Posts Tagged ‘CTE Without Limits’

State CTE Policy Spotlight: 2023 Policies Expanding Accessible CTE for Special Populations

Tuesday, January 30th, 2024

While policies grouped under “Funding” and “Industry Partnerships/Work-based Learning” categories have consistently remained in the top five key policy trends for the past ten years, the “Access and Equity” grouping has steadily moved up the ladder, ranking from 10th place in 2017 to 3rd place in 2022. In this blog, we will review four policies enacted in 2023 that are founded in improving access to high-quality Career Technical Education (CTE) programs.

As explained in Without Limits: A Shared Vision for the Future of Career and Technical Education (CTE Without Limits), CTE plays a vital role in creating an inclusive and equitable future, providing learners with the education and training necessary for success in financially secure and self-sufficient careers while meeting industry talent demands. Advance CTE is committed to supporting states as they tackle the various barriers–program costs, transportation, and eligibility among others–that continue to exacerbate the access and equity challenges special populations face when accessing CTE programs.

In 2023, CTE leaders adopted innovative strategies to expand access to CTE in their state. Examples of such strategies can be found in the following policies enacted by California, New Hampshire, and Virginia

California

In October 2023, California enacted A.B. 368 which expands eligibility for learners who are “underrepresented in higher education” in the state’s College and Career Access Pathways (CCAP) dual enrollment partnership grant opportunity. The CCAP Grant awards $100,000 to local education agencies who are interested in establishing or expanding a partnership with a community college to enable learners at participating high schools to access dual enrollment opportunities. A.B 368 expands access to now include first-time college learners, learners experiencing low-income, learners who are current or former foster youth, learners experiencing homelessness or learners at risk of being homeless, learners with disabilities, learners with dependent children, and undocumented learners. By expanding which populations are considered underrepresented, this policy better aligns with learners identified as special populations in the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act (Perkins V).

In the same month, California also enacted A.B. 91 which exempts qualifying learners from paying the nonresident tuition rate. Learners who qualify for this exemption are nonresident learners who: experience low income, reside in Mexico, are registered in lower division courses at a qualifying California college, and reside within 45 miles of the California-Mexico border. This policy aims to decrease the financial burden that may hinder nonresident learners from participating in California’s CTE programs by reducing the cost of participation in CTE.

New Hampshire

In October 2023, New Hampshire passed H.B. 364 which authorized the Department of Education to reimburse the full cost of transportation to learners classified as “at-risk learners” who attend alternative education programs at a regional career and technical education center. This policy aims to mitigate the transportation barrier that may prevent learners from participating in New Hampshire’s CTE programs by covering the cost of transportation to CTE centers.

Virginia

In March 2023, Virginia enacted S.B. 1430 which required the Department of Education to convene a “stakeholder workgroup” to offer recommendations on improving access to paid work-based learning experiences for English Learners. The workgroup was directed to submit their recommendations to the Governor and the Chairman of the House Committee on Education and the Senate Committee on Education and Health by November 1, 2023. No information is available yet on the outcome of the working group, but their recommendations are expected to be published in early 2024. This policy aims to analyze barriers that hinder English Learners from participating in CTE by creating a workgroup tasked with providing strategies to mitigate these barriers.

For more strategies to expand access to CTE for special populations, check out the “Maximizing Access & Success for Special Population” briefs prepared by Advance CTE and ACTE for:

Coming in February 2024: Advance CTE and ACTE’s eleventh annual State Policies Impacting CTE: 2023 Year in Review and Advance CTE’s 2023 State Policy Tracker, which will examine CTE and career readiness policies across the nation. While the report focuses on policy trends, the tracker comprises every CTE-related policy enacted within each state.

View the 2022 state policy tracker here.

Velie Sando, Policy Associate

By Layla Alagic in Achieving Equitable and Inclusive CTE, Public Policy
Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

The Future of Dual Enrollment Policy and Programs

Monday, January 29th, 2024

Late last year, the College in High School Alliance (CHSA) released “The Next Phase of Dual Enrollment Policy: A Vision for the Field,” laying out a set of critical priorities to ensure all learners get the full benefit of early postsecondary opportunities. As a member of CHSA’s Steering Committee, Advance CTE is excited about the potential—and ambition—of this new vision and what it can mean for learners, in Career Technical Education (CTE) and beyond, across the country.

