“Be a Network Facilitator”: Inspiring First Steps and Common Challenges Emerge in CTE Without Limits Community of Practice Kickoff

March 1st, 2022

“Go forth without limits!” was an apt parting chat message as over 70 state Career Technical Education (CTE) leaders from across 16 states convened virtually last month to launch the community of practice for Advancing CTE Without Limits, a cross-state implementation initiative that provides a dedicated space to foster collaboration and problem solving to advance vision principles. 

Without Limits: A Shared Vision for the Future of Career Technical Education (CTE Without Limits) was developed with the input of nearly 200 contributors representing national, state and local CTE leaders and stakeholders and anchored in the belief that each learner must have access to and the means and succeed in the career of their choice, with CTE serving as the catalyst for that journey. Since its release a year ago this month, Advance CTE has conducted a robust awareness campaign that has gained the support of over 40 national partners, and is now transitioning to meaningful state assessment and implementation work. 

The kickoff served as an initial networking session for states and an inspirational launch point to prepare for the work ahead. Attendees had the pleasure of the hearing from JFF Vice President Joel Vargas, who shared how JFF is advancing the vision through its recent research and report The Big Blur: An Argument for Erasing the Boundaries Between High School, College, and Careers —and Creating One New System That Works for Everyone

Vargas highlighted promising first steps in Idaho (Financing Students Directly), Tennessee (Ready Graduate Indicator), Texas (P-TECH and and Early College High Schools) and Washington (Mandatory Acceleration) that are blurring the lines among secondary, postsecondary and career preparation systems. 

Vargas challenged attendees to dream big and be the new models for scalable solutions by being a “network facilitator,” by combining career pathway expansion with intentional investments in collaboration and sustained partnerships. He connected the vision to a world where policymakers “boldly reimagine public responsibility” where providing two years of higher education and training for careers is seen as a public responsibility that is not just affordable or free, but structured to provide full support for each learner on their career journey.  

“Partners have to focus not just on the technical work, but also on building relationships and trust. Systems change is also people change.” – Joel Vargas, Vice President of Programs, JFF 

Following the keynote, leaders participated in two breakout sessions within and across states to identify promising first steps and common challenges to realizing the action areas of Principle 1: Each Learner Engages in a Cohesive, Flexible and Responsive Career Preparation Ecosystem. States raised common challenges of designing and securing funding models that prioritize collaboration and learner-centered policies and sharing learner-specific data among state agencies and education institutions. However, they also shared initiatives that could be meaningful first steps towards systems change, including partnerships to improve connections to postsecondary career pathways for learners with disabilities; combining CTE and counseling in one department, and statewide articulation and transfer agreements to fully count all learning. 

Participating states will be engaged in bimonthly cross-state calls to share challenges and solutions aligned to the five vision principles. Three states, Colorado, Nebraska and South Carolina, applied for and were selected to participate in a state cohort and will receive additional resources including funding, individualized coaching and intensive technical support. 

Sixteen states are participating in the CTE Without Limits Community of Practice: Arizona, Colorado, Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Massachusetts, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Carolina, Texas, Wisconsin, and Wyoming. The community of practice is still open for additional state participation – state staff can email Senior Policy Associate Dan Hinderliter for additional information. 

Advance CTE’s vision page offers a variety of awareness and implementation resources, including its step-by-step assessment and action planning guide, Pushing the Limits: A Roadmap for Advancing CTE Without Limits that will be the basis for Advance CTE’s state cohort work. 

CTE leaders are also encouraged to participate in activities to commemorate the first anniversary of CTE Without Limits, including a Twitter chat on March 8 at 1:00 p.m. E.T on Advance CTE’s Twitter page, and webinars aligned to the vision principles throughout the spring.

Stacy Whitehouse, Senior Associate Communications and State Engagement 

This Week in CTE: National FFA Advancing CTE Without Limits

February 25th, 2022

While stakeholders across the Career Technical Education (CTE) continuum celebrate CTE Month®, Advance CTE will join in the celebration by uplifting Career Technical Student Organization (CTSO) student leaders and their national advocacy weeks. 

