ASSOCIATION FOR CAREER & TECHNICAL EDUCATION®
« February 2016 |
| April 2016 »
Subbaccalaureate credentials can be very valuable, especially when individuals work in the same field that they studied in school.
The above data point joins a body of information on the benefits of postsecondary certificates and associate’s degrees. Research from the Georgetown Center on Education and the Workforce and from College Measures has explored how individuals with these credentials can achieve higher earnings than those with bachelor’s degrees, especially in technical fields and when their work is closely aligned to their studies.
When sharing this data with the media, policymakers and the general public, follow it up with success stories about your students who are earning a family-sustaining wage after attaining a postsecondary certificate or associate’s degree.
For more research and data on CTE, you can always turn to ACTE’s Fact Sheets.
[i] Carnevale et al., Certificates: Gateway to Gainful Employment and College Degrees, Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce, 2012.
Posted by Catherine Imperatore on 03/31/2016 at 11:09 AM in Data and Research, Postsecondary Issues | Permalink
On March 28, the Institute for Education Sciences’ National Center for Education Research released its funding announcement for new Education Research Grants, to be awarded in Fiscal Year 2017. Education Research Grants “focus on outcomes and challenges on a broad range of topics at all levels, including early childhood, elementary, secondary, postsecondary, and adult education. Grants can be funded for up to five years and support many kinds of projects, including exploratory research, development and pilot-testing of new interventions, efficacy and effectiveness studies, and measurement studies.”
This year, CTE has been added as a new special focus for the competition! According to IES materials, it is looking for “Research on policies, programs, and practices that are aimed at increasing career readiness in K-12 students. IES is particularly interested in understanding what types of CTE programs work best, for whom, and under what conditions.”
The IES funding process is highly competitive, so only very well-developed proposals by highly qualified researchers will be funded. On the IES webpage, you will find information on funding webinars and links to previously funded projects to help you craft the strongest applications. In addition, the grant announcement includes specific “recommendations for a strong application” that can be of assistance. If you have any questions or would like to find out more about submitting an application, you can contact the program officer, Dr. Corinne Alfeld, by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. Applications are due on August 4, 2016.
Posted by Alisha Hyslop on 03/29/2016 at 01:50 PM in Data and Research, Executive Branch | Permalink
A new blog published by the Brookings Institution’s Brown Center on Education Policy reinforces the need for close ties between postsecondary credentials, such as those attained through short-term certificate programs, with local labor market needs to ensure that students derive value from their education. As decision makers develop new policy supports for students pursuing short-term credentials, it is important that corresponding emphasis is placed on increasing clarity for students regarding which credentials communicate value to future employers, as well as building relationships between postsecondary institutions and local industries.
This topic is increasingly critical for education stakeholders and policymakers as the number of short-term certificates awarded overall increased by 157 percent between 2000 and 2012, according to the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS). Research cited in the blog notes that not all short-term certificate programs result in returns to student earnings, and that many credentials and certificates are not recognized by employers in the corresponding field – thereby diminishing the credential’s value for students. To ensure that these opportunities provide maximum returns to students, institutions should work with industry to develop programs leading to industry-recognized credentials and certificates that are stackable throughout a student’s career, as well as to design programs that are closely tied to labor market needs.
Posted by Sean Lynch on 03/29/2016 at 12:05 PM in Data and Research, Postsecondary Issues | Permalink
American Public Media's Marketplace recently aired a new segment about how CTE programs are preparing students for high-wage, high-demand careers. The story, which originally aired on NPR’s Atlanta-based affiliate station WABE, told some of the stories from Carroll County College and Career Academy about how students are gaining the academic, technical and employability skills they will need for their future in their CTE classrooms.
Carroll County’s CTE programs teach students a wide variety of skills, from auto mechanics and welding to communications and health care. The key theme, however, is integrating in-depth academic coursework with applied career skills to ensure that the more than 1,000 students participating in these programs are ready for college- and career-success.
The story also emphasizes the importance of overcoming outdated stereotypes about which students “should” enroll in CTE programs. As communities have become more aware of the opportunities available in CTE classrooms, more students are thinking of the ways CTE can fit into their education – regardless of where their postsecondary plans will take them.
Posted by Sean Lynch on 03/25/2016 at 01:28 PM in Career Readiness, In the News | Permalink
ACTE applauds the 118 members of the House of Representatives and 32 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 2017 appropriations bills. We again extend our appreciation to Reps. Glenn Thompson (R-PA) and Jim Langevin (D-RI), as well as Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) for leading these efforts in their respective chambers of Congress.
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 03/25/2016 at 12:56 PM in Federal Funding | Permalink
After a flurry of activity late last year, public activity on Perkins reauthorization has been relatively absent over the past few months. However, even as congressional and media attention is largely focused on higher profile issues, such as the Supreme Court nomination, federal budget, and of course, the presidential election, behind-the-scenes work on Perkins reauthorization continues.
In particular, staff of Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee leaders have been meeting to flesh out the priorities the Committee released last fall and put together a bipartisan reauthorization bill. It is possible we will see the draft of their bill released in the next few weeks. Over on the House side, discussions are also ongoing, and completing Perkins reauthorization remains a priority of Education and the Workforce Committee leaders.
