ASSOCIATION FOR CAREER & TECHNICAL EDUCATION®
« September 2014 |
| November 2014 »
Today, the U.S. Department of Education released its final regulations on “gainful employment” requirements for postsecondary institutions offering career-related programs—impacting their eligibility for title IV federal student aid programs. The finalized regulations are the culmination of several years of intense debate among higher education stakeholders and the department that included a federal court ruling which struck down a previous version of the regulations in 2012.
Federal law requires that certain educational programs offered at some postsecondary institutions, including for-profit institutions, community and technical colleges, and area CTE centers, must provide training programs that prepare students for “gainful employment in a recognized occupation” in order to participate in federal financial aid programs. Nearly all educational programs at for-profit higher education institutions, as well as non-degree programs at public and private nonprofit institutions, like community colleges and area CTE centers, will be subject to these rules once they go into effect on July 1, 2015. The regulations outline how the department will evaluate a program’s effectiveness in preparing students for gainful employment after program completion. Moreover, they sets requirements for programs to make certain performance and outcomes data, including program costs, earnings information and completion rates, available to the public.
A key change from previous draft versions of the regulations is the elimination of program cohort default rate (pCDR) as an accountability metric, which focused solely on those students receiving financial aid. Since 91 percent of certificate-seeking students enrolled in community colleges and 82 percent of those in less-than-two-year institutions do not receive any federal student loans, community colleges and other short-term training providers argued that the pCDR would unfairly penalize programs that have only a small number of student borrowers. Institutions will still have to report their program-level default rates and make that information available to the public and prospective students. The department will move forward with its planned debt-to-earnings accountability metric, which will evaluate the amount of debt that students incur to attend a program in comparison to their annual earnings after completion. We will continue to provide updates on the implementation of the gainful employment regulations on our CTE Policy Watch Blog.
Posted by Mitch Coppes on 10/31/2014 at 02:58 PM in HEA, Postsecondary Issues | Permalink
CTE participation helps boys “survive” high school.[i]
While CTE has a multitude of benefits for all students, CTE seem to be particularly advantageous for young men.
An analysis of what helps students “survive” high school conducted by National Research Center for CTE researchers found that CTE benefits boys’ high school engagement and persistence, moreso even than ninth grade GPA, which is a major predictor of high school success. Girls, the analysis found, were not more likely to survive high school based on CTE participation, but were not harmed by CTE either.
When presenting this data to policymakers or the public, supplement it with stories about young men and women in your school or district who stayed engaged in high school because of their CTE participation and went on to postsecondary education and/or an in-demand career paying a family-sustaining wage.
You can access more CTE-relevant data with ACTE Fact Sheets.
[i] Stone, “College and Career Ready for the 21st Century: What the Data Show, What to Tell Your Legislator,” ACTE National Policy Seminar 2014 presentation.
Posted by Catherine Imperatore on 10/31/2014 at 11:56 AM in Data and Research | Permalink
The Columbus Dispatch published an article today about the growing trend of women entering nontraditional fields through career and technical education (CTE) programs. According to local education institutions, female students have increasingly chosen to pursue education in traditionally male-dominated fields, such as welding. This increase in the number of female CTE students is helping to meet increased workforce demands while empowering them for career success.
The article explains that a variety of factors have contributed to the increase in gender equality in these high-wage, valued careers, including federal legislation that strengthens robust CTE programs. Furthermore, a local CTE educator stated that an increased demand among leaders from business and industry has opened doors for these students.
In addition, ACTE’s Deputy Executive Director Steve DeWitt was quoted on the role CTE programs have taken in breaking down barriers for women, as well as the remaining hurtles faced by schools:
“For sure there are some programs doing a very good job attracting females into nontraditional jobs,” said DeWitt, deputy executive director for the Virginia-based Association for Career and Technical Education.
“Generally, it has been challenging for schools. A parent may not want their daughter to be a welder. It’s very difficult for a school to fight that.”
ACTE supports effective public policies that drive equitable access for all to rigorous CTE programs, and has reported previously on CTE’s success in attracting women to in-demand careers in STEM fields.
Posted by Sean Lynch on 10/29/2014 at 12:31 PM in In the News, STEM | Permalink
Last week, Rep. Glenn “GT” Thompson (R-PA), the co-chair of the Congressional CTE Caucus in the U.S. House of Representatives, hosted a field hearing in his home state of Pennsylvania entitled, “The Role of Career & Technical Education in Creating a Skilled Workforce: Perspectives from Employers and Stakeholders.” He was joined by fellow U.S. Reps. Mike Kelly (R-PA) and Scott Perry (R-PA), as well as State Senator John Blake (D) at the Pennsylvania State Capitol in Harrisburg. The policymakers heard testimony from a panel of witnesses that included representatives of local business and labor groups, national organizations, and CTE educators. You can view a recording of the hearing and a press release summarizing testimony online.
