Posts Tagged ‘postsecondary’

Legislative Update: Sequestration, Student Loan Rates

Friday, June 29th, 2012

Congress Asks OMB for Detailed Impact of Sequestration

While there has been much talk about the devastating impact of sequestration on federally-funded programs, there have not been a lot of details to help states and districts prepare. To help increase transparency around this issue, Senators Patty Murray (WA) and John McCain (AZ) recently introduced a bipartisan amendment to the Farm Bill that would require the Office of Management of Budget to submit to Congress a detailed analysis of the impact of sequestration cuts on both defense and non-defense discretionary programs, including education programs like Perkins. Specifically, it would require OMB to provide figures for the number of educator job lost, the number of students no longer able to access education programs, and education resources lost by states and districts. This report would have to be completed within 60 days of the Farm Bill’s passage. If the bill does not pass, the Senators intend to attach the amendment to any future bills that the Senate takes up.

In the House, the Budget Committee unanimously reported H.R. 5872, the Sequestration Transparency Act of 2012. Like the Murray-McCain amendment, this bill would require the Office of Management and Budget to detail how defense and non-defense programs would be affected by the automatic cuts.

Deal Reached on Student Loan Interest Rates

Democrats and Republicans in Congress have reached a deal to prevent the interest rates on student loans from doubling on July 1, 2012. The deal will extend the 3.4 percent interest rate on subsidized Stafford loans for one year. The extension will be paid for through two offsets. First, changes would be made to pension plans. The second, smaller offset would affect students: limiting how long new borrowers could receive in-school interest subsidies to 150 percent of the average time it takes to complete a degree. Currently there are no limits.

The House and Senate are scheduled to vote today on the bill to which this provision is attached. We will keep you updated on any developments.

Nancy Conneely, Public Policy Manager

By Nancy in Legislation, Public Policy
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More Transparency Needed on Postsecondary Performance and Outcomes, Report Finds

Monday, June 25th, 2012

The Institute for a Competitive Workforce (ICW), part of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, released last week the latest in its Leaders and Laggards series that examines the performance and policy of public postsecondary institutions.

The report grades state performance and policy on six areas:

1)      Student Access and Success
2)     Efficiency and Cost-Effectiveness
3)     Meeting Labor Market Demand
4)     Transparency and Accountability
5)     Policy Environment
6)     Innovation

The ICW Web site features a state-by-state report card showing how states measure up in each of the six areas. Findings from the report show that:

Four-Year Completion Rates: In most states, only half of students at four-year public colleges complete a degree; in 17 states, less than half of all first-time bachelors-seeking students complete a degree within six years.

Two-Year Completion Rates: Only one state has a two-year college statewide graduation rate above 50 percent, while more than half of states have a two-year completion rate at or below 25 percent. In 13 states, less than 15 percent of students who started at a two-year college graduated within 150 percent of the normal time to degree.

Cost of Postsecondary Education: Thirty-three states spend over $50,000 in education and related expenses per two-year college credential, and 13 spend more than $65,000.

Linking Postsecondary Data to Labor Market: Only 22 states have systems in place to track the success of graduates once they enter the labor force and to make those data public. Only four states allow prospective students and taxpayers to compare labor market outcomes across institutions and programs.

Comparing Postsecondary Outcomes Across States: Just four states measure and make public student outcomes in a way that is comparable across states, making it difficult for states and individuals to see if their investments in postsecondary education are paying off.

Overall, most states have not yet developed ways to measure and make public the quality of their postsecondary institutions and programs. Though several states have made visible improvements, most still fall short of providing the comprehensive data and transparency needed to strengthen state policies and improve public postsecondary education.

The authors of the report make several broad recommendations for reform at the state level.

View the entire report: Leaders and Laggards: A State-by-State Report Card on Public Postsecondary Education.

Kara Herbertson, Education Policy Analyst

By Kara in Research
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Legislative Update: Appropriations, SLDS Grants

Friday, June 22nd, 2012

House Labor-HHS-Education Mark Up Pushed to July

The House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education had intended to mark up its FY13 appropriations bill this week. However, the markup has been postponed until after the July 4th recess.  We will keep you posted on the new date. In the meantime, please see last week’s blog post about the importance of contacting your Representative about the critical need to maintain Perkins funding. There is still time!

Latest Round of SLDS Grant Winners Announced

The Institute for Education Sciences recently announced the list of 24 states that were awarded the latest round of State Longitudinal Data Systems (SLDS) grants. The grants were awarded in three priority areas:

  1. The design, development, and implementation of a statewide, longitudinal kindergarten through grade 12 (K-12) data system;
  2. The development and linking of early childhood data with the State’s K-12 data system; or
  3. The development and linking of postsecondary and/or workforce data with the State’s K-12 data system.

Nine states received grants under Priority 1 (K-12); one state received a Priority 2 (early childhood) grant, and fourteen states were awarded Priority 3 (postsecondary/workforce) grants. The winners of the grants to link K-12 data with postsecondary and/or workforce data, which may be of most interest to you, are:

Nancy Conneely, Public Policy Manager

By Nancy in Legislation, Public Policy
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Certificates Account for 22 Percent of All Postsecondary Awards, Report Says

Monday, June 18th, 2012

A new report from Georgetown’s Center on Education and the Workforce finds that, if certificates counted towards college completion metrics, the United States would leap forward in international rankings from 15th to 10th place for total postsecondary completions.

