State CTE Policy Update: Ohio’s Manufacturing Pathways

October 27th, 2022

October 7 was National Manufacturing Day but, in Ohio, the celebration lasts the entire month. . Ohio uses this time to raise awareness of the various manufacturing pathways available to learners in the state and inspire those learners to join. Ohio already has significant investments in the manufacturing economy which generates more than $125 billion. However, knowledge of how many different skill sets and jobs are available in the industry is still not widespread. By taking advantage of Manufacturers Month, this post highlights the innovative ways Ohio is uplifting the manufacturing pathway as well as leveraging the support of The Ohio Manufacturers’ Association (OMA), which is bringing awareness to various grants and programs, some of which have been made recently available to Ohio residents. 

In August, the OMA was named one of the 32 finalists for the “Good Jobs Challenge” grant, a $500 million grant created by the U.S. Economic Development Administration. Over the next three years, around 1,000 of the OMA’s member-employers will benefit from the new funding, which is designed to support local industry partners in their efforts to coordinate, develop and promote workforce solutions in manufacturing. The OMA is currently seeking to enroll 6,000 individuals in one or more training programs that lead to a job offer or upskilling opportunity.

In addition to the work OMA is doing to promote the manufacturing pathway, Ohio offers the TechCred program, an initiative highlighted in Advance CTE’s area technical center research, which is designed to reimburse employers that pay for credentialing of their employees. This program specifically targets technology-focused credentials but has an easy-to-use website for employers to check which credentials are reimbursable and allow them to submit new tech credits for consideration. The program has been active since 2019 and has provided over 48,000 tech-focused credentials to Ohio manufacturing employees.

Ohio has also used legislation to advance manufacturing pathways beyond Manufacturer Month. Last year Senate Bill 166 was enacted that mandates that the Department of Education in partnership with JobsOhio create a program that provides funding to incentivize work-based learning programs offered to learners in a Career Technical Education (CTE) program and allows the creation of virtual and hybrid CTE programs to be offered. These work-based learning programs must be aligned with Ohio state standards but may also be offered remotely or through a hybrid modality to learners enrolled in a CTE program. This legislation is a great step towards enabling learners to access CTE without borders by ensuring that virtual opportunities are quality, equitable and meaningful.

Ohio is doing its part to create a strong manufacturing ecosystem that is accessible to its learners. All states can participate in manufacturing month by following some of their examples by:

  • Building and supporting strong industry partnerships;
  • Building pathways and removing barriers for necessary industry credentials; and
  • Providing innovative and equitable work-based learning opportunities for learners.

Here are some helpful resources:

Brice Thomas, Policy Associate 

State CTE Policy Update: Examining CTE Instructor Compensation Strategies

September 22nd, 2022

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

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

Brice Thomas, Policy Associate 

State CTE Policy Update: Exploring Louisiana’s Back on Track Pilot Program for Justice-Connected Learners

September 1st, 2022

State Career Technical Education (CTE) policy initiatives and programs vary across the nation; innovations across states can offer helpful insights for state CTE leaders to continue to support each learner’s path to success in the career of their choice without limits.  

This post provides an overview of Louisiana’s recently enacted Act 370 (H.B. 323) 2022 Regular Session, known as the “Back On Track Louisiana Pilot Program”, and how it connects with CTE programs to support justice-connected individuals.

The “Back On Track Louisiana Pilot Program” aims to reduce recidivism in Louisiana by offering incarcerated individuals the tools they need, such as driver’s licenses and bank accounts, to skillfully navigate their reentry into the workforce. It also provides a CTE funding mechanism and establishes a mandate for data accountability within correctional education spaces.

Program Background 

This legislation stands out as an innovative means to not only incentivize high-quality correctional education programs by rewarding outcomes with additional funding. It allows for the flexibility needed to make the program effective for individual populations and meet each program’s needs. With the appropriate connections between state agencies such as the Louisiana Community and Technical College System (LCTCS) and the Louisiana Workforce Commission (LWC), the Department of Public Safety and Corrections (DPSC) can leverage industry partnerships and maximize the effectiveness of the credential programs they offer within their correctional facilities. 