The vision starts with a goal: states eliminating access gaps for participation and success for historically marginalized students in college in high school programs by 2030. To achieve this goal, it will take a mix of critical state- and national-level imperatives and commitments, including:

Importantly, this vision was not developed in a vacuum. Rather, it is the result of a year-long strategic planning process that engaged CHSA’s steering committee members (Achieving the Dream, Advance CTE, Bard Early College, JFF, KnowledgeWorks, The Middle College National Consortium and The National Alliance of Concurrent Enrollment Partnerships) as well as policymakers and practitioners from across the nation. It builds on years of policy adoption and implementation—elevating what has worked and where more attention is critically needed. That is key as it will take individuals at all levels working in concert to advance and achieve this new vision for dual enrollment. 

Going forward, CHSA is committed to making this vision a reality at the state and national levels by publishing new resources that elaborate upon the various components of this vision; providing direct technical assistance to states to help them develop visions that promote equity, set inclusive goals and expand intentional dual enrollment; and convening policymakers to support ongoing collaboration in this space.

As noted in Without Limits: A Shared Vision for Career Technical Education, “the current landscape of college in high school and postsecondary transfer policies and programs is overly complicated, often results in loss of credit and does not consistently support equitable access and success.” As dual enrollment rates continue to rise and more learners, including CTE learners, participate in college in high school opportunities, it is more important than ever that we ensure our systems are designed to be equitable, meaningful and intentional. Advance CTE is excited and proud to be part of this work.

Relevant Resources

Kate Kreamer, Executive Director

By Layla Alagic in Achieving Equitable and Inclusive CTE, Public Policy
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Setting Sights on the Future: Opportunities and Supports for Perkins Plan Revisions

Tuesday, December 19th, 2023

As we approach the end of 2023, many of us are thinking about the road ahead for 2024, celebrating with our families and creating resolutions for the new year. While December and January are often an opportunity for personal reflection, 2024 offers an additional opportunity to reflect on the intentions for Career Technical Education (CTE) set out in the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act (Perkins V) via the state plan process, and the impact those plans have had on our systems and learners. 

While most states are primarily updating state-determined performance levels (SDLPs) as required every four years by law, others are using this opportunity to make larger, substantive changes or write a new state plan. This post offers some insights on what we are hearing from state CTE leaders so far about their goals for state plan updates, and the spaces and resources Advance CTE is providing to support this process. 

As the Office of Career Technical and Adult Education of the U.S. Department of Education reminded us with their program memo earlier this fall, Perkins state plans are a powerful strategic lever to align CTE policy and implementation with a state’s broader vision for education and workforce. A strength of Perkins V is the periodic, coordinated opportunity for states to evaluate and refine their targets and strategies in concert with one another. This coordinated cycle allows state leaders to learn from and alongside one another while also designing Perkins state plans that meet the specific needs of their state and learners. 

As a former State CTE Director myself, I regularly considered how well our state plan aligned with and reinforced our strategic priorities of expanding access to CTE, improving the quality of CTE programs of study and continuing to intentionally align the secondary and postsecondary CTE system with the needs of employers. Reviewing the state plan against our progress and goals helped us ensure that the plan served as a progress-centered north star, rather than a reflection of the status quo. We leveraged everything from the performance indicators we chose, to the way we defined those metrics, to our size, scope and quality definitions as levers to continually drive towards serving more learners in high-quality programs that served as launchpads for future success. While the process of reviewing and updating state Perkins plans can be time-consuming, it is time well spent, and framing the opportunity as something state leaders get to do rather than something they have to do helps keep the focus on what matters most – continually improving the CTE experience for learners. 

As state leaders work through this process in 2024, Advance CTE is here to be a partner not only through spaces for states to learn from each other, but through resources that recenter and challenge state leaders to consider and address challenges facing our systems and learners.  The conversations began at Advance CTE’s 2023 Fall Meeting in October with sessions on translating Perkins plan to system-wide culture change and lasting impact, ranging from, accountability to reserve fund usage seeded great cross-state learning opportunities. 

To keep these conversations going, this month Advance CTE launched a suite of supports designed to ensure your Perkins state plan serves as a powerful lever to achieve your state vision for career technical education, and more broadly CTE Without Limits. These supports include: 

In our first Perkins Planning Office Hours, we heard great discussions on setting meaningful and achievable SDPLs and the impact of setting all local recipient targets at the state target versus engaging in a process to negotiate targets locally. State leaders also discussed stakeholder engagement and messaging substantive plan changes to impacted audiences to maximize relevant feedback. Visit Advance CTE’s event page to register for future office hours.

Just like many of us set intentions and resolutions at the start of the new year, the Perkins state plan allows us to do just that for our CTE systems, educators and learners. It’s a great opportunity to reflect on where we’ve been and where we’re going and we look forward to continuing these conversations with you in the new year!

