ASSOCIATION FOR CAREER & TECHNICAL EDUCATION®
« June 2015 |
| August 2015 »
Recently, Sen. Tim Kaine (D-VA), co-chair of the Senate CTE Caucus, introduced the Jumpstart Our Businesses by Supporting Students (JOBS) Act—a bill to expand Pell Grant eligibility to students enrolled in short-term training programs. The Pell Grant program is one of the largest sources of needs-based federal financial aid, which provides billions of dollars annually to support students pursuing postsecondary education.
Under the JOBS Act, CTE programs offered at a postsecondary institution, including area CTE centers and community colleges, that are least 150 clock hours of instruction time over a period of at least 8 weeks and lead to a recognized postsecondary credential would be Pell eligible. It would also help to promote the alignment of the training and education offered through these programs with local and regional workforce needs. Expanding Pell eligible programs to include short-term CTE programs would create greater opportunities for students to prepare for careers in high-growth, high-demand industries. ACTE is proud to endorse the JOBS Act, and will continue to support initiatives that promote CTE’s role in higher education policy.
Posted by Mitch Coppes on 07/31/2015 at 04:54 PM in HEA, Postsecondary Issues | Permalink
Apprenticeships have been making headlines this week across the country, thanks to a building push among policymakers and business leaders to encourage more students to explore these unique CTE opportunities as a means to build their skills. A New York Times article, “A New Look at Apprenticeships as a Path to the Middle Class,” examines student experiences at the Apprentice School, a Virginia-based postsecondary institution that partners with with Huntington Ingalls Industries, a major shipbuilding company, to train students for their careers while preparing them with a strong academic foundation. The school receives more than 4,000 applicants annually for its roughly 230 spots, according to the article, and equips those lucky enough to join their ranks with technical and employability skills they’ll need in their guaranteed job with the company upon graduation. In addition to their employment, students earn a certification of apprenticeship that demonstrates their competency for future opportunities.
Apprenticeships like those at the Apprentice School have also gained the attention of national policymakers because of their strong opportunities to prepare students for future employment. U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez, who spoke during ACTE’s 2015 CareerTech VISION Awards Ceremony about the power of CTE, has made these programs a priority in his work in the Administration, and set a goal of doubling enrollment by 2018.
Perez was featured as a guest on the Diane Rehm Show, a nationally syndicated NPR program, on Tuesday, July 28. During the interview, he stated:
“We have an economic opportunity is what we really have because the wind is at our back economically. We have 5.4 million job openings right now. We've got sector after sector that's bullish about the future here in America and this apprenticeship model is a way to grow the middle class across America in logistics, in healthcare, in IT, in cyber security, in the skilled trades. That's what we can do.”
Perez emphasized throughout the interview the need to change public perceptions of apprenticeships as a lesser alternative to a four-year degree.
ACTE supports apprenticeships as a proven model of CTE that prepares students for college and career success. Let us know in the comments if you know of a business in your community that has taken steps to bring apprenticeships into their workplace!
Posted by Sean Lynch on 07/31/2015 at 01:04 PM in Career Readiness, Executive Branch, In the News, Postsecondary Issues | Permalink
More than 75 percent of secondary CTE concentrators pursue postsecondary education shortly after high school.[i]
This month’s entry in our Data Driven blog series focuses on the high proportion of CTE concentrators who enroll in postsecondary education after high school.
National-level data on U.S. students’ secondary-to-postsecondary transitions shows that the majority of students who have completed a CTE concentration in high school (by earning 2-3 or more credits in the same CTE program area) moved on to postsecondary education shortly after high school. This illustrates that CTE is not a pathway into the workforce only, but prepares students for both college and career.
This data point can be particularly useful when communicating with a policymaker or industry leader who has outdated notions about CTE discouraging students from pursuing higher education. Follow up with data on CTE student persistence in college, available on our CTE Today Fact Sheet, and highlight relevant stories of your students’ successes in transitioning to further education.
