CTE Without Limits Summer Lunch and Learn #5 Recap: Rethinking Challenges as Opportunities to Build CTE Without Borders

September 8th, 2021

Advance CTE wrapped up its five-part summer lunch and learn series delving into each of the five principles of Without Limits: A Shared Vision for the Future of Career Technical Education (CTE Without Limits). Each session features a panel of leading voices from organizations across learning and work followed by interactive group discussions on the information shared and next steps.

The fifth principle of CTE Without Limits aims to advance policies and actions that enable mobility and access to high-quality education experiences for each learner, with a particular focus on interstate compacts and investment in research and development to advance quality and equity in virtual learning. The August 31 panel featured Stephen Pruitt, President of Southern Regional Education Board (SREB); Dale Winkler, Vice President of Student Improvement for SREB; and Christina Sedney, Director of Policy Initiatives and State Authorization, Policy Analysis and Research for the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE). 

Both organizations named CTE Without Limits as a valuable opportunity to apply a CTE lens to decades of work with states to remove geographic and policy barriers to expand education opportunities for each learner in their respective regions. 

Key Themes 

Establish shared goals with individual value – Sedney and Pruitt acknowledged that expanding the borders of CTE delivery both within and beyond state borders is complex and involves the input and commitment of many stakeholders. Sedney offered several tangible tips to build effective interstate stakeholder collaboratives, including establishing shared goals early in the process with an extra step – communicating the value of the goals to each stakeholder to encourage long-term commitment. Winkler reinforced the value of shared goals as a means to change how this work is approached from a limited, barrier-based mindset to a transformative, goals-centered mindset. 

Leverage challenges as inter- and intrastate opportunities – In the breakout session, Pruitt pointed to the potential of this principle to address some of the most pressing issues facing the field, including instructor shortages and program access for rural learners. He provided the example of an instructor living in a border town that with effective interstate agreements could split teaching time between multiple states. Sedney named the recent influx of federal investment in broadband access as a “real moment of opportunity” to allow populations historically marginalized from accessing more flexible and virtual program delivery in both urban and rural areas to be able to do so. 

Keep quality and equity at the forefront –  Pruitt and Winkler elevated the importance of robust professional support for instructors to ensure that the current “crisis delivery model” of many virtual CTE offerings can transition to meaningful, high-quality programming for each learner. They also called out the need for further data analysis and research on outcomes from virtual learning to determine optimal curriculum structure and engagement models as well as to measure the impact of models on program completion and credential attainment.  Disaggregation of this data is pivotal to learning the full story of these outcomes. 

Resources to Get Started 

SREB and WICHE provide multiple resources that apply lessons learned from decades of practice building effective interstate connections and systems. Additional resources from other partners aligned with Principle 4 can be explored in Advance CTE’s vision partner initiative repository

SREB has a variety of resources aligned to Principle 5, including a listing of CTE-focused virtual labs and activities, as well as webinars and reports exploring the opportunities and challenges of open educational resources (OER). 

WICHE leads multiple regional initiatives that can be considered as models for the state level across multiple vision principles, including the Interstate Passport for postsecondary transfer and a Multistate Longitudinal Data Exchange piloted in six states.  

Recordings of all previous Lunch and Learn sessions and additional vision implementation resources can be found on Advance CTE’s vision page.

Continue your journey of deeper learning and evaluation of CTE Without Limits at Advance CTE’s virtual Fall Meeting October 27-28, 2021. The theme is “Meeting CTE’s Moment”, with plenary and breakout sessions highlighting top-of-mind areas for implementation and featuring current state practices aligned with vision principles. Visit the Fall Meeting page to view the full meeting agenda and register today to secure early bird registration savings of $50.

Stacy Whitehouse, Senior Associate Communications and State Engagement

  

 

CTE Without Limits Summer Lunch and Learn #4 Recap: Knowledge Building and Transparency Key Themes for Implementing Fourth Vision Principle

September 2nd, 2021

Advance CTE continued its five-part summer lunch and learn series delving into each of the five principles of Without Limits: A Shared Vision for the Future of Career Technical Education (CTE Without Limits). Each session features a panel of leading voices from organizations across learning and work followed by interactive group discussions on the information shared and next steps. 

