ASSOCIATION FOR CAREER & TECHNICAL EDUCATION®
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| February 2014 »
ACTE is excited to announce that the 2014 National Policy Seminar will, for the second year in a row, feature programing on Capitol Hill! The stately Congressional Auditorium in the U.S. Capitol Visitors Center (CVC) will once again play host to our Offsite General Session on Tuesday, March 4. Completed in 2008, the CVC is a beautiful addition to the Capitol complex—conveniently located between the House and the Senate office buildings with easy access to the Washington Metrorail.
Tuesday’s session will feature remarks from invited Members of Congress and congressional staff who will provide updates on important policy developments affecting CTE. Lawmakers and staff will discuss topics including the reauthorizations of the Perkins CTE Act, Elementary and Secondary Education Act, and Workforce Investment Act, as well as federal funding for CTE. Additionally, ACTE will present the Policymaker of the Year Award to recognize policymakers who have made significant contributions to furthering the cause of CTE over the previous year. Don’t miss this great opportunity to hear directly from the policymakers who have a major impact on CTE issues in the year ahead!
The session at the U.S. Capitol Visitors Center will take place from 10:00 a.m. until 12:00 p.m., so please try to schedule your NPS Hill visits after this time! Register for NPS today!
Any events held during NPS at the Capitol Visitor Center will be free and open to the public. Those wishing to attend a CVC event who are not registered for the full conference must RSVP to Brendan Desetti by Feb. 21, 2014.
Posted by Mitch Coppes on 01/31/2014 at 01:01 PM in NPS | Permalink
Today the National Center for Education Statistics released the Common Education Data Standards (CEDS) 4.0. CEDS is a national collaborative effort to develop voluntary, common data standards for a key set of data elements across the education and workforce pipeline, including data elements with relevance for CTE, adult education and the workforce.
CEDS is not a data set itself; rather, it is a set of names, definitions, option sets and technical specifications for data collection. Its goal is to streamline the exchange and analysis of data within and across the P-20W spectrum.
New in version 4.0 are data elements for types of work-based learning, Career Cluster, instructor industry certification and student employment prior to enrollment. Other CTE-related data elements include credentials earned (degrees, certificates and industry-recognized certifications), simultaneous academic/CTE credit, workplace readiness assessment scores, and employment and earnings elements.
With a growing national focus on data and accountability to help students succeed in education and careers, collecting high-quality data and sharing it across different agencies is more important than ever. ACTE takes part in several data quality and sharing initiatives, such as the Workforce Data Quality Campaign--learn more on our website.
Posted by Catherine Imperatore on 01/31/2014 at 11:37 AM in Data and Research | Permalink
CTE students were significantly more likely than their non-CTE counterparts to report developing problem-solving, project completion, research, college application, work-related, communication, time management and critical-thinking skills during high school.[i]
CTE students, through hands-on, project-based learning, not only acquire technical and academic skills but also gain much-needed skills in problem solving, critical thinking, teamwork, communications and other skills vital to the workplace. Students acquire these competencies through CTE courses, work-based learning experiences, career and technical student organization competitions and participation in school-based businesses.
The research findings described above were drawn from a study that compared CTE and non-CTE students as they transitioned into postsecondary education. The study also found that students reported gaining skills in mathematics.
When sharing this information with policymakers, business leaders and the public, point out that demand for workplace skills has been expressed time and time again by employers and organizations such as the Society for Human Resource Management.[ii] Back up this information with data on student technical and academic skills attainment (see ACTE Fact Sheets), and share success stories of CTE students who have gained critical-thinking, communication and problem-solving skills.
You can find this data and other statistics about the benefits of CTE on our website.
[i] Lekes et al., CTE Pathway Programs, Academic Performance and the Transition to College and Career, National Research Center for CTE, 2007.
[ii] SHRM and WSJ.com/Careers, Critical Skills Needs and Resources for the Changing Workforce, 2008.
Posted by Catherine Imperatore on 01/31/2014 at 11:35 AM in Career Readiness, Data and Research | Permalink
Recently, the Workforce Data Quality Campaign (WDQC), a national initiative that advocates for inclusive, aligned and market-relevant data systems used for advancing the nation's skilled workforce, released an initial report outlining the campaign's five-point agenda for reform. ACTE was a founding partner of WDQC and is actively involved in pursuing the campaign's agenda.
