Posts Tagged ‘communications’

Communicating CTE: Strategies and Message Tailoring to Reach Historically Marginalized Learners and Families

Tuesday, August 17th, 2021

Recruiting learners into CTE programs should not be limited to class registration season; repeated exposure to messages about the value and benefit of Career Technical Education (CTE) help each learner feel welcome and seen. This is especially true for programs that have historically marginalized some populations from full access and participation. The start of the school year is an ideal touch point to raise awareness about CTE as learners begin new academic experiences and explore paths to career and college success. 

Advance CTE released updated national research in April 2021 on messages and messengers about the value of CTE that resonate with middle and high school families both participating in and considering CTE. This update intentionally focused on exploring equity in tested messages, with an oversample of Black and Latinx families and families experiencing low income. 

Several key findings resonated across gender, race/ethnicity, income and participation, including confirmation of the value of real-world skills as the top prevailing message for families about CTE; a strong interest in career exploration and skillbuilding as priorities for families’ education experience; and significant higher levels of satisfaction by those participating in CTE with their overall education experience. 

While the findings provide evergreen, consistent messages that can reach all families, it is important to remember that these messages and dissemination methods should be tailored to address the needs, aspirations and potential access barriers of each family, particularly historically marginalized populations. 

Several equity considerations emerged from this research for Black and Latinx families and families experiencing low income, including: 

These findings have important implications for how CTE can close equity gaps, as well as what aspects of CTE should be elevated when conducting outreach to historically marginalized populations. Communications should be specific about the equitable opportunities provided through CTE to prepare for and jumpstart postsecondary education, as well as to gain visibility and networks through connections and hands-on experiences with like-minded educators, peers and employers . 

Historically marginalized families will be empowered to make informed decisions that lead to college and career success when they encounter communications that include specific programmatic offerings, are easily accessible to supplement in-person sources with language, and include visuals that reflect the intended audiences. Additionally, careful consideration should be given to confirming messages shared with families match the quality and outcomes of CTE programs provided in the region or locality. 

Advance CTE provides ready-made resources for local and state CTE leaders to evaluate and refresh their messages and recruitment materials. Visit the Engaging Families and Learners for a variety of resources that break down the research and support implementation, including a Core Messages resource that provides customized message themes with an equity lens and Dos and Donts to put the research into action. 

Back to school month is a great opportunity to utilize fast digital graphics in presentations and on social media with persuasive and impactful statistics on how CTE delivers for families. It is also an ideal checkpoint to utilize Advance CTE’s parent engagement tool to start or maintain engagement strategies with historically marginalized families, including developing processes to receive feedback from learners and parents/guardians on recruitment practices and CTE programs, utilizing CTE alumni in recruitment materials, and equipping trusted sources with tested messages to share in spaces beyond the classroom. 

Visit the Learning that Works Resource Center for additional communications resources, including reports on implementing Advance CTE’s communications research in 11 states since 2017. 

Stacy Whitehouse, Senior Associate Communications and State Engagement 

By Stacy Whitehouse in Communicating CTE
Tags: , , , , ,

Communicating CTE: Recruitment Through Social Media

Tuesday, July 27th, 2021

In April 2021, Advance CTE released Communicating Career Technical Education: Learner-centered Messages for Effective Program Recruitment and updated resources on messages that resonate with families about the value and benefits of Career Technical Education (CTE) and how they should be communicated to each learner to achieve effective and equitable recruitment into secondary CTE programs.

Among the updated resources for states to leverage is Promoting Career Technical Education: Social Media Guide. Social media is an important communications tool that can be used by states and local CTE intermediaries to effectively recruit learners into high-quality CTE programs, build and strengthen relationships with industry, extend advocacy to reach policymakers and build a network with other audiences about the value and promise of CTE. 

Below are some of the key findings from Advance CTE’s recent research, as well as examples of how states used social media in response.

Participation in CTE increases satisfaction for families across all aspects of their education, but equity gaps exist in the levels of satisfaction reached in some aspects of CTE by historically marginalized groups.  

With a focus on recruitment and retention, it is important for learners and families of CTE to see success stories of individuals who look like them and share similar educational, racial, socio-economic, gender and geographic backgrounds.

Make an effort to provide an equitable lens across your content when sharing over social networks. Including learner photos that represent a variety of ethnic backgrounds, learner ages and learner needs is a great place to start. For example, the National Technical Student Association (TSA) used images of historically marginalized communities by race to recruit for the Technology Honor Society. 

