Posts Tagged ‘industry-recognized credentials’

Advance CTE Fall Meeting Sponsor Blog: Diamond Sponsor, Center for Energy Workforce Development – Seeking a Skilled, Diverse Workforce for America’s Clean Energy Future

Monday, October 3rd, 2022

The energy industry powers life. Business, education, healthcare, and even many of our favorite pastimes are made possible by the energy industry. More than six million people work in energy careers in the United States. These men and women are highly trained, highly skilled and in high-demand. Their roles range from future-focused innovators and engineers exploring new ways to harness and store power to skilled tradespeople, who are the backbone of the industry’s operations. The work of these professionals is essential and rewarding. Because of the knowledge and skills that are required, energy employees are well compensated, often earning above national averages. Energy professionals are proudly leading the country’s attainment of climate change goals while maintaining energy reliability, resiliency, safety and affordability. 

The industry expects to fill hundreds of thousands of positions in the next few years. Industry growth, retirement by tenured employees, and traditional attrition are opening doors for a new workforce seeking stable employment in an essential industry that offers training, mentoring, and on-the-job professional development experiences. The energy sector seeks to prioritize diversity, equity and inclusion for its workforce as it continues to grow.  

With so many different jobs in energy, it can be tough to navigate where and how to start a career journey. There are a tremendous number of career pathways available in the skilled trades, for instance. Learners and career explorers often ask how they should prepare themselves. More specifically, they are curious about postsecondary requirements, including opportunities available from local technical schools and apprenticeships, and what’s possible right after high school. The simple answer is all these avenues can lead to successful energy careers. Yet, they each start you in a different place. The industry is equally reliant on those with degrees and those who prefer to learn through on-the-job training and experience.

The Center for Energy Workforce Development (CEWD) is a non-profit organization driven by electric, natural gas, nuclear, and renewable energy companies, trade associations, large contractors, and unions. It also unites strategists from industry, education, government, and communities to ensure the industry balances workforce supply and demand to build the necessary talent pipeline. 

We offer several resources to support state CTE leaders in leveraging CTE programs to develop learner experiences and pathways in energy careers. . In addition, some states have a specific energy Career Cluster devoted to preparation for this sector. CTE also provides opportunities to earn stackable certificates, industry-recognized credentials, and degrees as outlined by the Center for Energy Workforce Development’s Get Into Energy website. CEWD also offers a curriculum, Energy Industry Fundamentals, specifically designed to develop the energy workforce of tomorrow and ensure CTE leaders have essential educational tools and resources readily available. 2-3 sentences of what you have worked with a state to do (may be helping them develop a career cluster, aligning energy curriculum with state standards of learning ,etc. 

CEWD welcomes you to join us in developing the energy workforce of the future.  It starts today!

Missy Henriksen, Executive Director, Center for Energy Workforce Development 

 

By Stacy Whitehouse in Advance CTE Fall Meeting
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Advance CTE Fall Meeting Sponsor Blog: Gold Sponsor, Home Builders Institute

Thursday, September 29th, 2022

A severe lack of skilled workers and an aging workforce threaten to slow new home production, curb housing affordability, and derail the industry’s ability to stand strong amid rising recession risks to the overall economy. In fact, the construction industry needs to add 2.2 million workers over the next three years to keep up with housing demand, according to a recent report from the Home Builders Institute (HBI), a workforce development nonprofit that works closely with the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB). 

Changing social and economic factors are driving a renewed focus on Career Technical Eeducation (CTE) among educators, policymakers, students and their families. Shifting the narrative about Career Clusters® supporting architecture & construction is an important way to capture the interest of young students and their parents. Schools can offer more technical training that exposes students to the potential of many exciting post-graduation architecture & construction career opportunities that don’t result in student debt.   

With nearly 400 programs in 46 states, HBI’s industry-recognized curriculum is preparing the next generation of skilled workers through pre-apprenticeship training and certification programs in secondary schools, community colleges, military bases, Job Corps centers and training academies. These programs are providing students with no-cost training that leads to well-paying jobs and careers in the home building industry. 

Half of construction workers earn more than $49,000 annually with the top 25 percent% making more than $75,000. This eclipses the U.S. median wage of $45,760 and the top quartile making just $68,590. In addition, the industry is one of the few where women and men earn nearly equal pay, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, versus all other occupations where women make just 81.5 percent% of what men earn. 

