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Posts Tagged ‘career pathways’

EdWeek Article: States Expand High-Quality Career Pathways

Friday, May 10th, 2013

More states are embracing career pathways to increase the relevance of education for students and provide more opportunities for postsecondary credential and degree attainment. A recent article from Education Week highlights states’ work in this area and Tennessee Career Technical Education (CTE) State Director Danielle Mezera’s approach to funding career pathways.

Many states implement career pathways but the strategy recently received a greater push due to the release of the Harvard Graduate School of Education’s Pathways to Prosperity report and initiative. With the assistance of Harvard and Jobs for the Future, eight states are creating higher-quality pathways that link to labor market demands. For example:

The article also highlights the necessity of strong business partnerships to implementing successful career pathways. Of note, several state partners are looking into the Swiss model that relies on professional associations to help identify student competencies, which would provide more consistency in student preparedness across the state.

Access the article here.

Kara Herbertson, Research and Policy Manager

By Kara in News
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Spring Meeting Recap: Federal Career Pathways Initiatives

Friday, April 19th, 2013

Earlier this week, the National Association of State Directors of Career Technical Education Consortium (NASDCTEc) held its annual Spring Meeting where during one  session, participants heard updates on three national programs that are aiming to better coordinate and strengthen career pathways systems across states. Importantly, all of the presenters expressed an appreciation for each other’s efforts and noted that there was a lot of coordination across the projects.

Mary Clagett of Jobs for the Future discussed Advancing Career and Technical Education (CTE) in State and Local Career Pathways Systems, which is a federally-funded program working with a cohort of states to support, coordinate, and develop non-duplicative education and training programs that will help build skills among low skilled adults. The focus of the initial research and ongoing technical assistance in states is on identifying the most impactful programmatic and policy solutions to building and maintaining a strong career pathway system.

Similarly, the Alliance for Quality Career Pathways, coordinated by the Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP), is focused on supporting pathways for adults and disconnected youths. As described by Vickie Choitz of CLASP, the primary focus of the Alliance is developing a framework of quality criteria and indicators and a shared set of performance metrics to help align CTE programs of study, high school to college transitions, and adult career pathway across state. The framework will be customizable for states and include a self-assessment tool to ensure the framework is best meeting states’ needs. Ten states are currently participating in the Alliance.

Finally, participants learned more about CORD’s professional development and curriculum support for Adult Career Pathways. Hope Cotner of CORD talked about efforts of states, districts and institutions of higher education to design instruction to support career pathways and learning for students of all ages. You can download her presentation here.

During the discussion and Q&A period, participants again raised the issue of ensuring the federal government, national initiatives, states, and localities in using common definitions and language when using some common phrases as “career pathways” and “programs of study.”

Kate Blosveren, Associate Executive Director

 

By Kate Blosveren in NASDCTEc Spring Meeting
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Mosquero Municipal Schools Dedicates new Media Center

Friday, April 5th, 2013

Mosquero Municipal Schools will be holding a dedication and ribbon cutting ceremony April 7 to announce their new Media Center. The school district serves a rural and sparsely populated area in Harding County, New Mexico.

Mosquero schools stand as a testament to small rural schools overcoming capacity issues to reinvent their education system, with the visionary leadership of parents, current and past school board members, educators, city council members, and long-time community residents. In a guide for school leaders, “Redesigning the High School Experience for College and Career Readiness,” a publication jointly produced by the National Career Technical Education Foundation (NCTEF) and Microsoft Corporation’s U.S. Partners in Learning, the story of Mosquero’s success is showcased, sharing how this school created a different kind of learning experience using innovative initiatives.

With the goal of “Fostering an Entrepreneurial Spirit in Arts, Audio/Visual Technology and Communications,” Mosquero developed a Digital Media Entrepreneur Curriculum, a unique program that uses best practices for encouraging 21st century skill development with a focus on transferrable, rather than occupation skills, keeping the program relevant to a broad base of students. This program uses the Career Clusters® Framework as a model.

Ramona Schescke, Member Services Manager

CLASP Releases Federal Funding Toolkit for Career Pathways Initiatives

Thursday, April 4th, 2013

CLASP, an organization aiming to improve the lives of low-income individuals, has recently released a comprehensive resource to help state teams identify and use federal resources to support career pathways models.

The Federal Funding Toolkit is comprised of four parts:

Introduction: This introductory document describes the importance of career pathways, defines the term, and explains the relevance of the toolkit.

Using the Toolkit: This document describes who should use the toolkit, how to use it, and an overview of 10 federal programs that could potentially support career pathways.

Funding Options Worksheet: These customizable worksheets list sample tasks to design, implement, and sustain career pathways.

Summary of Federal Programs: Each summary identifies federal programs that relate to career pathways and can be used to support these initiatives. The summaries include information on: type of program, eligibility requirements, type of services or support provided, and an analysis of how the program can support career pathways. Federal program summaries with relevance to Career Technical Education (CTE) include:

View the entire toolkit here.

Kara Herbertson, Research and Policy Manager

Register Now for Upcoming NASDCTEc Webinar Featuring Area CTE Centers: Conquering the Skills Gap through Business-Industry Collaboration

Friday, March 29th, 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 on Thursday, April 25th at 3 p.m. ET. Speakers include:

Steve Gratz, Ph.D.
Director, Office of Career-Technical Education, Ohio Department of Education
Harold Niehaus
Director of Instructional Development, Miami Valley Career Technology Center
Paula Bowles
Chief Communications and Marketing Officer, Oklahoma Department of Career and Technology Education
Bill Kramer
Communications and Marketing Coordinator, Canadian Valley Technology Center, El Reno, OK

Link to register

Ramona Schescke, Member Services Manager

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

Key Stakeholders Convene to Discuss Career Pathways at Pathways to Prosperity Event

Friday, March 22nd, 2013

This week, more than 400 educators, researchers, business leaders, economists, and civic stakeholders convened at Harvard University to consider the possibility of expanding career pathways in school systems across the country.  The catalyst for the conference was the February 2011 report from the Harvard Graduate School of Education (HGSE) titled, Pathways to Prosperity: Meeting the Challenge of Preparing Young Americans for the 21st Century.

