ASSOCIATION FOR CAREER & TECHNICAL EDUCATION®
« February 2015 |
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97 percent of public two-year colleges were offering online, hybrid/blended or other distance education courses by 2007.
Online education is one of the tools in a college’s arsenal to foster success, particularly for working adult students who have to balance multiple responsibilities.
This data point demonstrates that community and technical colleges have risen to the challenge of offering courses to students through various flexible options. Community college students are the most likely of all students to combine in-person and online courses. These flexible options are particularly important to students who are also working: According to the American Association of Community Colleges, 41 percent of part-time students are employed full time, 40 percent of full-time students work part time and 22 percent of full-time students are working full time.
When talking to policymakers or the media about online postsecondary education, supplement this data with stories of your postsecondary students who have benefited from online and hybrid/blended coursework to progress through education and earn valuable credentials.
Check out ACTE fact sheets and our other policy and advocacy publications for more CTE data and research.
 Fishman, Community College Online, New America Foundation, 2015.
 American Association of Community Colleges, 2015 Community College Fast Facts.
Posted by Catherine Imperatore on 03/31/2015 at 12:57 PM in Data and Research, Postsecondary Issues | Permalink
On March 26, the U.S. Department of Labor issued Training and Employment Guidance Letter (TEGL) No. 23-14, related to transitioning youth workforce development programs from the Workforce Investment Act to the new Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA).
While most of the provisions of WIOA go into effect on July 1, 2015, states will receive their first allocation of youth formula funds under the law on April 1. These funds will be governed by the new law, however, and must be used “for preparation and programmatic activities for WIOA youth program implementation on July 1.”
Of particular interest to career and technical educators, one of the biggest changes in the youth program under WIOA is the shift to require 75 percent of youth funds to be spent on out-of-school youth (OSY), up from a minimum of 30 percent in current law. This could impact the ability of secondary CTE programs to partner with WIOA youth programs to provide after school or summer work experiences or other supplemental services for in-school youth (ISY). However, the TEGL states that “The Department intends to implement the OSY provision in a way that does not impact services provided to ISY currently enrolled in WIA programs,” and offers some guidance as to how to use transition year funds to ensure this occurs.
Additional flexibility is also being provided to help states gradually meet the new requirement. For program year 2015 (beginning April 1), states and local areas that cannot meet the 75 percent requirement must demonstrate progress toward that number by spending a greater portion of funds on out-of-school youth than in the previous year (at least 10 percent more and at least 50 percent overall).
Additional information in the TEGL is provided on youth councils, new program elements, work experience requirements, participant eligibility and contracting. In addition, a number of program examples and resources are provided to highlight best practices in serving out-of-school youth, including numerous strategies that include partnerships with local schools.
Posted by Alisha Hyslop on 03/30/2015 at 05:16 PM in Executive Branch, WIOA | Permalink
ACTE applauds the 88 members of the House of Representatives and 31 Senators who have helped to champion federal funding for CTE. In separate letters to House and Senate Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education Appropriations Subcommittees, this large, bipartisan coalition of Members of Congress urged a strong federal investment in Perkins as part of the Fiscal Year (FY) 2016 appropriations bills. We again extend our appreciation to Reps. Glen Thompson (R-PA) and Jim Langevin (D-RI), as well as Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) for leading these efforts in their respective chambers.
This remarkable show of support for Perkins funding is the direct result of the efforts of thousands of CTE advocates across the country that contacted their representatives in Congress to let them know that building our investment in CTE is a top priority! Complete lists of the Members of Congress who signed in the House and Senate are available here and here. If your Member(s) of Congress signed, take a moment to send a message expressing your gratitude using the CTE Action Center.
Posted by Mitch Coppes on 03/30/2015 at 01:00 PM in Federal Funding | Permalink
With the implementation of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (signed into law last summer) now in full swing, and draft regulations expected this month, resources are constantly emerging to aid states and local communities with the process.
Recently, Workforce3 One, an initiative sponsored by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration, launched a new resource collection site. According to the announcement from Workforce3 One, “The site is intended to provide information and resources for States, local areas, non-profits and other grantees, and other stakeholders to assist with implementation of WIOA. Think of it as your "one-stop" site for technical assistance tools and resources for implementing the Act.” The site provides webinars, links to partner sites, and resources organized in a number of categories:
Information will be added on a regular basis, so bookmark the page to check frequently.
Posted by Alisha Hyslop on 03/26/2015 at 01:50 PM in Executive Branch, WIOA | Permalink
The Aspen Institute has announced the winner of the 2015 Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence: Santa Fe College in Gainesville, Florida. According to Aspen, the school is noteworthy for its completion/transfer rate, which is more than 50 percent higher than the national average. In addition, the college is striking for its strong student supports, use of data and responsiveness to local employer needs.
The Institute also announced two finalists with distinction: Lake Area Technical Institute (LATI) in Watertown, South Dakota, and West Kentucky Community and Technical College (CTC) in Paducah, Kentucky. LATI has been recognized by Aspen before for its dedication to education-industry alignment. As the Aspen website describes it, LATI “has a single-minded focus on preparing students for careers in the region’s high-needs fields.” Employers are deeply integrated into the program, providing equipment, scholarships, work-based learning experiences and faculty salaries. West Kentucky CTC is another institution that has focused on the local economy, building a high-tech industrial training facility and developing programs in growing career fields.
Aspen also announced a “Rising Star” institution showing rapid improvement: Kennedy-King College in Chicago.
Posted by Catherine Imperatore on 03/26/2015 at 09:21 AM in Postsecondary Issues | Permalink
Digital skills are increasingly required for middle-skill jobs, which typically call for some postsecondary education but less than a bachelor’s degree, according to a report from Burning Glass Technologies and Capital One. In addition, digitally intensive middle-skill jobs are growing faster and paying more than other middle-skill occupations.