The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) advocates for local, state and federal support of industry-sponsored programs — such as HBI’s —that are successful, cost-effective means of providing skills training and job placement to individuals who can comprise a robust pipeline of trade professionals. Producing more and better workers strengthens families, communities, and the U.S. economy. 

Working with HBI, state CTE leaders can access industry-recognized curriculum and certifications that will provide middle and high school students throughout their state with more opportunities to pursue a stable and successful career path. State leaders can also leverage NAHB’s network of 700 local and state home builders associations. These local  associations comprise building industry leaders from all facets of the construction industry eager to provide mentorship, networking, program support and job opportunities to eligible students. 

There is no single answer to solving the labor gap issue, but working together, NAHB, HBI and State Directors can prepare students for meaningful careers in building that will result in increased housing availability and affordability for American families.

For more information on HBI’s curriculum, visit hbi.org.  To learn more about NAHB’s workforce development efforts, visit nahb.org/workforce.  

Ed Brady, President and CEO, HBI

 

By Stacy Whitehouse in Advance CTE Fall Meeting
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Advance CTE Fall Meeting Sponsor Blog: Gold Sponsor, NOCTI – Navigating Uncertain Times

Friday, September 23rd, 2022

This post is written by NOCTI, a Gold Level sponsor of the 2022 Advance CTE Fall Meeting.

A “black swan” event is an unpredictable occurrence beyond what is normally expected of a situation, often with severe consequences. While the entire educational environment was impacted by the coronavirus pandemic, Career Technical Education (CTE), which focuses on hands-on learning, was heavily impacted by this black swan event.  In addition to navigating the perils of COVID-19, CTE experienced instructor shortages and concerns about the limited related work experience of those available for these positions. Though many states have relevant, standardized, industry-identified competencies, the associated curriculum must be delivered by individuals with a solid understanding of the field, which is generally based on work experience. In some cases, these concerns can result in a reduction of content depth delivered in a CTE classroom. 

How does the CTE community respond to these kinds of events? What can states, teacher preparation systems, schools, and administrators do to increase equity and access to CTE programs as well as maintain high-quality program content and delivery? To address these variables would take more space than this blog offers, but we can describe three tools offered by NOCTI and Nocti Business Solutions (NBS). 

Let’s start with a focus on a teacher candidate’s technical skill competence. NBS offers assessments that are used in the hiring process. These assessments can be used to verify a candidate’s experience, determine a candidate’s fit to a position, and establish an employee’s professional development plan upon hire. Using these assessments longitudinally can provide additional information to those hiring CTE teachers.

The second tool is a credentialing assessment developed by NOCTI and several other associations, entitled “Principles of CTE Teaching”. The credential offers two levels and establishes an individual’s understanding of CTE pedagogy and covers student management techniques, facility management and safety, teaching, and both formative and summative assessment strategies. 

The final tool developed by NOCTI, micro-credentials, gathers the collective knowledge of seasoned CTE instructors and subject matter experts. NOCTI utilized longitudinal data across a variety of industries to identify areas in which CTE learners were having difficulty. NOCTI then worked with instructors to design short video segments to address these specific areas. The resulting content segments are available 24/7 and can be viewed repeatedly in both synchronous and asynchronous settings. Micro-credentials can be used in a variety of situations and can be an effective tool to reinforce an instructor’s content knowledge. 

Acting without deliberate planning can exacerbate problems and pondering an issue without action rarely helps anyone progress. NOCTI’s tools were designed to assist in the expansion of the CTE community and represent thoughtful actions to inspire state CTE leaders to address instructor pipeline challenges and empower new instructors to be successful in CTE.  Please reach out to us to find out more at nocti@nocti.org.

Dr. John C. Foster, President and CEO, NOCTI & NBS 

 

By Stacy Whitehouse in Advance CTE Fall Meeting
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State CTE Policy Update: Exploring Louisiana’s Back on Track Pilot Program for Justice-Connected Learners

Thursday, September 1st, 2022

State Career Technical Education (CTE) policy initiatives and programs vary across the nation; innovations across states can offer helpful insights for state CTE leaders to continue to support each learner’s path to success in the career of their choice without limits.  

