Posts Tagged ‘apprenticeship’

Centering CTE in the Time of Disruption: A Conversation with SHRM’s Dr. Alex Alonso

Friday, May 17th, 2024

Advance CTE held a ‘fireside chat’ with Dr. Alex Alonso, Chief Knowledge Officer of the Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM), and Advance CTE Executive Director Kate Kreamer at our 2024 Spring Meeting that saw over 200 state Career Technical Education (CTE) leaders in attendance last month.

The two tackled this burning question of the future of work: How will Career Technical Education (CTE) continue to be the solution to ensuring success and security for all learners, especially amidst the imminent impacts of AI, the green economy, and evolving workplace trends?

Key Trends for the Future of Work

Dr. Alonso first presented newly released research conducted by SHRM drawing from data collected from a vast network of 2000 HR professionals, which, with the help of LLM (Large Language Models), aggregates major trends in the future of work and identifies the challenges facing employers today. Dr. Alonso unpacked several of these major trends, including:

Balancing Operational Efficiencies and Talent Needs

The challenges and problems companies face continue to become increasingly complex. That means that as the skills gap grows, the depth of that gap, or the “skills crater,” also grows, necessitating an even greater urgency for faster and more effective skills development. At the same time, amidst current inflationary pressures, there is a growing imperative to strike a balance between ensuring fair compensation for this high-demand talent and maintaining operational efficiency.

Training an Evolving Workforce

Because employers have a renewed focus on upskilling and reskilling, steps must be taken need to ensure alignment between training programs and the evolving needs of industries. This is a critical opportunity for CTE to be a leader and to meaningfully partner with industry.

Later on, during the fireside chat, Dr. Alonso elevated that the delivery of CTE programs might need to evolve to meet these trends and demands, not just in terms of content but also in how it’s delivered. Kate noted the shifting perspective on digital apprenticeships and virtual work-based learning– what was once seen as a compromise for accessibility is now being reconsidered as a viable content delivery option, especially as more jobs transition to partial or fully virtual settings. 

Realizing the Full Potential of AI

AI has changed and reshaped the way that work is happening. Because it’s evolving right before our eyes, the challenge for employers and educators is to keep pace, all the while ensuring responsible integration into the workforce, particularly given the high potential for its misuse. 

These challenges all point to one major takeaway, in Dr. Alonso’s words: 

The 5th Industrial Age is here, where all facets of work, the workers, and the workplace are re-imaginable.

 

Embracing Change through AI

A significant portion of the fireside chat focused on the specific challenge of realizing the full potential of AI, and the broader theme of embracing change. 

It’s a common worry: the idea that AI could eliminate job opportunities. Kate raised a crucial point: How do we leverage AI to create more opportunities rather than take opportunities away?

Dr. Alonso highlighted that while many job roles may diminish due to technological advancements, even more new jobs will emerge in the economy in the coming years. His argument: AI complements human intelligence rather than replacing it. AI should be viewed as a tool to aid in the creation of these new roles in tandem with human intelligence— “AI plus HI

This dynamic shift isn’t about a loss of jobs, instead, it’s an evolution of industries and professions. Dr. Alonso also noted the attitude toward AI is changing as well; there’s a noticeable transition from apprehension to curiosity. People are increasingly inclined to engage in dialogues about AI, recognizing its potential to enhance both their industry and personal lives.

As we embrace these challenges and opportunities, CTE has a unique opportunity and advantage to equipping the future workforce. Explore further insights on SHRM’s research in their 2023-24 State of the Workplace Report.


Preparations are underway for Advance CTE’s 2024 Fall Meeting in Phoenix, AZ, October 21-23! Visit the event page to save the date and learn more.

Layla Alagic, digital communications associate

By Layla Alagic in Advance CTE Spring Meeting
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Congress Returns to a Busy Work Period | Legislative Update

Friday, May 3rd, 2024

Over the last few weeks lawmakers reconvened following a short recess period to address a number of critical issues, including the ongoing budget and appropriations process. Lawmakers have also held hearings with the leaders of federal agencies regarding the Biden administration’s recent budget requests and other policies and priorities. In addition, the Biden administration has made new regulatory announcements on a few issues of importance to the Career Technical Education (CTE) community.

House Holds DOL Oversight Hearing

On Wednesday, May 1, the House Education and Workforce Committee held a hearing to examine the policies and priorities of the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL). Acting Assistant Secretary Julie Su testified on behalf of the agency and the discussion focused heavily on a multitude of new regulations the Department has proposed or implemented recently. Lawmakers appeared to be particularly skeptical of DOL’s recently proposed apprenticeship regulations which, among other proposed changes, would create a new programmatic structure for apprenticeship programs in K-12 and postsecondary education settings known as Career and Technical Education Apprenticeships (CTEAs). 

