Posts Tagged ‘postsecondary’

New Report: CTE Key to Landing Middle-Class Jobs

Wednesday, September 26th, 2012

Career Technical Education (CTE) prepares students for challenging careers and further education at the high school level and beyond, resulting in attainment of credentials like certificates, associate degrees, and bachelor’s degrees. While CTE spans a range of learner levels, a recent report from Georgetown University’s Center on Education and the Workforce focuses on the subbaccalaureate level, stating that middle-class jobs are abundant for those with subbaccalaureate CTE degrees.

The report reveals that there are currently 29 million “middle jobs,” or jobs requiring a two-year degree or less, in the United States that pay middle-class wages between $35,000 and $75,000 annually. Such jobs include certified nursing assistants, occupational therapists, licensed practical nurses, paralegals, refrigeration technicians, and more. Five options for training – available through CTE schools and programs across the country – are featured as high-quality, cost-effective ways to prepare individuals for middle jobs:

The authors also suggest two ways to advance the nation’s CTE infrastructure. First, a “Learning & Earning Exchange” should be established to connect data from CTE to the labor market. This information system would make clear to students the labor market demand for specific education and training, help educators improve their practice, and help employers find qualified candidates for job openings. Second, the authors support further federal investment in programs of study, and suggest investing in specific programs of study that include employer-based training.

In international comparisons, the U.S. ranks second in baccalaureate attainment; 31 percent of U.S. workers over 25 years old hold a bachelor’s degree or more. However, the subbaccalaureate rate falls at just 10 percent, ranking the U.S. 16th among industrialized nations. Greater federal investments in CTE will help more individuals pursue CTE at the subbaccalaureate level to attain middle-class jobs, and will give decision makers more information linking CTE and labor market outcomes.

Click here to view the report.

Kara Herbertson, Research and Policy Manager

By Kara in News, Research
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Senate Hearing Focuses on College Affordability; Witness Calls for Streamlining Federal Reporting Requirements

Friday, September 14th, 2012

At a hearing this week — Improving College Affordability: A View From the States – members of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee heard from higher education stakeholders about the obstacles that keep postsecondary education out of reach for many students. Dr. Camille Preus, Commissioner of the Oregon Department of Community Colleges and Workforce Development, spoke about how the Federal government can encourage and support states in making postsecondary education more affordable:

The federal government also could help states in their efforts to be more efficient by aligning the various reporting requirements that it imposes on institutions of higher education. These requirements differ for various programs, such as the HEA and the Workforce Investment and the Carl D. Perkins Act, and these in turn differ from information that states themselves require. A concerted effort needs to be undertaken to eliminate these inefficiencies. Many community colleges have only one individual who is responsible for meeting all reporting requirements. Sometimes states becoming directly involved in providing needed information. In addition, the federal government needs to be much more aggressive in ensuring that appropriate state educational entities have access to data that will enable them, in concert with institutions, to identify the earnings of students after they have left institutions. These data in turn will help colleges to maximize resource allocation.

In the context of better aligning workforce and training programs, NASDCTEc has also recommended that common measures across programs such as WIA, Perkins, Trade Adjustment Assistance, and Adult Education would provide more interconnectivity in the workforce system as programs collaborate and work together to ensure the alignment of goals. Our recommendaitons also call for data sharing across federal programs in order to ease the burden that programs and providers face in collecting accountability information, and foster an environment of collaboration and efficiency in the workforce and education systems.

By Nancy in Public Policy
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Democrats Support Career Academies and Technical Training in Party Platform

Tuesday, September 4th, 2012

This week in Charlotte, the Democrats released their party’s platform which outlines how their policies will help America out-education, out-innovate and out-build the rest of the world. As we reported last week, the Republican party’s platform included their support for CTE at the secondary and postsecondary levels. The Democrats also voiced their support for secondary CTE, saying that they would “continue to strengthen all our schools and work to expand public school options for low-income youth, including magnet schools, charter schools, teacher-led schools, and career academies.”

At the postsecondary level, Democrats called for greater access to higher education and technical training. To that end, the party supports the following proposals that would improve the skills of students and adult workers:

Nancy Conneely, Public Policy Manager

By Nancy in Public Policy
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Election 2012: Candidates’ Education Positions

Thursday, August 30th, 2012

Yesterday we told you about the newly unveiled Republican party platform which supports local CTE programs at the secondary and postsecondary levels. While this platform reveals where the party as a whole stands on various issues, it does not necessarily reflect the position of an individual candidate. In a new publication from NASDCTEc, Election 2012: Candidates’ Education Positions, we take a closer look at the policy positions of both Governor Mitt Romney and President Barack Obama. This document does not cover every education policy issue, but those that the candidates have made public.

