This Week in CTE: Happy 100 Years!

February 24th, 2017

HAPPY CTE MONTH!
Thursday marked the 100th anniversary of the Smith-Hughes Act, the foundation for today’s Career Technical Education! As we reflect on this important milestone for CTE, we’re excited to share how states, districts, schools, educators, students, parents and employers have lifted up powerful CTE success stories throughout the month, demonstrating how far CTE has come in the last century. Below are some innovative ways they have raised awareness about the value of CTE through a variety of channels.

 

RAISING AWARENESS & MYTH BUSTING
Social media has been an incredible way to raise awareness and share stories about Career Technical Education. A number of advocates used social media to dispel common myths about CTE, such as it is a program for ‘other kids’ or doesn’t prepare students for the breadth of educational and career opportunities. To combat these negative stereotypes, many states and schools focused on fact-based infographics to get the word about what CTE looks like today highlighting how CTE leads to higher graduation rates, postsecondary education, and higher earnings.

Orange Tech College infographic

29 Oregon districts with approved programs of study had CTE concentrator graduation rates of at least 95%

 

SHARING STUDENT SUCCESS STORIES
A number of CTE Month advocates have used Twitter as a platform to share what CTE means to them and their preparation for the future.

The Technology Center of Dupage shared the importance of CTE to their students through their “TCD is…” photo campaign with testimonies from students themselves highlighting things that make CTE unique like the opportunity for career exploration, hands-on learning and dual enrollment. Milton Hershey School and McMinnville School also ran similar campaigns sharing students experiences in CTE programs.

 

 

 

 

 

 
MAKING THE CASE TO POLICYMAKERS
A critical audience during CTE Month is policymakers. A number of states, cities and towns have recognized CTE Month through proclamations voicing their support for CTE in their communities. Local and state leaders including city councils, mayors, governors, and members of Congress have used CTE Month to demonstrate their commitment to CTE.
For policymakers who may not be convinced, students, as part of a variety of Career Technical Student Organizations have used CTE Month as a way to make the case for CTE, and its role in their success. Additionally schools across the nation invited their local policymakers for site visits and career fairs to demonstrate CTE programs in action.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Katie Fitzgerald, Senior Communications Associate 

This Week in CTE: States Support #CTEMonth

February 17th, 2017

We’re over halfway through #CTEMonth and states, employers, districts, schools, educators, parents and students have honored and celebrated CTE in a number of ways already. States have been critical in supporting this effort throughout the country, from providing resources to the local level, to meeting with policymakers.

States Develop Coordinated Approach to Support Local Schools 

Alabama Department of Education developed a CTE Month communications plan with tips on how to get positive media coverage, sample social media posts, blog ideas featuring educators and students, and a sample press release. Additionally, they provided their network with a sample proclamation, calendar and sample announcements to help schools in Alabama get the word out, and raise awareness about their CTE programs.

In Mississippi, Mississippi State University created a toolkit that districts can use to promote their local programs and CTE overall. In
the toolkit, they provided a templated poster to announce events, CTE Month-branded press kit with letter head, a state profile and pathway specific flyers, and CTE-fact graphics, one for each day of the month, providing a coordinate set of messages and branding to use at the local level.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

States and Students Engage Policymakers 

In Virginia, the Virginia Department of Education’s office of Career and Technical Education met with Career and Technical Student Organization presidents and Commonwealth officials as Governor McAuliffe signed the Proclamation designating February as Career and Technical Education Month.  The Governor spoke at length with the students about Virginia’s initiative: Profile of a Virginia Graduate, which focuses on skills and attributes such as critical thinking, creative thinking, communication, collaboration and citizenship, to be successful in life.  The Governor identified Career and Technical Education students as a perfect example of what the initiative hopes to achieve.

 

 

 

 

 

In Kentucky, the Department of Education held an event where State Officers from each of the Career and Technical Student Organizations gathered for training on the legislative process including a debate of current issue and role plays of actual legislative visits.  The following day, State Officers visited legislative leaders to share more the value and impact of CTE.