The fourth principle of CTE Without Limits aims to fully count, value and transport each learner’s skills through systematic transformations that capture learning at stages and settings, build systems that translate competencies into portable credit, and advance a culture of hiring that values skills over degrees. The August 17 panel featured Jonathan Alfuth, State Policy Director, KnowledgeWorks; Molly Bashay, Senior Policy Analyst for Education, Labor & Worker Justice, The Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP); and Niki DaSilva, Manager of Programs and Policy, U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation Center for Education and Workforce. 

Throughout the session, it was clear that equity must be a key driver for this principle to be fully realized. When each learner’s skills are fully counted, valued and portable, systems will be able to respect and validate all skillbuilding experiences and remove historic barriers to paths to career success with family-sustaining wages. 

Key Themes 

  • Transparency and flexibility are key to learner-centered systems: Creating systems that make it easy for both employers and learners to value all prior learning requires flexibility both in remaining responsive to evolving workforce needs and in piloting intentional strategies to engage learners historically marginalized from opportunities to fully count skills and experiences. Alfuth elevated the importance of easily accessible and transparent policies on how prior learning is counted, valued and transferred to aid learners as they navigate their path to career and college success and offered work in California as a promising example. 
  • The need to overcome information and administrative barriers: Bashay identified one the greatest challenges to fully leveraging credit for prior learning is lack of learner knowledge about these opportunities. In many cases, system are too complex and create significant  barriers for learners, particularly those from historically underserved populations, from taking the extra steps to have experiences fully counted. Similarly, DaSilva pointed out that many employers often narrow their talent pipeline due to lack of knowledge about changing opportunities for learning and how to leverage data to identify skill needs and incorporate them into the hiring process. CTE partnerships with employers are a valuable avenue for states to streamline systems and close these knowledge gaps. 
  • Quality standards are critical to fully counting learning: Alfuth elevated the importance of establishing clear quality standards both in state policy and in memorandums of understanding (MOUs) between secondary and postsecondary institutions to ensure credit for prior learning and particularly early postsecondary opportunities are fully valued. These standards can also help employers make better connections between credit and the skills they are seeking in new hires. 

Recommendations for Implementation

  • Start by redefining academic success as a first step: Bashay emphasized that a key first step to expanding access to credit for prior learning and early postsecondary opportunities is changing mindsets so that all, not just ‘some’ or ‘advanced’ students, can access these opportunities. This includes state CTE leaders taking steps for CTE coursework and experiences to be valued at the same level as core academic coursework. 
  • Utilize existing resources and best practices: Alfuth and DaSilva both lifted up state policy frameworks created by their respective organizations as valuable starting points as states consider how to include credit for prior learning as part of systems transformation for personalized learning and competency-based hiring.
  • Interstate transfer key area for growth: While the session reinforced the robust work that is being done to study and advance credit for prior learning, panelists and participants pointed out several areas to take current progress to the next level, including moving beyond intrastate connectivity to include out-of-state institutions. 

The fifth and final lunch and learn held August 31 featured Stephen Pruitt, President of the Southern Regional Education Board (SREB); Dale Winkler, Vice President of School Improvement for SREB; and Christina Sedney, Director of Policy Initiatives and State Authorization, Policy Analysis and Research for the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE). 

Recordings of previous Lunch and Learn sessions and additional vision implementation resources can be found on Advance CTE’s vision page.

Stacy Whitehouse, Senior Associate Communications and State Engagement 

Brave Dialogues to Advance CTE Without Limits

September 1st, 2021

Without Limits: A Shared Vision for the Future of Career Technical Education (CTE Without Limits), calls on leaders in Career Technical Education (CTE) to identify and dismantle the institutional and systemic barriers that limit access, opportunity and outcomes for learners, particularly those who have been historically marginalized and excluded from high-quality CTE programs. While the field has come a long way from the days of tracking learners into terminal vocational programs that denied their full potential, CTE still has work to do to ensure each learner feels welcome in, is supported by, and has the means to succeed in the career preparation ecosystem. 

State CTE leaders have made commitments to advancing equity in CTE, most notably in their Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act (Perkins V) plans. However, there is often a disconnect between these commitments and the data which show persistent opportunity gaps for learners with special population status, learners from low-income families and learners of color. In order to understand this disconnect, state CTE leaders and CTE practitioners must engage in brave dialogues about the systemic and structural challenges facing learners who have been historically marginalized and excluded in order to take bold steps in developing effective policies, programs and practices rooted in equity. 

