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NASDCTEc Fall Meeting Blog Series: Teachers, Employers, Students and the System: What needs to change?

Friday, October 24th, 2014

Earlier this week at NASDCTEc’s annual Fall Meeting, Brandon Busteed, Executive Director of Gallup Education, delivered a strong call to action to the CTE community. Highlighting Gallup’s research on the education system the economy in America today, Busteed urged attendees to leverage this data to reframe CTE in national and local conversations about education and careers.

Gallup conducted a national poll of students and found that students become significantly less engaged each year they are in school. More than 75 percent of elementary school students identify as engaged, while only 44 percent of high school students report feeling engaged at some point during the school day.

Busteed noted that there are reasons for student disengagement. Student success is measured through graduation rates, SAT scores, and G.P.A., which rarely – if ever – takes into account the student as a whole person. While these measures are certainly important, hope, mentorship and the opportunity to work on long-term projects are stronger indicators of success.

“What are we doing to identify entrepreneurship in our schools right now?” said Busteed. “We identify athletic talent with ease, we identify IQ; we don’t work to identify the next Bill Gates or Mark Zuckerberg. There are no indicators the education system uses to determine who will be an effective or successful entrepreneur.”

To that end, Busteed cited a recent interview with Laszlo Bock, Senior Vice President of People Operations at Google, who called grades and test scores worthless predictors of successful employees.

Just as internships are valuable experiences for students, teacher externships can be incredible opportunities that may be key in helping connect classroom curriculum to the modern workplace. Given the typical capacity issues for work-based learning, 3 million teacher externships would be the equivalent of more than 50 million student internships.

Businesses also value a stronger partnership with higher education. Currently, only 13 percent of business leaders think there is “a great deal” of collaboration between higher education and employers, while almost 90 percent favor an increased level of collaboration.

What implications does this research have for CTE? High-quality CTE programs provide all the opportunities Busteed called essential to student success: a focus on employability skills and technical skills, mentorship through work-based learning and curriculum that is made relevant by tying learning to the real world.

Busteed left the group with a final charge – the CTE community needs to better communicate career technical education not as option B, but instead as a staple of all students’ educational experience.
To view Busteed’s PowerPoint, please visit our 2014 Fall Meeting page.

Katie Fitzgerald, Communications Associate

By Andrea Zimmermann in Meetings and Events, NASDCTEc Fall Meeting, Research, Resources
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Why Is Workplace Safety Training Important?

Friday, September 19th, 2014

According to the CDC, there were approximately 18.1 million young people entering the workforce under the age of 24 in 2013—but this does not mean that these young workers are necessarily prepared and able to handle risks and hazards that can occur in a work environment.[i] Not being knowledgeable of hazards related to a specific job or knowing how to assess and correct a problem can lead to devastating injuries or even death for a worker.

Safety training can make workers more conscious of hazards and risks such as falls, vehicle accidents, overexertion injuries, and workplace violence. Unfortunately, workplace safety has the potential to be unintentionally overlooked which can leave workers and others on the job site unprotected. Every nine minutes, a U.S. teen is injured on the job.[ii] By preparing students for their first entry-level jobs and future career opportunities with safety and health training, young workers will be more capable protecting themselves and others.

The Department of LabCareerSafe Logo Orange Blueor reports that nearly 600,000 workers miss work each year because of muscoskeletal disorders related to work injuries alone; the collective cost to employers, insurance companies, and the government is estimated at $50 billion each year.[iii]

Workplace injuries not only affect the company, but can also lead to devastating consequences for a worker. Being injured while at work can lead to lost wages, large medical bills that may not be completely covered by workers’ compensation, and even disabilities that result in long-term unemployment. In addition to learning how to identify safety and health hazards, workplace safety training, especially OSHA training, provides workers with information regarding their rights in the workplace. First and foremost, workers are entitled to working conditions that are safe and do not pose a risk of serious harm or injury.

Successful occupational health and safety programs require the collaborating efforts and participation of employers and employees. Understanding and implementing safety and health standards related to the work environment is not only the responsibility of an employer but also an employee’s. Promoting health and safety as well as implementing training in the classroom can lead to young workers actively identifying, accessing, and correcting hazards in the classroom and at work. Incorporating a health and safety training program or OSHA safety training in the classroom is a way to lower risks to young workers and begin to prepare future business leaders and workers on practicing safe methods in the workplace. Online OSHA training, like the courses offered by CareerSafe Online, is an easy and affordable way to implement workplace safety training in any career and technical education (CTE) classroom. Because 80% or more of young workers are still in high school when they begin their first job, it gives educators an opportunity to prepare their students for employment as well as apprenticeships and internships related to their studies.[iv]

The more education and training workers receive, the more likely it is that there will be a reduction in injuries and the repercussions of those injuries. Young workers who have received OSHA safety training and possess an industry recognized credential are enhancing their resumes, becoming more employable, and may receive pay increase from employers. Employers want to hire individuals who not only understand the work involved in a position, but are also aware of the risks associated with daily tasks.

