Posts Tagged ‘Career Clusters®’

The Need for A Modernized National Career Clusters® Framework and the Road Ahead

Wednesday, April 17th, 2024

In December 2022, Advance CTE announced the relaunch of an initiative to modernize the National Career Clusters Framework. This work is led by two national partners Indigo Education Company and WestEd and supported by a National Advisory Committee, Industry Advisory Groups, and other avenues to receive input from thousands of professionals connected involved in delivering and experiencing Career Technical Education (CTE) and the Framework.  

The year is 2002:The first iPod had just been released, but we are five years away from the release of the first iPhone. 

The year is 2024: 

The Advancing the Framework modernization initiative in response to growing feedback from the field about the need to align the Framework to the realities of learning and work today and in the future. Educators and industry leaders have told us in national surveys that they want the Framework to be more inclusive of emerging sectors and aligned to the new workplace, and have language that better bridges industry and education. 

Our Vision for a New Framework 

Imagine a Framework where a learner can take courses in agriculture, entrepreneurship, and unmanned vehicle systems in one program of study. They participate in FFA competitions for agricultural technologies, and earn both a remote pilot’s license and a professional certificate in entrepreneurship. As a result, they start their own business operating drones and digital mapping to help farmers better identify crop water needs, damage, and harvesting schedules. 

This modernization is an exciting opportunity to remove silos across industry and education, state and local levels, and across Career Clusters that are keeping learners from being fully prepared for the world of work. A modernized Framework should be flexible for every state and will: 

 

As a result, industry will gain workers with a broader skill set who are more prepared for the workplace. Learners will have more personalized paths to living wage jobs and gain skills for a variety of careers. CTE educators will be able to align and design programs that better reflect the interdisciplinary nature of work, and extend that flexibility to career exploration, work-based learning, and other experiences. And state CTE leaders will be able to build systems, professional development, and resources that are more responsive to industry needs.

The Road Ahead and Opportunities for Input 

Currently, we are developing a draft Framework, grounded in labor market data and informed by education and industry leaders across the country. This draft Framework will be available for input from the public this summer. This is the first step on what will be a multi-year journey from 2025 and beyond to finalize, adopt, and implement a new Framework.  

Advance CTE is considering and preparing for the impact of a modernized Framework on program of study structure, educator credentialing, state staff structure, Career Technical Student Organization (CTSO) alignment, data collection, legislative initiatives, and more. Once a state does adopt the Framework they will have ample time to implement the Framework and related supports and materials.  Advance CTE will work closely with states during the implementation phase providing both general resources and materials and working on state-specific needs that align with the pace at which the state chooses to adopt the Framework.

With your help, everyone in the CTE community will have the opportunity to provide feedback on a draft Framework before it is finalized. 

Take one of the following steps:

  • Share our sign-up form with your network to receive timely email updates
  • Explore and share our explainer documents at your next meeting, including Frequently Asked Questions, Myth explainer, and more to come.

Contact careerclusters@careertech.org for additional information or questions.

Kate Kreamer, Executive Director 

By Stacy Whitehouse in Career Clusters®
Tags: , ,

Advance CTE 2024 Spring Meeting Sponsor Blog – Platinum Sponsor FCCLA | Family and Consumer Sciences is the Missing Piece: Empower Future Generations through FCS Education

Wednesday, April 10th, 2024

The views, opinions, services and products shared in this post are solely for educational purposes and do not imply agreement or endorsement by Advance CTE, nor discrimination against similar brands, products or services not mentioned.

The importance of comprehensive student career preparation for life’s modern challenges is increasingly apparent in the evolving landscape of education and workforce development. Family and Consumer Sciences (FCS) is a pivotal solution, bridging career preparation and employability skills for holistic student readiness across various career facets.

FCS leaders advocate for establishing a dedicated FCS Career Cluster within the National Career Clusters® Framework. This initiative acknowledges FCS’s critical role in developing interdisciplinary skills essential for success in today’s dynamic world, especially in careers facing workforce shortages, such as education, child care, and hospitality. The work “CTE Without Limits” by Advance CTE highlights FCS’s unique contribution to career preparation, underlining the importance of equitable recognition and integration into the career preparation ecosystem.