Brave Dialogues: A Guide to Discussing Racial Equity in Career Technical Education is a resource designed to support state CTE leaders and practitioners in these efforts. Structured around a framework towards critical self-reflection, this guide asks participants to reflect on how they are positioned within organizations that have historically marginalized learners and consider ways they can actively dismantle the systems and structures that still persist today. As part of critical self-reflection, leaders critically examine the role of school programs, departments, hiring practices, enrichment courses and other school structures. In CTE, that may include examining entrance requirements for certain programs of study or whether all learners have equitable access to all programs of study offered by a school or district. 

The primary audience for this guide is state CTE leaders who are encouraged to use this as a resource with their staff and local practitioners including teachers, faculty, counselors, career advisors, principals, deans, instructional staff, work-based learning coordinators, learner support staff, etc. This guide can be used in various contexts including professional development; diversity, equity and inclusion training; exploration of opportunity gaps; data-driven decisionmaking and funding initiatives; and the Perkins V comprehensive local needs assessment. 

Participants in brave dialogues explore important concepts such as identity awareness, implicit bias, privilege, equity vs equality, structural racism, and how to approach policy and practice with an equity-minded lens. This guide recognizes that there is often great discomfort in discussing race, particularly racial inequities. Ultimately, the goal is for users of this guide to become better equipped and motivated to advance anti-racist CTE policies and practices. Anti-racist policies and practices are not race neutral; rather, they are crafted in recognition that historically, CTE — and education more broadly — has systematically perpetuated inequities among certain learner populations. Thus, anti-racist policies and practices are designed to actively dismantle those systems and create an environment where all learners have the resources and opportunities needed to thrive.

Advance CTE hopes this guide can support state CTE leaders in furthering their commitment to advancing equity in CTE. Through brave dialogues, CTE leaders can truly create a career preparation equity system without limits that is fully flexible and responsive to the diverse needs of each learner.

For more resources on access and equity in CTE, please visit the Learning that Works Resource Center.

Brian Robinson, Policy Associate

Highlighting Equity in State Policy

August 25th, 2021

State leaders, particularly state legislators, have a unique role to play in ensuring equitable access to high-quality Career Technical Education (CTE). As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, access and technology gaps have been laid bare, revealing inequities in opportunities for marginalized learner populations. While policies addressing access and equity concerns remained a high priority for legislators in years past, 2021 has been no different; this year to date, almost 30 pieces of state legislation have passed in 17 states addressing this issue. Enacted policies focus on elevating learner voice, examining historically inequitable systems and removing barriers to entry, or providing financial support for historically underrepresented populations. The following policies represent a small sample of equity-focused policies already passed in 2021:

  • Colorado SB119 affirms the value of increasing access to industry-recognized credentials for high school students, especially in the wake of COVID-19. The law also requires districts to communicate specific information about work-based learning opportunities and industry-recognized credentials to students and families, and requires the state Department of Education to submit an annual report and communicate similar data to districts.
  • Louisiana SB148 creates the M.J. Foster Promise Program, which provides financial assistance up to $3200/year to a low-income learner enrolling in a two-year or shorter postsecondary program in a high-demand, high-wage occupational field aligned with Louisiana’s workforce priorities and leading toward an industry-recognized credential. 
  • Oregon SB623 directs the State Workforce and Talent Development Board to establish a Committee for Continuous Improvement to conduct an assessment of the Oregon workforce development system. The assessment must incorporate input from historically marginalized groups and other stakeholders and focus on identifying barriers, improving experiences and access to programs, and improving alignment between agencies and nonprofit organizations to ensure individuals impacted most by COVID-19 are prioritized and served.
  • Virginia HB1820 expands allowable work activities for Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) recipients to include participation in educational activities that lead to a postsecondary credential from an accredited higher education institution or other postsecondary school. The credential could include a program resulting in a degree or accredited industry-recognized credential, certification or license.
  • Washington SB5194 recognizes the disparate impacts faced by “first-generation college-attending students, students with disabilities, and underrepresented minority students” when applying for or remaining in postsecondary programs, specifically at community and technical colleges. The law announces legislative findings of a need to expand investment in community and technical colleges to guarantee equitable access and requires that all community and technical colleges must submit biennial plans to achieve racial diversity, equity, and inclusion starting July 30, 2022. 