Chairing #CTE Career & Technical #Education Caucus Field Hearing with other Legislators in #Harrisburg pic.twitter.com/EiycwgO35B
— Glenn 'GT' Thompson (@CongressmanGT) October 24, 2014
Chairing #CTE Career & Technical #Education Caucus Field Hearing with other Legislators in #Harrisburg pic.twitter.com/EiycwgO35B
Sandra Himes, ACTE member and executive director of the Lehigh Career & Technical Institute in Lehigh County, Pennsylvania, emphasized CTE as a component of local economic development, and urged employers to partner with CTE intuitions. “Companies decide to move into an area or relocate out of an area based on whether they can have access to a skilled workforce. They look to the career and technical schools to provide a pipeline of trained workers,” said Himes. “The ingredients of quality CTE programs rely upon the true involvement from business and industry.”
Kim Green, executive director of National Association of State Directors of Career Technical Education Consortium (NASDCTEc), who we partner with on our Perkins reauthorization work, was also among the expert panelists. She highlighted the important role of the Perkins Act in addressing short-and long-term workforce development. “Today, more than ever, the spotlight on CTE is being shown on CTE as a proven strategy that engages students, aligns talent with opportunity, and ensures preparation for the workforce and further education,” said Green. “As employers struggle to find the skilled workers needed to fill millions of job vacancies, it is critical that CTE play a larger role in expanding the nation’s talent pipeline. Future Perkins legislation must strike a balance between the immediate labor needs of employers and the projected needs of the wider economy in the years to come.”
Rep. Thompson and State Sen. Blake both urged support of CTE through federal and state policy. According to Sen. Blake, “Early and effective career development assures for our children a more efficient transition from school to the world of work and enhances our state's economic growth.” Rep. Thompson argued that ensuring access to quality CTE programs for all students is the obligation of local, state and federal policymakers. Read more updates on House and Senate CTE caucuses at the CTE Policy Watch Blog.
Posted by Mitch Coppes on 10/28/2014 at 09:39 AM in CTE Caucus, Perkins | Permalink
With Election Day just around the corner, there are still many opportunities for CTE advocates to make a difference at the ballot box. Through voter education activities, you can promote CTE issues on November 4, by educating yourself and serving as a resource on voting information for others.
Most states have a method for voters to cast a ballot before Election Day. Early in-person voting, absentee voting by mail, in-person absentee voting or a combination of these options has become common in many states across the county. For example, all registered voters in Ohio can vote absentee by mail or cast an absentee ballot in person at their county board of elections during regular business hours, as well as certain designated weekend hours, beginning on October 7. It’s important to understand that every state has its own system, and the details, deadlines and timeframes for early voting will vary. Find more information about your state through our partners at Nonprofit VOTE.
For those who prefer to vote in person on Election Day, being a resource on polling locations and hours of operation can help you to encourage your friends, colleagues and students to turn out and vote. You can search polling locations by street address online through your state election official’s website or by contacting your local board of election. Some states also require voters to present identification, which may be satisfied by a voter ID card, driver's license, passport, recent utility bill or other documentation, prior to casting a ballot. Check to see if your state has voter ID requirements to avoid delays or having to cast a provisional ballot.
After reviewing all the voting options, its important research the candidates and issues that will appear on the ballot. We previously reported on the major midterm congressional races and state-level offices and ballot measures that will be decided in 2014. Take advantage of sample ballots and issue summaries provided by your state election official to inform your decisions and share with other CTE advocates. Don’t forget to visit the Election Watch 2014 page on our website and follow us on the CTE Policy Watch Blog for more coverage through Election Day and beyond.
The Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE) is a nonpartisan organization and does not support or oppose any candidate for public office.
Posted by Mitch Coppes on 10/27/2014 at 10:23 AM in Election Watch | Permalink
States are making progress on expanding data about the variety of students and credentials earned and enhancing education and workforce data linkages, as reported in a publication from the Workforce Data Quality Campaign (WDQC). ACTE is a partner in this campaign.
In the report, states rate their progress on the WDQC’s 13-point Blueprint for strong data systems. The 13 indicators are organized under five themes:
States have particularly excelled at establishing cross-agency councils to oversee statewide data collection and reporting efforts (20 states report this accomplishment). In addition, 37 states have achieved or are in the process of achieving a system for tracking the employment outcomes of students and workforce program participants. States are also moving toward greater use of scorecards, dashboards and other performance reports.
However, there is room for improvement, particularly when it comes to states’ progress with industry validation of credentials and approaches to measuring a wider variety of credentials.
