Making the Case for a Cross-Disciplinary STEM Core

October 26th, 2021

Submitted by CORD, 2021 Fall Meeting Sponsor

The nature of work is evolving right before our eyes. Technological advancements are transforming existing industries and creating new ones at an unprecedented pace. The World Economic Forum predicts significant disruption in the jobs landscape over the next four years. As many as 85 million current job roles may be displaced while more than 97 million new roles could emerge. Many of those roles will be enhanced by technologies that can collaborate with humans to enrich lives and workplaces in what the National Science Foundation (NSF) describes as the “future of work at the human-technology frontier.” Our challenge as state Career Technical Education (CTE) leaders is ensuring future technicians acquire the expanding skill sets necessary for success in a rapidly changing environment. 

Through the NSF-Advanced Technological Education (ATE) supported initiative, Preparing Technicians for the Future of Work, staff at the Center for Occupational Research and Development (CORD) led a series of research activities designed to identify the knowledge and skills that will be essential for future STEM techniciansThis work has resulted in the Framework for a Cross-Disciplinary STEM Core (The Framework), a set of recommendations for technician education that incorporate knowledge and skills such as Advanced Digital Literacy, Data Knowledge and Analysis, and Business Knowledge and Processes into technician preparation programs. These core content areas are essential to future success in STEM fields because they transcend narrow job specialization and enable technicians to adapt to a complex employment environment. Topics within these areas have been prioritized by educators and industry leaders.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Framework offers practical recommendations for implementation, with regional customization, by any community college technical program. Steps toward adoption of the Framework include:

  • Empowering technician educators to integrate multiple disciplines into existing programs and develop new programs that support emerging disciplines and occupations;
  • Convening stakeholders across sectors to collaborate with educators on talent development approaches that make sense locally, yet prepare learners for the global economy; and
  • Discussing with employers the effects of automation and artificial intelligence on their workforce and how you can support their reskilling efforts.

Download the Framework today and discover ways you can advocate for adoption of the Cross-Disciplinary STEM Core in your state.

Digital Badges: Professional Recognition for the Modern Workforce

October 25th, 2021

Submitted by iCEV, 2021 Fall Meeting Sponsor

Skills Verification in the Digital Age

Digital badges are a powerful way to take charge of professional growth and development, and they have become a popular way for individuals to upskill and advance their careers. Businesses, schools and organizations use digital badges to provide skills verification and offer opportunities for career advancement.

Digital badges signify the learner has completed a formally approved set of standards or competencies. Learners earn badges when they complete specific tasks to prove their knowledge and skills. Earning badges is a professional way for learners to share career development experiences with others and highlight their commitment to knowledge expansion in a particular area. 

Because they are an online representation of knowledge, skills and accomplishments, digital badges provide an opportunity to promote those attributes through various channels. Digital badges can be added to email signatures and digital resumes or shared on social media platforms. A digital badge provides verifiable metadata that describes the qualifications and process required to earn the digital badge, making it easier for others to recognize the learner’s expertise and achievements.

Introducing iCEV Digital Badges

iCEV is committed to providing lifelong learners the tools necessary to achieve academic and professional goals. In an ever-changing marketplace, it is essential to communicate skills and credentials effectively. iCEV has partnered with Credly to offer a modernized version of credentials through digital badging. This fall, iCEV will begin offering digital badges to anyone who earns an industry certification hosted on the iCEV Certification Testing Platform; iCEV has already started awarding badges to educators who attend an iCEV professional development event.

iCEV first began awarding digital badges at CTE Inspired, a virtual conference hosted by iCEV. Badges were awarded to presenters, as well as attendees, based on the number of sessions attended. Nearly 2,000 presenters and recipients received an iCEV digital badge by participating in CTE Inspired. 

Whether an individual earns an industry certification or an educator receives professional development credit, the digital badges awarded by iCEV offer a portable, verifiable method for professional accomplishment. Visit our website to learn more about iCEV’s new digital badging initiatives. 

