Posts Tagged ‘career preparation’

Advance CTE 2023 Fall Meeting Sponsor Blog: Diamond Sponsor, YouScience – The Power of Career-Connected Learning: How YouScience® Brightpath Leads the Way

Wednesday, October 4th, 2023

When you ask executives of both large and small companies all throughout the United States, “What is your number one problem that you’re facing as a business?” The answer is inevitably “employees!” They simply can’t find enough employees.

When you ask them whether the school system is producing enough employees, 90% of business leaders don’t believe that schools are producing students of the right caliber.

In an ever-evolving job market, equipping students with the right tools for success has become more critical than ever before. Career-connected learning is a powerful educational approach that bridges the gap between classroom knowledge and real-world application.

Preparing for Tomorrow’s World

The world of work is changing rapidly, with new industries emerging and existing ones transforming. Students need to be equipped with the skills and knowledge necessary to thrive in this dynamic environment. Career-connected learning helps them do just that by providing practical experiences and insights that prepare them for the future.

Relevance and Engagement

Traditional classroom learning can sometimes feel disconnected from the real world. Career-connected learning bridges this gap by making education relevant and engaging. When students can see the direct application of what they’re learning, they become more motivated and invested in their education. As a result, they are more likely to excel academically and develop a genuine passion for their chosen fields.

YouScience® Brightpath: Guiding the Way

One remarkable platform that facilitates career-connected learning is YouScience® Brightpath. This innovative tool helps students discover their unique strengths and interests, guiding them towards suitable career paths. By using a combination of aptitude assessments, career exploration, and certifications, Brightpath provides personalized insights that empower students to make informed educational and career decisions.

Unlocking Potential

Brightpath recognizes that every student is unique. It’s not a one-size-fits-all solution but rather a personalized journey toward discovering one’s potential. By identifying their inherent talents and interests, students can align their education and career choices more effectively, maximizing their chances of success and fulfillment.

Building Confidence

In a world where adaptability and innovation are key, career-connected learning is a crucial part of a student’s educational journey. It prepares them for the rapidly changing job landscape and instills a sense of purpose and passion in their studies. Brightpath takes this concept a step further, offering personalized guidance that empowers students to unlock their full potential and confidently pursue their dream careers. With career-connected learning and Brightpath, students are not just preparing for the future—they are actively shaping it, one well-informed decision at a time.

YouScience Brightpath is used in all 50 states and is offered as a statewide contract in several states. Implementing Brightpath at the state level provides several benefits to Career Technical Education (CTE) leaders and learners—it is easy to scale the program statewide with consistency and speed without adding headcount; results are data-driven through customized reports; and educators report improvements in CTE participation.

To learn more about YouScience Brightpath visit: https://www.youscience.com/brightpath/, and to schedule a 1:1 session to learn how this program can benefit your school, request a demo with one of our education experts.

By Layla Alagic in Advance CTE Fall Meeting
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Funding Career Technical Education: Secondary CTE Funding Basics

Monday, August 21st, 2023

Providing high-quality Career Technical Education (CTE) requires robust, sustained funding designed to be responsive to the evolving and diverse needs of industry and learners. State leaders make decisions every day on how to direct funding where it is needed most and having knowledge about how other states are funding secondary CTE will help with decision making. Adequate and equitable funding allows learners to engage in a cohesive, flexible and responsive career preparation system as described in Without Limits: A Shared Vision for the Future of Career Technical Eduction (CTE Without Limits). This blog provides a background on CTE funding and describes various models and approaches states use to fund secondary CTE.

States rely on a mix of federal, state and local policies to provide funding sources for secondary CTE.1 The Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act (Perkins V*) is the primary federal investment in secondary and postsecondary CTE. A state’s share of funding is determined by a statutory formula based on the age distribution of the state’s population and its per-capita income. The remaining 15 percent of allocations are used to support state leadership and administration activities.2 States have flexibility in determining how funds are allocated between secondary and postsecondary CTE, with an average of 62 percent of funding going to secondary programs and 38 percent supporting postsecondary programs for fiscal year 2022 (FY22).3

CTE programs can be costly to run because of the need for specialized equipment/facilities, smaller class sizes and additional staffing.4 Federal funding through Perkins V alone cannot meet those costs, so many states make a financial commitment to support CTE. Local and philanthropic partners also support CTE at the district level. Funding at the state level for secondary CTE is varied and complex.

