ASSOCIATION FOR CAREER & TECHNICAL EDUCATION®
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As we celebrate the final week of CTE Month across the nation, we are pleased to announce the rollout of an exciting new website. This site was created in cooperation with all the national Career and Technical Student Organizations (CTSOs) through the National Coordinating Council for Career and Technical Student Organizations (NCC-CTSO) and our affiliate organizations: The Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE), National Association of State Directors of Career and Technical Education Consortium (NASDCTEc) and, the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP).
The website links to all CTSOs and affiliate organizations, provides the latest CTE news feed , links to our social networks and provides several data points that support the case for CTSOs as a key component of high quality Career and Technical Education. One of the most dynamic features of the website appears under the "Advocate" header. This link provides CTSO profiles for every state and shows the number of CTSO members in each legislative district for every state. This is a great tool for state legislative visits and for making the case for CTE at the local, state and federal levels.
We hope you will find this site useful not only an advocacy tool, but also as a marketing and branding tool. The process to develop this website was done with an incredible cooperative spirit amongst all the CTSOs and affiliate organizations. It offers another way to celebrate the goodness of CTE! Visit the site at http://www.ctsos.org.
Posted by Alisha Hyslop on 02/28/2014 at 01:08 PM in Advocacy Resources | Permalink
In addition to working with Sens. Rob Portman (R-OH) and Tim Kaine (D-VA) to establish a new Senate CTE Caucus to start off CTE Month, ACTE has continued working with Members of Congress throughout the month to celebrate and recognize February 2014 as CTE Month.
Congressional CTE Caucus Co-Chairs Reps. Glenn “GT” Thompson (R-PA) and Jim Langevin (D-RI) both visited CTE schools in their districts during CTE Month to connect with CTE teachers, students and administrators. Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) also finished up a tour of Wisconsin’s technical college system, which she had begun in conjunction with her recent legislation supporting CTE programs that include focuses on energy efficiency and sustainability.
On Feb. 25, Rep. Thompson took to the House floor to recognize February as CTE Month. His speech on the floor called for other House members to do more to ensure students are prepared for the workforce with the technical skills and education for a high-wage, in-demand career. We expect his fellow CTE Caucus co-chair to make similar remarks on Friday, Feb. 28. This blog will be updated to reflect those statements.
In another show of recognition, the Senate Career and Technical Education Caucus Co-Chairs, Sens. Kaine and Portman, along with Sen. Baldwin, introduced a resolution in the Senate on Feb. 26 to declare February 2014 as CTE Month.
This was the first resolution designating February as CTE Month since 2008, when former Reps. Brian Baird (D-WA) and Phil English (R-PA), then co-chairs of the House CTE Caucus, introduced a resolution in the House.
Posted by Brendan Desetti on 02/28/2014 at 11:35 AM in CTE Caucus, In the News | Permalink
In January 2013, ACTE and its partners on the CTE Courses: Creating Commonality with SCED project submitted recommendations to update CTE courses within the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) School Codes for the Exchange of Data (SCED). This initiative, overseen by Sharon Enright, formerly of the Ohio Department of Education, included input from ACTE, the National Association of State Directors of Career Technical Education Consortium, the U.S. Department of Education and, most importantly, CTE practitioners. Working groups of practitioners recommended edits, additions and deletions to bring the SCED course codes, names and descriptions more in line with the reality of high-quality CTE courses today and to better support longitudinal data systems and research on student outcomes.
SCED engaged a variety of stakeholders in the past year to review these recommendations and provide input. This collaborative process has resulted in draft SCED Version 2.0 Course Codes, which were recently released for public review at http://nces.ed.gov/forum/prdrafts.asp, including many of the updates recommended by the ACTE working groups.
Many thanks to the ACTE members who contributed to this project!
UPDATE April 2014: The final version of SCED 2.0 is available here as an Excel file, and NCES is finishing up a guide for using SCED 2.0.
Posted by Catherine Imperatore on 02/28/2014 at 11:31 AM in Data and Research | Permalink
On Monday, Feb. 24, Illinois’ Madison County Career and Technical Education System hosted a roundtable discussion with Reps. John Shimkus (R-IL) and Rodney Davis (R-IL) at Lewis and Clark Community College in Edwardsville, IL. In addition to the congressional representatives, the roundtable also featured local and regional school administrators and business and industry partners.
