Advance CTE Fall Meeting Sponsor Blog: Diamond Sponsor, Center for Energy Workforce Development – Seeking a Skilled, Diverse Workforce for America’s Clean Energy Future

October 3rd, 2022

The energy industry powers life. Business, education, healthcare, and even many of our favorite pastimes are made possible by the energy industry. More than six million people work in energy careers in the United States. These men and women are highly trained, highly skilled and in high-demand. Their roles range from future-focused innovators and engineers exploring new ways to harness and store power to skilled tradespeople, who are the backbone of the industry’s operations. The work of these professionals is essential and rewarding. Because of the knowledge and skills that are required, energy employees are well compensated, often earning above national averages. Energy professionals are proudly leading the country’s attainment of climate change goals while maintaining energy reliability, resiliency, safety and affordability. 

The industry expects to fill hundreds of thousands of positions in the next few years. Industry growth, retirement by tenured employees, and traditional attrition are opening doors for a new workforce seeking stable employment in an essential industry that offers training, mentoring, and on-the-job professional development experiences. The energy sector seeks to prioritize diversity, equity and inclusion for its workforce as it continues to grow.  

With so many different jobs in energy, it can be tough to navigate where and how to start a career journey. There are a tremendous number of career pathways available in the skilled trades, for instance. Learners and career explorers often ask how they should prepare themselves. More specifically, they are curious about postsecondary requirements, including opportunities available from local technical schools and apprenticeships, and what’s possible right after high school. The simple answer is all these avenues can lead to successful energy careers. Yet, they each start you in a different place. The industry is equally reliant on those with degrees and those who prefer to learn through on-the-job training and experience.

The Center for Energy Workforce Development (CEWD) is a non-profit organization driven by electric, natural gas, nuclear, and renewable energy companies, trade associations, large contractors, and unions. It also unites strategists from industry, education, government, and communities to ensure the industry balances workforce supply and demand to build the necessary talent pipeline. 

We offer several resources to support state CTE leaders in leveraging CTE programs to develop learner experiences and pathways in energy careers. . In addition, some states have a specific energy Career Cluster devoted to preparation for this sector. CTE also provides opportunities to earn stackable certificates, industry-recognized credentials, and degrees as outlined by the Center for Energy Workforce Development’s Get Into Energy website. CEWD also offers a curriculum, Energy Industry Fundamentals, specifically designed to develop the energy workforce of tomorrow and ensure CTE leaders have essential educational tools and resources readily available. 2-3 sentences of what you have worked with a state to do (may be helping them develop a career cluster, aligning energy curriculum with state standards of learning ,etc. 

CEWD welcomes you to join us in developing the energy workforce of the future.  It starts today!

Missy Henriksen, Executive Director, Center for Energy Workforce Development 

 

Legislative Update: Congress Set to Extend FY22 Funding Via CR

September 30th, 2022

The last two weeks, lawmakers in Congress have sought to pass temporary funding legislation intended to avoid a government shutdown. Elsewhere federal agencies have made changes to apprenticeship regulations and distributed new funds for teacher professional development and schools, while Congress celebrates Workforce Development Month. 

Congress Closes in on Temporary Funding Extension

As shared previously, lawmakers in the House and Senate have not been able to reach consensus this year on the 12 individual spending bills that fund federal government operations and programs. As a result, lawmakers have been negotiating a continuing resolution (CR)—short-term legislation that simply extends current fiscal year 2022 (FY22) funding levels for a specific period of time. With the formal start of FY23 set to begin tomorrow (October 1), a CR will avert a government shutdown and related lapse in funding for federal programs like the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act (Perkins V). 

Late Monday evening, September 26, Senate Democrats published the text of a CR to extend current fiscal year 2022 (FY22) funding levels through December 16, 2022. The proposed legislation also includes additional emergency funding for a wide array of other pressing national priorities, such as recent natural disasters and the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine; a summary of the CR’s major provisions can be accessed here. As reported last week, Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) had hoped to attach environmental permitting reform legislation to this package which was a primary source of contention for both sides seeking agreement. On Tuesday afternoon, Sen. Manchin dropped this request when it became clear there was not enough support in the chamber to include it in this legislative measure. Following these behind-the-scenes discussions, the Senate took a series of votes and ultimately passed this CR by a margin of 72-25.