However, there are distinct processes that can be organized into several state models. To categorize state funding models for FY22, Advance CTE used the definitions of foundational and categorical funding and the respective approaches found in State Strategies for Financing Career and Technical Education5; additionally, a new definition of hybrid funding was developed.

Foundational funding finances programs out of general state aid formulas. Local administrators must decide how funds should be distributed across educational priorities (which may or may not include CTE).6

Categorical funding is dedicated funding for CTE programs that is distributed to Local Education Agencies (LEAs) to support CTE. These approaches — which may include cost-based, student-based and/or unit-based formulas — typically target state funding for the use of CTE programming.7 There are three approaches to how LEAs receive this funding: 

Hybrid funding is a new funding model formulated by Advance CTE that reflects states that implement components of multiple categorical funding approaches. 

States may also direct funding specifically for area technical centers (ATCs) to deliver CTE programming. This funding is often in addition to one of the previously stated models, which fund secondary CTE programs more broadly across a state. More information about ATCs can be found in Advance CTE’s website: A 50-State Analysis of Area Technical Centers.11

Advance CTE recognizes that state leaders desire more in-depth information about secondary state CTE funding to maximize current models or to pursue reforms towards more effective and equitable funding models. To meet this need, stay tuned for the release of our 2023 State of CTE: An Analysis of State Secondary CTE Funding Models in late August! The research report and accompanying website provide insights into current national trends in state secondary CTE funding and recommendations to enhance equity in the design and delivery of funding. 

*As amended by the Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act 

Dr. Laura Maldonado, Senior Research Associate

By Layla Alagic in CTE Without Limits
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Increasing Demographic Diversity in CTE Leadership

Wednesday, August 9th, 2023

Career Technical Education (CTE) prepares students for rewarding careers and strengthening our workforce. Through the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act (Perkins V*) CTE programs around the country continue to work towards building equitable access for every learner. 

However, it is essential to acknowledge that the representation of Black leadership in CTE programs has been disproportionately low – just 13% of CTE leaders identify as non-white. Without Limits: A Shared Vision for the Future of Career Technical Education (CTE Without Limits) states that learners should feel welcome and supported in their career preparation ecosystem. Part of creating this environment is ensuring that learners can see themselves represented in their CTE leaders. 

How can we increase the demographic diversity, specifically of Black leadership, in CTE? This deep-level work will require states to confront and dismantle biases and systemic barriers that currently hinder career advancement for Black professionals. State lawmakers must be encouraged to allocate resources for research and initiatives focused on increasing Black leadership. Collectively, lawmakers and educational leaders will need to publicly support the implementation of policies that address racial disparities in education and foster an environment where Black professionals can thrive. Hiring practices should be assessed and revised in order to attract a diverse pool of qualified candidates with intentionality while ensuring the selection process is transparent and unbiased.

Mentorship and sponsorship programs can have a significant, positive impact on the career trajectories of educators and professionals in CTE, especially aspiring Black leaders. The creation of formal mentorship programs that pair aspiring leaders with experienced mentors who can offer guidance, support and networking opportunities can help overcome some systemic barriers that hinder career advancement for historically marginalized populations. Black professionals need senior leaders in CTE to become their sponsors and to actively advocate for their career advancement. Fellowships, such as The Postsecondary State Career Technical Education Leaders Fellowship at Advance CTE – Sponsored by ECMC Foundation, serve as additional pathways to train and elevate aspiring leaders.

State Directors in CTE, hold the power to affect meaningful change and create an inclusive and diverse landscape for all learners and professionals. By addressing biases, implementing mentorship programs, providing professional development opportunities and advocating for policy changes, states can uplift and empower Black leadership in CTE. Together, we can foster an environment that recognizes and values the talents and contributions of all individuals, regardless of their race or background. Commitment to this endeavor benefits all learners, communities, and the future workforce.

