Posts Tagged ‘programs of study’

Webinar Today: Career Clusters and Programs of Study: State of the States

Thursday, April 7th, 2011

Career Clusters and programs of study (POS) continue to shape the structure, content, organization and quality of career technical education (CTE). Thirty-six states have completely adopted the Career Clusters framework, 11 states have modified the framework, and the remaining 6 states have developed individualized approaches.

Last year, the National Association of State Directors of Career Technical Education Consortium (NASDCTEc) surveyed the state directors to gauge states’ progress in implementing POS within the Career Clusters framework. The results of the survey reveal that most states continue to embrace Career Clusters and have dramatically expanded their implementation since 2007.

Today, NASDCTEc is releasing an issue brief, Career Clusters and Programs of Study: State of the States – April 2011, to report on states’ progress in implementing POS. The paper is an update of a 2007 NASDCTEc publication of the same title.

Please join us this afternoon at 3:00 pm for a webinar to further discuss this theme. State directors Lee Burket (Pennsylvania) and Scott Stump (Colorado) will discuss their states’ innovative approaches to POS implementation.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Kara Herbertson at

By Kara in Publications, Webinars
Tags: ,

Community College Students Thrive under Programs of Study

Wednesday, April 6th, 2011

Community colleges are lauded for their accessibility. Most two-year institutions have open admissions policies and comparably low tuition rates. However, the challenge lies not in admitting more students to community colleges, but in guiding more students through programs of study to credential completion.

A new paper from the Community College Research Center states that most community college students drop out before attaining a credential. The author, Davis Jenkins, attributes the low completion rates to a lack of clear goals; many students do not enter a college-level program of study and instead complete a less planned series of coursework.

According to Jenkins’ analysis, students who do not commit to a program of study within the first year of enrollment are less likely to earn a credential at all.

The study suggests a method that community colleges can use to track first-time student outcomes over a period of five years. Jenkins encourages community colleges to guide more students through programs of study to increase levels of credential completion.

The full paper, Get with the Program: Accelerating Community College Students’ Entry into and Completion of Programs of Study, can be accessed here.

By Kara in Research
Tags: , ,

NASDCTEc Webinar April 7 Reminder: Career Clusters and Programs of Study – State of the States

Tuesday, April 5th, 2011

Members and Friends, this is a reminder to register NOW for the upcoming NASDCTEc webinar Career Clusters and Programs of Study: State of the States. Hear about the states’ overall progress and trends in program of study implementation. Lee Burket of the Pennsylvania Department of Education and Scott Stump of the Colorado Community College System will discuss successful strategies used and challenges faced in implementing programs of study. Registration Link is:
Event number: 209 155 864  password: pos

1) Kara Herbertson – Education Policy Analyst, NASDCTEc
2) Lee Burket – Director of the Bureau of Career and Technical Education, Pennsylvania Department of Education
3) Scott Stump – Dean of Career and Technical Education, Colorado Community College System
 Moderator:  Ramona Schescke, Member Services Manager, NASDCTEc
Date and Time for broadcast:  Thursday, April 7th at 3 p.m. Eastern
The broadcast is scheduled for one hour, will include a question/answer segment at the end, and will be recorded for those who cannot attend the broadcast (recording will be posted on our website at

Questions? Please call our office at 301-588-9630.

By Ramona in Webinars
Tags: ,

Programs of Study Could Address Rise in Postsecondary Remedial Needs

Friday, March 4th, 2011

The increased number of students entering postsecondary institutions might appear as a win to those who have been advocating for greater college-going rates. But a recent New York Times article that examines the rising enrollment at community colleges highlights the importance of a strong pipeline between secondary and postsecondary institutions. Without the connection, students are entering postsecondary institutions to spend significant time and money on remedial courses, and are less likely to graduate.

The increased enrollment matched with the swell of remedial needs are straining resources at community colleges and sparking national discussions about how to address the issue. Do community colleges restructure to provide more remedial support? Do high schools take on the entire responsibility of preparing students for college?

Perhaps the conversation to be had is about how programs of study (POS), which link secondary and postsecondary learning, are designed to target this issue. POS is a structured sequence of academic and CTE courses aligned from secondary to postsecondary that leads a student to college and career readiness, and specifically to earn a postsecondary-level credential. The National Career Clusters framework serves as the overarching tool that organizes POS according to the industry in which students are studying, which supports career readiness goals.