Long-time CTE Caucus co-chair Rep. G.T. Thompson (R-PA) questioned Su extensively on this topic and raised significant concerns regarding the Department’s proposal, the impact it could potential have on learners and CTE programs, and questioned the broader reasoning for this proposed programmatic structure. As a reminder, Advance CTE recently submitted substantial comments in response to this regulatory proposal and have been continuing to monitor and engage with stakeholders on this issue. A full recording of the hearing, including witness testimony, can be found here

Senate Examines ED’s FY25 Budget Request

Earlier this week, April 30, U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona testified before the Senate Appropriations Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies (Labor-HHS-ED) Subcommittee regarding the U.S. Department of Education’s federal fiscal year 2025 (FY25) budget request. In both of their opening remarks, Chair Baldwin (D-WI) and Ranking Member Capito (R-WV) highlighted the importance of CTE and the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act (Perkins V), including the need to strengthen investments in these efforts and noting the need to expand access to CTE opportunities for more learners. In addition, the hearing focused heavily on ED’s ongoing challenges in implementing a newly revamped Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and lawmakers questioned Caronda on a number of other topics including the importance of student mental health and newly finalized Title IX regulations. An archived webcast of the hearing, including Cardona’s written testimony, can be found here.

Title IX Rule Finalized

In recent weeks, the U.S. Department of Education (ED) published revised Title IX regulations intended to provide new protections against sex discrimination. “These final regulations clarify Title IX’s requirement that schools promptly and effectively address all forms of sex discrimination,” said ED’s Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights Catherine E. Lhamon as part of the announcement. The new rules are scheduled to come into effect August 1, 2024 and codify new protections for LGBTQ students, staff, and others against discrimination, including on the basis of one’s sexual orientation or gender identity. Additionally, the regulations will allow school districts to use a more uniform grievance process to address all forms of reported discrimination. More information regarding these new rules and implications for the CTE community can be accessed here

DOL Unveils New Rules on Overtime Pay

Recently, the U.S. Department of Labor issued a new regulation related to worker eligibility criteria for overtime pay under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The long-anticipated rules will have significant implications for employers across the country, including for schools, districts, and institutions. These new requirements are set to go into effect January 1, 2025. The regulations will increase current salary thresholds, currently set at $35,568, for workers entitled to time-and-a-half pay when working more than 40 hours in a week, to $43,888. By July 1, 2025, this threshold is set to increase to $58,656. DOL estimates that this will benefit approximately four million workers nationwide. More information on this announcement can be accessed here

Antisemitism Bill Advanced in the House

Lawmakers in the House considered and advanced the Antisemitism Awareness Act (H.R. 6900)—legislation that would codify the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s definition of antisemitism within existing civil rights legislation. This legislative proposal would also encourage the U.S. Department of Education (ED) to use this definition when conducting civil rights investigations when seeking to determine whether a complaint was motivated by antisemitism. The legislation was cleared by lawmakers in the House on a wide bipartisan margin of 320-91 late yesterday. Next week, the House Education and Workforce Committee is scheduled to hold a hearing on antisemitism in K-12 schools.

Steve Voytek, Policy Advisor 

By Layla Alagic in Public Policy
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Advance CTE 2024 Spring Meeting Sponsor Blog – Diamond Sponsor Certiport | Promoting the Value of CTE

Friday, April 26th, 2024

Career technical education (CTE) has the power to transform the workforce landscape. By teaching workforce-specific skills, learners can find a career-specific pathway that leverages their passion and talents. Unfortunately, in the United States, CTE is often undervalued and underutilized. 

Matt Fritzius, CTE Curriculum Supervisor at Broward County Public Schools, said, “I think a lot of the CTE stigma in the United States comes from the vocational education of the past, classifying students as less academically inclined and ineligible for college. Instead, these students were put on specific vocational paths where they could get a job, but there wasn’t really much advancement. But the CTE of today is not the vocational education of the past.”

We were able to sit down with Matt to talk about people’s incorrect assumptions about CTE. Matt shared some ways to help change the CTE narrative, and really promote the value of today’s CTE classroom. 

Do Your Research

Understanding the current workforce landscape is crucial to maximizing the value and impact of CTE, and employers are moving away from degree requirements for job postings. A Harvard Business Review article said that “between 2017 and 2019, employers reduced degree requirements for 46% of middle-skill positions and 31% of high-skill positions.” Companies are doing away with degree requirements and instead focusing on finding employees that have the skills for the job. 

