Posts Tagged ‘Missouri’

Getting to Know: Stakeholder Engagement at Advance CTE

Thursday, October 21st, 2021

The “Getting to Know” blog series features the work of State CTE Directors, state and federal policies, innovative programs and new initiatives from the Advance CTE staff. Learn more about each of these topics and the unique contributions to advancing Career Technical Education (CTE) that Advance CTE’s members work on every day.

Meet Dan Hinderliter! Dan is a State Policy Associate at Advance CTE and supports a number of different national projects. As a site liaison for the New Skills ready network, Dan works with two sites (Columbus, Ohio and Indianapolis, Indiana), providing resource and research support while also serving as a direct link to the national project team. He also works on site snapshots, the annual report and quarterly newsletters, as well as major publications that highlight promising national, state and local practices aligned with the principles of the New Skills ready network

Dan also supports the modernization of the National Career Clusters® Framework and spearheads the Year in Review, the annual aggregation of state policy impacting CTE. As part of the Year in Review process, Dan regularly tracks state-level legislation and other policy actions.

Q: Considering your work on the New Skills ready network initiative, how are the six sites leveraging stakeholder engagement to advance career pathways? 

A: Each of the six New Skills ready network sites is working to leverage stakeholder engagement in some capacity to advance career pathways. First, because each of the sites is composed of a variety of stakeholders, engagement with business and industry, postsecondary partners and K-12 institutions has to happen to ensure each voice is involved in and buys into the work of the site. Outside of the project teams, however, most sites are doing some level of stakeholder engagement involving learner and family communications practices. Some sites are surveying parents and learners to understand what resonates with them about available career pathways, while others have done focus groups to understand where there are gaps for learners in specific programs. Columbus, Ohio’s project team hired a minority-led communications firm, with roots in Columbus, to help share consistent messaging and work to understand how each stakeholder can be better supported.

View the 2020-2021 site snapshot for Columbus, Ohio here

Q: Earlier this year, Advance CTE and the Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE) released State Policies Impacting CTE: 2020 Year in Review where industry partnership was a frequently addressed topic area. Are there any states that can serve as a model for policy actions around stakeholder engagement? 

A: Every year, states enact new legislation that impacts how each state engages with stakeholders, either through input gathering or through information sharing. Many states, including Colorado, Hawai’i, Idaho and Missouri (among others), passed legislation this year requiring a state agency to collect and disseminate information that allows learners to make more informed decisions about their futures, including information about in-demand jobs or industry recognized credential attainment. Other states are using legislative action to improve equity and access in part through stakeholder engagement; Oregon and Washington, for example, now require institutions to collect feedback or input from diverse or historically marginalized stakeholder groups to inform new practices and strategies that will increase access to high-quality CTE programs for those groups. At the beginning of 2022, we will release our state policy tracker for 2021 which includes the above legislative actions and others.

Q: One of the foundational commitments within CTE Without Limits is based on stakeholder engagement. How can states, through such partnerships, ensure each learner reaches success in a career of their choice? 

A: Advance CTE’s shared vision, CTE Without Limits, calls for CTE to be incredibly learner-centric and for programs to ensure that the learner voice is incorporated into each decision about career pathways or programs. As states continue to expand access and equity in their CTE programs and work toward dismantling systemic barriers in CTE, the learner voice must be an integral part of these conversations, as only the learner who participated in the program can fully understand the consequences of decisions made at each level. At the same time, states and local institutions can continue to expand offerings by building partnerships with community based organizations to offer learner supports or with business and industry to offer new or improved work-based learning opportunities. By including opportunities for stakeholder groups like learners, their families and local businesses to provide input into decisions surrounding CTE, states can ensure that their career pathways and CTE programs are truly aligned with the needs of their communities.

Q: Lastly, Advance CTE announced the modernization of The National Career Clusters® Framework. How has Advance CTE prioritized stakeholder engagement and the voices of the field in this work? 