Advance CTE’s 2021 Without Limits: A Shared Vision for the Future of Career Technical Education (CTE Without Limits) commits to “All dimensions of equity, including educational, racial, socioeconomic, gender and geographic, and meeting the unique needs of each individual learner,” and promotes many of the same actions connected to these legislative outcomes, including elevating learner voice, supporting equity audits and realigning systems to increase access and funding for marginalized learners. Visit our CTE Without Limits landing page for our call to action and the Learning that Works Resource Center for more access and equity resources.

Dan Hinderliter, Policy Associate

Vision Commitments ‘Vlog’ Episode 3: Maximizing the Return on Investment for Industry Engagement to Build CTE Without Limits

July 29th, 2021

This summer, Advance CTE is pleased to partner with experts from supporting organizations of Without Limits: A Shared Vision for the Future of Career Technical Education (CTE Without Limits) to conduct video panels to delve into four of the five foundational commitments that connect the vision principles. 

Our third panel featuring the Corporation for Skilled Workforce (CSW), National Skills Coalition (NSC) and U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation discussed the growth and potential of public-private partnerships and the need for this collaboration across all stages of program development, including design, delivery and evaluation. Each panelist shared their insights on policy frameworks and next steps to more easily facilitate public-private partnerships and better connect systems of education, industry and workforce, as well as recommendations to improve trust-building and communication with industry partners to fully realize the value of CTE. 

All panelists agreed that the positive shift of public-private partnerships towards long-term investments with industry as “end customers” rather than one-time requests for input can strongly benefit CTE, and identified key components to successful partnerships including consistent engagement, braided funding that incentivizes partnership and level-setting on success and performance metrics. Equity was another common theme, with panelists emphasizing the importance of evaluating equity at each program stage, leveraging partnerships to bring diverse voices into program development, and utilizing partnerships to advance skills-based hiring. 

You don’t want to miss CSW’s Vickie Choitz’ road trip analogy as a policy framework for advancing collaboration in purpose, funding and performance metrics in partnerships – it starts at the 8:20 mark! 

Episode Quotes 

“While today the quality of CTE has vastly improved, the involvement of business and other private organizations can act as a way to build trust with those communities that vocational programs of the past failed to appropriately serve.”                                                                  Brianna McCain, State Policy Analyst, National Skills Coalition 

“In order for [employers] to see a positive return on investment they need to capitalize on those relationships. None of us can do this alone – it’s going to take these really effective public-private partnerships to make a difference for learners and ensure their experiences are worthwhile for both educators and employers.”                                                                            Jaimie Francis, Executive Director of Programs & Policy, U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s Center for Education and Workforce

“It’s important to make sure that your structures support partnership building [so that] partnerships are the default – funding, regular meeting structure, etc. so that partnership is the way of doing business rather than trying to swim against the tide.”  – Vickie Choitz, Director of Federal, State & Local Systems Change, Corporation for Skilled Workforce 

Thank you to Advance CTE’s Meredith Hills for serving as a facilitator and to our panelists for your expertise and insights. 

Watch previous episodes that discuss steps CTE leaders can take to prioritize quality and diversity, equity and inclusion in realizing CTE Without Limits. Our final episode will focus on harnessing actionable, transparent and trustworthy data. 

Visit our vision page to read the full vision, access vision communication and implementation resources, and view recordings of our summer Lunch and Learn webinar series focused on the five vision principles. Vision the Learning that Works Resource Center for tools to evaluate and advance public-private partnerships in CTE systems and programs through employer engagement and systems alignment

 

Vision Commitments ‘Vlog’ Episode 2: Challenging our Limits to Quality CTE 

July 13th, 2021

This summer, Advance CTE is pleased to partner with experts from supporting organizations of Without Limits: A Shared Vision for the Future of Career Technical Education (CTE Without Limits) to conduct video panels to delve into four of the five foundational commitments that connect the vision principles. 

Our second panel featuring the Association for Career Technical Education (ACTE), Education Strategy Group (ESG) and the National Alliance for Concurrent Enrollment Partnerships (NACEP) discussed the quality commitment across multiple dimensions, including program design, evaluation, instructors, work-based learning and credentials. Each panelist shared their insights on current progress and barriers to high-quality Career Technical Education (CTE), as well as short and long-term policy priorities to achieve consistent quality across all aspects of CTE. 

