Posts Tagged ‘credentials’

New Resources: Designing Meaningful Career-Ready Indicators (Part 1)

Thursday, July 5th, 2018

Over the past four years, Advance CTE has been tracking how states value career readiness within their federal and state accountability systems, shared in our bi-annual report, Making Career Readiness Count (released in 2014 and 2016), in partnership with Achieve. The passage of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) in 2016 led a significant increase in states valuing measures of career and college readiness in their accountability systems, which has the power to truly transform districts and schools across the country.

With nearly every state’s ESSA plan approved by the U.S. Department of Education, states are in the process of actually designing their new or revised accountability systems, including developing business rules and guidance to locals on data collection and designing report cards.

To help states design and implement the most meaningful career-focused indicators at this key moment in time, Advance CTE, Education Strategy Group (ESG) and the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) are developing a series of career-focused indicator profiles organized around the four types of measures recommended in Destination Known: Valuing College AND Career Readiness in State Accountability Systems.

Today, we are releasing two on Progress toward Post-High School Credential and Assessment of Readiness. These profiles explore how leading states, including Delaware, Ohio, Tennessee and West Virginia, are designing their indicators to ensure they are based on quality, validated data, are inclusive of all students, and are aligned with meaningful outcomes. They should serve as a resource and inspiration for states working on similar indicators.

In the next few weeks, Advance CTE will be releasing two additional profiles on the other categories defined in Destination Known: Co-curricular Learning and Leadership Experiences and Transitions Beyond High School. And, in the coming months, we will release our third edition of Making Career Readiness Count in partnership with Achieve, ESG and CCSSO. Stay tuned for more!

Kate Kreamer, Deputy Executive Director

By Kate Blosveren Kreamer in Advance CTE Resources, Resources
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The New Fact Sheet on the Role of CTE in Statewide Attainment Goals

Thursday, May 24th, 2018

More than 40 states have set statewide attainment goals for the percentage of adults holding postsecondary degrees or credentials by a certain year. These efforts have been sparked by Lumina Foundation’s 2025 national credential attainment goal – 60 percent of Americans holding a credential beyond a high school diploma by 2025.

Some states have involved Career Technical Education (CTE) from the onset and others are now looking to ensure CTE is part of their overall strategy. The new fact sheet released by Advance CTE explains why and how CTE can be a major driver of postsecondary attainment across the country.

 

What States Should Do

Read more about how Oklahoma, New Jersey and Tennessee have connected the dots between CTE and statewide attainment goals in the new fact sheet.

Kate Kreamer, Deputy Executive Director

By Kate Blosveren Kreamer in Advance CTE Announcements, Advance CTE Resources
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Credential Engine Launches Platform and Tools to Make Complex Credentialing World Simpler

Tuesday, December 19th, 2017

On Thursday, December 7, dozens of education and workforce policy professionals attended the Credential Engine launch event to see something rare – a CEO, a union representative, a postsecondary representative and a foundation head agree with each other. The discussion, kicked off by Eleni Papadakis, Executive Director of the Washington Workforce Training and Education Coordinating Board, focused on the potential of the Credential Engine registry to catalog the thousands of credentials and certifications available in the United States and help learners and employers make sense of the credential marketplace.

The registry works by encouraging states and other credential providers to upload their credentials (and their associated outcomes) to a common platform using common language and definitions. From there, employers, non-profits and others will be able to use the open source information to develop apps to integrate into their other systems. For example, an employer could integrate the information into existing human resources databases, or states could use the information to connect labor market demand with existing credentials that might meet the state’s needs.

It is unclear how state or local governments will ultimately use this registry, or how well any of the apps developed will help learners understand not just what credentials are available, but which credentials are high quality. In fact, at the launch event, Jamie Merisotis, President and Chief Executive Officer of Lumina Foundation, expressed his desire that government agencies hold back for the time being on using Credential Engine to make policy or build credential accountability systems, and instead let the registry and related apps leverage market forces to test and build the functionality of the registry as an evaluation mechanism.

While this platform is certainly still in its early stages, and much remains to be seen about how it will ultimately be used, there are a few promising indicators. The state of Indiana has already agreed to load healthcare credentials, New Jersey has agreed to load credentials from key industries onto the platform, and Credential Engine is working with the U.S. military to help translate military credentials into civilian equivalents. Additionally, more than 50 CEOs associated with Business Roundtable have committed to using registry data to meet employment needs.