These organizations are a powerful model for learner-centered and learner-led education, and Advance CTE is pleased to be joined by seven national CTSOs in supporting the national vision for CTE. Without Limits: A Shared Vision for the Future of Career Technical Education (CTE Without Limits) places CTE as the catalyst for achieving a cohesive career preparation ecosystem that is responsive to each learner’s needs for college and career success. 

Throughout February, the This Week in CTE blog series will highlight the activities of several CTSOs and their alignment with the five interconnected principles of CTE Without Limits. Today, we highlight National FFA, who celebrated the 75th anniversary of National FFA Week February 19-26, 2022, with the social hashtag #FFAWeek. Each day of National FFA Week was supported by a student-led video that shared hands-on learning experiences, learner success stories, teacher appreciation and much more! 

 

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

Laura Beth from Texas FFA noticed a barrier to each learner reaching their full potential within their career journey. Her commitment to CTE Without Limits led to stakeholders’ awareness of the issues and a change in policy!

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

On Alumni Day, National FFA invited alumni chapter members to participate in telling their FFA story. Alumni leveraged the National FFA Alumni and Supporter Toolkit which outlined activities such as, “Take a group picture of your chapter members wearing blue using #FFAWeek and #FFAAlumni.” 

Alumni stories are vital to recruiting and retaining CTE learners and their families. Recent research shared that more than 80 percent of current parents/guardians chose CTE leaders and alumni as a likely source of information when learning about CTE and its programs. Alumni help to ensure each learner feels welcomed in the career preparation ecosystem and can envision themselves being successful in a career of their choice. 

Each learner skillfully navigates their own career journey

FFA is known for their supervised agricultural experience (SAE) that each learner embarks upon when participating in the CTSO. On SAE Sunday, National FFA shared this video to aid chapter members, nationwide, in selecting their own SAE project. The tips shared by the student leader allows for other chapter members to make informed decisions when selecting their own SAE. 

The video from National FFA Week is also supported by this article, Tips for a Successful SAE.

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

On Give FFA Day 2022, corporate donors from industry showed their value in the skills learners receive when participating in FFA. Donors participated in donation matching challenges throughout the day to support the CTSO and ultimately the learners served. 

Each learner can access CTE without borders

Virtual engagement opportunities are something we have all witnessed during the current pandemic. National FFA was no different in providing the same for their members this week. A connection room welcomed chapter members, near and far, to network and learn from each other. 

Future dates for National FFA Week are below:

Feb. 18-25, 2023
Feb. 17-24, 2024
Feb. 15-22, 2025

Visit Advance CTE’s vision page for communication and implementation tools for state and local CTE leaders to bring CTE Without Limits to life. 

If you would like to share how your CTE program or CTSO creates limitless opportunities for each learner in this blog series, please email Brittany Cannady, bcannady@careertech.org

Brittany Cannady, Senior Associate for Digital Media

 

State Policies Impacting Data, Reporting and/or Accountability

February 23rd, 2022

State education agencies, legislators and educators faced significant challenges from the coronavirus pandemic, including adapting to remote and hybrid delivery of hands-on learning, and responding to local and national skilled labor shortages. The number of state-level CTE policies enacted that affect Career Technical Education (CTE) fell to the lowest number in 2020 since Advance CTE and the Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE) began publishing these annual Year in Review reports.

However, with a new commitment to upskilling and reskilling American learners and a CTE without limits, 41 states enacted 138 policies impacting CTE and career readiness in 2021. Advance CTE and ACTE have witnessed the return of pre-pandemic numbers in state policy actions in 2021 with policies affecting the secondary, postsecondary, adult and/or workforce systems, and including legislation, executive orders, and budget provisions that significantly changed funding.

Each year, Advance CTE and ACTE publish a yearly state policy tracker and categorize each state policy action by topic. In 2021, the top five topics that state policy most frequently addressed were:

  • Funding;
  • Access and equity;
  • Data, reporting and/or accountability;
  • Industry partnerships and work-based learning; and
  • Industry-recognized credentials.

