to computer science during their 2018 legislative sessions.

Most recently, in Missouri, on October 30 the governor approved HB3, which creates the STEM Awareness Program to increase STEM career awareness in students grades six through eight. The law also directs the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education to convene a work group to recommend academic performance standards related to computer science.

Similarly, in June, the Hawai’i legislature passed HB2607, which requires the Department of Education to develop and implement statewide computer science curricula plans for public school students in kindergarten to grade twelve and ensure that by the 2021-2022 school year, each public high school offers at least one computer science course for each school year.

In March, the Indiana legislature passed SB172, which establishes the Next Level Computer Science fund and grant program, which will provide grants to eligible entities to implement professional development programs for teachers to provide training in teaching computer science.The bill also requires public schools and charter schools to offer a computer science course as an elective course by 2021.

In total, more than eleven states have passed policies related to computer science, many of which direct the state Department of Education to establish computer science standards or direct schools to offer a computer science course. To learn more about CTE policy trends from 2018, look out for Advance CTE and the Association for Career and Technical Education’s (ACTE) State Policies Impacting CTE: 2018 Year in Review coming out in late January 2019. You can still view the 2017 version of the report here.

Brianna McCain, Policy Associate

This Week in CTE

November 30th, 2018

TWEET OF THE WEEK

ANNOUNCEMENT OF THE WEEK

The U.S. Department of Education has approved plans for the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) for all states and territories. They have also released guidance for new state leaders who want to amend their state ESSA plans. According to the guidance, states will need to submit an update with redlined language and a cover letter summarizing any changes. New plans will need to be submitted by March 1, 2019 to be considered.

With plans approved, reports are being published with a focus on how equity is being addressed in these state plans including the progress being made towards implementation. Read our blog to learn more about those reports.

To make sure you get the latest news and resources about federal policy that affects Career Technical Education (CTE), sign up for our Legislative Updates!

VIDEO OF THE WEEK

The Every Student Succeeds Act: What is in it? What does it mean for equity?

The Elementary and Secondary Education Act, originally passed in 1965, was reauthorized by Congress in December 2015 and renamed the Every Student Succeeds Act Watch this video to get a brief overview of the meaningful levers that education leaders, parents, members of the business and civil rights communities, and advocates can use to advance education equity.

RESOURCE OF THE WEEK

Seizing the Moment: A District Guide to Advance Equity Through ESSA

The Aspen Institute Education & Society Program, Chiefs for Change, EducationCounsel, and Education First partnered to create Seizing the Moment: A District Guide to Advance Equity Through ESSA. This package of tools identifies potential barriers to equity and opportunities to utilize federal funds to strengthen local equity priorities. The purpose is to provide ways ESSA can be used to break down silos between traditional federal programs and local initiatives to advance equity in education. This framework provides an accompanying brief for each of the following: equity priorities:

  1. Leveraging School Improvement to Advance Equity
  2. Ensuring Equitable Funding
  3. Increasing Access to Effective Teachers and Leaders
  4. Supporting English Learners
  5. Increasing Access to Advanced Coursework
  6. Addressing Disproportionate Discipline Practices
  7. Integrating Social, Emotional, and Academic Development
  8. Improving Access to High-Quality Instructional Materials

Learn more about this tool here.

Nicole Howard, Communications Associate

2018 Election Wrap Up, ESSA in the Spotlight

November 29th, 2018

With the results of the 2018 election mostly finalized and Congress back in session, there’s news about both secondary and postsecondary education this week. Read below to find out more about how the elections impacted state leadership, updates on the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) and Secretary DeVos’ recent remarks on postsecondary education.

How the 2018 Elections Impacted State Leadership 

Looking for a one-pager summarizing how the 2018 elections resulted in changes in Governors, Legislatures and other state leaders? Check out this infographic from the Education Commission of the States.

Will Newly Elected Governors and Chiefs Revise their State ESSA Plans? 

