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This Week in CTE

Friday, June 26th, 2020

We have compiled a list of highlights in Career Technical Education (CTE) from this week to share with you.

VIRTUAL CONFERENCE OF THE WEEK

Nebraska Career and Technical Education (CTE) held a Virtual Symposium, which was the first of its kind for the state. There were more than 700 CTE district, state and national level attendees. Among them were Commissioner Matt Blomstedt and Scott Stump, U.S. Assistant Secretary for Career, Technical, and Adult Education for the Office of Career, Technical and Adult Education.

During the symposium, winners of the annual Nebraska Excellence in Career and Technical Education Awards and Richard Katt Outstanding Nebraska Career and Technical Educators Awards were announced. Read more about the symposium and learn more about the award winners here

STUDENT OF THE WEEK

In Michigan, one student has shown great leadership by joining Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s Return to Learn Council. Dominic Gonzalez is one of the district’s dual enrollment learners, which allows him to attend a local community college and earn college credit while still in high school. Dominic will be tasked with providing Governor Whitmer and the council a student perspective of what returning to school should look like in the fall. Read more in the article published by The Detroit News.

VIDEO OF THE WEEK

Texas CTE students did not let graduation or the pandemic stop them from completing one meaningful project. Engineering and veterinary science students developed a prosthetic paw for a local puppy who suffered complications at birth. View this video for highlights from the project, prototypes of the prosthetic paw and the student’s stories. 

LEGISLATIVE UPDATE OF THE WEEK

The U.S. Department of Education approved four more state plans under the Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act (Perkins V): Arkansas, Mississippi, Nevada and Tennessee. 35 state plans are approved in total so far. Check out this chart to see which states have been approved, and links to the state plans.   

RESOURCE OF THE WEEK

Launched in 2016, JPMorgan Chase & Co. New Skills for Youth is a $75 million, five-year global initiative aimed at transforming how cities and states ensure that young people are career ready. The local investments from across the world – Innovation Sites – aim to identify and implement the most promising ideas in career education, with a special focus on communities with the greatest needs. Over the past year, Advance CTE has released a series of snapshots documenting the progress of the local investments. This week, Advance CTE released the final two snapshots featuring investments in the Greater Washington Region and Germany.

Brittany Cannady, Digital Media Associate

By Brittany Cannady in Uncategorized
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This Week in CTE

Friday, June 19th, 2020

We have compiled a list of highlights in Career Technical Education (CTE) from this week to share with you.

WEBINAR OF THE WEEK

Advance CTE hosted a webinar with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation and industry leaders who have built long-lasting and meaningful two-way partnerships to improve both learner outcomes and industry’s talent needs. New resources from The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation, developed with support from Advance CTE, were shared and discussed to strengthen employer-CTE relationships using the Talent Pipeline Management(R) process.

View the recording here, and sign up for our next webinar, CTE Forward: How to Attract and Recruit Diverse Students at the Postsecondary Level: Lessons from Aspen Institute on July 9! 

TWEET OF THE WEEK

Many school districts have developed innovative ways to honor graduating seniors in ceremonies in light of social distancing orders. Take a look at how seniors from one high school in the state of Virginia raced to the finish line. Read more here

PRIZE COMPETITION OF THE WEEK

The Evergreen National Education Prize identifies and scales programs that best help low-income youth access and complete college or CTE degrees. Learn more about what the prize consists of, past prize winners, eligibility criteria and more. Applications are now being accepted and must be completed in full by 5 p.m. ET on July 3, 2020.  Email info@evergreenprize.org with any questions.

