Posts Tagged ‘dual enrollment’

Legislative Update: SECTORS Act, DIPLOMA Act, Veterans Training Bill

Friday, July 23rd, 2010

SECTORS Act Passes House with Bipartisan Support

Earlier this week House of Representatives passed H.R. 1855, the Strengthening Employment Clusters to Organize Regional Success (SECTORS) Act on a unanimous voice vote. The bill is sponsored by Representatives Loebsack (IA) and Platts (PA) in the House and Senators Brown (OH), Murray (WA) and Snowe (ME) in the Senate. The SECTORS Act would amend the Workforce Investment Act and establishes a new Industry or Sector Partnership Grant program administered by the U.S. Department of Labor. Grants would allow recipients to establish or expand industry or sector partnerships that lead collaborative planning, resource alignment, and training efforts across multiple firms for current and potential workers within the targeted industry cluster. The bill must now be approved by the Senate. You can reach your Senator at (202) 224-3121 to voice your support.

DIPLOMA Act Aims to Increase College and Career Readiness

Sen. Sherrod Brown (OH) introduced S. 3595, the Developing Innovative Partnerships and Learning Opportunities that Motivate Achievement (DIPLOMA) Act which aims to strengthen student achievement and graduation rates and prepare young people for college, careers, and citizenship through innovative partnerships that meet the comprehensive needs of children and youth. States would receive funding that would be used in part to administer competitive grants to local consortia to assess community needs, coordinate existing funding streams, and provide services. Career technical education is specifically mentioned as a permissible of funds by the local consortia.

Among the other permissible use of funds allowed by this bill are multiple pathways to graduation (including dual enrollment programs, early college high schools, dropout prevention strategies, and dropout recovery strategies), job training, career counseling, and internship opportunities.

Senate Committee Looks at Veteran’s Bill

On Wednesday the Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs held a hearing to examine improvements to S. 3447, the Post 9/11 GI Bill. This bill would make changes to the Post-9/11 GI bill which currently provides education funding and benefits to veterans. S. 3447 would allow veterans to use their benefits at educational institutions that do not award associate or higher degrees. This would be a change from the current Post-9/11 GI Bill, which does not allow participants to use funds at a non-degree granting institution. This bill would allow veterans to attend postsecondary education institutions that do not grant associate or higher degrees, such as area career technical schools, career schools, and apprenticeship programs. The Committee is scheduled to hold a markup of pending legislation on August 5, 2010, during which Chairman Akaka (HI) intends to bring the bill up for a vote

By Nancy in Legislation
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Strengthening Institutions Program Grants Now Available

Monday, July 19th, 2010

The Office of Postsecondary Education at the U.S. Department of Education recently announced a notice inviting applications in the Federal Register for the Strengthening Institutions Program (SIP). SIP provides $17.8 million in discretionary grants to eligible institutions of higher education to help them become self sufficient and expand their capacity to serve low-income students, by providing funds to improve and strengthen the institution’s academic quality, institutional management and fiscal stability. The Department will give priority to applications that address the following areas:

The deadline to apply is August 5, 2010.

By Nancy in Public Policy
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Institute Report Out: Listening Session with OVAE

Monday, June 21st, 2010

At last week’s Career Clusters Institute representatives from the Office of Vocational and Adult Education held a listening session to hear from stakeholders about the upcoming Perkins reauthorization, scheduled for 2012. The session was centered around three topics: programs of study, Tech Prep and the legislation generally.

Programs of Study

When asked how reauthorized legislation could better connect secondary and postsecondary levels, attendees responded in a variety of ways:

Tech Prep

In his budget the President proposed consolidating Tech Prep and the Basic State Grant, and reaction from the attendees was mixed:

Perkins Legislation

Finally, OVAE asked what the new Perkins should look like and attendees brought up several areas of focus:

By Nancy in Legislation
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New Report Explores Multiple Pathways to Graduation

Wednesday, June 9th, 2010

A new report from the Center on Reinventing Public Education, Multiple Pathways to Graduation: New Routes to High School Completion provides snapshots of different approaches to multiple pathways initiatives that could help students at risk of dropping out, including dual enrollment and experiential learning, elements of career technical education. the Center on Reinventing Public Education engages in independent research and policy analysis on a range of K-12 public education reform issues, including choice & charters, finance & productivity, teachers, urban district reform, leadership, and state & federal reform.