Nancy Conneely, Public Policy Manager

By Nancy in Public Policy, Publications
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Republican Platform Highlights CTE

Wednesday, August 29th, 2012

With the presidential election just around the corner, convention season is upon us. Republicans are meeting in Tampa this week to formally nominate Governor Mitt Romney as the party’s candidate for President. Part of the convention process includes releasing the party’s “platform” or statement of principles. The Republican party’s platform covers a broad swath of issues, including education, jobs and the economy, agriculture, and government reform. The party’s education plank underscores the value of CTE in preparing students for the workplace:

School choice—whether through charter schools, open enrollment requests, college lab schools, virtual schools, career and technical education programs, vouchers, or tax credits—is important for all children, especially for families with children trapped in failing schools…We support the promotion of local career and technical educational programs and entrepreneurial programs that have been supported by leaders in industry and will retrain and retool the American workforce, which is the best in the world.

The platform also states the party’s belief that the status quo is not working for the higher education system, and calls for “new systems of learning” that can compete with traditional four-year institutions, including community and technical colleges, private training schools, and work-based learning in the private sector. The party also believes that the acquisition of advanced skills is necessary for the 21st century economy, and should focus on STEM fields.

Democrats will convene in Charlotte next week to officially nominate President Obama as their candidate, at which time they are expected to release their party’s platform.

Nancy Conneely, Public Policy Manager

 

By Nancy in Public Policy
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NCES Report Examines Gaps in Higher Education Access and Persistence

Wednesday, August 29th, 2012

In 2008, Congress directed the U.S. Department of Education to produce a report examining the gaps in educational participation and attainment of White males versus Black, Hispanic, American Indian/Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander males, and the participation and attainment of their female counterparts. This month, the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) released the report, and the findings indicate that gaps in persistence and access continue. The findings include:

Read the full report: Higher Education: Gaps in Access and Persistence Study

Kara Herbertson, Education Policy Analyst

 

By Kara in Research
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Presidential Candidate Mitt Romney Proposes Cutting Education Spending

Thursday, August 9th, 2012

Last week Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney released his Plan for a Stronger Middle Class, which lays out his plan for increasing jobs and wages. In it, he proposes giving people greater access to affordable and effective higher education options, and focusing job training programs on skills that align with employment opportunities.

However, Governor Romney’s plan also indicates that as President he would immediately reduce non-defense discretionary spending by five percent. A five percent cut to the Department of Education’s discretionary spending would result in a reduction of $3.4 billion (based on FY12 discretionary appropriations).

The plan also calls for capping federal spending below 20 percent of gross domestic product (GDP). Currently, total federal spending in FY12 is 23.4 percent of GDP. To reduce federal spending to 20 percent of GDP would require an aggregate cut of nine percent per year for the next decade. But since Governor Romney opposes cutting defense spending, as well as cutting Social Security for those 55 and over, that would actually result in cuts of between 29 and 40 percent for remaining programs over the next 10 years, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. And remember, these potential cuts to non-defense discretionary programs (like education) would be in addition to the cuts and spending caps currently required by the Budget Control Act.

Nancy Conneely, Public Policy Manager

By Nancy in Public Policy
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New Search Tool for Postsecondary Education Research

Wednesday, August 1st, 2012

A new online database from the Institute for Higher Education Policy (IHEP) and the Lumina Foundation connects users, particularly policy makers and postsecondary education decision makers, with the latest in research on postsecondary education and college success.

The resources available on PolicyDirect have been vetted by expert fellows from IHEP and Lumina. The Web site prompts users to enter a question or topic related to postsecondary education into a search field. By entering “career technical education” with the quantitative metric, for example, users have immediate access to nearly 100 reports on the topic.

Each result includes a brief summary of a report and a link to the full article or publication. Users can also sort results by key metrics – qualitative, quantitative, cost effective, scalable, insightful, and enduring- to refine their query and access the most relevant results.

Kara Herbertson, Education Policy Analyst

By Kara in Research
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Department Issues Guidance in Response to Court’s Gainful Employment Ruling

Wednesday, July 11th, 2012

As we reported last week, U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia has vacated part of the U.S. Department of Education’s gainful employment regulations. The Court instructed the Department to review the regulations for further action. The Department is now evaluating next steps, but in the interim has released the following guidance for postsecondary institutions.

Nancy Conneely, Public Policy Manager

By Nancy in Public Policy
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Court Strikes Down Portion of Gainful Employment Regulations

Tuesday, July 3rd, 2012

The U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia has vacated part of the U.S. Department of Education’s gainful employment regulations related to the debt-repayment measure. Under the regulations, career training programs that receive federal financial aid must show that they “prepare students for gainful employment in a recognized occupation.” One measure schools were asked to use to show this was that 35 percent of their graduates are repaying their loans. The court ruled that 35 percent is “arbitrary and capricious,” and not based on any expert study or industry standard. While the court ruled that the Department had the authority to issue gainful employment regulations, they will now have to reexamine their benchmarks for loan repayment rates.

The court also struck down other provisions of the regulations, including one that requires institutions to get approval from the U.S. Education Department before offering new career training programs. Meanwhile, the court upheld reporting requirements related to program costs, on-time graduation rates, placement rates, and median loan debt.

Nancy Conneely, Public Policy Manager

By Nancy in Public Policy
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