Legislative Update: Short-term Extension of the Debt Limit, Newly Approved State ARP Plans and ECF Applications

October 22nd, 2021

Over the past two weeks, Congress approved a short-term extension of the nation’s borrowing authority and made further progress on Fiscal Year 22 (FY22) appropriations. Federal agencies have also advanced efforts to approve new state American Rescue Plan (ARP) funding proposals and distribute additional funding for broadband connectivity efforts. More recently, the Senate has advanced additional U.S. Department of Education (USED) nominees while President Biden issued an Executive Order aimed, in part, at advancing economic and educational opportunities for Black Americans. 

Short-term Debt Limit Deal Enacted 

During the week of October 11, the House formally considered and approved a short-term increase of the nation’s borrowing authority, known as the debt limit. Lawmakers passed this measure along party lines by a margin of 219-206. Following passage, President Biden signed the legislation into law, which provides $480 billion in additional borrowing authority for the U.S. Treasury Department. This extension is estimated to provide sufficient borrowing authority through early December—a time when Congress must also act to pass a full-year funding measure for the current federal fiscal year (FY22) for programs like the Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act (Perkins V). 

Prior to this vote, however, Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) sent a letter to President Biden making clear that his party will likely filibuster future Congressional efforts to pass a longer-term measure to extend or suspend the current debt limit. 

Make Your Voice Heard

The short-term agreement on the debt limit provides more time to Congressional Democrats who are currently debating the size and scope of a forthcoming domestic spending package, modeled off of President Biden’s Build Back Better agenda that could potentially provide $4 billion in additional funding for Perkins V. 

At this stage in the negotiations, it is critical that the Career Technical Education (CTE) community makes its voice heard to ensure a Perkins funding increase is included in a final agreement. Be sure to contact your members of Congress to remind them of the importance of investing in CTE. To do so, click here!  

Senate Release Remaining FY22 Spending Bills 

On October 18, the Senate Appropriations Committee released drafts of the remaining nine FY22 spending bills that had not been considered by the committee. Among these was the Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies (Labor-HHS-ED) appropriations bill, which provides funding for USED and the related federal programs it oversees. Overall, the proposal would, if enacted, provide $98.4 billion for USED—an increase of $24.9 billion compared to the previous fiscal year. Most of this proposed increase would be devoted to nearly doubling the size of Title I formula funds for the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). 

Significantly, the bill proposes a $50 million increase for the Perkins V basic state grant program. This proposal aligns with House legislation passed earlier this year by the lower chamber which, if enacted, would provide a total increase of roughly $1.385 billion. 

The proposal is not expected, however, to be formally marked up by the Senate. Rather, these bills will be used as the basis to begin bicameral and bipartisan negotiations for full-year FY22 funding—legislation that must be completed by December 3 when current short-term funding is set to expire. As these efforts progress, Advance CTE will continue to advocate for a robust investment in Pekins V’s basic state grant program as part of the wider FY22 process.

FCC Approves Additional Emergency Connectivity Fund Applications

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) announced $1.1 billion in new commitments as part of the Emergency Connectivity Fund (ECF)’s second wave of funding distribution. The funding will cover 2.4 million devices and 1.9 million broadband connections. The approved projects will benefit learners and staff at 2,471 schools, and the patrons of 205 libraries. The FCC has approved over half of the applications filed during the program’s first application window and it is expected that the remaining qualified applications will be approved in the coming weeks. Securing initial funding for the ECF was a key advocacy priority for Advance CTE, at the start of the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic, as part of wider efforts to close the ‘homework gap.’ 

USED Approves Four More State ARP Plans 

This past spring, Congressional Democrats passed ARP legislation), which authorized $122 billion in supplementary funding for K-12 school districts. Since that time, USED distributed two-thirds of this funding via formula to help schools and states respond to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. The Department, however, held back the remaining third of this funding requiring that states and territories submit plans detailing how these new financial resources would be used to support learners coping with the impacts of the public health crisis and related disruptions to schooling. 

