ASSOCIATION FOR CAREER & TECHNICAL EDUCATION®
« September 2012 |
| November 2012 »
In 2010, ACTE worked with other organizations and Congress to address an issue in the Post-9/11 GI Bill that prevented veterans from using their benefits at non-degree granting institutions, which include our area CTE centers. The result was the Post-9/11 Educational Assistance Improvements Act of 2010, passed that December, which allowed area CTE centers as an allowable use of veterans’ benefits starting last October.
However, a new issue has now emerged. Thanks to ACTE members in Florida, it has come to our attention that a provision on the books from an earlier veterans education bill is creating difficulty for any area CTE center programs utilizing an online component. As our area CTE centers have begun the process of requesting approval for the use of veterans’ education benefits for their programs, they have discovered that any such program that includes any online or distance learning component has been deemed ineligible—merely because the institutions themselves are classified as non-degree-granting.
Despite the fact that the certificate programs at these institutions are accredited and are integral to both the industry and workforce development needs of communities and states, and to the higher education systems in such states where non-degree-granting higher education institutions exist, they are arbitrarily ruled ineligible if any portion is offered online.
ACTE has begun working with both Members of Congress and the Department of Veterans Affairs to gather information on and address this issue. We need your help though!
Please let us know if you are at an area CTE center that offers online programs, or programs with any portion (even a small amount) offered online. We need to provide information to Congress on the scope of this problem.
Posted by Alisha Hyslop on 10/18/2012 at 12:42 PM in Postsecondary Issues, State and Local Issues | Permalink
On Oct. 18, ACTE joined with nearly 30 other national business, education, policy and philanthropic organizations to support a common statement on career readiness. The paper, titled “Building Blocks for Change: What It Means to Be Career Ready,” helps to define what it means to be career ready in the 21st century and unites and amplifies a common voice around the often referenced, but not always fully understood, term.
In 2010, ACTE released a “What Is Career Ready?” definition outlining three broad sets of skills students need to be career-ready: core academic skills, employability skills and technical skills. ACTE created the definition to broaden the national discussion on the topic. Several states have referenced the ACTE definition as a starting point in developing their policies. The new “Building Blocks for Change” statement provides a more detailed description of career readiness while building on the foundational elements outlined in ACTE’s original definition.
For additional details:
Posted by Steve DeWitt on 10/18/2012 at 12:41 PM in Career Readiness | Permalink
Inside Higher Ed published an article today on the future of higher education after the November elections. The article discussed financial issues, upcoming and pending legislation, and what to expect if leadership in Congress changes.
While the presidential race may be the most prominent election happening now, the congressional races for House of Representatives and Senate are equally important to the future of higher education policy.
After the election, the remaining days of the 112th Congress will be consumed with discussion on how to avoid the devastating funding cuts that sequestration will impose on all federal programs on January 2nd, 2013. If a deal is not reached to reduce the federal deficit, either through cuts, revenues or both, then every federal program will receive an across-the-board 8.2 percent cut in funding. That funding cut will affect basic research and many student aid programs at postsecondary institutions. This would mean higher operating costs and an increased cost of attendance for students.
Whether or not sequestration is solved, next year, after those elected this November take office, there will be a number of new issues needing to be solved regarding higher education. The Pell Grant will face a funding crisis in 2014 when the temporary funding approved in 2009 runs out. The one-year fix to the federal student loan interest rate will expire next July raising the rate to 6.8 percent. The Higher Education Act (HEA), which governs postsecondary institutions and student aid, will also be up for reauthorization. Although there are a few more urgent bills ahead of the HEA, the reauthorization process will begin in the 113th Congress next year.
As these issues begin to come up after the election and through the 113th Congress, it is extremely important that you are able to trust your elected officials to make the right decisions for you. To go more in-depth about these issues, and to read about House and Senate races important to the future of postsecondary education policy, please read the Inside Higher Ed article.
Posted by Brendan Desetti on 10/10/2012 at 12:44 PM in Postsecondary Issues | Permalink
In a recent speech at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., Secretary of Education Arne Duncan touted the Administration’s efforts to strengthen education, while putting forward an agenda for the future. He noted the important role that education has in rebuilding the economy and preparing a highly trained, competitive workforce. “With more than 3 million unfilled jobs in this country, we have a skills gap that can only be closed if America does a better job training and preparing people for work,” said Duncan. He highlighted multiple pathways, including CTE, for obtaining needed skills and education by elaborating, “Whether it is a two- or four-year college, trade, technical or vocational training, some form of learning beyond high school must be the goal of every student.” Additionally, he laid out a set of important goals for the Department moving forward. Among them was enacting reforms in CTE at the secondary and postsecondary levels as well as more closely aligning CTE with the private sector.
In his remarks at the press club, and later at a gala event hosted by the Committee for Education Funding, Duncan urged greater investment in education in addition to reforms. He also pledged the president’s commitment to funding education, saying “some people see education as an expense government can cut in tough economic times. President Obama sees education as an investment in our future—the best investment we can make, especially in tough economic times.” CTE is especially well positioned to address the skills training and educational needs that are critical to an economic recovery. It is time for the Administration and Congress to strengthen the investment in CTE.
Posted by Mitch Coppes on 10/04/2012 at 12:45 PM in Executive Branch | Permalink
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