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Fall Meeting Recap: State Policy Update

Thursday, October 24th, 2013

Earlier this week, the National Association of State Directors of Career Technical Education Consortium (NASDCTEc) held its annual Fall Meeting, which had a strong focus on state policy. To lay out some of the major trends being led by legislatures, state agencies and state boards across the country impacting Career Technical Education (CTE), Amy Loyd, from the Pathways to Prosperity Network at Jobs for the Future, Jennifer Dounay Zinth, from the Education Commission of States, and Robin Utz, from the Office of Vocational and Adult Education (OVAE) at the U.S. Department of Education participated in the State Policy Update session.

Dale Winkler, Associate Commissioner, Kentucky Office of Career and Technical Education, moderated the panel and opened by describing three major pieces of legislation passed over the last few years in Kentucky impacting CTE, strengthening the state’s CTE standards and accountability, pathways and governance. Jennifer Dounay Zinth provided an overview of cross-state legislation and governors’ agendas citing five overarching trends: career-ready performance indicators, governance structures to facilitate better CTE and industry alignment, finance through accountability and incentives, CTE pathways or industry-based credentials being embedded into high school graduation requirements, and greater coordination between K-12, postsecondary and workforce development/industry.

Amy Loyd shared some highlights from the eight states working within the Pathways to Prosperity Network to better connect their education and workforce development systems to support more seamless student transitions. An early takeaway from that work is the importance of cross-agency efforts. The most successful states are those that bring together the major state agencies – such as state departments of education, higher education commissions, workforce development boards, governors’ offices, and economic development commissions – to develop common language, common goals and metrics, and even common funding as possible.

Finally, Robin Utz discussed some of the work OVAE is supporting in states and trends emerging around career pathways and programs of study. Specifically, she mentioned performance-based funding, graduation requirements recognizing or even requiring programs of study, legislative support for Career Technical Student Organizations, and dual and concurrent enrollment as some of the major levers being pulled across states in support of CTE. She, along with the other panelists, all agreed that this widespread interest in CTE and improving career pathways is the result of the economic uncertainly and persistent skills gap, along with the broader support for the college- and career-ready agenda, which has led to CTE being “invited to the adults’ table.”

Among the common themes that emerged as policy areas that still need more attention were dual/concurrent enrollment, credit transfer and articulation agreements, career guidance and counseling, and structures and incentives for more work-based learning experiences.

Kate Blosveren, Associate Executive Director

By Kate Blosveren in NASDCTEc Fall Meeting
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State CTE Policy Updates: July Edition Part Two

Wednesday, July 31st, 2013

State MapThis past month, a number of states have adopted or implemented policies related to Career Technical Education (CTE). Below is a part two of July’s state policy updates, all of which focus on dual enrollment or postsecondary CTE. You can read part one here.

Educational Collaborative Partnership in Maine
Maine passed legislation creating a collaborative board – with representatives from secondary and postsecondary CTE – to implement a program by 2014-15 that will enable more CTE students to earn college credit through dual enrollment while still enrolled in high school. Specifically, the state defines “dual enrollment career and technical education program” as a non-duplicative learning pathway that begins in junior year, extends over a three-year period, includes summer career academies and a college freshman seminar experiences, meets national concurrent enrollment standards, includes college-level coursework that supports an associate’s degree, and concludes at the end of the summer following the student’s senior year. While the agreements are made between institutions, there are opportunities for credits to be accepted across the state.

Dual Enrollment in Rhode Island
Rhode Island passed the Dual Enrollment Equal Opportunity Act this month requiring the State Board of Education to create regulation establishing statewide dual enrollment. The regulation must allow students to enroll in courses at postsecondary institutions that satisfy academic credit requirements at both the secondary and postsecondary level (it is unclear at this time if CTE courses will fall under this distinction of “academic credit”.) The State Board of Education is expected to convene a work group to help establish such a policy, including its impact on funding, and then school districts (including charter school and CTE schools) will have to adopt the policy by June 2015. Districts will then be required to report annually on the number of students engaging in dual enrollment and number of postsecondary credits earned. The bill is effective immediately.

Missouri’s Innovation Education Campuses
Missouri passed SB 381 establishing the Innovation Education Campus Fund, supporting partnerships between high schools or K-12 districts, public or private four-year institutions of high education, public two-year institutions of higher education, and/or Missouri-based businesses. The campuses engaging in such partnerships are eligible to receive funds if they are actively working to lower the cost of degree and shorten the time to earning a degree, provide applied and project-based learning in consultation with the business and industry partners, graduate students with direct access to career opportunities, and engage in active partnerships in ongoing program development and outcome reviews.