A: Though we don’t yet know what our end product will look like at the conclusion of these modernization efforts, we did know the process had to be highly collaborative to ensure everyone buys into whatever the outcome happens to be. As such, we have included a lot of opportunity to incorporate feedback from the field; we convened an expert kitchen cabinet to provide insights about the purpose and uses of the Framework, opened a crowdsourcing portal to collect feedback from the larger field about critical changes they’d like to see, and held workshops to assist in the prototyping of a new Framework. In this next phase of work, we’re hoping to hold focus groups to discuss the future of the Framework. As we near a model for a new, modernized Framework, we are hoping to have many more conversations with stakeholders about how they can implement the Framework in their own state and community to ensure that the modernized Framework is implemented with fidelity.

For resources and tools to increase stakeholder engagement in CTE, visit the Learning that Works Resource Center.

Brittany Cannady, Senior Associate Digital Media 

By Brittany Cannady in Uncategorized
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Legislative Update: Continued Debates in Congress, New USED Nominees and Approved ARP State Plans

Friday, October 8th, 2021

Over the past two weeks, lawmakers in Congress have grappled with several intertwined issues including the debt ceiling, FY22 appropriations, and continued debate over the scope and content of President Biden’s Build Back Better Agenda. 

Short-term Agreement on FY22 Appropriations

On September 30, lawmakers passed short-term funding legislation, known as a continuing resolution (CR), that extends current funding levels for federal programs, like Perkins V, through December 3 for the current federal fiscal year (FY22). The measure ensures that Congress will avoid a shutdown of federal government operations and disruptions to education and workforce development programs, at least for the time being. Democratic lawmakers had hoped to tie a debt ceiling increase to this measure, but Senate Republicans unanimously rejected this approach. With the debt ceiling provision removed, the Senate and House overwhelmingly passed the short-term measure with President Biden signing it into law later that evening. 

Nation’s Borrowing Limit Extended 

Following the passage of the CR, Congressional Democrats turned their attention back to the issue of the national debt limit—the total allowable amount of money the U.S. Treasury Department is statutorily permitted to borrow to pay the nation’s debts. Failure to raise or suspend the debt limit would result in a catastrophic default on the nation’s debt. Until Wednesday, Senate Republicans remained unanimously opposed to addressing this issue, arguing that Congressional Democrats should achieve this via the Congressional budget reconciliation process. With time running short, however, Senate leaders announced that they had reached an agreement to modestly increase the nation’s borrowing authority by $480 billion. 

The agreement, at least temporarily, ensures that the nation will avert a default on its debt obligations. The short-term agreement is intended to provide additional time for lawmakers to determine a longer-term solution for the debt limit. Significantly, the agreement likely means that the debt ceiling will need to be addressed again around the same time that lawmakers must determine full-year funding for the federal government and related programs for the current federal fiscal year (FY22).

Reconciliation Remains in Limbo 

Vigorous debate within the Democratic Party remains fluid and ongoing regarding Congressional Democrats’ efforts to pass a domestic spending bill—known collectively as the Build Better Act agenda—via the Congressional budget reconciliation process. This process allows certain legislation to be passed by simple majorities in both chambers, thereby avoiding a likely Republican filibuster in the Senate. Most recently the House Budget committee repackaged the various component pieces of their $3.5 trillion proposal into a single bill for further consideration— a proposal which includes $4 billion in additional funding for the Perkins V and related programs.  

However, progress on the legislation remains stalled as progressives and moderates within the Democratic party continue to disagree on the timing of a vote for this legislation, the contents of the package, and its overall size. It is widely expected that the topline figure of $3.5 trillion will likely be decreased prior to final passage. At present, Democratic Congressional leaders hope to finalize a deal on this package, along with additional infrastructure legislation, by the end of October. 

