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Posts Tagged ‘postsecondary’

Grant Competition Focused on Advanced Manufacturing Now Open

Tuesday, June 5th, 2012

Last week the Obama administration announced a new $26 million grant competition – the Advanced Manufacturing Jobs and Innovation Accelerator Challenge – designed to support advanced manufacturing and stimulate economic growth. Proposals should show how applicants “will help grow a region’s industry clusters by strengthening connections to regional economic development opportunities and advanced manufacturing assets, enhance a region’s capacity to create high-quality sustainable jobs, develop a skilled and diverse advanced manufacturing workforce, increase exports, encourage the development of small businesses and accelerate technological innovation.”

The initiative is being funded by the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration, the National Institute of Standards and Technology, the U.S. Department of Energy, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration, the Small Business Administration, and the National Science Foundation. It will also be supported by eight other federal agencies, including the Department of Education. According to OVAE, one goal of the competition is to engage education and training providers, such as community colleges, to ensure that individuals are prepared for new jobs in the manufacturing industry.

Twelve projects are expected to be awarded the competitive grants. The deadline to submit applications for the Advanced Manufacturing Jobs and Innovation Accelerator Challenge is July 9th. Guidelines for submissions are available at http://www.manufacturing.gov.

Nancy Conneely, Public Policy Manager

 

By Nancy in Public Policy
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NASDCTEc Collects More than 1,700 Reviews of Common CTE Standards, Moving Development Forward

Thursday, May 31st, 2012

More  than 1,700 reviews  of the Common Career Technical Core (CCTC), a shared set of rigorous, high-quality Career Technical Education (CTE) standards, were submitted during the recent public comment phase. Input on the CCTC was collected from a broad range of CTE stakeholders, including educators, administrators, and business and industry representatives.

“Career Technical Education (CTE) leaders believed it was critical to engage leading experts in the education, industry and technical fields to help develop and validate CTE standards that truly reflect the timely education and workforce needs of today’s global economy,“ Dr. Dean Folkers, Deputy Executive Director of the National Association of State Directors of Career Technical Education Consortium (NASDCTEc).

“The robust participation by a broad range of CTE stakeholders demonstrates the desire to develop standards that prepare our students for the future.”

NASDCTEc is coordinating the CCTC initiative. Forty-two states, Washington, DC and Palau participated in the development of the CCTC.

The development of the CCTC was a multi-step process that incorporated input at various stages from approximately 3,500 individuals representing K-12 education, business and industry and higher education from across the nation.  The public comment period ran from April 30 – May 11, 2012 and was an opportunity for CTE stakeholders to participate in the development of the CCTC.

The final standards are slated for public release at the National Career Clusters ™ Institute  on June 19, 2012. Click here and learn more about the CCTC online or visit www.careertech.org.

By Erin in Common Career Technical Core
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Executive Order Increases Oversight for Colleges Serving Veterans

Tuesday, May 1st, 2012

Over the last several years, the for-profit education sector has been under the microscope here in DC. The Senate HELP Committee launched an investigation and held a series of hearings on deceptive marketing practices and student outcomes. The U.S. Department of Education issued rules on program integrity and gainful employment. Now President Obama has issued an Executive Order that would provide greater oversight for institutions of higher education that serve veterans and their families. While the Executive Order is aimed at protecting veterans “from aggressive and deceptive targeting” primarily by for-profit institutions, it could impact not-for-profit institutions that serve veterans as well.

More specifically, the Executive Order would require institutions to disclose more transparent information about financial aid and student outcomes, require the Department of Defense regulate recruiting practices at military installations, trademark the term “GI Bill,” establish a centralized complaint system for students, and improve support services.

For more information, see the White House press release.

Nancy Conneely, Public Policy Manager

By Nancy in Public Policy
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Department of Education Releases Plan to Improve Measures of Postsecondary Success

Monday, April 16th, 2012

In response to President Obama’s goal of increasing the number of college graduates, the Department of Education has developed an action plan for improving measures of postsecondary student success. This action plan is based on the recommendations of the Department’s Committee on Measures of Student Success, which found that the “current federal graduation rate measure is incomplete and does not adequately convey the wide range of student outcomes at two-year institutions.” The Committee also found that “data are not collected on other important outcomes achieved by students at two-year institutions.”

The Department’s Action Plan for Improving Measures of Postsecondary Success seeks to provide more complete information on student persistence and completion by augmenting current postsecondary measures of student success. For example, graduation rate reporting required for institutions of higher education will be broadened to include part-time and other students who have previously attended postsecondary education.

Nancy Conneely, Public Policy Manager

By Nancy in Public Policy
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CTE in the News: Going to Trade School, Should You Do It?

Tuesday, April 10th, 2012

Programs such as Career Technical Education (CTE) are one of the few bright spots in the education sector during the nation’s slow recovery period, according to a recent Fox Business News article.

