Posts Tagged ‘COVID-19’

Voices of the Workforce: Navigating Career Change in a Crisis

Thursday, September 24th, 2020

COVID-19 (coronavirus) has affected our workforce systems drastically, forcing unemployment rates to soar and industry sectors to rapidly transition to new ways of seeking and retaining talent. The nation is grappling with how to resolve the economic downturn, while also ensuring that the unemployed, which has disproportionately affected women, Latinx, and Black Americans – are able to get back to work and on track to receive opportunities that advance their livelihoods. 

Some job losses resulting from the pandemic may be permanent causing many American workers to look for ways to reskill and upskill as they reenter into the workforce. The Strada Education Network has committed to building the space for collaboration between industry leaders, state leaders and American adult workers, preparing solutions that are lasting for both. Last week, the Strada Education Network held The Voices of the Workforce: Navigating Career Change in a Crisis webinar, intentionally focusing on sharing the voices from workers displaced from their jobs, navigating a new normal while enrolled in reskilling and upskilling courses. Below are a number of findings from the webinars, and how states have tackled some of these important issues in the past.

Time is a Major Factor

Data shows that 38 percent of workers who lost employment during the pandemic are more likely to now further their education. However, time is posed as a major barrier to enrolling and completing courses. Knowing that 86 percent of adult learners who complete postsecondary Career Technical Education (CTE) courses are employed within six months of completing a program – CTE is a safe bet for those looking to reskill or upskill in order to gain in-demand and living-wage careers. However, postsecondary institutions must create partnerships with the workforce and industry leaders to attract learners seeking programs that have reduced completion times and offer earn and learn programs to support family-sustaining careers. 

Earn and learn programs, such as apprenticeships, paid internship programs and other work-based learning arrangements play a critical role in supporting workers that need to obtain some income while in school. View Quality Pathways: Employer Leadership in Earn and Learn Opportunities in our Learning that Works Resource Center for core design elements and steps stakeholders can take to ensure their pathways meet the voices of American workers.

Supporting Learners in Postsecondary Programs 

The webinar identified a number of areas that postsecondary institutions may want to focus on to best support learners enrolling in programs including financial assistance, hands-on opportunities and help with finding employment upon program completion. Additionally, some adult learners returning back to school have not been in a school setting in many years and may struggle with basic academic schoolwork. States can play a vital role in implementing policies to help support learners in their transition, such as Washington’s Integrated Basic Education Skills Training (I-BEST), which aims to help adult learners obtain academic and technical skills to better prepare for college-level work.

To tackle the financial burden that many learners likely face, states can learn from North Carolina’s Finish Line Grants program. The grants are operated by the North Carolina Department of Commerce and are administered locally through a partnership between community colleges and local workforce development boards.

Continued on the Job Training

CTE programs prepare learners for high-skill jobs in professions that require regular upskilling due to new technology or shifts in the industry. In many cases, this has been accelerated due to the pandemic as companies have moved to fully and partially-virtual workplaces. However,  the coronavirus has limited many opportunities for hands-on job training experiences to continue. American workers encourage employers to continue skills training and certification attainment for newly hired employees. American workers share that they’re not only looking for a job that meets their interests and talents, they are also looking for companies that will invest in them. Companies and industry leaders can sit down with their employees and help to guide them in the direction of upward mobility within the company and within the industry. 

The most important factor in designing programs, supports and policies that the webinar drives home is the need to include and center the people that you are trying to best serve in order to lead to a more equitable path toward upward mobility for all American workers. The full recording of The Voices of the Workforce: Navigating Career Change in a Crisis webinar can be viewed here

Other resources for state leaders, policymakers, employers and other key stakeholders:

Brittany Cannady, Digital Media Associate

By Brittany Cannady in Resources
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How to Promote Career Technical Education as Vital to Economic Recovery

Thursday, September 3rd, 2020

COVID-19 (coronavirus) has affected the most foundational aspects of our society, including our education systems and nation’s economy. With millions of Americans unemployed and some industry sectors shuttered or undergoing rapid transformation, Black and Latinx workers, workers with a high school education or less and female workers have been disproportionately impacted. [1] Now, more than ever, CTE is vital to our nation’s learners, employers and America’s economic recovery.