Many attendees made the case that the United States can no longer ignore the huge mismatch that exists between the skills students learn in school and the needs of the modern workforce. Several speakers noted that the college-for-all movement has led to widespread dropouts within high school and postsecondary education, college graduates lacking the skills required by employers, and a lack of workers with the high-tech skills essential to the economic development of the United States. Instead, evidence was presented that career pathways prepare all students to be career and college ready and can lead students to higher levels of success as adults. Relevant career pathways open up options for students that the traditional high school and college systems cannot or have not provided in the past.

Ronald Ferguson and William Symonds of the HGSE Pathways to Prosperity Project challenged each person in attendance to submit the steps that they or their organizations will take to advance the Pathways to Prosperity concept. During the conference, attendees shared their strategies, commitments, and experiences for expanding the Multiple Pathways approach. Some see the need to prepare career-ready students as an economic issue, some see it as an issue of equity or social justice, and others view it as a national security issue. Regardless of the philosophical orientation, the participants in the many panels agreed that a more relevant, engaging, and pragmatic approach is needed to prepare students for employment and careers.

Given that students are competing globally with graduates from other countries, it was emphasized that students must acquire the knowledge, skills, and dispositions to help innovate and create new technologies and approaches.  Without commitments from business and education to change local, state, and national policies and systems, there is doubt that the full economic potential of our country or wide-spread sustainable wages can be attained in the foreseeable future.

Many presentations supported Career Technical Education (CTE) as an essential foundational element of creating the pathways needed to truly transform education systems. To assist in moving the pathways movement forward, Ferguson announced the creation of the Pathways to Prosperity Network. The network is “a collaboration between the Pathways to Prosperity Project at HGSE, Jobs for the Future (JFF), and six states focused on ensuring that many more young people complete high school, attain a postsecondary credential with currency in the labor market, and launch into a career while leaving open the prospect of further education.”

To read more go to:  http://www.gse.harvard.edu/news-impact/2012/06/pathways-to-prosperity-network-launches/#ixzz2ODUg9vdv

Patrick Ainsworth, Ed.D., NASDCTEc Past President

Politico Opinion Article Touts Benefits of CTE, Encourages Perkins Reauthorization

Friday, March 8th, 2013

A recent opinion article in Politico points to a revamped Career Technical Education (CTE) system as one possible solution to some of our nation’s toughest problems including the skills gap and high school dropout epidemic.

In the article, former White House Domestic Policy Council Director Melody Barnes and Civic Enterprises President and CEO John Bridgeland discuss the benefits of high-quality CTE, which they call “enterprising pathways,” such as helping address the nation’s job crisis and making postsecondary education more accessible.

In the article, Barnes and Bridgeland encourage Congress to prioritize the reauthorization of the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act. They call for reforms that strengthen the links between secondary education, postsecondary education and employers, and link student data with employment and earnings data to assess education and workforce training program efficacy.

Read the full piece here.

Across the country, CTE State Directors are working to ensure that all CTE programs provide rigorous education and training that will lead students to future career success. The themes echoed throughout this article are well-aligned to those presented in the CTE State Directors’ vision for CTE developed in 2010. View the NASDCTEc vision document here.

Kara Herbertson, Research and Policy Manager

Alliance for Quality Career Pathways Releases New Papers

Friday, February 22nd, 2013

The Alliance for Quality Career Pathways, a state-led initiative organized by the Center for Law and Social Policy, has released two working papers to help identify criteria that define high-quality career pathways and to create shared performance measures.

In the first paper, The Alliance for Quality Career Pathways Approach: Developing Criteria and Metrics for Quality Career Pathways, a conceptual model is provided of career pathway state and local/regional systems and career pathways programs. The paper defines important terms, provides examples, and describes the Alliance’s approach to creating a framework for quality criteria and performance metrics.

The second paper, A Framework for Measuring Career Pathways Innovation, presents a framework for measurement and looks at key considerations when developing career pathway metrics including:

  • Level of measurement
  • Use of metrics
  • Scope of each measure

The working papers are part of a greater initiative to  identify benchmarks of high-quality career pathways and the most relevant metrics for measuring their success.

Kara Herbertson, Research and Policy Manager

Register NOW for NASDCTEc Webinar on the Career Pathways Effect: Linking Education and Economic Prosperity

Thursday, December 6th, 2012

Be sure to register for The Career Pathways Effect: Linking Education and Economic Prosperity – A Conversation with the Book’s Team Leaders to be broadcast December 13, 2012 3 p.m. – 4 p.m. Eastern.

Jointly published by CORD and the National Association of State Directors of Career Technical Education Consortium (NASDCTEc), The Career Pathways Effect meets a need for evidence-based support for concepts and principles associated with Career Clusters™, Career Pathways and Programs of Study, and provides more uniform implementation across the nation.

The Team Leaders of the book will discuss:
• Why the book was developed
• How it is organized
• Share how the book will stimulate conversation on topics such as new models, collection of evidence-based data, and how the successes achieved by CTE can improve all of education.

Team Leader Presenters:
Dean Folkers, Deputy Executive Director, NASDCTEc
Kimberly Green, Executive Director, NASDCTEc
Richard Hinckley, President and CEO, CORD
Debra Mills, Vice President, Partnerships, CORD

LINK to register

Click here and purchase the book today

Ramona Schescke, Member Services Manager

 

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