“If every student pursues the bachelor’s degree track, the workforce will be full of people with credentials they don’t need for the jobs they land,” said Matt. “Furthermore, we’ll see a huge skills gap for jobs that require a significant amount of technical training and knowledge that can’t be filled by someone with a traditional liberal arts degree or a business degree. Today’s workforce is looking for employees with a very specific set of skills for specific job roles. CTE provides students with an opportunity to learn those skills, often while still in high school.” 

Share the CTE Vision

Once you’ve done your research and understand the job landscape in your area, it’s time to share that information and vision with your fellow educators, administrators, and Departments of Education. Gather testimonials from your past learners. Talk to employers in your community about learners they’ve worked with. Find ways to get others on board and see the impact of CTE in your school, district, and state. 

Matt’s had years of experience with these types of informative conversations. “Many administrators might not even realize what CTE encompasses. I’ve had conversations with school leaders before where they say, ‘I don’t know that we have many CTE classes at my school.’ They start talking about the programs they’re offering, and they mention robotics, entrepreneurship, and hospitality and tourism, for example. Those are all CTE programs! As professionals in the CTE sphere, it’s so important that we make sure everybody understands the breadth and depth of CTE; it’s all these different avenues that CTE offers to today’s students.”

With the large breadth of programs that CTE offers, there’s a place for everyone. Learners can discover their passions, and that’s something we can all get behind. 

Help Students Find Their Passions

When students find their passion, they’re more engaged. We know well that student engagement is the gateway to true learning. Gallup has conducted millions of surveys of K12 students and has revealed some key characteristics of engaged students. Learners who strongly agreed that their school supported the strengths of each student and had at least one teacher who helped them feel excited for the future were 30 times as likely to be engaged in class than those who strongly disagreed. Learners need caring adults who recognize their strengths, potential, and goals. 

Today’s CTE programs help learners find topics that are connected to their strengths and interests. Whether they want to be an entrepreneur or an IT professional, there are CTE pathways that help learners stay engaged in the classroom and learn the skills they need to get there. 

“By leveraging CTE programs, students see a clear pathway to their goals. Students need to know that the path they take to their career, whether through a four-year university, a technical college, and/or apprenticeship program, is celebrated and supported by the adults in their lives.” 

Establish Business Partnerships

The pathway to the workforce is only complete when employers are ready to hire these skilled learners. By engaging with businesses in the community, educators understand what career opportunities are available in their areas. Employers benefit as well. By sharing the skills they need in future employees, they influence curriculum and graduation requirements. Advisory boards allow schools and districts to incorporate feedback from employers across industries. And that doesn’t even cover the impact of potential internship or apprenticeship opportunities these employers have for learners. 

Florida’s already seeing the cyclical benefit of business partnerships. Matt recently took a trip down to Miami to see the benefits firsthand. “Miami-Dade College has partnered with Tesla. There’s a Tesla training center right on the Miami-Dade campus,” Matt said. “Students enroll in the Tesla Academy program and get work experience at either a Tesla dealership or service center here in South Florida. After completing the program, they get hired as a full-time technician.” By connecting with learners before they graduate, companies like Tesla can bridge the skills gap and find the talent they need to fill crucial job roles.

Matt continued, “To me, this really speaks to the power of CTE. There are dual benefits to investing in this type of education. It benefits the learner, and it benefits the community. When you upskill people in your community, they can make more money, and that money ends up staying in the community. It only makes sense to expand programs like Tesla’s moving forward.” 

Prepare your learners to hit the ground running after graduation. Give them the skills they need to establish a successful and engaging career. Learn more from Matt on the CERTIFIED Educator Podcast here.

By Layla Alagic in Advance CTE Spring Meeting
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FY24 Funding Progress Slows, U.S. Department of Education Announces Career-Connected Grants | Legislative Update

Friday, January 26th, 2024

This week lawmakers struggled to make progress on federal appropriations for the current fiscal year while the U.S. Department of Education (ED) announced new career-connected high school grants. Elsewhere, federal agencies formally unveiled a significant new regulatory proposal related to apprenticeships. 

Congress Extends FY24 Funding for Another Month

As shared last week, Congress passed an additional short-term extension of federal funding, known as a continuing resolution, which extends FY23 funding levels for federal programs through March 1 and March 8 later this year. The “laddered” CR is intended to provide lawmakers more time to negotiate full-year appropriations for federal fiscal year 2024 (FY24) which began last October. Of note for the Career Technical Education (CTE) community, funding for the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act (Perkins V), which is included in the Labor-HHS-ED appropriations bill, is set to expire on the latter of these two dates in March. 