FCS encompasses essential topics like nutrition, family relations, child development, consumer education, and personal finance. Integrating these subjects into an FCS Career Cluster would emphasize their significance as academic disciplines and vital career skills, aligning with Career Technical Education (CTE) objectives to equip students with competencies for thriving in the workforce and society.

Moreover, the FCS Career Cluster addresses the growing demand for FCS professionals, underscoring the sector’s role in fostering well-being, sustainability, and economic growth. By formally recognizing FCS within the Career Cluster Framework, CTE will better articulate the value of these fields, promote greater investment in FCS education, and create new pathways for students interested in careers that have significant societal impact.

The proposal for an FCS Career Cluster is a forward-thinking response to the changing workforce and societal needs. It champions FCS education to prepare students for a broad range of careers, empowering them to lead fulfilling lives and make informed decisions that positively affect their families, communities, and the global society. This initiative is crucial for providing equitable support to build thriving communities and attract, support, and sustain industry partners experiencing workforce shortages. We seek support from all stakeholders to embrace FCS careers, transforming education and workforce development for future generations to possess the skills, knowledge, and values needed to navigate and succeed in an increasingly complex world.

By Layla Alagic in Advance CTE Spring Meeting
Tags: , , , , ,

Funding Career Technical Education: Making State-Level Investments to Support Unique Elements of CTE

Tuesday, February 27th, 2024

Advance CTE released the 2023 State of CTE: An Analysis of State Secondary CTE Funding Models to highlight how states and the District of Columbia provide high-quality Career Technical Education (CTE) through various secondary CTE funding models and approaches. This blog, the fourth in a series, describes ways states invest in CTE programs through line item appropriations to support unique elements of CTE. This blog unveils new information not available in the State of CTE Funding release.

Overview

States make significant contributions to CTE programs through non-categorical, line item appropriations. Programmatic funding is distributed through periodic, legislatively established authorizations that are contingent on the availability of funds. States often place conditions on how money should be spent or used to promote state priorities. Additionally, a programmatic line item appropriation can be a recurring or a one-time investment. This blog highlights appropriations in industry-recognized credentials, Career Technical Student Organizations (CTSOs), career advisement, and educator preparation for fiscal year (FY) 2022. You can read more about categorical funding in the first blog in this series, Funding Career Technical Education: Secondary CTE Funding Basics

These key state investments often pilot new programs, sustain existing programs, provide training to educators and professionals, or allow purchases for needed equipment and supplies. These investments certainly allow Local Education Agencies (LEAs) to scale and improve program quality, which aligns with Advance CTE’s vision for the future of CTE where continuous improvement is needed at all levels within systems.  

Investing in Unique Elements of CTE

State funding through non-categorical, line item appropriations is incredibly common; 80 percent of state leaders surveyed in summer 2022 reported some line items for CTE programs. 

Industry-recognized Credentials

Helping learners have access to and earn industry-recognized credentials can make them more competitive for future work and educational opportunities. States may offer reimbursements to the learner, educator, or local institutions for the completion of credentials. There are expenses associated with industry-recognized credentials such as exam fees, materials, books, or supplies. 

Thirteen state leaders reported appropriations for industry-recognized credentials in FY 2022. 

CTSOs

CTSOs allow learners to gain academic, workplace, and technical skills, build networks, and pursue leadership experiences that are needed to succeed in today’s global workforce. 

Twelve state leaders reported line item appropriations for CTSOs, with appropriations ranging from $125,000 to $2.52 million per year in FY 2022. Most states allocated the funds toward one or more of the 11 CTSOs specifically authorized in the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act (Perkins V). 

Career Advisement

Offering comprehensive and connected career advisement systems helps all learners get the support and guidance to gain skills and explore future careers. 

Nine state leaders reported line item appropriations for career advisement in FY 2022. 

Other states have made one-time investments to help pilot programs and offerings. 

Other states focused on providing resources for professionals who help with career advisement and planning. 

CTE Educator Preparation

There remains room for improvement in CTE educator preparation as only Georgia, Minnesota, and Virginia reported line item appropriations for CTE educator preparation in FY 2022. 