As part of this ongoing effort, USED has been periodically reviewing and approving state ARP plans for this purpose. On October 14, the Department approved four more of these plans for Guam, Maryland, Nebraska, and Virginia. Seven states and Puerto Rico are still awaiting approval from the Department, along with the release of these remaining ARP funds. The current status of all state ARP plans, including highlights of plans approved by USED so far, can be found here

President Biden Issues Executive Order to Advance Educational Equity

On October 19, President Biden issued an Executive Order (EO) creating a new White House Initiative on Advancing Educational Equity, Excellence, and Economic Opportunity for Black Americans. The order enumerates several actions that the Biden Administration has already taken or plans to take to provide greater economic opportunity for Black families and communities, close educational achievement gaps for Black learners, improve health outcomes for these communities, and outlines a number of steps the administration plans to take regarding criminal justice reform among other elements. Importantly, the EO envisions CTE as being a key way to achieve some of these objectives stating, in part, that it will “[advance] racial equity and economic opportunity by connecting education to labor market needs through programs such as dual enrollment, career and technical education, registered apprenticeships, work-based learning . . .”

The order goes on to note that, “Eliminating these inequities requires expanding access to work-based learning and leadership opportunities, including mentorships, sponsorships, internships, and registered apprenticeships that provide not only career guidance, but also the experience needed to navigate and excel in successful careers.” In addition, the order establishes an interagency governmental working group, inclusive of federal CTE representatives from USED, to support the initiative’s broad remit. A related factsheet outlining this order can be found here

Senate Confirms OCR Leader While Setting Sights on OCTAE Nomination Next Week 

On October 20, Catherine Lhamon was narrowly approved by the Senate to become the next Assistant Secretary for USED’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR). The vote was evenly split along partisan lines, requiring a tie-breaking vote from Vice President Kamala Harris. Lhamon previously led OCR under President Obama where she oversaw a controversial overhaul of Title IX regulations—a move that has continued to be a primary source of opposition for Republican lawmakers. 

In addition to Lhamon’s confirmation, the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee is scheduled to consider the nominations of two other USED officials, including Amy Loyd, to serve as the next Assistant Secretary for the Office of Career, Adult, and Technical Education (OCTAE) along with Sandra Bruce to be the Department’s next Inspector General next week. Advance CTE has strongly supported Loyd’s nomination and looks forward to a swift confirmation process in the coming weeks and months ahead.   

Steve Voytek, Policy Advisor

What Happened to the Men?

October 22nd, 2021

Submitted by Brett Pawlowski, NC3T, 2021 Fall Meeting Sponsor

I read an article in the Wall Street Journal that floored me – so much that I had to read it a second time. And, I still haven’t figured out how to react, or how big the impact on our society is going to be.

The article, published September 6, is titled “A Generation of American Men Give Up on College: ‘I Just Feel Lost’.” From the article: 

Men are abandoning higher education in such numbers that they
now trail female college students by record levels.

At the close of the 2020-21 academic year, women made up 59.5% of college students,
an all-time high, and men 40.5%, according to enrollment data
from the National Student Clearinghouse, a nonprofit research group.
U.S. colleges and universities had 1.5 million fewer students compared with five years ago,
and men accounted for 71% of the decline.

The percentage of women undergrads is at an all-time high – not because more women are going to a two-or four-year college – but because the number of men doing so has fallen off a cliff.

Why would that be?

Men in interviews around the U.S. said they quit school or didn’t enroll because they didn’t see enough value in a college degree for all the effort and expense required to earn one. Many said they wanted to make money after high school.

Another explanation:

“Many young men are hobbled by a lack of guidance, a strain of anti-intellectualism, and a growing belief that college degrees don’t pay off,” said Ed Grocholski, a Senior Vice President at Junior Achievement USA, which works with about five million learners every year to teach about career paths, financial literacy and entrepreneurship.

