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Posts Tagged ‘career academies’

American RadioWorks Profiles CTE in Documentary Series

Wednesday, September 17th, 2014

Evidence is mounting that the public is waking up to CTE’s power to engage students and put them on a path to success (87 percent want more CTE in high schools, according to Gallup’s Poll of the Public’s Attitudes Toward the Public Schools). Through the years, a number of stories have attempted to document the shift in both the practice and perception of CTE, but often reveal only a fraction of CTE’s long and important story.

In their one hour documentary Ready to Work, American RadioWorks takes a look at the transition from vocational education to CTE, the transformative effect modern CTE has had locally in districts like Metro Nashville Public Schools and the power of CTE to engage individual students like those at Minuteman Regional High School in Lexington, MA. In breadth, depth and understanding, Ready to Work exceeds most prior treatment of the subject, and is a must-listen for anyone concerned with the future of public education.

Get the whole story on American RadioWorks’ website here.

Evan Williamson, Communications Associate

By Evan Williamson in CTE: Learning that works for America
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President Visits Career Academy in Nashville, Talks CTE, Opportunity Agenda

Tuesday, February 4th, 2014

DSC_5768Following the State of the Union Address, President Obama spent two days last week touring the country to promote his “Opportunity Agenda,” a program designed to prepare the American workforce for the evolving needs of our economy.  On Thursday, McGavock High School, the largest of Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools, played host to the President.

“It was an incredible event that validated the work of so many people here in the city of Nashville,” said Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools (MNPS) Chief Academic Officer Dr. Jay Steele.

Seizing on the President’s assertion that Career Technical Education (CTE) “makes words on a page exciting, real, and tangible” for students, Steele emphasized that the district’s academies are designed to enhance and augment, not supplant, general education. “While CTE is the anchor of the program, core gen ed. courses come alive and become more relevant.”

Dr. Danielle Mezera, Assistant Commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Education CTE, described MNPS as an “excellent example” of CTE blending with core academic classes to enrich students’ experience.

“Since we came in a couple of years ago, we have really wanted to supply truth in advertising [for state CTE programs,]” Mezera said. “One of our main goals has been to provide the support and flexibility to allow districts to focus on aligning secondary and postsecondary studies with their practical application and with career opportunities. Programs like teacher externships and business partnerships have been key. [MNPS] has done an excellent job taking advantage of them.”

Even before the Obama Administration announced the visit, MNPS was on the President’s radar. Early in January, the President cited MNPS for overhauling its structure and boosting graduation rates 22 percent.

Yet, MNPS’s place as an exemplar didn’t happen overnight. Rather it took years of sustained effort.

Several years ago, MNPS audited its CTE programs and discovered that they were not as effective as they could be.  MNPS teamed up with the Nashville Chamber of Commerce to comb through workforce data to identify the area’s most in-demand jobs in Nashville. Then, working with the Ford Next Generation Learning Project, Alignment Nashville, the PENCIL Foundation, and local stakeholders, MNPS decided to shift to the career academy model.

The new format promised students the chance to select particular academies of interest (the CMT Academy of Digital Design & Communication or the US Community Credit Union Academy of Business and Finance at McGavock, for instance) in 10th grade. Pairing core academic classes with CTE, students combine what they learn in science, math and language arts with courses teaching career-specific skills.

Speaking about the process, Executive Director of Ford Next Generation Learning Cheryl Carrier said, “You have to have all of the key stakeholders at the table. School districts, business partners, and government have to be at the table together and work towards a common aligned vision. MNPS and the Nashville community were able to create a five-year plan that looked at all aspects of the academy’s development, and it took off.”

That development led to an innovative CTE program that incorporates all 16 Career Clusters. Seven years into the project, MNPS now also serves as a model for the Ford PAS program, with hundreds of visitors coming each year to observe the academies and devise ways to implement similar models in their districts.

“As the President said, it’s a simple but powerful idea,” Steele said. “It doesn’t require that you change as much as some might think, but it requires you to change the way you think about education.”

In his remarks during the visit, the President emphasized changing the conversation surrounding education with a similar shift in perspective. “Young people are going to do better when they’re excited about learning, and they’re going to be more excited if they see a connection between what they’re doing in the classroom and how it is applied…Schools like this one teach you everything you need to know in college, but, because of that hands-on experience, schools like this one are able to create pathways so that folks, if they choose not to go to a four-year institution, can get a job sooner.”