Specifically, the analysis of online job postings demonstrates that:
The publication defines three types of digital skills that are needed for middle-skill jobs, including productivity software skills—basic skills for spreadsheet usage and word processing—as well as advanced digital skills, or more specific software and networking skills related to an occupation, and occupationally specific digital skills needed to operate equipment like radiology machines or computer-aided manufacturing.
Posted by Catherine Imperatore on 03/24/2015 at 08:13 AM in Career Readiness, Data and Research | Permalink
According to an Association of American Colleges & Universities survey, employers strongly support applied learning as valuable preparation for the workplace and think that college graduates need more preparation in this area.
For instance, 80 percent of employers responded that it was very important for recent college graduates to demonstrate the ability to apply learning in real-world settings. However, only 23 percent think that grads are very well prepared to do so. In addition, most employers are somewhat or much more likely to consider a hire who has completed a work-based learning experience or a senior project.
Employers also responded that they value written and oral communication, teamwork skills, ethical decision making and critical-thinking skills, which is consistent with other survey findings. Unfortunately, they rated grads' preparedness in these areas lower than students rate themselves.
CTE programs excel at building students’ academic, technical and employability skills through applied learning. In addition, CTE students are significantly more likely than their non-CTE counterparts to report developing problem-solving, project completion, research, math, work-related, communication, time management and critical-thinking skills during high school, according to the authors of CTE Pathway Programs, Academic Performance and the Transition to College and Career. Support for CTE is support for applied learning and 21st-century skills that prepare students for college and career.
Posted by Catherine Imperatore on 03/23/2015 at 09:43 AM in Career Readiness, Data and Research | Permalink
This week, both the House and Senate moved forward with committee action on their Fiscal Year (FY) 2016 budget resolutions. The main purpose of a budget resolution is to establish overall spending totals under which the Appropriations Committees will work as they allocate funding, though the resolution itself is non-binding. The resolutions also serve to outline policy and funding priorities for the Republican majorities in both chambers, under the leadership of House Budget Committee Chairman Tom Price (R-GA) and Senate Budget Committee Chairman Mike Enzi (R-WY).
Following the caps set by the Budget Control Act passed in 2011, both proposals would impose an overall discretionary funding ceiling of $1.017 trillion in FY 2016, with non-defense discretionary programs, which include Perkins, capped at $493 billion total. This would effectively freeze funding levels for FY 2016, limiting the opportunities for increased investments in education and workforce training. Both measures also seek to balance the budget within eight to ten years, and propose to do so with deep cuts to domestic programs beginning in FY 2017. The House and Senate budget blueprints are in stark contrast to President Obama’s budget request, which includes a total of $70.7 billion in discretionary spending for the Department of Education, an increase of $3.6 billion over current levels for FY 2016.
During the Senate Budget Committee markup, Sens. Tim Kaine (D-VA), Rob Portman (R-OH) and Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), members of the committee and co-chairs of the Senate CTE Caucus, offered an amendment to the budget resolution that would allow for additional funding to be directed to support CTE, so long as that additional funding does not increase the deficit. The amendment was adopted with bipartisan support. While this does not guarantee any new funding for CTE, it does show the committee’s support for prioritizing investments in our programs. Additionally, Sen. Jeff Merkley’s (D-OR) amendment in support of funding for STEM education was approved. A CTE amendment was offered by House Budget Committee Democrats, led by Rep. Seth Moulton (D-MA), but that amendment was defeated on a party-line vote.
Posted by Mitch Coppes on 03/20/2015 at 05:47 PM in Federal Funding | Permalink
The Department of Education (ED) published a proposed regulatory action in the Federal Register on Tuesday, March 17, that would make significant changes to the Investing in Innovation Fund (i3) grant program. According to a report in Education Week, the changes to the i3 grant program likely are intended to align with the FY 2015 omnibus appropriations bill and reflect the administration’s goal of embedding it within the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), which is currently being considered for reauthorization in Congress.
Under the changes, successful i3 grantees would need to propose evidence-based high school reform and redesign strategies that would increase student pursuit of postsecondary education and workforce readiness. The Federal Register notes that research backs the use of “rigorous college-and career-ready curriculum that links student work and real-world experiences” in models for effective high school reform, as well as “strengthening relationships with business and postsecondary partners, [and] linking student work to real-world expectations and experiences.” A particular priority for ED in awarding grants will be programs serving low-income students, specifically targeting schools with at least 40 percent of students in poverty.
ED invites public commentary and input on the proposed changes through the federal eRulemaking portal or by mail, until April 16, 2015.
Posted by Sean Lynch on 03/19/2015 at 05:46 PM in ESEA, Executive Branch, In the News | Permalink
Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) is currently circulating a letter to the Senate Appropriations Committee requesting an increase for the Perkins Basic State Grant program in the Fiscal Year (FY) 2016 appropriations bill. He is urging his colleagues in the Senate to show their support for CTE funding by signing on to this letter. The letter asks for a restoration of Basic State Grant funding to the pre-sequestration level of $1.123 billion—a $5.4 million increase over the current level.
Additionally, there is still time to contact your Representative and urge them to sign the Perkins funding letter in the House. The deadline for Member of Congress to sign in the House is Monday, March 23, and in the Senate is Wednesday, March 25! We need as many Members of Congress as possible to sign these letters to help ensure that the appropriations committees recognize the importance of funding CTE. Please take a few minutes to help us in this effort by contacting your Senators and Representative!
Posted by Mitch Coppes on 03/18/2015 at 05:51 PM in Federal Funding | Permalink
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