Emily Passias, Deputy Executive Director

By Layla Alagic in Advance CTE Resources, Public Policy
Tags: , , ,

Delaware CTE Youth Leaders Take the Mic

Thursday, December 7th, 2023

Last month, I had the privilege of attending a briefing at the U.S. Department of Education, led by a group of Career Technical Education (CTE) learners from the state of Delaware. Their expertise and passion demonstrated the true power, inspiration and innovation that can come from centering learners in matters of policy and practice within CTE.

Over the last year, Delaware participated in Advance CTE’s Leveraging Learner Voice to Strength CTE’s technical assistance cohort and this visit to Washington DC was a culmination of this effort. Over the year, Delaware recruited CTE youth leaders to participate in two cohorts:

To prepare these learners to serve as leaders at both the state and local levels, Delaware worked with the National Opinion Research Center (NORC) at the University of Chicago to provide training around culturally responsive instruction and practices. 

Presenting to senior leadership within the Office of Career, Technical and Adult Education (OCTAE), including Assistant Secretary, Dr. Amy Loyd, learners explained the construct of culturally responsive teaching practices that they collectively developed and refined as the CTE Youth Leadership Team and how they are individually committing themselves to the implementation of culturally responsive teaching in their roles as CTSO leaders and CTE peers. Jennae Overton, state president of Business Professionals of America (BPA), led the presentation and Ahmad Edwards, who participates in Future Health Professionals (HOSA), offered thoughts on what culturally responsive teaching means to him as a CTE youth leader, noting “I will implement culturally responsive practice [by] honoring each student’s voice. I want every student to be able to open up and express how they feel about a certain topic.” 

Armed with a greater understanding of culturally responsive practices and the ins and outs of CTE in Delaware, the learners are now engaging their school-level leaders and teachers on how they can improve access and equity at the district, school and classroom levels. Dr. Wickert reflected that “As a result of this work, we have become more thoughtful on local engagement,” adding that even though the state has invested dollars to encourage a greater focus on equity at the local level, it wasn’t moving the bar as quickly or as far as they had hoped. “With the learners driving this mission and work, I believe it will have a greater impact at the classroom level,” said Dr. Wickert.

As Dr. Michael Hill-Shaner, the Education Associate/Culturally Competent Workforce Lead at the Delaware Department of Education regularly says, “It’s our job to build the stage, turn on the lights and pass the mic.” This briefing and the arc of the last year demonstrate the true power of passing the mic. I personally cannot wait to see what these learners do next and how Delaware and other states continue to live up to the promise of the second principle of CTE Without Limits so that each learner can truly feel welcome in, be supported by and have the means to succeed in the career preparation ecosystem.  

Additional Resources:

Kate Kreamer, Executive Director

By Layla Alagic in Achieving Equitable and Inclusive CTE
Tags: , , , , ,

2023 Advance CTE Fall Meeting Vision-Focused Workshops: Staff Reflections

Thursday, November 2nd, 2023

Advance CTE’s 2023 Fall Meeting featured two rounds of interactive workshops based on the five foundation commitments of our vision, CTE Without Limits – equity, quality programs and instructors, public-private partnerships, and data and collaboration. These sessions allowed attendees to collaborate together to incubate innovative ideas in these specific topic areas and elevate Career Technical Education (CTE)’s impact in each state. Read our staff’s recaps and reflections on each workshop:

Foundational Commitment 1: Removing Geographic Barriers for Learners Through CTE Without Borders

Haley Wing, Senior Policy Associate

The Foundational Commitment 1 Workshop: Removing Geographic Barriers for Learners Through CTE Without Borders led participants through small and large group discussions and analysis to expand access within and across state borders.

Jennell Ives, Director of the Secondary-Postsecondary Transitions Team at the Oregon Department of Education, offered a strategy for state teams working to expand access that includes an intensive two-day workshop. In this two-day workshop, she recommended states bring together cross-sector teams and champions across agencies to flesh through an action-planning process that addresses expanding statewide access to high-quality CTE and work-based learning opportunities across secondary and postsecondary institutions. Narrowing the time and space to solely focus on expanding access within and across state borders is a strategy to jump-start the work of expanding access and ensuring all partners, actions and responsibilities are aligned and actionable.

