Posts Tagged ‘Colorado’

This Week in CTE

Friday, September 11th, 2020

We have compiled a list of highlights in Career Technical Education (CTE) from this week to share with you.

TWEET OF THE WEEK

CTSO OF THE WEEK

McAllen Independent School District in Texas is gearing up for recruitment week for one of their Career Technical Student Organizations (CTSOs). Check out the fun activities planned to bring in new Family, Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA) members next week!

NEWSLETTER OF THE WEEK

Cass Career Center, a public technical school located in Missouri, published their September newsletter this week. Read how the culture at the technical center has shifted to, “learn by unlearning.” The newsletter also shares how learners and the technical center staff are doing their parts to keep the campus safe during the pandemic.

STATE PROFILES OF THE WEEK

The College in High School Alliance (CHSA) and the Level Up coalition published Unlocking Potential: A State Policy Roadmap for Equity and Quality in College in High School Programs. State CTE leaders can leverage this resource as they design and implement policies that drive meaningful change in access, equity, and quality for college in high school programs. CHSA newly released three state profiles of recommended policies already in place in Colorado, Indiana, and Washington. View the state profiles here

LEGISLATIVE UPDATE OF THE WEEK

Co-Chair of the House CTE Caucus Glenn “GT” Thompson (R-PA) published an article about how the pandemic underscores the demand for CTE. In this op-ed, Representative Thompson discussed the need to support CTE learners, and the role that CTE has in economic resiliency.  

RESOURCE OF THE WEEK

In 2018, North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper announced the Finish Line Grants program, a wraparound program to help learners in North Carolina navigate financial emergencies. The program was designed to improve credential attainment rates by limiting unexpected financial burdens that may prevent a student from completing a postsecondary degree or credential. 

View a full profile on this policy in our Learning that Works Resource Center.

Brittany Cannady, Digital Media Associate

By Brittany Cannady in Uncategorized
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This Week in CTE

Friday, June 19th, 2020

We have compiled a list of highlights in Career Technical Education (CTE) from this week to share with you.

WEBINAR OF THE WEEK

Advance CTE hosted a webinar with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation and industry leaders who have built long-lasting and meaningful two-way partnerships to improve both learner outcomes and industry’s talent needs. New resources from The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation, developed with support from Advance CTE, were shared and discussed to strengthen employer-CTE relationships using the Talent Pipeline Management(R) process.

View the recording here, and sign up for our next webinar, CTE Forward: How to Attract and Recruit Diverse Students at the Postsecondary Level: Lessons from Aspen Institute on July 9! 

TWEET OF THE WEEK

Many school districts have developed innovative ways to honor graduating seniors in ceremonies in light of social distancing orders. Take a look at how seniors from one high school in the state of Virginia raced to the finish line. Read more here

PRIZE COMPETITION OF THE WEEK

The Evergreen National Education Prize identifies and scales programs that best help low-income youth access and complete college or CTE degrees. Learn more about what the prize consists of, past prize winners, eligibility criteria and more. Applications are now being accepted and must be completed in full by 5 p.m. ET on July 3, 2020.  Email info@evergreenprize.org with any questions.

LEGISLATIVE UPDATE OF THE WEEK

The U.S. Department of Education approved six more state plans under the Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act (Perkins V). The newly approved plans are from Colorado, Florida, Kentucky, New York, South Carolina and Utah. As of now, 31 state plans have been approved in total. You can check out which states’ plans are approved, as well as the final materials on our website

RESOURCE OF THE WEEK 

Advance CTE examined research and best practices in Developing Credit for Prior Learning Policies to Support Postsecondary Attainment for Every Learner. This report features data on the benefits of Credit for Prior Learning (CPL) for learners, as well as best practices in Colorado, Kansas, Louisiana, Minnesota, Tennessee and Virginia across topics such as CPL for military service members, portability of credits and how to communicate about CPL opportunities. View the report here.