I don’t know the real reasons, and I certainly don’t know the solutions. But what I do know is that historically, those with higher levels of education have had significantly better financial and life outcomes. There’s every reason to believe that’s still the case going forward. And, the fact that this topic sees so little conversation is alarming. If we don’t address these issues, and we allow so many young men to fall through the cracks, we’re in for a very tough time as a nation.

We join with Advance CTE members in promoting the value of career-connected learning as an essential strategy for engaging and preparing young men and women for their futures. NC3T stands ready to help state Career Technical Education (CTE) leaders with coaching, professional development and technical assistance around pathways development and the creation of a profile of a graduate. NC3T also helps to manage work-based learning with its Seamless WBL platform, and it supports career exploration across schools with the new CareerSmart Schools tool. Visit us at NC3T.com for more.

Getting to Know: Stakeholder Engagement at Advance CTE

October 21st, 2021

The “Getting to Know” blog series features the work of State CTE Directors, state and federal policies, innovative programs and new initiatives from the Advance CTE staff. Learn more about each of these topics and the unique contributions to advancing Career Technical Education (CTE) that Advance CTE’s members work on every day.

Meet Dan Hinderliter! Dan is a State Policy Associate at Advance CTE and supports a number of different national projects. As a site liaison for the New Skills ready network, Dan works with two sites (Columbus, Ohio and Indianapolis, Indiana), providing resource and research support while also serving as a direct link to the national project team. He also works on site snapshots, the annual report and quarterly newsletters, as well as major publications that highlight promising national, state and local practices aligned with the principles of the New Skills ready network

Dan also supports the modernization of the National Career Clusters® Framework and spearheads the Year in Review, the annual aggregation of state policy impacting CTE. As part of the Year in Review process, Dan regularly tracks state-level legislation and other policy actions.

Q: Considering your work on the New Skills ready network initiative, how are the six sites leveraging stakeholder engagement to advance career pathways? 

A: Each of the six New Skills ready network sites is working to leverage stakeholder engagement in some capacity to advance career pathways. First, because each of the sites is composed of a variety of stakeholders, engagement with business and industry, postsecondary partners and K-12 institutions has to happen to ensure each voice is involved in and buys into the work of the site. Outside of the project teams, however, most sites are doing some level of stakeholder engagement involving learner and family communications practices. Some sites are surveying parents and learners to understand what resonates with them about available career pathways, while others have done focus groups to understand where there are gaps for learners in specific programs. Columbus, Ohio’s project team hired a minority-led communications firm, with roots in Columbus, to help share consistent messaging and work to understand how each stakeholder can be better supported.

View the 2020-2021 site snapshot for Columbus, Ohio here

Q: Earlier this year, Advance CTE and the Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE) released State Policies Impacting CTE: 2020 Year in Review where industry partnership was a frequently addressed topic area. Are there any states that can serve as a model for policy actions around stakeholder engagement? 

A: Every year, states enact new legislation that impacts how each state engages with stakeholders, either through input gathering or through information sharing. Many states, including Colorado, Hawai’i, Idaho and Missouri (among others), passed legislation this year requiring a state agency to collect and disseminate information that allows learners to make more informed decisions about their futures, including information about in-demand jobs or industry recognized credential attainment. Other states are using legislative action to improve equity and access in part through stakeholder engagement; Oregon and Washington, for example, now require institutions to collect feedback or input from diverse or historically marginalized stakeholder groups to inform new practices and strategies that will increase access to high-quality CTE programs for those groups. At the beginning of 2022, we will release our state policy tracker for 2021 which includes the above legislative actions and others.

Q: One of the foundational commitments within CTE Without Limits is based on stakeholder engagement. How can states, through such partnerships, ensure each learner reaches success in a career of their choice? 

