Posts Tagged ‘professional learning’

Translating Insights to Action: Using Data to Identify and Address CTE Opportunity Gaps

Tuesday, August 10th, 2021

State and local leaders should always center equity when making decisions related to Career Technical Education (CTE) to ensure that each learner feels welcome in, is supported by and has the means to succeed in the career preparation ecosystem. This approach is called using an equity lens. But without access to reliable, comprehensive and disaggregated data, it can be challenging to understand when and where equity gaps occur.

To help state and local leaders better access and understand their data, Advance CTE developed a suite of tools — including a dynamic and customizable dashboard — that can be used to facilitate a comprehensive CTE opportunity gap analysis process. After more than a year of development and piloting, Advance CTE is accepting applications for a Train-the-Trainer workshop on conducting an opportunity gap analysis in September. Registration for the training program closes this Thursday, August 12.

Opportunity Gap Analysis Dashboard ScreenshotThe CTE opportunity gap analysis training was piloted last summer in partnership with Minnesota State Colleges and Universities. Minnesota is organized into 26 consortia to implement the Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act (Perkins V), each representing the community or technical college and school districts in their service area. Each consortium sent secondary and postsecondary representatives to the pilot workshop.

The training was conducted in two parts. In the first session, participants learned about the CTE opportunity gap analysis process, a four-step, inquiry-based process to unearth, prioritize and address the most urgent CTE opportunity gaps.

Reflective Approach to Equity in CTEIn the second session, participants reviewed their own dashboards — which they prepared in advance with data from the state office — in order to identify learner subgroups that were over- or under-represented across different CTE programs compared to the overall learner population. Participants used a fishbone diagram to identify and map underlying root causes and reviewed intervention strategies and supporting evidence to target recruitment, enrollment and inclusivity of diverse learner populations in CTE. Using this information, they began to develop equity-focused action plans. The workshop, which was aligned with Minnesota’s Perkins V professional development series, was designed to help participants center equity in their Perkins V applications and action plans.

One lesson participants learned from the workshop is that too much data can be overwhelming. The dashboard helped local district and college leaders focus their attention on the data that matters the most and use that data to glean insights and take action.

Next month, Advance CTE is offering the CTE opportunity gap analysis training to state CTE leaders, free of charge. Selected participants will receive a five-hour training, access a suite of materials, and conduct their own opportunity gap analysis process in their own states. A stipend and technical support will be provided to support implementation.

The registration deadline is this Thursday, August 12. Applicants should be state CTE leaders with responsibility and influence over Perkins V administration, program design and approval, equity and inclusion, special populations, methods of administration and/or CTE data. Learn more at and direct questions to Austin Estes at [email protected].

Austin Estes, Manager of Data & Research

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Unpacking Putting Learner Success First: Ensuring Quality Instruction

Thursday, August 3rd, 2017

A little over one year ago, Advance CTE launched Putting Learner Success First: A Shared Vision for the Future of CTE. This document, which was developed using input from a broad array of stakeholders, calls for a systematic transformation of the education system grounded in five principles. This blog series will dive into each principle, detailing the goals and progress made in each area.

For more resources related to Putting Learner Success First, including state and local self-assessments, check out our Vision Resources page.

All learning is facilitated by knowledgeable experts.

All learners deserve to have quality educational experiences facilitated by individuals with passion, experience and expertise. The need for experts qualified to help ensure students gain the real-world experiences they need for success has been increasing dramatically. Individuals with industry expertise provide a perspective to students that traditional academic teachers may be unable to do, and can also help students explore and connect with particular career opportunities.

State leaders face numerous barriers in fully achieving this principle, including geographical shortages of available industry experts, and the availability of professional development that provides industry experience to classroom teachers.

Those who have signed onto the principle have committed to accomplishing this objective through the following actions:

Since the launch of Putting Learner Success First, Advance CTE has been conducting research and policy scans to raise up examples and promising practices related to this principle. Now, when state leaders put their commitment to quality instruction into action, they have access to multiple resources related to instructor certification, teacher externships and professional learning.

Principle in Action

Relevant Resources

Upcoming Resources

Ashleigh McFadden, State Policy Manager

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