ASSOCIATION FOR CAREER & TECHNICAL EDUCATION®
« September 2015 |
| November 2015 »
About 50 percent of all STEM jobs are open to workers with less than a bachelor's degree, and about 30 percent of today's STEM-intensive jobs are in blue collar fields.[i]
Jobs that require STEM competencies are not just for those with a bachelor’s degree or higher—many are available to those with less than a four-year degree.
According to research from the Brookings Institution, about half of all STEM jobs are open to individuals with less than a bachelor’s degree. These occupations are primarily in the fields of installation, maintenance and repair; construction; production; transportation; and health care support. Not all these jobs require the same level of STEM competencies: Occupations that require a higher level of STEM skills include automotive service technicians, HVAC mechanics and installers, electricians, chemical plant and system operators, and computer numerically controlled machine tool programmers, among many others.
When sharing this statistic with policymakers, the media or education leaders, follow up with data on STEM labor market demand and earnings in your state or region. Explain how CTE prepares students for many of these jobs through a variety of STEM-related courses as well as work-based learning experiences and career and technical student organization competitions.
Check out ACTE fact sheets and our other policy and advocacy publications for more CTE data and research.
[i] Rothwell, J. 2013. The Hidden STEM Economy. Washington, DC: The Brookings Institution.
Posted by Catherine Imperatore on 10/30/2015 at 11:17 AM in Data and Research, STEM | Permalink
Today, the House of Representatives elected Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) to serve as the chamber’s new speaker. Ryan’s ascension to the House’s top job comes after the surprise announcement last month by current Speaker John Boehner of his intention to resign from Congress on October 30. The presumptive frontrunner to succeed Boehner, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), threw the speaker’s race into uncertainty earlier this month when he took his name out of consideration for the office. Though Ryan has never served in the House leadership and was reluctant to enter the race for speaker, he earned the overwhelming support of the Republican caucus and secured enough votes to win the office outright.
During his sixteen years in the House, Ryan has had little direct experience with education and workforce development policy. He most recently served as the chairman of the tax-writing House Ways and Means Committee and was the Republican nominee for vice president in 2012. However, he had major impact on federal funding for education and training programs during his four years as chairman of the House Budget Committee. Alongside Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA), he secured the passage of the Bipartisan Budget Act in 2013. The two-year budget agreement raised discretionary funding caps, which allowed for the restoration of $53 million in cuts to Perkins that occurred under budget sequestration.
Speaker Ryan has a long list of education issues to address in the coming month, including completing ESEA reauthorization, continuing work on higher education reform, passing a long-term FY 2016 funding bill and possibly taking up Perkins reauthorization.
Posted by Mitch Coppes on 10/29/2015 at 04:23 PM in ESEA, Federal Funding, Perkins | Permalink
Congressional work to reauthorize the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act (Perkins) continued today when the House Education and the Workforce Subcommittee on Early Childhood, Elementary, and Secondary Education hosted its first hearing on the topic in several years. This hearing provided an opportunity for Members of Congress to learn more about Perkins and solicit expert commentary on strategies for building a stronger Perkins Act in its next iteration.
Dr. Doug Major, the superintendent and CEO of Meridian Technology Center in Stillwater, Oklahoma, and former President of ACTE was invited to provide testimony to the committee, as well as several other CTE experts from across the country (additional information about the panelists was reported on the CTE Policy Watch Blog here). Early in her testimony Dr. Deneece Huftalin of Salt Lake Community College demonstrated the critical role of Perkins in providing career opportunities for students nationwide, noting that in the depths of the economic recession, “Perkins funding was crucial to [SLCC’s] ability to maintain and grow key CTE programs for our students at a time when our enrollment was rapidly increasing.”
The hearing’s testimony also included a strong emphasis on the need for meaningful engagement among the business community in designing effective CTE programs and helping students to explore careers available in their community. Dr. Major noted the critical role that career explorations can have in students’ planning for their future, and expressed to the committee the need for additional flexibility in the next Perkins Act for schools to provide these opportunities to students earlier in their educational career.
Tim Johnson, the senior director of governmental relations with the National Center for Construction Education and Research (NCCER), went on to explain CTE’s value in teaching both technical and academic skills. “A good pipe fitter will do no less mathematical equations in their day than an engineer,” Johnson noted. However, he cautioned, there is still much work to be done to shift outdated public perceptions and educate students and parents about today’s CTE classroom.