These data points and other research supporting CTE are available with ACTE Fact Sheets.
[i] U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics data, as cited in the National Assessment of Career and Technical Education: Interim Report, 2013.
Posted by Catherine Imperatore on 07/31/2015 at 09:12 AM in Data and Research, Postsecondary Issues | Permalink
As we previously reported, both the House and Senate passed their respective bills to reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act in late July. The next step for these pieces of legislation to become law is the conference process, wherein leaders from both chambers will work to merge the two bills into a final version that can make its way to the President’s desk.
On Thursday, July 30, Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and Ranking Member Patty Murray (D-WA), met with House Education and the Workforce Committee Chair John Kline (R-MN) and Ranking Member Bobby Scott (D-VA) to determine the path forward for the bill. The four released a statement following the meeting that included remarks from Sen. Alexander expressing hope they could reach an agreement on the bill in the fall, as reported here by Education Week.
Overcoming the differences between the two bills will be a challenge, however, particularly if the legislation is to avoid a veto from President Obama. In addition to the CTE-related initiatives that were included in both bills that have bipartisan support, including the integration of academic and CTE content and the inclusion of student CTE achievements on state report cards, politically polarizing components such as portability of Title I funds have drawn a veto threat from the White House.
ACTE will continue to work with our partners on Capitol Hill to advocate for the inclusion of the CTE-related initiatives in the final bill, as well as to report on further developments on the Policy Watch Blog.
Posted by Sean Lynch on 07/30/2015 at 03:29 PM in ESEA, In the News | Permalink
On Wednesday, July 15, the House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Human Resources held a hearing on the “Improving Opportunity in America Welfare Reauthorization Act of 2015,” a discussion draft for a bill to reauthorize the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program that provides support to millions of low-income Americans nationwide. The legislation includes key provisions that affect TANF recipients’ ability to pursue education and job training as a means to fulfill their required work participation rates, which are opportunities that will empower these individuals to pursue longer-term strategies to increase their economic independence and support their families.
Yesterday, ACTE submitted comments for the record on the draft legislation that targeted the specific components of the law affecting CTE professionals and students. In the comments, we specifically referenced:
In addition to these specific initiatives, ACTE encouraged the committee to ensure that accountability and reporting requirements under the TANF program are aligned to other federally administered job training programs, including the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act.
ACTE will continue to monitor this legislation and advocate for public assistance programs’ inclusion of education and skills training as a part of a cohesive strategy to prepare every American for workforce success.
Posted by Sean Lynch on 07/30/2015 at 10:18 AM in Career Readiness, Postsecondary Issues | Permalink
High school graduates who received robust preparation in high school, including a career concentration, and earned an industry credential often outperform the average college-educated individual, according to a new report.
Of the 12 percent of high school graduates who have not enrolled in college by age 26 examined in The Path Less Taken II: Preparing non-college-goers for success, those who took a rigorous college and career curriculum in high school and hold a certification or license are more likely to have a full-time job, earn a decent wage and have health insurance than the average person who went on to college.
These well-credentialed non-college-goers were defined for the purposes of the analysis as:
This research highlights the importance of career readiness in high school, whether a student is moving directly to postsecondary education or heading to the workforce first.
Posted by Catherine Imperatore on 07/30/2015 at 09:00 AM in Career Readiness, Data and Research | Permalink
ACTE today released Defining High-quality CTE: Contemporary Perspectives on CTE Quality, the first publication in a multi-phase research project that seeks to identify and share best practices in high-quality CTE.
“High-quality career and technical education” has become a national catchphrase—in use by policymakers, practitioners and a wide variety of influential education and workforce development stakeholders. But what is high-quality CTE? To help synthesize the myriad voices that are a part of the dialogue on high-quality CTE, ACTE is embarking on a multi-step project to identify a comprehensive, research-based quality CTE program of study framework, test the framework and integrate it into our efforts to recognize and disseminate information on best practices within CTE.