LEGISLATIVE UPDATE OF THE WEEK

The U.S. Department of Education approved six more state plans under the Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act (Perkins V). The newly approved plans are from Colorado, Florida, Kentucky, New York, South Carolina and Utah. As of now, 31 state plans have been approved in total. You can check out which states’ plans are approved, as well as the final materials on our website

RESOURCE OF THE WEEK 

Advance CTE examined research and best practices in Developing Credit for Prior Learning Policies to Support Postsecondary Attainment for Every Learner. This report features data on the benefits of Credit for Prior Learning (CPL) for learners, as well as best practices in Colorado, Kansas, Louisiana, Minnesota, Tennessee and Virginia across topics such as CPL for military service members, portability of credits and how to communicate about CPL opportunities. View the report here.

Brittany Cannady, Digital Media Associate

By Brittany Cannady in COVID-19 and CTE
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States Enact Policies to Support Work-based Learning Opportunities for Students

Wednesday, March 18th, 2020

As the legislative sessions move forward, states have passed laws to examine and increase work-based learning opportunities for learners.

Some states, such as New Jersey, plan to launch pilot programs to expand access to work-based learning opportunities. In New Jersey, the state legislature passed S3065 in January to direct the Commissioner of Education to establish a three-year youth apprenticeship pilot program. The program will allow high school and college students to develop critical employability skills while earning a high school diploma or postsecondary credential. Employers participating in the program must pay the apprentice and offer an industry-recognized credential upon the completion of the program. 

Other states are leveraging graduation requirements to incentivize work-based learning opportunities for students. In Virginia, Governor Ralph Northam signed HB516 into law in March. The law requires the Virginia Board of Education to include options for students to complete a high-quality work-based learning opportunity or a dual enrollment course in its high school graduation requirements. 

In Tennessee, Governor Bill Lee signed HB736 into law in March to examine opportunities available to learners. The law requires the Office of Research and Education Accountability (OREA) to study and report on whether community schools are providing on-the-job training opportunities to learners by working with community partners or businesses. Specifically, the law directs OREA to examine the number of learners participating in on-the-job training opportunities provided by community schools and whether these opportunities have resulted in students obtaining employment after high school.

Brianna McCain, Policy Associate

By Brianna McCain in Public Policy
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Governors Celebrate and Commit to Advancing CTE in 2020 State of the State Addresses

Monday, February 10th, 2020

Over 35 Governors have delivered their State of the State Addresses, presenting their policy agendas for 2020 to their state legislatures. Many of these governors used this opportunity to highlight successes related to Career Technical Education (CTE) and to make commitments that would help to advance the field.

Many governors leveraged their State of the State Addresses to address CTE funding. In Maine, Governor Janet Mill acknowledged that there has not been significant funding for CTE program equipment since 1998 and asked the Maine Legislature to fund equipment upgrades for CTE programs. In Iowa, Governor Kim Reynolds celebrated expanding high-school registered apprenticeships and proposed $1 million in funding for work-based learning coordinators. Governor Doug Ducey also called for more CTE related funding in Arizona, proposing funding for CTE trade programs aligned with high-demand careers.

Other governors celebrated their states’ work-based learning efforts. In Colorado, Governor Jared Polis celebrated his administration’s expansion of apprenticeships. Similarly, in Tennessee, Governor Bill Lee recognized the new investments in youth apprenticeships launched by the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development. In Virginia, Governor Ralph Northam noted the role apprenticeship programs play in helping Virginians develop skills needed for careers.

Governors also used the State of the State Addresses to announce and celebrate initiatives. In New Jersey, Governor Phil Murphy proposed Jobs NJ, which aims to align the state’s education system to meet workforce needs and address racial equity gaps in the workforce. In Washington, Governor Jay Inslee celebrated the state’s Career Connect Learning initiative, which was launched in 2017 to connect Washington youth to career-connected learning opportunities aligned with in-demand, high-wage careers.

In total, more than 16 governors celebrated or made commitments to foster CTE in their states during their State of the State Addresses. Advance CTE will continue to monitor the State of the State Addresses as they happen for their relevance to CTE.