Second Funding Window for Connectivity Funds

On September 29, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) announced the opening of a second application filing window for the Emergency Connectivity Fund (ECF) program. Created as part of the American Rescue Plan (ARP), the ECF Program allows eligible schools and libraries to apply for financial support to purchase connected devices like laptops and tablets, Wi-Fi hotspots, modems, routers, and broadband connectivity to serve unmet needs of students, school staff, and library patrons at home during the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic. 

This second opportunity to apply for funding will remain open through October 13. Eligible schools, libraries and consortia will be able to submit requests for funding to make eligible purchases between July 1, 2021 and June 30, 2022. More information on how to apply can be found here

USED Proposes New Maintenance of Equity Implementation Requirements 

On October 5, the U.S. Department of Education (USED) published two notices in the Federal Register regarding the ARP’s maintenance of equity requirement (MOEq). The first notice outlines a set of new data reporting elements regarding a new requirement that states publish information demonstrating that high-poverty school districts are not receiving disproportionate cuts to local school budgets. The second requests information from states and districts regarding the feasibility of this proposed requirement. This MOEq requirement was a condition for states receiving ARP money. More information on these notices can be found here and here

Senate Confirms New USED Nominees 

On Wednesday, October 6, the Senate voted to confirm three high-level nominees for positions within the USED. Those approved for positions included Gwen Graham, who will oversee the Department’s Office of Congressional and Legislative Affairs as Assistant Secretary; Elizabeth Merrill Brown, who will serve as USED’s General Counsel; and Roberto Rodriguez, who will oversee the Department’s Office of Planning, Evaluation, and Policy Development. 

There are a number of other USED appointees still awaiting Senate confirmation. This includes Amy Loyd, who has been nominated to be the next Assistant Secretary for the Office of Career, Technical, and Adult Education (OCTAE)—a nomination Advance CTE has strongly supported earlier this year. At present, it remains unclear when Loyd’s nomination will be approved by the Senate.  

USED Approves Four More ARP Plans

The ARP, passed exclusively by Congressional Democrats earlier this year, authorized $122 billion in additional pandemic aid funding to be disbursed to K-12 schools this past spring. USED has since distributed two-thirds of this funding to states via a formula detailed in the legislation. The Department held back the remaining third of these funds, however, until states and territories submitted plans detailing how they would make use of these resources to support students as they recover from the impacts of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. As part of this ongoing effort, USED approved four more of these plans on Thursday, October 7, sending these additional funds to Arizona, Michigan, Missouri, and Wyoming. The current status of all state ARP plans, including highlights of plans approved by USED so far, can be found here.

Kimberly Green, Executive Director 

By Brittany Cannady in Legislation
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This Week in CTE

Saturday, May 15th, 2021

Developed with input from nearly 200 national, state and local education and workforce development leaders and supported by 40 national organizations, Without Limits: A Shared Vision for the Future of Career Technical Education lays out five inter-connected and equally critical principles.

Only through shared commitment and shared ownership among leaders and practitioners at all levels can we realize the possibility and aspiration of a new career preparation ecosystem that provides each learner with limitless opportunity. The This Week in CTE blog series will highlight state and local examples where CTE Without Limits has been made actionable. If you would like to share how your CTE program creates limitless opportunities for each learner in this blog series, please email Brittany Cannady, bcannady@careertech.org

 

This Week in CTE: May 10 – 14, 2021

 

Each learner engages in a cohesive, flexible, and responsive career preparation ecosystem

This week we extend congratulations to the 57th class of U.S. Presidential Scholars! Of the 161 high school seniors selected, 20 outstanding learners from CTE programs have been awarded this honor for their accomplishments. The 2021 class of U.S. Presidential Scholars in CTE represent the following states: Arizona, Delaware, Florida, Iowa, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, Texas, Utah, Washington, West Virginia and Wisconsin.