Katie Fitzgerald, Senior Communications Associate 

THIS WEEK IN CTE: CTE MONTH!

February 3rd, 2017

Happy CTE Month! This month we are celebrating the best of Career Technical Education (CTE). We’ll be taking part in Twitter chats, advocating for CTE on Capitol Hill, exploring model programs, and lifting up fantastic work happening at the national, state and local level throughout the month. If you haven’t already, email Katie at kfitzgerald@careertech.org to let us know how your community is celebrating CTE in February.

RESOURCE(S) OF THE WEEK

Wondering how to get involved in CTE Month? Check out our CTE Month page for some quick ideas on where to start and some state and local examples from last year, then head over to the Association for Career and Technical Education’s CTE Month page and you’ll find the official CTE Month logo, a sample CTE Month proclamation, tips on hosting a school site visit for policymakers, and a number of additional resources.

ARTICLE(S) OF THE WEEK

Wanted: Factory Workers, Degree Required, New York Times

Career and Technical Education Advocates Pushing for Changes Under Trump, Education Week

Why Apprenticeships are Taking Off, City Lab

The Increasing Value of Technical Education in Chicago, Chicago Business Journal

TWEET(S) OF THE WEEK 

Katie Fitzgerald, Senior Associate, Communications 

This Week in CTE

December 9th, 2016

 

 

EXCELLENCE IN ACTION AWARD APPLICATIONS DUE NEXT WEEK!

The 2017 Excellence in Action award applications are due next week! Be sure to submit your program of study by Wednesday to lift up the innovative and exciting ways you’re providing students with high-quality CTE. Apply today!

CTE MONTH IS AROUND THE CORNER!

CTE Month is right around the corner and we’re getting geared up to celebrate around the theme, “Celebrate Today, Own Tomorrow!” This is our community’s chance to showcase the vast importance of CTE, and celebrate the successes of our state leaders, educators, administrators, partners, and students. This year, the Association for Career and Technical Education is hosting a Thunderclap, which will amplify the importance of CTE Month on social media. Be sure to join your fellow CTE advocates here!

Katie Fitzgerald, Senior Associate, Communications 

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 

#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 

#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 

Kicking Off #CTEMonth

February 4th, 2016

CTE Month is off to an incredible start! Only four days in, the #CTEMonth hashtag has already been used 1,500 times on Twitter in posts that feature CTE facts, photos of students at work, resources to use during the month, and support from advocates in fields spanning education, policy, funding, business, media, research, and more.

We asked NASDCTEc members and Learning that works for America campaign users how they were celebrating, and are blown away by the submissions. During the month of February, you can expect to see a post every Thursday showcasing how people are simultaneously raising awareness for and celebrating CTE at the local, state and national level around this year’s theme, “Opportunities for Career Success.” 

For our inaugural 2016 CTE Month post, we’ll kick off by highlighting how a few states are promoting CTE during the month.

Tools to Raise Awareness & Educate

Wisconsin is encouraging their networks to celebrate CTE Month in variety of ways, one of which includes providing accessible and easily adaptable tools for schools and CTE organizations to use such as the 2016 CTE Month logo, a state-wide social media calendar, and a variety of proclamations from FBLA, FCCLA, FFA and SkillsUSA declaring February CTE Month. They also have support from Tony Evers, the State Superintendent, who authored an editorial discussing the importance of CTE in Wisconsin.

Maryland also supplied a ton of resources to their state network including a sample news release, template to create a student profile, CTE Month certificate and a public service announcement. Additionally, they suggested ways to acknowledge CTE Month at both the high school and middle school levels.

While students and educators are clear audiences to engage, Maryland is also acknowledging the value of school counselors as partners in promoting CTE, and invited school counselors across the state to participate in a free webinar sponsored by Georgetown Center on Education and the Workforce called, “What Counselors Should Know about 21st Century Competencies.”