Data, Reporting and/or Accountability

Policies that address data and research activities that support CTE, including the use of labor market information and the inclusion of career readiness indicators within accountability systems have been categorized by this topic. Twenty-three states enacted 37 policies that address data, reporting and/or accountability. Below are a few state policy actions from this category:

  • Hawai‘i enacted a law requiring the State Board of Career and Technical Education to oversee and review data processes related to industry-recognized credential attainment and publish an annual report to all stakeholders. The law also dictates that the Department of Education must share industry-recognized credential data through the statewide longitudinal data system and expands requirements to store and analyze CTE data in this data system.

  • Maryland defined terms such as industry certificate, license, industry certifier and vocational certificate, among others, to ensure consistency in data collection and reporting for the Maryland Longitudinal Data System. The law also requires that licensing authorities and industry certifiers comply with the data requirements, data security plan and implementation schedule for the Maryland Longitudinal Data System.

  • Missouri enacted the Students’ Right to Know Act, which requires that the state Department of Higher Education and Workforce Development provide an annual report on in-demand jobs in the state; the average cost of public institutions of higher education and vocational schools; completion rates of apprenticeship, high school credential and CTE programs; and the average starting salary for graduates of public institutions of higher education and vocational schools, among other data.

State Policies Impacting CTE: 2021 Year in Review marks the ninth annual review of CTE and career readiness policies from across the United States conducted by Advance CTE and ACTE. This report does not describe every policy enacted within each state but instead focuses on national policy trends. 

View the full report and 2021 state policy tracker here

Dan Hinderliter, Senior Policy Associate 

Legislative Update: Advance CTE and ACTE Host Congressional CTE Month Briefing 

February 18th, 2022

This week the Advance CTE and ACTE co-hosted a Congressional briefing with Career Technical Student Organizations, while over two-thirds of the Senate supported a resolution designating February as Career Technical Education (CTE) month. The Senate HELP Committee also held a briefing exploring issues impacting workforce development while lawmakers worked to extend current funding levels through mid-March. In addition, the FCC announced the disbursement of additional connectivity funding while the U.S. Department of Education (ED) made important updates to its College Scorecard.

Advance CTE and ACTE Host Congressional CTE Month Briefing 

On Tuesday, February 15, Advance CTE and the Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE) hosted a bicameral Congressional briefing featuring learners from several Career Technical Student Organizations (CTSOs): 

  • Zac Spohn, DECA Collegiate President (Minnesota State University) 
  • Kartik Tyagi, HOSA International President-Elect (UNC Chapel Hill)
  • Maria Deddens, FCCLA First Vice President (East Central High School, IN)
  • Gowri Rangu, National TSA President (Longview High School, TX)

Moderated by Advance CTE’s Executive Director Kimberly Green, the briefing highlighted the value of CTE and elevated CTSO learner experiences from both K-12 and postsecondary perspectives. The event also featured remarks from CTE Caucus Co-chairs Rep. Jim Langevin (D-RI) and Sen. Todd Young (R-IN). During Rep. Langevin’s opening comments, the long-time House CTE Caucus co-chair noted, in part, that “A dependable, skilled, and prepared workforce is more critical to our economy than ever, and CTE lays the foundation for students to succeed both now and in the future.” Sen. Young emphasized his ambitions to grow CTE opportunities throughout the nation by co-chairing the Senate CTE Caucus noting that, “3 of 5 jobs in Indiana require more than a high-school diploma but less than a four year degree. More than half of workers in the state do not yet have this level of education.”

Following these remarks from congressional CTE champions, Green posed a series of questions to the CTSO student panel. For Deddens, the FCCLA First Vice President noted that “. . . being a national officer has allowed me to advocate for change in community and state and meet people of diverse backgrounds, cultures and beliefs. Being in CTSOs opens these lines of communication.” National TSA President Rangu noted the impact her first national TSA convention had on her, noting “It was empowering for me to see someone that looked like me [be a national leader] so I felt confident to step into that position and serve as a role model for others.” Tyagi, HOSA’s International President Elect, emphasized the importance of his mentors noting “…[they]  instilled the importance of giving back to communities to secure a future of health that has no boundaries and will take care of every individual.” DECA Collegiate President Spohn emphasized how CTE was “. . . the first time I was in a classroom where what I was being taught was applicable to what I wanted to do with my life and career.”