With the “Back On Track Louisiana Pilot Program”, justice-involved learners who are incarcerated will have the opportunity to earn multiple credentials of value that align with Louisiana’s Industry Based Credential (IBC) Focus List compiled by the Louisiana IBC Council. These credentials of value ensure learners are prepared for high-skill, high-wage, in-demand occupations that support the future workforce of the state. This effort aligns with other funding mechanisms to support correctional education and high-quality programs such as the state’s utilization of Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act (Perkins V) federal funds. In Louisiana, the state allocates a portion of its Perkins funds to DPSC to ensure learners experiencing unique circumstances such as incarceration have access to relevant workforce education and training. Offering learners in correctional facilities the opportunity to explore career pathways will not only allow them to reenter the workforce and their communities as a whole but will also strengthen CTE programming in an often overlooked population.

Funding Flexibility 

The legislation provides guidelines for funding and accountability while also establishing a framework for sheriffs to personalize their programs. The language of the law requires jails and prisons to collect the information of participating incarcerated and paroled individuals regarding specific success metrics. While these metrics track measures for these individuals to successfully reintegrate into their communities, there are several explicitly targeting CTE initiatives, namely whether the inmate: 

  • Achieved literacy skills of at least a 10th-grade reading level
  • Earned a high school diploma or GED equivalent
  • Earned an industry-based credential (IBC)
  • Secured employment opportunity prior to release

To ensure each sheriff has a scalable funding system for their program, DPSC calculates half of the average number of days of incarceration of the enrolled individual multiplied by the amount the Department pays the sheriff each day for the housing of inmates in parish jails. As an additional incentive for the successful execution of the program, sheriffs will receive a bonus stipend per incarcerated individual based on the percentage of targets successfully attained. Funds will be used for equipment, instructional materials and instructors, allowing smaller programs to flourish as well as larger programs. 

Program Customization 

Authority for this legislation is housed at the DPSC, which already offers ten programs eligible for Perkins V funding: Automotive Technology, Building Technology, Carpentry, Collision Repair, Construction Project Management, Electrician, Heavy Equipment Operator, HVAC, Small Engine, and Welding. The prison system has employed a method to train and hire correctional facility instructors for the Industry Based Credential (IBC) classes offered at each facility. Each participating facility ensures that all justice-connected tutors/instructors remain up to date in their training by providing funding to renew all pertinent certifications, as needed. CTE instructors are supervised by a prison education coordinator who is responsible for maintaining the cohesiveness of the entire education department.

The “Back On Track Louisiana Pilot Program” is a new initiative seeking to provide more accessible and equitable CTE credential programs to justice-involved learners. The following resources provide additional on connections between CTE and corrections education: 

Brice Thomas, M.Ed, Policy Associate

*Special thanks to Dr. Brittney Baptiste Williams, State Director for Career and Technical Education, Louisiana for her insights that contributed to this post. 

Top Recommendations from Coalition for Career Development Center’s Inaugural Report to Improve State Career Readiness

August 11th, 2022

In May, the Coalition for Career Development Center released the first annual The Condition of Career Readiness in the United States. The 129-page report evaluates key states’ career readiness policies, investments and outcomes across all 50 states, including personalized career and academic plans (PCAP), funding, curriculums, accountability, and Career Technical Education (CTE) program outcomes. Accompanying the report is an interactive national map that links available PCAP resources, work-based learning (WBL) toolkits, Perkins V plans, social-emotional learning (SEL) toolkits and ESSA plans for each state to allow state leaders to assess and enhance their career readiness systems 

The report finds that  “[to] become a Career Ready Nation we all have work to do. And, cost-effective solutions and strategies used by many states or regions within states offer a way forward.” As a 50-state landscape of key components of career readiness, this report gives state Career Technical Education (CTE) leaders valuable findings and guidance to better align and interconnect career readiness systems that are responsive to the needs of each learner across their entire career journey. 

Here are several recommendations and state highlights that state CTE leaders can consider to make that alignment possible;

Recommendation 1: Expand Post-School Outcome Data 

  • For postsecondary CTE concentrators, the report finds that 40 states are placing 70 percent or more of secondary learners into postsecondary training and education, military or employment after high school graduation. Only three states, however, are placing 70 percent or more of all high school graduates into either a two-year or four-year postsecondary training or education program. The report recommends expanding post-school data points as well as counting military service and employment as post-school outcomes for learners.
  • Kansas, in addition to assessing advanced social-emotional learning (SEL) skills that serve as high-demand employability skills, creates an annual report that provides high schools with information on the average percentage of students that complete career interest surveys; write postsecondary goals and post-secondary plan; and complete portfolio tracking for internship records, dual course credit; certifications and applications to postsecondary education.