For more information on creating a leadership pipeline that reflects the diverse demographics of learners, see the Advancing Equity in CTE blog series:

Blog 1: Advancing Equity in CTE: Making the Case for Diverse Leadership Pipelines in Career Technical Education

Blog 2: Advancing Equity in CTE: A Review on the Current State of CTE Leadership Programs

Blog 3: Advancing Equity in CTE: The Equity-Minded Leadership Framework

Blog 4: Advancing Equity in CTE: Administrative Policy Review an Equitable Practices Assessment [COMING SOON]

*As amended by the Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act

Brice Thomas, Former Policy Associate

By Layla Alagic in Achieving Equitable and Inclusive CTE
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Pushing the Limits: South Carolina

Thursday, May 25th, 2023

Without Limits: A Shared Vision for the Future of Career Technical Education (CTE Without Limits) was released in March 2020 with the support of over 40 national organizations. In October 2021, Advance CTE launched a technical assistance opportunity called Advancing CTE Without  Limits, which sought to support states in a project to coordinate systems, improve equity goals, strengthen policy or otherwise align with a CTE Without Limits principle. The year-long Advancing CTE Without Limits project ran from March 2022 to March 2023. This blog series shares the details, outcomes and lessons learned from projects across the three participating Pushing the Limits state teams – Colorado, Nebraska and South Carolina. 

Project Focus

South Carolina has made it a priority to build and create aligned state systems that can support all CTE learners to move seamlessly through their education and career journey. To accomplish this vision, South Carolina approached their Advancing CTE Without limits work through the lens of Principle 1: Each learner engages in a cohesive, flexible and responsive career preparation ecosystem.

South Carolina focused on three main objectives:

  1. Needs Assessment: Conduct a needs assessment to identify strengths and gaps within the state’s comprehensive local needs assessment (CLNA) process and outcomes (i.e., rural, middle school and students with disabilities). 
  2. Guidance and Support for Local Implementation of Comprehensive Local Needs Assessment (CLNA): Provide strategic collaboration, peer learning, training and support to implement a more strategic process around CLNA.
  3. Building State Leader Data Literacy: Participate in professional development through Advance CTE’s Opportunity Gap Analysis to learn the root cause analysis process and get technical assistance to increase data literacy to address learner opportunity gaps. 

 

Project Outcomes

Through monthly coaching and technical assistance provided by Advance CTE and Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE) staff, South Carolina focused on evaluating its comprehensive local needs assessment process and outcomes with an emphasis on continuous improvement. Surveys were developed for state and local stakeholders to gather their input on both the implementation of the CLNA and the practical application of results of the CLNA process. Results of the survey showed that the CLNA process itself had been valuable, and it had served to strengthen connections across the career preparation ecosystem. However, at the state and local levels, stakeholders were not fully utilizing the information gleaned from the CLNA process. At the state level in particular, leaders from across agencies were not as engaged with each other around the CLNA results as the state desired.  

This led the state CTE agency to start a quarterly interagency meeting to increase cross-sector team collaboration and support a high-quality career preparation ecosystem. To ensure sustainability of this strategic collaboration among their state agencies, South Carolina has put into practice a shared-ownership structure, where a different agency takes the lead in developing the shared agenda and leads the conversations. The first meeting included sharing results from the CLNA and the survey. 

South Carolina also used the CLNA to inform the development of regional “snapshots” of data. The snapshots were published accompanied by a workshop and guidance to support the regional perspective being used in the state for the CLNA. 

South Carolina has also designed differentiated support for the regions based on the needs assessment and survey of regions. These efforts have helped increase knowledge and staff capacity in the strategic use of data for the CLNA process. 

The South Carolina team also participated in the Opportunity Gap Analysis workshop to learn to conduct root cause analysis, identify ways to address opportunity gaps for all learners and provide guidance to their local educators on how to build a comprehensive career preparation ecosystem.  

Lessons Learned

One of the primary lessons learned through this project for South Carolina was to focus on making sure that the results of the CLNA are being used and not treated as a compliance exercise. 

Recommendations

States are highly encouraged to look at CLNA results across all their eligible entities or regions and to identify common themes with a lens towards developing new policies, programs, technical assistance and professional development to help address the needs commonly identified across the state. In addition, states should make it common practice to provide technical assistance to local districts on how they can change their behaviors to better address needs.

Stay tuned for future updates about South Carolina’s continued efforts and for more information about other states’ Advancing CTE Without Limits projects. For more information about CTE Without Limits, visit https://careertech.org/without-limits.  

To learn more about planning and implementing the principles of CTE Without Limits in your state, check out Pushing the Limits: A Roadmap for Advancing CTE Without Limits.

