ASSOCIATION FOR CAREER & TECHNICAL EDUCATION®
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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, 2016 Community College Fast Facts.
Posted by Catherine Imperatore on 09/30/2016 at 02:04 PM in Data and Research, Postsecondary Issues | Permalink
This week, Congress approved a stopgap continuing resolution (CR) for Fiscal Year (FY) 2017 to provide temporary funding for the federal government through December 9. The Senate passed the bill (72-26) on Wednesday morning, with the House following suit (342-85) later in the day. Efforts to enact a short-term CR had been delayed by disagreements between congressional Republicans and Democrats over emergency funding to combat the Zika virus, address the Flint, MI water crisis, as well as aid to flood-impacted parts of Louisiana. The president quickly signed the measure into law before the fiscal year deadline Friday night—averting a government shutdown.
While the CR is intended to put the federal budget on autopilot by continuing the current funding levels for Perkins and other programs until a long-term agreement can be reached. The bill also includes a 0.496 percent across-the-board reduction that was needed to keep overall spending within the required budget caps for the year. Because of the way Perkins funds are budgeted and distributed, this reduction will impact Perkins Basic State Grant advance funding from FY 2016 that is available for allocation to the states beginning on October 1. While the reduction in funding will likely be very small for those states that see a reduction (some will not be cut at all), we will work to ensure those funds are restored in the final FY 2017 funding bill, as has happened in previous years.
Posted by Mitch Coppes on 09/29/2016 at 04:40 PM in Federal Funding | Permalink
The North Dakota legislature meets once every two years. In the last biennium, CTE programs were slashed by $2.2 million, and could be cut by as much as $3.4 million – 10% of the state’s total CTE budget – when the legislature returns in January. In an attempt to stop these cuts and restore previously-cut CTE funding, North Dakota ACTE executive director Rick Ross launched a statewide town hall tour to talk about CTE. Last week, I joined him to travel across the state.
Throughout our five-day statewide swing we attended town hall meetings in 11 different cities. I spoke about important trends in CTE, why CTE is a good investment of taxpayer dollars, relevant federal legislation, and how CTE is helping to fuel the talent pipeline so critical to the 21st century economy and North Dakota’s largest industries – agriculture, energy and manufacturing. Rick spoke about the specific implications that cuts to CTE were having, and about cutting-edge CTE programs throughout the state.
The tour included stops at both secondary and postsecondary institutions, and was attended by policymakers, local media, educators and students. The town halls proved to be a particularly effective way to spur a dialogue on CTE issues with state legislators ahead of the upcoming North Dakota legislative session. Local media outlets were also in attendance to cover a variety of innovative programs taking place in their own backyards. In fact, the town hall tour even prompted one paper’s editorial board to call on the state legislature to support CTE, calling cuts “pennywise and pound foolish.”
Oftentimes, the best way to effect change is by bringing relevant stakeholders together. These town halls provided a forum for legislators, business leaders, administrators, educators, students and other stakeholders to engage one another on the importance of CTE and how budget cuts would negatively impact local programs, and by extension, North Dakota’s economy. Classroom tours also allowed legislators and the community a firsthand look into 21st century CTE – a far cry from the more traditional “vocational” courses that many envision from their time in school.
To promote CTE in communities and state legislatures across the country, other states should consider ways, including by hosting similar events, to open communications between relevant players in the CTE ecosystem. Earning support and “buy-in” from the public is important – both to securing funding and increasing enrollment – and town halls offer the opportunity to show off local CTE programs. CTE is preparing today’s students for tomorrow’s workforce, and it’s important that everyone knows it.
If you’re interested in learning more about the tour, or would like to talk about organizing one in your state, please don’t hesitate to contact me at email@example.com. Below are several photos from the North Dakota town hall tour.
Posted by Jarrod Nagurka on 09/29/2016 at 09:30 AM in Advocacy Resources, State and Local Issues | Permalink
Advocacy, Budget, CTE, Funding, North Dakota, State Policy
The U.S. Department of Education recently released non-regulatory guidance that encourages states and school districts to train, recruit and provide high-quality professional development for teachers, principals and school leaders as part of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). Funds provided to states and districts through ESSA Title II, Part A support career success for educators. The guidance focuses on the importance of aligning state strategies that promote effective instruction and improve student outcomes. The full guidance is available here.
Through funding provide under Title II of ESSA, states and districts have the option to offer specialized professional development that focuses on strategies for integrating academics and CTE. These programs encourage teachers to identify linkages across subjects, while providing common planning time to coordinate lesson plans and pedagogy. Title II also promotes efforts to develop or expand alternative routes to state certification of teachers, including mid-career professionals from other fields and occupations who want to become educators. For more information, read ACTE’s CTE in ESSA fact sheet on Teacher Recruitment, Training and Professional Development. Additional ESSA implementation resources are available on our website and the CTE Policy Watch Blog.
Posted by Mitch Coppes on 09/28/2016 at 04:44 PM in ESEA | Permalink
Registering to vote, and encourage others to register as well, is one of the most important steps you can take in advocating for CTE during this election year. Tuesday, September 27, is National Voter Registration Day—a day when thousands of organizations and individuals from across the country work to raise awareness of the importance of registering to vote. Through our partnership with Nonprofit VOTE, ACTE is able to provide resources and information on grassroots voter registration, ensuring that the CTE community can be an active part of this critical election. Here are a few ways that you can get involved:
You can also visit our Election Watch 2016 web page and the election section of the CTE Policy Watch Blog for the latest news and information.