The number of certificates awarded in the United States now makes up 22 percent of all postsecondary awards. Certificate programs, which generally take around one year to complete, offer shorter term, occupation-focused programs. According to Georgetown’s study, certificate-holders spend less time in the classroom but often earn more than those with associate degrees, and, sometimes, even those with four-year degrees.

Further, more than one-third of certificate holders also hold an associate, bachelor’s, or graduate degree. Of these individuals, two-thirds earned their certificate first before completing further education.

Experts agree that many jobs in the future will require at least some postsecondary education and training, yet only half students who start college complete a degree. Certificates offer shorter term, occupation-focused programs, most of which take less than a year to complete and can open doors to promotions and new job opportunities for workers.

In 2010, over one million certificates were awarded, up from 300,000 certificates awarded in 1994.

Click here to view the report.

Kara Herbertson, Education Policy Analyst

By Kara in News, Research, Resources
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Legislative Update: Appropriations

Friday, June 15th, 2012

Perkins Level Funded in Senate Spending Bill

This week the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education marked up their FY13 appropriation bill, which allocated approximately $158 billion to be divided up among its programs, including the Perkins Act. We are happy to report that Perkins was level funded. Given threats to non-defense discretionary programs from sequestration and other budget proposals, we think that level funding is a victory. Thank you to all of you who made outreach to your Senators! Hearing from constituents really can make a difference.

The full Senate Appropriations Committee passed the Labor-HHS-Education bill yesterday by a party-line vote of 16-14. The bill proposes to change the name of the Office of Vocational and Adult Education to the Office of Career, Technical and Adult Education. In order for this to happen the House would also have to propose such a change in their bill or agree to the change in conference.

During the mark up the full Committee approved an amendment to restore Pell grant eligibility for Ability to Benefit (ATB) students participating in career pathway programs. Pell eligibility for ATB students was eliminated in the FY12 appropriations bill.

Contact Your Representative Today to Maintain Perkins Act Funding!

The House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education Subcommittee Chairman Denny Rehberg (MT) previously stated that his subcommittee would not mark up their appropriations bill until after the Supreme Court ruled on the Affordable Care Act. We are now hearing that he plans to mark up their bill on June 20th.

If your Representative is a member of the Appropriations Labor-HHS-Education Subcommittee, we urge you contact them today and ask that they maintain Perkins Act funding. Because the House’s allocation for education and labor programs is lower than that of the Senate, it is even more important that House members hear from constituents about the importance of Perkins and CTE in helping to prepare students for jobs that remain unfilled, and in turning around the economy. There is a greater possibility that Perkins could be cut in this  House bill.

House Appropriations Labor-HHS-Education Subcommittee members:

Call Your Member of Congress TODAY!

If you have any questions or to update NASDCTEc on your contact with Congress, please call Nancy Conneely, Public Policy Manager, at 301-588-9630 or email her at nconneely@careertech.org

By Nancy in Legislation
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CTE in the News: Why we Need Vocational Education (Career Technical Education)

Friday, June 8th, 2012

Career technical education at “both the secondary and post-secondary level should be highly-valued, well-funded, and effectively-implemented,” said Mark Phillips, professor emeritus of secondary education at San Francisco State University in a recent blog featured on the Washington Post.

Society must shed its negative notions about vocational education as a dumping ground for non-academic students if it wants to adequately prepare all students in the global economy, noted Phillips.

“This bias against vocational education is dysfunctional. It is destructive to our children. They should have the opportunity to be trained in whatever skills their natural gifts and preferences lead them to, rather than more or less condemning them to jobs they’ll find meaningless,” Phillips said in his blog.

“…It is also destructive to our society. Many of the skills most needed to compete in the global market of the 21st century are technical skills that fall into the technical/vocational area.”

Shifting perception and societal values around CTE will take time, he acknowledged, but quality CTE programs exist across the nation and their success with students will help to highlight their value, he noted.

Erin Uy, Communications and Marketing Manager

By Erin in News
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Legislative Update: House Committee Passes WIA Reauth Bill

Friday, June 8th, 2012

The House Education and the Workforce Committee held a markup of H.R. 4297, the Workforce Investment Improvement Act of 2012 yesterday. The bill represents large scale changes to the current WIA program. The bill was approved by a party line vote of 23 to 15. There is no word on when the bill will go to the floor.

The bill proposes to consolidate approximately 30 existing workforce and training programs into a single, flexible Workforce Investment Fund, and it would give Governors the power to consolidate even more programs under a unified state plan. The bill would also require states and locals to use common performance measures for all workforce development programs.

As we previously reported, an earlier bill introduced by Rep. Virginia Foxx (NC), which was merged into H.R. 4297, allowed states to submit a unified state 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. After hearing from the CTE community, new language was added to the Workforce Investment Improvement Act that singles out Perkins as one program whose funds cannot be consolidated into the Workforce Investment Fund.

The Workforce Investment Improvement Act also proposes changes to the Job Corps program to ensure that CTE and job training offered under that program is focused on in-demand occupations and that disadvantaged youth receive a regular high school diploma and/or a postsecondary credential that prepares them for employment.

Democrats on the Committee are not supportive of the bill, and offered a substitute bill as an amendment. Their bill focused on career pathways in high demand industries that lead to industry recognized credentials and postsecondary attainment. It would also expand the role of community colleges in job training. The Democrats’ amendment was voted down along party lines.

A summary of H.R. 4297 can be found here.

Nancy Conneely, Public Policy Manager

By Nancy in Legislation
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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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