Posts Tagged ‘employer partnership’

“The Trail Shouldn’t End”: Top Moments from Advance CTE June Meeting Series Day Two!

Tuesday, June 21st, 2022

On June 15, Advance CTE held the second of three events in our Virtual June Meeting Series. The series offers three opportunities to equip Career Technical Education (CTE) leaders with the latest research and innovations, empower them to succeed, and elevate their work to raise awareness of the value of CTE. 

The week’s sessions centered around the theme EMPOWER: Strengthening Our Capacity to Realize CTE Without Limits. Attendees delved into processes to build better state systems with a keynote presentation from Rhode Island Department of Education Chief Innovation Officer Spencer Sherman, followed by content-rich breakouts and discussions to build connections and knowledge. Each breakout session was aligned to one of the five foundational commitments of CTE Without Limits: A Shared Vision for the Future of Career Technical Education

Keep reading for top quotes and resources from the day! 

Keynote: Innovating by Working Together: Strategic Impact through Systems Alignment

“When a student graduates high school, the trail shouldn’t end. Right now you have to cut down trees and jump over a rock to get to the next trail [to college and career]. We need to [design systems] so that students don’t get lost along the way.” – Spencer Sherman 

The keynote opened with a welcome message from Rhode Island Commissioner of Elementary and Secondary Education Angelica Infante-Green, who shared her personal story and commitment to serving learners of all abilities and how the nation’s smallest state is expanding access to CTE for differently-abled learners. 

Rhode Island’s Chief Innovation Officer, Spencer Sherman, then shared a deep dive on the state’s approach to systems alignment through the PrepareRI initiative and how it improved outcomes for learners including a tripled increase in the number of graduates with college credit or industry-recognized credentials. Sherman shared organization models that acknowledge the current top-down approach of many states while also illustrating how collaboration and communication can be created across both systems and leadership levels. 

Sherman  emphasized the importance of engaging middle-level managers and staff and designing processes for community organizations to align initiatives with one other in addition to engaging with government. Throughout the presentation, he reminded attendees that these improvements should be designed to last beyond any one person. He also centered these improvements around the pursuit of improving learner outcomes and creating seamless transitions to postsecondary and career paths, as illustrated in the quote above. Additional resources on Rhode Island’s governing structures can be found in Advance CTE’s Learning that Works Resource Center.

Data Breakout: Building a Culture of Data 

Two states participating in the Postsecondary Data Initiative led by Advance CTE and ECMC Foundation were highlighted in a breakout focused on how to leverage human and infrastructure capital to create data-informed and data-driven systems. 

Peter Plourde, Associate Professor and Director of Faculty Development for the Office of Academic Affairs at the University of the District Columbia Community College and Kelly Zinck, Education Team Research Analyst, Oregon Higher Education Coordinating Commission emphasized the importance of creating a welcoming environment where state CTE staff can get comfortable understanding small amounts of data and building up, as well as feel comfortable asking questions to build knowledge. Attendees were provided three strategies of “Identify,” “Educate” and “Build Trust” to open the black box of data. 

Equity: Maximizing the Potential of Equity-centered CTE Programs

“I want to applaud you for your efforts and affirm the work you’re doing. I want to remind you to work hard and take things one bite at a time. Do not lose faith and know that what you are doing is going to make a difference, even if you don’t see a return on investment right away”  – Dr. China Wilson 

CAST Research Scientist Dr. Amanda Bastoni and Maryland Equity and Civil Rights Specialist Dr. China Wilson teamed up to provide impactful insights on how to leverage data through public-facing resources and policy via Universal Design Learning to maximize equity in CTE programs. Dr. Wilson shared how Maryland’s state staff empowers local CTE leaders and families to understand and use data through their Maryland CTE Data platform and Equity Professional Learning Series. Dr. Bastoni used the example of a ramp at the back of a school to emphasize that state leaders should proactive design programs and supports with equity and accessibility at the forefront, not as a retrofit. 

Dr. Wilson affirmed the tough but important journey state CTE leaders are taking in tackling this work, and reminded attendees that each step no matter how small is progress. 

Public-Private Partnerships Breakout: Developing Effective Partnerships with the Private Sector for Work-based Learning

Attendees received rich insights on how local and state systems can work in tandem to empower employers and educators to develop effective work-based learning partnerships with a focus on rural communities. Advance CTE-ECMCF Postsecondary CTE Fellow Rich Crosby focused on utilizing existing collaborative spaces and partnerships as well as creating regional consortiums to connect employers and better understand learner needs, particularly in rural areas where employers are less concentrated.

Montana State CTE Director Jacque Treaster shared a variety of delivery models for work-based learning that strive to expand access to these experiences, particularly for rural learners, including a hub-and-spoke model and distance learning for concurrent and dual enrollment programs. 

The session included a rich attendee discussion on models in other states, including Hawaii’s hub and spoke model and Nevada embedding work-based learning into Career Technical Student Organizations (CTSOs) award programs. 

