Posts Tagged ‘school counselors’

Communicating CTE: New Communications Research Highlights Key Equity Considerations in Communicating CTE to Families and Learners

Wednesday, April 28th, 2021

 

Today, Advance CTE released a new report and updated resources on messages that resonate with families about the value and benefits of Career Technical Education (CTE), and how they should be communicated to each learner to achieve effective and equitable recruitment into secondary CTE programs.

Communicating Career Technical Education: Learner-centered Messages for Effective Program Recruitment  is an update to messaging research conducted in 2017 on families both participating in (current) and not participating in CTE (prospective). This new research  includes an intentional focus on revealing differences in education preferences, experiences, and message and messenger impact among Black and Latinx families and families experiencing low income to advance a shared vision of CTE programs where each learner feels welcome in, is supported by, and has the means to succeed.

Encouragingly, the topline findings showed that an overarching message about ‘Preparing for the Real World’ resonated with learners and parents/guardians across participation, race, ethnicity and income: 

Through CTE, learners gain real-world skills that prepare them to succeed in college and a career that they are passionate about. 

However, the research also revealed important equity considerations that states should consider when supporting local systems in evaluating and taking steps to improve equity in program quality in hands-on particularly in regards to program quality, the impact of social capital and messenger trust. 

1. Learners in CTE have more opportunities to prepare for postsecondary education and are more confident about completing a degree. 

The findings indicated that participation in CTE increased the likelihood that learners planned to complete a degree over completing ‘some college,’ particularly among Latinx  families and families with low income.

Additionally, 80 percent of families participating in CTE are satisfied with opportunities to jumpstart their postsecondary education in high school through opportunities to earn college credit and take advanced classes compared to just 60 percent of families not participating in CTE.

State Impact: These findings reinforce the importance of states designing seamless transfers from secondary to postsecondary education across all career pathways, removing barriers to accessing early postsecondary opportunities (EPSOs), and communicating these opportunities in digestible, intentional ways to families. 

2. Informed school-based messengers are key for CTE enrollment, but online sources and messenger trust are key considerations for historically marginalized families. 

While school counselors and teachers were the top two sources for both families in and  outside CTE to receive information about CTE programs, families from historically marginalized populations also consistently included online sources such as Google search and school websites in their top two sources. 

Significantly, historically marginalized learners not participating in CTE were less likely to choose school counselors as a top source than parents/guardians. While 84 percent of prospective Latinx parents/guardians would likely consult a school counselor about CTE, only 37 percent of prospective Latinx learners would. Among Black families, 74 percent of prospective Black parents/guardians would likely consult a school counselor about CTE while only 59 percent of prospective Black learners would. 

State Impact: These findings reinforce the importance of states designing communication campaigns through multiple avenues with reinforced messaging like those found in our updated messaging triangle (LINK), as well as examining systemic barriers and solutions to building more diverse school counselor and instructor talent pipelines. 

3. Families participating in CTE are more satisfied across all aspects of their education, but intentional focus is needed on achieving equitable access to hands-on experiences. 

The great news is across race, ethnicity and income, 88 percent of parents/guardians and learners participating in CTE are satisfied with their education experience compared to 75 percent of those considering CTE. This includes aspects such as quality of classes and teachers, opportunities for career exploration and skillbuilding, and even opportunities for advanced classes. 

However, equitable satisfaction by race and income was not achieved for work-based learning experiences such as opportunities to connect and network with employers and opportunities for internships. For both of the aforementioned categories, satisfaction among current Black learners dropped 1 and 2 percentage points respectively compared to prospective Black leaners.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

State Impact: As states continue to reimagine CTE programs and work-based learning experiences in this learning recovery, this finding reinforces the importance of designing programs on the margins and removing barriers to access to ensure each learner participates in high-quality programs across all career pathways, and to realize the full impact of these effective messages. 

Overall, CTE provides the education experiences and benefits that families are looking for, but program quality is critical to achieve full message impact and effective recruitment. To read the full report and to access resources to put this research into action including a message triangle with tailoring for historically marginalized populations, please visit our Engaging Families and Learners web page. For resources on advancing equity and access in CTE programs, visit the Equity and Access page in Advance CTE’s Resource Center.

Stacy Whitehouse, Senior Associate Communications and State Engagement 

By Stacy Whitehouse in Uncategorized
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State of CTE: Career Advisement in Perkins V State Plans

Tuesday, February 16th, 2021

In October 2020, Advance CTE released “The State of Career Technical Education: An Analysis of States’ Perkins V Priorities,” which examines how states have leveraged the development of the Strengthening Career Technical Education for the 21st Century Act (Perkins V) state plans to expand quality and increase equity within their Career Technical Education (CTE) systems. 

Perkins V includes an increased focus on career development and advisement, which is critical for ensuring that each learner can learn about, access and be successful in high-quality CTE programs. Career development and advisement is also a crucial component of states’ equity strategies because they help learners navigate increasingly complex education and workforce development systems on their way to a rewarding career, as well as support the broader social-emotional needs of CTE learners.