While this development is an encouraging step in the wider FY24 process, appropriations leaders must still establish individual allocations for each of the dozen bills that compose the federal budget. Known as 302(b) allocations, lawmakers have continued to struggle this week to successfully negotiate these funding levels including for the Labor-HHS-ED appropriations bill. Until 302(b)s are determined, lawmakers cannot move forward with negotiations on program-level funding, including for Perkins V’s basic state grant program and other important investments in education and workforce development. It remains unclear how lawmakers will come to a resolution on this important issue with current reports indicating that little progress has been made this week. As these efforts continue to take shape, Advance CTE will continue to advocate for robust funding for the foundational federal investment made by Perkins V. 

U.S. Department of Education Announces Career-Connected High School Grants

Yesterday, U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona visited the Advanced Technical Center—an area career technical school located in Washington, DC and recently featured in the Washington Post for its impact on chronic student absenteeism in DC. During the visit, Secretary Cardona announced a slate of new grants as part of his agency’s career-connected high school initiative

Advance CTE has previously highlighted that the activities authorized under this new discretionary grant program can already be funded using resources from Perkins V’s basic state grant program. In announcing 19 grant awards in total as part of this effort, which will benefit 17 states, the agency indicated that it received 160 applications for this funding totaling nearly $850 million. These applications for funding demonstrate significant unfilled demand for CTE programming which can only be addressed through a strengthened systemic investment via Perkins V’s state grant program. “The Biden-Harris Administration is going to keep on fighting to provide every student in every community with career-connected learning,” Cardona said as part of the announcement. More information on these grants can be found here

DOL Moves Forward With Apprenticeship Regulations Impacting CTE

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) formally published a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) last week which is intended to significantly update and overhaul the existing regulatory framework for registered apprenticeship programs. As shared previously, this NPRM also includes a new “CTE Apprenticeship” component with implications for state CTE agencies and systems. Yesterday, DOL hosted a webinar providing a high-level overview of this proposal. An archived webcast, including related presentation materials, can be accessed here. Comments on the NPRM are due March 18 and can be submitted through this comment portal.

Steve Voytek, Policy Advisor

By Layla Alagic in Public Policy
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A Look at Connecticut’s Reshoring Strategies and Apprenticeship Growth in CTE

Tuesday, December 12th, 2023

This blog is the second in a series on promising practices and emerging policies in reshoring. In the first blog in this series, Reshoring is Only Possible with High-Quality Career Technical Education, we elevated promising practices for Career Technical Education (CTE) leaders that enhance employer participation, program quality and learner outcomes. This blog will provide an example from Connecticut on how messaging, policy and leveraging current and expanded partnerships can increase access to work-based learning opportunities for all learners.

Connecticut state outlineConnecticut’s 2019 Senate Bill 356 “An Act Establishing the Connecticut Apprenticeship and Education Committee” (Public Act No. 19-68) established the Connecticut Apprenticeship and Education Committee with the express purpose of better informing middle and high school learners about careers in manufacturing. The committee is also charged with identifying potential pre-apprenticeship and apprenticeship training program integrations for smoother transitions for learners. Additionally, the committee works as an intermediary between CTE programs within high schools and higher education institutions and various industry partners to identify opportunities for alignment, thereby helping the programs qualify for grants and additional funding opportunities.

Prior to the formation of the committee, this work was led by the Connecticut Manufacturing Committee. In 2018 the Manufacturing Committee published Introducing Students to Manufacturing: Best Practices Guide and Program Resources as a resource for districts working to engage learners with manufacturing. Some suggestions from the report were: 

Promising practice: Expand partnership capacity among small businesses and local systems

The Apprenticeship and Education Committee’s makeup is structured to support continued partnership and collaboration among state, local and industry stakeholders, pulling from a wide range of public and private sector partners to ensure that the program is well-informed:

Promising practice: Provide transparency across programs to help learners make informed decisions for work-based learning options

Annually, the committee compiles an annual report of the available apprenticeship programs at public and independent institutions of higher education in the state that offer manufacturing training.  In consultation with the manufacturing industry, the committee must report whether these apprenticeship programs are meeting workforce needs. This report includes:

This important information helps to provide learners with the knowledge needed to make informed decisions for their work-based learning choices. The annual report is available through the state’s Department of Education website and a print copy is distributed to each local and regional board of education. 

Promising practice: Provide exploratory programs for experiential learning that can help learners connect their interests to available pathways

Another important component of the policy mandates that there must be exploratory programs such as hands-on learning opportunities for students in middle and high schools to learn about careers in the manufacturing industry. These types of experiential learning opportunities help learners better connect available pathways with their interests.  

Connecticut has seen a 43% increase in participation in work-based learning programs

All of these efforts and supports have been paying dividends as Connecticut has seen strong growth in participation in work-based learning programs. From 2020 to 2021 participation rose by 43% to more than 1,000 learners across Connecticut’s 17-school CTE system. Continuing to enhance the knowledge of available apprenticeships and industry partners is important to support growth in work-based learning participation. 