Recommendation 2: Identify Engagement Strategies for Learners Ages 16 to 19

  • 47 states were found to be connecting more than 90 percent of their youth population aged 16 to 19 to education, training programs, or employment. However, only five states reported that more than 90% of their young adults aged 20 to 24 are connected to education, training programs, or employment. The report recommended that longitudinal data systems be designed to determine whether and when young adults become disconnected.
  • The 16+ DataHub, managed by Scotland’s Careers Services, integrates data from a range of sources including education, workforce, and health and human services. Once identified, Careers Services deploys a career counselor to reconnect them to education, training, and employment opportunities.

Recommendation 3: Invest in PCAP

  • While 30 states offer high-quality career readiness policies, referred to as personalized career and academic plans (PCAP), the report highlights the need to improve alignment through cross-sector teams. Specifically, the report recommends leveraging federal and state funds to support the adoption and quality implementation of PCAPs or other career planning processes by schools, youth-serving organizations and higher education institutions. Additionally, cross-sector teams should focus on aligning PCAP with the state’s education, workforce development, wellness, and career readiness policies, resources and initiatives.
  • The Delaware Pathways initiative is a cross-sector-created team of diverse stakeholders who established a common vision and language for linking their PCAP (referred to as Student Success Planning) with CTE, SEL, and work-based learning initiatives in a manner that seeks to increase access for all learners. Advance CTE featured Delaware Pathways in a recent brief on braiding funding in career pathways design.

Recommendation 4: Increase Access to Work-based Learning Opportunities

  • Wage and employment opportunities increase when youth have career conversations and experiences. The report finds that 29 states identified work-based learning as an important element in their Perkins V plans. However, fewer than ten states name specific plans to enact or expand key work-based policy areas. The report recommends providing statewide infrastructure to support implementation; using state and federal funding incentives to encourage industry/business participation and communication systems that enable stakeholders to access and participate in work-based learning and leveraging intermediaries to provide capacity for state-wide work-based learning implementation infrastructure is an effective solution.
  • Iowa established a network of 15 regional intermediaries through its community college system which connects industry partners and the education system to offer relevant, work-based learning activities to learners. This work was highlighted in an Advance CTE webinar earlier this year. 

Recommendation 5: Invest in Career Advising

  • High schools in just 28 states are meeting the American School Counseling Association’s recommended school counselor to student ratio of 250:1. To further this progress, the report calls for more investment in career readiness for elementary and middle school learners and emphasizes exposure can make a difference in aiding learners to select the best career pathway. 
  • PBS Kids has created programs for learners ages three to six to give them the opportunity to see themselves reflected in various careers regardless of race, disability, or gender. Cajon Valley Union School District’s World of Work Initiative focuses on supporting children from lower income and racially diverse communities to build confidence through mentorship and career exposure. 

The extensive report includes sources cited from several publications in Advance CTE’s Learning that Works Resource Center (specific references can be found starting on page 119.) 

Brice Thomas, Policy Associate 

 

State Policies Impacting Funding

March 9th, 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.

Funding
Policies that address significant changes in CTE funding, such as increasing or decreasing allocations, creating a scholarship or grant program, or investing in a pilot program have been categorized by this topic. Twenty-four states enacted 51 policies in 2021 that affected CTE funding, making funding the most common policy category for the ninth year in a row. Below are a few state policy actions from this category: 

  • Colorado created an energy sector career pathway and established the Strengthening Photovoltaic and Renewable Careers (SPARC) Workforce Development Program. The goal of this program is to create capacity for training, apprenticeship and education programs in the energy career pathway, with a goal of increasing employment in this sector.
  • Delaware established and expanded multiple statewide scholarship programs, including the Focus on Alternative Skills Training (FAST) Program and the Elevate Delaware program. These programs provide up to $10,000 each to eligible Delaware residents toward tuition for non-degree credential programs that provide industry-recognized skill training and certification.
  • Kansas established the Kansas Promise Scholarship Program, administered by the Kansas State Board of Regents. The program serves as a last-dollar scholarship to assist learners with financial barriers that may prevent them from completing a two-year associate degree program or CTE certificate program aligned to in-demand careers and credentials.