The President’s citation of MNPS and Tennessee’s successful pathways was particularly gratifying for Patrice Watson, Program Manager for Tennessee’s Office of Postsecondary Coordination and Alignment. “Being there and having [the President] talk about giving students different pathways, getting the community involved in the schools, and making [reform] a community effort made it clear that he understands what we’re trying to do here in Tennessee,” she said.

CTE Student Success Career Clusters Consultant Bethany Wilkes agreed that the President’s remarks are an encouraging sign for CTE. “It was incredibly gratifying,” she said. “[The President] focused on how we can develop critical thinking skills and engage the students—that’s what we do every day.”

The President’s visit to McGavock High came on the same day that the Administration released a fact sheet going more in-depth on its Opportunity for All Agenda. That document, available here, endorses improving alignment between apprenticeships, training programs, and schools, as well as consultation with industry leaders, educators and policymakers to create job-driven training and education. In endorsing McGavock’s CTE-based programs, the President opened the door to making CTE a key component of those efforts.

- Evan Williamson, Communications Associate

By Evan Williamson in Uncategorized
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New NASDCTEc Publication on Career Academies

Monday, May 13th, 2013

Career academies are a proven way of delivering high-quality Career Technical Education (CTE). Through small learning communities, college-preparatory curriculum, and strong partnerships with local employers, career academies offer work-based learning opportunities and rigorous pathways to postsecondary education and careers. Research strongly supports the efficacy of career academies in increasing the academic success, attendance levels and future earning potential of participating students.

Learn more about these dynamic academies in our latest publication, Career Academies: An Investment in Students, the Workforce and the Economy. An archived webinar on this topic, featuring representatives from the national, state and school levels, is now available here.

Kara Herbertson, Research and Policy Manager

By Kara in NASDCTEc Resources, News, Publications
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Reminder to Register for Upcoming NASDCTEc Webinar on Career Academies: An Investment in Students, the Workforce and the Economy

Friday, May 3rd, 2013

You can still register for the webinar on Career Academies: An Investment in Students, the Workforce and the Economy.

Career academies are a proven way of delivering high-quality Career Technical Education (CTE). Through small learning communities, college-preparatory curriculum, and strong partnerships with local employers, career academies offer work-based learning opportunities and rigorous pathways to postsecondary education and careers. Research strongly supports the efficacy of career academies in increasing the academic success, attendance levels and future earning potential of participating students.

Join us for a webinar that features state and local leaders who will discuss why career academies are a successful delivery mechanism for CTE, and what they are doing in this exciting field.

The webinar will be held on Thursday, May 9th at 3 p.m. ET. Speakers include:

Rod Duckworth, Chancellor, Division of Career and Adult Education, Florida Department of Education

Sabrina Arney, Teacher, Aspirations in Medical Sciences Academy, Long Beach, California

David Beckett, Advocacy Manager, NASDCTEc

Register  NOW

Ramona Schescke, Member Services Manager

By Ramona in Webinars
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Register Now for NASDCTEc Webinar on Career Academies: An Investment in Students, the Workforce and the Economy

Tuesday, April 30th, 2013

Career Academies: An Investment in Students, the Workforce and the Economy

Career academies are a proven way of delivering high-quality Career Technical Education (CTE). Through small learning communities, college-preparatory curriculum, and strong partnerships with local employers, career academies offer work-based learning opportunities and rigorous pathways to postsecondary education and careers. Research strongly supports the efficacy of career academies in increasing the academic success, attendance levels and future earning potential of participating students.

Join us for a webinar that features state and local leaders who will discuss why career academies are a successful delivery mechanism for CTE, and what they are doing in this exciting field.

The webinar will be held on Thursday, May 9th at 3 p.m. ET. Speakers include:

Rod Duckworth, Chancellor, Division of Career and Adult Education, Florida Department of Education.
Sabrina Arney, Teacher, Aspirations in Medical Sciences Academy, Long Beach, California.