The vast majority of parents and learners (78 percent of prospective families and 85 percent of current families) continue to value college as the post-high school aspiration, but are more open to paths other than a four-year degree.

Families and learners both participating in and considering CTE highly value an education experience that allows learners to explore opportunities after high school that lead to college and career success. In this example, Utah used graphics of learners engaging in real-world skills training to promote its Auto Mechanics and Repairs career pathway. This is a way of demonstrating the connection from CTE courses, work-based learning settings and youth apprenticeship programs to career success.

Tag industry and workforce partners in your social media posts. They are more likely to share social content that directly includes them, increasing your post engagement. 

Across the board, CTE programs are most valued and attractive for their ability to provide real-world skills within the education system, offering concrete and tangible benefits that lead to college and career success. 

Using local examples can help explain the nuts and bolts of how CTE delivers success by making the connection between CTE and a specific career or industry, as well as highlighting partnerships with local colleges and employers that are recognizable to parents/guardians and learners.

For example, Jordan CTE localized its tweet by tagging the medical facility where learners were able to receive on-the-job training through their CTE experience and connect their passion to a career right in their community. 

While teachers, school counselors and CTE learners and alumni continue to be the sources most utilized by parents/guardians and learners for information about CTE, online sources also emerged as an important access point.

Wisconsin CTE showcased CTE to parents/guardians and learners by lifting up student success stories. One avenue to find compelling learner examples is to coordinate with statewide or local Career Technical Student Organizations (CTSOs) and gather testimonials, photos and stories to share on social media. This tweet focused on a local learner success story to create human interest in CTE. To help expand the reach of this tweet, Wisconsin CTE used relevant hashtags and tagged the state CTSO and the university the learner was attending. This type of post is a great way to highlight CTE and the many ways CTE benefits learners. 

To understand more about the major social channels, how to create a compelling post, when to engage key audiences and how to build your CTE network, read the full social media guide here.

Brittany Cannady, Senior Associate for Digital Media 

By Brittany Cannady in Advance CTE Resources, Communicating CTE
Tags: , , , , ,

Getting to Know Advance CTE and Early Postsecondary Opportunities

Thursday, June 17th, 2021

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 Christina Koch! Christina serves in the role of Policy Associate for Advance CTE. Christina works on projects related to state policy, including the New Skills ready network, initiatives related to Without Limits: A Shared Vision for the Future of Career Technical Education (CTE Without Limits) and supports Advance CTE’s equity initiatives, which currently includes the CTE Learner Voice Shared Solutions Workgroup.

Q: This month, we are sharing resources and best practices for states engaging in Early Postsecondary Opportunities (EPSOs) for learners. How do you define EPSOs? 

A: EPSOs include dual enrollment, dual credit, concurrent enrollment and other related opportunities. I would define them as opportunities designed to give each learner a head start on college courses while still in high school to make postsecondary credential and degree attainment easier and more affordable.

Q: How does the shared vision for CTE call for states to create opportunities for each learner to have access to equitable EPSOs?

A: Many aspects of CTE Without Limits focus on removing barriers for learners to reach success in the career of their choice. For example, Principle 2: Each learner feels welcome in, is supported by and has the means to succeed in the career preparation ecosystem, calls for all learners to have equitable access to opportunities so that they can be successful in their career pathways. Increasing equitable access to EPSOs could include making postsecondary credit free to learners and removing grade point average requirements. On the local level, it also means doing targeted outreach to learners from special populations to ensure they are made aware of these opportunities and understand the potential benefits of getting a head start on college courses.

Principle 4 of CTE Without Limits: Each learner’s skills are counted, valued and portable also touches on an important part of ideal ESPOs, in that the credit earned by learners is portable and counted toward their chosen career pathway. It is important that states ensure there are EPSOs available for learners within every career pathway and that credit is easily transferable among public postsecondary institutions. 

Q: How are sites that make up the New Skills ready network leading in providing EPSOs? 

A: Ensuring that EPSOs are available within every career pathway is definitely a topic of interest among the New Skills ready network sites and some already have really strong initiatives in their states. For example, Nashville, Tennessee is one of the sites in the New Skills ready network and has been expanding their EPSO program for nearly a decade. The state identified EPSOs as one of the most significant ways in which high schools across the state could help prepare learners for postsecondary success and began developing a portfolio of EPSOs. As part of the portfolio approach, all high schools must offer two or more types of EPSOs to ensure that the opportunities are accessible to all high school learners. 