A full press release can be found here

Each learner feels welcome in, is supported by, and has the means to succeed in the career preparation ecosystem

This week career tech centers in Ohio received a visit from Lieutenant Governor Jon Husted, who serves as the Director of the Governor’s Office of Workforce Transformation. During the site visits, learners shared reasons for participating in career pathways and early postsecondary opportunities (EPSOs). 

Reflecting on his visits Lt. Gov. Husted stated, “We have to have more students who are taking their career seriously at an earlier age, gaining some real world experience, preparing for work, earning college credits without having to run a bunch of debt, and make the education affordable and effective.”

Read more from learners and about the career tech site visits in this article published by Dayton Daily News.

Each learner skillfully navigates their own career journey

“Some students are already working in the field part time…students who are skilled in masonry will always be able to find work because of demand.”- Holly Pore, District Career Technical Education Director, Rowan-Salisbury Schools.

North Carolina CTE students competed this past week at Skills Rowan, a skills-based competition where Rowan-Salisbury schools showcase their industry skills. Despite the challenges due to the pandemic in hosting a competition that mimics years past, students were still able to feel value from competing and receiving the opportunity to be the true navigator of their career journey. 

Read more in this article published by the Salisbury Post.

Each learner’s skills are counted, valued, and portable

Advance CTE’s newly released communications research indicates that learners who participate in CTE are more prepared for and more likely to plan to complete college. When states build more cohesive systems where early EPSOs such as dual enrollment are fully counted, valued and portable, learners have more equitable paths to college and career success.

Intentional Acts of Dual Enrollment: State Strategies for Scaling Early Postsecondary Opportunities in Career Pathways provides the following four key strategies to achieve this goal and highlights effective programs in Ohio, Tennessee and Utah

View this brief and other New Skills ready network resources here.

Each learner can access CTE without borders

Learners with a career interest in agriculture can register to attend a free virtual internship experience with industry professionals. Do you need career experiences for students despite the pandemic? Attendees will learn:

Educators should attend with learners to explore agricultural jobs and practice asking questions live!
Date: Thursday, May 20
Time: 12:30 pm ET/9:30 am PT.

Register here.

Brittany Cannady, Senior Associate Digital Media

By Brittany Cannady in Advance CTE Resources, CTE Without Limits, Resources
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Governors Praise CTE, Workforce Development in 2021 State of the State Addresses

Thursday, February 11th, 2021

Since the beginning of the year, over 35 governors have delivered their State of the State addresses, sharing their visions for the future of their state and highlighting educational priorities. Some addresses proposed to create new Career Technical Education (CTE) initiatives or increase funding for work-based learning, while others emphasized the importance of preparing students for their careers. In all, 24 addresses implicated CTE in some capacity, especially in the areas of workforce development, work-based learning and funding.  

Workforce Development

Speeches most commonly addressed workforce development at all learner levels which, considering states’ strategies for economic recovery, comes as no surprise. At the secondary level, Missouri Governor Mike Parson set a goal of 12,000 high school students with the WorkKeys Certification, calling the program an “important stepping stone for students who are not immediately college bound but have the knowledge and skills to fill high-demand jobs.” Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear announced the creation of the Better Kentucky Promise Program, a postsecondary-focused initiative to help over 6,000 Kentucky residents complete associate degrees or secure industry-recognized certificates. At the adult level, Governor Greg Gianforte of Montana announced the establishment of the Montana Trades Education Credit, which subsidizes businesses through scholarships up to 50% of the cost of upskilling or reskilling employees, and highlighted the Missouri One Start program, which has trained over 100,000 adults through 400 employer training partnerships.

Work-Based Learning

Many governors highlighted the importance of work-based learning initiatives in providing secondary students with career-ready skills. Governor Kim Reynolds of Iowa applauded efforts to integrate work-based learning into the K-12 curriculum and called on legislators to make work-based learning an expectation in all Iowa schools. Governor Brad Little similarly highlighted the role of work-based learning in Idaho, committing to further connecting students and employers for on-the-job experiences and professional skill development. Alaska Governor Mike Dunleavy also called for an expansion in this area, directing the Alaska Department of Education to create an apprenticeship program allowing secondary students to receive credit while working for local employers.