This post provides an overview of Louisiana’s recently enacted Act 370 (H.B. 323) 2022 Regular Session, known as the “Back On Track Louisiana Pilot Program”, and how it connects with CTE programs to support justice-connected individuals.

The “Back On Track Louisiana Pilot Program” aims to reduce recidivism in Louisiana by offering incarcerated individuals the tools they need, such as driver’s licenses and bank accounts, to skillfully navigate their reentry into the workforce. It also provides a CTE funding mechanism and establishes a mandate for data accountability within correctional education spaces.

Program Background 

This legislation stands out as an innovative means to not only incentivize high-quality correctional education programs by rewarding outcomes with additional funding. It allows for the flexibility needed to make the program effective for individual populations and meet each program’s needs. With the appropriate connections between state agencies such as the Louisiana Community and Technical College System (LCTCS) and the Louisiana Workforce Commission (LWC), the Department of Public Safety and Corrections (DPSC) can leverage industry partnerships and maximize the effectiveness of the credential programs they offer within their correctional facilities. 

With the “Back On Track Louisiana Pilot Program”, justice-involved learners who are incarcerated will have the opportunity to earn multiple credentials of value that align with Louisiana’s Industry Based Credential (IBC) Focus List compiled by the Louisiana IBC Council. These credentials of value ensure learners are prepared for high-skill, high-wage, in-demand occupations that support the future workforce of the state. This effort aligns with other funding mechanisms to support correctional education and high-quality programs such as the state’s utilization of Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act (Perkins V) federal funds. In Louisiana, the state allocates a portion of its Perkins funds to DPSC to ensure learners experiencing unique circumstances such as incarceration have access to relevant workforce education and training. Offering learners in correctional facilities the opportunity to explore career pathways will not only allow them to reenter the workforce and their communities as a whole but will also strengthen CTE programming in an often overlooked population.

Funding Flexibility 

The legislation provides guidelines for funding and accountability while also establishing a framework for sheriffs to personalize their programs. The language of the law requires jails and prisons to collect the information of participating incarcerated and paroled individuals regarding specific success metrics. While these metrics track measures for these individuals to successfully reintegrate into their communities, there are several explicitly targeting CTE initiatives, namely whether the inmate: 

To ensure each sheriff has a scalable funding system for their program, DPSC calculates half of the average number of days of incarceration of the enrolled individual multiplied by the amount the Department pays the sheriff each day for the housing of inmates in parish jails. As an additional incentive for the successful execution of the program, sheriffs will receive a bonus stipend per incarcerated individual based on the percentage of targets successfully attained. Funds will be used for equipment, instructional materials and instructors, allowing smaller programs to flourish as well as larger programs. 

Program Customization 

Authority for this legislation is housed at the DPSC, which already offers ten programs eligible for Perkins V funding: Automotive Technology, Building Technology, Carpentry, Collision Repair, Construction Project Management, Electrician, Heavy Equipment Operator, HVAC, Small Engine, and Welding. The prison system has employed a method to train and hire correctional facility instructors for the Industry Based Credential (IBC) classes offered at each facility. Each participating facility ensures that all justice-connected tutors/instructors remain up to date in their training by providing funding to renew all pertinent certifications, as needed. CTE instructors are supervised by a prison education coordinator who is responsible for maintaining the cohesiveness of the entire education department.

The “Back On Track Louisiana Pilot Program” is a new initiative seeking to provide more accessible and equitable CTE credential programs to justice-involved learners. The following resources provide additional on connections between CTE and corrections education: 

Brice Thomas, M.Ed, Policy Associate

*Special thanks to Dr. Brittney Baptiste Williams, State Director for Career and Technical Education, Louisiana for her insights that contributed to this post. 

By Stacy Whitehouse in Public Policy
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Welcome Ross White as the New State CTE Director in Arkansas

Tuesday, March 8th, 2022

Advance CTE joins the Arkansas Department of Education in welcoming Ross White as the new State Career Technical Education (CTE) Director. Ross transitions into this role while fulfilling the duties of the Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE)’s Region IV Vice President

Advance CTE staff met with Ross as he shared his pathway to becoming the State CTE Director, as well as his initial priorities for CTE in Arkansas.

Advance CTE: Which of your professional experiences has most prepared you for your role as the State Director? 