Brittany Cannady, Digital Media Associate

By Brittany Cannady in COVID-19 and CTE
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Middle Grades CTE: Career and Technical Student Organizations

Tuesday, June 9th, 2020

There is widespread agreement that high school is too late to begin to expose learners to careers and the foundational skills needed to access and succeed in careers, but there remains a lack of consensus about what CTE and career readiness should entail at the middle grades level.

Advance CTE, with support from ACTE, convened a Shared Solutions Workgroup of national, state and local leaders to identify the core components of a meaningful middle grades CTE experience. This collaboration resulted in Broadening the Path: Design Principles for Middle Grades CTE and a companion blog series exploring each of the core programmatic elements of middle grades CTE defined in the paper. In this fifth entry in the blog series, we will examine the core programmatic element of experiential learning, which includes career and technical student organizations (CTSOs).

CTSOs benefit middle grades students by engaging them in learning about themselves, their community and potential careers. These co-curricular organizations provide learners with opportunities to learn about and demonstrate technical and leadership skills, participate in hands-on activities through competitive events and support their schools and communities through service activities.

State and districts around the country are harnessing CTSOs to help middle school students explore careers and their occupational identities. North Carolina, which already offers widespread CTSO opportunities in the middle grades, is revising its approach to middle grades CTE. CTSOs will be one of four key components in a new middle grades CTE framework, which will be supported by 15-hour modules for CTE instructors that address career exploration, essential employability skills, basic concepts and nomenclature, and the integration of CTSO activities within programs. In addition, the state has hired a staff person to focus on middle grades CTE. North Carolina further prioritizes CTSOs in a number of ways, including a section of the Perkins V comprehensive local needs assessment dedicated to evaluating CTSO access and quality at both middle and high school levels.

South Carolina is growing its CTSO participation in middle school. SC HOSA has a middle grades division and an annual middle school conference, including competitive events in medical terminology, health education and health career display. So far, only a handful of middle schools are competing, but these middle schools chapters are engaged and active. For instance, the York Middle School HOSA chapter began in 2016. In addition to competitive events, this chapter has volunteered at a long-term care center, participated in a mock HOSA Bowl with high school peers and connected with HOSA alumni.

Colorado FCCLA opened up opportunities to middle school students in 2011, and Kelly Gauck of Holmes Middle School jumped at the chance to incorporate FCCLA into the family and consumer sciences program. After what she describes as a huge learning curve, all three competitors from the school who attended national competitions in 2013 won gold medals. The chapter has also been very active in its community, making blankets for a local children’s hospital, holding food drives and donating games, toys, food, toiletries and more to those in need. Gauck has been recognized for her work with the national FCCLA Spirit of Advising Award.

As you reflect on this element of middle grades CTE in your state, district or school, consider such questions as:

For additional resources relevant to middle grades CTSOs, check out the Middle Grades CTE Repository, another deliverable of this Shared Solutions Workgroup.

By Kate Blosveren Kreamer in Middle Grades CTE
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Governors Celebrate and Commit to Advancing CTE in 2020 State of the State Addresses

Monday, February 10th, 2020

Over 35 Governors have delivered their State of the State Addresses, presenting their policy agendas for 2020 to their state legislatures. Many of these governors used this opportunity to highlight successes related to Career Technical Education (CTE) and to make commitments that would help to advance the field.

Many governors leveraged their State of the State Addresses to address CTE funding. In Maine, Governor Janet Mill acknowledged that there has not been significant funding for CTE program equipment since 1998 and asked the Maine Legislature to fund equipment upgrades for CTE programs. In Iowa, Governor Kim Reynolds celebrated expanding high-school registered apprenticeships and proposed $1 million in funding for work-based learning coordinators. Governor Doug Ducey also called for more CTE related funding in Arizona, proposing funding for CTE trade programs aligned with high-demand careers.