David Beckett, Advocacy Manager, NASDCTEc

Register NOW

Ramona Schescke, Member Services Manager

By Ramona in Webinars
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Democrats Support Career Academies and Technical Training in Party Platform

Tuesday, September 4th, 2012

This week in Charlotte, the Democrats released their party’s platform which outlines how their policies will help America out-education, out-innovate and out-build the rest of the world. As we reported last week, the Republican party’s platform included their support for CTE at the secondary and postsecondary levels. The Democrats also voiced their support for secondary CTE, saying that they would “continue to strengthen all our schools and work to expand public school options for low-income youth, including magnet schools, charter schools, teacher-led schools, and career academies.”

At the postsecondary level, Democrats called for greater access to higher education and technical training. To that end, the party supports the following proposals that would improve the skills of students and adult workers:

Nancy Conneely, Public Policy Manager

By Nancy in Public Policy
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Legislative Update: Alternative Certification, Career Academies

Friday, July 27th, 2012

House Subcommittee Holds Hearing on Alternative Certification

The House Subcommittee on Early Childhood, Elementary, and Secondary Education held a hearing this week to examine alternative certification of teachers. The topic is a timely one given its connection to defining highly qualified teachers under the No Child Left Behind Act. In 2010, Congress passed legislation that allowed students enrolled in alternative certification programs to be considered “highly qualified teachers.” The House Labor-HHS-Education appropriations bill seeks to extend this definition for two more years.

There was general support for alternative routes to certification on both sides of the aisle during the hearing. Chairman of the subcommittee, Rep. Duncan Hunter (CA) had this to say:

Alternative certification routes help address teacher shortages in particular geographic areas and subject matter, as well as strengthen the overall quality of the teaching profession. While Republicans know there is no one-size-fits-all federal solution to help put more effective teachers in the classroom, supporting the availability and acceptance of alternative certification programs is one way the public and private sectors can join together to ensure more students have access to a quality education from an extraordinary educator.

Cynthia Brown, Vice President for Education Policy at the Center for American Progress, agreed that alternative certification programs hold a lot of promise, but that there need to be policies in place to ensure that they are “high quality, innovative, and effective,” which also holds true for traditional teacher preparation programs. She suggested that Congress focus on teacher effectiveness rather than alternative routes to certification.

More Details on Career Academies Proposal

Last week Secretary of Education Arne Duncan spoke at the National Academy Foundation’s NEXT Conference about the President’s FY13 budget proposal to invest $1 billion in career academies. Funding at this level could increase the number of career academies by 3,000 and serve an additional 500,000 students.

According to Duncan, $200 million in grants to states would be available in FY13, and $400 million would be available in both FY14 and FY15. Grants to would total $4 million each to states, and would be given over a three year period. States would distribute those funds competitively to locals.

As part of the grant program, the Department of Education is proposing a definition of “career academy” that each state must use for the in-state competition:

  1. A career academy is a secondary school program as organized as a small learning com­munity or school within a school to provide the support of a personalized learning environment.
  2. The academy must begin in ninth grade and combine credit-bearing academic and techni­cal curriculum.
  3. The academy must organize curriculum around a career theme like those proposed by NAF — hospitality and tourism, IT, health, sci­ence, and engineering — and be aligned with states’ college- and career-ready standards.
  4. The academy must provide work-based learning and career exploration activities through partnerships with local employers.
  5. The academy must articulate entrance re­quirements of postsecondary education programs to ensure students graduate from high school ready to pursue a higher education degree or credential.

Nancy Conneely, Public Policy Manager

By Nancy in Public Policy
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CTE in the News: Companies join forces with schools to provide hands-on training

Friday, July 6th, 2012

A high school engineering/robotics club has turned into a model program for implementing career academies in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) across Tampa Bay, Florida, according to a recent Tampa Bay Business Journal article.

The Career Technical Education Foundation (CTEF), a program that began at East Lake High School in Tarpon Springs and now extends across several counties, is providing opportunities for student learning, community engagement and business and industry involvement. CTEF’s mission is to create and implement college-preparatory and career-based internships and apprenticeship programs at the secondary level by partnering with local education systems.

Those partners include MITRE Corp., The Nielsen Co. and Southern Manufacturing Technologies.  Another partner includes the Bauer Foundation Corp., which hosts a six-week summer program that exposes students to hands-on experience in accounting, engineering, estimating, and presenting.