Ross: Most of my time in education has been spent in the CTE setting: a classroom educator, career student technical organization (CTSO) advisor, district CTE director, and as an ACTE officer and member. I give credit to my years as the district director because it is in this role where I learned how to be innovative and bold, rethinking systemic solutions to serve each learner. I also developed strong business and industry partnerships that I can continue to foster as State Director.

Advance CTE: In what ways have you had the opportunity to leverage social capital and professional networks in your career progression?

Ross: Early in my professional career journey, I had a mentor who taught me all I needed to know about CTE. I have relied immensely on this knowledge throughout my career, and will do so as I became the State Director. I also participated in the ACTE’s National Fellowship and have been active in multiple professional memberships. In my experience, no matter the type of fellowship (or mentorship), there will be an amount of influence, conversation and ability to impact change. Ultimately, social capital is not the people you know, but the people who make you grow.

Advance CTE: What excites you most about being the State Director in Arkansas? 

Ross: It excites me that in this new role as State Director I will be able to more quickly connect policy and programming across the CTE ecosystem in the state. This is largely due to my background in school administration, in the classroom and at the state agency. However, also playing a part is the consolidation of all education programs under the Department of Education. Being under one “roof”, the state CTE system will become much stronger in our cross-sector relationships, aligning secondary and postsecondary systems, and will have the opportunity for more frequent communication and data sharing. 

Advance CTE: As you are settling into your new position, what initial priorities have you identified? 

Ross: I have identified a few initial priorities around CTE data collection and reporting. One of our Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act (Perkins V) program quality indicators is credentials of value. Yet, we do not have a best practice in place to meet the data reporting needs for credentials in our state. Once we identify the best path forward from the state-level, the next priority will be to educate local districts on credentialing and credential data. 

The work we have to do around credentialing aligns with our career coach initiative in the state. We have received additional funding to implement career coaches and it is a priority to scale statewide. 

Advance CTE: Fast forward and we are now celebrating your one-year anniversary as State Director. What is one challenge you’d like to have overcome by that milestone?

Ross: We have a need for the division of career and technical education (DCTE) to reinvent our brand in the state. We are known far too often as, “the rules place.” I want to build more trusting and lasting relationships with our local recipients, ensuring they know who to call on my state team when they are in need of support. I hope to have been successful in this endeavor by this time next year.

Our state team will also work to address teacher shortages across the state. I am sitting in on a working group that is developing a grow your own program. Over the next year, I hope to be able to celebrate its success. 

Advance CTE: What is one weekend activity or hobby or interest you would like your peers to know about you? 

Ross: Outside of work, my wife and I spend much time attending to our daughters and their love for dancing, swimming and gymnastics.

Welcome, Ross! Advance CTE is thrilled to support Ross as he strives to ensure each learner in Arkansas has access to and the means to succeed in any high-quality CTE program or experience that leads to success in their career of choice.

Click here to learn more about the state CTE system in Arkansas.
View resources that feature best practices in Arkansas here

Follow Ross on Twitter

Brittany Cannady, Senior Associate for Digital Media

By Brittany Cannady in Uncategorized
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State Policies Impacting Industry-Recognized Credentials

Wednesday, March 2nd, 2022

State education agencies, legislators and educators faced significant challenges from the coronavirus pandemic, including adapting to remote and hybrid delivery of hands-on learning, and responding to local and national skilled labor shortages. The number of state-level CTE policies enacted that affect Career Technical Education (CTE) fell to the lowest number in 2020 since Advance CTE and the Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE) began publishing these annual Year in Review reports.

However, with a new commitment to upskilling and reskilling American learners and a CTE without limits, 41 states enacted 138 policies impacting CTE and career readiness in 2021. Advance CTE and ACTE have witnessed the return of pre-pandemic numbers in state policy actions in 2021 with policies affecting the secondary, postsecondary, adult and/or workforce systems, and including legislation, executive orders, and budget provisions that significantly changed funding.

Each year, Advance CTE and ACTE publish a yearly state policy tracker and categorize each state policy action by topic. In 2021, the top five topics that state policy most frequently addressed were:

Industry-recognized Credentials
Policies that address the attainment of credentials recognized by industry, including micro-credentials, such as badges, and educational Degrees are categorized by this topic. Nineteen states enacted 33 policies affecting industry-recognized credentials. Policies in this area are designed to increase or incentivize the attainment of certifications, credentials or degrees aligned with labor market information or industry need. Below are a few state policy actions from this category: 

State Policies Impacting CTE: 2021 Year in Review marks the ninth annual review of CTE and career readiness policies from across the United States conducted by Advance CTE and ACTE. This report does not describe every policy enacted within each state but instead focuses on national policy trends. 

