Posts Tagged ‘state policy’

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

Tuesday, January 30th, 2024

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

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

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

California

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

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

New Hampshire

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

Virginia

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

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

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

View the 2022 state policy tracker here.

Velie Sando, Policy Associate

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

Reshoring is Only Possible with High-Quality Career Technical Education

Wednesday, August 23rd, 2023

Many have heard of the term offshoring, moving production to another country to save on costs, but are you familiar with reshoring? Reshoring involves moving the production of goods back to the country where the business is located. There are several reasons for a company to make this decision, including new legislative or regulatory requirements; increasing costs due to changes in the country where the production was outsourced; or logistical reasons related to cost and time. While the reasons for reshoring may be varied, a strong Career Technical Education (CTE) system that prepares future workers is necessary to make reshoring possible for companies based in the United States. 

There has been an increasing push within the manufacturing industry to reshore more production back to the U.S. due to recent legislation at the federal and state levels. While there have been policies regarding federal purchasing that require domestic production, such as the Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement (DFARS), the Buy American Act and recently the Build America Buy America Act, there are now new policies being enacted focused on supporting private sector domestic sourcing. The Creating Helpful Incentives to Produce Semiconductors and Science Act of 2022 (CHIPS and Science ACT) is intended to increase more domestic production of semiconductors, but also to support the growth of new and emerging technologies such as quantum computing, AI, clean energy and nanotechnology. To facilitate this growth, the CHIPS Act authorizes $174 billion over the next five years for STEM programs, workforce development and research and development (R&D).

National and state policy are not the only reasons for manufacturers choosing to reshore, there are also cost and supply chain reasons. As the economies of nations around the world evolve, the savings from previously lower cost of production compared to domestic production is diminishing and almost negligible in some cases. Logistical issues have also prompted the drive to bring production back to the U.S. During the coronavirus pandemic, the fragility of the supply chain and transportation infrastructures was exposed. 

Supporting reshoring efforts requires access to a robust and highly skilled workforce and talent pool. This is where a high-quality CTE system that is accessible to all learners plays a critical role. Domestic manufacturing has many career pathways available to learners including those outside of what is traditionally considered as being a part of the sector. Business management, logistics, supply chain management, and many more in-demand careers are available within the umbrella of manufacturing. Learners need to have access to the education and training needed to prepare them for these in-demand career opportunities that provide self-sustaining wages.

To maximize’s CTE’s value in reshoring, employers must be informed on its alignment with reshoring-connected careers and be partners in designing CTE programs to meet skills needs. Advance CTE’s employer engagement fact sheet and messaging guidelines provide several recommendations on effectively engaging employers about the positive return on investment that CTE experiences provide for business and economic growth. The findings from the research provide CTE leaders with several suggestions to enhance employer participation, program quality and learner outcomes. 

This blog is the first in a series that will highlight promising state policies that connect the expansion of domestic manufacturing and CTE. The upcoming topics include curriculum and skill set development, programs of study alignment, and work-based learning programs that will all provide learners with the tools they need to be prepared to fill these high-skill, high-wage and in-demand jobs.

Paul Mattingly, Senior Policy Associate

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

Exploring Summer Youth Employment Programs: Increasing Access Through Career Pathways

Wednesday, July 19th, 2023

Summertime is fast approaching and many learners are looking for ways to spend their summers. Summer Youth Employment Programs (SYEP) are an excellent opportunity for learners, usually ages 14-25, to gain valuable work experience and career exploration. Unfortunately, many of these programs struggle with connecting the experiences learners gain with the work-based learning (WBL) continuum. Statewide implementation of SYEP also seems to have significant barriers. 

To help address these concerns, Advance CTE called together a shared solutions workgroup (SSWG) of experts across the Career Technical Education (CTE) ecosystem to identify the common barriers and introduce recommended actions that states, local districts and intermediaries could use to address them. Additionally, the SSWG looked at ways to help make the return on investment for industry partners clear. This culminated in the creation of the Exploring Summer Youth Employment Programs brief.