The report, titled "Making Workforce Data Work," includes background information on the campaign, lays out the WDQC's policy priorities, and includes real-world examples of the ways that data is helping to strengthen education, governance and business. It is designed to make a compelling case for improving education and workforce data, and to give state and federal leaders actionable ideas to move forward. The WDQC agenda includes:
In other data news, the Department of Labor recently announced the availability of applications for its next round of Workforce Data Quality Initiative Grants. The grants are designed to help states improve the quality and availability of workforce data and better understand how education and workforce development programs complement each other by linking education and workforce data in state longitudinal data systems. In this fourth round of the grants, six states are expected to split the $6 million available. Grant materials are available on grants.gov and applications are due on March 25, 2014.
Posted by Alisha Hyslop on 01/30/2014 at 03:45 PM in Data and Research, Executive Branch | Permalink
In conjunction with the start of CTE Month, ACTE worked with U.S. Senators Tim Kaine (D-VA) and Rob Portman (R-OH) to form theSenate Career and Technical Education Caucus. As co-chairs, the Senators will use the bipartisan Caucus to bring attention in the Senate to improving and strengthening access to high-quality, rigorous CTE to ensure a well-educated and highly skilled workforce.
While the House of Representatives has a formal process for establishing caucuses, and has maintained the Congressional CTE Caucus since 2007, the Senate has traditionally not formed these groups around specific interest areas. Today’s announcement is a big step forward in that Senators will now be able to join together in one voice as a caucus to champion CTE.
The caucus co-chairs have circulated a letter to their colleagues to urge them to join. Take a few minutes to contact your senators and ask them to support CTE by joining the bipartisan Senate CTE Caucus!
Posted by Brendan Desetti on 01/30/2014 at 11:29 AM in CTE Caucus, In the News | Permalink
Last night, President Obama delivered the annual State of the Union address before Congress. He put forward a broad policy agenda that included efforts on skills training, manufacturing and education. The president applauded the 2014 budget agreement that rolled back much of the 2013 sequester cut and paved the way for an increase in Perkins funding in the recent omnibus appropriations bill. “Last month, thanks to the work of Democrats and Republicans, this Congress finally produced a budget that undoes some of last year’s severe cuts to priorities like education. Nobody got everything they wanted, and we can still do more to invest in this country’s future while bringing down our deficit in a balanced way,” said Obama. Federal funding for CTE is one of those important investments in our nation’s future, and we urge the president and Congress to make Perkins funding a priority in 2014.
The president pledged to make this a “year of action” and highlighted initiatives that his Administration will take that will not require congressional action. He announced the expansion of the existing manufacturing innovation institutes program that focuses on bringing together regional partnerships of businesses, postsecondary institutions and governments to co-invest in the development of manufacturing technologies and capabilities. His goal is to launch six new regional manufacturing institutes this year in addition to the pilot programs established in Youngstown, Ohio, and Raleigh, North Carolina. A government-wide review of federal job training programs led by Vice President Joe Biden was also proposed.
In his address, the president specifically referenced on-the-job training, apprenticeships, and connecting business and industry with career education and training providers. To help achieve these goals, Congress and the Administration must work toward a comprehensive reauthorization of the Workforce Investment Act (WIA) with an emphasis on better aligning our nation’s workforce development system with skills training and education provided through CTE. In addition, more attention must be placed on proven program, like Perkins.
“We are hopeful that he [the president], his administration and Congress will recognize and build upon support for existing federal policy in this ‘year of action’ to equitably benefit CTE students and educators nationwide, particularly through increases in funding available through the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act and a thoughtful reauthorization of that law,” said ACTE Executive Director LeAnn Wilson.
The Republican response was delivered by Rep. Cathy McMorris-Rodgers (WA), who currently serves as the chair of the House Republican Conference. Though she did not specifically address CTE, she alluded to recent legislative actions taken by the House, including bills to reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) and WIA, that address education and workforce policy. Said Rodgers, “We [House Republicans] have plans to improve our education and training systems so that you have the choice to determine where your kids go to school, so college is affordable and skill training is modernized.”
On Thursday, President Obama will travel to McGavock High School in Nashville, Tennessee, as part of a two-day tour to promote his State of the Union agenda. He will tour McGavock High’s nationally recognized career academies.
Posted by Mitch Coppes on 01/29/2014 at 01:28 PM in Executive Branch, In the News | Permalink
A new publication from the federal Education Longitudinal Study of 2002 tracks the attainment of a variety of credentials, including undergraduate certificates, as well as workforce participation and earnings.
This report shares data collected in 2012 for the Education Longitudinal Study of 2002 (ELS:2002), describing the outcomes of the study cohort at about age 26. By this age, the respondents included the following (industry certifications were not tracked):
Of respondents who had earned an associate's degree or undergraduate certificate, or had enrolled in some postsecondary education but not completed a credential, 81 percent were working for pay compared to 89 percent of those with a bachelor's degree.