View the full report and 2021 state policy tracker here

Dan Hinderliter, Senior Policy Associate 

By Brittany Cannady in Advance CTE Resources, Publications
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Navigating CTE During COVID-19: What Are Credential Providers Doing to Respond to COVID-19?

Thursday, June 4th, 2020

Even as unemployment numbers climb steadily upwards and the stock market continues its volatile roller coaster ride, it is far too soon to measure the full effect of the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic and its impact on Career Technical Education (CTE) and industry-recognized credential attainment in particular. High schools, community colleges, area technical centers and places of business have shut their doors to protect learners and to comply with state orders. It is fair to predict that, based on the challenges states have encountered in maintaining industry-recognized credentialing opportunities during this time, credential attainment among secondary, postsecondary and adult learners will fall precipitously during the second quarter of 2020.

The slowdown in industry-recognized credential attainment will have a twofold impact on our current crisis. For one, industry-recognized credentials – which verify that an individual is ready for work in a given occupation – can act as barriers to entry in essential industries when education and assessment opportunities are not widely available. This threatens to weaken the workforce pipeline in sectors such as healthcare where access to talent is urgently needed.

Second, as states and businesses start planning for the economic recovery, industry-recognized credentials will help to get millions of recently unemployed Americans retrained and back to work. But without efforts to sustain credentialing opportunities now, there is the possibility of a critical bottleneck as soon as states reopen.

As we covered in an earlier blog post, states have been swift to address industry-recognized credentialing amid the Coronavirus. But what are the credential providers themselves doing to adapt to the crisis? How are they extending flexibility to states and learners without compromising the rigor and validity of their credentials?

Scaling Up Remote Proctoring

Advance CTE examined nearly 20 common credential providers to understand how they are addressing the Coronavirus. These providers were identified using ExcelinEd’s Credentials Matter database and were corroborated using secondary and postsecondary credential lists in three states.

One major takeaway from this research is that many credential providers are making the shift from in-person to remote proctoring, albeit at an additional fee. There are three common approaches to remote proctoring, each of which requires a computer and access to high-speed internet:

Virtual proctoring is the best way that credential providers have been able to meet the sustained demand for industry-recognized credentials amid the pandemic. However, the strategy is not easily scalable and requires significant investment of funds as well as human capital. Not to mention, the reliance on computers and high-speed internet exacerbates the digital divide. States and credential providers should take an equity lens as they work to scale up these opportunities.

Extending Flexibility to Learners and Workers

Aside from virtual proctoring, credential providers have extended flexibility and resources to learners, educators and test takers. To encourage continuity of learning, many providers have made curriculum, resources and other supports and materials available online for free amid COVID-19. The CTE Coalition, a growing partnership of industry associations, non-profits and credential providers, is one example.

Many are also extending eligibility windows for testing, either for learners who have recently applied or met pre-qualifications, or veteran workers whose certifications are up for renewal. This added flexibility takes the pressure off of learners and workers and ensures they can wait to complete their assessments until it is safe to do so.

Additionally, some testing centers have been offering in-person credential examinations on a very limited basis, and only for credentials in essential occupations. In these rare cases, the testing centers have committed to enforcing social distancing and upholding a strict cleaning regimen.

Amid the uncertainty with the Coronavirus, one thing is clear: a qualified and credentialed workforce will be an essential building block for the forthcoming economic recovery. It will take a coordinated effort within and across states, and in partnership with credential providers, to ensure a robust, talented workforce is ready as soon as the doors are open once more. The actions that states and credential providers take today will facilitate a swift recovery once things return to normal.

Austin Estes, Manager of Data & Research

By admin in COVID-19 and CTE
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Navigating CTE During COVID-19: How Are States Addressing Industry-recognized Credential Attainment?

Thursday, May 14th, 2020

Industry-recognized credentials are an essential component of any high-quality Career Technical Education (CTE) program. They indicate the entry-level competencies learners need in a given career field and signal to employers that an individual is prepared for work. But in the midst of a global pandemic, with nearly every state issuing, to varying degrees, stay at home orders that have resulted in school closures and limited access to testing facilities, how can learners continue to earn industry-recognized credentials? 