This measure was passed by the House earlier today along party lines. The passage of the CR is one of the last agenda items for Congress before the upcoming midterm elections. Lawmakers will likely spend most of their time between now and the elections in home states and districts campaigning. Lawmakers must revisit FY23 funding in December by either passing another temporary spending bill or completing work on the annual budget. As these efforts continue, Advance CTE will continue to work with its partners on Capitol Hill to secure robust investments in CTE, including Perkins V’s basic state grant program and other CTE community federal funding priorities.

ED Distributes $1 Billion in Title IV-A Funding

This past summer, Congress approved a bipartisan gun and school safety package in response to several mass shootings that took place across the nation. Dubbed the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act (S. 2938), the legislation made a number of modest changes to gun policy including strengthening background checks for gun purchases to include a review of juvenile justice records for individuals under the age of 21. In addition, the legislation invested significant new funding into K-12 schools to assist with mental health efforts within communities. These funds include an additional $1 billion for Every Student Succeeds Act’s (ESSA) Title IV-A Student Support and Academic Enrichment grant program—specifically to help states and school districts foster safer and healthier learning environments in schools.

On September 29, the U.S. Department of Education (ED) disbursed these funds to states and issued a Dear Colleague letter to chief state school officers encouraging them to emphasize student social-emotional learning and mental health needs, engagement with students and families, and prioritizing funding to meet the needs of the nation’s most underserved learners with these newly authorized federal resources. More information about the initiative can be found here.  

Lawmakers Designate September Workforce Development Month

Earlier this month, Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) introduced S. Res. 780—a measure designating September 2022 as “National Workforce Development Month.” The effort garnered bipartisan support from nearly a third of the Senate upon introduction and was recently considered and agreed to in the upper chamber. A companion resolution was also introduced in the House and sponsored and led by Rep. Bonamici (D-OR). These resolutions are intended to elevate workforce development efforts across the nation and draw attention to the importance of investing in related systems of skill development. 

DOL Formally Rescinds IRAP Rules

Over the last few years, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) sought to create a parallel subset of apprenticeship programs known as “Industry Recognized Apprenticeship Programs” (IRAPs). Compared to registered apprenticeship programs (RAPs), IRAPS had relatively fewer programmatic requirements and would be recognized by third-party entities authorized by DOL (known as standards recognition entities or “SREs”). While IRAPs were formally launched under the previous presidential administration, relatively few programs were ever fully implemented. For this and many other reasons, DOL formally published a new rule this week rescinding IRAPs’ existing federal authorization. Existing IRAPs and SREs are “. . . encouraged to consider registering their programs with DOL or a State Apprenticeship Agency (SAA). Such entities are encouraged to reach out to the Apprenticeship Director in their State to receive technical assistance and explore such options further.”

OCTAE Launches Future Finder Challenge

Late last week, the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Career, Technical, and Adult Education (OCTAE) announced a $1 million “Future Finder Challenge” to accelerate the development of tools and related technologies that can support career navigation efforts for adults. “Developing digital career navigation tools for adult learners will expand equitable access to career opportunities — which will increase upward mobility and strengthen the broader American workforce,” OCTAE’s Assistant Secretary Amy Loyd, Ed.L.D., said during the announcement which was also intended to celebrate National Adult Education and Family Literacy Week. The challenge is structured as an “open innovation invitation” to spur the development of services, products, and programs that can more effectively support individuals search for and navigate opportunities in the labor market. A related press release from the department can be found here.

ED Awards $60 Million for Teacher Pipeline Efforts

On September 27, the U.S. Department of Education announced that it had awarded $60 million in new grant funding for the Supporting Effective Educator Development (SEED) grant program. The SEED program is intended to support evidence-based efforts that “. . . prepare, develop, or enhance the skills of [k-12] educators.” This round of grantmaking awarded 22 three-year grants which, according to the Biden Administration, brings the FY22 total for additional support for teachers to $285 million. More information on this announcement can be accessed here.