Q: Are learners interested in EPSOs? How can states communicate the benefits of EPSOs to increase learner interest? 

A: Recent communications research revealed that more than 80 percent of families involved in CTE were satisfied with opportunities to earn college credit and take advanced classes compared to 60 percent or less of families not involved in CTE. 

Learners are interested in EPSOs but the challenge is that many do not know that these opportunities are available to them or how to navigate the process of earning postsecondary credit that would be useful to them in their education and career pathway. 

New tools and messaging resources are available to help states and local CTE leaders communicate the benefits of EPSOs for secondary learners and recruit families.

 

Brittany Cannady, Senior Associate Digital Media 

By Brittany Cannady in Advance CTE Resources, CTE Without Limits, Publications, Research, Resources
Tags: , , , , ,

5 Steps to Refresh Career Technical Education Program Recruitment Plans This Summer 

Thursday, June 10th, 2021

The impending summer season is a great time for state and local Career Technical Education (CTE) leaders to take a step back and evaluate how existing recruitment plans and practices reach each learner and family to achieve an effective and equitable recruitment process.

As conversations continue about potential national investments in the career preparation ecosystem, it is essential that communications about CTE align with what matters most to families in their education, and address in detail the opportunities provided through CTE to meet those needs. Recruitment processes and communications must also address lingering stigmas, lack of knowledge and systemic barriers that have prevented learners of color, learners experiencing low income and other historically marginalized populations from participating in and fully benefiting from the potential of CTE programs. 

Today, Advance CTE released a second round of tools to help state and local CTE leaders implement updated communications research released in April 2021 on tested messages and messengers for CTE that resonate with learners and families. The research also details equity considerations and message tailoring for Black and Latinx families and families experiencing low income so that each learner feels welcomed, supported and has the means to succeed in CTE programs. 

Developing and  executing a recruitment plan can seem like a big undertaking, but Advance CTE is here with simple steps to help you get started. 

Here are five easy ways to put this research into action this summer using messages and tools from Advance CTE: 

  1. Learn the key messages that resonate with families and learners about CTE, and message tailoring considerations to reach Black and Latinx families and families experiencing low income. Our core messages resource provides three top messages for all audiences and additional messages for historically  marginalized populations. 
  2. Evaluate your current communications tools, including newsletters, digital media, website and printed materials. Do the materials include these tested messages? Have steps been taken to remove barriers to each family accessing and fully understanding information about CTE programs? Our messaging card provides a starting point for effective use of messages. 
  3. Inform your colleagues about key messages, and develop a plan of action to share these messages with stakeholders to ensure consistent communication both during and after CTE recruitment season. Our newly updated communications advocacy guide provides five keys to success and a step-by-step process to develop a plan.  Advance CTE has created a ready-made slide deck and talking points that make it easy to share these findings in a 20 minute presentation.
  4. Engage your ambassadors and trusted sources to receive feedback about current recruitment practices and communications materials.  Advance CTE’s newly updated parent engagement tool provides seven steps and assessments to evaluate current practices and fully leverage your team and ambassadors in the recruitment process.
  5. Reintroduce the value and impact of CTE to families through digital media this summer as you make plans to align messaging and equitable outreach across all communication channels. Advance CTE’s social media guide and ready-to-use graphics assist leaders in navigating the differences among digital platforms and keep messages about the impact of CTE front-of-mind for families this summer.

 

Visit our Engaging Families and Learners web page for the full research report and list of communication and implementation resources. Visit Advance CTE’s Learning that Works Resource Center for additional resources on communication, career advisement and access and equity. 

Advance CTE is here to help leaders fully realize and leverage this research and their state and community. Email info@careertech.org with questions or to receive assistance in putting this research into action.

By Stacy Whitehouse in Communicating CTE, Uncategorized
Tags: , , , , ,

Communicating CTE: New Communications Research Highlights Key Equity Considerations in Communicating CTE to Families and Learners

Wednesday, April 28th, 2021

 

Today, Advance CTE released a new report and updated resources on messages that resonate with families about the value and benefits of Career Technical Education (CTE), and how they should be communicated to each learner to achieve effective and equitable recruitment into secondary CTE programs.