Over the last decade, there has been a groundswell around industry-recognized credentials. Driven by the Lumina Foundation’s campaign to ensure that 60 percent of U.S. adults hold a credential beyond high school by 2025, nearly every state has set its own postsecondary credential attainment goal. What’s more, many states are also counting industry-recognized credential attainment in their high school accountability systems or are promoting credential attainment through programs such as Virginia’s New Economy Workforce Credential Grant Program. 

Challenges for Industry-recognized Credential Attainment

COVID-19 (Coronavirus) threatens to stall many of these policies and initiatives. The requirements for earning an industry-recognized credential vary by type and by provider, but are hard to deliver remotely. Industry-recognized credentials commonly require one or a combination of the following:  

As states have shut down one by one, credentialing opportunities have slowed to a trickle. School districts, institutions of higher education and training providers have been challenged to offer the learning and practical experiences learners need to be eligible for credential exams. Further, testing providers have had to shut their doors or limit access in order to comply with stay at home orders. 

The State Policy Response

The implications of this credentialing slowdown are myriad. For one, many states have baked credential attainment into high school graduation requirements, accountability systems and postsecondary performance-based funding structures. These requirements will need to be waived or loosened in a way that limits harm to learners. In Ohio, the Department of Education has already amended high school graduation requirements for learners pursuing industry-recognized credentials and is allowing learners to earn credentials as soon as it is safe to do so – even if they already have been awarded a diploma. 

Other states are exploring remote proctoring so learners can sit for an industry-recognized credential exam at home. Florida issued guidance for at-home testing for industry certifications, which will allow learners to access exams for credentials on the state-approved Career and Professional Education Act (CAPE) list as long as the credential providers meet certain conditions. However, while a number of credential providers are now offering online proctoring opportunities that are secure and monitored, the technology is expensive to scale and requires the learner to have access to a computer and reliable internet at home. 

The second implication is that credentialing is slowing down at a time when states hit hardest by the coronavirus are experiencing a critical shortage of licensed healthcare workers. In response, governors are issuing emergency licensing waivers in order to permit nursing and medical students as well as retired professionals or those with expired licenses to support the relief effort. In California, for example, the state Board of Registered Nursing has developed guidance on different roles nursing students can play in the field based on competencies developed through prior course taking. 

Finally, with economists already predicting a severe economic downturn as a result of the coronavirus, states will need to accelerate credentialing opportunities for learners transitioning back to work. Even as schools and testing facilities remain closed, states can start thinking now about their economic recovery plan and how to bolster industry-recognized credential attainment in the months and years ahead. 

Austin Estes, Manager of Data & Research

By admin in COVID-19 and CTE
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The Number of States Counting Career Readiness Has More than Doubled Since 2014

Tuesday, March 19th, 2019

In a strong signal of support for Career Technical Education (CTE) and career readiness in high school, 40 states are now measuring career readiness in their state or federal high school accountability systems. Fewer than half as many – 17 – were measuring career readiness just five years ago.

The sophistication and design of the measures has evolved as well, and many states are working to intentionally link their accountability systems with high-quality career pathways.

That’s according to a new analysis from Advance CTE, Education Strategy Group, Achieve and the Council of Chief State School Officers. The report, the third edition in the Making Career Readiness Count series, uses a four-pronged framework that was developed by an expert workgroup and outlined in the report Destination Known: Valuing College AND Career Readiness in State Accountability Systems  to categorize how states are measuring college and career readiness.

The four categories used in the analysis provide a blueprint for states to develop and evolve rigorous measures. They each outline three levels that build upon one another, from Fundamental, to Advanced and Exceptional. The categories are:

Overall, the most common measure used across the states is Assessment of Readiness, with thirty states and the District of Columbia valuing experiences that are aligned with the Destination Known recommendations. Another 12 states include out of sequence measures that are aligned with this indicator but do not include the Fundamental measure, attainment of state-defined college- and career-ready level on a high school summative assessment. The vast majority of states counted under the Assessment of Readiness category are measuring industry-recognized credential attainment.