Steve Voytek, Policy Advisor

Workforce Development Month: A Spotlight on CTE’s Role In Building A Strong Workforce

September 29th, 2022

September is Workforce Development Month, a time for the nation to reflect on how workforce development programs provide Americans with the skills needed to obtain good jobs with family-sustaining wages. Career Technical Education (CTE) has been a hallmark of providing that skill training and workforce for learners of all ages for over a century. In observance of this month, and in alignment with the CTE Without Limits vision, this post highlights two strategies to establish shared, statewide goals for a cohesive career preparation ecosystem: 1) Establish clear career pathways and 2) Unify data systems.

Establishing Clear Career Pathways

From career days to summer youth employment programs, learners often have opportunities to engage in work-based learning and job exposure. But do these experiences lead to a meaningful exploration of potential careers? Establishing clear career pathways at a state level allows for CTE curriculum design to not only be uniform, but also intentional. That intention should not only take into account the specific skills needed to excel in a career pathway but also the removal of barriers to a learner’s success throughout their academic-to-career journey.

Elementary learners should have the opportunity to explore different careers through field trips and career days. Secondary and postsecondary learners should have work-based learning experiences, including internships and apprenticeships, that are not only academically aligned but aligned and documented as part of their individual learning plans. California’s Linked Learning Approach provides learners industry-based pathways that they can explore through college-aligned academics, work-based learning opportunities, CTE and comprehensive support which includes career counseling. A clear alignment of these experiences, including the ability to earn credit for prior learning, are the hallmarks of a strong career pathway and make for a more prepared workforce.

Unifying Goals and Data Systems

Creating a unified data system, and shared ownership among the parties involved, is important for the successful statewide implementation of CTE programs. Alabama, for instance, uses the SuccessPlus credential attainment goal which charges Alabama with adding 500,000 workforce-ready employees to the labor market by 2025. This goal was based on recommendations from an inter-agency working group led by the Alabama Workforce Council. This initiative shows the importance of postsecondary CTE data in statewide workforce development goals. However, it is important to also have inter-agency cooperation to build the data systems and routines that monitor program-level implementation of state goals. Through the Advancing Postsecondary CTE Data Quality Initiative (PDI), Florida is working to strengthen data aligned to its state goals by collecting new data on the postsecondary work-based learning opportunities that residents have access to.

Developing a skilled workforce is an ongoing commitment. By clearly defining the pathways to high-paying careers and making sure that data systems are aligned across agencies, state directors and CTE leaders can create an ecosystem that nurtures learners and creates a pipeline from the classroom to the boardroom.

If you are interested in learning more about the strategies highlighted, follow the links:

Brice Thomas, Policy Associate 

Advance CTE Fall Meeting Sponsor Blog: Gold Sponsor, Home Builders Institute

September 29th, 2022

A severe lack of skilled workers and an aging workforce threaten to slow new home production, curb housing affordability, and derail the industry’s ability to stand strong amid rising recession risks to the overall economy. In fact, the construction industry needs to add 2.2 million workers over the next three years to keep up with housing demand, according to a recent report from the Home Builders Institute (HBI), a workforce development nonprofit that works closely with the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB). 

Changing social and economic factors are driving a renewed focus on Career Technical Eeducation (CTE) among educators, policymakers, students and their families. Shifting the narrative about Career Clusters® supporting architecture & construction is an important way to capture the interest of young students and their parents. Schools can offer more technical training that exposes students to the potential of many exciting post-graduation architecture & construction career opportunities that don’t result in student debt.   

With nearly 400 programs in 46 states, HBI’s industry-recognized curriculum is preparing the next generation of skilled workers through pre-apprenticeship training and certification programs in secondary schools, community colleges, military bases, Job Corps centers and training academies. These programs are providing students with no-cost training that leads to well-paying jobs and careers in the home building industry. 