One highlight of the brief was the elevation of various SYEP experiences from across the country that offered innovative ways to deliver these WBL opportunities to their learners. These were strong local, statewide and national programs that not only informed some of the selections for the SSWG, but also served as a springboard for the recommendations developed. Below are just two examples of the many presented in the brief.

Finding alignment with Advance CTE’s vision CTE Without Limits for a cohesive, flexible and responsive career preparation ecosystem that closes equity gaps in educational outcomes and workforce readiness helped frame the context of the programmatic recommendations. Below are a few examples of the recommended actions from each of the stakeholder groups:

State Agencies

Intermediaries

Local School Systems

SYEP can be a powerful tool for developing interest in and supporting career pathways for learners. The Exploring Summer Youth Employment Programs brief helps state leaders connect learner classroom experiences to meaningful work experiences. Building a connection to the WBL continuum elevates an interesting summer employment experience into one that supports purposeful learner entry into the workforce.

For additional information on work-based learning:

Brice Thomas, Policy Associate

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

College in High School Series: Using Perkins Reserve Funds to Support Dual Enrollment CTE Programs

Thursday, June 22nd, 2023

Montana is looking at innovative ways to support its career technical education (CTE) early post-secondary opportunities by giving learners earlier access to dual enrollment offerings. This blog features Montana and the use of Perkins funding to expand access to dual enrollment opportunities for all CTE learners.  

Using Perkins Reserve Funds to Support Dual Enrollment CTE Programs

In 2018, the Strengthening Career Technical Education for the 21st Century Act (Perkins V) increased state reserve funds from 10 to 15 percent. Reserve funds must be used to foster innovation in Career Technical Education (CTE) and promote program alignment with high-skill, high-wage or in-demand careers. States have flexibility with how they allocate reserve funds and there is opportunity for local and regional areas to develop and expand early postsecondary opportunities (EPSOs) and invest in enhancing secondary to postsecondary transitions to ensure credit transfer or articulation for more learners.

Montana under the Montana Board of Regents, has used reserve funds to drive college acceleration through early postsecondary CTE opportunities in the state and increase secondary to postsecondary articulation agreements. As a result, Montana saw significant increases in dual enrollment participants and their program success rates. According to the Montana Perkins V State Plan, the number of learners taking dual enrollment courses doubled from 2014 to 2018, while the number of dual enrollment learners matriculating into a Montana University System institution tripled.

The state uses a competitive Perkins Reserve grant process to support the Montana Career Pathways (MCP) initiative – to increase awareness of secondary CTE programs and activities, as well as options for postsecondary degrees and credentials that align to the learner’s pathway. Competitive grants are available to tribal colleges, two-year colleges, community colleges and consortia.

Recipients can use Perkins Reserve grant funds to employ full-time dual enrollment coordinators and CTE dual enrollment exploratory activities. The coordinators serve as liaisons between secondary and postsecondary institutions and work closely with learners in helping them identify a pathway related to a career in a program their institution offers. In addition, coordinators serve as liaisons between faculty and staff and create collaborative spaces for secondary and postsecondary faculty by facilitating meetings to discuss articulation agreements and course transfer as well as collaboration with business and industry. Grant funds also allow for recipients to create CTE career exploration activities that connect secondary (middle and high school learners) with postsecondary learners, and staff to local industry partners for hands-on and meaningful CTE experiences.

Since the initial allotment of Perkins Reserve funds (under Montana’s previous state plan) has been hugely successful statewide, the Department has decided to continue the allotment into their updated Perkins V State Plan, strengthening and scaling its offerings while specifically committing to work with tribal colleges and special population learners. As such, the state continues to prioritize funding activities related to career exploration, CTE dual enrollment, and promotion of state-level CTE programs of study such as Montana Career Pathways, industry-recognized credential attainment and work-based learning opportunities. 

To learn more about how CTE early postsecondary opportunities such as dual enrollment serve learners, check out Advance CTE’s resource on Intentional Acts of Dual Enrollment: State Strategies for Scaling Early Postsecondary Opportunities in Career Pathways.