Funding and New Initiatives

Announcements of new or proposed funding also featured prominently across many speeches. South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster proposed $97 million for high-demand job skills training and workforce scholarships and grants to improve access to skills-based certificates. Governor Bill Lee of Tennessee highlighted the Governor’s Investment in Vocational Education (GIVE) Act, which consisted of $25 million in grants for 28 projects focused on CTE program expansion, and proposed a $10 million expansion for ten new sites, prioritizing economically disadvantaged communities. North Dakota Governor Doug Borgum advocated for $45 million allocated to supporting the expansion and development of successful CTE centers through matched grants, while South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem announced the Build Dakota Scholarship, a five-year, $40 million investment to match students with high-demand career opportunities. Investment in access to and expansion of CTE programming and training remains a clear priority nationwide. 

Outside of CTE related areas, governors also focused heavily on equity in education, including highlighting how COVID-19 has disproportionately exacerbated achievement gaps for communities of color and allocating additional funding for expansion of broadband to students still participating in virtual learning. Advance CTE will continue to monitor the State of the State Addresses as they happen for their relevance to CTE.

Additional resources can be found in our Learning that Works Resource Center.

Dan Hinderliter, Policy Associate

By Brittany Cannady in Uncategorized
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This Week in CTE

Friday, September 11th, 2020

We have compiled a list of highlights in Career Technical Education (CTE) from this week to share with you.

TWEET OF THE WEEK

CTSO OF THE WEEK

McAllen Independent School District in Texas is gearing up for recruitment week for one of their Career Technical Student Organizations (CTSOs). Check out the fun activities planned to bring in new Family, Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA) members next week!

NEWSLETTER OF THE WEEK

Cass Career Center, a public technical school located in Missouri, published their September newsletter this week. Read how the culture at the technical center has shifted to, “learn by unlearning.” The newsletter also shares how learners and the technical center staff are doing their parts to keep the campus safe during the pandemic.

STATE PROFILES OF THE WEEK

The College in High School Alliance (CHSA) and the Level Up coalition published Unlocking Potential: A State Policy Roadmap for Equity and Quality in College in High School Programs. State CTE leaders can leverage this resource as they design and implement policies that drive meaningful change in access, equity, and quality for college in high school programs. CHSA newly released three state profiles of recommended policies already in place in Colorado, Indiana, and Washington. View the state profiles here

LEGISLATIVE UPDATE OF THE WEEK

Co-Chair of the House CTE Caucus Glenn “GT” Thompson (R-PA) published an article about how the pandemic underscores the demand for CTE. In this op-ed, Representative Thompson discussed the need to support CTE learners, and the role that CTE has in economic resiliency.  

RESOURCE OF THE WEEK

In 2018, North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper announced the Finish Line Grants program, a wraparound program to help learners in North Carolina navigate financial emergencies. The program was designed to improve credential attainment rates by limiting unexpected financial burdens that may prevent a student from completing a postsecondary degree or credential. 

View a full profile on this policy in our Learning that Works Resource Center.

Brittany Cannady, Digital Media Associate

By Brittany Cannady in Uncategorized
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States Passed 146 Policies to Support CTE in 2018

Tuesday, January 29th, 2019

2018 was a significant year for Career Technical Education (CTE) at the federal and state levels. On July 31, 2018, the President signed the Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act (Perkins V) into law, which reauthorized the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act of 2006 (Perkins IV). The reauthorization of Perkins signaled a federal commitment to and a recognition of the promise and value of high-quality CTE. Additionally, at the state level 42 states and Washington, D.C., passed a total of 146 policy actions related to CTE and career readiness, reflecting a commitment from state leaders to advance CTE.