Quality Breakout: Promising Tools, Strategies and Research Findings to Improve the Quality of CTE Programs

MDRC Senior Associate Dr. Rachel Rosen shared insights on the models and research structures that allow for ethical and impactful CTE research. She noted that significant strides have been made to improve research quality, and that recent studies show significant value of CTE for male learners and learners with disabilities. ExcelInEd’s Adriana Harrington walked attendees through their Pathways Matter website that consolidates state case studies, best policy practices, and sample learner stories of pathway navigation to enhance quality and alignment of career pathways. 

Indiana State CTE Director Anthony Harl shared his state’s dedicated program quality initiative, Next Level Program of Study that allows high school students to earn up to 30-hours of college credit (a technical certificate) while in high school in 65 programs of study. Course design in this initiative focuses on more intentional sequencing of skillbuilding and a longer runway for early postsecondary opportunities paired with work-based learning. 

Systems Alignment Breakout: Linking Workforce to Education through Strategic Goal Alignment

“Our role is to connect the fire hose to the garden hose.” – Joy Hermsen

Washington State’s State CTE Director Eleni Papadakis, whose Perkins designated agency is the Washington State Workforce Training and Education Coordinating Board, provided details on how the state’s workforce agency leveraged a strategic plan and data to improve learner outcomes, including energized local youth council and work-based learning that is more responsive to local needs due to partnerships led primarily by employers rather than led by government.  

Futuro Health DIrector of Innovative Partnerships Joy Hermsen provided a national perspective on efforts to connect health employers to talent pipelines. She shared how the organization is bridging the gap between education leader and employers through resources that map responsive career lattices and ladders and customized data reports to help learners successfully connect to health careers. 

What’s Ahead 

The final event of the June Meeting Series is scheduled for June 22 from 2 to 5 p.m. ET, respectively. This session will center around the theme ELEVATE: Building Awareness of and Support for High-Quality and Equitable CTE. Visit the June Meeting Series event webpage to view the event agenda and to register. 

Stacy Whitehouse, Senior Associate Communications and State Engagement

By Stacy Whitehouse in Advance CTE Spring Meeting
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‘We Must Move Beyond Compliance’: Top Moments from Advance CTE June Meeting Series Day One!

Monday, June 13th, 2022

On June 8, Advance CTE held the first of three events that encompass our Virtual June Meeting Series. The series offers three opportunities to equip Career Technical Education (CTE) leaders with the latest research and innovations, empower them to succeed, and elevate their work to raise awareness of the value of CTE. 

The first week ‘s sessions centered around the theme EQUIP: Building Our Capacity to Lead With A Focus On Quality and Equity. Attendees heard from inspiring keynote speaker Drexell Owusu, Chief Impact Officer for the Dallas Foundation, followed by content-rich breakouts and discussions to build connections and knowledge. Each breakout session was aligned to one of the five foundational commitments of CTE Without Limits: A Shared Vision for the Future of Career Technical Education

Keep reading for top moments and quotes from the day! 

Keynote: Pursuing Next-Level Collaboration to Jumpstart Systems Change

(We are in) a game of influence. I can’t tell an employer what to do … and I can’t tell my school district, or city, or county what to do. This is all about making the case for change through data management and influence through relationships.” – Drexell Owusu 

Dallas Foundation Chief Impact Officer Drexell Owusu was candid about the equity and quality of life challenges facing residents of Dallas. However, he was equally optimistic about the role that CTE can have in providing high-quality pathways to maximize recent economic growth and increase the number of young adults achieving a living wage to 50 percent within one generation. He identified five strategies that comprise the Dallas Thrives initiative to achieve this goal. 

Taking Dallas’ learnings and applying them to a state audience, Owusu shared that state CTE leaders are crucial in using existing convening levers to connect systems and share information; bringing and keeping employers and staff beyond the CEO at the table; providing capacity to analyze and share data; and “democratizing” information about CTE programs.

 

Data Breakout: Developing Data Policies and Procedures to Monitor, Evaluate and Improve Postsecondary CTE Programs

So much data use is focused on compliance and descriptive analysis. That’s not all that actionable. We can do so much more to deepen analysis if we make the time and space.” – Miriam Greenberg 

Miriam Greenberg, Director of the Strategic Data Project at the Harvard University Center for Education Policy Research, shared their Strategic Data Project CTE Diagnostic Tool as a means to evaluate current data components and how that data is being used. Montana State CTE Director Jacque Treaster shared how their state team leveraged Advance CTE’s Opportunity Gap Analysis Workshop to transform their professional development, cross-team collaboration and staff structure to create a data-informed culture. 

Equity Breakout: Equity in Education: Building Inclusive, Equitable, and Responsive CTE Programs

In the 1980s, we heard  a lot about diversity. We still have a challenge there. But we realized it’s not simply getting folks around the table or in the classroom. It’s also ensuring that those who are there are fully engaged, are welcomed and have the opportunity to use all their skills and talents.” – Dr. Kumea Shorter-Gooden 

Advance CTE’s Equity Coach, Dr. Kumea Shorter-Gooden, led a nuanced and timely discussion on today’s challenges in conducting meaningful equity work. She guided attendees on the differences between equity and equality and emphasized the crucial triangle of diversity, equity and inclusion. 

