Posts Tagged ‘summit’

Advance CTE’s National Summit Celebrates Progress Enhancing Postsecondary CTE Data Quality

Monday, January 9th, 2023

Last month, Advance CTE hosted the National Summit on Advancing Postsecondary CTE Data Quality & Use (Summit). The convening was the capstone of a two-year initiative, supported by ECMC Foundation, to support leaders in five states in cultivating postsecondary data ecosystems that assist institutions in offering career pathways that meet learner interests and are aligned to good careers. This post shares some of the main takeaways and themes from the Summit.

Individuals from twenty states and territories, as well as national partner organizations, attended the Summit to hear lessons learned from the Advancing Postsecondary C Data Quality & Use Initiative (PDI), explore promising practices to improve the quality and use of postsecondary CTE data and discuss strategies to sustain the work into the future.

The agenda of the Summit followed the unique approaches the PDI grantees took to improve postsecondary Career Technical Education (CTE) data quality and use, from aligning non-credit courses to credit, improving data visualizations and creating new data elements to capture work-based learning or learners’ needs. 

The Summit also celebrated high-quality data system achievements outside of the PDI cohort. The first plenary featured a panel of Anna Fontus, Program Officer, ECMC Foundation; Su Jin Jez, Executive Director, California Competes; and Paige Kowalski, Executive Vice President, Data Quality Campaign. The panelists spoke on effective strategies to build support for  California’s P20 Cradle-to-Career Data System, including:

Overall, the panelists made clear that extensive planning and legislation enabled the state’s implementation to go relatively smoothly. 

The second plenary session was delivered by Delaware’s State CTE Director, Jonathan Wickert. Jon spoke to the change management that enabled major shifts in the state’s postsecondary CTE data practices and system. At the center, Delaware prioritized building buy-in among staff and institution-level leaders and practitioners through many rounds of listening and feedback sessions. The state put itself in the seat of convener and let its stakeholders guide the principles and questions that would be addressed by new data routines and system requirements. This work resulted in a shared mission statement, principles and research agenda that ensures stakeholders and users needs are met by data system improvements. 

Over the course of the two-day convening, common themes emerged across the plenary, concurrent and interactive sessions:

Through the PDI, Advance CTE has worked with the Alabama Community College System, Delaware Department of Education, University of the District of Columbia Community College, Florida Department of Education and Oregon Higher Education Coordinating Commission to develop and implement comprehensive action plans to improve the quality and use of postsecondary CTE data. 

Learn more about the PDI grantees’ work and lessons learned through the initiative’s series of mini briefs here

Candace Williams, Data & Research Manager 

By Jodi Langellotti in Uncategorized
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The Summit on Future Directions for CTE: Being Bold

Wednesday, November 4th, 2009

future directions 

The Summit on Future Directions for CTE: Being Bold
3rd in the series

What are the core principles that should guide the future direction of CTE for the next 10 years?

This was the first question posed to Fall Summit attendees. With answers written on literally hundreds of post it notes, the work began. As is always the case with this sort of work, in the beginning the work is messy and unrefined – which is exactly what we wanted. A grouping of 14 categories was identified ranging from “all students need to be CTE students” to “career clusters and programs of study are the framework for all of education” to “increasing rigor and adopting common standards for CTE.” The spectrum of opinions was broad. Consensus seemed elusive.

Principles 2

Are you annoyed? Uncomfortable? Feeling challenged? Good! Often CTE has been in the position of being defensive, fighting for a seat at the table or protecting what we have or what we have accomplished. The Summit was about creating an environment that allowed attendees to think and discuss honestly about what we are doing that is working, what isn’t working, and what we should be doing that we aren’t. Scenarios were designed to instigate, provoke and evoke emotion, debate and require attendees to take contrary positions oftentimes having to be an advocate for the traditional ‘opponent.’ At times there was a palpable, healthy tension. The best way to share the tone and spirit of the discussion is to share some quotes from attendees:


engaged discussion

We had arrived at a certain level of consensus – most attendees agreed that we needed to do something different, to be bolder in our thinking, to be innovative, and to take a risk. But what are the principles that will guide this new bold vision? By the end of day two, Summit attendees had crafted 24 potential principles. States were asked to vote on them. Democracy was at work. The next post in this series will share the outcomes of the vote and next steps.