For more information on Credential Engine, check out their website here: https://www.credentialengine.org/ or join their next application showcase on January 18 at 2 pm EST.

Ashleigh McFadden, State Policy Manager

By Ashleigh McFadden in Uncategorized
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How Do States Identify and Endorse Industry-Recognized Credentials?

Friday, October 7th, 2016

Credentials_of_Value_2016Latest Advance CTE Brief Explores Promising Strategies

One of the core components of a high-quality Career Technical Education (CTE) program is that it culminates in a credential of value. But with more than 4,000 credentialing organizations in the United States today, states are grappling with the challenge of narrowing down the field.

Advance CTE today released a policy brief to help states get started in this work. The paper, titled “Credentials of Value: State Strategies for Identifying and Endorsing Industry-Recognized Credentials,” highlights promising practices from Florida, Kansas and Louisiana, which have each made considerable progress developing a system for students and employers to navigate the tangled universe of credentials. The brief further describes how each state tackles the challenge in a different way, building a system that suits their local economy and context, and highlights a few common strategies.

For one, these states engage business and industry leaders early on in the process to verify that credentials are recognized and accepted in the labor market. This helps ensure that students are only pursuing — and states are only incentivizing — those credentials that have value. One example that the brief explores is in Louisiana, where regional teams are required to submit letters of endorsement from businesses in the state whenever they propose a new credential for the statewide list.

From there, the process of vetting high-quality credentials often involves a concerted effort from a variety of different institutions. The brief describes how, in Florida, the state-approved credential list at the secondary level is developed with input from the Department of Economic Opportunity, the Agency for Workforce Innovation, the state’s workforce development board (an independent non-profit called CareerSource Florida) and the Department of Education. This ensures that the state can leverage the expertise of each agency to approve only those credentials that are valuable to students and to the economy.

Another challenge the brief explores is that credentials available on the market today range in value, quality and the effort required to earn them. Thus, states have begun to recognize this difference and classify credentials based on their rigor and utility in the labor market. Kansas, for example, is examining a framework that categorizes credentials into three tiers: those required by law or regulation, those mandated by industry, and those preferred by industry.

Even then, states should be prepared to adapt to fluctuations in the labor market or unforeseen problems with the credential review process. Take Florida’s Career and Professional Education Act (CAPE) for example. CAPE provided additional funding for teachers and school districts whose students earn state-approved credentials, but the state soon realized that the program was not structured appropriately to eliminate some gaming of the funding incentive. Over the years, Florida has gradually adjusted the funding formula to address these concerns and align incentives to encourage more students to earn high-quality credentials.

With two-thirds of all new jobs projected to require some postsecondary education and training by 2020, there is a growing need for states to play a larger role in identifying and endorsing credentials of value.

Austin Estes, Policy Associate

By Austin Estes in Public Policy, Publications, Resources
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CTE Research Review: Youth Employment, Reverse Transfers and More

Monday, June 13th, 2016

We are back with another CTE Research Review. In this edition we explore business-facing intermediaries and a new study on reverse transfer students. And below the fold, we feature some studies and stories you may have missed in the last month.

How Intermediaries Create Shared Value by Connecting Youth with Jobs

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation is out with a new report in its Youth Employment Series titled Talent Orchestrators: Scaling Youth Employment through Business-Facing Intermediaries. The report challenges the notion that employer engagement is only a civic or philanthropic venture and outlines how business-facing intermediaries can create shared value by matching businesses with skilled youth. Already, intermediaries around the country are stepping up to the plate by managing employer demand, equipping youth with professional skills and job-specific training, and facilitating the onboarding process to connect youth with employment opportunities.

Consider STEP-UP Achieve, a career-track youth employment program started by Minneapolis-based intermediary AchieveMpls. The program partnered with the Minneapolis Regional Chamber to develop a curriculum and establish a certification endorsement for youth participants who successfully complete a pre-employment work-readiness program. This program, and others like it, created shared value by both preparing youth for the workplace and providing employers with a signal of job readiness. STEP-UP Achieve has provided more than 8,000 internship opportunities since 2004.