Brianna McCain, Policy Associate

By Brianna McCain in Public Policy
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Strengthening Career Readiness Systems through New Skills for Youth: A Look Back at States’ Impact

Wednesday, December 11th, 2019

Under Kentucky’s new program approval and review process, schools and districts can use state and federal funding to support career pathways only if their programs are aligned with priority industries or top occupations. This is just one of the strategies Kentucky used under the New Skills for Youth (NSFY) initiative to transform and phase out virtually every career pathway that was not well aligned with labor market demand.

From 2016 through 2019, Kentucky and nine other states in the NSFY initiative received $2 million and hands-on technical assistance and coaching to strengthen their career readiness systems. As part of the NSFY initiative, a $75 million national initiative developed by JPMorgan Chase & Co, the Council of Chief State School Officers, Advance CTE and Education Strategy Group worked with states to improve their career readiness systems.

Through NSFY, Delaware, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Nevada, Ohio, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, Tennessee and Wisconsin took action to:

The impact of these states across the entire initiative is highlighted in the NSFY Impact Snapshots and NSFY Impact Summary, which examines the state role in catalyzing and transforming career readiness opportunities for youth.

Through NSFY, 10 states demonstrated the importance of strong state leadership to advance career readiness by setting a clear vision and agenda, catalyzing and scaling pathways and work-based learning, and ensuring access and equity in career readiness opportunities. As a result, the impact of the states was far-reaching. For instance, under NSFY Delaware was able to develop 19 career pathway programs in high-demand occupations and Tennessee was able to ensure that 100 percent of high school students have access to at least four early postsecondary courses.

To learn more about the work states completed under the NSFY initiative, register for Advance CTE’s A Look Back at States’ Impact through the New Skills for Youth Initiative webinar, which will take place on December 12 from 1-2 p.m. EST, and download the NSFY Impact Snapshots here.

Brianna McCain, Policy Associate

By Brianna McCain in Publications
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Expanding Access to CTE Opportunities for Each Learner

Thursday, June 20th, 2019

Throughout history, and continuing today, learners of color, low-income learners, female learners and learners with disabilities have been historically tracked into terminal vocational programs leading to jobs with uncertain promise of economic growth and prosperity. Today, the quality of Career Technical Education (CTE) has vastly improved, making it a preferred path for many secondary and postsecondary learners. Yet even today, many learners do not have access to high-quality programs of study in their communities. To help state leaders recognize historical barriers and adopt promising solutions to close equity gaps in CTE, Advance CTE launched a series of policy briefs titled Making Good on the Promise. The first three briefs in the series explored the history of inequities in CTE, highlighted promising practices from states that are using data to identify and close equity gaps, and explored how state leaders can build trust with historically marginalized communities that may not believe in the promise and value of CTE.

Building off these briefs, the fourth brief in the series, Making Good on the Promise: Expanding Access to Opportunity, examines strategies state leaders can use to expand CTE opportunities for each learner. Specifically, the brief examines how state leaders can:

To help state leaders accomplish this, the brief examines promising strategies that Tennessee, Rhode Island, Ohio, and South Carolina are using to dismantle barriers that prevent learners from accessing high-quality CTE. For example:

Brianna McCain, Policy Associate

By Brianna McCain in Advance CTE Resources
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Tennessee, New Jersey Focus on Expanding Access to CTE Opportunities; Montana Expands Funding to CTSOs

Monday, May 20th, 2019

As the legislative session moves forward, states have passed laws to increase awareness of and expand access to Career Technical Education (CTE) opportunities for each learner.

With the reauthorization of the Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act (Perkins V), which allows states to use Perkins funding as early as the fifth grade, many states are expanding CTE opportunities to the middle grades, including Tennessee. On May 5, Tennessee Governor Bill Lee signed SB0063 into law to expand CTE programs in the state to middle grades. Under the law, CTE programs must be accessible to all middle school learners in grades six through eight and serve at least 50 percent of this population. Additionally, the law requires the Board of Career and Technical Education to plan facilities for CTE training for middle school learners.