Learn how your state is doing!
Posted by Catherine Imperatore on 10/23/2014 at 03:38 PM in Data and Research, State and Local Issues | Permalink
Work-based professional development for teachers, such as externships, can lead to gains for educators and students, but more research is needed.
In this Education Development Center paper, author Ilene Kantrov draws on research with CTE educators that highlights the importance of industry alignment, but indicates dissatisfaction with professional development opportunities and with the quality and ease of developing employer partnerships. Kantrov proposes that one way to tackle these issues is to encourage teachers’ participation in work-based professional development that facilitates strong relationships with employers. This can help educators better align classroom learning to industry needs, design challenging and realistic project-based learning and provide more and better work-based learning opportunities for students.
The document describes different types and intensities of work-based professional development and provides several examples in CTE and STEM fields, such as the Teachers in Business Externship Program and the Academies of Nashville Teacher Team Externships.
The paper concludes that these educator experiences seem to be valuable, based on feedback from teacher and employer participants, but more research is needed to identify what is the most effective configuration for work-based professional development.
ACTE is proud to support EDC’s work by facilitating their research with CTE educators and providing feedback on a draft of this paper.
Posted by Catherine Imperatore on 10/23/2014 at 11:46 AM in Data and Research, Educator Development | Permalink
The Completion Arch, an online tool hosted by RTI International, assembles data from national-, state- and initiative-level sources on community college enrollment, progress and completion into one place.
There are five main areas of The Completion Arch that follow student’s progress into and through community college and into the workplace: enrollment; developmental education placement; progress; transfer and completion; and workforce preparation and employment outcomes. Within each area are multiple conceptual measures and specific indicators.
While much of the national-level data is founded on sources such as the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) that focus solely on first-time, full-time postsecondary students, other indicators broaden the conversation on community college success, including:
The online tool also links to several research briefs that examine data around key topics.
Posted by Catherine Imperatore on 10/21/2014 at 04:45 PM in Data and Research, Postsecondary Issues | Permalink
On Tuesday, October 14, the Educational Testing Service (ETS) hosted a presentation titled “What Does It Mean To Be Work Ready: A Talent Supply Chain Perspective,” which included remarks from Steven Robbins, Director of Research Innovations in ETS’s Research & Development division and Martin Scaglione, the President and CEO of Hope Street Group.
The presentation centered around private-sector perspectives on the need for greater technical and employability training to bridge the growing skills gap, as well as strategies and frameworks to ensure that future efforts are effective. One strategy Robbins emphasized included the need to more effectively convey to learners the skills that they already have and areas for growth, so that they can communicate their competencies to employers through an evidence-based model throughout their career. Robbins suggested that the development of valid assessments that could identify a student’s competencies in “critical work readiness dimensions” would help inform employers of their candidate’s qualifications, and could successfully be implemented through a stackable framework model.
Scaglione went on to describe his experiences in the private sector with identifying candidates with CTE skills, including technical prowess and employability skills such as teamwork and resilience. He emphasized the need for greater clarity among both students and future employers in regard to the skills employees have, both in obtaining employment and in growing throughout their career.
Promoting education that prepares students for career success is central to ACTE’s mission and goals, and we applaud leaders from the business and education policy community who share in those efforts.
Posted by Sean Lynch on 10/21/2014 at 04:17 PM in Career Readiness, Standards and Assessments | Permalink
Career pathways – education and workforce development strategies focused on moving students through education to careers - are getting more attention at the federal level as evidenced by two recent meetings.
On September 23, the U.S. Department of Labor, Education and Health and Human Services collaborated to host a National Dialogue on Career Pathways which included leaders from all three agencies attesting to the value of career pathways. The event focused on the Pathways to Success Network (PSN), a new peer learning network sponsored by the three federal departments that seeks to advance career pathways systems. You can register on the PSN web page to keep informed about the latest information.
Several weeks after the National Dialogue on Career Pathways, the Department of Transportation held a forum titled “Strengthening Skills Training and Career Pathways across the Transportation Industry.” This event brought approximately 200 participants together for a series of general sessions. Individual workgroups then convened to delve into discussion and identification of specific skills needed for particular occupations and sub-sectors within the transportation field.
And that’s not all, view CTE Policy Watch’s recent story on the Career Pathways Exchange which recently launched.
This increased federal attention on Career Pathways reflects a lot of additional conversation that has been taking place between the Office of Career, Technical and Adult Education (OCTAE) and other federal agencies, and is a positive development for CTE.
Posted by Steve DeWitt on 10/20/2014 at 01:52 PM in Career Readiness, Executive Branch, Postsecondary Issues | Permalink
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