Foundational Commitment 2: Creating Opportunities with Stakeholders to Ensure Quality and Impact

Tunisha Hobson, Director, State Policy Implementation

Marcette Kilgore, Texas’ State CTE Director, introduced the process of engaging stakeholders in a program of study refresh which served as a catalyst for an implementation tour to ensure regions in the state were aware of changes to the state’s approved list of programs. The development process included the completion of a skills gap analysis, conducting listening tours, establishing statewide CTE advisory committees and offering and processing public comments through digital submissions. Participants learned about the use of a piloted software, Calibrate, a Skills Engine product created by the Center for Employability Outcomes within the Texas State Technical College System. The Calibrate system allowed employers to enter preferred skills by individual job profiles developed in alignment to the Department of Labor’s Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) codes.

The Texas Education Agency uploaded the course standards for every program of study which were created by grouping occupations by SOC code. An analysis of the alignment between course standards and industry-identified valuable skills was conducted to determine the gaps the agency needed to address as a priority and to schedule course reviews and rewrites/updates. The remainder of State Director Kilgore’s presentation focused on how this input was not limited to the pilot software but also included steps taken to engage the state’s CTE advisory committee, visit regions in the state and offer public comment opportunities which provided a more structured approach to supporting the redesign.

Yolanda Flores, a member of the Postsecondary State CTE Leaders Fellowship at Advance CTE – Sponsored by ECMC Foundation,  presented her real-world project focused on increasing adult learner awareness of opportunities available in manufacturing programs and subsequent in-demand high-wage jobs in Florida. She included an analysis of English Language Learners (ELL) and their access and supports while participating in the program. Her project includes an intervention through hosting a one-day exploration event for adult learners inclusive of ELL. The event not only increased awareness for the learner population, but it also identified for educators and industry partners other necessary interventions for addressing the needs of many more industries and learner groups. Flores was awarded a $170,000 grant to continue the work highlighted in her project to continue expanding access for learners.

Foundational Commitment 3: Advancing the National Career Clusters Framework

Paul Mattingly, Senior Policy Associate

Sheri Smith of Indigo Education Company and Alexandria Wright of WestEd’s Center for Economic Mobility provided an update on the National Career Clusters Framework Revision Project. The National Career Clusters® Framework is undergoing a modernization effort to ensure it remains responsive and relevant to both the world of work and learner needs for decades to come.

Participants in the workshop learned about the mixed method approach utilizing quantitative and qualitative methods for a data-informed process in updating the Framework. Additionally, participants learned of the progress that has been made recently with the Industry Advisory Groups and about the National Implementation Survey to gain knowledge about current and desired future use of the Framework and further support the engagement with those that use the Framework. During the group activities, attendees identified the most important uses and biggest challenges of utilizing the Framework for a variety of stakeholders.

Foundational Commitment 4: Data Dashboard Confessional – Ensuring Data are Actionable, Transparent and Trustworthy

Dan Adams, Associate Director, Data & Research

Dr. Jeffrey Fletcher, Lead Education Consultant at Iowa Department of Education, Bureau of Community Colleges and Postsecondary Readiness framed Iowa’s success with building and using Data Dashboards as involving three specific benchmarks: collaboration with grant recipients; collecting complete/correct data; and limitations such as data matching. The resulting data dashboards are allowing Iowa to monitor student outcomes from enrollment, through different levels of education, successful completion of education, and gainful employment.

Donna Lewelling, Director at the Office of Community Colleges and Workforce Development at Oregon’s Higher Education Coordinating Commission described Oregon’s work standing up a postsecondary data dashboard. Critical to Oregon’s success has been building data literacy among those collecting and those using postsecondary CTE data. Oregon’s work is relational, and resources have been devoted to building and sustaining the relationships necessary to create useable data dashboards, as well as providing technical assistance to the field in using data to identify opportunities and obstacles to student success.

Foundational Commitment 5: Seamless Transitions: Continuously Improving Alignment Across Sectors 

Eliza Fabillar, Senior Advisor

Alex Perry, Policy Advisor, Foresight Law and Policy, introduced the College in High School Alliance, a national partnership to advance dual enrollment and early college policy. Dual enrollment is growing nationwide, but more work is needed to develop consistent policies to achieve access to dual enrollment for all learners. States need to develop a common vision across sectors, expand the equity mission tied to dual enrollment by focusing on special populations, and be intentional about implementing policies that will advance dual enrollment. At the national level, policymakers and practitioners need to establish common definitions and examine policies and practices that support or hinder progress. 

Nancy Ligus, Advance CTE-ECMCF Fellow and Director of Workforce, Continuing Education and Economic Development at Pierpont Community College shared her work on a local workforce system. She differentiated systems versus ecosystems and provided a successful example from West Virginia. She also defined team characteristics that can ensure scalability and elaborated on strategies to form an ecosystem approach as a viable solution toward workforce and economic development goals.