For Reverse Transfer Students, Going Backward Could Be the Best Path Forward

Speaking of alternative pathways to employment, a new research study from the Center for Analysis of Postsecondary Education and Employment (CAPSEE) examines academic and labor outcomes for struggling students who transfer from a four-year to a two-year postsecondary institution (aka “4-2 transfer students”). The study, Do Students Benefit from Going Backward? The Academic and Labor Market Consequences of Four-to Two-Year College Transfer, finds that struggling 4-2 transfer students are more likely to earn a postsecondary credential than similar students who do not transfer. What’s more, these students were no less likely than similar students to earn a bachelor’s degree and had similar earnings and employment rates. The outcomes of the study are promising because they suggest that struggling students can benefit from the flexibility and affordability of transferring to a two-year college without putting degree completion or future employment at risk.

ICYMI

And in case you missed it, here are some other studies and stories making a splash this month:

Austin Estes, Policy Associate

By Austin Estes in Research
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CTE Research Review: Making Sense of Credentials

Wednesday, September 16th, 2015

The number of high-demand jobs requiring an occupational license has grown over the past several years. This shift requires changes from the education community when considering the requisite training and preparation that students will need to enter these careers.

A new report from the White House offers policymakers a framework for the growing field of occupational licensing as well some best practices to consider.

Some interesting facts:

Also, licenses are just one type of credential that students can obtain in their educational journey, and with states working to meet the new Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), understanding the different types is more important than ever.

The Association of Career and Technical Education recently published a primer on credentials, in particular the postsecondary space between high school and a two-year degree. Check out the full brief here.

Finally, the two-year degree attracts students of all ages, but which of those age groups are most likely to continue on to earn their bachelor’s degree? A quick fact sheet from the American Association of Community Colleges’ “Data Points” series has the answer.

certs

Source: Association of Career and Technical Education

Andrea Zimmermann, State Policy Associate

By Andrea Zimmermann in Research
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CTE Research Review: Career Readiness for All

Wednesday, August 5th, 2015

PathleasttakenThe Center for Public Education has analyzed the National Center for Education Statistics’ Education Longitudinal Study to look at a student group that is often ignored in major research studies – the one in five students who do not immediately enroll in college after graduating from high school. Be sure to check out the first installment of this research series, which looked at the characteristics of this group.

Now, CPE has released its second installment – this time attempting to gain insight into “career readiness” for high school graduates by looking at various job-related and social outcomes of this same group of non-college goers by the time they reached age 26. In fact, the data showed that “credentials” and being well prepared in high school matter, particularly for non-college goers who:

Specifically, researchers found that advanced courses, such as Algebra 2 and advanced biology, and an CTE focus can have an impact on non-college going students’ likelihood to have a good job and engage in society. If those same students earn a professional credential, then the scale shifts in favor of the non-college goer, meaning they are actually more likely to be employed, earn good wages and vote than their peers who attended college. Further, better preparation also had a greater impact on black graduates than their white and Hispanic peers, showing that higher credentials can be the key to closing the employment and wage gap.

Rising to the Challenge?

A new survey from Achieve asked college faculty and employers who teach or hire recent high school graduates about their preparedness for college and careers. This is the second release of Achieve’s Rising to the Challenge survey. The first release, from late 2014, examined recent high school graduates’ views on their own preparedness. The full survey is an update to a similar survey Achieve conducted in 2004.

The results reveal many parallels to the students’ own responses – in short, that there is a pervasive opinion that public high schools are not doing enough to prepare students for the expectations they will face in college and the workplace. Contrast those responses with those from the 2004 survey, and the picture becomes even bleaker.

All three groups – college faculty, employers and students – all agreed that to improve preparedness:

Andrea Zimmermann, State Policy Associate

By Andrea Zimmermann in Research
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CTE Research Review: Demystifying Work-based Learning

Wednesday, June 10th, 2015

Jobs for the Future’s Pathways to Prosperity Network recently released a toolkit to help demystify work-based learning for employers. In the report, “Not as Hard as You Think: Engaging High School Students in Work-based Learning,” JFF acknowledges that addressing employers’ concerns about liability and labor law issues are critical to scaling up work-based learning (WBL) opportunities.

The brief’s primary goal is to alleviate employers’ concerns about perceived barriers to allowing high school students into the workplace, and also offers three case studies of employers in manufacturing and health care that have successfully launched such experiential opportunities.