In New Jersey the legislature passed S372, which was signed into law on May 10, to help expand access to apprenticeships for learners in the state. The law requires the Commissioner of Education, in consultation with the Commision of Labor and Workforce Development, to develop publicly available guidelines for high school counselors to use to coordinate services with the New Jersey State Building and Construction Trades Council with the intent of encouraging student participation in and awareness of apprenticeship opportunities.

Meanwhile, in Montana, on May 8 Governor Steve Bullock signed HB0662 into law. The law permits the Superintendent of Public Instruction to distribute secondary CTE funds to Career Technical Education Student Organizations (CTSOs) for grants.

Brianna McCain, Policy Associate

By Brianna McCain in Legislation
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Making the Most of Outcomes-based Funding: Aligning Postsecondary Funding with Labor Market Needs

Tuesday, August 14th, 2018

One of the smartest investments state policymakers can make is in postsecondary education. As the economy moves towards more specialized, technology-based industries, learners will need education and training beyond high school to fill the jobs of tomorrow. Today, the ticket to the middle class, and the key ingredient for a thriving state economy, is a strong system of higher education.

Yet, this system is not as efficient as it could be. Three out of every four students who enroll in a public, two-year college do not graduate with a degree or certificate within three years. Whether due to financial or family circumstances, lack of clarity about future career goals, or poor academic preparation, too many students are getting saddled with debt and nothing to show for it.

In recent years states have led renewed efforts to improve student outcomes by restructuring postsecondary funding formulas. This approach, known as performance-based or outcomes-based funding, aims to align state dollars with outcomes that support learner success and economic growth, including progress toward and attainment of a postsecondary credential.

As of Fiscal Year 2016, 30 states were either implementing or developing outcomes-based funding formulas for postsecondary education, though two-year institutions were included in the funding formula in only 22 states. While the widespread enthusiasm for accountability and alignment in higher education funding is remarkable, states vary considerably in their degree of commitment. According to HCM strategies, which published a national scan of outcomes-based funding formulas, only four states (OH, NV, ND and TN) in FY2016 distributed more than 20 percent of state funds to postsecondary institutions based on outcomes.

In 2017, the State Higher Education Executive Officers Association (SHEEO) reported that a little more than half of the revenues for postsecondary institutions came from state appropriations (the remaining funding came from local appropriations (6.4 percent) and tuition revenues (43.3 percent)). This gives state policymakers a powerful lever to incentivize change in institutions of higher education.

And, while evidence in support of outcomes-based funding is mixed, positive results have been documented in states with more sophisticated funding systems:

Many states have learned from these lessons and either modified existing or adopted new outcomes-based funding formulas to apply best practices. Arkansas is one such state. In 2016, the state legislature passed HB1209, directing the Higher Education Coordinating Board to design a productivity-based funding formula for state colleges and universities. The formula, which will be used to determine how the Higher Education Coordinating Board distributes general revenue for two-year and four-year institutions,  includes three dimensions:

What is notable about Arkansas’ approach is the use of best practices to incentivize credentials with labor market value and encourage equitable access.

The points an institution receives in the formula for credential attainment are multiplied if the credentials are in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) or state-defined “high-demand” fields. Qualifying fields are designated by the the Arkansas Department of Higher Education and the Department of Workforce Services. The multiplier for STEM degrees is 3 points; the multiplier for degrees in high-demand fields is 1.5 points.

The formula also includes adjustments for historically underserved students by race, income, age and academic proficiency. For certain elements of the formula — such as credential attainment or progression — the point value is increase by 29 percent for each student meeting these criteria.

While it is too early to tell the impact of these changes, Arkansas’ productivity index aims to improve postsecondary outcomes by aligning state funding with labor market needs and encouraging institutions to support historically underserved populations.