Senate Passes CTE Month Resolution With Overwhelming Bipartisan Support

In the evening following the CTSO panel, the Senate considered a bipartisan resolution designating February as CTE Month. The Senate unanimously passed this resolution without objection which garnered the support of over two-thirds of the Senate with 68 total co-sponsors. In a speech just before the resolution’s passage Senator Kaine (D-VA), the lead sponsor of the resolution remarked , “By formally recognizing CTE Month through this resolution, we hope to bring greater awareness to improving access to high-quality career and technical education for millions of America’s students and our Nation’s ongoing economic competitiveness.” The House recently introduced a similar resolution and is in the process of recruiting additional co-sponsors. Be sure to encourage your Member of Congress to support this resolution by the end of the month by clicking here

Senate HELP Committee Holds Workforce Development Hearing 

On Tuesday, February 15, the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee held a hearing to examine workforce development policies and related strategies collectively aimed at helping workers find and obtain family sustaining employment. The hearing focused particularly on individuals with barriers to employment and the value and impact wraparound support services–like childcare, transportation, and career navigation supports–have in helping workers overcome these existing challenges. 

During the question and answer portion of the hearing, Sen. Tim Kaine (D-VA) highlighted his and Sen. Rob Portman’s (R-OH) ongoing sponsorship of the JOBS Act– legislation that, if enacted, would provide Pell Grants for high-quality, shorter-term training programs at postsecondary institutions to more effectively support workers and learners. Advance CTE has long supported this legislation and continues to call for its enactment by Congress this year. A video archive of the hearing, including related written testimony, can be found here.  

Congress Passes FY22 Funding Extension Through Mid-March 

The formal start of the current federal fiscal year 2022 (FY22) began on October 1, 2021. Since that time, lawmakers in Congress have been unable to come to agreement on full-year funding for the current 2022 federal fiscal year (FY22). Congress has passed a series of short-term funding measures—known as a continuing resolution (CR)—to extend current FY21 funding levels through FY22. To date, these actions have averted a federal government shutdown and lapse in appropriations for laws like Perkins V. However, the most recent of these CRs is set to expire February 18, 2022. 

Last week, lawmakers in the House passed another CR to extend current funding levels, yet again, for federal operations and programs through March 11. This measure passed the chamber by a margin of 272-162 and is intended to provide lawmakers additional time to work out a full-year funding agreement for FY22. Late last night, the Senate followed suit passing the legislation by a margin of 65-27. Focus now turns back to Congressional appropriators who are reportedly working to finalize full-year funding for programs like Perkins V’s basic state grant program. As these efforts unfold, Advance CTE will continue to advocate for a comprehensive FY22 funding bill and a robust investment for the CTE. 

ED Makes Updates to College Scorecard

Last week the U.S. Department of Education (ED) announced several enhancements to the College Scorecard broadly aimed at making it more useful for prospective learners and their families. Among the changes made is a new earnings threshold metric, which shows the percentage of former students whose earnings exceed those of the average high school graduate. This measure is intended to demonstrate a return on investment for entering postsecondary education. A similar measure is currently being considered as part of forthcoming changes to “gainful employment” rules which ED is currently negotiating with stakeholders. A recent examination of these updated College Scorecard data by Georgetown’s Center on Education and the Workforce found that more than half of students at roughly 30 percent of postsecondary institutions earn less than a high school graduate after 10 years. 

FCC Announces Ninth Wave of Emergency Connectivity Fund Commitments

Last week the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) announced a ninth wave of funding commitments totaling over $125 million as part of the Emergency Connectivity Fund (ECF). The $7.2 billion ECF program was authorized as part of the American Rescue Plan and allows eligible schools and libraries to apply for financial support to purchase connected devices like laptops and tablets, Wi-Fi hotspots, modems, routers, and broadband connectivity to serve unmet needs of students, school staff, and library patrons at home during the ongoing pandemic. Securing initial funding for the ECF was one of Advance CTE’s legislative priorities since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. This round of commitments will support 270,00 students by providing funding to over 340 schools, 20 libraries, and 6 consortia who are set to receive 330,000 connected devices and over 39,000 broadband connections. More on the announcement can be found here

 

This Week in CTE: FCCLA Advancing CTE Without Limits

February 18th, 2022

Advance CTE continues to celebrate CTE Month® by uplifting Career Technical Student Organization (CTSO) student leaders and their national advocacy weeks. 