Students are our future. Let’s make safety a priority and enroll them in safety training today.

[i] Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2014) Young Worker Safety and Health.

[ii] Department of Labor, YouthRules. (2012) Are You a Teen Worker?

[iii] Jeffress, Charles N. (2000) BEACON Biodynamics and Ergonomics Symposium. Occupational Safety and Health Administration, United States Department of Labor.

[iv] Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2013) Health and Safety of Young Workers.

 

This blog post was written by CareerSafe Online, a participant and gold level sponsor at the 2014 NASDCTEc Fall Meeting

By Evan Williamson in NASDCTEc Fall Meeting
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Council of State Governments’ National Conference

Friday, August 15th, 2014

Earlier this week, I had the opportunity to attend The Council of State Governments’ (CSG)  annual national conference as a member of the National Task Force on Workforce Development and Education, which is part of their “State Pathways to Prosperity initiative.”  With members representing all three branches of state government, CSG brought a broad set of perspectives together to discuss the key challenges and opportunities in developing a strong education and workforce pipeline.  The final Task Force framework and recommendations will be further developed and released in the coming months.

In addition to the Task Force meeting, I also had the opportunity to attend a policy academy where I learned about an array of  impressive state- and business-led efforts to support students’ career readiness and U.S. competitiveness. One such example is the MC2 STEM High School, developed through a partnership between the Cleveland Metropolitan School District and GE Lighting.  Students attend school on the GE campus during their sophomore year, where they engage in a year-long project that culminates in a presentation to GE leaders, and then spend their junior and senior years at Cleveland State University. All students complete at least one internship, have a GE “buddy” and must demonstrate 90 percent “proficiency” to earn credits. Since the school opened in 2008, nearly 100 percent of MC2 STEM students have graduated, and 84 percent of the graduates have matriculated into college.

Another fascinating model shared was the Automotive Manufacturers Technical Education Collaborative (AMTEC), or the National Center for Excellence in Advanced Automotive Manufacturing. AMTEC is an effort supported by the major automotive manufacturers – Ford, GM, Toyota, Honda, etc. – to develop a set of common expectations to anchor training programs for multi-skilled employees. AMTEC provides industry-developed and verified curriculum and assessments to its member community colleges, companies and high schools, as well as professional development and other resources.

Alaska 1And did I mention the meeting was in Anchorage, Alaska as a bonus? As evidence, here’s a picture of me…and a picture of a moose. 

Alaska 2

 
Kate Blosveren, Associate Executive Director

 

By Kate Blosveren in Meetings and Events, Uncategorized
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The Common Career Technical Core, Programs of Study & Industry-Based Standards

Wednesday, July 30th, 2014

Yesterday, NASDCTEc released a new paper – The Common Career Technical Core, Programs of Study & Industry-Based Standards - during a webinar. Leveraging the methodology used to compare over 45 states’ CTE standards to the Common Career Technical Core (CCTC) last year for The State of Career Technical Education: An Analysis of State CTE Standards, this new paper examines how a set of 18 industry-based standards match up to the CCTC, with deep implications for state and local development of standards-based programs of study.

Critically, as we state in the paper, “The intent of this analysis is not to judge any industry-based standards…rather the intent is provide actionable information to state and local CTE leaders as think through how they use industry-based standards within the context of a program of study.”

What Did We Find?

For one, the industry-based standards, on average, were not particularly well aligned with the CCTC. However, this was largely as expected based on scope and design of the CCTC compared to most industry-based standards. The CCTC are benchmark standards that identify what a student should know and be able to do after completing a program of study. As “benchmark standards,” the CCTC are intentionally broad; as “end of program of study standards,” the CCTC cover the full range of knowledge and skills to be imparted over a sequence of courses, from the broadest career exploration to the more occupationally-specific skills. Alternatively, most industry-based standards focus squarely on those occupationally-specific skills, leading to a disconnect between them and the CCTC.

We also found that the majority of industry-based standards did not, on average, address the 12 Career Ready Practices, which are the cross-cutting skills and dispositions necessary for any individual in the workplace. Perhaps the most surprising finding was that less than half of the industry-based standards fully aligned to such Practices as “communicate clearly, effectively and with reason” and “work productively in teams while using cultural/global competence,” which are so highly demanded in today’s economy.