Missouri is utilizing the radio to get their CTE message across, by launching 30 second radio spots running in large, medium and small markets throughout the month to provide the general public with more information about CTE.

In Michigan, all Department of Education employees were asked to use the Learning that works for Michigan logo in their e-mail signatures. You can join the campaign and receive your own state-specific Learning that works logo here.

Recognizing & Honoring Success

CTE Month is not only about raising awareness, but also celebrating the successes of all that it takes to makes a CTE program great.

Oklahoma is honoring the contributions made by CTE teachers by distributing a hardcopy booklet, which was given to legislators at the Capital during CTSO day on February 2. A digital version is featured on Oklahoma Horizon, a weekly television show’s website, and throughout their social media.

Pennsylvania is partnering with the Pennsylvania Association of Career and Technical Administrators to recognize each of the student organizations at a celebratory dinner for CTSO students and Pennsylvania legislators. Additionally, award recipients of the state’s newest awards program –  the Career and Technical Education Excellence Award, which recognizes high schools and career and technical centers where 75 percent of students have achieved advanced technical assessments – will also be in attendance.

Let us know what you are doing for CTE Month by emailing kfitzgerald@careertech.org, or tagging us in your Twitters posts @CTEWorks.

Katie Fitzgerald, Communications Associate  

This Month in CTE

February 27th, 2015

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

TWEETS OF THE MONTH

@NRAEF Economists say millennials should consider careers in trades: http://n.pr/1xCirYM via @NPR #CTEMonth cc: @CTEWorks @actecareertech
More

You can also catch up on our Twitter chat with the College & Career Readiness & Success Center here.

ARTICLES OF THE MONTH

What all Educators can Learn from CTE Teachers
Due to new college and career readiness standards, all teachers need to be trained and prepared to integrate learning opportunities into their lessons. CTE teachers are a viable resource, as providing real-world hands on training to their students is integral to their teaching. Teachers can focus on three areas to include technical and employability skills in their education.
More

College? Career Tech? In Nashville, Teens do Both
Students in Nashville, TN public schools are encouraged to take at least three Career and Technical Education courses by the time they graduate, often leading them to certifications they can use directly after high school and college credit if they decide to continue their education.
More

Michigan Awards $50M for Skilled Trades Training
Michigan awarded 18 community colleges $50 million towards equipment and training benefiting an estimated 34,000 graduates.
More

MEDIA OF THE MONTH

Find out the top 10 metropolitan areas for engineers.
More

This infographic shows how Ohio is preparing students to be globally competitive.
More

The American Association of Community Colleges released an infographic on 2015 Community College facts.
More

EVENTS OF THE MONTH

Students showed their stuff on Capitol Hill for CTE Monthunnamed
More

Association for Career and Technical Education hosted a school visit at Montgomery College where we heard from stellar students on how CTE has influenced their education and career goals, along with community partners and educators on what makes their programs of study such a success.
More

NASDCTEc RESOURCES OF THE MONTH

CTE and Student Achievement Fact Sheet
Get the facts on students who engage in high-quality CTE
More

NASDCTEc Webinars
In case you missed them, NASDCTEc held two webinars this month. First, we provided an overview of our 2014 State Policy Review, highlighting trends in policy in each state. Second, we took a deep look into Alabama and Kansas to see how they engage employers in CTE.
More

NASDCTEc YouTube Videos
This month we updated our YouTube channel with eight new videos. Seven are based on the workshops based on the book developed in partnership with the Center for Occupational Research and Development, “The Career Pathways Effect: Linking Education and Economic Prosperity,” covering topics aimed at supporting CTE practitioners and leaders in the implementations and improvement of career pathways. The eighth video provides an overview of the development process for the Common Career and Technical Core.
More

Katie Fitzgerald, Communications Associate 

Inside Scoop from the State of the Union Address

February 25th, 2015

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

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

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

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

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

Katie Fitzgerald, Communications Associate

 

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