Half of construction workers earn more than $49,000 annually with the top 25 percent% making more than $75,000. This eclipses the U.S. median wage of $45,760 and the top quartile making just $68,590. In addition, the industry is one of the few where women and men earn nearly equal pay, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, versus all other occupations where women make just 81.5 percent% of what men earn. 

The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) advocates for local, state and federal support of industry-sponsored programs — such as HBI’s —that are successful, cost-effective means of providing skills training and job placement to individuals who can comprise a robust pipeline of trade professionals. Producing more and better workers strengthens families, communities, and the U.S. economy. 

Working with HBI, state CTE leaders can access industry-recognized curriculum and certifications that will provide middle and high school students throughout their state with more opportunities to pursue a stable and successful career path. State leaders can also leverage NAHB’s network of 700 local and state home builders associations. These local  associations comprise building industry leaders from all facets of the construction industry eager to provide mentorship, networking, program support and job opportunities to eligible students. 

There is no single answer to solving the labor gap issue, but working together, NAHB, HBI and State Directors can prepare students for meaningful careers in building that will result in increased housing availability and affordability for American families.

For more information on HBI’s curriculum, visit hbi.org.  To learn more about NAHB’s workforce development efforts, visit nahb.org/workforce.  

Ed Brady, President and CEO, HBI

 

Advance CTE Fall Meeting Sponsor Blog: Diamond Sponsor, iCEV – Optimizing ESSER Funding for Career Technical Education

September 28th, 2022

As part of its response to the coronavirus pandemic, the federal government provided a total of $280 billion for K–12 and postsecondary schools over three rounds of unprecedented investment into education. For perspective, $280 billion is 200 times the annual allocation for Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act (Perkins V). The Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund (ESSER I, II, III) portion of each of the three emergency response bills totaled $189 billion for a range of uses from education technology to building costs and staff salaries. While states and districts were given wide discretion on how to invest the money, there are time limits for the money to be spent.

Although Career Technical Education (CTE) was not specifically called out in these emergency bills, many districts are using ESSER funds to prioritize and expand their CTE programs. ESSER dollars are intended to make up for lost instructional time and accelerating learning to get students back on track for grade level work and learning college and career skills, and CTE has an integral role in this process.

Blending ESSER & CTE Funding 

To ensure the efficiency and sustainability of their programs, CTE educators have to be forward thinking and creative to ensure CTE programs receive an appropriate amount of the funds when state and district leaders are deciding where the money is to be spent. According to EducationWeek, most of ESSER I and II funds were spent on equipment to minimize coronavirus spread and connecting students to school from home. A minimum of 20 percent of ESSER III funds must be spent on compensating for lost instructional time, but districts can spend more if they so choose. Just under half of districts have allocated their funds, but some districts are still deciding where to allocate funding.

Ideas for Using ESSER Funds 

Starting or Expanding Summer Camps & After-School Clubs – These can help accelerate learning to make up for lost instruction time during the pandemic. Both of these ideas have the advantage of additional CTE recruitment potential as they operate outside standard school hours, and include areas such as eSports, robotics, and other STEM activities.

Investing in Digital Curriculum – Schools and districts have made significant investments in technology in response to the pandemic, digital learning allows CTE programs greater flexibility in course delivery and facilitates individualized instruction.

Updating Labs with High-Tech Training Systems – The pandemic exacerbated the skills gap, and with Industry 4.0 and the acceleration of technology, CTE programs can struggle to keep pace with manufacturing changes in such areas as automation. Investing in industry-grade equipment will allow CTE programs to upgrade the technical skills they teach to prepare students for today’s workforce.

Professional Development & Training for TeachersInvesting in PD and training meets both ESSER and CTE objectives. It is particularly important for CTE teachers to participate in ongoing professional learning as it relates to new equipment and increasing technical skills.

The federal stimulus funds create an unparalleled opportunity to make a significant investment in CTE programs throughout the country, either for expansion or creation. CTE programs provide students with the academic, technical skills and practical experience they need to be successful in their post-secondary lives. This one-time infusion of ESSER stimulus funds makes this the ideal time to ensure high quality CTE programs have a central place in K–12 education to provide students with career-specific learning opportunities leading to additional career possibilities and equip students with a robust set of skills that prepare them for their future. 