However, the analysis showed that many of the industry-based standards reviewed did align well with the Career Pathway-level standards, which are the most specific standards within the CCTC. Additionally, industry-based standards developed by consortia, such as the National Council for Agriculture Education and the Manufacturing Skill Standards Council, were much  more likely to address both the Career Cluster and Career Pathway-level standards.

What Are the Implications?

The bottom line is that industry-based standards play an important role in preparing students for careers, but that they cannot alone make up a program of study as they often fail to address the broader career exploration skills, as well as those key cross-cutting or “employability” skills that have utility in any career. As state leaders and other stakeholders develop, review and/or approve programs of study, they must:

Read the full report here, watch the webinar recording or download the webinar PPT.

Kate Blosveren, Associate Executive Director, NASDCTEc

By Kate Blosveren in Common Career Technical Core, NASDCTEc Resources, Publications, Research, Webinars
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Friends of CTE Blog Series: Career Technical Education’s Role in Achieving Talent Sustainability

Thursday, November 7th, 2013

Jorge Perez is senior vice president of Manpower North America, overseeing ManpowerGroup’s staffing business in the United States and Canada. Perez, recently named one of the 100 most influential leaders in the staffing industry by Staffing Industry Analysts, is an expert in workforce trends and is passionate about equal employment opportunities.

Jorge Perez, senior vice president of Manpower North America

Jorge Perez, senior vice president of Manpower North America

Historically, the world’s focus around sustainability has been on environment and natural resources. But in a time of unprecedented unemployment, combined with critical talent shortages, there is also a great need and opportunity for the world to shift its focus to talent as a critical resource for sustainability. At Manpower, this is at the core of what we do – connecting people to jobs to improve a person’s employability, which also builds communities, countries and the lives of individuals.

Part of talent sustainability is equipping people with the tools, opportunities and training they need to achieve their goals. For many years, we have been telling our young people that the training they need to achieve their goals is only in the form of a four-year degree. Unfortunately, we’ve been doing our young people a disservice with this advice. As a result, many young professionals are graduating from college with astronomical student loan debt and diminished career prospects due to the high unemployment still lingering from the recession.

It’s Time for a Mindset Shift
According to ManpowerGroup’s 2013 Talent Shortage Survey, 39 percent of U.S. employers are having difficulty finding staff with the right skills. In the same survey, employers report that the most difficult jobs to fill are skilled trades positions. Drivers, technicians and mechanics also make the list. There is at least one thing each of these positions has in common – all require technical or vocational training, not a four-year college degree. Knowing the skills that are in demand, why are we guiding the vast majority of students toward a university education?

There needs to be a collective mindset shift in how society views Career Technical Education (CTE). We have to acknowledge that the four-year university experience is not for everyone, and we’ve made the mistake of steering too many kids in that direction in the past. There was a perception that the jobs accessible to students who did not go the four-year college route, like manufacturing jobs, were dirty and dangerous. That’s an outdated idea, and we need to bring honor back to manufacturing and the skilled trades. Parents, teachers, guidance counselors and students themselves need to understand what it’s really like to work in a modern manufacturing environment – it’s clean, it’s high tech, there is upward mobility. It’s very rewarding – personally, professionally and monetarily – for those who choose this path.

Getting back to CTE – it is a critical component of the educational system. We need CTE because it prepares students for both college and career readiness. CTE is focused on preparing students for their career path of choice, with the understanding that most careers require some postsecondary education and training. Right now, this country needs students to be made aware of the demand for careers that call for skilled training as plumbers, welders, carpenters, machinists and the like. Students need to know that these career paths offer employment security at a time when job security is no longer a guarantee. It’s time to reinvent the image of technical training and associated technical careers so we can move toward talent sustainability.

The Friends of CTE Guest Blog Series provides advocates – from business and industry to researchers and organizations – an opportunity to articulate their support for Career Technical Education. The monthly series features a guest blogger who provides their perspective on and experience with CTE as it relates to policy, the economy and education.

Are you interested in being a guest blogger and expressing your support for CTE? Contact Melinda Findley Lloyd, Communications Consultant, at [email protected]

By Melinda in CTE: Learning that works for America, News
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Friends of CTE Blog Series: CMT Goes Back to School

Wednesday, August 7th, 2013

Lucia Folk is the Senior Director of Public Affairs for CMT (Country Music Television), a cable television network distributed in 92 million homes across the country.