There was widespread agreement on key action areas to create a culture of sustainable quality, including expanding data infrastructure to “rigorously evaluate” program quality in addition to widespread focus on learner outcomes; the use of Perkins V as a key state tool to scale effective practices and leverage data to identify priority investments in quality; and the importance of active industry support through professional development opportunities, equipment investments and more to ensure programs remain responsive and fully prepare learners for career success. 

“The bottom line is CTE programs have to be valued by policymakers and resourced in order to be high-quality and aligned with business and industry needs.”  – Alisha Hyslop, Senior Director Public Policy, Association for Career Technical Education 

“The renewed spotlight on CTE is extremely encouraging, but has also led to sometimes difficult [and necessary] conversations about the legacy of CTE, particularly for low-income students and students of color, and brought emphasis on unpacking what quality means for each key pillar of CTE programs.”  – Dr. Emily Passias, Director of Career Readiness, Education Strategy Group 

“Perkins V and initiatives like this vision make it really clear what the vision for collaboration and quality in CTE looks like and should look like. So, the best solution at the federal level is to address the intense need for increased funding.”  – Amy Williams, National Alliance for Concurrent Enrollment Partnerships 

Thank you to Advance CTE’s Dan Hinderliter for serving as a facilitator and to our panelists for your expertise and insights. 

Watch the previous episode that discusses steps CTE leaders can take to prioritize diversity, equity and inclusion in realizing CTE Without Limits. Future episodes will explore meaningful public-private partnerships and actionable data. 

Visit our vision page to read the full vision, access vision communication and implementation resources, and view recordings of our summer Lunch and Learn webinar series focused on the five vision principles. Vision the Learning that Works Resource Center for tools to evaluate and advance equity in CTE systems and programs.

Stacy Whitehouse, Senior Associate Communications and State Engagement 

This Week in CTE

July 10th, 2021

Developed with input from nearly 200 national, state and local education and workforce development leaders and supported by over 40 national organizations, Without Limits: A Shared Vision for the Future of Career Technical Education lays out five inter-connected and equally critical principles.

Only through shared commitment and shared ownership among leaders and practitioners at all levels can we realize the possibility and aspiration of a new career preparation ecosystem that provides each learner with limitless opportunity. The This Week in CTE blog series will highlight state and local examples where CTE Without Limits has been made actionable. If you would like to share how your CTE program creates limitless opportunities for each learner in this blog series, please email Brittany Cannady, bcannady@careertech.org

 

This Week in CTE: July 5-9, 2021

Each learner engages in a cohesive, flexible and responsive career preparation ecosystem

Virginia CTE recently started a video campaign titled, Career Success Stars. This video campaign highlights the shared ownership of the career preparation ecosystem in Virginia among learners and families, educators, and business and industry partners. Each video showcases learner success in careers of their choice and is proof of high-quality career pathways that lead to in-demand careers as a result of stakeholder engagement across the state.

The full lineup of videos can be viewed on Virginia CTE’s webpage

Each learner feels welcome in, is supported by and has the means to succeed in the career preparation ecosystem

A recent Regional Educational Laboratory (REL) Central webinar explored current research and district-level strategies to address equitable access, participation and success in CTE programs. Guest speakers on the webinar represented two school districts in South Dakota: Rapid City Area Schools and Huron School District. The third guest speaker represented Portland Public Schools in Oregon. Each speaker shared insights into strategies they’ve been using to enhance and improve CTE programs in their districts. The recording can be viewed here

Each learner skillfully navigates their own career journey

CTE Without Limits supporter Data Quality Campaign published a blog this week aligned to principle 3 and the data learners need to successfully navigate their career journey. 

One former school counselor shares their perspective on the scope of data that should be shared with each learner in order for them to make informed college and career decisions.

Read the full blog here.

More resources on CTE data quality can be found in the Learning that Works Resource Center.

Each learner’s skills are counted, valued, and portable

A local partnership is bringing new skills training opportunities to Tennessee. McNairy County Schools and GE Appliances (GEA) have joined together to launch the Skills Training Alliance for Youth (STAY) initiative that will provide new work-based learning opportunities for learners. GEA will hire for part-time work, train and coach ten learners per year. Through the STAY initiative, GEA also commits to an investment in industry credentials. Learn more here.