Today, Advance CTE and Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE) released the sixth annual Year in Review: State Policies Impacting CTE report, examining 2018 state legislative activity, including legislation, executive orders, board of education actions, budget provisions and ballot initiatives. To develop the report, Advance CTE and ACTE reviewed state activity, catalogued all finalized state action and coded activity based on the policy area of focus. For 2018, the top policy areas of focus include:

In total, 30 states enacted policy in 2018 that impacted CTE funding, making funding the most popular policy category for the sixth year in a row. A number of states directed funding toward the needs of underrepresented, low-income or otherwise disadvantaged populations, including California, Iowa, Maryland, Michigan, Missouri, New Jersey and North Carolina. Washington established a scholarship program to support foster and homeless youth entering postsecondary education or pursuing an apprenticeship, among other policies that supported access and equity, and New York is funding 15 early college high school programs aligned with in-demand industries in communities with low rates of graduation or postsecondary transition.

While roughly one hundred fewer policies were passed in 2018 than in 2017, this past year’s policies still reflect a commitment from state leaders to advance CTE. A decrease in the number of CTE policies passed compared to previous years should not be misinterpreted as an indication that CTE is not a priority for states. In fact, at least 16 governors identified modernizing CTE as a priority for their states during their 2018 State of State Addresses.

As states continue to pass CTE related policies, it is important to focus on the quality of the implementation of the policies and not only the quantity. To view the previous years’ Year in Review reports click here. Advance CTE and ACTE will be joined by a state leader to discuss these policies in more depth on February 14 at 2 p.m. EST – to register for the webinar click here.

Brianna McCain, Policy Associate

By Brianna McCain in Advance CTE Resources, Publications, Resources
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Numerous States Pass Policies Related to Computer Science in 2018

Wednesday, December 5th, 2018

Digital literacy and computer science skills are increasingly necessary for success in today’s workforce, even in fields that are not directly related to information technology. As such, state leaders are recognizing the role that a robust computer science education strategy plays in preparing learners for their future careers and numerous states passed policies related to computer science during their 2018 legislative sessions.

Most recently, in Missouri, on October 30 the governor approved HB3, which creates the STEM Awareness Program to increase STEM career awareness in students grades six through eight. The law also directs the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education to convene a work group to recommend academic performance standards related to computer science.

Similarly, in June, the Hawai’i legislature passed HB2607, which requires the Department of Education to develop and implement statewide computer science curricula plans for public school students in kindergarten to grade twelve and ensure that by the 2021-2022 school year, each public high school offers at least one computer science course for each school year.

In March, the Indiana legislature passed SB172, which establishes the Next Level Computer Science fund and grant program, which will provide grants to eligible entities to implement professional development programs for teachers to provide training in teaching computer science.The bill also requires public schools and charter schools to offer a computer science course as an elective course by 2021.

In total, more than eleven states have passed policies related to computer science, many of which direct the state Department of Education to establish computer science standards or direct schools to offer a computer science course. To learn more about CTE policy trends from 2018, look out for Advance CTE and the Association for Career and Technical Education’s (ACTE) State Policies Impacting CTE: 2018 Year in Review coming out in late January 2019. You can still view the 2017 version of the report here.

Brianna McCain, Policy Associate

By Brianna McCain in Public Policy
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New Resources: Designing Meaningful Career-Ready Indicators (Part 2)

Tuesday, August 21st, 2018

Earlier this summer, Advance CTE in partnership with Education Strategy Group (ESG) and the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO), released two profiles highlighting how states were integrating career-ready indicators into their accountability systems, specifically Progress towards Post-High School Credential and Assessment of (college and career) Readiness.

Today, we are releasing the final two of these profiles aligned with the remaining categories in  Destination Known: Valuing College AND Career Readiness in State Accountability Systems: Co-Curricular Learning and Leadership Experiences and Transitions Beyond High School. The Co-curricular Learning and Leadership Experiences profile focuses on how states like Georgia, Oklahoma and South Carolina are measuring work-based learning within their accountability system, while the Transitions Beyond High School profile explores how Colorado and Missouri are holding schools accountable for learners’ post-high school success in college and careers. While these are newer indicators and less likely to be included in states’ accountability systems, they are a critical to measuring college and career readiness in learners.