For more reading on apprenticeships, check out the following publications in the Learning that Works resource center:

Paul Mattingly, Senior Policy Associate

By Layla Alagic in Public Policy
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Advance CTE 2023 Fall Meeting Sponsor Blog: Gold Sponsor, HBI – Construction Skills Training to Elevate CTE’s Impact

Thursday, October 5th, 2023

Those of us in Career Technical Education (CTE) often speak about preparing learners for careers in the real world. Well, here’s a real-world example of a sector where quite literally millions of careers are waiting to be fulfilled: construction. The number of open construction jobs averages between 300,000 and 400,000 every month. That’s an astonishing figure, especially considering how many good-paying positions await those who choose the field. Half of payroll workers in construction earn $50,460 annually, and the top 25 percent make at least $71,000. 

In the construction industry’s home building sector, employers in every state are paying top dollar for well-trained, entry-level workers. That is, if they can find any. One place they’re successfully identifying them is in high schools, community colleges and other institutions using a curriculum from the trade training nonprofit Home Builders Institute (HBI) called Pre-Apprentice Certificate Training (PACT). 

HBI’s PACT curriculum is designed to provide learners with essential skills vital for careers in construction. Upon completion, graduates receive a certification in up to nine construction trade specialties. The certification is recognized and validated by the nation’s building industry. PACT, which is hands-on, competency-based curriculum, is one of only three, national curriculums approved by the U.S. Department of Labor and several state departments of education.

Gage Trebilcock, left, 17, a senior at Stonington High School, explains his technical drawing in the Pipeline in Manufacturing class he’s enrolled in to Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont, second from left, Monday, Oct. 3, 2024. Trebilcock is enrolled in the new pilot program with the Home Builders Institute of Washington, D.C., titled the Pre-Apprenticeship Certificate Training (PACT) program. The pilot program, only the second in the state, is designed to highlight how a local public school system can promote the construction trades. | Tim Martin, The Westerly Sun

 

Home builders are looking for smart, hard-working and ambitious team members. States are elevating CTE’s impact by helping to support the tools and services that train new workers. HBI’s PACT is part of broad efforts by many states to create regional training opportunities, adopt skills-based hiring practices and increase equity and job quality by promoting private sector employment opportunities for a diverse workforce. 

For example, in Rhode Island, the Residential Construction Workforce Partnership serves employers and educators in the state by recruiting and training people who want to join the industry as well as those seeking to upskill current employees. Since its inception, the group has used HBI’s PACT curriculum to great success.

State CTE leaders and economic development professionals understand the synergy between skills training, good jobs and economic strength. After all, wages in construction are higher than in other industries. The average hourly earnings in construction is approaching the $36 mark (in manufacturing, it’s $31.80. Transportation and utilities: $27.67. Overall, in the private sector: $33.20). That kind of solid personal income helps support the bottom line of any tax base.

More broadly, the shortage of affordable rental and for-sale homes is a challenge for every state. The U.S. faces a shortfall of 1.5 million homes, which as a matter of supply and demand, forces rents and house prices higher nationwide. Economists and housing professionals cite the skilled labor gap as a major contributor to the scarcity of affordable homes.

It’s simple. For those we together serve, gaining a valuable skill in residential construction promises limitless career opportunities. And supporting skills training makes economic sense for every state in the nation. 

Learn more about PACT Curriculum and Certification: PACT One Pager

To explore how PACT can be integrated into a state’s CTE initiatives, visit HBI.org and email Partnerships@hbi.org.

Ed Brady, President and CEO, Home Builders Institute (HBI)

By Layla Alagic in Advance CTE Fall Meeting
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College in High School Series: Q&A With College in High School Alliance Coordinator Alex Perry

Tuesday, June 6th, 2023

Advance CTE serves as a steering member of the College in 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 series elevates resources and work states are doing to design and deliver high-quality college in the high school programs. For the first blog in this series, Advance CTE interviewed Coordinator of the College in High School Alliance (CHSA) Alex Perry, to learn how the organization supports state CTE leaders. 

When was College in High School Alliance (CHSA) established and who were its founders? Was there a catalyst for its inception?

The College in High School Alliance (CHSA) was founded in 2017. The original five founding members of our Steering Committee – Bard College, Jobs for the Future (JFF), KnowledgeWorks, the Middle College National Consortium, and the National Alliance of Concurrent Enrollment Partnerships – had been working together informally for a couple of years prior to the formal creation of CHSA, and were very successful in working together to create new policy and funding incentives for dual enrollment through the Every Student Succeeds Act reauthorization process in 2015. 