ACTE is a nonpartisan organization that does not support or oppose any candidate for public office.
Posted by Mitch Coppes on 09/27/2016 at 10:22 AM in Election Watch | Permalink
A new registry will soon be launched that helps users find out about credentials of all types—including postsecondary certificates, licenses and industry certifications—and how to earn these credentials.
The Credential Registry, produced by the Credential Transparency Initiative and funded by Lumina, is an open, voluntary online tool to which organizations from education institutions to industry certification providers can add information on credentials, including what competencies a credential delivers, how to earn it and whether it is accredited or endorsed. Most excitingly, developers will be encouraged to build off the registry to create new apps that merge the registry information with other data sources, such as employment and earnings data.
The Registry is one outgrowth of Lumina’s Connecting Credentials initiative, which recently released an action plan developed from the initiative’s first year of information gathering and feedback sessions. ACTE is a co-sponsor of the initiative, and our Certification Data Exchange Project has been recognized by Connecting Credentials as an example of the great work going on to expand and improve the credential ecosystem.
Posted by Catherine Imperatore on 09/26/2016 at 01:47 PM in Data and Research, Postsecondary Issues | Permalink
CTE has been getting its due on the federal level, as the House moved on Perkins reauthorization. States have also been paying attention to CTE and workforce development in 2016, through a variety of policies:
California: $200 million is set aside for the Strong Workforce Program, which funds community college consortia to expand CTE.
Colorado: The Industry Infrastructure Grant Program will award matching grants to industry associations to define industry competency standards and facilitate work-based learning.
Iowa: A new Future Ready Alliance, including representatives from CTE, industry, apprenticeship programs and a host of others in education, workforce development and human services, will measure progress toward the state’s goal of 70 percent postsecondary completion, with an eye toward maximizing education-workforce alignment.
Louisiana: Legislation mandates a comprehensive review of the state’s postsecondary institutions and how well they are responding to workforce needs.
Mississippi: The state has developed the Mississippi Works Fund to support community colleges as they develop training programs.
Utah: A new $1.5 million fund will support education-business partnerships that lead to stackable credentials to meet regional workforce needs.
Virginia: $1 million in New Economy Workforce Grants are supporting regional partnerships, including 10 community colleges in seven regions, to train incumbent workers. The program provides partial tuition reimbursement to the schools based on student completion and credential attainment. Another bill in the commonwealth requires community colleges to sign agreements with local school districts to provide dual enrollment in career pathways programs.
In addition, Kansas has launched a career planning tool for high-wage, high-demand jobs by county or local area. And the Launch My Career tool is helping individuals find their path in Colorado and Tennessee, and possibly more states in the future. It’s a collaboration of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation, the American Institutes for Research, Gallup, Inc. and USA Funds.
Many thanks to our colleagues at the National Skills Coalition and the Workforce Data Quality Campaign for their efforts to track education and workforce legislation, which informed this blog post.
Posted by Catherine Imperatore on 09/23/2016 at 01:27 PM in State and Local Issues | Permalink
There has been a flurry of activity on Perkins reauthorization since the overwhelmingly positive House vote last week. Most of this activity has taken place in the Senate, where leaders of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee had originally scheduled a mark up of their Perkins reauthorization bill for Wednesday, September 21.
However, as final work on the bill continued in advance of the markup, negotiations stalled and the markup was postponed. The main issue of disagreement that has been publically cited is the issue of “secretarial authority” and prohibitions that could be placed on the Secretary related to program oversight.
Committee leaders continue to discuss a path forward for Perkins, with a possibility for action in the lame duck session after the election. Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN) issued a statement that included that possibility: "Congress should be able to finish its work on Perkins this year," he said. Sen. Murray (D-WA) also expressed continued desire to complete Perkins: “Senator Murray has been working with Democrats and Republicans toward a bipartisan bill to reauthorize Perkins CTE, and she is hopeful that this can continue and get done as quickly as possible," said Murray spokesman Eli Zupnick in a statement published in Politico.
ACTE and Advance CTE issued our own statement urging Congress to continue moving forward in a bipartisan manner, and we will continue working with staff on the Hill on the underlying issues in the bill.
Posted by Alisha Hyslop on 09/21/2016 at 08:31 AM in Perkins | Permalink
Members of the Certification Data Exchange Project team, coordinated by ACTE, presented last month on findings from the project as well as lessons learned by participating states and certifiers to an audience of state CTE directors and representatives from stakeholder groups.
States who have executed data-sharing agreements and matched certification data with their state databases described the steps they took to take part in the project, the key players who helped the project come together in their states, key challenges and how their states benefit from accessing this important source of credential data.
If you’d like to learn more or participate in this project, please view the webinar slides and recording, and contact ACTE’s Catherine Imperatore with your questions.
Posted by Catherine Imperatore on 09/16/2016 at 11:39 AM in Data and Research | Permalink
Dual enrollment has the potential to help students stay engaged in and complete high school and get a jumpstart on postsecondary education.
However, the limited research available on dual enrollment outcomes has found problems with credit transfer, according to Catherine Gewertz at Ed Week:
While these percentages aren’t bad, when any credits fail to transfer, completion can take longer than expected or advertised.
Strategies to improve credit transfer rates include state policies that require the acceptance of dual credits and accreditation through the National Alliance of Concurrent Enrollment Partnerships.
Posted by Catherine Imperatore on 09/15/2016 at 08:12 AM in Data and Research, Postsecondary Issues | Permalink
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