Defining High-quality CTE: Contemporary Perspectives on CTE Quality examines a broad range of documents from a variety of sources, ranging from white papers and national organization positions to organizational standards and rubrics. Findings from the research indicate that these guiding frameworks mirror ongoing trends in successful CTE programs, while still containing a broad diversity of tactics for implementing high-quality CTE programs of study. This diversity of scope and structure among frameworks sets the stage for conversations to establish clarity and consistency related to high-quality CTE.
Learn more about ACTE’s high-quality CTE project at www.acteonline.org/high-qualityCTE.
Posted by Catherine Imperatore on 07/28/2015 at 10:58 AM in Advocacy Resources, Data and Research | Permalink
Integrating employability skills is the focus of a new Professional Learning Module from the College & Career Readiness & Success Center, in partnership with the Center on Great Teachers and Leaders and RTI International.
The module, which is free and customizable for individual, state and local uses, introduces participants to the Office of Career, Technical and Adult Education's Employability Skills Framework; explores how participants are currently using employability skills; discusses crosswalks between employability skills, readiness standards and professional practice rubrics; provides tips for prioritizing employability skills; and incorporates a lesson planning tool for embedding employability skills.
Other training modules relevant to CTE such as career pathways and consortia are offered through the National Center for Innovation in CTE, and don’t forget ACTE’s professional development resources such as our online seminars and the CORE Community for integrating the Common Core State Standards into CTE.
Posted by Catherine Imperatore on 07/22/2015 at 12:28 PM | Permalink
On July 16, the Senate overwhelmingly approved the bipartisan Every Child Achieves Act (S. 1177)—a bill to reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). The House approved its more partisan ESEA reauthorization bill, the Student Success Act (H.R. 5), earlier this month. Both chambers will now work to resolve the differences between the two bills before the reauthorization package can be signed into law by the president.
As we previously reported, the Every Child Achieves Act included some key CTE provisions to promote integrated academic and CTE content in the classroom, expand college and career guidance programs, support specialized professional development opportunities, including common planning time, focused on integrating academics and CTE, encourage states to adopt career readiness indicators in their accountability systems, and include CTE in the definition of a core academic subject. ACTE has been promoting these provisions and working with Members of Congress to ensure their inclusion in the bill.
The Senate adopted an amendment offered by Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) to ensure students make seamless and successful transitions from middle school to high school to postsecondary education by encouraging partnerships between high schools and institutions of higher education, and by implementing college and career pathways. Additionally, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) successfully included new language allowing school districts to provide professional development to enhance students’ entrepreneurship skill. We will continue to provide updates on ESEA reauthorization on the CTE Policy Watch blog.
Posted by Mitch Coppes on 07/21/2015 at 12:25 PM in ESEA | Permalink
On Tuesday, July 14, Congresswomen Brenda Lawrence (D-MI) and Yvette Clarke (D-NY) hosted the inaugural event for their newly launched bipartisan Congressional Investment in America’s Skilled Workforce Caucus. The event was a symposium-style discussion attended by congressional staff and interested members of the public, and offered a unique opportunity for leaders from the education, business and labor policy communities to come together for a dialogue on strategies to close the skills gap.
I represented ACTE on the diverse stage of experts, and spoke on the need for greater public awareness and federal investment in CTE programs. In addition, I emphasized the unique position that CTE programs have to open doors for all students, whether they pursue a two- or four-year degree, an industry-recognized credential, or other postsecondary education that prepares them for their career – and the critical role that our partners from the business community have in the CTE enterprise.
In addition to the participating organizations, a number of Members of Congress from both sides of the aisle joined the event to provide remarks on their support of the new caucus and its goal of preparing a skilled workforce for the careers of the 21st century. ACTE will continue to work with this and other caucuses in both chambers of Congress to build awareness of and support for CTE on Capitol Hill!
Posted by Sean Lynch on 07/16/2015 at 02:00 PM in Federal Funding, In the News | Permalink
Enter your email address:
Delivered by FeedBurner