Josh Witherspoon, Content Development Specialist, iCEV

Vision Spotlight: Implementing CTE Without Limits at the Local Level

September 27th, 2022

In March 2021, Advance CTE released Without Limits: A Shared Vision for the Future of Career Technical Education (CTE Without Limits) to empower “leadership at all levels to reflect on, refine and even rebuild many of the systems and structures that are limiting learner success.” Later that year, we subsequently released Pushing the Limits: A Roadmap for Advancing CTE Without Limits to help leaders assess, prioritize and implement strategies for one or more vision principles.

One school district – Utah’s Davis School District (DSD), just north of Salt Lake City – has taken both CTE Without Limits and Pushing the Limits to heart. DSD is recognized across the state for strong pathway programs. After their Comprehensive Local Needs Assessment (CLNA) process revealed achievement and enrollment gaps for special populations in CTE, DSD administrators sought bold solutions and turned to CTE Without Limits as a framework to close these gaps. Leveraging these resources, DSD supported professional district training and strategic school plan development with the express purpose of increasing equitable enrollment in CTE programs districtwide. 

Implementing CTE Without Limits

Once DSD administration began conversations with educators and staff, they recognized the need to create schoolwide “Without Limits Teams,” comprised of a school administrator, special education staff, school counselors, and the school’s CTE coordinator. Last spring, school staff from each of the 25 DSD schools were each brought together in full day district-wide workshops structured on the five CTE Without Limits principles and designed using Advance CTE’s CTE Without Limits implementation assets. After the training, the teams were asked to create a Without Limits plan to implement these principles in their building; 19 of the 25 have already submitted their plans as a result of the training.

The plans were created using a district-wide rubric to help sharpen and focus action areas. Learner voice was also incorporated into the conversation, with the district conducting twelve focus groups with 54 students, asking similar questions as the workshops for district staff. The district also conducted pre- and post-surveys to help develop priorities for these action plans and help administrators learn where schools need the most support. 

Collaboration is Key

In a recent interview with Advance CTE staff, Davis School District CTE Supervisor Tim Peters and Without Limits Project Lead Melanie Allen reiterated the value that the collaborative nature of these Without Limits Teams has for CTE district-wide and with state and community partners. Because of the composition of the Without Limits Teams, the cross-departmental work has become a key strength of this initiative. The Layton High School team gave high praises to the Without Limits initiatives and said, “The impact of everyone being on the same page can’t be overestimated for the teachers and the students. We are already seeing growth in course requests for welding tech, accounting and computer programming.”  Local CTE Coordinator Kristen Davidson noted, “We’re having conversations now that we’ve never had before, and it’s changing the way we serve students.” 

Utah State CTE Director Thalea Longhurst is a strong supporter of DSD’s model. “Davis School District is leading our state in focusing on truly embedding CTE Without Limits in their daily work,” she shared. “Their work is led by strong leaders who understand the importance of collaborative conversations and truly using data-driven decision making to improve programs. They have shown that even small changes can be incredibly impactful while still considering and implementing larger systemic changes. Their work is exactly what we hope others will follow as we all strive to implement this vision for the future of CTE.”

Lessons Learned

After their first iteration of workshops, DSD shared a few lessons learned that they hope other Utah school districts or other districts nationwide consider before starting this work in earnest. 

  • Plans don’t have to make world-changing shifts. Instead, these workshops and subsequent action planning helped the district see the small, most impactful changes that could happen first while working toward larger systemic changes. 
  • Workshops also revealed the necessity of reviewing data as a part of the process. Because the district considered their data and opportunity gaps in conjunction with action planning, they could focus their efforts on learner populations that require the most support. 
  • A shared framework and regular collaborative conversations served as a forcing event to share important, consistent information with school educators and staff, disseminate resources, and provide updates about CTE programs. This allowed for opportunities to address myths about CTE programs and initiatives.