Kate Blosveren, Associate Executive Director

By Kate Blosveren in Public Policy, Uncategorized
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Spring Meeting Recap: Two Minute Roundup Panel

Friday, April 19th, 2013

This year, the National Association of State Directors of Career Technical Education Consortium (NASDCTEc) surveyed Career Technical Education (CTE) State Directors to learn more about CTE-related challenges and successes experienced in their states over the last year. Responses from each state were compiled into a “Two Minute Roundup” document. This resource is intended to spur conversation and connectivity between states that may experience similar accomplishments or difficulties.

Earlier this week at the NASDCTEc Spring Meeting, a Two Minute Round Up panel featured CTE leaders who delved further into their respective state’s successes and challenges.

Meg Harvey, CTE State Director at the Maine Department of Education, described several CTE initiatives in Maine including the launch of a five year associate degree pilot program. View Meg’s powerpoint presentation here.

Kathy D’Antoni, Assistant State Superintendent of Schools at the West Virginia Department of Education, highlighted her state’s work on simulated workplaces. She also presented a new online resource called “in|site.” The website provides hundreds of resources, many that align with West Virginia’s academic and CTE standards, to help better prepare students for postsecondary education and careers. Kathy’s presentation is available here.

Rita Johnson, Senior Director for Workforce Innovation at the Kansas Board of Regents, discussed the Kansas state legislature’s plan to enhance the CTE system by providing free college tuition to students for all technical courses in approved programs at various institutions in the state. An overview document of Kansas’ work is available here. Rita has also provided several video clips that promote CTE programs in the state in areas such as welding, nursing, and information technology.

Visit our Spring Meeting Resources webpage to view additional resources.

Kara Herbertson, Research and Policy Manager 

By Kara in NASDCTEc Spring Meeting, Resources
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NCES Report: Half of All High Schools Offer Opportunities for Dual Credit in CTE

Monday, February 25th, 2013

Dual credit courses offer public high schools students the opportunity to take college-level courses and earn postsecondary credits while still in high school. A new report shows that most U.S. high schools are providing these opportunities for students, and many Career Technical Education (CTE) students are taking advantage to gain a head start into postsecondary education.

In Dual Credit and Exam-Based Courses in U.S. Public High Schools: 2010-11, the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) reveals that more than four out of five U.S. high schools report that their students are enrolled in dual credit courses. The report explores enrollment in dual credit courses, eligibility requirements for enrolling in dual credit courses, types of instructors in dual credit courses, and expenses paid by students and parents for dual credit courses. Findings include:

View our Dual Enrollment resource for more information on this topic.

Kara Herbertson, Research and Policy Manager  

By Kara in Research
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Study: Texas Dual Enrollment Students Twice as Likely to Earn Associate Degree or Higher

Friday, October 19th, 2012

Dual enrollment provides high school students the opportunity to take college courses while in high school, and research suggests that participation could increase the likelihood that students will attend and graduate from college. Another recent study, following more than 30,000 Texas high school graduates, adds to a growing body of research that supports dual enrollment as a powerful connector of high school and postsecondary education.

For six years, Jobs for the Future, a nonprofit organization helping align education with high-demand careers, followed the 2004 Texas high school graduates. Half of the students had participated in dual enrollment opportunities while in high school, and the other half had not.

The findings from the Texas study are powerful:

Jobs for the Future recommends that policymakers expand dual enrollment opportunities for students. State policy should ensure support and policies to support low-income and underrepresented students in participating in dual enrollment.

Through programs of study that strategically connect secondary education with postsecondary and workforce options, Career Technical Education (CTE) widely supports student participation in dual enrollment programs as a research-based path to postsecondary credential and degree completion.

Kara Herbertson, Research and Policy Manager  

By Kara in Research
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State CTE Profiles Update Reflects Latest CTE Data, Funding Trends

Wednesday, September 12th, 2012

The State CTE Profile webpage, a resource that provides an overview of Career Technical Education (CTE) in each state, has been updated to reflect the latest trends and initiatives impacting CTE in the states. Highlights include:

Want to learn more about CTE trends across the nation? Check www.careertech.org this fall when NASDCTEc will release trend analysis papers — on Career Clusters ™ and programs of study, CTE teacher/faculty recruitment and retention, CTE funding, and CTE governance — based on states’ most recent CTE information.

State CTE Profiles can be accessed here.

Kara Herbertson, Education Policy Analyst

By Kara in NASDCTEc Resources
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Study: Benefits of Dual Enrollment Are Clear for California Students

Friday, August 3rd, 2012

A new study from the Community College Research Center (CCRC) at Columbia University found that career-focused dual enrollment programs benefit underachieving and underrepresented students.