Other governors celebrated their states’ work-based learning efforts. In Colorado, Governor Jared Polis celebrated his administration’s expansion of apprenticeships. Similarly, in Tennessee, Governor Bill Lee recognized the new investments in youth apprenticeships launched by the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development. In Virginia, Governor Ralph Northam noted the role apprenticeship programs play in helping Virginians develop skills needed for careers.

Governors also used the State of the State Addresses to announce and celebrate initiatives. In New Jersey, Governor Phil Murphy proposed Jobs NJ, which aims to align the state’s education system to meet workforce needs and address racial equity gaps in the workforce. In Washington, Governor Jay Inslee celebrated the state’s Career Connect Learning initiative, which was launched in 2017 to connect Washington youth to career-connected learning opportunities aligned with in-demand, high-wage careers.

In total, more than 16 governors celebrated or made commitments to foster CTE in their states during their State of the State Addresses. Advance CTE will continue to monitor the State of the State Addresses as they happen for their relevance to CTE.

Brianna McCain, Policy Associate

By Brianna McCain in Public Policy
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States Passed At Least 208 Policies to Support CTE in 2019

Wednesday, January 29th, 2020

On the federal and state levels, 2019 was an important year for Career Technical Education (CTE). In addition to creating their four-year state plans for the federal Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act (Perkins V), at least 45 states and Palau enacted at least 208 policy actions related to CTE and career readiness.

Today, Advance CTE, the Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE) and the Education Commission of the States released the seventh annual State Policies Impacting CTE: Year in Review report, examining 2019 legislative activity, including legislation, execution orders, board of education actions and budget provisions. To develop the report Advance CTE, ACTE and Education Commission of the States reviewed state activity, cataloged all finalized state action and coded activity based on the policy area of focus. In 2019, states most frequently addressed the following topics:

In total at least 41 states enacted policies that affected CTE, making funding the most common policy category for the seventh year in a row. Illinois increased funding for CTE programming by $5 million, while Massachusetts and Delaware both invested in work-based learning programs. For the second year in a row, industry partnerships and work-based learning was the second most common policy category with at least 35 states taking action in this area. In Connecticut, the legislature passed a law to require the Connecticut Department of Labor and the Board of Regents for Higher Education to jointly establish nontraditional pathways to earning a bachelor’s degree through apprenticeships, while Colorado enacted a law to launch a statewide resource directory for apprenticeships.

Most states have taken action relevant to CTE since the Year in Review report was launched and in total more than 60 policies passed in 2019 than 2018. This indicates a continued commitment from state leaders to advance CTE. To view previous years’ Year in Review reports, click here. Advance CTE, ACTE and Education Commission of the States will be joined by Texas to discuss these policies in more depth on February 18 from 3-4 p.m. EST- to register for the webinar, click here.

Brianna McCain, Policy Associate

By Brianna McCain in Advance CTE Resources, Public Policy, Publications, Webinars
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States Support Alternative Methods to Earn College Credit and Degrees

Thursday, August 8th, 2019

The majority of 2019 legislative sessions have come to a close. During these legislative sessions, states enacted legislation to support alternative methods to obtain college credit and degrees.

Awarding College Credit Through Apprenticeships

Some states are exploring how to leverage apprenticeships to award college credit to learners. For instance, the Colorado legislature passed HB19-1294 in May to require the chief administrative officer of the Colorado Community College System to convene a working group to determine the best way to transfer construction industry registered apprenticeship program credit to college credit. If possible, the working group must have representatives from community colleges, area technical schools, local district colleges, relevant four-year institutions and applicable labor organizations. The working group must consider the possibility of apprenticeship program coursework culminating in significant progress towards a degree, among other considerations.

In June, the Connecticut legislature passed SB607, which requires the Labor Department and the Board of Regents for Higher Education to jointly establish nontraditional pathways to earning a bachelor’s degree through the inclusion of credits earned through apprenticeships.