Perkins V plans indicate that states are undertaking a number of efforts, at both the secondary and postsecondary levels, to provide robust advisement and related supports for learners. Based on Advance CTE’s analysis of state Perkins V plans:

Another trend is the widespread state use of individual career academic plans (ICAPs) at the secondary level. While the degree that Perkins V funds directly support these efforts remains unclear, the fact that many states include references to their ICAPs in their state plans indicates that states are increasingly working toward more clearly connecting ICAPs to their CTE systems. 

State Strategies to Advance Career Advisement

Key Innovations

The Work Ahead

Many state plans do not distinguish between initiatives that are specifically driven by Perkins V and other efforts that states may already be undertaking to expand career development and advisement efforts. The work ahead lies in ensuring strong connections between CTE and advisement at the state, district, school and institutional level to collectively support each learner. 

States must also attend to providing robust career development and advisement for learners at all levels. For example, while 90 percent of states are allowing Perkins V funds to be used for middle grades, most are leaving the decision of whether and how to support middle grades to local districts. There is a clear state role in supporting the expansion of middle grade advisement efforts so that learners can be fully aware of the opportunities available to them when exploring career paths and be better prepared for success by the time they enroll in a high school CTE program. 

Additionally, given their role in helping learners transition to the workplace, postsecondary advisement activities are an especially important area that many state Perkins V plans do not address in any way. Ensuring that there are more robust support systems for learners at every level of CTE will help close opportunity gaps and position more learners for success.

Resources

Christina Koch, Policy Associate
Jill Cook, Executive Director, American School Counselor Association (ASCA)

 

By admin in Public Policy, Research
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Report Describes What Else States Should Do To Support Career Advising and Development

Tuesday, February 6th, 2018

Today, Advance CTE and the American School Counselor Association (ASCA) released a report exploring the strategies currently in place across the country to support career advising and development efforts. Too often, career advising and development only occurs at the high school level, even though learners should have access to career awareness, exploration and planning activities from elementary school all the way through postsecondary education. Anecdotally, many state and local leaders assume that this is not happening to the extent that it should be, but there has not yet been an in-depth examination of the data.

This topic has been a key focus of the New Skills for Youth (NSFY) initiative, a partnership of the Council of Chief State School Officers, Advance CTE and Education Strategy Group, generously funded by JPMorgan Chase & Co. NSFY has provided funding to 10 states to transform their career readiness systems, and all 10 participating states have strategies in place to improve their career advising and development activities.

Advance CTE, as part of NSFY, partnered with the American School Counselor Association (ASCA) to conduct research with three questionnaires. Advance CTE surveyed State CTE Directors, and ASCA sent separate surveys to a selection of school counselors and to State School Counseling Directors, in states where that role has been specifically identified. Some of the key findings include:

The report examined numerous strategies currently in place to support career advising and development efforts. Wisconsin’s Academic and Career Plan, for example, is an ongoing process for middle and high school students that involves coordinated conversations around career interests and options, and that helps students make informed choices about career pathways. Texas has spent the last few years developing extensive virtual supports for school counselors, available through TXCTE.org and Texas OnCourse. These resources provide school counselors with messaging materials, lesson plans and other information on CTE and career advising. Maryland has leveraged state and organizational partnerships to develop several career advising strategies at the elementary and middle school levels, which incorporate career awareness and exposure with civic engagement and financial literacy.

To hear more about this report, join our webinar on February 20, which will feature presentations from ASCA and Advance CTE, as well as a local CTE practitioner.

Ashleigh McFadden, State Policy Manager

By admin in Publications, Research, Uncategorized
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Report: School Counselors Critical to College and Career Readiness

Wednesday, January 4th, 2012

The Education Trust, a Washington-based organization, released a paper highlighting the role of school counselors in preparing high school students for postsecondary education and careers.

According to the paper, school counselors play a vital role in setting up students for success; however, they are often overwhelmed and sidetracked by assigned tasks that distract from the goal of preparing college- and career-ready students. Despite this, many school counselors are taking extra steps – such as poring over data to spot struggling students, or identifying students who need additional services – to increase students’ performance and their postsecondary opportunities.

The authors stated that all school counselors should be positioned to “assume leadership in the movement for college and career readiness,” and states, districts, and schools can take action by making these changes:

1)      Rework school counselors’ job descriptions to focus more on tasks that will result in college and career readiness for all students.

2)     Refocus counselor education programs so that school counselors are trained in educational equity and college and career readiness.

3)     Add more school-specific training and coursework on data usage to university counseling programs.

4)     Support current school counselors through additional professional development.

5)     Align school counselors’ evaluations with student outcomes.

Secondary students, including the many enrolled in Career Technical Education (CTE), would benefit from changes that allow school and career counselors to increase focus on college and career readiness for students.

Kara Herbertson, Education Policy Analyst

By admin in Publications
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