By admin in Meetings and Events, Public Policy
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The Summit on Future Directions for CTE: Leadership

Monday, November 2nd, 2009

future directions

The Summit on Future Directions for CTE: Leadership
2nd in the Series

“If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.” – John Quincy Adams

BrendaWelcoming OVAE leadership: The Fall Summit was kicked off by the new leadership of the Office of Vocational andGlennAdult Education at the U.S. Department of Education, Assistant Secretary Brenda Dann-Messier and Deputy Assistant Secretary Glenn Cummings. Both were generous in their time, taking the opportunity to circulate the room and meet Summit attendees. Brenda and Glenn demonstrate genuine commitment to advocate for public policy that helps more students be successful.

Be bold, think broadly and show me the data! Assistant Secretary Dann-Messier, on the job for just one week, thanked the CTE community for its work and encouraged us to “to think broadly and boldly” as we think about the future. She underscored the role of CTE leaders to highlight the programs and data that answer the demands the White House has for student achievement and quality services. We need to prove that our programs are effective.

Looking back to guide the future: Dr. Mike Rush, former State CTE Director in Idaho and author of the “purple paper” challenged the CTE community to think about the importance of unity, working under a common vision, the criticality of education in ensuring our nation’s competitiveness, the necessity of preparation for and completion of postsecondary education, and importance of leadership.

MikeHe shared that “(t)his country has been engaged in an ongoing discussion about education and now, more than at any other time, our leaders are absolutely convinced that education is the make or break element in our nation’s arsenal of tools. But at the same time there appears to be less of a consensus about what constitutes a proper level and extent of education.”

This is a fundamental point of debate – do all students need to go to some form of postsecondary education? Mike contends the answer to this question is yes andthat CTE has an important role in achieving this goal by bothpreparing students with the skills to get to postsecondary education and the talents and skills to earn the income needed to pay for their postsecondary education. Such notions have been long argued. In fact, the debate of CTE’s focus dates back to the beginning of the 20th century by well-known intellectual leaders John Dewey and David Sneeden.  (Dewey, J. (1911). Culture and culture values. In P. Monroe (Ed.), A cyclopaedia of education, volume l (pp. 238–239). New York: Macmillan.  Dewey, J. (1911). Culture and culture values. In P. Monroe (Ed.), A cyclopaedia of education, volume l (pp. 238–239). New York: Macmillan. Snedden, D. (1910). The problem of vocational education. Boston: Houghton Mifflin. Snedden, D. (1931). American High Schools and Vocational Schools in 1960. New York: Teachers College, Columbia University.)

Today, debates continue over what is CTE. Is it occupation specific training or broader talent development? While we may not resolve this century old debate, Mike shared that “(CTE must) maintain your core mission. The workplace provides the context that makes CTE unique and valuable to an educational enterprise.” And he underscored the absolute necessity for CTE leaders to step outside of their box, their silo and be prepared to lead all of education – not just CTE.

Leadership: Both Brenda and Mike spoke about the importance of leadership. Leadership is a term that has almost individualized meaning. Is leadership a talent, a style, a learned behavior, something afforded by position? For some leadership is simply implementing what is effective. For others, leadership it is about challenging the status quo. And for others is it about the act of creating andcrafting something new, like a vision. The Fall Summit hoped that by bringing together leader from around the country together, we would benefit from their diverse styles and interpretations of leadership.