A: Advance CTE’s shared vision, CTE Without Limits, calls for CTE to be incredibly learner-centric and for programs to ensure that the learner voice is incorporated into each decision about career pathways or programs. As states continue to expand access and equity in their CTE programs and work toward dismantling systemic barriers in CTE, the learner voice must be an integral part of these conversations, as only the learner who participated in the program can fully understand the consequences of decisions made at each level. At the same time, states and local institutions can continue to expand offerings by building partnerships with community based organizations to offer learner supports or with business and industry to offer new or improved work-based learning opportunities. By including opportunities for stakeholder groups like learners, their families and local businesses to provide input into decisions surrounding CTE, states can ensure that their career pathways and CTE programs are truly aligned with the needs of their communities.

Q: Lastly, Advance CTE announced the modernization of The National Career Clusters® Framework. How has Advance CTE prioritized stakeholder engagement and the voices of the field in this work? 

A: Though we don’t yet know what our end product will look like at the conclusion of these modernization efforts, we did know the process had to be highly collaborative to ensure everyone buys into whatever the outcome happens to be. As such, we have included a lot of opportunity to incorporate feedback from the field; we convened an expert kitchen cabinet to provide insights about the purpose and uses of the Framework, opened a crowdsourcing portal to collect feedback from the larger field about critical changes they’d like to see, and held workshops to assist in the prototyping of a new Framework. In this next phase of work, we’re hoping to hold focus groups to discuss the future of the Framework. As we near a model for a new, modernized Framework, we are hoping to have many more conversations with stakeholders about how they can implement the Framework in their own state and community to ensure that the modernized Framework is implemented with fidelity.

For resources and tools to increase stakeholder engagement in CTE, visit the Learning that Works Resource Center.

Brittany Cannady, Senior Associate Digital Media 

Industry Certifications: Joining Industry and Education Together

October 20th, 2021

Submitted by Lincoln Electric, 2021 Fall Meeting Sponsor 

Even before the current pandemic, there was a welding skills gap. That could actually mean a couple of different things: It could mean there simply are not enough skilled welders to fill the welding careers available, or it could mean there is a disconnect between the skills employers are looking for and the skills applicants actually have. Either way, this gap’s existence is a real problem in the welding industry today—for both employers and job-seeking welders. 

If the problem is that trained welders do not have the specific skills employers are looking for, then the solution is to examine welding education and find a way to bridge the gap. Educational institutions communicate with the welding industry to understand which skills their students actually need for today’s jobs. Because the industry is constantly changing, the needed skills are constantly changing—which means that this communication between education and industry must be ongoing.

Lincoln Electric is heavily involved in both the industry and welding education, making sure communication is constantly maintained between the two to improve curriculum and training as the industry evolves. From this, the Lincoln Electric Education Partner Schools (LEEPS) welding program was created.

The LEEPS welding certification program is a partnership with the National Coalition of Certification Centers (NC3), which provides curriculum and learning management resources for students and welders to earn standards-based certifications. These certifications are portable and stackable, which means welders can build their own skill base for specific job requirements by combining the skills and certifications they need for immediate employability.

The LEEPS program creates standardization with the train-the-trainer program. All instructors who teach and certify welding students through a partner school have been through the same training, taken the same tests, and used the same curriculum materials. That means employers can feel confident that anyone who earns a LEEPS certification was taught the same content in the same way and has passed the same weld tests with the same grading rubric. This kind of consistency helps welders to have documented, proven competencies to show employers; employers know they can expect this consistency from an institution with a standardized process.

Because this program offers a way to integrate certifications into an existing educational institution, it doesn’t limit students or employers to one geographic area. With a traditional welding school, students all train at a single location and are likely to seek jobs in the same general area. With a program like LEEPS, the same quality welding education is available all over the country, so it’s more accessible to students and employers alike. This means employers can find job applicants in their area with the same qualifications as the job seekers in many states across the U.S. Employers can even set up their own internal training with LEEPS to put their welders on the fast track to certification in the specific areas that are needed in their workplace.