For more in-depth information on Montana’s work, please visit the following resources: State of EPSO, Montana Perkins Plan, Montana State Plan

Suela Cela, Senior Policy Associate

 

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

College in High School Series: a Look at CHSA’s State Policy Roadmap

Wednesday, June 14th, 2023

Advance CTE serves as a steering member of the College in the High School Alliance,a coalition of national, state, and local organizations collaborating to enable high school students to enroll in authentic, affordable college pathways toward postsecondary degrees and credentials offered with appropriate support. This blog, the second in a series, highlights the CHSA’s Unlocking Potential guide that elevates findings and work states are doing to design and deliver high-quality college in the high school programs. 

Resource Overview

College in High School Alliance (CHSA)’s Unlocking Potential: A State Policy Roadmap for Equity & Quality in College in High School Programs provides a comprehensive set of policy recommendations for states looking to expand equitable access to college and high school programs. This guide provides policy recommendations as well as actionable items for state and local administrators and concludes with other examples of state tools and resources.

Background:

College in High School Alliance defines college in high school programs as dual enrollment, concurrent enrollment, and early college high school. These programs are formed via partnerships between school districts and accredited institutions of higher education to provide high school-age students postsecondary experiences that lead to college credentials or degrees. 

The number of students participating in College in High School Programs has increased to provide opportunities to more than 5.5 million secondary learners, with Career Technical Education (CTE) courses making up one-third of enrollments (1). While these programs have proven popular and in high demand, enrollment demographics do not reflect the full diversity of the learner population. Significant opportunity exists for reducing barriers to accessing College in High School Programs for all learners, especially those in low-income communities, learners of color, learners from rural communities and first-generation college-goers.

Unlocking Potential provides recommendations and highlights work for state policies that advance the goals of equity and quality for college in high school programs in six categories:

The numbers in the image represent page numbers from the resource guide, per each category.

The policy recommendations are presented along a continuum: foundational, advanced, and exceptional policies. Foundational policies are those that every state must have to best support its learners.

For example, under the Equity Goal and Public Reporting, Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) data reporting requirements would be considered a foundational policy. On the other end of the spectrum, states can enhance these same data reporting requirements by creating tool kits and providing technical assistance to empower local use of data to remove barriers for learners and create more equitable programs. 

To learn more about how CTE early postsecondary opportunities (EPSO) such as dual enrollment serve learners, check out Advance CTE’s report on The State of CTE: Early Postsecondary Opportunities. This 50-state report, provided in partnership with College in the High School Alliance reveals key findings on how EPSOs serve CTE learners and provides recommendations for state leaders to leverage state infrastructure and collaboration to advance equity in these experiences.

  1. The State of CTE: Early Postsecondary Opportunities
  2. Unlocking Potential

 

Suela Cela, Senior Policy Associate

By Jodi Langellotti in CTE Without Limits
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

State CTE Policy Update: Expansion and Growth in Idaho CTE

Tuesday, May 30th, 2023

Idaho is looking at innovative ways to support its career technical education (CTE) ecosystem by giving learners earlier access to CTE opportunities. However, they are also focused on matching program design with local workforce needs. One piece of legislation passed during the 2023 legislative session explores an innovative approach to both approving and funding local CTE programs. 

On March 31, 2023, Idaho’s governor signed into law House Bill 267 which established the Idaho Career Ready Students Program. This program creates additional opportunities for students in grades seven through twelve to experience CTE through the creation of an eleven-person governing council and a pool of grant funding to be given to new CTE programs proposed by local education agencies (LEAs). This is a supplemental, separate initiative from the state’s current CTE program of study approval process. 

The primary function of this council is to determine the eligibility of CTE programs at an individual or regional level. They will also be tasked with determining the costs associated with building these programs, including any initial costs of investing in industry partnerships and local school systems. Additionally, they will have access to $10 million in grant money to invest in the expansion and modernization of CTE programs which will be divided evenly between secondary and postsecondary opportunities.

This council will also oversee an ongoing $5 million in funding to invest in middle school CTE, including ensuring that students in grades seven and eight receive career exploration opportunities. Middle school learners will be expected to complete a learner plan as part of their “first step standards,” a plan to align their high school experiences with their choices in career exploration.

