ASSOCIATION FOR CAREER & TECHNICAL EDUCATION®
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The research cited above demonstrates that programs for adult education students that bolster basic skills in a CTE context, preparing them for future education and the workplace, have been found to be more effective than programs that offer basic skills training alone.
In the Integrated Basic Education and Skills Training (I-BEST) model examined in this research, basic skills instructors and college-level CTE faculty work together to develop and teach college-level occupational courses for basic skills students. This helps adult education students place their basic skills training in a relevant context and accelerates their progress. Analyzing the program, Jenkins et al. found that I-BEST students were more likely to progress into credit-bearing coursework, earn college credits, achieve occupational certificates and score higher on basic skills tests. The success of I-BEST and similar programs has fostered an interest in career pathways for low-skilled adults, and a number of projects are now addressing this, including the Office of Career, Technical and Adult Education's Moving Pathways Forward: Supporting Career Pathways Integration initiative.
When sharing this research with policymakers, industry and the public, pair it with data and success stories from your adult students who have achieved college and career success from a foundation of contextualized basic skills education.
You can find this research and other statistics about the benefits of CTE with ACTE Fact Sheets.
[i] Jenkins et al., Educational Outcomes of I-BEST, Washington State Community and Technical College System's Integrated Basic Education and Skills Training Program: Findings from a Multivariate Analysis, CCRC Working Paper No. 16, 2009.
Posted by Catherine Imperatore on 06/30/2014 at 10:52 AM in Data and Research | Permalink
This week, the House Education and the Workforce Committee and the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee released priorities for reauthorizing the Higher Education Act (HEA).
Last reauthorized in 2008, HEA governs the postsecondary education system, including federal student aid programs, institutional aid and teacher preparation programs. In recent years, the issue of college affordability has been a hot topic on Capitol Hill, and the priorities of the committees have taken that on in force.
The House is focusing on four principles, including:
To those ends, the committee is looking to update current accountability provisions to better capture today’s student population, especially “non-traditional” or contemporary students, who currently make up the majority of the student population. Additionally, while the committee will work to increase transparency in accountability, they do not believe in imposing a “one-size-fits-all” rating system as has been previously proposed by the U.S. Department of Education.
The committee is also seeking to reinstate year-round Pell grant eligibility, although without an increase in the semester cap, and include stronger support for competency based education models.
On the Senate side, the HELP committee also laid out four principles for reauthorization:
Similar to the House, the HELP committee is also seeking to reinstate year-round Pell grants to help students speed up time to credential completion. In addition, they are also proposing expanding access to dual enrollment and early college high school opportunities for secondary students.
After releasing their priorities, the committees have introduced several pieces of legislation to implement portions of them. ACTE is currently reviewing these bills, and will be bringing more information to members right here on the CTE Policy Watch blog.
You can view ACTE’s reauthorization priorities for HEA right here as well.
Posted by Brendan Desetti on 06/27/2014 at 02:40 PM in HEA, Postsecondary Issues | Permalink
The Moving Pathways Forward: Supporting Career Pathways Integration project is recruiting state participants for information exchange and technical assistance. This Office of Career, Technical and Adult Education initiative will help states develop and advance career pathways systems that facilitate low-skilled adults transitioning to postsecondary education and employment. By building upon the successes and lessons learned from earlier federal and state investments in career pathways, the project seeks to further integrate adult education into career pathways system development at the state and local levels.
The initiative includes intensive technical assistance for 14 states (Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, New Jersey, Ohio, Oregon, Rhode Island, Virginia, West Virginia and Wisconsin), as well as resources and more general technical assistance for other interested states. As part of the general technical assistance, states will work with a mentor to complete a needs assessment, identify at least one goal and an action plan to meet that goal. The project and goals will be organized around the six key elements of career pathways:
States will also have access to resources and tools as well as opportunities to interact with other states and with experts. The resource hub will be the Career Pathways Exchange, which will connect interested stakeholders to career pathways resources and activities on topics of their choosing from a large network of federal and state agencies and partner organizations. States are the focus, but programs should also find the resources in the Career Pathways Exchange helpful.
Recruitment for state teams is beginning now, and the project will wrap up in spring 2016. To find out more about technical assistance services available through Moving Pathways Forward or to complete an interest form, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org. To sign up for the Career Pathways Exchange, visit http://lincs.ed.gov/programs/movingpathways.
Posted by Catherine Imperatore on 06/26/2014 at 05:08 PM in Executive Branch, Postsecondary Issues, State and Local Issues | Permalink
The Health Resources and Services Administration at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recently announced a request for applications for the Skills Training and Health Workforce Development of Paraprofessionals grant, provided through the Health Careers Opportunity Program (HCOP). The program seeks to train and expand the health paraprofessional workforce to meet the employment needs of communities through existing certificate training programs that provide a pathway to an associate and/or bachelor's degree, as well as community partnerships to support job placement with an emphasis on rural and underserved areas.