More resources on systems alignment can be found in the Learning that Works Resource Center.

Each learner can access CTE without borders

Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE): Interstate Passport® is the only nationwide network of institutionally accredited, nonprofit, public and private two- and four-year institutions dedicated to the block transfer of lower-division general education attainment based on multi-state faculty-developed learning outcomes and proficiency criteria instead of on specific courses and credits. Students of member institutions experience a seamless, efficient and economical transfer process.

Learn more in the new CTE Without Limits partner initiative repository. The repository can be found here under implementation resources.

Brittany Cannady, Senior Associate Digital Media

New Vision Resource Elevates Existing Initiatives Aligned with CTE Without Limits

July 8th, 2021

Today, Advance CTE released a repository of partner initiatives related to Without Limits: A Shared Vision for the Future of Career Technical Education (CTE Without Limits). The intent of this resource is to elevate existing national investments in the CTE, education and workforce fields related to the principles of this shared vision and to highlight current gaps to determine where future investments need to be made to accomplish the vision. 

Repository initiatives were shared with Advance CTE by national partners that have signed on to CTE Without Limits. The initiatives submitted by partners serve as concrete examples from the field to help conceptualize how the principles and action areas from CTE Without Limits can be realized with shared commitment and shared ownership among leaders and practitioners at all levels.

CTE leaders will be able to access the learning and resources from the examples in this repository as a starting point for building on existing work related to the vision and laying new building blocks for transformational systems change that allows each learner to achieve success in the career of their choice without limits.

The repository currently has over 50 initiatives submitted by over 20 vision partners and will serve as a living resource that will be periodically updated. Below are a few of the examples organized by principle:

Principle 1: Each learner engages in a cohesive, flexible, and responsive career preparation ecosystem

  • Southern Regional Education Board (SREB): Known as Making Schools Work and spanning grades 3-14, SREB’s continuous improvement process is grounded in the belief that increased achievement starts with motivating students to make the effort to succeed. With designs for elementary grades, middle grades, high schools and technology centers, Makings Schools Work shows school teams how to create improvement plans that address five focus areas: quality instruction; aligned curriculum; career exploration and pathways; student supports; and cultures of continuous improvement.

Principle 2: Each learner feels welcome in, is supported by, and has the means to succeed in the career preparation ecosystem

  • Achieving the Dream: Eight community colleges were selected in June, 2020, to participate in College Success for Single Mothers, a project led by Word Education’s National College Transition Network in partnership with Achieving the Dream and PERG Learning, with funding from ECMC Foundation. The goal of the project is to identify the needs of single mother students on campus and develop an action plan to address their needs and expand key practices and services to enhance their success in college and careers.

Principle 3: Each learner skillfully navigates their own career journey

  • Education Strategy Group (ESG): Making the Connection: Aligning Advising to Improve Postsecondary Access and Success makes the case for prioritizing alignment of advising across K-12 and higher education, offers a vision for achieving that alignment, and lays out concrete action steps and resources for the many stakeholders who have a role to play. This new resource was developed with input from an Expert Workgroup, comprised of national, state and local leaders, and will serve as the foundation for ESG’s efforts to ensure that high-quality, aligned advising is an expectation for every student, not enrichment for some.  The microsite was developed with support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation as part of the Level Up.

Principle 4: Each learner’s skills are counted, valued, and portable

  • U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation: A new open-data tool, the Job Data Exchange (JDX) is the vehicle employers need to move in a scalable, sustainable way towards competency-based hiring. The JDX, and the data standard it employs, will help employers and their HR partners break down a job description into specific skill and hiring requirements. Open-source, non-proprietary, and free to use, the JDX collects that hiring data in a structured, machine-readable way and then makes that data available to the education and workforce partners that are helping students and job seekers prepare for the workforce.

Principle 5: Each learner can access CTE without borders

  • Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE): Interstate Passport® is the only nationwide network of institutionally accredited, nonprofit, public and private two- and four-year institutions dedicated to the block transfer of lower-division general education attainment based on multi-state faculty-developed learning outcomes and proficiency criteria instead of on specific courses and credits. Students of member institutions experience a seamless, efficient and economical transfer process.