Broadening the Benefits of Dual Enrollment examines outcomes for over 3,000 California students participating in eight dual enrollment programs over a three year period. The study found that students participating in the program, called the Concurrent Courses Initiative, were more likely to graduate from high school, enroll and persist in four-year colleges, and accumulate more college credits. Participating students are also less likely to require remedial postsecondary courses.

Read the full report here. A brief for practitioners is also available.

Kara Herbertson, Education Policy Analyst

By Kara in Research
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Studies Indicate Positive Outcomes for Dual Enrollment Students

Tuesday, February 14th, 2012

At a briefing on Capitol Hill last week, experts gathered to discuss recent research on dual enrollment, a strategy that allows high school students to earn college credits.

Dual enrollment, used widely in Career Technical Education (CTE) programs, allows students to experience postsecondary education while getting a head start on college coursework. Research cited by panelists at the briefing suggests that participation in dual enrollment is positively related to college enrollment and persistence, grade point average, and number of credits earned a student.

A study from the City University of New York found that CTE students who completed two or more dual enrollment courses were more likely to enroll in college full-time and earned a higher grade point average than their peers who completed just one dual enrollment course.

Research completed in Florida suggests that the classroom location of dual enrollment courses matters. Students who took dual enrollment courses on a college campus were more likely to enroll in college and attain a degree, whereas students taking dual enrollment classes on a high school campus did not show significantly improved college outcomes.

Panelists also discussed actions for states and schools to take to increase the use of dual enrollment including:

Kara Herbertson, Education Policy Analyst

By Kara in Research
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New Democrat Coalition Releases ESEA Framework

Tuesday, December 13th, 2011

The New Democrat Coalition, a group of moderate members of the House, released a framework for the reauthorization of ESEA. The framework stresses the need for a comprehensive approach to reauthorization, calling well-educated students “the foundation for a strong workforce, globally competitive businesses, and sustainable economic growth.”

Some of the principles outlined in the framework that are relevant to CTE include:

“These principles will guide us in promoting best practices learned from schools, including charter and magnet schools, and replicate in other schools for positive outcomes. We need to encourage non-traditional approaches to education, such as partnerships with the private sector, to encourage innovation in education. We then need to find successful ways to disseminate this information to discover innovative ways to improve educator effectiveness for better student outcomes.” said Rep. Susan Davis (CA), New Democrat Education Task Force Co-Chair.

Nancy Conneely, Public Policy Manager

 

By Nancy in Legislation
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Fall Meeting: Focus on Program Quality: Partnerships

Monday, October 31st, 2011

For this session, panelists discussed how partnerships help to improve Career Technical Education programs and offerings for students, including business partnerships and connections between learner levels.

Alaska State Director Helen Mehrkens moderated the panel which included Gretchen Koch, Senior Director, Workforce Development Programs of CompTIA, and Curtis Biggs of the National Alliance for Concurrent Enrollment Partnerships.

Koch outlined how CompTIA has been the Information Technology (IT) Career Cluster™ and National Advisory Committee Leader since 2006, and that CompTIA participated in the development of new Green IT Pathways. Different partnering organizations they work with include:

• Partnering on Advocacy for CTE: Sullivan High School CTE Program for Health Sciences, with Senator Durbin (D-IL)
• Partnering with Federal Agencies such as the Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration, and the Department of Education, Office of Vocational and Adult Education
• Partnering with CTE Programs including Chicago Public Schools, the Illinois IT Task Force, Illinois Race to the Top, and Illinois Health IT Task Force
• Partnering with other Career Clusters™

Koch also showed how Health and IT Career Clusters™ were cross walked for secondary and postsecondary programs of study; implementation pilot program of study is at Chicago Public Schools.

The National Alliance for Concurrent Enrollment Partnerships’ (NACEP) Representative, Curtis Biggs, explained how NACEP Standards and Accreditation strengthen dual credit programs. Sharing how accelerated learning options – concurrent enrollment, Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate, among several models – are accepted by public institutions, Biggs showed how the NACEP standards strengthen an institution’s dual credit program by:

• Giving students assurance that they are taking true college courses;
• Aiding students in seeking credit recognition;
• Enhancing reputation of college and high school partners;
• Leverage to gain commitments from college faculty and staff;
• Enhancing relationships and cooperation of all partner groups;
• The knowledge that school districts value accreditation when communicating with parents; and
• Schools consulting with college when making new hires.

Koch and Biggs shared a PowerPoint of their joint presentation, which provides additional information on large-scale research results comparing students who took dual or concurrent enrollment compared to those who did not.

Ramona Schescke, Member Services Manager

By Ramona in Uncategorized
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