By Ramona in Publications
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House ESEA Hearing Highlights CTE as a Turnaround Model

Thursday, May 20th, 2010

On Wednesday the House Education and Labor Committee held a hearing on “Research and Best Practices on Successful School Turnaround” which looked at ways to turn around the lowest performing schools which produce the highest numbers of dropouts. In his opening remarks, Chairman George Miller (CA) stated that one of the biggest problems to be addressed in the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act is dropouts. He was critical of the interventions available in No Child Left Behind as well as the Administration’s four proposed turnaround models. He said that the three things that schools and districts need are data, extended learning time and community support.

In his testimony, DDaniel King PSJA House hearingr. Daniel King, Superintendent of Pharr-San Juan-Alamo Independent School District (PSJA), spoke about the CTE-based strategies he has used to reduce the dropout rate from almost double the state average to less than half the state average in just two years. The district was able to use grant money to open a T-STEM Early College High School where students can earn up to 60 college credit hours (the equivalent of an Associate degree) while still in high school.

Some of the lessons learned by PSJA include:

The district was recently declared a state model for district turnarounds by Texas Governor Rick Perry and Texas Commissioner of Education Robert Scott and was awarded $2,000,000 grant to scale up their efforts.

By Nancy in Legislation
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Senate ESEA Field Hearing: Career and College Readiness in Practice

Tuesday, April 6th, 2010

Last Thursday the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee held a field hearing in Columbus, OH at the Metro Early College High School to explore college and career readiness.  Witnesses included:

Crystal Jordan spoke about her experiences as a senior at Metro Early College High School, where students are expected to complete all of their high school requirements and up to 60 hours of college credit in four years. This program has allowed her to explore career fields in STEM and take college courses at no cost which has helped her defray the cost of college and has given her the opportunity to better decide which area of interest she will pursue at The Ohio State University next year.

Steven Jackson explained that Great Oaks offers CTE programs for students in 36 school districts in southwestern Ohio and is one of the largest such districts in the United States. Great Oaks provides students with many opportunities to be prepared for college or a career when they graduate.  Students earn industry credentials and certifications as they complete Great Oaks programs, including practical nursing license, EMT certification, or certification as a professional firefighter, dental assistant, heating and air conditioning technician, welder, or animal care technician. Within a year of graduation, about 92% of graduates are working in their career field, continuing their education, or are in the military. Great Oaks also offers the Gateway to Success program, which is a nationally‐recognized program which helps young adults who have dropped out from their high school earn a high school diploma.

This hearing was a great opportunity for Senators to get out of Washington and see what is happening on the ground, and what works. Hopefully they will take away from this hearing the importance of accelerated learning programs and CTE in preparing students for college and careers.

By Nancy in Legislation
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Secretary Duncan Discusses ESEA Blueprint Before Congress

Wednesday, March 17th, 2010

duncan-arne-sec_-of-ed_-3-09This morning, U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan testified before both the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee and the House Education and Labor Committee about the Department of Education’s blueprint for reforming the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA).

The Senate hearing began with Chairman Tom Harkin (IA) stressing the importance of preparing students for both college and careers, and the importance of a well-rounded curriculum. Ranking Member Michael Enzi (WY) took that notion one step further in stating that students must be ready for college and career without the need for remediation, as it is important to the strength of our economy. Secretary Duncan agreed that few other issues speak to the long term prosperity of our nation than education.  Later in the hearing, he stated that all students need some postsecondary education – 4 year, community college, trade school or “vocational” education – to get a good job after high school, but many do not graduate ready for college or a career. To that end, the Administration has set a goal for all students to be college and career ready by 2020.  This goal replaces the previous Administration’s goal of proficiency in math and reading by 2014.