You can learn more about identifying funding streams that support CTE educator diversity by reading Advance CTE’s State and Local Strategies for Diversifying the CTE Educator Workforce

Recommendations

Programmatic line item appropriations are additional sources of funding to leverage to support important components of career preparation ecosystems. State leaders should take the following action steps:

Additional Resources

Be sure to read the other blogs in this series: 

We also encourage you to watch the Exploring State Secondary CTE Funding webinar.  

Dr. Laura Maldonado, Senior Research Associate

Dr. Laura Maldonado is a Senior Research Associate with Advance CTE. In this role, Laura directly supports Advance CTE’s policy research and technical assistance initiatives, data quality initiatives and internal data strategy.

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

2023 Advance CTE Fall Meeting Vision-Focused Workshops: Staff Reflections

Thursday, November 2nd, 2023

Advance CTE’s 2023 Fall Meeting featured two rounds of interactive workshops based on the five foundation commitments of our vision, CTE Without Limits – equity, quality programs and instructors, public-private partnerships, and data and collaboration. These sessions allowed attendees to collaborate together to incubate innovative ideas in these specific topic areas and elevate Career Technical Education (CTE)’s impact in each state. Read our staff’s recaps and reflections on each workshop:

Foundational Commitment 1: Removing Geographic Barriers for Learners Through CTE Without Borders

Haley Wing, Senior Policy Associate

The Foundational Commitment 1 Workshop: Removing Geographic Barriers for Learners Through CTE Without Borders led participants through small and large group discussions and analysis to expand access within and across state borders.

Jennell Ives, Director of the Secondary-Postsecondary Transitions Team at the Oregon Department of Education, offered a strategy for state teams working to expand access that includes an intensive two-day workshop. In this two-day workshop, she recommended states bring together cross-sector teams and champions across agencies to flesh through an action-planning process that addresses expanding statewide access to high-quality CTE and work-based learning opportunities across secondary and postsecondary institutions. Narrowing the time and space to solely focus on expanding access within and across state borders is a strategy to jump-start the work of expanding access and ensuring all partners, actions and responsibilities are aligned and actionable.

Foundational Commitment 2: Creating Opportunities with Stakeholders to Ensure Quality and Impact

Tunisha Hobson, Director, State Policy Implementation

Marcette Kilgore, Texas’ State CTE Director, introduced the process of engaging stakeholders in a program of study refresh which served as a catalyst for an implementation tour to ensure regions in the state were aware of changes to the state’s approved list of programs. The development process included the completion of a skills gap analysis, conducting listening tours, establishing statewide CTE advisory committees and offering and processing public comments through digital submissions. Participants learned about the use of a piloted software, Calibrate, a Skills Engine product created by the Center for Employability Outcomes within the Texas State Technical College System. The Calibrate system allowed employers to enter preferred skills by individual job profiles developed in alignment to the Department of Labor’s Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) codes.

The Texas Education Agency uploaded the course standards for every program of study which were created by grouping occupations by SOC code. An analysis of the alignment between course standards and industry-identified valuable skills was conducted to determine the gaps the agency needed to address as a priority and to schedule course reviews and rewrites/updates. The remainder of State Director Kilgore’s presentation focused on how this input was not limited to the pilot software but also included steps taken to engage the state’s CTE advisory committee, visit regions in the state and offer public comment opportunities which provided a more structured approach to supporting the redesign.

Yolanda Flores, a member of the Postsecondary State CTE Leaders Fellowship at Advance CTE – Sponsored by ECMC Foundation,  presented her real-world project focused on increasing adult learner awareness of opportunities available in manufacturing programs and subsequent in-demand high-wage jobs in Florida. She included an analysis of English Language Learners (ELL) and their access and supports while participating in the program. Her project includes an intervention through hosting a one-day exploration event for adult learners inclusive of ELL. The event not only increased awareness for the learner population, but it also identified for educators and industry partners other necessary interventions for addressing the needs of many more industries and learner groups. Flores was awarded a $170,000 grant to continue the work highlighted in her project to continue expanding access for learners.