Next Steps

As a result of the workshops, plan feedback, and learner focus groups, the district is working on a toolkit to support the school plan action steps. DSD administrators also hope to make this an iterative process, conducting ongoing training and coaching to help their Without Limits Teams revise and refocus their plans on a yearly basis. 

For more information about CTE Without Limits as well as communication and implementation resources, please visit the CTE Without Limits page on our website.

Learn more about Career Technical Education at Davis School District in Farmington, UT.

Dan Hinderliter, Senior Policy Associate 

 

 

 

 

Research Round-up: Addressing Stop-Out to Reengage Students and Increase Credit Completion 

September 27th, 2022

Advance CTE’s “Research Round-Up” blog series features summaries of relevant research reports and studies to elevate evidence-backed Career Technical Educational (CTE) policies and practices and topics related to college and career readiness. This month’s topic, Addressing Student Stop-Out, supports a vision for the future of CTE where statewide systems and supports are in place for each learner to feel welcome in, supported by and prepared to succeed in the career preparation ecosystem, and identifies some effective strategies for supporting learners to increase postsecondary retention and completion.

Defining “Stop-Out” and Learner Demographics

“Stopped out” students are those adult learners with some college experience but no credentials. 

According to a recent National Student Clearing House report, approximately 39 million individuals in the United States qualify as having Some College, but No Credentials (SCNC). Unfortunately, this often leaves learners with the debt of attending a postsecondary institution or program without any benefits from earning a credential.

Based on 2020 National Student Clearinghouse data, learners enrolled full-time achieved a retention rate of 59.5 percent and a persistence rate of 68.7 percent. Those metrics, however, were significantly lower for part-time learners, at 42.3 percent and 49.3 percent respectively.

Retention is defined in this report as the continued enrollment  (or degree completion within the same higher education institution in the fall terms of a learner’s first and second year. Persistence is defined in this report as the continued enrollment (or degree completion)  at any higher education institution– including one different from the institution of the learner’s initial enrollment– in the fall terms of their first and second year.

Who is the most vulnerable to stopping out? Data trends from the National Student Clearinghouse show that racial and ethnic minorities are overrepresented among SCNC learners. Based on a subset of the 39 million SCNC students who entered college in 2013 or later, this report found that Black and Latinx SCNC students collectively made up 42.8 percent, compared to 34.3 percent of undergraduates. 

Source:  (National Student Clearinghouse 2022) 

Wraparound Services and Other Supports to Address Student Stop-Out

Persevering to Completion, a report published in collaboration with the Lumina Foundation and Higher Ed Insight (HEI), uses survey data to understand better the experiences of SCNC learners and the supports that helped them return to college.

For this study, HEI surveyed students from a cohort identified by the National Student Clearinghouse as having stopped out and then returned to college between 2013 and the end of 2018. In 2021, HEI surveyed a subgroup of these students to learn more about whether they’d completed a credential in the interim, what their reasons were for re-enrolling, and what happened when they re-enrolled. 

Among the key findings:

  • Students reenrolled for personal and professional reasons;
  • Financial barriers were significant factors for students completing their credentials; 
  • Flexible institutional supports like academic counseling, opportunities for credit transfer and a rolling admissions process had an impact on adult learners; and 
  • Key supports related to the timing and delivery of courses included the availability of online and/or hybrid courses, classes that were offered frequently, and convenient class times.

Factors that respondents identified as helping to facilitate their return to college included:

  • Proactive outreach by postsecondary institutions to their stop-outs and other adults who are researching degree programs; 
  • Messaging focused on the needs of returning adult students, particularly regarding the cost and time required to complete a credential;
  • Access to easily navigable admissions and degree program information; and 
  • Readily available assistance to answer questions and support returning students through the process of re-enrolling. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

State CTE leaders can lead on this issue by taking a supporting postsecondary leaders in systemic evalutions of current supports for stopped out learners to facilitate their re-enrollment. Additional resources about the strategies to equitable support postsecondary learners can be found in the Learning that Works Resource Center.

