Posts Tagged ‘Registered Apprenticeship’

New America Releases Recommendations for Connecting Higher Education and Apprenticeships to Improve Both

Thursday, December 7th, 2017

In conjunction with the release of eight new recommendations regarding the connections between higher education and apprenticeships, New America’s Center on Education and Skills (CESNA) conducted an in-depth discussion on the topic with national experts and state and local practitioners.

The event began with remarks by CESNA director Mary Alice McCarthy and senior policy analyst Iris Palmer, as well as Diane Jones, Senior Policy Advisor to the Secretary at the US Department of Labor. These presentations examined the current state of apprenticeships in the United States, including the difficulty in knowing how many students enrolled in postsecondary are also enrolled in apprenticeships, as well as conflicting messages given to learners that they must choose either apprenticeship or higher education, rather than choosing both. This is a particular challenge for Career Technical Education (CTE) programs, as the experiential learning provided by an apprenticeship can be invaluable for learners enrolled in postsecondary credential programs. They also discussed the eight recommendations for breaking down these barriers to expanding apprenticeships, which include creating definitions for a “student-apprentice” and a “Degree Apprenticeship” which would connect Registered Apprenticeships and postsecondary programs and allow learners a clear pathway option to pursue both an apprenticeship and a postsecondary credential. These programs would be designed with input from multiple stakeholders and funded using H-1B Visa funds and an expansion of the Federal Work-Study program to allow funds to cover “student-apprentices.”

Then began the first of two panels, which featured state-level practitioners from Indiana and Washington, as well as national experts on apprentice programs. Eleni Papadakis, Executive Director at the Washington Workforce Training and Education Coordinating Board, expanded on the work her state has been doing to connect postsecondary programs and apprenticeships in order to build a system that promotes lifelong learning and development. The panel also discussed how most apprenticeships are traditionally in construction fields, and their efforts to expand the role of apprenticeships in other fields, most notably health care. The topic of equity also featured heavily in this discussion, particularly since apprenticeships tend to be mostly male, and more women are enrolled in postsecondary programs than males.

The second panel featured three women working at the local level in designing and administering apprenticeships in health care and early childhood education. Keisha Powell, Workforce Development Consultant at Fairview Health Services, Carol Austin, Executive Director at the Delaware Valley Association for the Education of Young Children and Ta’Mora Jackson, Early Childhood Education Coordinator at District 1199C Training & Upgrading Fund spoke about their work on the ground in Minnesota and Pennsylvania. In both industries, having a postsecondary credential is often necessary for employment but not enough to immediately begin work without on-the-job training. Without a structured apprenticeship or similar experience, on-the-job training is likely inconsistent and uncoordinated. These panelists also focused on the other supports that “student-apprentices” would require for success, including bridge courses and advising.

The prospect of “Degree Apprenticeships” is certainly a promising one for connecting these disparate worlds in a way that maximizes the efforts of both.

“State Directors have an exciting role to play in apprenticeship implementation in their states, as they already sit at the intersection of secondary, postsecondary and workforce policies,” said Kimberly Green, Advance CTE Executive Director. “CESNA’s recommendations will allow State Directors to be more informed about the learners and apprentices in their state, and more deliberate in the design of comprehensive programs of study that incorporate postsecondary credentials and Registered Apprenticeships.”

Ashleigh McFadden, State Policy Manager

By Ashleigh McFadden in Uncategorized
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Preparing Learners for Careers through Work-based Learning and Career Advisement: A Roundup of Recent Research

Wednesday, September 14th, 2016

Three Approaches to Connecting CTE Programs and Registered ApprenticeshipsNC

Work-based learning, an educational strategy that provides students with technical skills and knowledge in an authentic work setting, is often delivered through a Career Technical Education (CTE) or Registered Apprenticeship (RA) program. Both have overlapping structures and content, including experiential learning and career exploration coursework, which has led many states to build more deliberate linkages between the two. Earlier this summer, the National Center for Innovation in CTE released a report profiling six states — North Carolina, Connecticut, Florida, Kentucky, Washington and Rhode Island — that are working to align secondary CTE and RA programs. The report identifies three approaches that these states have taken:

No matter the approach, states frequently face the same challenges with aligning CTE and RA programs, including lack of resources, misperceptions about pre-apprenticeship and RA programs, and difficulty engaging employers. The report further describes strategies that these states have taken to address these challenges.

A Customer Service Approach to Career Advisement

On a related note, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation recently released the third installment in its youth employment series, outlining the role that the employer community can play in building career knowledge and competency through career advisement. The brief encourages employers not to reinvent the wheel, but rather to adapt their existing business practices to support career advisement through a “customer service” approach. Key activities through this approach would include: representing the business community within schools, serving as subject matter experts, matching students with employers, validating skills acquired during work-based learning experiences, and organizing talent sourcing networks. By playing a larger role in career advisement, employers can do well by doing good: helping students gain clarity about their career choices while simultaneously strengthening the talent pipeline.