The U.S. Department of Education earlier this month released guidance for new state leaders who want to amend their state ESSA plans. According to the guidance, states will need to submit an update with redlined language and a cover letter summarizing any changes. New plans will need to be submitted by March 1, 2019 to be considered.

New Reports Look at Equity in ESSA Plans and Implementation

The U.S. Department of Education has approved plans for the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) for all states and territories and conclusion of the 2017-18 academic year marks the first full year that the law has been in effect. New reports have begun to look at how equity is addressed in state plans and how implementation is going. The Alliance for Excellent Education looked at how states factor subgroup performance into school ratings, as required by law, in their brief, “Too Many States Minimize Student Subgroup Performance in ESSA Accountability Systems.” In addition, America’s Promise Alliance released a report, Great American High School: Reforming the Nation’s Remaining Low-Performing High Schools” that “identifies the progress made and remaining challenges in enabling all students to graduate from high school ready for college or career” and looks at how ESSA can be leveraged to advance equity. The Collaborative for Student Success and HCM Strategists conducted an “independent review of the progress made to date on school improvement under each state’s renewed context for school accountability” in their report, “ESSA and School Improvement: Promise to Practice.” Seventeen states were reviewed and the report outlines the extent to which equity was prioritized and identifies promising practices from states reviewed.

Secretary DeVos Describes an Impending Crisis in Higher Education

U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos provided remarks at the Federal Student Aid Training Conference on November 27 about an impending crisis in higher education. Secretary DeVos called for policy changes regarding student aid, and outlined the following four core principles as a guide:
  1. “Every person should have the opportunity to pursue the education that’s right for them. And so, supporting and encouraging a multitude of pathways makes common sense.”
  2. “Innovation must be unleashed.”
  3. “Better, more accessible information is necessary for policymakers, for students, for parents, and for taxpayers.”
  4. “Nothing is free. Someone, somewhere ultimately pays the bills.”

Kathryn Zekus, Senior Associate, Federal Policy

Global Competencies, CTE & STEM

November 28th, 2018

When students enter the job market, they will need to know the global dimensions of their career pathway and how to work with people from different backgrounds – including here in our increasingly diverse country. Recognizing the incredible opportunities and necessities of linking Career Technical Education (CTE) and global competencies is why Advance CTE partnered with Asia Society, Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE) and Longview Foundation to release Preparing a Globally Competent Workforce Through High-Quality Career and Technical Education back in 2015. 

Since the release of this report, this partnership has continued, leading to the development of the Global CTE Toolkit, which houses many curricular and instructional tools for embedding global competencies into CTE teaching and learning.

This work is now extending to focus squarely on STEM, with Advance CTE, the Global Education at Asia Society and ACTE partnering to create new online professional development modules that support CTE educators in integrating STEM content into their classrooms while teaching global skills via active, project-based learning. These 10 new modules – entitled Career Readiness in a Global Economy: STEM and CTE – will help educators understand how to make global connections to local issues; create high-quality global STEM projects; assess global workforce readiness skills; connect with classrooms abroad to complete collaborative projects; and teach students to be project managers so they are more successful in completing their projects.

These new modules, together with sample curriculum and other tools and resources are now being piloted and we are looking for state and local leaders and practitioners to join in and give your feedback. For each 15-minute module you give feedback on, you will be entered into a drawing for one of two $100 Amazon gift cards. All materials are free of charge due to generous support from the Project Management Institute Educational Foundation (PMIEF).

If you are interested in piloting these new materials, please visit CTE Learn, create a free log-in, and click on the Career Readiness in a Global Economy: STEM and CTE, button to get started. Also, feel free to share the link and information with others in your states and communities.

Contact Heather Singmaster at hsingmaster@asiasociety.org with any questions. All surveys must be completed by February 15, 2019 to be entered into the drawing.

Happy National Apprenticeship Week!