These organizations are a powerful model for learner-centered and learner-led education, and Advance CTE is pleased to be joined by seven national CTSOs in supporting the national vision for CTE. Without Limits: A Shared Vision for the Future of Career Technical Education (CTE Without Limits) places CTE as the catalyst for achieving a cohesive career preparation ecosystem that is responsive to each learner’s needs for college and career success. 

Throughout February, the This Week in CTE blog series has highlighted the activities of several CTSOs and their alignment with the five interconnected principles of CTE Without Limits. Today, we highlight Family, Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA), who celebrated their national week  this week, February 14-18, 2022, with the theme “Make It Count” and social hashtag #FCCLAWeek.

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

FCCLA members at New Horizons Regional Education Center: Woodside Lane in Newport News, Virginia participate in flexible, responsive CTE programs.  Internships at a local elementary school provide these learners with hands-on experience and real-world skills  in early childhood education.

 

 

 

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

Griffin Middle School in Georgia elevated learner voices and cultural experiences by incorporating commemoration of Black History Month into their celebration of FCCLA Week. 

The national branch FCCLA is also dedicated to retaining and supporting FCCLA advisors through their annual Chapter Advisor Summit held in January. 

 

 

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

FCCLA strives for FCCLA members to have clear paths for their skills to be valued and counted. FCCLA has identified four career pathways that align to key technical and “employability” skills gained through FCCLA experiences, listed below. Members also have the opportunities to test and display skill competencies at competitions at the regional, state and national level. 

Each learner can access CTE without borders

FCCLA members have the opportunity to share their skills and make connections beyond the classroom and even their state. National FCCLA leader Hayley Reid participated in a federal policy panel held by the National Transportation Safety Board. 

FCCLA Real-World Skills: 

Applied Academic Skills: Communications, Math, Science, Basic Literacy

Critical Thinking Skills: Problem Solving, Organization & Planning

Resource Management: Time, Money, Materials & Personnel

Information Use

Communication Skills

Interpersonal Skills: Leadership, Teamwork & Negotiation

Personal Qualities

Systems Thinking: Teamwork & Project Management

Technology Use

Visit Advance CTE’s vision page for communication and implementation tools for state and local CTE leaders to bring CTE Without Limits to life. 

If you would like to share how your CTE program or CTSO creates limitless opportunities for each learner in this blog series, please email Brittany Cannady, bcannady@careertech.org

Stacy Whitehouse, Senior Associate Communications and State Engagement

Getting to Know Advance CTE and CTE Month Celebrations

February 17th, 2022

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

Meet Stacy Whitehouse! Stacy is the Senior Associate for Communications and State Engagement at Advance CTE. Stacy works to develop and implement communications and outreach strategies that support state CTE leaders. Some of her most recent initiatives include communications research for recruiting and retaining families and learners into CTE, and employer engagement. Stacy also develops and implements strategic communications for Without Limits: A Shared Vision for the Future of Career Technical Education (CTE Without Limits). 

In this month’s edition of the CTEWorks Newsletter, we are continuing our celebration of CTE Month! In the interview below, Stacy shares what lies ahead for the field as we use this month to increase our advocacy and awareness of high-quality CTE programs that allow for each learner to find success in a career of their choice. 

Q: How have you seen states innovatively celebrating CTE Month? 

A: States have had to continue to hold primarily virtual events this year, but it’s exciting to see so many well-designed social media campaigns highlighting the accomplishments of CTE learners and alumni! 