“The high school programs are an opportunity for students to try out lots of different career fields and see what they like and what they don’t like,” said Kimberly Green, NASDCTEc Executive Director. “From the high school perspective, I think it’s really about career exploration, finding your passion and then when you find it, you can begin on your journey for getting the skills you need for starting your career of choice.”

Further, those high school students typically follow a path to postsecondary institutions where they earn certificates and degrees that qualify them for jobs, Green added.

Perhaps, students are identifying the connection between CTE completion, degree or certificate attainment, and job opportunities. CTE and similar programs are experiencing an increase in enrollments at a time graduate schools have seen a decline in student applications, according to the article.

In fact, CTE programs have seen a “sharp increase” in enrollment and many students may be waitlisted, noted Tom Holdsworth, SkillsUSA Associate Executive Director of the Office of Communications & Government Relations.

“There are a lot of careers that just require a certificate or a two-year degree and a lot of those are paying above average wages in areas such as manufacturing, architecture, and construction,” Holdsworth said. “There are opportunities to earn good middle income wage, but you have to have the right set of skills.”

The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that middle-skill jobs will make up approximately 45 percent of all job openings projected through 2014, according to the article. Of the occupations that require postsecondary education, those requiring an associate degree are projected to grow at the fastest rate of about 19 percent, the article said.

Erin Uy, Communications & Marketing Manager

By Erin in News
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Legislative Update: WIA, Budget

Friday, March 30th, 2012

House Introduces Workforce Investment Act

The House this week introduced a comprehensive Workforce Investment Act reauthorization proposal, H.R. 4297, The Workforce Investment Improvement Act of 2012. This builds upon three separate bills introduced earlier this session by Reps. Virginia Foxx (NC), Rep. Buck McKeon (CA), and Rep. Joe Heck (NV). Rep. Foxx’s earlier bill, the Streamlining Workforce Development Programs Act, allowed states to submit a unified plan encompassing two or more job training and related programs, including both Perkins secondary and postsecondary programs. Under Foxx’s bill, Perkins funds would have been eligible to be consolidated into a Workforce Investment Fund and used for workforce activities. We shared our opposition to this proposal with the members of the Education and the Workforce Committee, and we are happy to report that new language was added to the Workforce Investment Improvement Act that singles out Perkins as the only program that cannot be consolidated in the unified state plan.

House Passes Budget Resolution

Yesterday the House passed the FY13 Budget Resolution introduced by Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (WI) by a vote of 228 to 191. This proposal would cap federal spending at $1.028 trillion, which is $19 billion below levels set by the Budget Control Act and the level that the Senate is plans to use.  Such a large difference between the chambers sets up another potentially long and drawn out appropriations process.

Duncan Testifies Before Congress on Budget
This week, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan testified before the House Education and Workforce Committee to discuss the Administration’s FY13 Budget, much like he did last week before the Appropriations Labor-HHS- Education Subcommittee.  There was push back from this committee about the focus in the President’s budget on new competitive grant programs, as opposed to the long-standing formula programs. Secretary Duncan also spoke about the value of community colleges and the need to increase capacity to meet the growing demand of individuals seeking to upgrade their skills.

 

Nancy Conneely, Public Policy Manager

By Nancy in Legislation
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Bus Tour Shines a Light on Problems Facing Youth

Wednesday, March 14th, 2012
This week, our partners at Young Invincibles launched an 18-state National Youth Bus Tour that will take them to every corner of the country listening to the stories, issues, and solutions of young Americans.  They’ll be co-hosting roundtables with young adults (18-34), both in school and out, to talk about critical issues like jobs, higher education and health care, and then bringing those voices directly to our political leaders and the media.
You can sign up to do your own youth roundtable by emailing Members@YoungInvincibles.org, or join an existing event.  Check out the tour schedule atwww.YoungAmerica.is.  You can also help by tweeting or posting on Facebook what #YoungAmericaIs to you (ex. entrepreneurial, uninsured, trying to graduate, etc.).  Follow the bus tour on TwitterFacebookTumblr, and at www.YoungAmerica.Is.
Nancy Conneely, Public Policy Manager

By Nancy in Public Policy
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Legislative Update: Appropriations, Global Competitiveness

Thursday, March 8th, 2012

Congress Seeks Support for Perkins Funding

As the FY13 appropriations process gets underway, Members of Congress in both the House and Senate are circulating “Dear Colleague” sign-on letters, asking other members to support Perkins Act funding. The House letter is authored by Congressional CTE Caucus co-chairs, Reps. Glenn Thompson (PA) and James Langevin (RI), and the Senate letter is led by Sen. Richard Blumenthal (CT). After signatures have been collected, the letters will be sent to the Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education Appropriations Subcommittees in the House and Senate.

Please contact your Members of Congress to ask them to sign the letters to support CTE funding. You can reach your Members of Congress by calling the U.S. Capitol Switchboard at 202-224-3121. The deadline for the House letter is Friday, March 16 and the deadline for the Senate letter is March 23.