November 16th, 2018

TWEET OF THE WEEK: 

ANNOUNCEMENT OF THE WEEK

2018 Election Update: U.S. House of Representatives Flips to Democratic Majority, and Republicans Retain Senate Majority

Career readiness was a pillar for many candidates’ education platforms in the 2018 midterm election. A number of changes in leadership are on the horizon as the U.S. House of Representatives Flips to Democratic Majority. Two of the four Senate Career Technical Education Caucus Co-Chairs, Sen. Kaine (D-VA) and Sen. Baldwin (D-WI), were up for reelection and both won their races. In Saginaw County, Michigan voters approved a new tax to invest in Career Technical Education (CTE). Read our blog to learn more.

To make sure you get the latest news and resources about federal policy that affects CTE, sign up for our Legislative Updates!

VIDEO OF THE WEEK

Are you curious about what a registered apprenticeship entails? Learn the basics with these quick animation videos. In less than five minutes viewers will understand what a registered apprenticeship is,   an understanding of employers expectations and the benefits of completing an apprenticeship program. Employers will come away with an understanding of the benefits of investing in creating a program to meet their talent needs.

RESOURCE OF THE WEEK

Definition and Principles for Exampanding Quality Apprenticeship in the U.S.

The Apprenticeship Forward Collaborative is a network of national organizations committed to expanding American apprenticeship through research, public engagement and on-the-ground innovation. The Collaborative released a new resource, Definition and Principles for Expanding Quality Apprenticeship in the U.S. This new resource includes a  definition for quality apprenticeship and a set of shared principles to guide future expansion efforts by the administration and Congress.  Learn more here.

Nicole Howard, Communications Associate

Advance CTE Celebrates National Apprenticeship Week

November 15th, 2018

Across the country there is renewed interest in growing apprenticeship programs for youth and adult learners. By integrating classroom instruction and hands-on learning, apprenticeships can serve as a meaningful part of a Career Technical Education (CTE) program of study,  enhance the educational experience and better prepare learners for future career success. In June 2017, Advance CTE, in partnership with JFF, Vivayic and RTI International was contracted by the U.S. Department of Education to explore ways in which secondary CTE students could be better connected to apprenticeship programs. As a result, Advance CTE published  a report that profiled eight secondary apprenticeship programs to identify strategies to connect CTE with apprenticeship programs. The report highlights major takeaways as well as recommendations for program design, effectiveness, student-parent engagement and communications, financing, equity and access.

Last month, we expanded our commitment to youth apprenticeship programs by joining the Partnership to Advance Youth Apprenticeship Initiative (PAYA), along with CareerWise Colorado, Charleston Regional Youth Apprenticeships, Education Strategy Group, JFF, the National Alliance for Partnerships in Equity, the National Fund for Workforce Solutions, the National Governors Association and New America. Over the next four years, PAYA will support efforts in states and cities to expand access to high-quality apprenticeship opportunities for high school age youth. PAYA will convene experts and partners, support a community of practitioners, publish research and provide grants and direct assistance to promising youth apprenticeship programs in cities and states across the U.S. We join our PAYA partners in thanking the funders of this initiative – Annie E. Casey Foundation, the Ballmer Group, Bloomberg Philanthropies, the Joyce Foundation, JP Morgan Chase & Co. and the Siemens Foundation.

Earlier this week the Apprenticeship Forward Collaborative released their Definitions and Principles for Expanding Quality Apprenticeships in the U.S. that Advance CTE signed on to and supports. These guiding principles for quality apprenticeships include:

  1. Strong business demand for apprentices;
  2. Advancement of the livelihood of U.S. workers;
  3. Partnerships between local businesses, the workforce and education systems, human services organizations, labor and labor-management partnerships and other community-based organizations;
  4. Accessibility for new and incumbent workers that supports the success of a diverse pipeline of apprentices;
  5. Alignment with K-12 and postsecondary educational opportunities to support lifelong learning and skill attainment;
  6. Robust data systems to continuously improve outcomes for business and workers; and
  7. Building on innovative state and local practice.