“These kids come in and say, ‘I was lost and now I’m found,’ and they can’t wait to start their senior year,” said Chick Puccini, president and CEO of Bauer, a Florida corporation and the U.S. subsidiary of the worldwide operating BAUER Group.

There are now 600 students enrolled in the CTEF program.

Erin Uy, Communications & Marketing Manager

By Erin in News
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Career Clusters™ Institute Recap: Career Academies: An Effective CTE Strategy

Monday, June 25th, 2012

The National Career Clusters™ Institute is an annual summer event that offers a range of seminars and workshops highlighting model CTE programs across the country that are aligned to the National Career Clusters Framework ™. This blog series provides a recap of the broad range of information shared over the course of the event, which took place June 18 – 20 in Washington, DC.

At a breakout session during last week’s National Career Clusters Institute, JD Hoye, President of the National Academy Foundation, and David Stern of the University of California, Berkeley, shared their insights on career academies as an effective way of preparing students for postsecondary education and careers.

Career academies prepare students for success through a research-backed model that includes Career Technical Education (CTE) curricula, work-based learning experiences, and business partner expertise.

Stern discussed recent studies showing that students participating in career academies have improved grades, attendance, credits earned, and are more likely to stay in high school than similar students who are not in career academies. In California, where more than half of students entering career academies meet certain high risk categories, Stern reported that 95 percent of career academy seniors graduate on time compared to the statewide graduation rate of 85 percent.

Hoye also discussed the recent federal-level policy focus on career academies and what that could mean for CTE. Hoye stated that quality and proven practice should drive policy, that in-class time is not equal to proficiency, that real world application should be stressed as part of education, and that the workplace is a powerful extension of the classroom. From research, policy, and practice perspectives, career academies have proven to be an effective mechanism for implementing high quality CTE.

Kara Herbertson, Education Policy Analyst

By Kara in National Career Clusters Institute
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Legislative Update: Budget, ED Priorities, DOL Priorities

Friday, March 23rd, 2012

House Marks Up Budget Resolution

Rep. Paul Ryan Chairman of the House Budget Committee released his budget resolution this week, which will serve as a blueprint for the House as the appropriations process moves forward. The budget passed committee by a vote of 19-18. The resolution sets the FY13 discretionary cap at $1.028 trillion, which is $19 billion below the cap set by the Budget Control Act last summer. The proposal would cut education, training, employment, and social services programs by $16.4 billion, which is 22 percent below FY12 levels. The resolution specifically targets Federal job training and workforce programs, calling them duplicative, and proposing to streamline the system and consolidate existing programs into “career scholarship programs.”

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (NV) has said that the Senate will adhere to the spending levels set in the Budget Control Act and will not release a budget resolution.

Secretary Duncan Testifies Before Congress

Secretary of Education Arne Duncan testified before the House Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education Appropriations Subcommittee yesterday to discuss the budget and policy priorities of Department of Education.  Duncan spoke about some CTE-specific proposals such as increased funding for career academies and community colleges. He also addressed the need to reauthorize the Perkins Act:

The Administration’s reauthorization proposal would transform CTE by increasing the focus on outcomes and career pathways that ensure that what students learn in school is more closely aligned with the demands of the 21st century economy, while creating stronger linkages between secondary and postsecondary education. The proposal would also promote innovation and reform in CTE.

A number of members, from both sides of the aisle, expressed concern that the President’s budget would cut or freeze existing programs, in exchange for funding new programs such as the Community College to Career Fund.

Secretary Solis Testifies Before Congress

Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis testified before the House Education and the Workforce Committee this week about the budget and policy priorities of the Department of Labor. Solis began her testimony by saying that the labor market grew stronger last year, and that over 2 million private sector jobs were created, while the unemployment rate fell in 48 states. However, there is still work to be done and the President’s budget outlines the steps his administration intends to take to address unemployment and the skills gap.

As we told you after the President’s State of the Union address, he plans to create an “economy built to last,” founded on strengthening manufacturing, energy, education, and skills training for individuals. Secretary Solis outlined the proposed programs in the President’s budget that would help address these issues. For example, the Community College to Career Fund would help community colleges to partner with business and industry to develop training programs for workers to enter high growth and high demand industries that meet the needs of local employers.

Nancy Conneely, Public Policy Manager

 

By Nancy in Legislation, Public Policy
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