The eleven-member council is housed within the Department of Education that is led by the state superintendent of public instruction. Council membership consists of the CTE state director, two secondary-level CTE instructors, one postsecondary CTE instructor, three governor-appointed industry representatives, one representative from the Idaho workforce development council, one member of the state House of Representatives as appointed by the speaker, as well as one member of the state senate as appointed by the president pro tempore of the state senate.

Through this law, the goal is to create 180 new local CTE programs as well as provide financial literacy courses to all high school seniors. This works in conjunction with Idaho’s continuing investment in CTE, which is to facilitate an overall increase in funding to $34 million from 2020-2024. The council must also develop a long-term method to fund successful programs through the creation of an added-cost funding formula. The state superintendent, along with the state CTE director, is required to provide reports to the legislature on both program effectiveness and any added costs.

Appropriating funding for middle school CTE programming is an action many states are beginning to look into since the earlier learners have exposure to different career pathways, the more likely they are to embrace pathways outside of the ones they witness in their immediate environment. Allowing experts from the secondary and postsecondary CTE field, experts representing state workforce needs and the legislature to work together to disseminate the funding creates an interesting opportunity to collaboratively steer local CTE programs in the direction learners need to thrive in the workforce. This policy is an innovative way to leverage the expertise of those leading Idaho forward in workforce development and CTE through funding that states may be interested in adapting.

Connect to the 2022 Year in Review for additional ideas for innovative funding policies.

Brice Thomas, Policy Associate

By Jodi Langellotti in Public Policy
Tags: , , , , ,

State CTE Policy Update: Addressing Learners Experiencing Homelessness in Illinois

Friday, April 28th, 2023

Advance CTE is committed to supporting states as they build cohesive, flexible and responsive Career Technical Education (CTE) ecosystems. With that responsiveness, comes a responsibility to provide quality CTE programs and interventions for learners that exist on the margin of society. One important group of learners that exists on the margin is students experiencing homelessness.

According to the Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act (Perkins V), students experiencing homelessness are entitled to the same CTE services as all other students, including programs and services that are designed to prepare students for high-skill, high-wage and in-demand careers. CTE programs provide an additional pathway for these students to achieve success in the workforce that can help reate the stability they need. Illinois seeks to address this issue through S.B. 0190, which passed in 2021.

S.B. 0190 or The Higher Education Housing and Opportunities Act is a sweeping piece of legislation that requires a designated staff member at any “publicly or privately operated university, college, community college, business, technical or vocational school, or other educational institution offering degrees and instruction beyond the secondary school level,” to serve as liaison to youth experiencing homelessness and youth in the care of the state attending their institution. 

The institution must create a separate liaison position dedicated to providing the wraparound support those students need to matriculate successfully should, after three years of tracking and reporting the homeless youth attending, that population be two percent or higher. The law defines homelessness as not having access to a fixed, regular and adequate nighttime residence. On-campus housing is excluded from this definition. 

The liaison’s main roles are: 

  1. To provide support with applying for Federal and state financial aid or other programs.
  2. To identify services and resources that are available to and appropriate for a student experiencing homelessness.
  3. To track and monitor the graduation rate and retention rate of learners defined by the law as “homeless students and students in care” enrolled at the institution.
  4. To report annually to the Board of Higher Education or the Illinois Community College Board, as appropriate, the number of students experiencing homelessness and students in care enrolled at the institution.
  5. To act as an intermediary between a student experiencing homelessness or student in care and the office of financial aid, student support services and campus housing services.
  6. To connect a student experiencing homelessness or student in care to a local continuum of care program.
  7. To develop a plan to provide access to on-campus housing or to suitable off-campus housing between academic breaks to students experiencing homelessness or students in care enrolled at the institution.
  8. To train the institution’s employees to identify students experiencing homelessness and to refer those students to the liaison.

 

The Higher Education Housing and Opportunities Act also requires The Board of Higher Education and the Illinois Community College Board to provide access to a training program that was developed by a homeless advocacy agency to ensure staff has the capacity to serve these students. They must also provide yearly training for liaisons and collaborate with the State Coordinator for McKinney-Vento Homeless Education to facilitate the transition of students experiencing homelessness from secondary to postsecondary education.