As we await the release of the comprehensive bills that will be drafted by the House and Senate Committees, several other Members of Congress are also working on more focused pieces of legislation that can help to inform reauthorization. Most recently, Sens. Tim Kaine (D-VA), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Rob Portman (R-OH), Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) and Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) introduced the CTE Equity and Excellence Act (S. 2718) to revise Title II of Perkins to fund innovative high school reform efforts focused on CTE. We will be working with them, and other Members of Congress, to identify areas of their priorities and goals that align with our Perkins principles, and then to fit those ideas into broader reauthorization efforts as discussion continue.
Posted by Alisha Hyslop on 03/24/2016 at 03:56 PM in Perkins | Permalink
Secretary of Education John King appeared before the House Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education Appropriations Subcommittee this week to discuss the Administration’s Fiscal Year (FY) 2017 budget request for education. As we previously reported, the budget proposes to level fund the Perkins Basic State Grant program at $1.118 billion. The Administration has requested an additional $75 million for Perkins; however, the additional funds would support the proposed American Technical Training Fund that would provide competitive grants to support job training programs in select fields.
The Administration’s CTE budget proposal was met with a cool reception from the House appropriators. Rep. Martha Roby (R-AL) pressed King on requesting additional funds for a new competitive grant that benefits a few CTE programs over the existing formula Basic State Grant that supports secondary and postsecondary CTE nationwide. “Rather than funding a large competition grant, it seems to me that the funds would be better used to support state formula grants which would ensure more students are able to benefit from the CTE experience,” said Roby. Her remarks were echoed by Rep. Steve Womack (R-AR) who questioned why the department would be funding a “new and unproven program” while still failing to “meet the demands across the rest of the spectrum.” Similar concerns were raised with King by Rep. Glenn Thompson (R-PA) during a hearing on the education budget in February. You can follow the FY 2017 funding process on the CTE Policy Watch Blog.
Posted by Mitch Coppes on 03/22/2016 at 05:10 PM in Federal Funding | Permalink
A new report from the National Center for Education Statistics will raise concerns about U.S. workers’ global competitiveness. As reported in Education Week here, supplementary data from the Program for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC) collected in 2013-2014 indicate that U.S. adults “scored about average in literacy, near the bottom in numeracy and dead last in digital problem solving, or as the OECD calls it, problem solving in technology rich environments.”
This new information echoes the previous PIAAC results released in 2012 and other surveys of U.S. skills as compared to our global competitors. The data reinforces the need for policymakers to identify opportunities to strengthen Americans’ workplace competencies in all three areas to remain competitive as employers become increasingly able to look abroad for qualified workers.
Evidence shows that CTE provides students with applied learning opportunities that can integrate with academic content to enhance student outcomes. Furthermore, technical literacy and creative problem solving are fundamentally embedded in CTE programs.
ACTE will continue to advocate for a strong emphasis on CTE to prepare all students with the skills they need to compete in today’s globalized environment.
Posted by Sean Lynch on 03/21/2016 at 03:33 PM in Career Readiness, Data and Research, In the News | Permalink
ACTE Policy Watch Blog readers interested in participating in the CTE Makeover Challenge can learn more during a webinar scheduled Thursday, March 17, from 4-5:00 p.m. (EDT).
As ACTE previously reported, the U.S. Department of Education’s (ED) competition will award $200,000 in funds to up to 10 recipient high schools to create “makerspaces,” dedicated, formalized facilities for making things, which can range from classrooms to libraries.
The challenge presents an opportunity for CTE programs to upgrade their labs and equipment within the federal grant opportunities defined parameters. The deadline for submissions is coming up fast – all entries must be received by April 1, 2016! Application information is available in the Federal Register, here.
Thursday’s webinar will be hosted Albert Palacios, Education Program Specialist at ED’s Office of Career, Technical and Adult Education, who will provide additional information about the grant competition and take questions. Registration for the webinar is available here, and the session will be archived after it is complete.
Posted by Sean Lynch on 03/15/2016 at 09:31 AM in Executive Branch | Permalink
Data has long supported attainment of a postsecondary two- or four-year degree or credential as a means to boost earnings in the labor market. However, new information tracked by the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office indicates that students who participated in just one or two CTE courses experienced a median wage increase of $4,300.
Many education advocates and researchers have expressed concerns about low community college completion rates, as measured by traditional benchmarks including degrees and certificates. However, many students enroll in just a few community college courses to gain a new competency or skill that will assist them in their career. California’s move to recognize these “skills builders” is intended to provide more information on the outcomes of postsecondary education for all enrollees, rather than labeling skill-seeking students as non-completers.
Community College Daily published a report on the change, which noted the implications California’s move may have for the national conversation about postsecondary education. Jeff Strohl, director of research at the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce, stated in the article that:
“...The work on skill builders — the identification of how course clusters bring significant value to individuals and the state — is forcing a pause and reset in how we think about college dropouts by revealing that many students have figured out how to effectively engage the postsecondary system at low cost with high returns.”
Posted by Sean Lynch on 03/14/2016 at 01:57 PM in Career Readiness, In the News, Postsecondary Issues | Permalink
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