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

State Policies Impacting Industry-Recognized Credentials

March 2nd, 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-recognized Credentials
Policies that address the attainment of credentials recognized by industry, including micro-credentials, such as badges, and educational Degrees are categorized by this topic. Nineteen states enacted 33 policies affecting industry-recognized credentials. Policies in this area are designed to increase or incentivize the attainment of certifications, credentials or degrees aligned with labor market information or industry need. Below are a few state policy actions from this category: 

  • Idaho established a workforce readiness and CTE high school diploma. The law outlines the requirements for learners to earn the diploma, such as passing technical skills assessments and workplace readiness assessments, demonstrating CTE competency standards, and earning a badge or an industry-recognized credential.
  • Louisiana created the M.J. Foster Promise Program, which provides financial assistance of up to $3,200/year to a learner enrolling in a two-year or shorter postsecondary program aligned to a state-recognized in-demand, high-wage occupational field and leading to an industry-recognized credential. 
  • Texas established the Texas Reskilling and Upskilling through Education (TRUE) program. This program awards grants to an eligible agency, such as a junior college, technical institute or local chamber of commerce, to create, redesign or expand training programs that lead to industry-recognized credentials and create pathways to employment for learners in accordance with local workforce needs. 

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 

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 

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 

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 

Increasing Apprenticeship Opportunities Through State Policy

November 18th, 2021

Preparing to enter the workforce is no easy task, especially as the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic continues to transform the world of work. It is critical that apprenticeship, pre-apprenticeship and youth apprenticeship programs exist to allow learners of all ages to participate in significant work-based learning opportunities that connect their learning with on-the-job skills that they can leverage as they grow in careers of their choice. Pre-apprenticeship programs, for example, demonstrate significant benefits, including creating more equitable access to high-wage, in-demand careers and improving the success of apprenticeship programs more holistically. In the past year, at least 19 states enacted legislation impacting work-based learning opportunities, including expanding access to apprenticeships, allowing credit to be earned for out-of-school-time learning, and increasing transparency in communication about apprenticeships. The following policies represent a small sample of pre-apprenticeship, apprenticeship, and work-based learning policies already passed in 2021:

  • Arkansas SB491 establishes definitions for pre-apprenticeship and youth apprenticeship to support statewide coordination of these models. The law also requires a member representing the Division of Career and Technical Education to be added to the Arkansas Apprenticeship Coordination Steering Committee.
  • Colorado HB1007 creates a state apprenticeship agency within the Department of Labor and Employment to grow apprenticeship programs in high-demand occupations and oversee the quality of existing apprenticeship programs. A state apprenticeship council is also created to oversee Registered Apprenticeship programs and consists of representation from Career Technical Education (CTE).
  • Indiana HB1549 creates a catalog of work-based learning, pre-apprenticeship and Registered Apprenticeship opportunities statewide to help provide more information to Indiana residents, among other education-related matters.
  • North Dakota HB1478 enables a school board to allow learners in grades 6-12 to earn course credit through educational opportunities such as work-based learning, pre-apprenticeships, apprenticeships, internships and industry certifications with a sponsoring entity such as a business, for- or non-profit organization or trade association.
  • Tennessee HB0842 requires each public high school to designate an apprenticeship training program contact. The Department of Education will then compile and publish an aggregate contact list of all program contacts statewide on an annual basis.
  • Texas SB1095 directs school districts to notify each parent of a ninth grader or above about the availability of CTE or other work-based education programs available in the district including internships, externships or apprenticeship programs.

Advance CTE’s 2021 Without Limits: A Shared Vision for the Future of Career Technical Education (CTE Without Limits) calls for a cohesive, flexible and responsive career preparation ecosystem that allows learners to participate in aligned and connected work-based learning systems, like industry-aligned apprenticeships. Visit our CTE Without Limits landing page for our call to action and the Learning that Works Resource Center for more resources surrounding work-based learning, including pre-apprenticeship and Registered Apprenticeship.

Dan Hinderliter, Policy Associate

 

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