Amy Hodge, Policy Associate 

Advance CTE Fall Meeting Sponsor Blog: Gold Sponsor, NOCTI – Navigating Uncertain Times

September 23rd, 2022

This post is written by NOCTI, a Gold Level sponsor of the 2022 Advance CTE Fall Meeting.

A “black swan” event is an unpredictable occurrence beyond what is normally expected of a situation, often with severe consequences. While the entire educational environment was impacted by the coronavirus pandemic, Career Technical Education (CTE), which focuses on hands-on learning, was heavily impacted by this black swan event.  In addition to navigating the perils of COVID-19, CTE experienced instructor shortages and concerns about the limited related work experience of those available for these positions. Though many states have relevant, standardized, industry-identified competencies, the associated curriculum must be delivered by individuals with a solid understanding of the field, which is generally based on work experience. In some cases, these concerns can result in a reduction of content depth delivered in a CTE classroom. 

How does the CTE community respond to these kinds of events? What can states, teacher preparation systems, schools, and administrators do to increase equity and access to CTE programs as well as maintain high-quality program content and delivery? To address these variables would take more space than this blog offers, but we can describe three tools offered by NOCTI and Nocti Business Solutions (NBS). 

Let’s start with a focus on a teacher candidate’s technical skill competence. NBS offers assessments that are used in the hiring process. These assessments can be used to verify a candidate’s experience, determine a candidate’s fit to a position, and establish an employee’s professional development plan upon hire. Using these assessments longitudinally can provide additional information to those hiring CTE teachers.

The second tool is a credentialing assessment developed by NOCTI and several other associations, entitled “Principles of CTE Teaching”. The credential offers two levels and establishes an individual’s understanding of CTE pedagogy and covers student management techniques, facility management and safety, teaching, and both formative and summative assessment strategies. 

The final tool developed by NOCTI, micro-credentials, gathers the collective knowledge of seasoned CTE instructors and subject matter experts. NOCTI utilized longitudinal data across a variety of industries to identify areas in which CTE learners were having difficulty. NOCTI then worked with instructors to design short video segments to address these specific areas. The resulting content segments are available 24/7 and can be viewed repeatedly in both synchronous and asynchronous settings. Micro-credentials can be used in a variety of situations and can be an effective tool to reinforce an instructor’s content knowledge. 

Acting without deliberate planning can exacerbate problems and pondering an issue without action rarely helps anyone progress. NOCTI’s tools were designed to assist in the expansion of the CTE community and represent thoughtful actions to inspire state CTE leaders to address instructor pipeline challenges and empower new instructors to be successful in CTE.  Please reach out to us to find out more at nocti@nocti.org.

Dr. John C. Foster, President and CEO, NOCTI & NBS 

 

State CTE Policy Update: Examining CTE Instructor Compensation Strategies

September 22nd, 2022

The National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ) released its report “State of the States 2022: Teacher Compensation Strategies” earlier this month. This report takes a deep dive into the compensation strategies each state and the District of Columbia use to continue to recruit and retain talented instructors.

Instructors are the backbone of high-quality Career Technical Education (CTE) and are essential to ensuring that each learner is fully supported by the career preparation ecosystem of their state. “Teacher Compensation Strategies” divides compensation strategies into three different categories: 1) Differentiated pay; 2) Performance pay, and 3) Pay for prior work. While the first two offer their own merit, and all can perhaps be used in some combination, pay for prior work may offer an elegant solution for staffing CTE teachers.

A common barrier to CTE teacher recruitment and retention is matching instructor salaries, which are historically lower than industry salaries talented CTE instructors often transfer from. In an effort to reduce the gap, states can offer instructors an increase in pay based on experience from non-school related careers relative to the subject matter they are teaching. This strategy embraces the promise to capture and value all learning that occurs, wherever and whenever it occurs. Below are some highlights from the report on the current application of this strategy::