ACTE staff attended the hearing and is working closely with congressional staff both in the House and Senate to advocate for policy changes that will strengthen Perkins through the reauthorization process. To watch the archived webcast of the hearing, click here, and click here to learn more about ACTE’s priorities for the next Perkins Act. Photos of the hearing are also available here.
Posted by Sean Lynch on 10/27/2015 at 04:08 PM in In the News, Perkins | Permalink
On Saturday, October 24, the Obama Administration issued a Fact Sheet on its new Testing Action Plan, which outlines ways that states can ensure that federally administered standardized tests are of high quality and effectively measure progress without dominating too much classroom time. The fact sheet was issued along with a message acknowledging the Administration’s role in implementing unnecessary or onerous testing requirements, and marks another step in its reversal on the issue.
“In the vital effort to ensure that all students in America are achieving at high levels, it is essential to ensure that tests are fair, are of high quality, take up the minimum necessary time, and reflect the expectation that students will be prepared for success in college and careers,” stated Saturday’s release. “In too many schools, there is unnecessary testing and not enough clarity of purpose applied to the task of assessing students, consuming too much instructional time and creating undue stress for educators and students. The Administration bears some of the responsibility for this, and we are committed to being part of the solution.”
The Testing Action Plan isn’t binding, but rather is intended to guide state and local decision-making regarding testing. Principles outlined in the plan include that tests should:
In addition to releasing the Action Plan, the Administration outlined several steps it has taken to cut back on testing, including revising waivers for the Elementary and Secondary Education Act’s testing in non-required subjects and scaling back the role of assessments in teacher evaluations.
To learn more about the plan, click here.
Posted by Sean Lynch on 10/26/2015 at 03:10 PM in ESEA, Executive Branch, In the News, Standards and Assessments | Permalink
Following the announcement of this week’s House hearing, the Senate also got into the Perkins action by launching its own early reauthorization efforts. Last week, Sens. Mike Enzi (R-WY) and Bob Casey (D-PA) announced they were officially beginning bipartisan work to consider Perkins. These two Senators will be taking the lead on the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee’s reauthorization work.
While still in the early stages of the process, these Senators, along with other committee leaders, have agreed on a set of bipartisan principles for reauthorization:
Education and workforce development groups have been asked to submit specific recommendations for Perkins reauthorization this week, and listening sessions will be held on the recommendations in early November. ACTE will be submitting legislative language developed jointly with the National Association of State Directors of CTE Consortium in response to our board-approved Perkins priorities.
It is important to note that this is just the beginning of the Perkins reauthorization effort in the Senate, and there will likely be many steps before we see draft legislation, and even longer before a final bill might be produced.
Posted by Alisha Hyslop on 10/26/2015 at 09:39 AM in Perkins | Permalink
On Wednesday, October 21, CNA Education, a nonprofit research organization, hosted a Senate briefing for congressional staff and stakeholders from the education and business community titled “The CTE Equation.” The briefing provided an opportunity for CNA researchers to outline their recent work conducted in Florida and Tennessee on CTE programs and their effectiveness in preparing students for college and careers, as well as to examine the implications of their findings for Perkins reauthorization.
The report maps information on the labor market projections for careers in Tennessee and Florida, and identifies fields that offer high-growth and high-wage careers and examines the number of CTE programs aligned to career pathways in these fields. Their research showed that both CTE program offerings and available careers varied widely by locality within the state, and indicated the need for state and local officials to have access to and training in applying labor market information in designing effective CTE programs.
The analysts at CNA Education found that in Florida, the greatest number of new high-growth and high-wage jobs through 2022 will be in the Health Science Career Cluster, followed by Business Management and Administration. In Tennessee, high-growth and high-wage jobs will be found in the Business Management and Administration Career Cluster, followed by Health Science.
This knowledge is most useful when coupled with information about the supply side of the “CTE Equation.” Although the data about students concentrating in these high-wage, high-growth areas is limited for certain fields, the analysis found that more than half of Tennessee high schools had concentrators in the top two Career Clusters by workforce demand, Business Management and Administration and Health Science. In addition, Health Science is the most common Career Cluster in which Tennessee students have concentrated. (The Florida analysis did not examine the supply side of the equation.)
