Posts Tagged ‘Credit for Prior Learning’

State CTE Policy Update: Examining CTE Instructor Compensation Strategies

Thursday, 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::

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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 

By Stacy Whitehouse in Public Policy
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Welcome Jon Wickert as the New State CTE Director in Delaware! 

Monday, September 19th, 2022

The Delaware Department of Education recently named Jon Wickert as its new Director, Career and Technical Education (CTE) and Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics  (STEM) Initiatives. His path to state CTE leadership reflects the power of career exploration and social capital that will sustain ‘The First State’s’ strong record of innovation and transformation of CTE systems. 

Jon’s wide-ranging career began working with justice-connected youth in outdoor programs for the Maryland Forest Service. After a year in procurement in the nuclear power industry, he pursued his passion for ecotourism and water-based recreation by launching and operating a kayaking  business. However, Jon missed working with learners and returned to the classroom as a high school social studies teacher. This led to his introduction to CTE through his support of Career Technical Student Organization (CTSO) competitions, volunteerism with Junior Achievement of Delaware, and supporting professional learning communities that allowed him to reconnect with his knowledge of natural systems and entrepreneurship. 

Jon’s desire to expand his impact led him to the Delaware State Park System, where he led public and private programs, nature centers and exhibits, the visitor and customer experiences. strategy. During this time, he remained connected to CTE through curriculum review and STEM program development. He joined the Delaware CTE team three years ago where he led postsecondary system development, work-based learning, and registered apprenticeship initiatives. 

Jon has been a very active member of Advance CTE prior to his promotion to State Director, participating in the Postsecondary Data Initiative, contributing to Advance CTE’s research on area technical centers and developing an environmental literacy framework through the Bay Watershed Education Training (BWET) initiative. He emphasized the immense value of Advance CTE’s support in helping him to “connect the dots” in his work and connect to leaders in other states. 

Jon is most enthusiastic about continuing current work to equitably update the statewide programs of study, which will focus on centering program requirements with labor market information and wage data, identifying metrics for credential recognition and alignment course mapping with Advanced Placement, dual enrollment courses, and other early postsecondary opportunities. Not surprisingly, Jon’s list of other priorities was quite extensive – internal role realignment, middle grade CTE standard development and a statewide framework for Credit for Prior Learning, among others- , and his enthusiasm for all of them is apparent. Jon is committed to ensuring each Delawean has access to high quality education that centers individual identity within a recession-resistant career, is efficient and affordable, and results in a wealth-generating wage.

Jon encourages fellow new State Directors to be patient with themselves, especially with new work, and use it as an opportunity to facilitate collaboration: “You don’t need to have the answer right now. Start slowly so you can go faster later — this is an opportunity for more voices to be heard.” 

Jon earned a Doctorate of Education in curriculum, instruction and assessment from Walden University. He earned both a master’s degree in education and a bachelor’s degree in social science and secondary education from Frostburg University. Jon and his wife, Sinead, have a 10 year old son named Sean.  They love hiking, camping, kayaking, and enjoying the outdoors as much as possible.  Please join us in welcoming Jon to Advance CTE!

Stacy Whitehouse, Senior Associate Communications and State Engagement 

By Stacy Whitehouse in Advance CTE State Director
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Four Steps to Use Advance CTE’s Credit for Prior Learning Policy Benchmark Tool

Wednesday, August 10th, 2022

In December 2021, Advance CTE and Education Strategy Group (ESG) convened the Credit for Prior Learning Shared Solutions Workgroup in service to the New Skills ready network sites. The work group was tasked with evaluating the policies and practices that enable credit for prior learning (CPL) to be implemented effectively within career pathways. 

This workgroup convened in service to the New Skills ready network sites, which are working to improve career pathways, expand real-world work experiences, improve transitions and close equity gaps. Evidence increasingly shows that CPL can boost learners’ completion rates in a way that saves them time and money. 

A survey fielded by the Council for Adult and Experiential Learning (CAEL) and Western Interstate Commission on Higher Education (WICHE) found that adults who earned credit for prior learning were 17 percent more likely to complete a credential. Notably the impact was even greater for Hispanic learners, who experienced a 29 percent increase in credential completion, and Pell recipients, who are 19 percent more likely to complete a credential if they have earned CPL.

“Credit for Prior Learning is a crucial way for students to save time and money in pursuing a credential or degree,” says Georgia Reagan, strategy officer with Lumina Foundation. “However, students aren’t always aware of the opportunities available at their institutions. The Credit for Prior Learning in Career Pathways tool will be a valuable guide for higher education and policy leaders who want to create clear, accessible, and equitable processes that will help students in turning their prior learning experiences into invaluable college credits.”

To build more inclusive on-ramps to high quality postsecondary education, CPL processes should be expanded to reflect learners’ postsecondary-level learning gained through their life, educational and occupational experiences. This includes the common methods of assessing and awarding CPL, such as standardized examples, as well as work-based learning and industry-recognized credentials earned in high school, validated on-the-job training and non-credit, and non-degree coursework. 

The workgroup designed a comprehensive Policy Benchmark Tool (PBT) to better support states, systems and institutions in embedding CPL in career pathways. 

Getting Started

Effective use of the PBT requires intentional collaboration and planning. It is composed of three sections to enable users to: understand the core elements of strong CPL policy and practice, assess where their own policy and practice is strong and where opportunities remain, and create an action plan to improve the effective use of CPL in learners’ career pathways.

“With the recent decline in Indiana’s college-going rate, CPL opportunities will be critical to increasing the state’s postsecondary access, equity, and completion rates,” says Dawn Clark, Director of Academic Affairs and Transfer at the Indiana Commission for Higher Education. “As CPL awareness and opportunities continue to grow, consistent institutional policies and practices will help students earn credentials more quickly and affordably. The Credit for Prior Learning Policy Benchmark Tool could not have come at a better time!”