Foundational Commitment 3: Advancing the National Career Clusters Framework

Paul Mattingly, Senior Policy Associate

Sheri Smith of Indigo Education Company and Alexandria Wright of WestEd’s Center for Economic Mobility provided an update on the National Career Clusters Framework Revision Project. The National Career Clusters® Framework is undergoing a modernization effort to ensure it remains responsive and relevant to both the world of work and learner needs for decades to come.

Participants in the workshop learned about the mixed method approach utilizing quantitative and qualitative methods for a data-informed process in updating the Framework. Additionally, participants learned of the progress that has been made recently with the Industry Advisory Groups and about the National Implementation Survey to gain knowledge about current and desired future use of the Framework and further support the engagement with those that use the Framework. During the group activities, attendees identified the most important uses and biggest challenges of utilizing the Framework for a variety of stakeholders.

Foundational Commitment 4: Data Dashboard Confessional – Ensuring Data are Actionable, Transparent and Trustworthy

Dan Adams, Associate Director, Data & Research

Dr. Jeffrey Fletcher, Lead Education Consultant at Iowa Department of Education, Bureau of Community Colleges and Postsecondary Readiness framed Iowa’s success with building and using Data Dashboards as involving three specific benchmarks: collaboration with grant recipients; collecting complete/correct data; and limitations such as data matching. The resulting data dashboards are allowing Iowa to monitor student outcomes from enrollment, through different levels of education, successful completion of education, and gainful employment.

Donna Lewelling, Director at the Office of Community Colleges and Workforce Development at Oregon’s Higher Education Coordinating Commission described Oregon’s work standing up a postsecondary data dashboard. Critical to Oregon’s success has been building data literacy among those collecting and those using postsecondary CTE data. Oregon’s work is relational, and resources have been devoted to building and sustaining the relationships necessary to create useable data dashboards, as well as providing technical assistance to the field in using data to identify opportunities and obstacles to student success.

Foundational Commitment 5: Seamless Transitions: Continuously Improving Alignment Across Sectors 

Eliza Fabillar, Senior Advisor

Alex Perry, Policy Advisor, Foresight Law and Policy, introduced the College in High School Alliance, a national partnership to advance dual enrollment and early college policy. Dual enrollment is growing nationwide, but more work is needed to develop consistent policies to achieve access to dual enrollment for all learners. States need to develop a common vision across sectors, expand the equity mission tied to dual enrollment by focusing on special populations, and be intentional about implementing policies that will advance dual enrollment. At the national level, policymakers and practitioners need to establish common definitions and examine policies and practices that support or hinder progress. 

Nancy Ligus, Advance CTE-ECMCF Fellow and Director of Workforce, Continuing Education and Economic Development at Pierpont Community College shared her work on a local workforce system. She differentiated systems versus ecosystems and provided a successful example from West Virginia. She also defined team characteristics that can ensure scalability and elaborated on strategies to form an ecosystem approach as a viable solution toward workforce and economic development goals.

Read our other blogs in the 2023 Fall Meeting recap series: 

By Layla Alagic in Advance CTE Fall Meeting
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: , , , , , ,

Research Round-Up: Analyzing Enrollment Gaps in South Carolina’s Health Sciences Career Cluster

Monday, March 27th, 2023

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 blog highlights findings from a replicative study that explores educational inequity within the South Carolina CTE Health Science Career Cluster®. These findings align with Advance CTE’s vision for the future where each learner can access CTE without borders.

CTE programs offer learners the opportunity to build their awareness of different career options through exposure to activities that promote early exploration to more explicit skill development through work-based learning and apprenticeships. When well designed, these programs achieve robust and equitable enrollment that supports local and state economic growth by aligning with relevant and high-wage industries.

One recent dissertation, Educational Equity Patterns within South Carolina Career and Technical Education (CTE): A Replication Study, authored by Nickolas Sumpteris describes the outcomes of replicating a previous study by Fuller Hamilton. Fuller Hamilton analyzed STEM CTE enrollment patterns in Illinois by the racial/ethnic make-up and sexual characteristics of all students within the state. Since no CTE educational equity research exists in South Carolina, Sumpter sought to apply this same analysis to South Carolina’s CTE Health Science Career Cluster. 