States play a critical role in making the case for CTE. As such, Advance CTE released new assets to help state CTE leaders communicate with policymakers, the media, employers and other key stakeholders. 

Below is a brief overview of each asset and how it can be used. However, before you get started, make sure you, your staff and key spokespeople are speaking the same messages. Use the talking points in this resource to help guide your presentations, resources you plan to develop, and ensure consistency across all who will be talking about this important issue. Of course, supplement state and local data if you have it! 

VIDEO: 

CTE’s Role in the Workforce and Economic Recovery Video

CTE is a program that works for both learners and employers, and should be a critical component of America’s road to economic recovery. In this short video, there are major talking points that help make the case for CTE. All data referred to in the video is cited here. Link to this video on your state websites and in social media posts. This video can also be embedded in your presentation slide decks and in newsletters.

FACT SHEETS: 

Secondary CTE and the Economic Recovery Fact Sheet

Secondary CTE is critical to preparing learners for an evolving workforce and ensuring they have the foundational and transferable skills that will benefit them throughout their lives. For secondary CTE learners and those individuals at the beginning of their careers, losing opportunities to gain hands-on experience and job training can have a major long-term impact. This fact sheet helps to make the case for a continued investment in our K-12 CTE programs. 

Postsecondary CTE and the Economic Recovery Fact Sheet

One study estimates that 60 percent of job losses may be temporary [2] while other studies predict a quarter of job losses being permanent. [3] It is imperative that we continue to invest in CTE and workforce systems to ensure individuals can have the opportunity to reskill and upskill to be prepared to re-enter or advance in the post-coronavirus economy.

Link to these fact sheets on your state website and in your presentations. Use them as leave behinds at in-person meetings (if you are having them).  

PROMOTIONAL TOOLS: 

Promotional Toolkit

This promotional toolkit provides recommended newsletter language and social media posts, a blog post and graphics. Use these graphics with the recommended language on your social media channels, in your presentations, on your state website and in your newsletters.

How To Talk about Career Technical Education and Economic Recovery

In this guide, you are provided ways to use the assets, independently or together, in your state and who to communicate with to make the case for CTE.

Brittany Cannady, Digital Media Associate

[1] https://www.stradaeducation.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/Public-Viewpoint-Report-Week-4.pdf

[2] https://bfi.uchicago.edu/working-paper/covid-19-is-also-a-reallocation-shock/

[3] https://www.philadelphiafed.org/-/media/covid/research-for-equity-in-recovery/how-job-training-matters.pdf?la=en

By Brittany Cannady in Advance CTE Resources, COVID-19 and CTE, Resources
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K-12 School Reopening Plans: Exemplars for CTE

Wednesday, August 26th, 2020

As schools begin to reopen and learners begin their classwork nationwide both virtually and in-person, the health and safety of students remains at the forefront of educators’ and administrators’ minds. Throughout the summer, state educational agencies (SEAs) published school reopening guidance to help schools make informed decisions about the best course of action for their students and school community while maintaining safe practices. Whether continuing to educate virtually or in-person, these guidelines are as varied as the local plans that implement them. 

Considering the varied nature of these plans and the special circumstances that often underlie the logistics of implementing Career Technical Education (CTE) for a school district or throughout a region, Advance CTE tracked school reopening plans for each state and analyzed how they implicated CTE. The tracker that resulted can be found here. As of writing, 33 states’ reopening plans mention CTE in any way, including cursory mentions or health- or sanitation-specific guidance (see figure 1). Of those 33, 12 have robust CTE-specific guidance either embedded in their state reopening plan or as a separately published document. While each of these warrants viewing and merits discussion, we have chosen four plans to highlight due to their breadth or depth or because they have an innovative element that distinguishes their plan from others. While these highlighted plans are not the only examples of strong CTE-specific guidance, they can serve as models for other state agencies looking to further develop guidance of their own as schools continue to reopen and local education agencies (LEAs) continue their transition to in-person education.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Figure 1. (Last updated 8/24)

Minnesota

Minnesota’s state reopening guidance (last updated 8/21; CTE guidance on pages 95-101) provides comprehensive information about CTE throughout the state including guidance for classroom/laboratory instruction, work-based learning, career development and advising and career and technical student organizations (CTSOs). It also provides links to dozens of resources that are program-specific or unique to a particular program.