The discussion aimed to bring attention to the ways in which career and technical education is preparing students for careers and further education in STEM fields. Participants suggested that often, the STEM ideals being discussed in public policy are too narrowly focused on four-year degree pathways, which leaves many CTE programs currently preparing students with shorter-term credentials stigmatized as lesser, “dead-end” pathways.
Many of the panelists, including Reps. Shimkus and Davis, agreed that if we are to close the skills gap, we must educate parents and students about the benefits of CTE and make those programs more available to students.
School visits and discussions such as this one are going a long way in bringing policymakers’ attention to the often unknown or misunderstood benefits of CTE. If you’d like to make a difference and host an event for Members of Congress, or if you are already planning a community event and would like to invite your Members, please feel free to reach out to me at email@example.com for any assistance.
Posted by Brendan Desetti on 02/26/2014 at 11:34 AM in Advocacy Resources, In the News | Permalink
Two new Gallup-Lumina polls, one of the general U.S. public and one of American business leaders, indicate that postsecondary education could be doing better at preparing students for the workforce.
Only 14 percent of respondents from the general public strongly agreed with the statement "college graduates in this country are well-prepared for success in the workforce." Of business leaders, only 11 percent strongly agreed that U.S. higher education institutions are graduating students with the skills and competencies needed by business. These findings differ dramatically from results of an Insider Higher Ed survey, in which 96 percent of chief academic officers reported they were doing a good job preparing students for success in the workforce.
The general public and business leaders surveyed by Gallup and the Lumina Foundation agreed on the importance of knowledge and skills in the hiring process. Eighty percent of the general public selected candidate knowledge in the career field as a very important factor in hiring, followed closely by applied skills in the field. Only 30 percent said the candidate's alma mater was very important for hiring decisions. U.S. executives similarly focused on knowledge and applied skills as the most important factors in hiring, with school and major as less important factors.
Business leaders were also asked to identify what can better prepare students for workplace success. The most common answer to this open-ended question was that schools should offer opportunities for internships and on-the-job experience. According to a recent Pew Research Center report, college graduates agree: 50 percent of college graduates surveyed said that gaining more experience while an undergraduate would have better prepared them to get the job they wanted. Millennials are particularly likely to wish they had gained more experience while in school.
Posted by Catherine Imperatore on 02/26/2014 at 11:32 AM in Career Readiness, Data and Research | Permalink
The U.S. economy gained more than $800 billion in added income in 2012 from community college alumni employed in the U.S. workforce, according to a recent publication from the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC). Student return on investment was $4.80 and taxpayer return on investment was $6.80 for every dollar spent on community college education.
The report also found that U.S. community colleges had a total effect on the U.S. economy of $809 billion in 2012, which is about 5.4 percent of the nation's Gross Domestic Product, and that the U.S. gains a present value of $1.1 trillion in added income over the course of community college students' working careers.
Learn more and download related fact sheets at www.aacc.nche.edu/About/Pages/economicimpactstudy.aspx.
Posted by Catherine Imperatore on 02/25/2014 at 11:33 AM in Data and Research | Permalink
The Department of Labor announced on February 19 the availability of approximately $150 million in new grants designed to help place individuals affected by long-term employment into new jobs. These grants, referred to as the “Ready to Work Partnerships” between employers and non-profit organizations, will help those who have been out of work for long periods to obtain middle and high-skilled jobs.
The federal government will issue approximately 20 to 30 grants, each ranging between $3 million and $10 million, depending on the type of programs offered by participating organizations. Eligible applicants include public and private partnerships of entities that include at least one representative of each of the following:
In addition, at least three employers or a regional industry association with at least three employers must be engaged in the project.
Funded primarily through the H-1B visa program, the grants will allow companies and organizations to refocus on hiring qualified American citizens. At least 85% of the individuals served by the grant must be long-term unemployed, out of work six months or longer. Activities funded by grants can include training, job placement assistance, work-based learning, as well as employer engagement.