Presenters, including former assistant secretary for the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Career, Technical and Adult Education Brenda Dann-Messier, concluded that their findings pointed to three concepts that should frame the ongoing discussions on Perkins reauthorization: alignment of CTE with local labor market information; collaboration among the education and business communities; and innovation of new evidence-based strategies for delivering CTE programs.
ACTE will continue to work with these and other stakeholder groups and researchers to identify promising trends in CTE, as well as to advocate for ACTE member priorities as Perkins reauthorization conversations continue. To learn more about ACTE’s research on high-quality CTE, click here, or click here to learn more about our priorities for the next Perkins reauthorization!
Posted by Sean Lynch on 10/22/2015 at 10:23 AM in Career Readiness, Data and Research, In the News, Perkins | Permalink
Growing interest in measuring postsecondary education's value in relation to career success has led USA Funds to award grants to four projects, including return on investment (ROI) studies, research analyzing qualitative measures of engagement and analyses of supply and demand.
USA Funds Performance Measurement Grants were awarded to four projects:
Posted by Catherine Imperatore on 10/22/2015 at 09:37 AM in Data and Research, State and Local Issues | Permalink
On Tuesday, October 27, at 10:00 a.m. Eastern time, the House Education and the Workforce’s Subcommittee on Early Childhood, Elementary and Secondary Education will hold a hearing entitled “Improving Career and Technical Education to Help Students Succeed in the Workforce." ACTE Past-President Doug Major, Superintendent/CEO at Meridian Technology Center in Stillwater, Oklahoma, as well as Dr. Deneece Huftalin, President of ACTE EIM member Salt Lake Community College in Salt Lake City, Utah, will be among those sharing testimony. The committee hearing will be broadcast online at http://edworkforce.house.gov/calendar/eventsingle.aspx?EventID=399578, so tune in Tuesday!
The full list of witnesses includes:
Dr. Deneece G. Huftalin President Salt Lake Community College Salt Lake City, Utah
Dr. Douglas Major Superintendent/CEO Meridian Technology Center Stillwater, Oklahoma
Dr. Irelene Ricks Director Diversity in Life Science Programs Keystone Symposia on Molecular and Cellular Biology Silverthorne, Colorado
Mr. Tim Johnson Director of Government Relations National Center for Construction Education and Research Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Posted by Mitch Coppes on 10/20/2015 at 12:47 PM in Action Alerts, Perkins | Permalink
CTE students, particularly when they participate in career and technical student organizations (CTSOs), have a better idea of their career path than other students.
According to findings from a survey by the Manufacturing Institute, SkillsUSA and the Educational Research Center of America, CTSO participants are more likely to say they plan to pursue a career in their area of study than non-CTSO participants and 61 percent of CTSO students say their career path is clearer because of CTE. This supports prior research on the benefits of CTSOs.
While much of the results from this survey point to the positives of CTE, a few data points are concerning. For instance, only 3 percent of respondents identified guidance counselors as an influence on their career choices.
In addition to the survey results, the report highlights the importance of CTE activities beyond the classroom, such as CTSOs and work-based learning, as well as industry initiatives to foster student engagement in career sectors, in particular the Manufacturing Institute’s Dream It. Do It. campaign.
Posted by Catherine Imperatore on 10/19/2015 at 03:15 PM in Data and Research | Permalink
This week, the U.S. Department of Education officially announced its new Educational Quality through Innovative Partnerships initiative to promote partnerships between postsecondary institutions and “nontraditional” education and training providers. Under its experimental site authority, the department will waive certain eligibility requirements for federal student aid programs, specifically the rule barring Title IV participating postsecondary intuitions from partnering with nontraditional providers to offer content and instruction for 50 percent or more of an educational program. The pilot project is intended to provide postsecondary institutions with greater flexibility to collaborate with short-term training programs, online education providers and other types of programs that are not currently able to offer student financial aid—opening access to such innovative programs for low-income students. Eligible partnerships must also identify a third-party entity to independently review and monitor program quality (postsecondary institutions must receive the approval of their accrediting body as well). To be considered for participation, a letter of intent must be submitted to the department by December 14. The full notice is available here.
Posted by Mitch Coppes on 10/16/2015 at 03:11 PM in HEA, Postsecondary Issues | Permalink
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