Austin Estes, Senior Policy Associate

By Austin Estes in Research
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New Resources: Designing Meaningful Career-Ready Indicators (Part 1)

Thursday, July 5th, 2018

Over the past four years, Advance CTE has been tracking how states value career readiness within their federal and state accountability systems, shared in our bi-annual report, Making Career Readiness Count (released in 2014 and 2016), in partnership with Achieve. The passage of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) in 2016 led a significant increase in states valuing measures of career and college readiness in their accountability systems, which has the power to truly transform districts and schools across the country.

With nearly every state’s ESSA plan approved by the U.S. Department of Education, states are in the process of actually designing their new or revised accountability systems, including developing business rules and guidance to locals on data collection and designing report cards.

To help states design and implement the most meaningful career-focused indicators at this key moment in time, Advance CTE, Education Strategy Group (ESG) and the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) are developing a series of career-focused indicator profiles organized around the four types of measures recommended in Destination Known: Valuing College AND Career Readiness in State Accountability Systems.

Today, we are releasing two on Progress toward Post-High School Credential and Assessment of Readiness. These profiles explore how leading states, including Delaware, Ohio, Tennessee and West Virginia, are designing their indicators to ensure they are based on quality, validated data, are inclusive of all students, and are aligned with meaningful outcomes. They should serve as a resource and inspiration for states working on similar indicators.

In the next few weeks, Advance CTE will be releasing two additional profiles on the other categories defined in Destination Known: Co-curricular Learning and Leadership Experiences and Transitions Beyond High School. And, in the coming months, we will release our third edition of Making Career Readiness Count in partnership with Achieve, ESG and CCSSO. Stay tuned for more!

Kate Kreamer, Deputy Executive Director

By Kate Blosveren Kreamer in Advance CTE Resources, Resources
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How New Skills for Youth States are Defining Criteria for High-quality Career Pathways

Thursday, May 10th, 2018

What defines a high-quality career pathway? Is it alignment to labor market needs and career opportunities? The quality and qualifications of teachers and faculty? Access to meaningful, aligned work-based learning experiences? Perhaps all of the above?

Defining the the components of high-quality career pathways is a critical priority of the 10 states participating in New Skills for Youth (NSFY), an initiative to transform career pathways and student success by expanding options for high school students. NSFY is a partnership of the Council of Chief State School Officers, Education Strategy Group and Advance CTE, generously funded by JP Morgan Chase & Co.

Today, Advance CTE released a series of snapshots highlighting promising practices and achievements of the 10 NSFY states, including the different approaches each state is taking to define and promote high-quality career pathways.

In Massachusetts, a cross-sector committee developed criteria for high-quality college and career pathways (HQCCP), part of an effort to improve career-readiness opportunities for students in the commonwealth. Massachusetts plans to identify, designate and support two types of high-quality secondary pathways: early college pathways, which enable students to earn up to 12 college credits in high school, and innovation pathways, which are aligned with high-demand industries. The joint committee set a high bar to designate each type of pathway. To officially be recognized as a HQCCP, pathways must:

In 2017, Massachusetts began accepting applications to designate HQCCPs, and plans to announce designated sites shortly. These sites will receive support, and in some cases, funding, from the state, and will work together as a community to strengthen meaningful career pathways that are aligned to the joint committee’s HQCCP criteria.

Other NSFY states chose different approaches to defining quality career pathways. Ohio designed a framework for local program administrators to evaluate program quality and make informed decisions about which programs to scale up and which to phase out. The framework is designed using four dimensions: learning environment and culture, business and community engagement, educator collaboration, and pathway design.

Wisconsin took a regional approach through its Pathways Wisconsin pilot. Through the project, which has been rolled out in four regions across the state, regional Pathways Wisconsin directors are working with key stakeholders in their community to identify and recognize different career pathways within priority industry areas.

Defining criteria for high-quality career pathways was a common priority across the NSFY states. Other priorities include:

To learn more about the pursuits of the NSFY cohort, read the 2017 NSFY Snapshot Executive Summary or download individual state snapshots.

Austin Estes, Senior Policy Associate

By Austin Estes in Publications, Resources
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