Together, we saw the power of the collective and that collaboration on items of shared interest netted positive results for our work and the learners that we serve. CHSA was born from that promise – that we could collectively advance policy reforms to improve learner access and success to dual enrollment. Two years later, CHSA added Advance CTE and Achieving the Dream to its Steering Committee to expand the core collaboration.

What are college in high school programs, why are these programs important for a learner’s journey, and how do they intersect with Career Technical Education (CTE)?

College in high school programs are partnerships between high schools and institutions of higher education that allow high school learners to earn college credits. These programs go by many names across the country including dual enrollment, dual credit, concurrent enrollment, early college high school, Running Start, etc.

These programs have a strong intersection with Career Technical Education (CTE) as approximately one-third of dual enrollment programs have a CTE focus to them.1 Additionally, structured CTE programs like youth apprenticeship include learners taking college courses in high school as part of the apprenticeship structure. Dual enrollment in CTE is a key avenue for encouraging learners to complete postsecondary credentials and enter the workforce with appropriate skills and credentials for economic success. 

College in high school programs are quite popular currently, but there is still unequal access for learners. How does CHSA center equity in college in the high school program conversations?

Equity is at the very core of our work with policymakers. We know college in high school programs like dual enrollment can be very successful in boosting postsecondary access and success for learners – but we also know that access is unequal. Populations experiencing equity gaps are the same populations of learners who are seeing the biggest declines in postsecondary access and success, for whom an intervention like dual enrollment might be life changing. Policy, and particularly federal and state funding, should be used to provide learners who need it the most with potentially life changing opportunities.  

Based on CHSA’s work, what findings would you highlight for state CTE leaders in particular?

In March of 2022, CHSA and Advance CTE published The State of CTE: Early Postsecondary Opportunities resource, based on a nationwide survey of state CTE leaders about early postsecondary opportunities (EPSOs) like dual enrollment. The findings make clear the charge for the work ahead, which involves continuing to lean in heavily on the mission to increase equity for learners, thinking about systemwide supports for learners, better data collection and improving credit transfer.

What new questions has CHSA’s work raised that you would like to apply to future research?

With the influx of dual enrollment opportunities happening across the nation, it is really important that we continue to explore questions around outcomes for learners, assessing what the research can tell us about the number and kind of course experiences that are optimal for learners to promote their college and career success. Additionally, we must begin to look into the different designs of dual enrollment programs to better understand how program design influences learner outcomes from diverse learner populations. 

CHSA has recently worked on a resource that highlights 150 research questions specific to the field, and a forthcoming publication will be feature questions with the highest priority.

To learn more about Early Postsecondary Opportunities please visit The State of CTE: Early Postsecondary Opportunities in the Advance CTE resource center.

Suela Cela, Senior Policy Associate

By Jodi Langellotti in CTE Without Limits
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Research Round-up: New Reports on Work-Based Learning Address Impacts for Learners and Institutions

Tuesday, December 6th, 2022

Advance CTE’s “Research Round-Up” blog series features summaries of relevant research reports and studies to elevate evidence-backed Career Technical Educational (CTE) policies and practices and topics related to college and career readiness. This month’s focus supports a vision for the future of CTE where statewide systems and institutions effectively support each learner to earn credentials that are counted, valued, and portable.

Two recent reports from JFF and New America highlight the benefits of different workforce development programs; apprenticeships and work-based learning (WBL), and the opportunity to increase equitable access to these programs for every learner.

Addressing disparities in apprenticeship participation may fast-track non-traditional learners into living wage jobs.

JFF’s Center for Apprenticeship & Work-Based Learning published a report analyzing young people’s apprenticeship participation through an equity lens. The Current State of Diversity and Equity in U.S. Apprenticeships for Young People utilizes data from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Registered Apprenticeship Partners Information Database System to analyze youth apprenticeship participation from fiscal years 2010-2020. 

Average Hourly Exit Wage by Gender and Race/ Ethnicity for All Youth Participants in Apprenticeships, FY 2010-2020

 

 

 

 

 

 

Paid, postsecondary work-based learning pilot programs may be an effective tool for improving learner retention. 

New America recently published case studies of postsecondary institutions that have piloted paid work-based learning programs. This report, “What Everyone Should Know about Designing Equity-Minded Paid Work-Based Learning Opportunities for College Students” highlights the findings from case studies of emerging paid WBL program models across the country to understand the motivation, goals, and design of paid WBL opportunities available at two-year colleges. The findings include implications for state policymakers and college stakeholders in career services, academic advising, and workforce development. 