When it comes to earnings, the percentage making at least $20 per hour included:
This release came just days prior to a Census report exploring the attainment of certifications, postsecondary certificates and licenses. The increased interested in unpacking the "some college" category to find out more about people with non-degree credentials, and their employment and earnings outcomes, is very welcome!
Posted by Catherine Imperatore on 01/28/2014 at 11:39 AM in Data and Research | Permalink
An update of an American Institutes for Research study on Early College High Schools, which added an extra year of data to the previously published analysis, finds that 81 percent of Early College students had enrolled in postsecondary education, compared to 72 percent of their peers not in Early College High Schools. In addition, within the two years following high school, 23 percent of Early College students had received an associate degree, compared to just 2 percent of other students.
Promising practices in helping youth and adults who have dropped out to attain a high school credential or GED and transition to college were recently profiled by MDRC. While rigorous research on such programs is limited, the publication highlights two studies that suggest that teaching basic skills and GED instruction in the context of specific career training, with wraparound supports, shows promise in helping youth and adults earn a credential and move forward. Promising programs include the I-BEST program and LaGuardia Community College's GED Bridge program.
In addition, a recent report from the Association of American Colleges and Universities, How Liberal Arts and Sciences Majors Fare in Employment, finds that while liberal arts majors start out earning less than their peers in professional and pre-professional programs such as business, health care and education, these two groups earn roughly equal incomes later in life. Students in the physical sciences, natural sciences and mathematics earn the most later in life. The authors emphasize that, regardless of major, successful employees need both broad knowledge and specific job-related skills, as well as critical thinking, communication and problem-solving skills.
Posted by Catherine Imperatore on 01/27/2014 at 11:40 AM in Data and Research | Permalink
Recently, Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) introduced the Grants for Renewable Energy Education for the Nation (GREEN) Act (S.1952). The bill is a companion to the House GREEN Act sponsored by Rep. Jerry McNerney (D-CA). Sen. Baldwin publicly announced the Senate GREEN Act during a tour of technical colleges across Wisconsin.
The GREEN Act provides for a new $100 million competitive grant to develop CTE programs of study that focus on emerging careers and jobs in renewable energy, energy efficiency and climate change mitigation. Additionally, the bill encourages the development of CTE facilities that are energy efficient and promotes the use of renewable energy practices. “In order to create a made in Wisconsin economy that is built to last, we must invest in job training and workforce readiness for clean energy jobs,” said Sen. Baldwin. CTE programs offer the flexibility and responsiveness to serve the growing and evolving workforce needs of green energy industry.
ACTE worked closely with Sen. Baldwin’s offices in developing this legislation and we proudly endorse this effort! ACTE Deputy Executive Director Steve DeWitt said, “CTE offers students exposure to the range of sustainable energy career options available today, while providing the education and training necessary to ensure that our nation’s workforce is prepared for the green jobs of the future. The GREEN Act builds on these efforts by encouraging CTE institutions to further develop technical programs of study that lead to careers in the green energy field.” Please contact your Senators and ask them to become a cosponsor of the GREEN Act!
Posted by Mitch Coppes on 01/23/2014 at 01:16 PM in Perkins | Permalink
On January 16, President Obama hosted a group of approximately 140 college presidents, business people, foundation heads and nonprofit executives at an event focusing on improving college access for low-income students. The “Call to Action on College Opportunity,” as it was termed by the White House, involved a range of discussions examining successful strategies to ensure low-income students get in to and graduate from college.
In order to attend the event, college presidents or other groups had to pledge to conduct new activities specifically targeted toward the enrollment or success of low-income students. Such pledges are detailed in a document released by the White House, and range from new scholarship opportunities to more intensive recruiting and advisement.
The event was an opportunity for the Administration to use its “bully pulpit” to draw attention, and incentivize action, on activities that it values—without having to have congressional approval for legislation.
A key theme of the day was “undermatching,” or the idea that highly qualified students don’t attend the most rigorous institutions they could. The majority of attendees at the event were private, four-year institutions, although 11 community colleges made commitments. There was some criticism that the event excluded many institutions that already serve a low-income population, and that the Administration’s effort was largely symbolic. Regardless of those criticisms though, most attendees agreed the attention on low-income students was useful, and we are likely to see more in the future.
Posted by Alisha Hyslop on 01/21/2014 at 02:29 PM in Executive Branch, Postsecondary Issues | Permalink
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