Expanding Access to Credit for Prior Learning Opportunities

The Utah legislature passed HB45 in April. HB45 directs the State Board of Regents to establish policies that award learners credit for prior learning. The established policies must provide standards for accepted forms of prior learning assessments and the transferability of prior learning assessment credits between institutions, among other standards. To learn more about promising practices to advance credit for prior learning opportunities for each learner, read Advance CTE’s Developing Credit for Prior Learning Policies to Support Postsecondary Attainment for Every Learner report.

Brianna McCain, Policy Associate

By Brianna McCain in Uncategorized
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The Colorado Community College System is creating a new vision for career and technical education – and using Advance CTE’s Policy Benchmark Tool to support that process

Tuesday, April 23rd, 2019

As Colorado’s population and economy continue to boom, employer demand for skilled workers is at an all-time high. Career Technical Education (CTE) can meet that need and more. Last October, the Colorado Community College System (CCCS), which houses the state’s CTE operations, began the process of developing a statewide strategic plan for CTE. Branded “Next Gen Ed,” the plan aims to strengthen Colorado communities with a new direction for the role of CTE – not just as academic and technical preparation, but as a complete and impactful experience that prepares learners for their career, life, and civic participation.

Across the state, we are hosting visioning sessions with business and industry leaders, community members, and parents to understand how we can work together to provide an education for students that meets future workforce needs. Some of the topics being discussed are perceptions of CTE, work-based learning, and the transition from postsecondary education to the workforce. A critical aspect we’re also addressing in constructing our strategic plan is CTE program quality, and to help us do that, we’re using Advance CTE’s Program Approval Policy Benchmark Tool.

The Benchmark Tool is designed to help states evaluate and strengthen their secondary and postsecondary Career Technical Education (CTE) program approval policies and processes. It specifies the core elements that an effective program approval policy should have, and provides a step-by-step guide for CTE leaders to identify gaps in current state policy and prioritize areas for improvement. This can better ensure that all postsecondary CTE programs are of the highest quality and relevance.

In Colorado, we are using the tool to assess our state-level postsecondary policies, and we are introducing the tool to our academic discipline groups, which include key faculty from specific program areas from all the state’s community colleges. While the tool focuses on policy, using it means taking a deep dive into practice. How do we actually align programs of study with academic and industry standards? What does it mean to collaborate with our high school counterparts and with industry? These conversations have been supported by Advance CTE through a grant from The Joyce Foundation.

We know there is still a need for more career development in Colorado; we want all students regardless of interest to be prepared to enter the workforce and beyond. Our hope is that CTE will drive the state’s education, workforce and economic priorities. I am excited about our new CTE vision and strategic plan; I know it will contribute to stronger communities and will benefit this generation and future ones.

To learn more about CTE in Colorado and to stay up to date on the visioning process, visit coloradostateplan.com.

Sarah Heath, State CTE Director and Associate Vice Chancellor, Colorado Community College System

By Ashleigh McFadden in Uncategorized
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Virgina, New Mexico Take Steps to Expand CTE Opportunities for Learners; Colorado Expands CTE Funding Options

Monday, March 25th, 2019

In Virginia and New Mexico, the state legislatures have taken action to expand opportunities for CTE learners. In Virginia, on March 5, SB1434 was signed into law. The law directs the Virginia Board of Education to revise its Career and Technical Education Work-based Learning Guide to expand opportunities for learners to earn credit for graduation through high-quality work-based learning experiences. The law directs the Board of Education to consult business and diverse stakeholders to inform its revision of the guide.

In New Mexico, on March 9, HB91 was signed into law. The law establishes a seven-year pilot project to fund CTE programs and monitor their effects on student outcomes, including graduation rates and achievement scores, among other outcomes. The law allows the New Mexico Department of Education to provide grants to school districts to establish CTE programs as part of the pilot project and professional development to CTE teachers in the pilot project. The law outlines the requirements CTE programs funded through the pilot must meet, such as that the programs must lead to an industry-recognized credential at the postsecondary level and require training in soft and social skills.