While the learner populations across these reports vary, common themes can be drawn from the key findings of these two reports: 

Additional Resources

Amy Hodge, Policy Associate 

By Stacy Whitehouse in Research
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Legislative Update: Congress Returns for a Busy Lame Duck Session

Monday, November 28th, 2022

Earlier this month Americans across the country went to the polls to decide the balance of power for the upcoming 118th Congress. Elsewhere Career Technical Education (CTE) champions highlighted the importance of career development while the U.S. Department of Education (ED) released new guidance intended to support career connected learning. 

Midterm Election Results Become Clearer

Earlier this month, the long-awaited midterm elections took place across the country. At the time of our last update, the results from these electoral contests were still coming in with control of both the House and the Senate unclear. Since that time, additional outcomes from these elections have been announced making clear that the Republican Party will take control of the House in the coming 118th Congress. Democrats will retain control of the Senate, although the size of their majority will be determined by a runoff election in Georgia set to take place on December 6.  

As these results continued to trickle in, federal lawmakers returned to Capitol Hill just before Thanksgiving for a short session to begin the process of determining party leadership for both chambers moving forward. In the House, longtime Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and her core leadership team announced that they were stepping down. This will pave the way for a new Democratic leadership team, likely to be led by Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY). For House Republicans, longtime Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy is currently working to garner the necessary support to be the next Speaker of the House. The final composition for both party’s leadership teams remains fluid. However, in the Senate, Democrats and Republicans will likely continue to be led by current Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) pending final approval from their caucuses. 

In addition to these recent developments, it is also being widely reported that Senators Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and Bill Cassidy (R-LA) are likely to lead the Senate’s Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee in the next Congress. Leadership announcements for the House Education and Labor Committee are still forthcoming and hinge on the ability of current Ranking Member Virginia Foxx (R-NC) to secure a waiver from Republican leadership to serve as chair of the committee in the next Congress. Sens. Patty Murray (D-WA) and Susan Collins (R-ME) are widely expected to lead the Senate Appropriations committee which helps to determine funding for programs like Perkins V. 

As additional leadership roles and responsibilities become clearer in the coming weeks, Advance CTE will continue to update the CTE community and provide insights on  implications for federal policymaking. Congress now reconvenes this week for a jam packed “lame duck” session of the current 117th Congress where they must attend to a number of important issues, including federal fiscal year 2023 (FY23) funding for programs like the Perkins Act’s basic state grant program. Be sure to check back here for more updates! 

CTE Caucus Co-Chairs Introduce Career Development Resolution 

Longtime House CTE Caucus co-chairs Reps. Thompson (R-PA) and Langevin (D-RI) introduced a resolution earlier this month designating November as National Career Development Month. When introduced, Advance CTE’s Executive Director, Kimberly Green said, “A hallmark of high-quality CTE is career development opportunities that equitably support learners as they explore and pursue their career passion. Advance CTE is proud to support this bipartisan resolution designating November as National Career Development Month from Representatives Thompson and Langevin, which recognizes the crucial role career development contributes to a skilled workforce and learner success in education, work, and in life.” Read more about the resolution here

Department of Education Announces Initiative to “Unlock Career Success”

The U.S. Department of Education (ED) recently  announced the launch of a new initiative called Raise the Bar: Unlocking Career Success. This is a new Administration initiative supported in conjunction with the U.S. Departments of Commerce and Labor aimed at increasing and expanding access to high-quality college and career pathways programs to help more young Americans pursue careers in in-demand fields, and prepare for careers of the future.  The effort is intended to strengthen ties between K-12 education, postsecondary education, and workforce programs among other priorities. As part of this announcement, the Departments shared that they are also providing $5.6 million in competitive funding for a new grant initiative that aims to expand work-based learning opportunities for students. The department also plans to host regional summits with students, educators, employers and other stakeholders to learn about practices that have led to success and challenges that must be addressed.

Department of Education Publishes Guidance on ARP Funding Use for Career Pathways

The U.S. Department of Education released new guidance through a Dear Colleague letter on how unspent federal funds from the American Rescue Plan (ARP) and other pandemic aid packages can be used for career pathways. The guidance highlights how these resources can be leveraged around four main priority areas including, expanding access to dual enrollment opportunities, providing strong career and college advisement and navigation supports, expanding opportunities for high-quality work-based learning, and giving all students the option to earn industry-sought credentials. Be sure to check out Advance CTE’s resource– published last year– which also provided ideas and guidance to the CTE community regarding how these funds could be used in support of CTE. 

Senate CTE Caucus Hosts Apprenticeship Briefing

Written by Jori Houck, Media Relations and Advocacy Associate, Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE). Original post can be found here

On November 15, the Senate CTE Caucus, alongside the Swiss and Austrian Embassies, held a Capitol Hill briefing on Women in Apprenticeship to highlight both National Apprenticeship Week and the Austrian and Swiss apprenticeship models. Welcoming remarks were made by Ambassador of Switzerland Jacques Pitteloud and the Austrian Chargé d’Affairs Günther Salzmann. Both expressed a desire to broaden the influence of the Swiss and Austrian apprenticeship models in the United States.