Communicating Career Technical Education: Learner-centered Messages for Effective Program Recruitment  is an update to messaging research conducted in 2017 on families both participating in (current) and not participating in CTE (prospective). This new research  includes an intentional focus on revealing differences in education preferences, experiences, and message and messenger impact among Black and Latinx families and families experiencing low income to advance a shared vision of CTE programs where each learner feels welcome in, is supported by, and has the means to succeed.

Encouragingly, the topline findings showed that an overarching message about ‘Preparing for the Real World’ resonated with learners and parents/guardians across participation, race, ethnicity and income: 

Through CTE, learners gain real-world skills that prepare them to succeed in college and a career that they are passionate about. 

However, the research also revealed important equity considerations that states should consider when supporting local systems in evaluating and taking steps to improve equity in program quality in hands-on particularly in regards to program quality, the impact of social capital and messenger trust. 

1. Learners in CTE have more opportunities to prepare for postsecondary education and are more confident about completing a degree. 

The findings indicated that participation in CTE increased the likelihood that learners planned to complete a degree over completing ‘some college,’ particularly among Latinx  families and families with low income.

Additionally, 80 percent of families participating in CTE are satisfied with opportunities to jumpstart their postsecondary education in high school through opportunities to earn college credit and take advanced classes compared to just 60 percent of families not participating in CTE.

State Impact: These findings reinforce the importance of states designing seamless transfers from secondary to postsecondary education across all career pathways, removing barriers to accessing early postsecondary opportunities (EPSOs), and communicating these opportunities in digestible, intentional ways to families. 

2. Informed school-based messengers are key for CTE enrollment, but online sources and messenger trust are key considerations for historically marginalized families. 

While school counselors and teachers were the top two sources for both families in and  outside CTE to receive information about CTE programs, families from historically marginalized populations also consistently included online sources such as Google search and school websites in their top two sources. 

Significantly, historically marginalized learners not participating in CTE were less likely to choose school counselors as a top source than parents/guardians. While 84 percent of prospective Latinx parents/guardians would likely consult a school counselor about CTE, only 37 percent of prospective Latinx learners would. Among Black families, 74 percent of prospective Black parents/guardians would likely consult a school counselor about CTE while only 59 percent of prospective Black learners would. 

State Impact: These findings reinforce the importance of states designing communication campaigns through multiple avenues with reinforced messaging like those found in our updated messaging triangle (LINK), as well as examining systemic barriers and solutions to building more diverse school counselor and instructor talent pipelines. 

3. Families participating in CTE are more satisfied across all aspects of their education, but intentional focus is needed on achieving equitable access to hands-on experiences. 

The great news is across race, ethnicity and income, 88 percent of parents/guardians and learners participating in CTE are satisfied with their education experience compared to 75 percent of those considering CTE. This includes aspects such as quality of classes and teachers, opportunities for career exploration and skillbuilding, and even opportunities for advanced classes. 

However, equitable satisfaction by race and income was not achieved for work-based learning experiences such as opportunities to connect and network with employers and opportunities for internships. For both of the aforementioned categories, satisfaction among current Black learners dropped 1 and 2 percentage points respectively compared to prospective Black leaners.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

State Impact: As states continue to reimagine CTE programs and work-based learning experiences in this learning recovery, this finding reinforces the importance of designing programs on the margins and removing barriers to access to ensure each learner participates in high-quality programs across all career pathways, and to realize the full impact of these effective messages. 

Overall, CTE provides the education experiences and benefits that families are looking for, but program quality is critical to achieve full message impact and effective recruitment. To read the full report and to access resources to put this research into action including a message triangle with tailoring for historically marginalized populations, please visit our Engaging Families and Learners web page. For resources on advancing equity and access in CTE programs, visit the Equity and Access page in Advance CTE’s Resource Center.

Stacy Whitehouse, Senior Associate Communications and State Engagement 

By Stacy Whitehouse in Uncategorized
Tags: , , , , , ,

Staff Reflections from 2021 Spring Meeting Part 2: Expanding CTE’s Potential to meet the needs learners and stakeholders

Monday, April 26th, 2021

This posts offers reflections from Advance CTE staff on key themes from Advance CTE’s 2021 Spring Meeting. Visit Advance CTE’s Resource Center for additional resources on elevating learner voice, strengthening career pathways and communicating with families and stakeholders.