Grantees will be expected to expand the health paraprofessional workforce by supporting education and training that result in a certificate or license. The funding is to support students in community, technical, and tribal colleges and universities who are seeking to obtain formal training in a health paraprofessional field. Certificate training program areas may include care coordinators, community health workers, dental assistants, home health aides, medical assistants, patient navigators, outreach workers, and other health paraprofessionals.
A total of $2 million is expected to be available for 10 to 15 grantees. The project period is three years, and applicants may apply for up to $200,000 per year. Applications must be submitted by July 16, 2014. The full notice and application packet are available here.
Posted by Mitch Coppes on 06/25/2014 at 04:44 PM in Executive Branch, Federal Funding | Permalink
Today the U.S. Senate overwhelmingly approved (95-3) a bipartisan, bicameral reauthorization of the Workforce Investment Act. The newly titled Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), H.R. 803, makes a long overdue and significant overhaul to the nation’s job training system through a compromise between a bipartisanSenate bill and the House passed SKILLS Act.
ACTE previously reported on a breakdown of provisions included in WIOA, which can be found here.
Because the WIOA compromise between the House and Senate was reached before a reauthorization bill had moved through the Senate, the compromise had an unusual path to passage. Instead being a stand-alone bill, the language was drafted as an amendment in the nature of a substitute to the House passed SKILLS Act, H.R. 803, essentially allowing the bill to become a “vehicle” to move WIOA swiftly through the Senate and back to the House.
In order to ensure the compromise would pass through the Senate, negotiators worked to address the concerns of individual senators before the bill came to the floor, which cut down on the number of amendments offered and avoided controversial amendments that could have derailed passage.
Three amendments to WIOA did make it to the floor for a vote, two of which, offered by Sens. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) and Mike Lee (R-UT), did not make it into the final bill. Sen. Flake’s amendment would have allowed governors to restructure workforce boards if a local area missed its performance targets for just one year. Under WIOA, governors are allowed to restructure the boards only after three years of missed performance targets.
Sen. Lee’s amendment would have reduced funding to the U.S. Department of Labor by five percent if the evaluations required under WIOA are submitted after their statutory deadline. While the evaluations are supported by Members of Congress and the workforce community, concern over the difficult and time consuming nature of compiling the necessary data often causes evaluations to be routinely overdue. A loss of funding then would result in a loss of job training initiatives carried out by the department.
The third amendment, which was adopted, consisted of a host of non-controversial technical changes to the original compromise language. One of the larger provisions in this amendment is the inclusion of a study on using data to improve the outcomes of the workforce system, which was proposed by Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH).
Throughout the reauthorization process, ACTE has provided input to congressional leaders on how to better serve job seekers through CTE programs, and we support the WIOA agreed to today in the Senate. We look forward to this bill moving swiftly through the House before making its way to the president’s desk.
Posted by Brendan Desetti on 06/25/2014 at 02:39 PM in WIOA | Permalink
Senator Mark Warner (D-VA) introduced a bill on June 24 to strengthen data systems and partnerships between secondary schools, postsecondary institutions and the business community for CTE programs.
The Pathways to Prosperity Act (S. 2524) directs the National Research Center for CTE to provide evaluation and technical assistance to help states better collect information on industry-recognized credentials earned by students. Collecting this information would allow students, parents and policymakers to gain a better understanding of credential availability and demand in the workforce. Current impediments to collecting this information occur most frequently at the state and local levels, due to privacy laws and data ownership issues.
In addition to data collection assistance, the legislation also requires local eligible agencies to develop business partnerships, and sets out allowable tasks for the partners, including:
Lastly, the bill includes a more robust definition of programs of study and directs states to develop statewide credit-transfer agreements in alignment with state-approved CTE programs of study.
ACTE worked with Sen. Warner’s office in the development of this legislation and supports the goals of the Pathways to Prosperity Act. We look forward to a full reauthorization of the Perkins CTE Act, which should include the ideals set forth in this legislation. ACTE Executive Director LeAnn Wilson issued a statement regarding the bill’s introduction on the ACTE website.
Posted by Brendan Desetti on 06/25/2014 at 02:38 PM in Perkins | Permalink
Recent research examines unemployment rates for community college graduates studying CTE and academic fields, explores the role of relevant learning and supports in developing positive student traits and describes state policies on service learning.
A New York Times analysis of U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data finds that community college graduates in a CTE field of study had an unemployment rate of 4 percent in April 2013, in comparison to a 4.8 percent unemployment rate for community college graduates who studied academic fields. Those in the some college, no degree category had a 6.6 percent unemployment rate.