Fuller Hamilton et al. (2015) showed considerable differences in enrollment of male participants in the STEM career cluster compared to females and how these enrollment patterns correlated to other enrollment patterns within career clusters at the state and national levels. The original study also showed that all racial/ethnic groups in Illinois, except white students, were generally underrepresented in CTE programming. In addition, learners within marginalized groups identified as special populations under the Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act (Perkins V) experienced significant success in obtaining high-demand skills as a pathway to college or the career of their choice when enrolled in CTE courses

The population represented in Sumpter’s paper consisted of high school learners enrolled in CTE within South Carolina during the 2018-19 school year. Secondary data was collected from a sample of 196,318 CTE enrollees and examined using descriptive analysis procedures. Sumpter’s research questions for this replication study were:

Findings 

The study in South Carolina found inconsistencies in the levels of equity that existed within race, ethnicity, and sex. These inequities were also present regarding regional effects and socioeconomic status.

Sumpter concluded with recommendations for future research:

Additional Resources

Analyzing the Health Science Career Cluster was significant because the healthcare field represents a major employer in South Carolina and is one of the largest growing fields nationally. By improving the enrollment of underrepresented groups in the Health Science Career Cluster, South Carolina can improve the quality of life and the labor market for its residents. 

State, local CTE and career pathways leaders can learn more about effectively harnessing learner group data using Advance CTE’s Achieving Inclusive CTE Goal-Setting Tool. The Achieving Inclusive CTE Goal-Setting Tool strives to equip state and local CTE and career pathways leaders to approach program participation, outcomes data, and goal setting with an inclusive and representative lens. With this goal-setting tool, leaders can more intentionally plan to recruit, engage and support underrepresented learner groups to increase access to high-quality CTE programs and career pathways.

Amy Hodge, Policy Associate

To read more of Advance CTE’s “Research Round-Up” blog series featuring summaries of relevant research reports and studies click here.

By Jodi Langellotti in Research
Tags: , , , , , ,

Contribution to Society: Exploring Purpose-Driven Framing for Career Pathways

Thursday, March 23rd, 2023

Beginning a career has always been a daunting proposition for young people. With the coronavirus pandemic causing rapid disruption in the world of education and work, an acceleration of changing workplace trends and 46 million employees quitting their jobs in 2022, the world of work seems more daunting than ever. When taking into account the economic, social and environmental changes, the interests and needs of learners are evolving in new and fascinating ways. While employers are searching for ways to retain dedicated talent, employees are searching for ways to contribute to the society they live in and find purpose-driven work.

Over the past year, Advance CTE sought to connect this gap between the purpose-driven employee and the retention-minded employer through a reframing of career pathway descriptors, exploring whether a Career Technical Education (CTE) program oriented around one’s contribution to their community would prepare learners to be passionate and excited about future work while providing employers with a strong and motivated talent pipeline. 

In Contribution to Society: Exploring Purpose-Driven Framing for Career Pathways, we build the case for this type of framing through research, demonstrating that learners want to talk about their future contributions, but don’t always have the language or the appropriate outlet to do so. Research into occupational identity and social capital similarly reveals that these types of contribution-centered conversations can provide learners with the opportunity to learn about a broad set of careers that could fulfill their professional goals while building the networks they need to be successful. 

To further explore this framing, we commissioned focus groups with learners of different learner levels and conducted in-depth interviews with hiring professionals across six different industries. Through this research, we explored a number of trends:

 

In this white paper, we also share potential implications about the value of a “contribution to society” centered frame for CTE programs, including implications for learners, for instructors and counseling professionals, for administrators and policymakers, and for employers. The white paper also explores directions of future research and work to help validate and implement conversations around a purpose-driven framing for CTE programs. 

CTE programs build the technical and academic knowledge and skills learners need to be successful in the career of their choosing; as learners continue to strive toward a purposeful future, this type of framing could be an effective tool in helping learners navigate their own career journey in a more informed and purpose-driven way. Advance CTE will be launching work later this year to further explore how to elevate and implement a “contribution to society” centered frame in CTE programs and policies. Stay tuned to learn more!