To access the repository and more implementation resources related to CTE Without Limits, visit: careertech.org/without-limits

Christina Koch, Policy Associate

Video: Prioritizing Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in CTE Without Limits

June 30th, 2021

This summer, Advance CTE is pleased to partner with experts from supporting organizations of Without Limits: A Shared Vision for the Future of Career Technical Education to conduct video panels to delve into four of the five foundational commitments that connect the vision principles. 

Our first blog panel covered dimensions of equity, discussing where the field of CTE stands today in successfully achieving equity in program design and learner support; what additional resources and areas of focus are needed to advance equity; and innovative initiatives being conducted by each organization to facilitate progress. 

Much of the discussion centered around intentionality around actions to address equity, messaging about CTE in ways that meet the needs of learners, and the need for organizations to move beyond creating tools to creating consistent space to build community towards courageous action and continuous improvement. Several quotes from our panelists stood out during this conversation: 

“This work is really hard, and we need a space and community so we can empower one another, offer compassion and accountability so that we can have the stamina to engage in this work for a very long time. These conditions were not created overnight.”
– Silvia Ramos, Senior Director of Programs, National Association for Partnerships in Equity (NAPE)

“Messaging should be clear and that there’s no longer a dichotomy between CTE programming and rigorous academic education programs…educators and CTE leaders at all levels need to demonstrate and communicate how CTE pathways open opportunities for all students.”
– Erica Cuevas, Associate Director, JFF

“For the most part educators get [culturally responsive education], they understand this need for global competence, but they just don’t know how to teach it….our professional development tools help teacher understand the need and how to integrate it in a way that meets their standards but isn’t a huge lift for a more open, respectful classroom.”
– Heather Singmaster, Director of Career Technical Education  and Global Cities Education Network, Asia Society

Thank you to Advance CTE’s Brian Robinson for serving as a facilitator and to each panelist for their valuable insights. 

Visit Advance CTE’s vision page to read the full vision, access vision communication and implementation resources, and view recordings of our summer Lunch and Learn webinar series focused on the five vision principles.

For more resources and tools on equity and access in CTE, visit the Learning that Works Resource Center.

Stacy Whitehouse, Senior Associate Communications and State Engagement 

Leveraging Federal and State Talent Pipeline Investments to Achieve a CTE Without Limits

June 23rd, 2021

In March 2021, Advance CTE, with the support of over 40 national organizations, released Without Limits: A Shared Vision for the Future of Career Technical Education (CTE Without Limits). The shared vision challenges local, state and national CTE practitioners to boldly close equity gaps in educational outcomes and workforce readiness and leverage Career Technical Education (CTE) as a catalyst for ensuring that each learner can achieve success in the career of their choice. 

Advance CTE released Leveraging Federal Investments to Advance a Shared Vision for the Future of Career Technical Education. This new implementation resource will help state CTE leaders fully realize the ability to design a cohesive, flexible and responsive career preparation ecosystem that works across state systems for the full continuum of learners and is aligned to federal and state talent pipeline investments and overall strategies.

Some states have lead the charge in providing promising practices that strategically connect the five vision principles and existing allowable activities under the following funding streams:

  • The Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act (Perkins V);
  • Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA);
  • Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA); and 
  • Higher Education Act (HEA).

PRINCIPLE 3: Each Learner Skillfully Navigates Their Own Career Journey 

The Washington state Workforce Training and Education Coordinating Board created Career Bridge as Washington’s one-stop source for career and education planning. With the collaboration of multiple state agencies and supported by braided funding, the site allows the full continuum of learners to explore careers, view job trends and find education.

PRINCIPLE 4: Each Learner’s Skills Are Counted, Valued and Portable

Two- and four-year faculty and administrators from across Colorado came together in 2018 to propose changes to the Credit for Prior Learning policy established in 2015 that guaranteed acceptance of credits earned through Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate exams and course challenge options when a learner transferred. This group advocated for the inclusion of Prior Learning Assessments such as the College Level Examination Program, DANTES Subject Standardized Tests and portfolio reviews in the transfer agreement. For more information and additional state examples check out, Developing Credit for Prior Learning Policies to Support Postsecondary Attainment for Every Learner

Leveraging and focusing the combined influence of the assets provided through the above funding streams will increase a state’s ability to provide the full continuum of learners access to equitable, skills-based education and preparation for the ever-evolving future of work. View more action steps and exemplars by reading the full implementation brief here

Brittany Cannady, Senior Associate Digital Media

 

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