There is a skills gap in the welding industry, but our welding education programs can help fix it. With standardized, configurable training, today’s welders can complete valuable certifications in a way that’s both convenient and relevant to the available jobs. By bringing industry and education together collaboratively, curriculum can be tailored to meet the needs of both welders and employers in today’s job market.

Welcome Nithya Govindasamy to Advance CTE!

October 19th, 2021

Advance CTE welcomes Nithya Govindasamy as a Senior Advisor. Nithya leads and manages major organization-wide, highly visible initiatives that support, promote and increase equitable access to and success in high-quality Career Technical Education (CTE), which includes: workforce development, education and equity initiatives; technical assistance for Without Limits: A Shared Vision for the Future of Career Technical Education (CTE Without Limits), Stimulus Collaborative and the New Skills ready network; and Advance CTE’s external equity strategy. Nithya will also support national and state CTE leadership, policy, and implementation.

Nithya was born in Chennai, India and immigrated to Ohio in the early 90s with her family. She considers Ohio “the Buckeye State” to be home, but relocated to Dallas, Texas in 2016. 

Most recently, Nithya was the Director of Workplace Learning for P-TECH and Early College Programs (a CTE program) at Dallas Independent School District (ISD), where she was responsible for the design and implementation of workplace learning programming and activities districtwide. In this role, Nithya established partnerships with industry to prepare students and equip them with the skills and social capital needed to access in-demand careers. 

Before joining Dallas ISD, Nithya was the Dean of the Work Program at Paul Quinn College, a Historically Black College/University (HBCU) located in southern Dallas, where she implemented the Urban Work College program model that integrated paid internships, pre-professional work experience and skill development as part of their academic degree for first-generation, minority college students.

Prior to relocating to Dallas, Nithya was the Assistant Deputy Chancellor of Higher Education & Workforce Initiatives at the Ohio Department of Higher Education (ODHE). During her tenure at ODHE, she served on the Governor’s Workforce Transformation team and helped design and implement innovative workforce education programs to address employer critical skill needs in collaboration with the University System of Ohio.

Nithya completed higher education in Columbus, Ohio, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts in Pre-law/Political from Capital University and a Master of Science in Marketing and Communications from Franklin University. 

Throughout her career, she has worked collaboratively with industry, education and community leaders to develop and implement innovative workforce and career-focused education programs that connect employers with their future “qualified” workforce. She remains passionate about bridging economic opportunity and equity gaps for underrepresented populations.

“I believe that building mutually-beneficial public-private partnerships and career pathway programs are necessary to impact and drive meaningful systemic changes that address access and equity. I look forward to collaborating with you and advocating for increasing high-quality career technical education in all forms as it is the gateway to economic mobility for all learners.”- Nithya Govindasamy, Senior Advisor, Advance CTE

CTE: Learning that Works

October 18th, 2021

Submitted by Denise Hobbs, Oracle Academy, 2021 Fall Meeting Sponsor

In my role, I have the opportunity to speak with education leaders at all levels―learning, sharing ideas, celebrating successes and understanding their challenges. I never miss the chance to highlight why I believe that Career Technical Education (CTE) is so important.

CTE ignites imagination through clear learning pathways. CTE learning pathways lead learners to college and career success. Many of these pathways include industry certifications and apprenticeship/internships, and all start with career exploration within that pathway and igniting learners’ imaginations. Oracle Academy is Oracle’s global, philanthropic, award-winning educational program, which operates with the goal of advancing computing education to increase knowledge, innovation, skills development, and diversity in technology fields. Oracle Academy partners with institutions to create computing education pathways, train teachers, cultivate critical thinking, and bring creative, academic computing technology curriculum into classrooms. Oracle’s leadership in emerging technologies and cloud technologies spurs Oracle Academy’s innovation-focused curriculum, resources and events so that each learner has a holistic view of careers in technology.   