Read all four of the Career-Focused Indicator Profiles here and stay tuned for an update to Making Career Readiness Count (3.0) soon:

Kate Kreamer, Deputy Executive Director

By Kate Blosveren Kreamer in Advance CTE Resources, Uncategorized
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Report Examines State Strategies to Increase Qualified High School Teachers for Dual Enrollment Programs

Tuesday, July 3rd, 2018

Dual enrollment programs can ease students’ transitions from high school to postsecondary institutions as they continue along their desired programs of study, while also decreasing the cost of postsecondary education by allowing students to earn college credits while in high school. For the college credit earned through dual enrollment programs to be recognized, high school teachers must be qualified to teach college-level courses. As the availability of dual enrollment programs continue to increase, so have concerns about the qualifications of high school dual enrollment program teachers.

To understand the current landscape of policies impacting the quality of dual enrollment instructors, the Midwestern Higher Education Compact and the Education Commission the States released a report that summarizes state policies for dual enrollment instructors, regional accreditation organizations’ faculty policies and state strategies to increase the supply of qualified high school teachers for dual enrollment programs.

The report found that criteria for qualifying Career Technical Education (CTE) instructors are mentioned in state-level policies in eight states (Colorado, Illinois, Kansas, Maine, Missouri, Mississippi, Ohio, Virginia). Dual enrollment teacher qualification policies are generally related to education attainment level, but exemptions are sometimes made for CTE dual enrollment instructors. In some of these cases, states allow exemption from qualification rules when instructors can demonstrate proficiency in the field they will teach and consider industry recognized credentials and years of experience working in the field when determining teacher qualifications.

These exemptions and considerations are necessary to provide a pipeline of quality CTE dual enrollment instructors that can provide real-world perspectives and industry expert knowledge to students to equip them with the skills to be successful in an ever evolving workforce. Flexible requirements that still ensure that teachers have the relevant qualifications are necessary to address the shortage of qualified CTE instructors.

The report outlined seven strategies, such as offering financial aid for high school instructors to complete graduate credits, states are using to increase the supply of high school instructors qualified to teach in dual enrollment programs. These strategies are meant to incentivise professional development, coordinate and promote credentialing efforts and increase awareness of graduate program options.

These strategies, partnered with those outlined in Advance CTE’s brief about strengthening the rural CTE teacher pipeline and report about increasing access to industry experts in high school, provide policymakers and stakeholders with actions to address the CTE dual enrollment teacher shortage while also ensuring quality instruction for learners.

Advance CTE will continue to monitor policies that impact the pipeline of quality CTE dual enrollment instructors.

Brianna McCain, Policy Associate

By Brianna McCain in Uncategorized
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Illinois, Missouri and Pennsylvania Adopt New Policies to Help Learners Graduate Career Ready

Tuesday, June 27th, 2017

Long after the tassels are turned, the podiums are packed away, and the diplomas framed and positioned on the wall, state policymakers are hard at work devising new policies to help the next class of high school students graduate career ready. Whether through career readiness expectations,  Career Technical Education (CTE) graduation endorsements or alternative CTE graduation pathways, helping learners build the skills they need to be successful in their future careers is a priority for policymakers in Illinois, Missouri and Pennsylvania.

In Illinois, a new Postsecondary and Career Expectations (PaCE) framework comes on the heels of 2016’s Postsecondary and Workforce Readiness Act. That legislation, designed to enhance the Illinois education system to better prepare learners for college and the workforce, adopted a number of strategies including a competency-based learning pilot, college and career pathway endorsements, and supports for educators and district leaders. Specifically, the law directed the Illinois State Board of Education and other state agencies to identify expectations for students between grades 8 through 12 to be prepared for success after high school. Under the law, these expectations would need to focus on career exploration and development; postsecondary institution exploration, preparation and selection; and financial aid and financial literacy.