Senate Global Competitiveness Hearing Focuses on CTE

Yesterday the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee held a hearing, The Key to America’s Global Competitiveness: A Quality Education, which is part of a series focused on rebuilding the middle-class. In his opening statement, Ranking Member Michael Enzi (WY) said that there is a major deficit of skilled workers in this country which threatens our ability to grow our economy. He went on to say, “The federal government does have a role to play in improving the education of our nation’s children through programs supported under the Head Start Act, the Elementary and Secondary Act, Perkins Career and Technical Education Act and the Higher Education Act.”

Dr. Richard Murnane from the Harvard University Graduate School of Education pointed out that not all high students want or need to pursue a four-year college degree: “Many want to enroll in two-year vocationally oriented education and training programs…Some want to pursue traditional trades such as plumber and electrician and others want to enter new trades, many related to technology and health. These trades, some old and some new, provide many opportunities to do valuable work and to earn a good living.” He was clear however, that all students should graduate college and career ready, because most jobs require some education or training beyond high school.

Chairman Tom Harkin (IA) asked the witnesses what the best way is to get business and industry to work with high schools to train students for jobs. Dr. Murnane said that career academies are doing this well by connecting schools with employers and helping students learn the technical and cognitive skills necessary to succeed in the workplace.

Nancy Conneely, Public Policy Manager

By Nancy in Legislation, Public Policy
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Legislative Update: ESEA, Higher Education Regs, i3 Grants, Bills Introduced

Friday, March 2nd, 2012

House Passes Two ESEA Bills with CTE Elements

This week the House Education and the Workforce Committee held a markup of two recently introduced ESEA bills, H.R. 3989, the Student Success Act and H.R. 3990, the Encouraging Innovation and Effective Teachers Act. The Committee approved both pieces of legislation by party-line votes of 23 to 16.

The Student Success Act included elements of the Education for Tomorrows Jobs Act, a bill introduced by Rep. Glenn Thompson (PA) last year. The bill allows school districts to use ESEA funds to integrate academic and technical education, and encourages the creation of partnerships between school districts, institutes of higher education, business and industry, and other stakeholders.

The markup was largely partisan with Democrats opposing the bills and offering substitute bills as their only amendments. There were several Republican amendments to note. Rep. Todd Rokita’s (IN) amendment to reduce the number of U.S. Department of Education staffers was accepted along a party-line vote. However, an amendment from Rep. Thompson to change the Title I funding formula to help smaller population districts was defeated by a vote of 22-16. Such a change would have benefited rural areas, such as Mr. Thompson’s district. Ranking Member George Miller (CA) argued that a change to the formula like the one proposed would not be fair to high population districts that would lose money.

Chairman Kline (MN) intends to move the bills to the floor for a vote in the near future. We will keep you posted on the progress of these two pieces of legislation.

House Passes Bill to Repeal Two Higher Education Regulations

The House this week passed H.R. 2117, the Protecting Academic Freedom in Higher Education Act by a vote of 303 to 114. This bill would permanently repeal the credit hour and state authorization regulations (which went into effect July 1, 2011), with the goal of reducing college costs and increasing student choice. More specifically, the legislation would prohibit the Secretary of Education from promulgating or enforcing any rule that defines “credit hour,” and would ease the burden on distance education programs from meet any state requirements in the state where the student is located. The Senate has not indicated whether they will vote on similar legislation.

Next Round of i3 Grants Available

The Department of Education is now accepting pre-applications for the next round of Investing in Innovation (i3) Development grants. The i3 development grants provide up to $3 million to support “new projects or programs with high potential for success but which have been implemented previously in only limited contexts.” The deadline to submit a pre-application is April 9, 2012.

Bills Introduced

Student Right to Know Before You Go Act

Sen. Ron Wyden (OR) introduced S. 2098, the Student Right to Know Before You Go Act, which intends to give students and their families the information they need to make better informed decisions about pursuing higher education. In its simplest terms, the bill would make it easier for students to find information about how long it would take get their degree, how much debt they could expect to owe after graduation, and how much they can expect to earn in a given field.

Nancy Conneely, Public Policy Manager

By Nancy in Legislation, Public Policy
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New Round of Community College Grants Now Open

Tuesday, February 28th, 2012

Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis announced a solicitation for a new round of grant applications for the Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training (TAACCCT) Grant Program. The announcement was made with Second Lady Jill Biden during the “Community College to Career” bus tour at Davidson County Community College in North Carolina.

Congress allocated $2 billion for the TAACCCT program to be awarded in each of fiscal years 2011-2014. This round will fund up to $500 million in grants to community colleges for targeted training and workforce development to help dislocated workers obtain the skills they need to change careers. The grants support partnerships between community colleges and employers to develop programs that provide career pathways and build instructional programs that meet industry needs. The deadline to apply is May 24, 2012.

Nancy Conneely, Public Policy Manager

By Nancy in Public Policy
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