CTE is for ALL learners. As we know, the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act is critical to ensuring that quality and sustainable CTE programs meet the changing needs of learners and employers. CTE offers unique opportunities for career discovery and skills development aligned to learning pathways. Oracle Academy supports diversity in technology and actively works to increase the participation of all students in computing, including women and other under-represented groups. With Oracle Academy, all learners have equal opportunity to attain hands-on experience with the latest technologies, helping them gain industry-relevant knowledge and skills in topics including cloud technology, artificial intelligence, machine learning, data science and more.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Free resources help educators and their students teach and learn computing. Oracle Academy understands and values educators as partners who are empowered to facilitate innovative student learning in and outside the classroom. We offer educators and their students FREE resources to teach and learn computing, including curriculum, software, and certifications.

Learn more at academy.oracle.com.

Denise Hobbs
Senior Director, Oracle Academy North America
dhobbs@oracle.com

RFP: States Advancing CTE Without Limits

October 14th, 2021

Today, Advance CTE released its primary implementation tool and Request for Proposals (RFP) to support states in transitioning from the education and awareness phases of the past six months to evaluation and implementation phases of Without Limits: A Shared Vision for the Future of Career Technical Education (CTE Without Limits)

Pushing the Limits: A Roadmap for Advancing CTE Without Limits is a step-by-step guide to help states conduct an initial alignment test of current policies and practice with vision principles, identify top areas for action, and develop an action plan of near and long-term implementation strategies for one or multiple vision principles. 

The States Advancing CTE Without Limits RFP allows states to be early leaders in deeper implementation work of 1-2 vision principles and related actions through funding, intensive technical support, and a community of practice with other state teams. 

The following Q&A with Executive Deputy Director Kate Kreamer provides guidance on how states of all capacities can leverage the roadmap and RFP opportunity to make meaningful first steps towards implementation. 

Let’s explore the roadmap, which is going to be a useful tool for states for years to come as they work to realize CTE Without Limits. What was the idea behind the roadmap design, and how is it tailored for use by any state? 

CTE Without Limits is intentionally ambitious, and we knew it may be difficult for states to determine the best place to start in transforming their systems. We listened to Advance CTE’s Board of Directors and our vision kitchen cabinet of thirteen state leaders committed to bringing the vision to life – they asked for a step-by-step process to evaluate their current systems against the vision, as well as an action plan down to the month and week as a manageable means to carry out the work. We heard loud and clear that our members wanted a “roadmap” to help them accomplish the principles and actions within the vision.

Advance CTE is proud to serve all 50 states, DC and territories. The roadmap is designed to meet states at their capacity. For example, states can choose to tackle just one principle or all of them. The tool is broken down by action area, which is a more manageable grain size than a principle, and allows for deeper reflections. Importantly, we kept each set of questions limited to no more than ten to allow states to work at their own pace and collaborate without getting too overwhelmed. Additionally, we combined scoring with the qualitative evaluations to make it easier for states to identify the most urgent and/or achievable areas for action. 

At first glance, the roadmap can seem a little overwhelming. What are some easy first steps that state leaders can take to prepare to conduct the self-assessment in this tool? 

I want to be candid that the roadmap is just the first step of what will be a long road towards implementation for both states and the more than 40 vision partners. This roadmap is meant to be returned to and used in multiple ways over time. 

That being said, one of the easiest steps states can take is to conduct partner mapping. Who do they need to have at the table to conduct a complete, honest assessment of systems through this roadmap? 

Next, states can determine how this roadmap connects to pre-existing evaluation checkpoints. Use those checkpoints to create a schedule where pieces of the roadmap can be incorporated into existing meetings about a state vision, strategic plan, Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act (Perkins V) planning, etc. 

Finally, we understand that most states will address one or two principles at a time, not all five – or even just some of the highest impact actions within the vision. Advance CTE’s CTE Without Limits State Capacity Tool is part of our grant application for vision implementation assistance, but it is also a great first step for any state whether or not they apply to quickly determine which principles are most attainable and which principles require the most urgent action. 