Finally, the law requires institutions to prioritize students experiencing homelessness or students in care when it comes to on-campus housing, including housing that is open during breaks (and to waive fees for on-campus housing during breaks.) This also includes allowing part-time students experiencing homelessness access to on-campus housing and the mandate to include their services to these students in their financial aid packets.

Illinois has managed to create a robust law that will serve a population that often gets overlooked in discussions of access and equity. With designated staff and liaisons invested in their care, students experiencing homelessness will have a stronger chance to succeed in the CTE programs they enroll in.

This legislation is designed to provide CTE learners of Illinois with better opportunities of entering the workforce and move past the housing insecurities they may have experienced. States can use this as a model of their own; creating a dedicated staff member to serve as liaison to these learners, creating reporting and accountability models and building in immediate responsiveness to the need for a permanent position to provide supports for students experiencing homelessness.

For more information on identifying common barriers to high-quality CTE and for additional strategies on how CTE and education leaders can work together to increase access and success in CTE programs for youth experiencing homelessness, read Making Good on the Promise: Improving Equity in and Access to Quality CTE Programs for Students Experiencing Homelessness.

Brice Thomas, Policy Associate

By Jodi Langellotti in Public Policy
Tags: , , , ,

Advance CTE and ACTE Release 10th Annual Year in Review Report

Thursday, February 9th, 2023

This month, Advance CTE, in partnership with the Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE,) has released the 2022 Year In Review, the tenth report of its kind. This report is a snapshot of Career Technical Education (CTE) legislation around the country, passed in 2022 through states’ respective legislatures. Designed to support state policymakers and other interested stakeholders, the Year In Review report offers the opportunity to see what solutions to common themes have been implemented and where. 

Containing 123 policies enacted in 36 states, the report elevates innovative and particularly effective legislation across common policy themes, with healthcare being particularly prevalent with policymakers. As per previous reports, the Year In Review also lists highlights from the top five policy areas from 2022 which are:

For a more in-depth look at all of the enacted policies for this year, we have provided this accompanying online tracker, which allows users to search and filter for the policies they are looking for. 

CTE leaders are encouraged to use the tracker and state highlight to consider how to apply these innovations in their states and communities to realize the CTE Without Limits vision framework. The following policies align with two principles where state leaders have expressed interest in increased action policy in both policy and practice: 

Principle 4: Each learner’s skills are counted, valued, and portable

West Virginia mandated that the State Board of Education shall establish, develop, and maintain a program where students can earn up to six elective course credits for extended learning opportunities that take place outside of the traditional classroom setting. These experiences must be approved by the State Board of Education, and all teachers are required to have a background check. Each extended learning program will be evaluated at the end of its first year; if it meets the requirements, it may be approved for an additional five years. Students may receive transfer credits for extended learning programs.

Principle 5: Each learner can access CTE without borders

Kentucky established a virtual computer science career academy, implemented by nonprofit group WeLeadCS, to prepare high school students for careers in computing, particularly in the field of data science. The program will be delivered by teachers in a virtual, synchronous manner and will provide opportunities related to dual college credit, industry certifications and work-based learning. WeLeadCS must recruit and train certified teachers; collaborate with the Kentucky Center for Statistics to define workforce needs and opportunities; partner with employers, K-12 and postsecondary educations to develop initiatives to raise awareness of the program; and advise students in the academy about postsecondary degree opportunities, among other responsibilities.

Read the report to explore 18 state policy highlights and a longitudinal view of CTE policies passed in the last ten years. To celebrate this milestone, Advance CTE will be taking a look back at some of these policies and analyzing their effect on their CTE landscapes specifically through our CTE Without Limits vision framework throughout the year.

The 2022 Year in Review can be found here. Previous Year In Review reports may be found here.