At a roundtable discussion hosted by the Apprenticeship Forward Collaborative, Advance CTE’s Deputy Executive Director Kate Blosveren Kreamer emphasized that our economy supports the continued skill attainment that apprenticeships provide.

We are excited to continue learning about – and advocating for -impactful apprenticeship opportunities!

Meredith Hills, Policy Associate

Two Weeks Left to Apply for the 2019 Excellence in Action Award

November 9th, 2018

Think you have one of the most innovative Career Technical Education (CTE) programs of study across the 16 Career Clusters®? Don’t miss your chance to apply for Advance CTE’s annual Excellence in Action award. Applications are open to secondary and postsecondary schools/institutions. Apply by November 21, 2018 here.

Need tips on filling out the application? Watch our recent webinar and hear from a 2018 award winner. If you want to see examples of some stellar programs of study, take a look at all of the 2018 winners here.

Still wondering why your program should apply? Here are four reasons:

  1. Showcase your program on the national stage! The success of your learners, partners, faculty and instructors will be highlighted in articles and blogs throughout the year.

  2. Recognition at the Advance CTE Spring Meeting in Washington, D.C. Representatives from winning programs will receive travel and lodging to honor your program at an awards ceremony in front of State CTE Directors, state leaders, national partners and the media.

  3. Celebrate your program in your own community with a physical and digital banner.

  4. Demonstrate what high-quality CTE programs of study look like at the national, state and local levels.

Nicole Howard, Communications Associate

Excellence in Action Spotlighting: William J. Pete Knight High School, Digital Design and Engineering Academy

November 8th, 2018

Today is National Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Day or STEM. Day, recognized annually on November 8th.

According to the PEW Research Center, employment in STEM occupations have grown 79 percent since 1990, from 9.7 million to 17.3 million, many of which are high-wage careers. PEW reports that those with some college education, working full-time earn $54,745 while a similarly educated non-STEM employee earns 26 percent less. Watch videos of employees in STEM Careers speak about their experience in the industry here.

STEM is also one of the 16 Career Clusters® in the National Career Clusters® Framework. Learners can begin cultivating a path towards a STEM career in Career Technical Education (CTE) programs of study. This year, the Digital Design and Engineering Academy at William J. Pete Knight High School in Lancaster, California received the National Excellence in Action award in the STEM Career Cluster.

This high-quality program of study launched in 2010 to provide learners with rigorous and integrated academic and technical coursework, in addition to the full continuum of work-based learning experiences.  Learners can earn college credit for both engineering and general education/core academic courses through articulation agreements and Advanced Placement. The engineering program of study benefits from partnerships with industry leaders such as Northrop Grumman, Edwards Air Force Base, the Air Force Research Laboratory, Lockheed Martin and even NASA. Internships offered by these leading employers often lead to employment opportunities upon graduation.

In addition to internships, learners gain valuable experiences by using real-world skills to help communities. Learners took the lead in developing a partnership with Grid Alternatives, a non-profit organization that brings reliable energy to communities that are not on the electrical grid through solar power technology. The Academy students assisted a school in Nicaragua with no access to power.

In a recent report, Understanding the Equity Challenge in Career Technical Education, Advance CTE shared the historical gender inequities in CTE. To ensure all learners have access to STEM education and careers, the engineering academy has hired female instructors and created events focused on young women in STEM. As a result, the 2016-17 class had a 16-percentage point increase in female enrollment.

Learners recently traveled to Australia and competed in the 2018 unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) challenge. This competition highlights how drones can be used to help people in health related situations. The teams from Knight High School won first and second place in the Airborne Delivery Challenge, which tests learner’s application of drone technology to drop an EpiPen to a simulated “lost hiker.” They also won the Best Rookie Team award.

To learn more about this program of study read their profile here.

 

 

 

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