Dan Hinderliter, Senior Policy Associate

By Jodi Langellotti in Publications
Tags: , , , , , , ,

Staff Reflections from 2021 Spring Meeting Part 2: Expanding CTE’s Potential to meet the needs learners and stakeholders

Monday, April 26th, 2021

This posts offers reflections from Advance CTE staff on key themes from Advance CTE’s 2021 Spring Meeting. Visit Advance CTE’s Resource Center for additional resources on elevating learner voice, strengthening career pathways and communicating with families and stakeholders.

Elevating Learner Voice in Shaping the Future of CTE 

The future of Career Technical Education (CTE) is only a success when learner voices are truly centered as state CTE leaders develop new innovative strategies and equitable policies while implementing their state Perkins V plans under the new vision: Without Limits: A Shared Vision for the Future of Career Technical Education

Advance CTE’s 2021 Spring Meeting provided stakeholders of the CTE community the opportunity to hear directly from learners on their experiences navigating through the career preparation ecosystem and what they hope to see for the future of CTE. 

Learners are engaged in a career preparation ecosystem when, “CTE provides opportunities for networking skills and connections to speak with industry partners and business professionals,”  said Dianna Serrano, SkillsUSA National Region 4 Vice President.

Each learner has the supports and skills to succeed in the career preparation ecosystem when, “Work-based learning opportunities cultivate personal and professional networks,”  said Rafael Bitanga, Director of Bitanga Productions, Member of Family Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA). 

Each learner can access CTE without borders when, “Every school offers CTE pathways where learners are developing skills that continue to prepare them for future careers,” said Dhruv Agarwal, National Technology Student Association (TSA) Reporter.

Looking ahead, the future of CTE is bright, it is bold, it is equitable and it is learner-centered. Wherever learners are in their career journey, they feel welcomed and supported with the necessary tools to succeed.

Brittany Cannady, Senior Associate Digital Media 

Elevating CTE in Federal Economic and Learning Recovery Policy 

Just as the past year was unconventional in nearly every way, it was also an unconventional time for federal policy. For the better part of the year “business as usual” was put on hold and the Congressional and Administration focus was on COVID-19 (coronavirus) response and relief packages. During this year’s Spring Meeting it was evident that state CTE leaders had a greater connection than usual to federal actions because they are in the midst of implementation of pandemic stimulus bills, as well as implementation of the Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act (Perkins V). This means there is a larger space for joint advocacy. 

During the panel on 2021 Congressional Priorities, featuring the Democratic and Republican staff on the House Committee on Education and Labor and the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP), each panelist encouraged meeting participants to contact their representatives in Congress to advocate for the CTE community. It was exciting to hear Congressional staff validate the power of each individual’s voice!

The presidential and Congressional elections in 2020 also provided a new opportunity to elevate CTE at the federal level. Not only was this brought up by the Congressional panelists, but also in the remarks provided by U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona. Secretary Cardona shared that as a proud CTE graduate he understands the value of CTE for each learner, especially during this time of economic recovery.

I am looking forward to continuing to bring state CTE leaders together with federal leaders so that we can advocate for high-quality and equitable CTE! 

Meredith Hills, Senior Policy Associate 

Reimagining CTE Program Design through the National Career Clusters® Framework 

Without question, the 2021 Spring Meeting was very different from the first Advance CTE meeting I attended in the spring of 2008. What was not different was the valuable opportunity for state leaders of CTE to reconnect, reset and reimagine! 

During the breakouts on the second day of the meeting, I was pleased to help host a reimagining conversation with state leaders centered on The National Career Clusters® Framework. State leaders concurred that the world of work continues to change rapidly and it is time to modernize The Framework’s structure and design to ensure its relevance for current and future needs of learners at all levels and of the workplace. One participant noted that students have skills that can cross into multiple industries, and asked, “How do we create fluidity between all of the areas?”

To that end, this effort is not designed to tinker around the edges, adding a new Career Cluster or renaming one of the existing Career Clusters. The work is seeking to completely reimagine the way The Framework is organized to reflect the current and future world of work.  All that we are committed to at this stage is the purpose statement, which has been approved by the Advance CTE Board of Directors, which you can read on the project web page

Advance CTE is seeking bold and innovative ideas to help us construct a new, modern and enduring Framework. To submit your ideas, visit the Advancing the Framework portal. Please also share this link through your networks to assist in our effort to crowdsource ideas that will shape a new framework. 