Sen. John Hickenlooper (D-CO) offered additional remarks, highlighting the connection between CTE and apprenticeships. He discussed how recent federal investments will ensure that CTE is at the forefront of preparing apprentices and all learners for good-paying, in-demand jobs. Sen. Hickenlooper also declared that he had officially joined the CTE Caucus!

A panel discussion followed and was moderated by Thomas Mayr of Austria’s Vocational Education and Training department. Apprentices and representatives from four Swiss and Austrian companies, Zurich Insurance of Illinois, Swiss Krono of South Carolina, Egger Wood Products of North Carolina and Engel Machinery of Pennsylvania, each spoke about the recruitment challenges, opportunities, supports needed and benefits of their apprenticeship programs. Each apprentice expressed that if given the chance to pursue an apprenticeship again, they would make the same decision.

Steve Voytek, Policy Advisor

By Stacy Whitehouse in Public Policy
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Legislative Update: Congressional Democrats’ Reconciliation Bill Signed Into Law as President Biden Makes Significant Announcement on Student Debt

Friday, August 26th, 2022

Over the last few weeks, President Biden signed another significant legislative package ushered through Congress by Democrats while apprenticeship programs celebrated an important anniversary as the Administration took further action on student loan debt. 

Inflation Reduction Act Signed Into Law

As shared previously, congressional Democrats recently announced that after a year and half of on-again-off-again negotiations they had finally found agreement on a legislative package that would make significant new investments in healthcare and climate change while raising revenues to offset the federal deficit by roughly $306 billion. Dubbed the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 (H.R. 5376), Democrats in Congress were able to advance this legislation using the budget reconciliation process– a legislative maneuver that allows lawmakers to approve legislation via a simple majority vote (and thus avoiding a likely Republican filibuster in the Senate). Previous versions of this proposal, known last year as the Build Back Better Act, envisioned significant new investments in Career Technical Education (CTE) and workforce development, but lawmakers were unable to come to consensus on these and many other initiatives originally included in this package. 

While the package does contain some modest investments in workforce and education, primarily focused within the climate provisions of the package, potential opportunities for the CTE community regarding these new sources of funding will become clearer in the months ahead as the law begins to be implemented by various federal agencies. This more streamlined bill was cleared by the House in recent weeks and signed into law by President Biden on August 16. More information about the bill can be accessed here

Registered Apprenticeships Celebrate 85th Anniversary

This month marked the 85th anniversary of the enactment of the National Apprenticeship Act (NAA)– federal legislation first passed and last updated by Congress in 1937. Also known as the Fitzgerald Act, this legislation created the federal system of registered apprenticeship overseen and administered by the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL). In recognition of this milestone DOL has launched a new “ApprenticeshipUSA” brand to cultivate a better understanding amongst the public regarding registered apprenticeship programs (RAPs). Additionally, the agency has launched an online dialogue about the future of RAPs, soliciting feedback for how to improve these programs and related systems. This online portal for public input will remain open through September 5, 2022 and can be accessed here

As a reminder, National Apprenticeship Week is fast approaching (November 14-20), so be on the lookout for more updates from DOL in the coming weeks ahead for how to promote RAPs in local communities throughout the nation.     

President Biden Takes Executive Action on Student Debt 

On Wednesday, August 24, President Biden and U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona unveiled the Administration’s plans to forgive up to $10,000 of federal student loan debt for borrowers making $125,000 or less annually. The plan would provide up to $20,000 in similar forgiveness for those who previously received a federal Pell grant and meet the same income eligibility requirements. In addition to this executive action, the U.S. Department of Education (ED) announced newly proposed regulations regarding how individuals pay back federal student loans in the future. Among these proposed changes are new plans to forgive loan balances after 10 years of payments for loan balances of $12,000 or less. ED estimates that this change would have the practical effect of allowing nearly all community college borrowers to be debt-free within 10 years. 

The White House’s factsheet on this executive action can be found here. Information regarding ED’s newly proposed income-driven repayment rules can be accessed here

CTE Research Network Grant Application Opportunity 

Last week, ED published a new grant opportunity inviting qualified applicants to lead the CTE Research Network. Authorized under the national activities section (Sec. 114) of the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act (Perkins V) and overseen by ED’s National Center for Education Research under the Institute of Education Sciences, the CTE research network is dedicated to researching various topics impacting CTE of national importance. Applications for this grant opportunity are due by February 23, 2023. 

Steve Voytek, Policy Advisor

By Stacy Whitehouse in Public Policy
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