Lucia Folk, Senior Director of Public Affairs for CMT (Country Music Television)

Lucia Folk, Senior Director of Public Affairs for CMT (Country Music Television)

I’m lucky enough to have my dream job, which is utilizing CMT’s media platforms—television, radio, digital, etc.—to encourage our viewers to give back in their communities. So when our parent company, Viacom, partnered with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation a few years ago to launch the Get Schooled Foundation with the goal of empowering young people to take charge of their education, I was excited to have a role in helping CMT support that mission.

In 2010, Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools (MNPS) redesigned all 12 of its zoned high schools into smaller learning communities, enabling students to learn through the lens of a career or academic theme. CMT immediately saw the connection between this new initiative and our parent company’s ongoing mission, and we were one of the first business partners to step forward and offer our support. The Academies of Nashville* is an innovative approach to school redesign which engages the business community to help drive change in our public schools. We partnered with McGavock High School’s Academy of Digital Design & Communication, and over the past three years this relationship has been transformational, not only for the school, but also for our employees.

In the business world, we’ve heard for years that “our schools are failing and we need your help.” The only ways we knew to help were to throw money at the problem or do occasional volunteering that may impact small numbers of children. The Academies model provides a way for business partners to work alongside those on the frontlines educating our youth—our teachers and our school administrators—to make systemic change in our public schools. Business partners support the Academies by providing knowledge, support and experiential learning opportunities for our students, teachers and administrators.

You in the Career Technical Education (CTE) world have been connecting with businesses for years. In fact, the second principle of the CTE Vision is to actively partner with employers to design and provide high-quality, dynamic programs. You know the power of connecting education and industry. The Academies model is an especially innovative example because it utilizes business engagement at all levels, from working one on one at the grassroots level with individual Academies, all the way up to working alongside administrators in the school district.

At the school level, the Academies encourage and, frankly, require connectivity between what you teach in your CTE classes to the curriculum in the academic subjects. This is achieved through common planning among all disciplines, reinforced by business partnerships relevant to each Academy’s pathways. At the district level, business partners belong to partnership councils, which bring together employers in similar fields to ensure that what is being taught in the Academies directly relates to workforce needs. This partnership and shared accountability at all levels makes the Academies of Nashville unique, especially because this structure has been implemented “wall-to-wall” in all of our zoned high schools, providing every student access to these opportunities.

CMT is starting year four of our partnership and although we still have much work to do, McGavock has made tremendous progress since 2010: They have seen a 10 percent increase in the graduation rate; doubled the number of students who attend from outside of their zone; increased the composite ACT score by 5 percent; and made AYP (Adequate Yearly Progress) for three years in a row (which they had not achieved for the 10 years prior to 2010/11).  In addition to quantitative results, the real magic of the Academies structure is that it is community-building at its core. McGavock is our school and we share the challenges and successes with our teachers, administrators, fellow business partners, and most importantly, our students.

One of the proudest moments of my professional career was having the honor of standing on stage alongside our McGavock colleagues at this year’s commencement ceremony to congratulate the first graduating class of the CMT Academy of Digital Design & Communication.  That’s what makes this my dream job: I, as well as my colleagues at CMT, have the privilege of partnering with McGavock to help our students find their dream jobs.

*If you want to learn more about the Academies of Nashville, there is a study visit planned for October 2-4, 2013 .  There will also be another study visit offered in the spring of 2014.  You can also learn more about the model on which the Academies are based at the Ford Partnership of Advanced Studies Next Generation Learning.

 

The Friends of CTE Guest Blog Series provides advocates – from business and industry to researchers and organizations – an opportunity to articulate their support for Career Technical Education. The monthly series features a guest blogger who provides their perspective on and experience with CTE as it relates to policy, the economy and education.

Are you interested in being a guest blogger and expressing your support for CTE? Contact Melinda Findley Lloyd, Communications Consultant, at [email protected].

By Melinda in CTE: Learning that works for America, News
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New Blog Series: CTE Research Review

Wednesday, June 19th, 2013

NASDCTEc is excited to launch a new blog series – CTE Research Review! This blog will feature the latest research and reports about CTE and other related education and workforce issues. 

Research Image_6.2013The Council on Foreign Relations released a new report, “Progress Report and Scorecard: Remedial Education,” that has been referenced several times this week by figures such as U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan to illustrate the importance of educating and training a globally-competitive workforce. The authors of this report stress that the United States is slipping in global competitiveness and that the achievement gap between wealthy and non-wealthy students is widening. The authors also write that “Human capital is perhaps the single most important long-term driver of an economy,” and challenge the federal government to put in place programs that will expand high-quality education for all students.