Thank you for a great 2021 Spring Meeting!

Scott Stump, Senior Advisor 

Reconnecting with Families on the Value of CTE

Achieving a robust national recovery will require a diverse and skilled workforce, not only through upskilling and reskilling displaced workers but also giving learners the tools to explore careers and prepare for lifelong skill building. While CTE has the tools to lead the way to fill this need, recruitment into CTE programs has stagnated for the past decade and significant awareness gaps remain, particularly among populations historically marginalized from participating in CTE. 

Our 2021 Spring Meeting explored how to improve messaging about CTE to families to increase program recruitment and address equity gaps to ensure CTE can meet future workforce needs. Director of Communications and Membership Katie Fitzgerald and myself gave a preview of updated communications research on what parents/guardians and learners say is most important in their education, what messages and messenger resonate with them to consider and stay in CTE, and what message tailoring and program quality considerations should be taken to effectively reach populations historically marginalized from participation in CTE. 

Members were excited to hear that many of the previously tested messages still resonate across racial, ethnic, and income categories, and that what families are looking for in their education closely aligns with what CTE can offer. Attendees were also very engaged in asking questions about equity gaps in satisfaction and messenger trust that were found in the research. We look forward to many more presentations to share this important information with stakeholders and utilizing tools to assist states in refreshing their communication plans to prioritize our key messages and equity considerations. 

Stacy Whitehouse, Senior Associate Communications and State Engagement 

By Stacy Whitehouse in Advance CTE Spring Meeting, Uncategorized
Tags: , , , , ,

We Need Your Help to Modernize the National Career Clusters Framework

Friday, April 23rd, 2021

Over the past year, Advance CTE has worked with state and national partners to modernize The National Career ClustersⓇ Framework (The Framework). Through kitchen cabinets, stakeholder engagement sessions, and town halls with our members, we collected a ton of great information about the purpose and the users of The Framework, its value, and where it no longer fits with the modern and future world of work. We recognize that The Framework has lived its useful life.

Now, more than ever, we need support from our community to help develop a new, modernized Framework. We know that we don’t have all the answers about the potential of a new Framework, so Advance CTE has opened an online crowdsourcing portal to collect ideas from you. This undertaking is no small task, and the strength of The Framework has always been the state-led, collaborative approach to build and update it. The more ideas we can collect, the stronger the end product will become. Here are some top tips to help you when filling out the portal

  1. You don’t have to go it alone: Are you an educator looking for a class project or an employee of a non-profit company in the CTE and career readiness space? What about an employer who hires CTE students? Collaborate with learners, your staff and peers to work together to submit an idea to the idea challenges.
  2. Complete one or all of the idea challenges: We know you have a busy schedule. However many idea challenges you choose to submit to, we welcome your input. Do not feel like you need to submit a response to all of them. Please pick the challenges that you connect with most and submit your strongest ideas. If you and your team are deep thinkers with a lot of feedback, please feel free to submit ideas for each of the challenges as well!
  3. Keep equity and access in mind: We are looking for ideas that center learners and are equity and access minded. Make sure to keep that lens when completing your submission.
  4. Be BOLD! and future-focused: We are looking for bold and innovative ideas! Think of the world of education and work in 2041 and how this framework may reflect that world. No idea is too ‘out there.’ The bolder the better!
  5. Unsure if you are the right person to submit an idea? If you are reading this blog, we want you to submit an idea. We are looking for ideas and perspectives from the full range of those impacted by education and the workforce including educators, learners, school counselors, school administrators, state leaders, employers, industry leaders, non-profit organizations, for-profit companies, economists, researchers, marketers, data professionals and more!


Submit your ideas today! The portal will be open until May 7. You can also help us get the word out about this initiative by using this promotional toolkit. Share the initiative with your networks through social media or inclusion in your newsletter.