Alignment of secondary and postsecondary institutions is critical if the nation wants to do more than simply send students to college.

In New York, at the high-serving City University of New York (CUNY), work has begun. According to the New York Times, the New York City Department of Education is now tracking high school’s students’ performance in college, and starting in 2012, will measure student’s college readiness in its annual school progress reports. Further, the city education department and CUNY are working together to align their academic standards and curriculums.

By Erin in News
Tags: , , , ,

How To Develop a Statewide Program of Study: 5 States Model Process

Thursday, March 3rd, 2011

Career technical education (CTE) is dedicated to preparing students to succeed in life and work.  However, exactly how CTE programs prepare students vary and consequently so do students’ levels of success. To encourage consistency and offer the best learning experiences for students, some states are spearheading efforts to build systems structured by commonly-defined programs of study (POS).

NASDCTEc has been following five states over the last year as they work to answer the question: what is the best way for our state to develop a statewide model POS?

The National Research Center for CTE, the Academy for Education Development, MPR Associates and NASDCTEc, collaborated to provide technical support for states working toward statewide implementation of POS. Those states are Georgia, Illinois, New Jersey, Ohio and Oregon. Through multiple interviews with team leads and facilitators and attendance at major meetings, NASDCTEc has compiled the following report:

Developing a Statewide Model Program of Study: Five States Share Insights.

The report begins by outlining the overall shared process the states went through. It goes on to highlight each particular state and their achievements, challenges, what worked, and their insights on how to bring together an effective team.

We hope you will find this report to shine a light on some of the speed-bumps that can obscure your path as you work on POS in your own state, as well as provide examples of how to be successful in developing a statewide model POS.

Upcoming webinar:

We will host a webinar on this theme at 3 p.m. on March 8th. Team leads Brian Durham (IL), John Pritchett (GA) and Tom Thompson (OR) will be with us to illuminate the statewide POS development process by giving a behind-the-scenes look at one of their milestone achievements. Register now!

Don’t miss this opportunity and this opportunity to learn from those who have already begun the development of a statewide model POS.

By Emma in Publications, Webinars
Tags: , ,

OVAE Continues “Community Conversations” on CTE

Thursday, February 17th, 2011

During NASDCTEc’s Fall Meeting in October 2010, OVAE kicked off their “Community Conversation” listening sessions on CTE and Perkins. Since that first listening session, OVAE has hosted six other sessions throughout the country, getting feedback from stakeholders on the following questions:

The next two sessions are scheduled to take place in Pennsylvania and Missouri. More information and notes from each session can be found here. You may also provide comments via e-mail at

By Nancy in Public Policy
Tags: , , , , ,

Register for Upcoming NASDCTEc Webinar: States Lead Development of Statewide POS

Thursday, February 10th, 2011

Register now for an upcoming NASDCTEc webinar: States Lead Development of Statewide POS, where key states share story and their strategies to develop statewide programs of study (POS).

When: The webinar is Tuesday, March 8 at 3 p.m. Eastern Time.

Career technical education programs are dedicated to preparing students to succeed in life and work.  However, exactly how CTE programs prepare students vary and consequently so do students’ levels of success. To encourage consistency and offer the best learning experiences for students, some states are spearheading efforts to build systems structured by commonly-defined programs of study (POS).  

With the help of a technical assistance grant from OVAE, Georgia, Illinois, New Jersey, Ohio and Oregon have made headway in developing POS.  While you can read about each states’ process and progress in a paper NASDCTEc will publish later this week, we are inviting you to participate in a webinar to hear from three of the state team leads. They will illuminate the statewide POS development process by sharing how OVAE’s 10-component framework informed their work and by giving a behind-the-scenes look at one of their milestone achievements. Speakers include:


Don’t miss this opportunity to learn from those who have already begun the development of a statewide model POS. For questions, please contact Emma Heirman, NASDCTEc Special Projects Consultant at

By Ramona in Uncategorized, Webinars

Secretary Duncan and Harvard Scholars Showcase Benefits of CTE

Friday, February 4th, 2011

On Wednesday, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan referred to CTE as the “neglected stepchild of education reform” and expressed an urgent need to change this perception. Duncan’s remarks were prompted by the release of Pathways to Prosperity, a major report suggesting a need for increased high-quality career technical education (CTE). This is the first time that Duncan has delivered a speech focused primarily on CTE.

The release of Pathways to Prosperity, in addition to Duncan’s remarks at the event, brings to light the tremendous role that CTE plays in providing students with viable pathways to success.