Elevating Learner Voice in Shaping the Future of CTE 

The future of Career Technical Education (CTE) is only a success when learner voices are truly centered as state CTE leaders develop new innovative strategies and equitable policies while implementing their state Perkins V plans under the new vision: Without Limits: A Shared Vision for the Future of Career Technical Education

Advance CTE’s 2021 Spring Meeting provided stakeholders of the CTE community the opportunity to hear directly from learners on their experiences navigating through the career preparation ecosystem and what they hope to see for the future of CTE. 

Learners are engaged in a career preparation ecosystem when, “CTE provides opportunities for networking skills and connections to speak with industry partners and business professionals,”  said Dianna Serrano, SkillsUSA National Region 4 Vice President.

Each learner has the supports and skills to succeed in the career preparation ecosystem when, “Work-based learning opportunities cultivate personal and professional networks,”  said Rafael Bitanga, Director of Bitanga Productions, Member of Family Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA). 

Each learner can access CTE without borders when, “Every school offers CTE pathways where learners are developing skills that continue to prepare them for future careers,” said Dhruv Agarwal, National Technology Student Association (TSA) Reporter.

Looking ahead, the future of CTE is bright, it is bold, it is equitable and it is learner-centered. Wherever learners are in their career journey, they feel welcomed and supported with the necessary tools to succeed.

Brittany Cannady, Senior Associate Digital Media 

Elevating CTE in Federal Economic and Learning Recovery Policy 

Just as the past year was unconventional in nearly every way, it was also an unconventional time for federal policy. For the better part of the year “business as usual” was put on hold and the Congressional and Administration focus was on COVID-19 (coronavirus) response and relief packages. During this year’s Spring Meeting it was evident that state CTE leaders had a greater connection than usual to federal actions because they are in the midst of implementation of pandemic stimulus bills, as well as implementation of the Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act (Perkins V). This means there is a larger space for joint advocacy. 

During the panel on 2021 Congressional Priorities, featuring the Democratic and Republican staff on the House Committee on Education and Labor and the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP), each panelist encouraged meeting participants to contact their representatives in Congress to advocate for the CTE community. It was exciting to hear Congressional staff validate the power of each individual’s voice!

The presidential and Congressional elections in 2020 also provided a new opportunity to elevate CTE at the federal level. Not only was this brought up by the Congressional panelists, but also in the remarks provided by U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona. Secretary Cardona shared that as a proud CTE graduate he understands the value of CTE for each learner, especially during this time of economic recovery.

I am looking forward to continuing to bring state CTE leaders together with federal leaders so that we can advocate for high-quality and equitable CTE! 

Meredith Hills, Senior Policy Associate 

Reimagining CTE Program Design through the National Career Clusters® Framework 

Without question, the 2021 Spring Meeting was very different from the first Advance CTE meeting I attended in the spring of 2008. What was not different was the valuable opportunity for state leaders of CTE to reconnect, reset and reimagine! 

During the breakouts on the second day of the meeting, I was pleased to help host a reimagining conversation with state leaders centered on The National Career Clusters® Framework. State leaders concurred that the world of work continues to change rapidly and it is time to modernize The Framework’s structure and design to ensure its relevance for current and future needs of learners at all levels and of the workplace. One participant noted that students have skills that can cross into multiple industries, and asked, “How do we create fluidity between all of the areas?”

To that end, this effort is not designed to tinker around the edges, adding a new Career Cluster or renaming one of the existing Career Clusters. The work is seeking to completely reimagine the way The Framework is organized to reflect the current and future world of work.  All that we are committed to at this stage is the purpose statement, which has been approved by the Advance CTE Board of Directors, which you can read on the project web page

Advance CTE is seeking bold and innovative ideas to help us construct a new, modern and enduring Framework. To submit your ideas, visit the Advancing the Framework portal. Please also share this link through your networks to assist in our effort to crowdsource ideas that will shape a new framework. 

Thank you for a great 2021 Spring Meeting!

Scott Stump, Senior Advisor 

Reconnecting with Families on the Value of CTE

Achieving a robust national recovery will require a diverse and skilled workforce, not only through upskilling and reskilling displaced workers but also giving learners the tools to explore careers and prepare for lifelong skill building. While CTE has the tools to lead the way to fill this need, recruitment into CTE programs has stagnated for the past decade and significant awareness gaps remain, particularly among populations historically marginalized from participating in CTE. 