Those interested in applying for the grants are required to do so before June 19, 2014. For more information, you can visit the program’s page at http://www.grants.gov/view-opportunity.html?oppId=251554
Posted by Mitch Coppes on 02/21/2014 at 02:24 PM in Executive Branch, Federal Funding | Permalink
ACTE is very pleased to announce that the Policymaker of the Year award will be presented to Sens. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) and Mark Begich (D-AK) during the 2014 National Policy Seminar. This award is given annually by the ACTE Board of Directors to nationally recognized policymakers who have made a significant contribution to career and technical education during the past year
Sen. Begich is a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee and has been a strong support of federal funding for Perkins. He is the sponsor of the Counseling for Career Choice Act, which would provide support for school counselors to help students make informed decisions regarding their career and academic goals. ACTE is a proud supporter of this legislation, and we applaud the senator for his efforts to promote career guidance and counseling. Additionally, Sen. Begich introduced two bills in 2013 aimed at professional development for CTE educators (Professional Development for Educators Act) and the modernization of CTE facilities (Career and Technical Education Facilities Modernization Act) respectively.
Throughout 2013, Sen. Baldwin has been a leader on CTE issues as member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee. She is the sponsor of the Grants for Renewable Energy Education for the Nation (GREEN) Act, a bill that would encourage the development of technical programs of study leading to careers in the green energy field. ACTE worked with Sen. Baldwin to introduce an amendment as part of the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). The amendment, which was adopted with bipartisan support in the HELP committee, would incorporate career readiness measures on state and school report cards for the first time. ACTE congratulates these two dedicated Members of Congress for their continued commitment to CTE!
The awards will be presented during the Offsite General Session at the Congressional Auditorium in the U.S. Capitol Visitors Center on Tuesday, March 4. The session will also feature remarks from the co-chairs of both the House and Senate CTE Caucuses, Rep. Glenn Thompson (R-PA) and Sen. Tim Kaine (D-VA). We hope you will join us in Washington on March 3-5, for NPS 2014!
Posted by Mitch Coppes on 02/21/2014 at 11:34 AM in NPS | Permalink
On February 19, 2014, the Department of Education organized a special event for CTE Month to spotlight four student leaders fromCareer and Technical Student Organizations (CTSO) that are bringing career and technical education (CTE) beyond the classroom. The session, titled “Reflect, Transform, Lead: Preparing Students for College, Careers and Citizenship,” was a great opportunity to learn more about how students are applying their CTE skills in creative ways, from connecting STEM education coursework to filmmaking activities to volunteering in Hurricane Sandy rebuilding and relief efforts.
During the session, Assistant Secretary for Career, Technical, and Adult Education Brenda Dann-Messier took the opportunity to express her support for career and technical education as a priority of the Department of Education’s administration, and emphasized the crucial role CTSOs play in advancing the department’s goals.
“[CTSOs] integrate rigorous academic and technical content along with strong employability skills so that students can connect what they learn in the classrooms to real life careers,” said Assistant Secretary Dann-Messier. “They also allow students to gain work experience through internships and to graduate with certificates, licenses and degrees that will make them competitive in today’s job market.”
It is great to see the department’s commitment to advancing CTE, as well as CTSOs that provide key student leadership in their communities. Those interested in learning more about the session or viewing the archived broadcast can access it here.
Posted by Sean Lynch on 02/21/2014 at 09:00 AM in In the News | Permalink
More good news from the field on CTE Month! Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, State Superintendent of Schools Tony Evers, Department of Workforce Development Secretary Reggie Newson and President of the Wisconsin Technical College System Morna Foy recently traveled to Kaukauna High School in Kaukauna, Wisconsin to see an example of career and technical education (CTE) in action.
"CTE programs open the door for great opportunity, allowing students to get ahead and graduate with real-world experience. When programs, like the this one in Kaukauna, focus on the skills needed to secure the high-demand jobs available today, it offers a great benefit to both the future employee and employers looking to grow their business," said Governor Walker.
The tour included visits to the school's business and marketing, technology and engineering, and family and consumer sciences classrooms. ACTE is encouraged by Governor Walker's interest in learning more about CTE, as well as his commitment to CTE Month overall - he also issued an official proclamationrecognizing February as CTE Month.
Special thanks to the CTE Superheroes at Kaukauna High School for organizing this event and making it such a great success. Interested in reaching out to the policymakers in your communities this CTE Month? There's still time! Check out the resources available on the ACTE website, including the Advocacy Toolkit, fact sheets and a sample proclamation similar to that issued by Governor Walker. Finally, remember to keep sending us pictures, videos and news clippings from the CTE Month events you're organizing in your own communities!
Posted by Sean Lynch on 02/19/2014 at 09:00 AM in In the News, State and Local Issues | Permalink
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