Read our other blogs in the 2023 Fall Meeting recap series: 

By Layla Alagic in Advance CTE Fall Meeting
Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Three Actions to Expand Access to High-Quality CTE and Work-Based Learning: Exploring CTE Without Borders Webinar Recap

Monday, October 30th, 2023

Without Limits: A Shared Vision for the Future of Career Technical Education (CTE Without Limits) puts forth a bold vision for a cohesive, flexible, and responsive career preparation ecosystem that will close equity gaps in educational outcomes and workforce readiness, and leverage Career Technical Education (CTE) as a catalyst for ensuring each learner can reach success in the career of their choice. Principle 5 of CTE Without Limits calls for each learner to be able to access CTE without borders, and calls specific attention to meeting the needs of learners without access to high-quality CTE and work-based learning opportunities due to their geographic location. Advance CTE is helping states to actualize this vision principle by offering resources, examples and supports to expand access within and across state lines.

In September 2023, Advance CTE hosted a webinar to share more information about the CTE Without Borders initiative. The event also provided a deep dive into the CTE Without Borders Policy Playbook and how it provides strategies, actions and resources to support expanded access to high-quality CTE and work-based learning and elevated promising practices that have actualized expanded access to meet learner and industry needs in Rhode Island and Texas

The Exploring CTE Without Borders webinar featured the following speakers: 

All speakers in the webinar supported the development of the CTE Without Borders Policy Playbook and engaged the audience with the following key themes they gleaned from supporting expanded access to high-quality CTE and work-based learning:

Implement a stakeholder-led approach to expanding access

Sherman and Gonzalez shared various promising perspectives and challenges experienced when actualizing expanded access. One recurring advice includes implementing a backward approach to strategizing and actualizing expanded access to high-quality CTE and work-based learning opportunities. Sherman noted that implementing a bottoms-up approach calls on leaders to begin this work by speaking with learners, industry and CTE educators to fully define the issue of CTE access. Leveraging the expertise of stakeholders to define the problem accurately supports leaders with the action planning stage to understand the infrastructure, policy, resources and capacity needed to actualize both in-state and cross-state access that meets learners’ and industry’s needs. Gonzalez reinforced this strategy and identified the need to understand the nuance across geographies to ensure that the labor and resource-intensive actions leaders design and implement effectively serve the regions.

Leverage strong systems, structures and partnerships to sustain expanded access

During the facilitated question and answer portion, Gonzalez and Sherman identified the value of leveraging strong systems, structures and partnerships to begin or enhance expanded access and ensure that the work is sustainable. They both emphasized the importance of strong executive leadership and distinguishing local champions to support the work. Strong executive leadership, like then-Governor Gina Raimondo who championed the Prepare Rhode Island initiative, signals importance and facilitates bringing together multiple agencies and partners to understand how all agencies can work together to expand access. Identification of local champions, like adults or leaders learners interact with day-to-day, allows leaders at the state level to capture a strong understanding of the issues learners experience in CTE programs. With strong executive and local leadership, leaders can then begin to implement systems, structures and processes that work across all partners contributing to expanded access. Establishing strong systems ensures that in the event of personnel or leadership transitions, expanded access sustains and continues to evolve to meet the needs of learners and industry. 

Codify state policies to expand access within and across states

Sherman and Gonzalez raised the importance of leveraging state policy to codify expanded access to high-quality CTE and work-based learning. Gonzalez shared examples of policies in Texas that incentivize expanded access within the state through increased funding like the Texas Partnerships Senate Bill 1882 that allowed the Rural Schools Innovation Zone to come to fruition. The legislation, which incentivizes school districts to partner with non-profit organizations like the RSIZ, provides districts engaging in the partnership to receive funding and accountability incentives. Implementing and codifying state policies is another opportunity to ensure the work of expanded access to high-quality CTE remains sustainable to meet labor needs and support learners in achieving their career goals. 

Advance CTE staff are available to support CTE leaders in this important work. Please contact Haley Wing, Senior Policy Associate, at hwing@careertech.org for more information about this initiative.

To learn more about creating access to high-quality CTE for all learners regardless of geographic location, please visit the Learning that Works Resource Center to access the CTE Without Borders Policy Playbook.