For optimal results, Advance CTE recommends that users:

Advance CTE staff are available to support CTE leaders in this important work. Please contact Candace Williams, Data & Research Manager, at cwilliams@careertech.org for more information about this initiative. 

Candace Williams, Data and Research Manager

By Stacy Whitehouse in Advance CTE Resources, Publications
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CTE Without Limits Summer Lunch and Learn #4 Recap: Knowledge Building and Transparency Key Themes for Implementing Fourth Vision Principle

Thursday, September 2nd, 2021

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

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

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

Key Themes 

Recommendations for Implementation

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

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

Stacy Whitehouse, Senior Associate Communications and State Engagement 

By Stacy Whitehouse in CTE Without Limits
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The Importance of Credit for Prior Learning to the Louisiana Community and Technical College System and its Students

Monday, October 7th, 2019

Guest blog from Dr. René Cintrón, Chief Academic Affairs Officer, LCTCS

Why Credit for Prior Learning?

Credit for prior learning (CPL) – often described by the American Council on Education as academic credit granted for knowledge and skills gained outside the classroom – supports the unique mission of community and technical colleges. These colleges provide students with the opportunity to earn affordable credentials in a timely fashion that lead to valuable employment and/or transfer, whether the credential is an industry-based certification or a career-technical or transfer degree.

Unfortunately, not every student completes their program. We surveyed Louisiana community and technical college students who withdrew from courses, and found that only 18 percent gave an academic reason for doing so. By far, more students were leaving college without completing a credential because of personal (53 percent) and/or financial (31 percent) reasons. Thus, the majority of students are not withdrawing because of challenges with course content but rather – simply put – because of time and money. CPL has the ability to tackle both of these challenges for students.

Our students come to our colleges with a wealth of knowledge they obtained through their careers, past learning, military service and life experiences.  When relevant, this knowledge can and should be applied to progress towards an academic credential. A few years ago, we started working with military partners in the state to increase the number of military students who enroll and graduate. Our approach was to treat the military transcript as an academic transcript. We don’t charge fees to transfer courses from other postsecondary institutions to ours, so why would we do that for students coming from the military? We took the same approach to students arriving with industry-based credentials (IBCs), transcribing and articulating these credentials as we do with courses on other transcripts. Thus, we consider these students to be “transferring in” just as students do from other institutions.

How Do We Do It?

Credit for prior learning evaluation is the process of determining how to award credit for college-level learning acquired through a variety of means. At the Louisiana Community and Technical College System (LCTCS), expert faculty groups, along with the chief academic officers’ group, met and did the work of compiling existing articulations and mapping future ones. The System reached out to entities such as the Department of Veterans Affairs, the Louisiana National Guard, the state’s Department of Education, the Louisiana Workforce Commission and the Workforce Investment Council, among others, to collect information on the various military courses and IBCs, to review them and determine which could be converted into Career Technical Education (CTE) courses.

The initial review involved each college determining its equivalent course and adding it to a matrix. The next step was to compile all of the colleges’ determinations into the system-wide articulation tables. These tables are updated and maintained on an annual basis, similar to academic catalogs. Then, importantly, the faculty and chief academic officers recognized that to ensure the staying power of their work, the process should be enacted into policy. In March 2018, the LCTCS Board of Supervisors approved revisions to Policy 1.023, which, in addition to supporting credit for prior learning, established guidelines for processing it, formalized the systemwide articulation matrix, and declared no cost to students for CPL course transcription for those in the matrix. The result: the 2018-2019 academic year, 2,073 students enrolled with credit for prior learning – a 50 percent increase from the prior year.

This kind of collaboration and commitment across a broad scope of professionals to reward students for their prior learning efforts exemplifies how Louisiana’s community and technical colleges are supporting students in reaching their college and career goals in a timely manner.

For more, see Advance CTE’s report Developing Credit for Prior Learning Policies to Support Postsecondary Attainment for Every Learner

By Kate Blosveren Kreamer in Advance CTE Resources
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States Support Alternative Methods to Earn College Credit and Degrees

Thursday, August 8th, 2019

The majority of 2019 legislative sessions have come to a close. During these legislative sessions, states enacted legislation to support alternative methods to obtain college credit and degrees.

Awarding College Credit Through Apprenticeships

Some states are exploring how to leverage apprenticeships to award college credit to learners. For instance, the Colorado legislature passed HB19-1294 in May to require the chief administrative officer of the Colorado Community College System to convene a working group to determine the best way to transfer construction industry registered apprenticeship program credit to college credit. If possible, the working group must have representatives from community colleges, area technical schools, local district colleges, relevant four-year institutions and applicable labor organizations. The working group must consider the possibility of apprenticeship program coursework culminating in significant progress towards a degree, among other considerations.

In June, the Connecticut legislature passed SB607, which requires the Labor Department and the Board of Regents for Higher Education to jointly establish nontraditional pathways to earning a bachelor’s degree through the inclusion of credits earned through apprenticeships.

Expanding Access to Credit for Prior Learning Opportunities

The Utah legislature passed HB45 in April. HB45 directs the State Board of Regents to establish policies that award learners credit for prior learning. The established policies must provide standards for accepted forms of prior learning assessments and the transferability of prior learning assessment credits between institutions, among other standards. To learn more about promising practices to advance credit for prior learning opportunities for each learner, read Advance CTE’s Developing Credit for Prior Learning Policies to Support Postsecondary Attainment for Every Learner report.

Brianna McCain, Policy Associate

By admin in Uncategorized
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