Persistence, intellectual openness, self-management, interpersonal skills and navigational knowledge are identified as key to college and career success in a Jobs for the Future publication. In addition, the authors note that making learning relevant is key to development of these positive student traits.
The report asserts that schools can do more to encourage the development of these traits through student-centric school environments and partnering with community and nonprofit organizations that provide supports. Examples of schools that are making strides in this area are Early College High Schools, New York City's Learning to Work schools and the YouthBuild program, as well as programs that take a "cradle to career" approach.
Finally, the Education Commission of the States completed a recent scan of state policies on service learning and found that:
Posted by Catherine Imperatore on 06/25/2014 at 10:57 AM in Data and Research | Permalink
While the 113th Congress will officially draw to a close early next year, the actual legislative calendar leaves little time to address a mounting list of important issues. The Independence Day recess, month-long August recess and the midterm elections have whittled away the days that the House and Senate will technically be in session in the coming months, and lawmakers have little more than a month of working days in Washington from now until Election Day in November. Members of Congress will be spending a lot of time in their states and districts, which will provide great opportunities for CTE advocates to connect directly with policymakers. For ideas and tips on connecting with legislators, please consult our Advocacy Toolkit. Here is a summary of the upcoming recess schedule:
House on Recess
Senate on Recess
June 27-July 7
June 30-July 4
August Work Period/Labor Day
August 1-September 5
August 4-September 5
October 3-November 11
What’s left on Congress’ plate? The 12 annual appropriations bills must be approved to keep the federal government up and running. This issue is a particularly pressing concern because the fiscal year ends on September 30. As we reported last week, the Senate Appropriations Committee has indefinitely postponed work on the Labor-HHS-Education appropriations bill, which includes funding for Perkins. Moreover, House appropriators have not even set a date to begin consideration on their bill. While it’s unlikely that we will see another government shutdown in the fall, a stopgap Continuing Resolution may be necessary to extend current funding levels several weeks or months past the fiscal year deadline.
The reauthorization of the Workforce Investment Act (WIA) appears to be nearing the finish line very soon. The House and Senate may hold votes on final passage of the bipartisan bill in June and July. The reauthorizations of the Higher Education Act (HEA) and the Perkins CTE Act are unlikely to be completed in the 113th Congress, but expect more hearings and proposed legislation on these issues before the end of the year.
Posted by Mitch Coppes on 06/23/2014 at 04:32 PM in Action Alerts, Advocacy Resources | Permalink
The Workforce Data Quality Campaign, of which ACTE is a partner, recently hosted a webinar on using the Wage Record Interchange System (WRIS) 2 to track education and employment outcomes.
WRIS2 is a voluntary Department of Labor system (35 states currently participate) that enables states to exchange wage records in order to track an increasingly mobile workforce. Perkins is one of the programs eligible to receive aggregated reports from WRIS2.
The webinar describes WRIS2 and explores how two states, Oregon and Texas, are using WRIS2 in support of education and workforce programs. It is a companion to a recent short WDQC publication, Employing WRIS2: Sharing Wage Records Across States to Track Program Outcomes.
Posted by Catherine Imperatore on 06/23/2014 at 10:59 AM in Data and Research | Permalink
ACTE staff strives to build support for career and technical education (CTE) across the country through a variety of public awareness initiatives and media outreach. However, we don't always have the opportunity to spread the word globally about the great things happening at ACTE! Education officials in the Chinese government have expressed strong support for CTE programs in recent months, and ACTE is committed to sharing best practices and fostering mutually beneficial relationships with our partners in the global CTE community. That's why ACTE President Doug Major recently made the trip across the Pacific to learn more about Chinese CTE classrooms and strengthen ACTE's presence on an international scale.
During the trip, Major visited a number of CTE programs across the country, beginning with the Harbin Railway Construction Engineering School. During the visit, Major attended a ceremonial signing of the school's ACTE membership letter, and presented the school's officials with a plaque that is now on display. Following the signing, Major answered questions from the media and was featured on the Province's news station. Major also toured several of the Railway School Campuses, and attended a luncheon with the Harbin City's Educational Bureau officials.
Later during the visit, Major provided a lecture to an audience of about 350 professors and students at the Heilongjiang Engineering College on 21st century skills, and met with local non-government officials to discuss opportunities for international cooperation and partnerships that will build the efficacy of CTE programs in both countries.
Through public awareness tours and interactions with the media from around the globe, ACTE is able to build support and strengthen its partnerships with government officials and other education advocates. We look forward to continuing in these efforts to connect the global CTE community and build the workforce of tomorrow.
Posted by Sean Lynch on 06/23/2014 at 09:00 AM in In the News | Permalink
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