Oregon has gone the extra mile and is using CTE Month to organize a multimedia campaign to introduce CTE to populations historically underrepresented in their programs. They will be running audio, video and print ads on Hulu, Pandora, radio stations and news outlets in tribal communities as well as Chinese and Spanish language publications.  What I especially like about this campaign is how utilizing multiple channels allows the state to compare reach across these mediums to inform future campaigns and outreach efforts. 

Q: Are there any key communications themes from CTE Month that state and local leaders can carry with them past February? 

A: One of the wonderful things about the month is it’s a high-profile opportunity to reintroduce CTE to learners, families, employers and other key stakeholders. There’s no reason to stop! 

If you did a social media campaign, advertise a sign-up form so families can receive emails or mail with additional updates about CTE program exploration and enrollment. Additionally, use the same videos and graphics at in-person events to gauge real-time reactions from families and get more mileage from your resources. If Career Technical Student Organization (CTSO) leaders visited legislators, use that as a launchpad to include learners in the policymaking process outside of CTE Month. 

I am always glad to talk to state about creating communication strategies and campaigns that include meaningful metrics for success that support larger program enrollment, quality and equity goals. 

Q: We are approaching the one year celebration of CTE Without Limits. How can stakeholders plan to participate? 

A: The commitment of our local and state leaders to promote and learn about this new vision for CTE and keep pushing the envelope on program quality and equity despite all the capacity challenges they face has been really inspiring.

The easiest way vision supporters can celebrate is to continue educating stakeholders about CTE Without Limits by using Advance CTE’s communication resources. If you’re ready to go to the next level, start your vision assessment journey with Pushing the Limits: A Roadmap for Advancing CTE Without Limits that provides a step by step guide for CTE leaders to assess one or more vision principles against existing policy and practice.

We also want to hear stories of your ‘why’ for pursuing CTE Without Limits – post a photo and use the hashtag #CTEWithoutLimits to share your story of who inspires you to realize systems where each learner can achieve college and career success without limits.

Finally, save the date for our Twitter chat co-hosted with several national organizations who are vision supporters on March 8 at 1PM ET. Stakeholders will have the opportunity to share their insights and progress on implementation. Be sure to follow Advance CTE’s Twitter page.

Brittany Cannady, Senior Associate Digital Media

State Policies Impacting Access and Equity

February 16th, 2022

State education agencies, legislators and educators faced significant challenges from the coronavirus pandemic, including adapting to remote and hybrid delivery of hands-on learning, and responding to local and national skilled labor shortages.  The number of state-level CTE policies enacted that affect Career Technical Education (CTE) fell to the lowest number in 2020 since Advance CTE and the Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE) began publishing these annual Year in Review reports.

However, with a new commitment to upskilling and reskilling American learners and a CTE without limits, 41 states enacted 138 policies impacting CTE and career readiness in 2021. Advance CTE and ACTE have witnessed the return of pre-pandemic numbers in state policy actions in 2021 with policies affecting the secondary, postsecondary, adult and/or workforce systems, and including legislation, executive orders, and budget provisions that significantly changed funding.

Each year, Advance CTE and ACTE publish a yearly state policy tracker and categorize each state policy action by topic. In 2021, the top five topics that state policy most frequently addressed were:

  • Funding;
  • Access and equity;
  • Data, reporting and/or accountability;
  • Industry partnerships and work-based learning; and
  • Industry-recognized credentials.

Access and Equity

Policies that address each learner gaining access to and being successful in high-quality CTE programs have been categorized by this topic. Twenty-seven states enacted 45 policies related to access and equity that implement changes aimed to expand access to CTE for historically marginalized learners, including learners of color and learners with special population status such as learners with disabilities, learners who are economically disadvantaged, participants in fields of study that are non-traditional for their gender, single parents and out-of-workforce individuals. This category also includes middle school CTE programming and diversity in the CTE educator workforce. Below are a few state policy actions aligned to access and equity:

  • Illinois directed districts and community colleges to ensure access for individual learners with disabilities to postsecondary CTE and dual credit courses. The law requires that dual credit opportunities be supported under the learner’s Section 504 plan or in their Individualized Education Plan.
  • Virginia expanded the conditions for receiving benefits under the Virginia Initiative for Education and Work, a program for Temporary Assistance for Needy Families recipients, and benefits under the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program to include participation in educational activities that lead to a postsecondary credential from an accredited institution of higher education or other postsecondary school.
  • Washington required that all state community and technical colleges develop, in collaboration with diverse stakeholders, strategic plans to achieve diversity, equity and inclusion. In addition, the State Board for Community and Technical Colleges must develop a model faculty diversity program to aid in the recruitment and retention of faculty from diverse backgrounds.