Haley Wing, Senior Policy Associate

By Layla Alagic in CTE Without Limits
Tags: , , , , ,

Maine’s Early College Programs: Empowering Local CTE Choices for Early College Options

Wednesday, October 25th, 2023

Providing equitable access to programs and opportunities by removing barriers to access based on location, socioeconomic situation or other factors is a key component of ensuring each learner can access Career Technical Education (CTE) without borders. This blog shares two programs as promising practices in Maine that allow all learners, regardless of location or socioeconomic situation to access dual-enrollment and early postsecondary learning opportunities. 

Maine offers two primary programs within their early college program offerings: the Dual Enrollment Career Technical Education Program and the Aspirations Program. A promising practice and important aspect of these programs is empowering local districts and CTE centers to choose the program and partner institution that best fits the needs of their learners.

The Dual Enrollment Career Technical Education Program (Title 20-A, Chapter 229) focuses on fostering a cohort-based approach to provide students in their junior and senior years with access to college credit-earning CTE courses. This program is only open to the state’s CTE centers and to be eligible for the program a CTE center must meet the following requirements:

Additionally, CTE centers must include individual learning plans, academic and career assessment, college and career advising, career exploration, and job-shadowing opportunities matched to achieve the learner’s individual academic and career goals. 

The Dual Enrollment CTE Program is optional, allowing schools to choose to participate if the program meets their needs and the needs of their learners. Maine’s 27 CTE centers and regions can partner with the University of Maine system, Maine Community College System, Maine Maritime Academy or approved independent institutions like the Bridge Academy Maine. The Bridge Academy Maine specifically works to offer college-level courses to Maine’s CTE centers providing hands-on experience. Offering programs that provide both career and college-readiness CTE opportunities enhances the options available to learners within the state. 

Understanding that there are costs outside of just tuition, the Dual Enrollment CTE program also covers additional related costs to further enhance access and better support equity of the program. Some of the costs that centers can be reimbursed for are professional development, learning management systems, transportation costs, books, and work-based learning summer academies. CTE centers are able to utilize the reimbursement funds both for initial program startup costs as well as for the continuation of programs. The Dual Enrollment CTE Program is managed by the Office of Workforce Development and Innovative Pathways. 

Promising practices:

Since 1997 the Aspirations Program (Title 20-A, Chapter 208-A) has provided eligible learners the opportunity to receive academic credits towards a high school diploma and an associate or baccalaureate level degree through dual-enrollments and successful completion of college-level courses at approved Maine institutions. As a part of the Aspirations Program, learners may earn up to 12 free credits per academic year with a maximum of six credits per semester. This program is available to all Maine secondary schools and is also available to learners who are homeschooled. 

The Aspirations Program allows learners to take courses during the summer, providing flexibility for learners and families. Summer programming has proven to be very successful with strong enrollment and completion rates showcasing the importance of not only empowering schools and districts but also empowering learners. 

Understanding that there are transportation barriers, including those living in rural and remote populations in the state, programs can also apply for remote instruction hosted by the approved institutions. This open access, regardless of the type of institution or location, provides greater access to a larger population of learners. The Aspirations Program is funded through the Department of Secondary Education’s general budget. State funding of dual and concurrent enrollment is an important aspect of supporting the ability of learners to access this opportunity.

Promising practices:

To learn more about the impact of state funding on dual enrollment, read Dr. Kristin Corkhill’s research on The Impact of State Funding on Dual Enrollment Participation in Career, Technical and Agricultural Education Programs. An alumnus of the inaugural cohort of The Postsecondary State Career Technical Education Leaders Fellowship at Advance CTE – Sponsored by ECMC Foundation, Dr. Corkhill’s research was conducted as part of the Real World Project capstone project

For more information on helping learners access high-quality CTE and early postsecondary opportunities without geographical barriers, read the CTE Without Borders Policy Playbook in the Leaning That Works Resource Center.

Paul Mattingly, Senior Policy Associate

By Layla Alagic in CTE Without Limits
Tags: , , , , , , ,

2023 Fall Meeting Keynote and Awards Dinner Celebrates CTE Leaders of Today and Tomorrow

Tuesday, October 24th, 2023

This year, we welcomed over 200 attendees for the Advance CTE Fall Meeting in Baltimore, Maryland to make meaningful connections and ignite innovation to Elevate Career Technical Education’s (CTE) Impact. Our general sessions featured leaders from across the CTE community who are going above and beyond to ensure each learner can achieve CTE without limits.  

