Posts Tagged ‘school counselors’

State of CTE: Career Advisement in Perkins V State Plans

Tuesday, February 16th, 2021

In October 2020, Advance CTE released “The State of Career Technical Education: An Analysis of States’ Perkins V Priorities,” which examines how states have leveraged the development of the Strengthening Career Technical Education for the 21st Century Act (Perkins V) state plans to expand quality and increase equity within their Career Technical Education (CTE) systems. 

Perkins V includes an increased focus on career development and advisement, which is critical for ensuring that each learner can learn about, access and be successful in high-quality CTE programs. Career development and advisement is also a crucial component of states’ equity strategies because they help learners navigate increasingly complex education and workforce development systems on their way to a rewarding career, as well as support the broader social emotional needs of CTE learners.

Perkins V plans indicate that states are undertaking a number of efforts, at both the secondary and postsecondary levels, to provide robust advisement and related supports for learners. Based on Advance CTE’s analysis of state Perkins V plans:

Another trend is the widespread state use of individual career academic plans (ICAPs) at the secondary level. While the degree that Perkins V funds directly support these efforts remains unclear, the fact that many states include references to their ICAPs in their state plans indicates that states are increasingly working toward more clearly connecting ICAPs to their CTE systems. 

State Strategies to Advance Career Advisement

Key Innovations

The Work Ahead

Many state plans do not distinguish between initiatives that are specifically driven by Perkins V and other efforts that states may already be undertaking to expand career development and advisement efforts. The work ahead lies in ensuring strong connections between CTE and advisement at the state, district, school and institutional level to collectively support each learner. 

States must also attend to providing robust career development and advisement for learners at all levels. For example, while 90 percent of states are allowing Perkins V funds to be used for middle grades, most are leaving the decision of whether and how to support middle grades to local districts. There is a clear state role in supporting the expansion of middle grade advisement efforts so that learners can be fully aware of the opportunities available to them when exploring career paths and be better prepared for success by the time they enroll in a high school CTE program. 

Additionally, given their role in helping learners transition to the workplace, postsecondary advisement activities are an especially important area that many state Perkins V plans do not address in any way. Ensuring that there are more robust support systems for learners at every level of CTE will help close opportunity gaps and position more learners for success.

Resources

Christina Koch, Policy Associate
Jill Cook, Executive Director, American School Counselor Association (ASCA)

 

By Christina Koch in Public Policy, Research
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Report Describes What Else States Should Do To Support Career Advising and Development

Tuesday, February 6th, 2018

Today, Advance CTE and the American School Counselor Association (ASCA) released a report exploring the strategies currently in place across the country to support career advising and development efforts. Too often, career advising and development only occurs at the high school level, even though learners should have access to career awareness, exploration and planning activities from elementary school all the way through postsecondary education. Anecdotally, many state and local leaders assume that this is not happening to the extent that it should be, but there has not yet been an in-depth examination of the data.

This topic has been a key focus of the New Skills for Youth (NSFY) initiative, a partnership of the Council of Chief State School Officers, Advance CTE and Education Strategy Group, generously funded by JPMorgan Chase & Co. NSFY has provided funding to 10 states to transform their career readiness systems, and all 10 participating states have strategies in place to improve their career advising and development activities.

Advance CTE, as part of NSFY, partnered with the American School Counselor Association (ASCA) to conduct research with three questionnaires. Advance CTE surveyed State CTE Directors, and ASCA sent separate surveys to a selection of school counselors and to State School Counseling Directors, in states where that role has been specifically identified. Some of the key findings include:

The report examined numerous strategies currently in place to support career advising and development efforts. Wisconsin’s Academic and Career Plan, for example, is an ongoing process for middle and high school students that involves coordinated conversations around career interests and options, and that helps students make informed choices about career pathways. Texas has spent the last few years developing extensive virtual supports for school counselors, available through TXCTE.org and Texas OnCourse. These resources provide school counselors with messaging materials, lesson plans and other information on CTE and career advising. Maryland has leveraged state and organizational partnerships to develop several career advising strategies at the elementary and middle school levels, which incorporate career awareness and exposure with civic engagement and financial literacy.

To hear more about this report, join our webinar on February 20, which will feature presentations from ASCA and Advance CTE, as well as a local CTE practitioner.

Ashleigh McFadden, State Policy Manager

By Ashleigh McFadden in Publications, Research, Uncategorized
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Report: School Counselors Critical to College and Career Readiness

Wednesday, January 4th, 2012

The Education Trust, a Washington-based organization, released a paper highlighting the role of school counselors in preparing high school students for postsecondary education and careers.

According to the paper, school counselors play a vital role in setting up students for success; however, they are often overwhelmed and sidetracked by assigned tasks that distract from the goal of preparing college- and career-ready students. Despite this, many school counselors are taking extra steps – such as poring over data to spot struggling students, or identifying students who need additional services – to increase students’ performance and their postsecondary opportunities.

The authors stated that all school counselors should be positioned to “assume leadership in the movement for college and career readiness,” and states, districts, and schools can take action by making these changes:

1)      Rework school counselors’ job descriptions to focus more on tasks that will result in college and career readiness for all students.

2)     Refocus counselor education programs so that school counselors are trained in educational equity and college and career readiness.

3)     Add more school-specific training and coursework on data usage to university counseling programs.

4)     Support current school counselors through additional professional development.

5)     Align school counselors’ evaluations with student outcomes.

Secondary students, including the many enrolled in Career Technical Education (CTE), would benefit from changes that allow school and career counselors to increase focus on college and career readiness for students.

Kara Herbertson, Education Policy Analyst

By Kara in Publications
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