  • When it comes to paying for prior experience, only five states—California, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, and North Carolina—grant extra pay for relevant prior experience in another industry and allow administrators the discretion to determine its relevance.  
  • Six states—Alabama, Delaware, Georgia, Idaho, Texas, West Virginia—allocate pay for prior experience in non-academic industry in selected cases only. The majority of those states limit this extra pay to teachers of CTE only. Hawaii limits this extra pay to those who have prior military experience.  
  • Thirty-nine states make no mention of adjustments in starting salary for prior relevant experience for individuals entering teaching from other professions.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Of the states currently using pay for prior experience strategies, North Carolina and Louisiana took two different approaches. North Carolina, per the report, awards one year of credit per two years of relevant, non-education work experience pre-bachelor degree, and a one-for-one exchange post attaining a bachelor’s. Louisiana school districts are required to develop compensation plans that take into account effectiveness, experience, and demand with no one factor being given a weight of more than 50 percent. The report highlights that language surrounding this particular strategy is often vague which makes it hard to track if it is being enacted.

With teacher attrition at unprecedented levels and teacher recruitment levels dropping, state CTE leaders have the opportunity to provide innovative solutions to teacher compensation. You can read the full report here: State of the States 2022: Teacher Compensation Strategies. Advance CTE’s Learning that Works Resource Center provides additional tools on embedding credit for prior learning and other state approaches to fully documenting skills. 

Brice Thomas, Policy Associate 

Welcome Jon Wickert as the New State CTE Director in Delaware! 

September 19th, 2022

The Delaware Department of Education recently named Jon Wickert as its new Director, Career and Technical Education (CTE) and Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics  (STEM) Initiatives. His path to state CTE leadership reflects the power of career exploration and social capital that will sustain ‘The First State’s’ strong record of innovation and transformation of CTE systems. 

Jon’s wide-ranging career began working with justice-connected youth in outdoor programs for the Maryland Forest Service. After a year in procurement in the nuclear power industry, he pursued his passion for ecotourism and water-based recreation by launching and operating a kayaking  business. However, Jon missed working with learners and returned to the classroom as a high school social studies teacher. This led to his introduction to CTE through his support of Career Technical Student Organization (CTSO) competitions, volunteerism with Junior Achievement of Delaware, and supporting professional learning communities that allowed him to reconnect with his knowledge of natural systems and entrepreneurship. 

Jon’s desire to expand his impact led him to the Delaware State Park System, where he led public and private programs, nature centers and exhibits, the visitor and customer experiences. strategy. During this time, he remained connected to CTE through curriculum review and STEM program development. He joined the Delaware CTE team three years ago where he led postsecondary system development, work-based learning, and registered apprenticeship initiatives. 

Jon has been a very active member of Advance CTE prior to his promotion to State Director, participating in the Postsecondary Data Initiative, contributing to Advance CTE’s research on area technical centers and developing an environmental literacy framework through the Bay Watershed Education Training (BWET) initiative. He emphasized the immense value of Advance CTE’s support in helping him to “connect the dots” in his work and connect to leaders in other states. 

Jon is most enthusiastic about continuing current work to equitably update the statewide programs of study, which will focus on centering program requirements with labor market information and wage data, identifying metrics for credential recognition and alignment course mapping with Advanced Placement, dual enrollment courses, and other early postsecondary opportunities. Not surprisingly, Jon’s list of other priorities was quite extensive – internal role realignment, middle grade CTE standard development and a statewide framework for Credit for Prior Learning, among others- , and his enthusiasm for all of them is apparent. Jon is committed to ensuring each Delawean has access to high quality education that centers individual identity within a recession-resistant career, is efficient and affordable, and results in a wealth-generating wage.

Jon encourages fellow new State Directors to be patient with themselves, especially with new work, and use it as an opportunity to facilitate collaboration: “You don’t need to have the answer right now. Start slowly so you can go faster later — this is an opportunity for more voices to be heard.” 

Jon earned a Doctorate of Education in curriculum, instruction and assessment from Walden University. He earned both a master’s degree in education and a bachelor’s degree in social science and secondary education from Frostburg University. Jon and his wife, Sinead, have a 10 year old son named Sean.  They love hiking, camping, kayaking, and enjoying the outdoors as much as possible.  Please join us in welcoming Jon to Advance CTE!

Stacy Whitehouse, Senior Associate Communications and State Engagement 

 

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