The Colorado legislature passed a bill that opens a previously restricted funding stream to CTE. On March 7, Colorado Governor Jared Polis signed HB1008 into law, which amends the “Building Excellent Schools Today Act” to allow the public school capital construction board to provide grants to support CTE capital construction, which includes construction of public school facilities and equipment for CTE programs.

Brianna McCain, Policy Associate

By Brianna McCain in Public Policy
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New Resources: Designing Meaningful Career-Ready Indicators (Part 2)

Tuesday, August 21st, 2018

Earlier this summer, Advance CTE in partnership with Education Strategy Group (ESG) and the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO), released two profiles highlighting how states were integrating career-ready indicators into their accountability systems, specifically Progress towards Post-High School Credential and Assessment of (college and career) Readiness.

Today, we are releasing the final two of these profiles aligned with the remaining categories in  Destination Known: Valuing College AND Career Readiness in State Accountability Systems: Co-Curricular Learning and Leadership Experiences and Transitions Beyond High School. The Co-curricular Learning and Leadership Experiences profile focuses on how states like Georgia, Oklahoma and South Carolina are measuring work-based learning within their accountability system, while the Transitions Beyond High School profile explores how Colorado and Missouri are holding schools accountable for learners’ post-high school success in college and careers. While these are newer indicators and less likely to be included in states’ accountability systems, they are a critical to measuring college and career readiness in learners.

Read all four of the Career-Focused Indicator Profiles here and stay tuned for an update to Making Career Readiness Count (3.0) soon:

Kate Kreamer, Deputy Executive Director

By Kate Blosveren Kreamer in Advance CTE Resources, Uncategorized
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Report Examines State Strategies to Increase Qualified High School Teachers for Dual Enrollment Programs

Tuesday, July 3rd, 2018

Dual enrollment programs can ease students’ transitions from high school to postsecondary institutions as they continue along their desired programs of study, while also decreasing the cost of postsecondary education by allowing students to earn college credits while in high school. For the college credit earned through dual enrollment programs to be recognized, high school teachers must be qualified to teach college-level courses. As the availability of dual enrollment programs continue to increase, so have concerns about the qualifications of high school dual enrollment program teachers.

To understand the current landscape of policies impacting the quality of dual enrollment instructors, the Midwestern Higher Education Compact and the Education Commission the States released a report that summarizes state policies for dual enrollment instructors, regional accreditation organizations’ faculty policies and state strategies to increase the supply of qualified high school teachers for dual enrollment programs.

The report found that criteria for qualifying Career Technical Education (CTE) instructors are mentioned in state-level policies in eight states (Colorado, Illinois, Kansas, Maine, Missouri, Mississippi, Ohio, Virginia). Dual enrollment teacher qualification policies are generally related to education attainment level, but exemptions are sometimes made for CTE dual enrollment instructors. In some of these cases, states allow exemption from qualification rules when instructors can demonstrate proficiency in the field they will teach and consider industry recognized credentials and years of experience working in the field when determining teacher qualifications.

These exemptions and considerations are necessary to provide a pipeline of quality CTE dual enrollment instructors that can provide real-world perspectives and industry expert knowledge to students to equip them with the skills to be successful in an ever evolving workforce. Flexible requirements that still ensure that teachers have the relevant qualifications are necessary to address the shortage of qualified CTE instructors.

The report outlined seven strategies, such as offering financial aid for high school instructors to complete graduate credits, states are using to increase the supply of high school instructors qualified to teach in dual enrollment programs. These strategies are meant to incentivise professional development, coordinate and promote credentialing efforts and increase awareness of graduate program options.

These strategies, partnered with those outlined in Advance CTE’s brief about strengthening the rural CTE teacher pipeline and report about increasing access to industry experts in high school, provide policymakers and stakeholders with actions to address the CTE dual enrollment teacher shortage while also ensuring quality instruction for learners.

Advance CTE will continue to monitor policies that impact the pipeline of quality CTE dual enrollment instructors.

Brianna McCain, Policy Associate

By Brianna McCain in Uncategorized
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