ACT’s “STEM Education Pipeline: Doing the Math on Recruiting Math and Science Teachers,” reviews the proposed federal STEM Teacher Pathway program – aimed at getting 100,000 qualified science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) professionals into the classroom over the next decade – and finds an insufficient number of STEM college graduates who would be qualified or willing to become STEM teachers. To meet the number of teachers needed, the authors suggest recruitment strategies targeted toward “STEM-capable students interest in education and STEM-capable students undecided of their college major.”

A new issue brief from the Education Commission of the States, “Reimagining Business Involvement: A New Frontier for Postsecondary Education,” lays out research-backed models and strategies to improve the quality of credentials and increase alignment with the needs of business and industry. Suggestions include possible methods of engagement to strengthen partnerships between business/industry and education, the role of state policy in building a statewide partnership plan, and economic benefits for states.

A recent study from the National Research Center for Career and Technical Education examines South Carolina’s programs of study and career pathways developed through the state’s Education and Economic Development Act (EEDA) and finds some positive impacts for the students. The study indicates that EEDA positively impacts career-focused activities at all schools and enhances the role of school guidance counselors.

The National Center for Education Statistics released its annual “Condition of Education” report. Two areas of relevance highlighted by this year’s report are “Trends in Employment Rates by Educational Attainment” and “The Status of Rural Education.” Not surprisingly, the report shows that employment for males and females (ages 25 – 64) was lower in 2012 than in 2008 regardless of education levels due to recovery from the economic recession. Between 1990 and 2012, employment rates for those with a bachelor’s degree remained higher than those with less than a bachelor’s degree.

The report on rural education found that students in rural districts experienced higher graduation rates (80 percent) than students in city (68 percent) or town districts (79 percent) but slightly lower rates than suburban districts (81 percent).

Kara Herbertson, Research and Policy Manager

By Kara in News, Research
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April CTE Monthly Newsletter: Bipartisan Support for CTE, Senate Perkins Sign-On Letter

Thursday, April 25th, 2013

CTE Monthly, a collaborative publication from the Association for Career and Technical Education and the National Association of State Directors of Career Technical Education Consortium, features the latest news on Career Technical Education (CTE) from across the nation for CTE stakeholders and Members of Congress.

In the April edition, read more about:

View archived CTE Monthly newsletters and other advocacy resources on our Advocacy Tools Web page.

Kara Herbertson, Research and Policy Manager

By Kara in NASDCTEc Resources, News
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NASDCTEc Webinar on Area CTE Centers – Today at 3:00 pm ET

Thursday, April 25th, 2013

Area CTE Centers operate in a variety of ways – from shared-time centers offering primarily technical training to full-time centers that provide students with both academic instruction and technical training – but all provide opportunities for students to receive relevant, rigorous CTE. And at a time when employers say that they are unable to find workers who have the right skills to fill job vacancies, area CTE centers provide a crucial link between the knowledge and skills that students learn and those demanded by local businesses.

Join us for a webinar that features state and local leaders who will discuss area CTE centers in their states and how they are making connections to the needs of business and industry and their communities.

The webinar will be held TODAY, Thursday, April 25th at 3:00 pm ET. Register here

Speakers include:

Kara Herbertson, Research and Policy Manager

By Kara in NASDCTEc Announcements, Webinars
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IN Governor Delivers on State of the State Promise, Passes Law that Expands CTE

Wednesday, March 27th, 2013

In his January state of the state address, Indiana Governor Mike Pence clearly prioritized expanding Career Technical Education (CTE) and aligning CTE programs with the needs of the workforce. Just two months later, a bill supporting this expansion has been passed unanimously in the Indiana General Assembly, and will soon be signed into law by Governor Pence.

The Indiana Works Councils bill will use state and local resources to create Indiana Works Councils (IWC) that help bridge the barriers between education and businesses. Each IWC will identify opportunities and demands for CTE and partnerships with business and industry in each region. Using this information, the IWC will develop more relevant CTE curriculum and identify work-based learning opportunities to increase the alignment of career pathways to in-demand jobs.

Governor Pence stated that, “The passage of this legislation with unanimous and bipartisan support demonstrates the commitment of the people of our state to make career and vocational education a priority in every high school in Indiana again. Today, the Indiana General Assembly took an important step toward making certain that our schools work for all our students, whether they’re college- or career-bound.”

Governors and other policy makers across the nation continue to express support for CTE. Laws such as the IWC legislation will help increase the quality and relevance of CTE programs, and improve opportunities for students to land well-paying, in-demand jobs.

Kara Herbertson, Research and Policy Manager

By Kara in News, Public Policy
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