State Policies Impacting CTE: 2021 Year in Review marks the ninth annual review of CTE and career readiness policies from across the United States conducted by Advance CTE and ACTE. This report does not describe every policy enacted within each state but instead focuses on national policy trends. 

View the full report and 2021 state policy tracker here

Dan Hinderliter, Senior Policy Associate 

This Week in CTE: SkillsUSA Creating a CTE Without Limits

February 11th, 2022

While stakeholders across the Career Technical Education (CTE) continuum celebrate CTE Month®, Advance CTE will join in the celebration by uplifting Career Technical Student Organization (CTSO) student leaders and their national advocacy weeks. 

These organizations are a powerful model for learner-centered and learner-led education, and Advance CTE is pleased to be joined by seven national CTSOs in supporting the national vision for CTE. Without Limits: A Shared Vision for the Future of Career Technical Education (CTE Without Limits) places CTE as the catalyst for achieving a cohesive career preparation ecosystem that is responsive to each learner’s needs for college and career success. 

Throughout February, the This Week in CTE blog series will highlight the activities of several CTSOs and their alignment with the five interconnected principles of CTE Without Limits. Today, we highlight National SkillsUSA, who celebrated their national week February 7-11, 2022, with the theme “United as One” and social hashtag #SkillsUSAWeek.

 

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

On Recognition Day, SkillsUSA took to social media to recognize and honor members, advisors, administrators, business partners, community leaders and supporters who are impactful in the career preparation ecosystem and within their local SkillsUSA chapters. Honorees were presented with a SkillsUSA Certificate of Appreciation.

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

On Advocacy Day, National SkillsUSA officers advocated for policies that are inclusive of CTE and career readiness opportunities for all learners at the U.S. Department of Education. 

Complementing national advocacy efforts by the CTSO, many SkillsUSA state associations hosted their own CTE Days on Capitol Hill, as seen by SkillsUSA Iowa.

Each learner skillfully navigates their own career journey

In California, Dinuba High School’s SkillsUSA Advisor Nikki Gerner is highlighted for keeping real-world skill building at the core of her instruction for learners. During the 2021 school year, despite the challenges of remote learning, membership at Dinuba increased from 150 to more than 450 active members. New chapter members gained access to the SkillsUSA Framework to make informed decisions while navigating the career preparation ecosystem. 

View this video to learn more about Gerner and her impact on the learners she teaches. 

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

On Partner Day, National SkillsUSA asked state associations and local chapters to connect with partners in their communities. National SkillsUSA hosted a live interactive session for CTSO members to engage with business and industry leaders. Learners were able to hear what it means to be workforce ready and which skills are valued by employers that ultimately lead to career success in their respective industries.

Each learner can access CTE without borders

National SkillsUSA has a free and accessible podcast for chapter members across the nation. The SkillsUSA podcast focuses on delivering basic “how to” information for learners to be successful at skills competitions. View more on the podcast here

Visit Advance CTE’s vision page for communication and implementation tools for state and local CTE leaders to bring CTE Without Limits to life. 

If you would like to share how your CTE program or CTSO creates limitless opportunities for each learner in this blog series, please email Brittany Cannady, bcannady@careertech.org

Brittany Cannady, Senior Associate for Digital Media

 

 

State Policies Impacting Industry Partnerships and Work-based Learning

February 10th, 2022

State education agencies, legislators and educators faced significant challenges from the coronavirus pandemic, including adapting to remote and hybrid delivery of hands-on learning, and responding to local and national skilled labor shortages. The number of state-level CTE policies enacted that affect Career Technical Education (CTE) fell to the lowest number in 2020 since Advance CTE and the Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE) began publishing these annual Year in Review reports.