Keynote: The Work Ahead – CTE and the Future of Work 

Our keynote speaker was Chike Aguh, an education and workforce development innovator who is a former Chief Innovation Officer at the U.S. Department of Labor and currently a Senior Advisor for the Project on Workforce Harvard. Chike set the tone for Fall Meeting early by sharing how his parents, first-generation immigrants to the U.S., had CTE-connected careers, which paved the way for his own success which included serving the President of the United States. Chike knows that more remarkable stories like this are made possible because of the work that CTE leaders do. His presentation explored the question:

What world are we preparing our learners for, and how does Career Technical Education prepare them for it?

Chike’s message was clear – the world of work is changing dramatically and CTE needs to meet the challenge. Some changes have already happened, such as automation and remote work from industries ranging from loan administration to transportation. Other changes are yet to come, and they continue to profoundly change and in some cases put at risk jobs that Americans rely on. 

The way CTE responds to these challenges, according to Chike, is by equipping learners with both “timeless” skills and “just in time” skills. These skills don’t just make learners prepared for the workforce, they make them economically indispensable. 

One resonating message from Chike is that “‘Career Technical Education’ is too small a term for what CTE leaders are doing and what they need to do”. He applauded CTE leaders and educators for the work that they do every day, yet stressed the hard work that lies ahead for CTE in empowering the workforce of the future. 

Star of Education Awards 

Fall Meeting also served as an opportunity to celebrate state CTE leaders who are making significant contributions to elevating CTE’s impact in their state. 

The State CTE Leadership Rising Star Award, awarded to Amy Miller, recognizes new CTE leaders who are actively engaged with and dedicated to advancing a vision for CTE that is committed to quality, equity and access within their state. Miller began her role as Assistant Director of CTE at the South Dakota Department of Education in 2020 following a career as a family and consumer science teacher, CTE director and high school principal.

The State CTE Distinguished Leadership Award, awarded to Dr. Sarah Heath, recognizes current and former state CTE leaders who have a distinguished and tenured history of service and have demonstrated the highest level of commitment to advancing a vision for high-quality and equitable CTE at the state and national levels. Dr. Heath, who served as President of the Advance CTE Board of Directors from 2020-2022, has held the title of Associate Vice Chancellor for CTE and State CTE Director in Colorado since 2015 following positions as a computer science and business educator, state program director and local system administrator.

In their acceptance remarks, both leaders emphasized the importance of their state and local partners’ shared commitment to innovation and the needs of learners as central to their success. Dr. Heath in particular elevated the unique community of the “CTE family” that connects leaders across the country. 

Preparations are already underway for the Advance CTE 2024 Spring Meeting in Arlington, Virginia from April 29-May 1, 2024! Visit the event page to mark your calendar and learn more.

Layla Alagic, Digital Communications Associate
Stacy Whitehouse, Associate Director, Communications

By Layla Alagic in Advance CTE Fall Meeting
Tags: , , , , ,

Advance CTE 2023 Fall Meeting Sponsor Blog: Diamond Sponsor, iCEV – 5 Steps Toward Building a Sustainable CTE Program

Friday, September 29th, 2023

As a State Career and Technical Education (CTE) leader, you know the value of CTE in preparing learners for a wide range of work opportunities. But to elevate CTE’s impact, it’s essential to use your expertise to build programs that grow and thrive.

Through our conversations with CTE champions, here are five top tips we’ve summarized that are crucial to building a sustainable CTE program.

After reviewing each strategy, you’ll be better able to pursue the Advance CTE vision of CTE Without Limits.

1. Articulate Your Purpose

Identify your purpose and goals for your state’s CTE programs from the beginning. Ensure your objectives are clearly defined so you can use them to make your decisions. Consistent focus on your core goals is essential to developing a viable program.

Once you’ve defined your goals clearly, share the program’s value with your stakeholders. Prospective learners will gain insight into how the program could benefit their future.

2. Choose Relevant Courses

A key benefit of CTE is developing skills directly applicable to real-world work. Offering the right pathways and courses to teach these skills is a huge piece of any successful program.

Stay in tune with in-demand skills across industries and which careers learners are interested in. By implementing diverse courses with transferable skills, you’ll go further in preparing the next generation of workers.

3. Pursue Professional Development

Implementing ongoing professional development opportunities keeps educators current on CTE objectives, industry knowledge, and teaching strategies.

Effective professional development can take many forms, but supporting CTE instructors with relevant and varied opportunities demonstrates your commitment to their success in the classroom.

4. Build Partnerships within the Community

Connecting with businesses in local communities can create many opportunities for learners, including internships or part-time employment.

Contact companies and express your interest in creating partnerships between their professionals and learners. Making business connections at the state level can boost opportunities for programs and learners throughout your state.