The report, written by scholars from the Harvard Graduate School of Education’s Pathways to Prosperity Project, describes a need for more career counseling, high-quality career education, apprenticeship programs, and two-year degree and certificate programs as viable pathways to solid careers. The authors suggest giving students more choices beginning in middle school, including opportunities to link academics with work experiences, so that students can more successfully pursue college or career paths that do not necessarily result in a bachelor’s degree. 

The report also advocates for a decreased focus on classroom-based academics and a greater emphasis on work-based learning. Pathways to Prosperity proposes the development of a comprehensive pathways network, including a three-part plan to increase the value and effectiveness of CTE across the United States:

1)     Development of a broader vision of school reform with less emphasis on four-year degree attainment

2)     Expanded role of employers in providing more work-based opportunities for students and more jobs related to students’ programs of study

3)     Development of a new “social compact” between society and young people with a goal of equipping young adults with the education and experience needed to lead a successful adult life

Both Duncan’s remarks and Harvard’s Pathways to Prosperity report increase the visibility of CTE as a powerful pathway to student success.

By Kara in News, Research
Tags: , , ,

OVAE Announces Goals for 2011-12

Monday, January 3rd, 2011

Last month the Office of Vocational and Adult Education (OVAE) at the U.S. Department of Education announced that in 2011 they will be focused on the several key areas in an effort to link education and economic opportunity. First, OVAE will work to support rigorous programs of study, funded by the Carl D. Perkins Act, that prepare young people for college and careers through postsecondary credentials completion. Second, they will serve 93 million adults in the U.S. whose basic or below-basic literacy levels limit their career opportunities, through funding from WIA Title II and the Adult Education and Family Literacy Act. And finally, OVAE will improve the capacity of community colleges to meet today’s education and labor market demands.

To achieve these ends, OVAE has developed three goals for 2011–12:

1.      All youths and adults are ready for, have access to, and complete college and career pathways.

2.      All youths and adult students have effective teachers and leaders.

3.      All youths and adult students have equitable access to high-quality learning opportunities on demand.

“Enhancing our approach to career and technical education to prepare students for high-growth careers, we are particularly supportive of rigorous, relevant programs of study that span the secondary and postsecondary systems and that apply classroom-based instruction and work-based learning to meet academic, employability, and technical industry standards. This systemic approach relies on partnerships among K–12 schools, institutions of higher education, and employers.”

By Nancy in Public Policy
Tags: , , , , , , ,

NASDCTEc Fall Meeting: OVAE Holds Perkins Listening Session

Friday, November 5th, 2010

The concluding session at last week’s Fall Meeting in Baltimore, Maryland was a listening session on Perkins reauthorization, moderated by Assistant Secretary for Vocational and Adult Education, Brenda Dann-Messier, and Sharon Miller, the director of the Division of Academic and Technical Education. Assistant Secretary Dann-Messier told the attendees that this listening session was going to be the start of a national conversation about Perkins reauthorization. She and her staff plan to host a series of listening sessions that will conclude at NASDCTEc’s Spring meeting in April 2011. She also said OVAE is soliciting feedback and comments from the public about Perkins reauthorization at

The session was structured around four topic areas: Programs of Study, secondary to postsecondary transitions, performance measures, and whether there should be more specific or common measures and definitions, including regulations.

Programs of Study

o   Need to better engage postsecondary, but Perkins does not mandate secondary and postsecondary collaboration

o   Need a clear definition of POS

o   Not all community colleges offer all POS, so it can be limiting for students

o   It is also limiting for students that many four-year colleges do not accept credit from two-year institutions

Secondary to Postsecondary Transitions

o   Two-year schools are struggling to get four-year schools to accept credit

o   Not all states have statewide articulation agreements

o   As more and mores students flood into community colleges, there is less of a priority in serving high school students through articulation agreements and dual enrollment

Performance Measures

o   Academic attainment at secondary level – because students are often tested before 11th grade (when most students begin CTE), it is tough to the impact of CTE on academic attainment

o   Certificate completion at postsecondary level – the results go to the students, and it is hard for states to track this information

o   Technical skill attainment at secondary level – this is tough to measure, and is not always appropriate at the secondary level

o   Placement at the secondary level – tough to track because of FERPA restrictions on collecting data

Common measures/definitions and regulations

By Nancy in Legislation, Meetings and Events
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,