Once the portal has closed, we will aggregate and tweak top ideas through facilitated workshops with a group of state- and national- level experts, with the end goal of two prototypes for a new, modernized Framework. After the development of these prototypes, we will again ask for feedback from the CTE and workforce communities to help us refine and hone a final version of a new Framework. Currently, Advance CTE is looking toward July 2024 for a rollout of this final version. Please visit advancingtheframework.org or the Advancing the Framework page on our website for updates or more information about the timeline and process. Please contact policy associate Dan Hinderliter (dhinderliter@careertech.org) if you have any questions or require assistance with the portal.

Dan Hinderliter, Policy Associate

By admin in Career Clusters®, Uncategorized
Tags:

Getting to Know … Maine

Monday, November 21st, 2016

Note: This is part of Advance CTE’s blog series, “Getting to Know …” We are using this series to help our readers learn more about specific states, State CTE Directors, partners and more.

State Name: Maine maine dept of ed

State CTE Director: Margaret Harvey, Director of Career Technical Education, Maine Department of Education

About Maine: In Maine, the state Board of Education is the eligible agency that receives and distributes federal Carl D. Perkins dollars. These funds are split evenly between the secondary and postsecondary sectors. At the secondary level, state law requires all students to be able to access CTE programs, which they can do through one of 27 CTE instructional facilities. There are two types of facilities: CTE Centers, which are administered by local education agencies, and CTE Regions, which are governed by a cooperative board representing districts in the region. Since Maine does not have comprehensive high schools, students receive academic instruction through their sending high schools and CTE instruction through CTE Centers or Regions.

Additionally, Maine has a proficiency-based graduation system that enables students to receive a secondary diploma by demonstrating competencies aligned with the Maine Learning Results standards. Earlier this year, the legislature updated the policy to enable CTE classes to satisfy some of the proficiency-based graduation requirements, considerably increasing the opportunity for secondary students to pursue CTE courses. Maine is further working to integrate technical and academic standards through CTE Intersections Workshops, which convene CTE, math and English Language Arts teachers to discuss intersections in their curricula. By 2017, the state aims to have completed intersections for 11 program pathways.

Maine recently revamped their teacher certification requirements to enable more business and industry experts to enter the classroom. They also adopted a regional calendar law to ensure students could attain the industry recognized credentials available in their programs.

Postsecondary Counterpart: Maine secondary and postsecondary CTE institutions maintain a close partnership to enable students to have a smooth transition to postsecondary education. Maine secondary CTE also communicates with the Maine Department of Labor to create pre-apprenticeships and mentorships for Maine students.

Programs of Study (POS): Maine has adopted ten Career Clusters® and 25 related pathways at the state level, and local schools and districts are able to develop their own programs based on these frameworks. Programs must be aligned to national- or state-certified industry standards and undergo an approval process by the state Department of Education, including review by an industry stakeholder group. Each program is reviewed by the Department of Education every six years, with an abbreviated review every three, though local CTE administrators conduct more routine program assessments through required Program Advisory Committees (PAC) and Center Advisory Committees (CAC). These committees review programs regularly to ensure they continue to meet industry standards and local industry needs.

Notable in Maine: The state has made efforts in recent years to support the transition from secondary to postsecondary through statewide articulation agreements and the Bridge Year program. Four statewide articulation agreements — in culinary arts, electrical, machine tool and, soon, auto technology programs — enable students to apply credits earned in high school towards a postsecondary degree at one of Maine’s public colleges and/or universities. Additionally, Maine encourages school districts to enter into their own articulation and dual enrollment agreements with corresponding community colleges, universities, and private postsecondary institutions to ensure students have a seamless pathway.

The Bridge Year program is a cohort-based early college program that starts during the junior year of high school. Bridge Year is designed to prepare students for college and careers through technical instruction, career assessments and advising, job shadowing experiences and dual credit coursework. In 2013, the state legislature passed a law to provide funding for dual enrollment CTE programs such as Bridge Year and enable students to earn high school diplomas and postsecondary credit through such programs. In the 2015-16 academic year, 224 students were enrolled in Bridge Year and were projected to earn 3,360 postsecondary credits.

Moving forward, Maine plans to take advantage of the state’s new proficiency-based graduation requirements to promote the benefits of CTE and encourage and allow more students to enroll.

Austin Estes, Policy Associate

By admin in Uncategorized
Tags: , , , ,

 

Series

Archives

1