5. Evaluate Your Programs

Implementing CTE at the state level is a long-term commitment to a model that will grow and evolve in a changing world.

From the beginning, gather feedback from involved parties—educators, learners, families, and industry partners. Collecting feedback on the effectiveness of a program offers immense value to all of these stakeholders.

Utilize data to determine if your CTE program is meeting its objectives and to make informed decisions.

Finally, think about how to support learners through career and technical student organizations (CTSOs), expanded program offerings, and investments in technology. Making continual improvements statewide will lead to long-term success and sustainability.

Pursue CTE Without Limits in Your Program

When you use your expertise to build sustainable CTE programs, you can pursue the vision of CTE Without Limits and provide access to a diverse audience of learners.

But to provide a cohesive, flexible learning environment to better achieve these goals, many programs are relying on CTE data.

Visit the iCEV booth during the Advance CTE Fall Conference to learn more about how iCEV can support you in acquiring and using data to make decisions.

By Layla Alagic in Advance CTE Fall Meeting
Tags: , , , , , , ,

Funding Career Technical Education: Using the 2023 State of CTE Funding Report Resources

Thursday, September 21st, 2023

Advance CTE’s newly released 2023 State of CTE: An Analysis of State Secondary CTE Funding Models highlights how states and the District of Columbia provide high-quality Career Technical Education (CTE) through various secondary CTE funding models and approaches. This blog, the second in a series, describes ways to use the website and supporting resources. 

Overview

This resource builds on baseline research conducted in 2014 by RTI International, with the support of Advance CTE, on behalf of the U.S. Department of Education, and is generously supported by the Walton Family Foundation. Advance CTE is committed to supporting states as they design equitable funding models that direct funding where it is needed most, as described in Without Limits: A Shared Vision for the Future of Career Technical Education (CTE Without Limits). Expanding knowledge about funding models and approaches for state secondary CTE is critical for state leaders to provide high-quality CTE for diverse learners. The website consists of an executive summary, research report and three case studies, interactive national funding landscape map and downloadable state-by-state funding table. Below are tips on using and sharing this research with your colleagues and stakeholders, with links to the resources in each header.

Executive Summary

Read the executive summary to get a background of CTE funding foundational basics, a project overview and recommendations for revising and implementing more equitable funding models. This is a great resource for you to pass along to policymakers, legislative staff, state budget staff, partner agencies or local CTE leaders in your state. Consider adding the summary as a pre-reading assignment or an agenda item during your next meeting about state funding.

Research Report and Case Studies

The research report provides a 50-state landscape of state secondary CTE funding, highlights key trends in state funding models, and provides recommendations to advance equitable, learner-centered funding designs. You can learn about some of the ways states made adjustments to their models in the past decade and read examples of how states have designed elements of their funding models to address CTE program quality, access and completion. Case studies from Massachusetts, North Dakota and Texas showcase how three states implement different categorical funding models. 

These case-use examples provide ideas for you to maximize the website and supporting resources in conversations about CTE funding. 

National Funding Landscape Map

The interactive map provides a comparison of secondary CTE models across all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Identify your state’s funding model and then compare it to other states with the same funding model. You can also compare your state’s allocation to other states with similar demographics and CTE learner participation numbers. Use the information for benchmarking purposes when discussing – or advocating for – secondary CTE funding in your state. 

State-by-State Funding Table

The state-by-state funding table provides descriptions of each state’s funding approach, allocations from fiscal year 2022 and sources for legislative and regulatory documents. You have the option of downloading the table for additional analysis. Run keyword searches in the descriptions for “enrollment” or “average daily membership” or “ADM” to identify how states structure funding around learner enrollment. Run a keyword search for “grants” to identify which states are using competitive or one-time grants to support secondary CTE. Compare models and approaches from 2012 and 2022 to identify states that have changed their model and/or approach in the last decade. This is helpful information to reference if your state is considering or is in the process of changing its secondary CTE funding model and/or approach. 

ACTION: Bookmark the website for easier future access, watch the explainer video and share this blog with your colleagues. 

Be sure to read the first blog in this series, Funding Career Technical Education: Secondary CTE Funding Basics, which provides a background on CTE funding and describes various models and approaches states use to fund secondary CTE. In the next blog in this series, we will explore how states have incorporated equity elements into their funding models to address CTE program quality, access and completion.

You can read more about funding in the following Advance CTE resources:

Dr. Laura Maldonado, Senior Research Associate

By Layla Alagic in Public Policy, Research
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

 

Series

Archives

1