Lane Community College Director of High School School Connections and Advance CTE-ECMCF Fellow Justin Chin led an illuminating presentation on Asian American and Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander (AANHPI) learners and their unique assets and barriers to achieving college and career success. In particular, he focused on how the ‘Model Minority Myth’ and the concept of social capital impact this this population’s perception of CTE, and provided culturally responsive strategies to help these learners see themselves in CTE.

Public-Private Partnerships Breakout: Cultivating Public-Private Partnerships to Maximize Learner Access, Social Capital and Opportunity

“We quickly realized that we need to bring people to help speak to students in a way they understand and connect with. That’s part of the shifting that industry and adapting that we had to do to make. We had to personalize the experience for the students.” – Gabe Madison 

Thomson Reuters Director of Community Relations Gabe Madison shared an industry perspective on strategies that states can pursue to help employers personalize their interactions with learners and maximize feedback loops, such as convening industry leaders organized by sectors to gather feedback on program design. She also broke down Thomson Reuter’s partnership Dallas Independent School District (ISD) P-Tech program and their focus on helping learners explore careers and build social capital. 

 

Quality Breakout: Designing Learner-Centered Career Navigation and Support Structures for Marginalized Learners

[Our institution] is driven by five lenses: student focus, success focus, future focus, work focus and community focus.– Deanna Strauss Hersko 

Lorain County Community College Manager of Career Technical Pathways & Programs Deanna Strauss Hersko framed improving CTE program quality as a focus on five lenses and tailoring supports to meet both learners and staff where they are. She provided a rich breakdown of institution-level supports, such as the Careers by Design badge to support each learner in exploring careers, reducing barriers to participating in CTE programs and informing learners on education options. 

Ohio Department of Education Program Administrator Catherine Allen shared the state’s innovative approaches to building cohesive and responsive career preparation ecosystems that engage all stakeholders. This includes a tax incentive pilot for employers to expand work-based learning experiences and a program quality focus group that is exploring innovative CTE delivery models. 

Systems Alignment Breakout: Systems Alignment that Benefits Learners Through Collaboration and Coordination of Federal Policy

“We recognize this work cannot happen overnight but will require a shared commitment and shared ownership among our leaders ….across education, workforce development, industry and philanthropy. Only together – through persistence, resilience, bravery, boldness, and commitment – can we realize the possibility and aspiration of a new career preparation ecosystem that provides each learner with limitless opportunities.”  – CTE Without Limits

Systems alignment is a seemingly elusive yet long-sought after goal among federal education and workforce programs. New America Senior Policy Advisor Lul Tesfai and National Governors Association Program Director Amanda Winters shared best practices from states like Arizona, Indiana, and Pennsylvania and others that have leveraged funds provided through the American Rescue Plan (ARP) to meet complex learner and worker needs through multiple systems and programs. In particular, they encouraged centering decisions and investments on the needs of learners and workers and including their voices in system redesign. Advance CTE has the following related resources available: Coordinating across WIOA and Perkins and State Uses of ARP Funds.

It is not too late to register for the remaining Empower and Elevate session of the June Meeting Series, scheduled for June 15 and June 22 from 2 to 5 p.m. ET, respectively. Visit the June Meeting Series event webpage to view the full agenda and to register. 

Stacy Whitehouse, Senior Associate Communications and State Engagement 

By Stacy Whitehouse in Meetings and Events
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Unpacking Putting Learner Success First: Empowering All Learners

Thursday, July 13th, 2017

A little over one year ago, Advance CTE launched Putting Learner Success First: A Shared Vision for the Future of CTE. This document, which was developed using input from a broad array of stakeholders, calls for a systematic transformation of the education system grounded in five principles. This blog series will dive into each principle, detailing the goals and progress made in each area.

For more resources related to Putting Learner Success First, including state and local self-assessments, check out our Vision Resources page.

All learners are empowered to choose a meaningful education and career.

Career exploration and guidance have in the past been considered as services only for CTE students, and particularly for CTE students who are not considering attending a postsecondary institution. Now state leaders are working to change this misconception by promoting career advisement as an integral part of the educational process for all learners.

A comprehensive career advising system must be supported not just by school counselors, but state leaders, local administrators, and employer partners as well.

Those who have signed onto the principle have committed to accomplishing this objective through the following actions:

Since the launch of Putting Learner Success First, Advance CTE has been conducting research and policy scans to raise up examples and promising practices related to this principle. Now, when state leaders focus their attention on career advisement, they have access to multiple resources related to counseling, guided pathways, student supports and career awareness, among others.

Principle in Action

Relevant Resources

Upcoming Resources

Ashleigh McFadden, State Policy Manager

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