New York

New York’s state reopening guidance (last updated 7/16; CTE guidance on pages 103-108) provides similarly robust information across a variety of CTE topics. Beyond content and delivery and CTSO guidelines, this reopening plan also includes information about industry partnerships, guidelines for students with disabilities and standards for program approval, Perkins V and other data reporting. 

Nebraska

Nebraska’s CTE-specific guidance (published 8/4) provides guidance and guidelines for special classroom settings unique to CTE as well as general CTE guidance. They utilize “Guiding Principles of Nebraska CTE” (included within) to inform the document. Further, the setting-specific guidelines are delineated based on the reopening status of the state, which provides for flexibility across time. 

Tennessee

Tennessee’s CTE-specific guidance (published 7/15) provides in-depth guidelines not only for all areas of CTE, but also for how content is delivered (in-person, hybrid or virtual). Their plan draws from the Association for Career Technical Education (ACTE)’s High-quality CTE: Planning for a COVID-19-Impacted School Year (published in June), which asks guiding questions to ensure all considerations are discussed when undertaking school reopening at the local levels.

Finally, Advance CTE has its own guiding questions in the workbook Prioritizing CTE Through and Beyond COVID-19 that can be utilized by those at the state level to help employ quality and equity principles throughout reopening strategy. Additional resources can be found on our COVID-19 resources page.

Dan Hinderliter, Policy Associate

By Brittany Cannady in COVID-19 and CTE, Uncategorized
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Career Technical Education’s Vital Role in Economic Recovery

Thursday, August 20th, 2020

COVID-19 (coronavirus) has affected the most foundational aspects of our society, including our education systems and nation’s economy. With millions of Americans unemployed and some industry sectors shuttered or undergoing rapid transformation, Black and Latinx workers, workers with a high school education or less and female workers have been disproportionately impacted. Now, more than ever, Career Technical Education (CTE) is vital to our nation’s learners, employers and America’s economic recovery.  

While there is great uncertainty about the pandemic’s ongoing and long-term impact on our country, there is certainty that CTE is vital to recovery because of its proven track record. The postsecondary completion rate is nearly doubled for learners in CTE programs (56.8%) compared to all two-year institutions (29%). And 86% of adult CTE learners continue their education or are employed within six months of completing a program. Additionally, about a third of CTE learners are enrolled in programs in leading fields such as health care, information technology and Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics (STEM) – careers that are especially important during the coronavirus.

Through CTE, displaced workers can upskill and reskill and prepare for reentry into the workforce and employers can find a pipeline of well-qualified talent who can adapt to and thrive in the ever-changing world of work. This is especially important given that after the last recession, the majority of new or replacement jobs went to employees with more than a high school diploma, including 3.1 million jobs that went to those with an associate’s degree or postsecondary certificates. 

As our nation simultaneously continues to fight the pandemic and also begins to respond to the economic downturn that has harmed so many businesses and families, ensuring that equitable access to CTE is part of the solution is a message every policymaker needs to hear. To that end, today, Advance CTE released new tools including a short video to help state CTE leaders make the case for CTE to policymakers and other key stakeholders.

By Brittany Cannady in Advance CTE Resources, COVID-19 and CTE, Resources
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New Resource: Prioritizing CTE Through and Beyond COVID-19

Thursday, July 30th, 2020

Advance CTE released a new tool focused on supporting state Career Technical Education (CTE) leaders in prioritizing CTE learners and the delivery of high-quality programs as states prepare to reopen schools and campuses – be it in-person, remote or hybrid instruction – this upcoming academic year.