Speaking of the grant application, let’s discuss States Advancing CTE Without Limits, which is an opportunity for states to apply for more direct and intensive vision support. What is the time commitment and expectation for states in the cohort? 

This RFP is open to any state and is intended to provide a dedicated, collaborative space to receive intensive vision through a cohort of up to five states. I’m really excited about this cohort because they will be the early adopters and national models for vision success with a lot of lessons learned along the way. 

The grant is a significant time commitment – work must be completed between December 2021 and October 2022, but it is designed to empower the state to continue the work for years to come.  States must provide a single point of contact for the project who is expected to attend monthly and bi-monthly calls. Collaboration is also a key focus of this grant – we expect states to not only develop a cross-sector team within their state for this work, but also be active participants in cross-state spaces to ensure the models developed from this work can be utilized by all members. 

I want to emphasize that states are not expected to conduct implementation activities for all five principles. Part of the application process is using the capacity tool to determine one to two principles and the related actions that will be the focus of the project during the grant period. 

Can you give a little more detail about the supports participating states will receive? 

We know states struggle with capacity building across all facets of systems transformation, so this grant focuses on providing intense, individualized support while also facilitating broader knowledge-building across all five vision principles through the cross-state community of practice. 

Selected states will receive funding up to $25,000; a dedicated coach with monthly check-ins and intensive technical assistance; one in-state or virtual visit; dedicated spaces to connect with other states in the cohort and complete the vision roadmap; and opportunities for national recognition and presentations to share the work with members and stakeholders. Visit the vision webpage to access the roadmap, RFP application, and additional vision education and implementation tools. The deadline for states to apply for States Advancing CTE Without Limits is November 9, 2021 at 5:00PM ET.

Stacy Whitehouse, Senior Associate Communications and State Engagement

Building a Legacy Based on Ethics: The Future of CTE

October 11th, 2021

Submitted by MBA Research & Curriculum Center, 2021 Fall Meeting Sponsor

As educators, can we influence the world 10,000 years from now?

The Long Now Foundation is in the process of building a 10,000-year clock. The idea is to help us think beyond our immediate future, and to imagine life and our potential impact beyond that of our generation, or our children’s generation, or even our children’s children’s generation. In education, and in Career Technical Education (CTE) specifically, adopting this mindset will help us make choices that last “beyond the ages” and continue to shape our world far into the future.

10,000 years ago dates back to the Middle Stone Age, or Mesolithic Period, when nomadic hunter/gatherers roamed the land and lived drastically different lives from our own. Life as we know it today resulted from the events of thousands of years in the past. The seeds of our reality were planted millennia ago, when agriculture was just being introduced—and our lives are a product of their germination. 

So, the big question now is this: How will we look back at ourselves 10,000 years from now? I hope we look back with appreciation at the choices we make today. 

CTE students now have so much to learn—the world is changing so quickly. It’s hard to think about the “long now” versus just “now.” We will never really know if we can make a 10,000-year impact. But just in case—just on the off chance that we can make a difference—why not infuse ethics education into our classrooms now in hopes of leaving a legacy based on ethical decision making (in business and in life) for generations to come?

MBA Research is working with the Daniels Fund in Denver, Colorado, to bring ethics education into classrooms in middle school, high school and community college. We have developed numerous resources for use in classrooms in CTE and beyond. The materials range from individual instructional modules to semester-long courses on ethics.

We also have videos highlighting the Daniels Fund Ethical Principles, an Ethics Boot Camp with immersive, interactive ethics-based learning activities. The boot camp also includes a free, certification-based assessment for use after ethics-based learning in the classroom utilizing our materials. The best part? All of these resources and materials are FREE to download and use in the classroom or for Career Technical Student Organization (CTSO)-based activities.

Can we make an impact 10,000 years in the future? We don’t know—but it’s absolutely worth a try. 

Visit MBAResearch.org/Ethics to learn more about integrating our ethics materials into your classroom and to access the free resources available for students in your state.

 

Series

Archives

1