Odds and Ends

Executive Advice: Noting the limited discussion of education issues this election cycle, Bellwether Education Partners took it upon themselves to publish 16 education policy ideas for the next president to consider. Among the recommendations? Connecting secondary CTE to postsecondary opportunity by integrating academic, socio-emotional and technical learning; creating pools of federal grants to launch new models of youth preparation; expanding allowable uses of federal aid; and accelerating investments in technology to support personalized career pathways. Read more here.

Career Readiness: Last month, ACT released its 2016 report on the condition of college and career readiness. The report finds that at least 68 percent of test takers are making progress towards career readiness, a new indicator based on the ACT’s National Career Readiness Certificate. A record 64 percent of U.S. high school graduates took the test this year.

A World-class Education: After conducting an 18-month study of international education systems, the National Conference of State Legislatures released a report that identifies “a highly effective, intellectually rigorous system of career and technical education” as one of four elements of a world-class education system.

CTE Dual Enrollment: In a new blog post, the Education Commission of the States updated its policy components for dual enrollment to reflect opportunities for CTE. While the framework is still in draft form, it provides guidance related to access, finance and quality of CTE dual enrollment.

Americans Prefer CTE: “By a broad 68 percent to 21 percent, Americans say having their local public schools focus more on career-technical or skills-based classes is better than focusing on more honors or advanced academic classes.” That’s according to PDK’s 2016 poll of attitudes toward public education, which was released earlier this month.

Free College: Hillary Clinton’s free college plan, which aims to eliminate tuition for in-state students whose families make less than $125,000, has been getting a lot of buzz this election cycle. New research from the Georgetown Center on Education and the Workforce projects a 9 to 22 percent increase in enrollment at public 2- and 4-year colleges and universities if her plan is seen to fruition.

Remedial Coursework: The National Center for Education Statistics conducted a descriptive analysis of students taking remedial coursework at public 2- and 4-year institutions. The report finds that students who completed remedial courses saw positive postsecondary outcomes (including persistence, transfer to a 4-year institution, credit completion and credential attainment) compared to students who partially completed or did not complete a remedial course. It is also worth noting that students in the sample who attended 2-year institutions took remedial courses at much higher rates (68 percent) than students at 4-year institutions (40 percent).

Austin Estes, Policy Associate

By Austin Estes in Research
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The Obama Administration Unveils Youth CareerConnect Grants and a New Apprenticeship Program

Monday, April 7th, 2014

Obama Announces YCC AwardsThis morning President Obama visited Bladensburg High School in Prince George’s County, Maryland to announce the winners of the Administration’s Youth CareerConnect (YCC) grant program. This competitive grant initiative, administered jointly by the Department of Labor (DOL) and the Department of Education (ED), seeks to scale up successful collaborative partnership models between school districts, postsecondary institutions, the workforce investment system and employers.

Specifically it aims to improve the high school experience by encouraging the integration of classroom and workplace learning experiences in an effort to better equip students “with the knowledge, skills, and industry-relevant education needed to get on the pathway to a successful career, including post-secondary education or registered apprenticeship,” a White House official said.

Structured similarly to the Administration’s Race to the Top program, the YCC grants are comparable to the “innovation fund” proposed in the President’s 2012 Career Technical Education (CTE) Blueprint. “The idea behind this competition is, how do we start making high school in particular more interesting, more exciting, more relevant to young people?” the President said. “We want to reward the schools that are being most innovative.”

In all, the President announced twenty-four grants totaling $107 million which derive funding from H1-B visa fees collected by the Department of Labor. Bladensburg High School, the venue for today’s announcement, was part of a larger group within Prince George’s County which received a $7 million award. Their portion of the grant will support the school’s efforts to expand its Health and Biosciences Academy which was prominently featured during the announcement.  As President Obama pointed out, these grants support “cooler stuff than when I was in high school.”

More information on the YCC grant program can be found here. The White House has also released an additional fact sheet on the program which includes a full list of awards.

Vice President Biden Announces Registered Apprenticeship College Consortium

The President’s unveiling of these grants also coincided with Vice President Joe Biden’s announcement of a new Registered Apprenticeship College Consortium (RACC) initiative. The main objective of this new effort is to ensure students who participate in certain apprenticeships have the opportunity to earn credits that will transfer to a community or technical college of their choice. RACC is aiming to make these types of articulation agreements more common throughout the country by creating a national network of postsecondary institutions, employers, unions and associations which will expedite the process of transferring a student’s work experience within a Registered Apprenticeship into credit for a program at a participating institution.

The RACC is part of the Administration’s larger goal of doubling the number of apprenticeships over the next several years and will be jointly administered by the Department of Labor and Education. “As a result of this exciting new consortium, graduates of a Registered Apprenticeship program will not only have better access to jobs that lead to a sustainable career, but they’ll also have better access to an education – all with little or no debt” Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez said at a separate announcement. Consortium participants must be accredited degree granting institutions in order to be eligible. At the moment, specific third-party organizations will evaluate the postsecondary credit value of a particular apprenticeship for the purposes of a completion certificate at the end of a program.

More information on RACC, including how to join the consortium, can be found here.

Steve Voytek, Government Relations Associate 

By Steve Voytek in News, Public Policy
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