Another commonly used measure is Progress Toward Post-High School Credential. Seventeen states and the District of Columbia include measures aligned with the Destination Known recommendations, and another 22 states include out of sequence indicators. A number of states include either pathway completion or dual enrollment coursework in their accountability plans without requiring that experience to be accompanied by the completion of a state-defined college- and career-ready course of study, which is the Fundamental measurement in this category.

Twelve states include a Co-Curricular Learning and Leadership Experiences measure in their state or federal accountability systems, often looking at work-based learning participation. Eight states include information on Transitions Beyond High School, reporting either postsecondary enrollment or postsecondary enrollment without the need for remediation.

With all of the progress states have made, there is still room to strengthen and improve measures of career readiness. For example, states should be explicit about how career readiness components – such as work-based learning, industry-recognized credentials and dual enrollment – align to each other and to a students’ career pathways. They should also be transparent with their data and put thought and care into designing accountability systems that value and encourage the experiences that are best aligned with the outcomes they want for students. These and other opportunities are discussed in the report, Making Career Readiness Count 3.0.

The even harder work ahead is to support all students in their preparation for and transition to college, career and life. Regardless of the path students choose to pursue, they need to be transition ready. State and federal accountability systems can and should be used to highlight areas for improvement and connect programs and students with the supports they need to be successful.

Austin Estes, Senior Policy Associate

By admin in Advance CTE Resources, Public Policy, Publications, Research, Resources
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States Passed 241 Policies to Support CTE in 2017

Thursday, January 25th, 2018

2017 was a banner year for Career Technical Education (CTE). Overall, 49 states and the District of Columbia passed a total of 241 policies related to CTE and career readiness, a marked increase from 2016. But while it is encouraging to see a groundswell of enthusiasm for CTE at the local, state and national levels, how will states leverage CTE’s momentum and ensure that state action translates to better outcomes for students?

Today, Advance CTE and the Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE) released the fifth edition of the annual State Policies Impacting CTE report, examining activity from 2017. To develop the report, Advance CTE and ACTE reviewed state activity, cataloged all finalized state actions and coded activity based on the policy area of focus. For 2017, the top five policy areas of focus include:

Funding was at the top of the list for the fifth year in a row. Policies in this category include a $16 million one-time appropriation for CTE equipment grants in Tennessee, the development of a productivity-based funding index for Arkansas institutions of higher education and a workforce development scholarship authorized through Maryland’s More Jobs for Marylanders Act of 2017. With few exceptions, state legislatures renewed or increased appropriations for CTE programs and related activities. 

There was also a lot of activity related to data, reporting and accountability, largely due to state work around the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). In 2017, 35 states identified measures of career readiness in their federal accountability systems, and many of these measures included industry-recognized credential attainment, dual-credit completion and work-based learning participation.

While 2017 set a new high-water mark for state activity, a look across the past five years of this report illustrates that states are doubling down on a few policy priorities.

With the exception of 2015—when fewer states passed policies related to Industry-recognized Credentials or Data, Reporting and Accountability—these five policy areas have been the top priorities for states every year that this report has been published. This is no surprise, given that much of the conversation in the CTE field over the past five years has centered around accountability, credentials of value, dual enrollment and work-based learning. Even compared to recent years, states were more active in 2017, and there was a spike in the number of states adopting new legislation or rules in these policy areas.

So what lessons can be drawn from this year’s state policy review? For one, the enthusiasm for CTE is real. State legislatures, governors and boards of education are coming to recognize what the CTE community has known for years: that high-quality career preparation helps learners develop academic, technical and professional skills and results in positive rates of graduation, postsecondary enrollment and completion, and ultimately career success. 

But it is also important to make a distinction between the quantity of policies passed and the quality of their implementation. 2017 was a record year for state CTE policy, but now comes the true test. State leaders should follow through on the policy commitments made in 2017 by sustaining funding for critical programs, identifying and adopting policies to ensure CTE quality, and taking time to evaluate the implementation and effectiveness of existing policies.

A copy of the report, State Policies Impacting CTE: 2017 Year in Review, is accessible in the Learning that Works Resource Center. Advance CTE and ACTE are also hosting a webinar on January 31, to unpack findings from this year’s review (registration for the webinar is at capacity, but a recording will be available following the webinar at https://careertech.org/webinars).

Austin Estes, Policy Associate

By admin in Legislation, Public Policy, Publications, Research
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