Earlier this summer, Advance CTE released, COVID-19’s Impact on CTE: Defining the Challenge and the Opportunity to identify the challenges that impact the design, delivery and assessment of CTE programs across the country. Now, as the next school year draws near, it is time to develop key action steps in preparing for and implementing strategies to provide quality, equitable CTE during the coronavirus and beyond.

State CTE leaders can leverage this tool when planning for short- and long-term priorities. The resource asks state CTE leaders to reflect on the past and future impact of the coronavirus on CTE learners and programs, consider how to use data and engage the field to make informed decisions, and identify key action steps to assist the state in preparing for and implementing strategies to provide quality, equitable CTE this coming year. 

Prioritizing CTE Through and Beyond COVID-19 is organized around the following key topics that must be addressed for learners to access high-quality CTE experiences: 

The final section of this tool includes an optional action plan template to help organize the various short- and longer-term priorities and lay out an implementation plan. 

Download Prioritizing CTE Through and Beyond COVID-19 here (Word, PDF).

Kate Kreamer, Deputy Executive Director

By Brittany Cannady in Publications, Resources
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State Reentry Plans Prioritize Equity

Thursday, June 25th, 2020

Many states are in the process of planning for learners to physically reenter school and college in the fall. However, the possibility of a “second peak” or “second wave” of COVID-19 (coronavirus) means that states are also preparing to provide high-quality Career Technical Education (CTE) to learners at a distance. States are preparing for an “accordion effect,” in which learners may spend some time in the classroom and some time engaging in distance learning. To help institutions prepare for different scenarios, state agencies have released guidance and plans for reentry. Specifically, many of the reentry plans call attention to the importance of advancing equity during the pandemic and ensuring that each learner has access to the supports needed to succeed.

In June, Arizona released a “Roadmap for Reopening Schools” that provides strategies and considerations for local education agencies as they prepare for reentry and periods of campus closures. Core to the guide is taking a learner centered approach through leveraging strategies related to leadership and instruction, such as strategies related to trauma-sensitive teaching and social emotional learning. The state recognizes that supporting learners during this time requires a community effort. To that end, the roadmap includes critical questions for institutions to consider as they build out their plans, such as “what partnerships are necessary to implement the plan (i.e., Tribal Nations, youth and community organizations, etc.)?” and “what can we do now to reduce the disparities in access to learning that will exist for vulnerable student populations if schools are forced to close?”  

Similarly, Kentucky released considerations for reopening schools. The resource includes key questions institutions should consider as they develop their plans, such as “how will schools and districts ensure students participate in and fulfill work-based learning placements?” and “how will schools and districts ensure the equity of instruction for students who are still choosing to learn from home or must remain at home due to safety restrictions?” State CTE leaders can leverage the key questions that are featured in states’ reentry plans to help inform what it means to provide high-quality work-based learning opportunities, access to industry-recognized credentials and access to other CTE opportunities during periods of remote learning.

In addition to questions for consideration, state reentry plans include strategies to advance equity during the pandemic. Virginia released “Recover, Redesign, Restart 2020,” which emphasizes the state’s commitment to ensuring equity and includes considerations, key steps and strategies to advance equity during coronavirus. Some key strategies include establishing processes and accountability levers to ensure that the implementation of reentry plans do not lead to disparate impacts and consequences and investing in equity. Specifically, the guide encourages institutions to prioritize funds, such as federal stimulus funding, to meet the needs of Enlgish language learners, students with disabilities, undocumented students and students living in proverty.

This is the first blog in a series that will examine state guidance and plans for reentry. To learn more about Advance CTE’s commitment to advancing equity in CTE, click here. To access resources related to equity and the coronavirus, click here.

Brianna McCain, Policy Associate

By Brianna McCain in Uncategorized
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State Roles to Support Remote Learning: Part Two

Wednesday, June 24th, 2020

This is the second of a two-part blog series. Check last week’s post for additional information!

The COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic has forced K-12 and postsecondary education to move to the distance education space. State and local Career Technical Education (CTE) leaders are grappling with how to deliver high-quality programs remotely. While districts and colleges have taken significant steps to adjust their curricula, state leaders play an important role in strategizing as well by gathering local information, gauging what strategies should be elevated and scaled statewide and communicating these practices across the state. Check out last week’s blog post here

Coordinating Full Supports Required for Success

While there are many instructional resources that are needed immediately, there are learner supports that cannot be forgotten — and state CTE leaders can coordinate with other state-level partners to compile coordinate these resources. With remote learning largely taking place virtually, access to reliable broadband internet and computers or devices such as smartphones and tablets is a major concern for secondary and postsecondary learners. States are taking varying approaches, from equipping buses with Wi-Fi and parking them in rural areas to enabling free Internet in the surrounding areas of a school or college so that students can log on from inside of their cars. Access to the Internet and computers is pivotal for distance learning, and a state-coordinated effort to monitor gaps and respond to them is critical.

The Wisconsin Technical College System has been working to rapidly provide full supports that learners need. In addition to providing Wi-Fi, colleges have been ensuring that campus services are still offered even while campuses are closed. This includes college and career advising and providing online options for enrollment and financial aid.

Facilitating Collaboration Between Secondary and Postsecondary Education

Many postsecondary institutions already had some kind of remote learning system in place prior to the pandemic. Though the scale changed following the pandemic, the existing foundation proved helpful in many states. Right now, collaboration and shared strategies for success between secondary and postsecondary levels is extremely important — and state CTE leaders should create opportunities for engagement. Connecting instructors across Career Clusters® is one way to promote sharing best practices.

Developing a System to Ensure Students Are Learning

In order to provide high-quality remote education, state leaders must have an understanding of what is and is not working. This requires using data to evaluate success. State leaders should use the data they have access to, combined with the information they learn from identifying learner and instructor needs, to determine a standard of success. This should look different than a typical assessment and grade structure, and factors such as learner engagement should be considered. A statewide system for evaluating how and whether students are learning will allow for state leaders to course correct where needed and plan for uncertainty ahead.

Meredith Hills, Policy Associate 

By Brittany Cannady in COVID-19 and CTE
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A Learner-Centered Approach to Early Postsecondary Opportunities Amid COVID-19

Monday, June 22nd, 2020

Now that the spring 2020 semester has come to a close, schools, colleges and learners across the country are left with the uncomfortable question: what happens next? Amid the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic, the U.S. has faced widespread school closures and an unprecedented – albeit clunky – transition to remote learning. Even as states begin to lift restrictions, the path ahead is still uncertain.

Last week the National Alliance of Concurrent Enrollment Partnerships (NACEP) and Advance CTE explored some of the ways the Coronavirus has impacted – and will continue to impact – Career Technical Education (CTE) and Early Postsecondary Opportunities (EPSO), which include dual enrollment, dual credit, concurrent enrollment and other related opportunities. There is no silver bullet solution to these challenges, but state leaders and postsecondary institutions are already thinking of ways to minimize the impact on learners and, to the extent possible, to support continuity of learning through the summer and into the fall.

Hold Learners Harmless

One principle states and educational institutions should commit to is to hold learners harmless from the impacts of the Coronavirus, particularly the financial and academic burdens. States like Ohio have already taken steps to protect learners, issuing guidance that prohibits school districts from seeking reimbursement from students who withdraw from a postsecondary course due to Coronavirus-related disruptions.

Further, states are honoring students’ commitment to learning by giving them opportunities to earn credit for the work they have completed. In North Carolina, graduating high school seniors who are enrolled in EPSO courses will be given a passing grade – coded “PC19” to indicate the unusual circumstances of the pandemic – to ensure they can still meet graduation requirements. States like Georgia and Louisiana are giving learners additional time to complete course requirements over the summer.