So with the challenge was before Summit attendees – to think boldly, to dream big, to be leaders –the work began. Attendees were asked to answer what on its face is a simple question:

What are the core principles that should guide the future direction of CTE for the next 10 years?

How would you answer this question?


By admin in Meetings and Events, Public Policy
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The Summit on Future Directions for CTE: Part 1

Thursday, October 29th, 2009

future directions

I was at a meeting earlier this week when someone asked me about a “super-double-top-secret-meeting” NASDCTEc convened last week in Baltimore. I had to laugh. While the event we hosted was in no way secret, it was, by necessity, by invitation only. This question made me realize the criticality of sharing information about the event we convened. So, this is the first in a series of posts where I will share with you information and insights about the Fall Summit we convened October 20 – 22, 2009 entitled “Future Directions for CTE.”

Why a Sguidepostummit?   CTE is at a critical juncture. Many policymakers, national organizations and leaders are looking to CTE to be a partner and a solution in both the educational and workforce arenas. This recent interest has created an opportunity for us to challenge current beliefs and assumptions, break down silos, broaden perspectives, increase rigor and build systemic support for CTE.

Our organization’s vision statement is that we are the leader in shaping the future of CTE. As such, our Board of Directors felt this was the right time to host an event designed to convene the states in crafting a shared vision for the future of CTE.


Summit ≠Conference: The Summit was not a traditional conference. There were no formal speakers. There was no set agenda. There was no head table or stage. We used a fabulous convening group called Innovation Labs to facilitate this interactive, iterative process and event. Their design creates an atmosphere and environment that facilitates open, honest and active engagement of attendees. Here is what it looks like in action:

Summit #2

The Summit was structured to engage attendees to think about what CTE is, as well as give attendees license to dream about what CTE could and should be. With the backdrop of a couple of webinars and some pre-summit briefing materials, attendees were asked to challenge current assumptions and beliefs. Activities were designed to facilitate not just “outside the box” conversations but instead to have conversations that resulted in creating an entirely new box. We hoped that attendees would come to some amount of consensus and affirm what CTE is (and what it is not), as well as think boldly and broadly about what the future of CTE should be. Our Board’s goal was that the Summit would result in a set of guiding principles that states would embrace and would use to guide both their and NASDCTEc’s work as we provide leadership for the CTE enterprise.

Whilepurple paper this may seem like a lofty goal, it is not without precedent. In the 1998, under the leadership of Dr. Mike Rush (who was then the State Director in Idaho) NASDCTEc put out an epochal document – CTE: An Essential Component of the Total Educational System. This paper (informally and affectionately called the ‘purple paper’) paved new ground for us. It defined a new, bold vision for CTE that opened the door for our organization’s work in career clusters. And even more amazing is that all states came to consensus on the 5 principles incorporated into this document. The states agreed to support this as the vision of what CTE is and should be. This consensus and unity among the states provided significant strength and leverage that has resulted in great advances in a very short timeframe.

I believe it is these advances played a significant role in creating the interest, support and opportunities before CTE today. Stakeholders didn’t dismiss CTE as simply relabeled vocational education. Instead stakeholders saw the significant efforts and investments being made by CTE leaders to adopt higher and more rigorous academic and technical standards, to implement systems of accountability, and the shift in attitudes to acknowledge that most students would need some postsecondary education to be prepared for the modern workplace. Further the movement toward career clusters reflected a major shift in the scope of what CTE is, beginning to erode the lines of the tracks for those kids going to college and those going to work.

All told, all but 5 states were represented at last week’s Summit. And among the many states present, attendees included state directors of secondary and postsecondary CTE as well as a small group partners representing the federal government, principals, teachers, governors, CTSOs, colleges and school systems, and business and industry who were dedicated to crafting this new, bold vision for CTE.

So what were the outcomes? Did we achieve consensus? Who was the special guest that kicked off the Summit? You’ll have to read the next installment in this series to get these answers.

By admin in Meetings and Events, Public Policy
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