Senator Enzi also highlighted the need for high school reform in ESEA because too many students are dropping out or graduating without the knowledge and skills necessary to succeed in college or the workplace, suggesting that perhaps career academies could be one vehicle to help add relevancy to students’ learning. Secretary Duncan stated that high school reform is a part of the Department’s ESEA plans and that programs such as dual enrollment will allow students to experience college while in high school.

Duncan also suggested that because of the lack of math and science teachers, ESEA should incentivize individuals to enter these areas by paying these teachers more. He also supported the idea of allowing individuals from industry to use alternative certification to get into the classroom as another way to increase the number of well qualified teachers in these subject areas.

George_Miller_CARepAt the House hearing Chairman George Miller (CA) saw the blueprint as a strong roadmap that Congress can work from to bring about system wide change in elementary and secondary education. Ranking Member John Kline (MN) suggested that for reauthorization Congress should not start from NCLB, but begin with a blank slate, using the blueprint as a jumping off point.

In response to a question from Rep. Ruben Hinojosa (TX) about dropout factories and the impact of middle schools on student achievement in high school, Secretary Duncan stated that both the funding proposal for teachers and leaders and the School Improvement Grants will help students in middle school be better prepared to succeed in high school.

Finally, Rep. Joe Courtney (CT) expressed concern about the impact of competitive funding on state education budgets, particularly in 2011 after the last batch of ARRA funds are distributed coupled with the state budget crises that will not be able to supplement that funding.

By Nancy in Legislation
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Report: Dual Enrollment, Career Academies among CTE Elements in Path to College and Beyond Explored

Wednesday, February 24th, 2010
Success At Every Step

Success At Every Step

Career Academies, dual enrollment, and enhanced math-in-CTE are highlighted in the American Youth Policy Forum’s (AYPF) new publication, Success at Every Step: How 23 Programs Support Youth on the Path to College and Beyond, which profiles programs that have been proven to help young people complete high school and be prepared for success in postsecondary education and careers, based on the results of recent, high-quality evaluations. The findings of the report showcase a variety of programs that support college- and career-readiness, exploring implications for federal and state policy.

By Ramona in Publications
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Success at Every Step: How 23 Programs Support Youth on the Path to College and Beyond

Tuesday, November 3rd, 2009

This new American Youth Policy Forum (AYPF) compendium publication describes programs that have been proven to help young people successfully complete high school and be prepared for success in postsecondary education and careers. These programs represent a wide range of interventions, including school-wide reform initiatives, community-based afterschool services, work-based learning opportunities, and college access programs. From an analysis of the included programs, the report identifies common programmatic and structural elements that may contribute to their effectiveness and summarizes key outcomes, such as the following:

 The publication also includes a logic model that illustrates the complexity of the process of preparing youth to succeed in careers, lifelong learning, and civic engagement, as well as the various systems and service providers that support youth at each step of the developmental pipeline.

Executive Summary

By Ramona in Publications, Research
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House Holds Dual Enrollment Hearing in Michigan

Thursday, October 1st, 2009

The House Education and Labor Committee recently held a field hearing in Flint, MI to look at the benefits of dual enrollment programs.  Witnesses included administrators from local high schools, universities, and community colleges, as well as a student participating in dual enrolment.  Rep. Dale Kildee (MI-05) reflected on the challenges that communities like Flint face during this economic downturn, and how access to higher education may help.  Dual enrollment is one strategy to make higher education more affordable and accessible for students; for example, students who participate in dual enrollment “typically graduate with between 30 and 60 college credits – tuition free. This translates to as much as 1 – 2 years of college education.”

Rep. Kildee also offered a very interesting statistic: gifted students make up 20 percent of high school drop outs.  The reason for this is that they are not challenged in their current high school programs.  Dual enrollment offers these students the challenge of taking college level courses.  This stat immediately made me think of CTE, which is another way to keep students challenged and for them see the relevancy of their high school work to the their futures.  As you can see in NASDCTEc’s latest leave behind, many dual enrollment programs are in CTE areas.

Rep. Kildee, along with Sen. Herb Kohl (WI), has introduced the Fast Track To College Act which would provide funding to expand existing successful dual enrollment and early college programs and provide resources to establish new programs nationwide.

By Nancy in Public Policy
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