For more information on better using the CLNA to drive quality and equity within CTE systems and programs of study, read Lessons in Collaboration and Innovation: The Impact and Promise of the Comprehensive Local Needs Assessment.

Nithya Govindasamy, Senior Advisor

Alisha Hyslop, Senior Director of Public Policy, ACTE

By Jodi Langellotti in CTE Without Limits
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CTE Without Limits Summer Lunch and Learn #1 Recap: Building Foundational Relationships and Infrastructure Key Areas of Focus for First Vision Principle

Monday, June 7th, 2021

On June 1, Advance CTE hosted the first session of a 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. 

This session discussed the first principle of CTE Without Limits, featuring perspectives from organizations representing state elected officials, state and local education administrators and workforce leaders:  Amanda Winters, Program Director for Postsecondary Education at the National Governors Association (NGA); Najmah Ahmad, Program Director for the Career Readiness Initiative at the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO); and Yvette Chocolaad, Workforce Policy and Research Director at the National Association of State Workforce Agencies (NASWA). 

Themes

Throughout the panel and breakout sessions, several key themes emerged on the most urgent areas of action and foundational steps to be taken at the local, state and organizational level: 

During the breakout sessions, attendees elevated the importance of involving learner voice in the design of career preparation ecosystems and prioritizing the needs of learners with those of other stakeholders such as government and industry. Attendees also highlighted the need for manageable, tangible steps from both the top down and the bottom up to enact lasting change, and the acknowledgement that true cohesion between systems of learning and work is extremely complex and all partners will be learning during the execution of this principle. 

First Steps 

The foundational steps offered by the panelists may seem obvious at first glance, but are often skipped in favor of pursuing project-based work and are critical to establishing a shared understanding of success. 

Visit the CTE Without Limits web page to read the full vision and access resources to communicate  the vision to stakeholders, including a promotional video, slide deck and five sector-focused fact sheets. 

Register for Advance CTE’s second lunch and learn scheduled for June 22 at 4:00PM ET featuring Amanda Bergson-Shilcock, Senior Fellow at the National Skills Coalition; Mimi Lufkin, CEO Emerita at the National Alliance for Partnerships in Equity; and Stephanie McGencey, Executive Director at the American Youth Policy Forum

By Stacy Whitehouse in Uncategorized
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Report Describes What Else States Should Do To Support Career Advising and Development

Tuesday, February 6th, 2018

Today, Advance CTE and the American School Counselor Association (ASCA) released a report exploring the strategies currently in place across the country to support career advising and development efforts. Too often, career advising and development only occurs at the high school level, even though learners should have access to career awareness, exploration and planning activities from elementary school all the way through postsecondary education. Anecdotally, many state and local leaders assume that this is not happening to the extent that it should be, but there has not yet been an in-depth examination of the data.

This topic has been a key focus of the New Skills for Youth (NSFY) initiative, a partnership of the Council of Chief State School Officers, Advance CTE and Education Strategy Group, generously funded by JPMorgan Chase & Co. NSFY has provided funding to 10 states to transform their career readiness systems, and all 10 participating states have strategies in place to improve their career advising and development activities.

Advance CTE, as part of NSFY, partnered with the American School Counselor Association (ASCA) to conduct research with three questionnaires. Advance CTE surveyed State CTE Directors, and ASCA sent separate surveys to a selection of school counselors and to State School Counseling Directors, in states where that role has been specifically identified. Some of the key findings include:

The report examined numerous strategies currently in place to support career advising and development efforts. Wisconsin’s Academic and Career Plan, for example, is an ongoing process for middle and high school students that involves coordinated conversations around career interests and options, and that helps students make informed choices about career pathways. Texas has spent the last few years developing extensive virtual supports for school counselors, available through TXCTE.org and Texas OnCourse. These resources provide school counselors with messaging materials, lesson plans and other information on CTE and career advising. Maryland has leveraged state and organizational partnerships to develop several career advising strategies at the elementary and middle school levels, which incorporate career awareness and exposure with civic engagement and financial literacy.

To hear more about this report, join our webinar on February 20, which will feature presentations from ASCA and Advance CTE, as well as a local CTE practitioner.

Ashleigh McFadden, State Policy Manager

By admin in Publications, Research, Uncategorized
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