Brice Thomas, Policy Associate

By Stacy Whitehouse in Advance CTE Resources, Public Policy, Publications
Tags: , , , , , , ,

2022 Advance Fall Meeting Recap – Forward Together: Amplifying Voices of CTE Leaders

Wednesday, October 26th, 2022

Advance CTE’s 2022 Fall Meeting included five breakout sessions that connected timely topics of advocacy of CTE, equipping attendees with strategies to elevate their voice and the voices of learners and partners to advance high-quality, equitable policies. 

This post provides a recap of top strategies and resources shared in each breakout, which featured speakers from state teams, national non-profits, philanthropy and education research and communications.

Engaging Policymakers to Create CTE Champions

With over 30 gubernatorial elections and legislative elections in all but four states, 2022 will likely lead to major changes and transitions in the year ahead for education leadership. Speakers from Education Commission of the States, Advance CTE and the state of Washington provided guidance and tips to successfully prepare for and navigate these transitions. In particular, state CTE leaders should focus on identifying their core messages on the value of CTE, conducting research on what newly elected leaders care most about (and what CTE success stories can be shared from their home districts or communities), and leveraging ambassadors and partners to help carry forward priorities and get the ear of new leaders and their transition teams. 

Moving Beyond a Seat at the Table: Advancing CTE through Partnerships and Collaboration

The intersectionality of CTE leads the creation of high-quality partnerships to be not just good strategy but a necessity. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and Achieving the Dream, both national partners of Advance CTE, shared best strategies to create partnerships that will better deploy and connect federal state and philanthropic resources, and ultimately address gaps that impede the success of learners. Speakers emphasized that successful partnerships must have shared objectives and mutual needs. When asked about the conditions philanthropic organizations seek when investing in a new partnership, three main areas are identified: flexibility, having the right individuals at the table and bought in, and an understanding that the partnership is not a product bought but rather an opportunity to create connections.

Connecting Data and Learner Voice for Next-Level Storytelling

This session featuring Advance CTE and Edge Research inspired attendees to amplify learner outcome data and testimonials to create impactful data stories. Attendees were reminded to be in the driver’s seat on creating data ‘headlines’’ and to be proactive in addressing assumptions others might make about data. First step routines were also provided, such as mapping schedules for quantitative and qualitative data collection, quantitative data reporting and qualitative data access opportunities and comparing timelines with storytelling opportunities. 

Edge Research provided storytelling tips — one included creating three to five headlines that encompass a data point audiences might not expect, highlight the most urgent findings, and provide a call to action. It is important to humanize qualitative data through phrases such as ‘1 out of X families’ or ‘X number of children need Y’. 

 

Advancing Your State’s CTE Goals through State Legislative Policy

Georgia and Advance CTE discussed effective processes and tools to leverage state legislative policy to advance CTE initiatives. You can find the high-level trends of 2021 state CTE policies documented in Advance CTE and ACTE’s Year in Review. Georgia shared the importance of having a concrete policy agenda and consistently involving stakeholders including the state’s ACTE chapter and state CTSO leadership, in its formulation and execution. They also emphasized the importance of leveraging the learner voice in demonstrating CTE’s value to legislators: “Figure out what they want, and show it to them.”

Supporting Visionary Local CTE Leadership

“Relationship building is the foundation of a robust CTE leaders onboarding system,” stated Dr. Valeria Williams, Director of CTE at the Mississippi Community College Board when explaining the key to successful support of local CTE leaders. Dr. Williams and Cathie Raymond, the State CTE Director in Arizona, provided insight on developing strong onboarding programs for local CTE leaders. Attendees were encouraged to plan early for onboarding to start before the new school/academic year and remain accessible to CTE leaders year-round through intentional technical assistance and convenings. Although CTE leader turnover is high, best practices were shared with the reminder of how retention starts early through identification and empowerment of outstanding teachers to stay in the field and eventually transition into CTE leadership roles, with a critical focus on diversifying leadership pipelines. 

Advance CTE provides a plethora of resources to support CTE leaders in amplifying their voice and impact, including tools to communicate data, communicate with families and engage with policymakers and employers

Stacy Whitehouse, Senior Associate Communications and State Engagement 

By Stacy Whitehouse in Advance CTE Fall Meeting
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

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
Tags: , , , , , ,

 

Series

Archives

1