First, the report offers the greatest benefits of WBL for employers:

To create these opportunities, most employers need “to make only minimal changes, if any, to existing workplace policies and procedures in order to ensure compliance with state and federal laws and policies,” according to the report. The greatest restriction for youth under 18 is the 17 hazardous occupations identified by the U.S. Department of Labor, but just one of these occupations – operating a forklift — is actually in use in most workplaces, the report states. Within the manufacturing industry, most federal restrictions apply only to 14- and 15-year-olds. Other restrictions regarding work hours, minimum wages, permits and required rest or meal periods are typically a matter of state law.

Employers’ insurance policies are a more likely source of barriers to the workplace than state or federal regulations. Yet, the report found that liability issues for paid student interns are often covered under existing workers’ compensation policies. Some employers have been able to work with their insurers to clarify and address WBL restrictions and others take additional steps to limit their liability by having students and families sign liability waivers and working with intermediary organizations.

The report offered three ways to encourage and support employers’ WBL efforts:

wbl

Credentials for All

The Southern Regional Education Board’s Commission on Career and Technical Education released its final report earlier this month, and described the bridge from high school to postsecondary and the workforce as broken and in desperate need of fixing.

To repair this bridge, the Commission offers eight actions that states can take to reach the goal of doubling the number of young people completing some form of a college credential by the age of 25. Be sure to check out the full report for all eight action steps.

Andrea Zimmermann, State Policy Associate

By Andrea Zimmermann in Research
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Spring Meeting Recap: Certified to Work: Private Sector Credentialing and Certification Efforts

Wednesday, April 15th, 2015

Spring meetingIn a very spirited panel discussion, three leading experts in credentials shared some challenges and opportunities in building, validating and scaling industry-recognized credentials and certifications at NASDCTEc’s annual Spring Meeting last week.

The session kicked off with moderator Tamar Jacoby of Opportunity America describing credentialing as “one of the sexiest topics in CTE” and a “key to change” because of their capacity to validate the mastery of knowledge and skills, send signals to employers, and prepare individuals for a full range of careers that fall between low skilled jobs and those requiring a full four-year degree.

Jennifer McNelly, President of the Manufacturing Institute, shared her organization’s efforts to bring “market sanity” to the large universe of industry-recognized credentials in manufacturing. The Institute sees credentials as potential “translators between education and employers” because they can give employers confidence that incoming employees with credentials are qualified. This is particularly urgent as the manufacturing industry is projecting a skills gap of up to two million jobs going unfilled in the next ten years. They started the process by reviewing 450 credentials and ultimately endorsed five in the first pass, a number that has grown slightly in the past few years.

Jacey Cavanagh, Project Manager, National Network of Business and Industry Associations, spoke about the role industry-based credentials can play in validating individuals’ foundational employability skills that apply across all industries. The ability to measure and validate these foundational skills are especially important with millennials expected to change jobs and careers more often than previous generations, placing more value on those transferable skills.

From the perspective of Dr. Roy Swift, Executive Director, Workcred, the proliferation of credentials and certificates requires a form of “protection for students and the public.” With over 4,000 agencies and organizations certifying skills, and a lack of transparency around the development, scoring and value of those credentials, he warned “buyers beware.” Questions he raised include – are credentials validated by third-party organizations? How often is re-certification required? What process do states have for phasing out meaningless credentials? Workcred currently is working with Kansas to create criteria for evaluating the true value of credentials to students and employers alike.

Check on a wide array of materials and resources shared by the speakers on our Spring meeting resource page.

Kate Blosveren Kreamer, Associate Executive Director

By Kate Blosveren Kreamer in Advance CTE Spring Meeting
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CTE Research Review

Wednesday, January 14th, 2015

Research Image_6.2013In case you missed it, the Center for Analysis of Postsecondary Education and Employment, CAPSEE, has a slew of new reports focused on labor market outcomes for postsecondary education and certificates. Three of particular interest are:

New Briefs from ECS

Education Commission of the States has released a series of new briefs that may be of interest to the CTE community such as college guidance and student transitions. Be sure to explore the research database for new studies including a new examination of career professionals-turned-teachers.

O*NET Database Updated

The National O*NET Center has completed its annual update to their Tools and Technology database, which includes more than 60,000 tools and technologies and covers the 900+ occupations in its current taxonomy. Check it out today!

Andrea Zimmermann, State Policy Associate

By Andrea Zimmermann in Research
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