However, with a new commitment to upskilling and reskilling American learners and a CTE without limits, 41 states enacted 138 policies impacting CTE and career readiness in 2021. Advance CTE and ACTE have witnessed the return of pre-pandemic numbers in state policy actions in 2021 with policies affecting the secondary, postsecondary, adult and/or workforce systems, and including legislation, executive orders, and budget provisions that significantly changed funding.

Each year, Advance CTE and ACTE publish a yearly state policy tracker and categorize each state policy action by topic. In 2021, the top five topics that state policy most frequently addressed were:

  • Funding;
  • Access and equity;
  • Data, reporting and/or accountability;
  • Industry partnerships and work-based learning; and
  • Industry-recognized credentials.

Industry Partnerships and Work-based Learning

Policies that address the engagement of industry to drive student learning through work-based learning or other means are categorized by this topic. Twenty-three states enacted 36 policies that addressed industry partnerships and work-based learning. Below are a few state policy actions aligned to industry-recognized credentials:

  • Indiana passed legislation establishing a course catalog for lifelong learning to document all work-based learning, pre-apprenticeship and apprenticeship opportunities statewide and directing the state Commission for Higher Education, the Department of Education and the Governor’s Workforce Cabinet to prepare model guidance for postsecondary enrollment in work-based learning experiences. 
  • Oklahoma expanded eligibility for apprenticeships, mentorships and internships to include high school sophomores 16 and older. The law also allows school districts to obtain liability insurance for students participating in apprenticeships, mentorships and internships and enables the State Board of Education to develop rules to determine if these experiences are eligible for academic credit toward graduation requirements.
  • Wyoming allowed learners aged 16 to 18 who are enrolled in a school district, community college or technical school to enter into an agreement with an employer to participate in a work-based learning experience that leads to course credit and/or compensation from the employer. A student learner who enters into a student training agreement with an employer is considered an employee covered under that employer’s workers’ compensation program.

State Policies Impacting CTE: 2021 Year in Review marks the ninth annual review of CTE and career readiness policies from across the United States conducted by Advance CTE and ACTE. This report does not describe every policy enacted within each state but instead focuses on national policy trends. 

View the full report and 2021 state policy tracker here

Dan Hinderliter, Senior Policy Associate 

Getting to Know the Advance CTE – ECMCF Fellows

February 9th, 2022

In November, Advance CTE and ECMC Foundation announced the inaugural cohort of The Postsecondary State Career Technical Education (CTE) Leaders Fellowship at Advance CTE—Sponsored by ECMC Foundation. The Advance CTE – ECMCF Fellows include representation across multiple demographic categories which emphasizes the Fellowship’s goal of intentionally building a postsecondary leadership pipeline for underserved populations in CTE that closes racial representation gaps, and removes equity barriers to postsecondary leadership advancement. 

Over the past few months, this blog series introduced each Fellow participating in the inaugural cohort of emerging leaders from 12 states, including 13 professionals of color.


Dr. La-Tonya Dixon (Alabama) has deep experience in CTE and served in leadership positions in the food production industry before transitioning to higher education, where she currently serves as an Assistant Professor in Nutrition and Hospitality Management at Alabama A&M University. She received a bachelor’s degree from Oakwood University, and a master’s degree and a doctorate in Food Science and Technology from Alabama A&M University.

 

 

Raymond James (South Carolina) is a veteran of the United States Army, and currently serves as Department Head for machine learning at Greenville Technical School in Greenville, South Carolina. James earned an associate degree in General Engineering Technology at Tri-County Technical College and a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Kaplan University.

 

 

 

 

Rich Crosby (Texas) is a product of CTE, with over a decade of postsecondary instruction experience. Crosby currently serves as a drafting instructor at Trinity Valley Community College in the Correctional Education Division. He earned his bachelor’s degree in Industrial Technology and a master’s degree in Human Resource Development from the University of Texas at Tyler.

 

 

 


 

Click here to learn more about the Fellowship and each Fellow.

Brittany Cannady, Senior Associate Digital Media

 

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