Our 2021 Spring Meeting explored how to improve messaging about CTE to families to increase program recruitment and address equity gaps to ensure CTE can meet future workforce needs. Director of Communications and Membership Katie Fitzgerald and myself gave a preview of updated communications research on what parents/guardians and learners say is most important in their education, what messages and messenger resonate with them to consider and stay in CTE, and what message tailoring and program quality considerations should be taken to effectively reach populations historically marginalized from participation in CTE. 

Members were excited to hear that many of the previously tested messages still resonate across racial, ethnic, and income categories, and that what families are looking for in their education closely aligns with what CTE can offer. Attendees were also very engaged in asking questions about equity gaps in satisfaction and messenger trust that were found in the research. We look forward to many more presentations to share this important information with stakeholders and utilizing tools to assist states in refreshing their communication plans to prioritize our key messages and equity considerations. 

Stacy Whitehouse, Senior Associate Communications and State Engagement 

By Stacy Whitehouse in Advance CTE Spring Meeting, Uncategorized
Tags: , , , , ,

Beyond the Numbers: Tools and Strategies for Effective CTE Data Reporting 

Tuesday, November 10th, 2020

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes once famously said “It is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data. Insensibly one begins to twist facts to suit theories, instead of theories to suit facts.” Without access to reliable, high-quality and timely data, it is impossible for learners, families, industry representatives, practitioners and policymakers to make informed decisions about CTE program development, improvement or participation. 

The Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act (Perkins V) pushes states to improve the public accessibility of Career Technical Education (CTE) data. According to the law, state agencies, as well as local recipients, must share data on the performance of all CTE students, and subgroups of learners, and make this information available widely and through a variety of user-friendly formats.

But judging by the current state of CTE reporting, states have a lot of work to do to make CTE data accessible and actionable to a broad audience. Some of the challenges of state CTE reporting include: 

Many of the current CTE reporting challenges result from a lack of time and intentionality, but the good news is that Perkins V gives states an opportunity to hit restart and reimagine their approach to public reporting and communication with a focus on accessibility and understanding. In March, Advance CTE and the Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE) convened a Shared Solutions Workgroup of state and national experts to explore strategies for effective CTE data reporting and communication. Over a series of meetings, the workgroup co-designed a set of tools and resources to help states improve their CTE data reporting. 

CTE Reporting Tools Should Draw From Best Practices for Design and Usability

State leaders can look to best practices in data visualization and accessibility to ensure their CTE reporting tools are widely accessible and equip users to make the most of the data. 

The report Beyond the Numbers: Design Principles for CTE Data Reporting provides nine principles for developing effective and accessible CTE data reporting tools: 

  1. Clarify the purposes for sharing data
  2. Make data easy to find
  3. Make data visually appealing
  4. Clearly and consistently label and describe data
  5. Make data accessible
  6. Disaggregate data to highlight equity
  7. Provide context to add meaning
  8. Enable interactivity and customization for key audiences
  9. Help users interpret data and take action

State and local leaders can use these design principles as a blueprint to inform the early design and development of CTE data reporting tools or as a checklist to ensure their final reports align with best practices for access and usability. 

States Should Develop a Plan to Communicate CTE Data

Effective data reporting, however, requires not just well-designed and accessible reports but also a strategy to build understanding among the general public and key stakeholders. What good is data if it isn’t used? Yet state CTE offices are asked to attend to multiple priorities — from program review to professional development to equity monitoring — and communicating CTE data all too often is moved to the backburner. 

Beyond the Numbers: A Toolkit for Communicating CTE Data is designed to build state capacity for communicating CTE data and integrating compelling CTE statistics into a broader CTE communications plan. The toolkit breaks down six steps for communicating CTE data, from identifying a strategic goal and audience, to creating materials, to building an action plan. The toolkit also includes models and templates states can use to build engaging infographics, presentations and other materials to communicate their data. 

Effective Data Reporting Takes Time — States Should Plan Ahead 

States have a long runway to prepare for Perkins V reporting. They are not required to submit data on CTE performance to the U.S. Department of Education until next year, and many states will not publicly report Perkins V data to stakeholders until after that time. 