Commit to Transparency

As states, higher education systems and local institutions adjust grading policies amid Coronavirus-related shutdowns, they must commit to transparency and provide clarity about how credit transfer will be supported. There are questions about binary grades and their impact on the transferability of EPSO courses to two-year and four-year institutions. States with guaranteed transfer acceptance and institutions with transparent policies for addressing binary credit offer students their best option. Some states have begun to release guidance on EPSOs including CTE dual credit opportunities, which NACEP has compiled here.

Don’t be Afraid to Innovate

States and institutions have adapted remarkably well to social distancing on a very short timeframe, but the hands-on, practical learning experiences that make CTE unique and compelling are often not easy to simulate in a remote or online format. That said, necessity is the mother of invention. Instructors and administrators have started finding creative solutions to maintain continuity of learning, from manufacturing products out of household supplies to distributing at-home lab kits. In Illinois, the Community College Board, Board of Higher Education and Illinois Articulation Initiative are allowing the transfer of credits for lab science course offerings that are delivered through nontraditional formats such as simulations, online labs or at-home science kits. In some cases, campuses are exploring ways to safely facilitate hands-on learning over the summer by cutting class sizes or offering intensive summer bootcamps – all while adhering to social distancing guidelines – to help learners make up missed hours.

Keep Equity Front and Center in Funding

As states face declining revenue and anticipate budget cuts in education and elsewhere, they must consider the critical role these programs play in their societal and economic recovery after the pandemic. Funding to decrease the cost of postsecondary education is an important equity lever to help ensure that the talent pipeline into high-skill, high-wage and in-demand occupations includes the entirety of their diverse communities. But a blanket approach to budget reduction, where all learners receive the same benefit, may imperil this approach.

States should analyze their EPSO funding with an equity lens and, when needed, make cuts that don’t disproportionately impact learners traditionally underrepresented in higher education. Increases in cost to the learner, driven by budget cuts, disproportionately impact learners from economically disadvantaged families who cannot absorb a change in cost like an affluent student can. As states assess the impact of this pandemic on education budgets, they should consider strategic changes to help under-resourced school districts, to address affordability for those students that are most price sensitive, and to look thoughtfully about ways to build access to those underrepresented in higher education. Focusing on equity will be critical to ensure budget cuts don’t exacerbate equity gaps in higher education and ultimately the workforce.

Recognize the Role in Recovery

As state and the national economy recovers and reconfigures, states will be looking to ensure they have a strong, robust talent pipeline to address their current, evolving and future workforce needs. There is a lot of uncertainty in forecasting what the labor market and economy will look like in the next three to five years, but it is certain that revitalizing state economies will depend on access to a skilled, educated workforce. States that have invested in career pathways approaches tied to workforce needs, have strong business and industry engagement in CTE, and strong connections between secondary and postsecondary education and industry already understand the value of these programs in driving the state economy. These relationships and a willingness to partner will yield dividends as states emerge from this crisis.

It is too early to measure the true impact of the Coronavirus on postsecondary readiness and credit attainment, but states and institutions can already anticipate some of the barriers that will come and take steps to address them. The time to act is now. States can and should clarify their policies on CTE EPSOs and ensure that the weight of school closures and learning disruption does not unnecessarily harm learners, particularly those who have the most to benefit from these opportunities.

This blog post is the second in a two-part series about the impacts of the Coronavirus on CTE dual enrollment. It was written by Amy Williams, Executive Director of NACEP, and Austin Estes, Manager of Data & Research for Advance CTE.

By Austin Estes in COVID-19 and CTE
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State Roles to Support Remote Learning: Part One

Wednesday, June 17th, 2020

This is the first of a two-part blog series examining the state’s role in remote learning. Check back next week for additional information!

The COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic has forced K-12 and postsecondary education to move quickly, and without a ton of preparation, to the distance education space. State and local Career Technical Education (CTE) leaders have grappled with how to deliver high-quality programs remotely over the past few months while looking towards potentially delivering programs virtually in the fall. While districts and colleges have taken significant steps to adjust their curricula, state leaders play an important role in strategizing as well by gathering local information, gauging what strategies should be elevated and scaled statewide and communicating these practices across the state.

Identifying Learners’ and Educators’ Needs 

In this time of uncertainty, it is important for state leaders to have an accurate understanding of what learners and educators need to be successful so they can target resources and make changes to policy to ensure continuity of learning. With the access that they have to learners and instructors statewide, state CTE leaders are uniquely positioned to gather information on the supports needed. One way to do this is by administering a needs assessment survey, as has been done in California. The results were informative and showed that 82 percent of respondents were unsure how to continue with classes online and wanted help developing lesson plans. From there, state leaders updated the existing website, cteonline.org, to include a repository for lesson plans that had already been created, organized by sector.

Such a survey can provide a view into the biggest areas of concern and allow state leaders to directly address what local leaders need. Additionally, state leaders can use the results of their needs assessment survey to identify promising practices and match districts or colleges that are struggling in an area to others that have been more successful, taking the burden off of individuals and removing duplication of efforts. In Phoenix, Arizona, local leaders made the commitment to call learners each week. By putting in place a system for regularly checking in on learner and teacher needs, state leaders can scale their response to the crisis and better target resources to those most in need.

Creating Forums to Share Out Curriculum and Instructional Resources

The quick change to remote learning and unanticipated length of time meant that states did not have time to prepare for what this time of education delivery would entail. One way that state leaders can accelerate the adoption of evidence-based practices and distance learning innovations is by creating a forum for instructors to collaborate, share resources and learn from one another. Many states such as Michigan and Rhode Island developed online statewide websites for instructors to share curriculum and instructional supports. Easily accessible resources take some of the burden off of instructors. In addition, with thoughtful curation by state CTE leaders, such forums can allow for quality additions and some consistency across the state.

Meredith Hills, Policy Associate

By Brittany Cannady in COVID-19 and CTE
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COVID-19 Will Disrupt Early Postsecondary CTE Credit Attainment: Don’t Make Learners Bear the Burden

Monday, June 15th, 2020

The last weeks of March were a test of adaptability for the nation’s education institutions. Over the span of weeks, school districts, community/technical colleges and area technical centers had to amend remote learning policies amid unprecedented school closures. The rapid pace at which systems and institutions have adapted to the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic has been likened to turning a battleship at the pace of a speedboat.

Early Postsecondary Opportunities (EPSO) – which include dual enrollment, dual credit, concurrent enrollment and other related opportunities – play an important role in facilitating successful transitions between secondary and postsecondary education. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, approximately one-third of high school graduates take courses for postsecondary credit at some point during their educational careers. The integration of EPSO courses in Career Technical Education (CTE) pathways is creating options-rich, intuitive linkages between high school, college and career. This approach yields benefits to students, their families and their communities: earning postsecondary CTE credit in high school can lead to higher rates of college enrollment, persistence and success. But as schools, districts and colleges adapt to a new Coronavirus reality and a pervasive shift to online learning, where does that leave learners who are enrolled in CTE EPSO courses?

Coronavirus-related shutdowns put pressure on CTE EPSO courses in a number of ways:

The field has been quick to recognize these challenges, but given the decentralized nature of higher education – in most cases, articulation agreements for CTE credit are negotiated at the local level between individual districts and partner colleges – the response has been inconsistent and incomplete. This situation creates both challenges and opportunities.

So how can states respond to some of these challenges? Next week the National Alliance of Concurrent Enrollment Partnerships (NACEP) and Advance CTE will explore some strategies to minimize the burden on students and honor their commitment to learning.

This blog post is the first in a two-part series about the impacts of the Coronavirus on CTE dual enrollment. It was written by Amy Williams, Executive Director of NACEP, and Austin Estes, Manager of Data & Research for Advance CTE.

By Austin Estes in COVID-19 and CTE
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