Earlier this month, the Illinois State Board of Education formally released the newly-developed PaCE framework, outlining guidelines for college- and career-focused activities at each grade level. Many expectations are aligned to a student’s self-identified career pathway. By the end of 10th grade, for example, students are expected to participate in a mock interview, create a sample resume, and identify an internship opportunity related to their career pathway. However, career exploration is emphasized in earlier grades through Career ClusterⓇ interest surveys and career exploration days. Though use of the framework is voluntary, it is designed to empower local educators and administrators to better target supports to students to ensure they are on track for success after graduation.

Missouri’s New CTE Diploma Endorsement Celebrates Student Achievement

Meanwhile, the Missouri State Board of Education outlined requirements for the state’s new CTE graduation certificate. The certificate program, authorized under 2016’s SB620, is designed to recognize the value add that CTE provides, helping equip students with the technical and employability skills to be more competitive in both college and the workforce. The legislature specifically called on the State Board of Education to work with local school districts to ensure the certificate program does not incentivize tracking, or “separating pupils by academic ability into groups for all subjects or certain classes and curriculum.” Rather, the legislation emphasizes program quality, encouraging local school districts to rely on industry-recognized standards, skills assessments and certificates.

In June, the Missouri State Board of Education finalized requirements for a CTE diploma to recognize students who, in addition to completing their core graduation requirements, focus in a CTE area of study. True to the intent of the law, the requirements above all emphasize achievement. Students are only eligible to receive a CTE endorsement if they, among other requirements, maintain a 3.0 GPA in their CTE concentration, earn an industry-recognized credential or a passing score on a technical skills assessment, complete at least 50 hours of work-based learning, and maintain an attendance record of at least 95 percent throughout high school. By prioritizing student success and achievement, Missouri’s CTE diploma requirements appropriately recognize that CTE enhances the traditional high school experience.

Alternative Assessments for CTE Concentrators in Pennsylvania

Finally, CTE students in Pennsylvania will have more flexible pathways to graduation after lawmakers amended a yet-to-be-implemented examination requirement. The change comes in response to a 2014 State Board of Education rule that required students to pass Keystone examinations in Algebra I, Biology and Literature before graduating. Although the requirement was scheduled to apply statewide for the graduating class of 2017, the legislature last year decided to delay implementation to give the Department of Education enough time to identify alternative assessment opportunities for CTE students.

Under the original policy, students who failed to pass the Keystone examinations could demonstrate competency through project-based assessments in order to meet graduation requirements. However, with low Keystone pass rates and high participation in the burdensome project-based assessment alternatives, the legislature soon realized that additional options needed to be explored.

The new law, HB202, provides CTE concentrators an exemption to the Keystone graduation requirement if they 1) complete grade-based academic requirements and 2) either complete an industry-based certification or demonstrate likelihood of success based on benchmark assessments, course grades and other factors. To meet the industry-based certification requirement, CTE concentrators will be able to choose among state-approved credentials in their area of focus, including National Occupational Competency Testing Institute (NOCTI) and National Institute for Metalworking Skills (NIMS) examinations.  

While alternative graduation pathways that recognize learners’ career goals help to expand options for high school students, it is important that academic rigor is not the price of flexibility. Graduation requirements should continue to be rigorous and ambitious to ensure all learners are set up for success after graduation, whether they choose to pursue college or careers. The Pennsylvania Department of Education can continue to uphold rigor in CTE programs by ensuring that grade-based academic requirements and selected industry-based certifications are high quality and appropriately reflect the competencies learners need to be successful regardless of their chosen pathway. 

Meanwhile other states have adopted new policies related to CTE and career readiness, including:

Austin Estes, Policy Associate

By Austin Estes in Public Policy, Uncategorized
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