Still, it takes time to design, develop and invest in high-quality and effective CTE data reports and tools. State leaders should be thinking about their approach to CTE data reporting now so they have the tools and resources ready to share with key stakeholders when the time comes. Until then, states can refer to the design principles and communications toolkit to draw on best practices for their CTE reporting and communications strategies. 

Advance CTE would like to acknowledge the support of ACTE, Next Chapter Communications and the CTE Data Reporting and Visualization Shared Solutions Workgroup in the development of these materials. These resources were produced with funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. 

Austin Estes, Manager of Data & Research, Advance CTE

By Austin Estes in Advance CTE Resources, Publications, Resources
Tags: , ,

Analysis of Labor Market Information is Incomplete without Effective Dissemination of Results

Thursday, November 9th, 2017

Many states, school districts and postsecondary institutions use labor market information (LMI) to justify the creation of new Career Technical Education (CTE) programs and to inform program design. This information, which includes data on the current and projected number of openings in specific industry sectors, as well as data on salary and any technological or policy advancements that may affect the Career Clusters®, can also be used at the state, regional, local and even student levels for career awareness and exploration in priority sectors.

However, the dissemination of LMI has often been carried out in an ad hoc and not a strategic way, hurting the effectiveness of the data itself. Today, Advance CTE released a guide about the effective dissemination of LMI, which will help states think through this process more strategically. The guide highlights work done in Nevada, Kentucky and Washington and their dissemination of LMI to employers, districts and learners, respectively, and poses guiding questions for states to consider for each of those audiences.

This guide was developed through the New Skills for Youth initiative, a partnership of the Council of Chief State School Officers, Advance CTE and Education Strategy Group, generously funded by JPMorgan Chase & Co.

In Nevada, the state leveraged newly restructured Industry Sector Councils to create the 2017 In-Demand Occupations and Insights Report, which lists industries’ job growth and salary information for identified priority sectors along with a crosswalk for employers and CTE practitioners that identifies which occupation titles fall into which career pathways. This allows industry partners and CTE practitioners to communicate about LMI with a common language.

Kentucky similarly worked with industry partners to create a common language and used various data visualizations to share that information with school districts. When sharing LMI with district superintendents and CTE coordinators, the state was deliberate in how it presented the information so the LMI would have the most impact on policy with the least amount of confusion or varying interpretations.

Washington takes the state’s LMI straight to individual learners with Career Bridge, an online portal that allows students to explore career pathways and how they tie directly with job projections within the state. Additionally, the portal lists educational providers for specific career pathways and details student outcomes and other relevant data so that students have as much information as possible about their desired pathway.

All three of these state approaches disseminate LMI in various ways, but each is deliberate and thoughtful in both audience and messaging so that LMI can have the greatest positive effect for CTE programs. Read more about these strategies and examine your state’s approach by accessing the guide here.

Ashleigh McFadden, State Policy Manager

By Ashleigh McFadden in Advance CTE Resources, Research
Tags: , , , , ,

Effective Stakeholder Engagement Requires More Than a Broad Communications Plan

Thursday, March 30th, 2017

March 30, 2017

Sustainable and successful transformation of state career readiness systems, including but not limited to Career Technical Education (CTE), requires engagement with a variety of stakeholders who are deliberately working to share ownership. Lead agencies must engage those from industry, who may be new to policy-making, not only to generate buy-in but also to reach state goals for transformation.

To help with this work, Advance CTE created a tool based off of two tools created by CCSSO in June and November 2016. This tool, developed through the New Skills for Youth initiative and generously funded by JPMorgan Chase & Co., guides users through nine steps in planning effective interactions with specific stakeholders:

Each of these steps is designed to guide users through the entire process of building interactions with stakeholders that will explain their efforts thoroughly and present requests for stakeholder assistance clearly and convincingly.

While this tool should not replace broader communications and stakeholder engagement plans, it enhances their effectiveness by allowing for coordination in focusing and formalizing messages and interactions. The tool also helps with prioritization of stakeholder engagement efforts through the use of a stakeholder map that measures the level of support and the level of influence of each stakeholder. By completing this worksheet and keeping all information on stakeholder engagement in this one place, users will be better prepared to implement communications related to CTE and career readiness reforms.

Ashleigh McFadden, State Policy Manager

By Ashleigh McFadden in Publications, Resources
Tags: , , , ,

 

Series

Archives

1