ASSOCIATION FOR CAREER & TECHNICAL EDUCATION®
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Where do high school students turn to help them decide on careers? Despite anecdotes about the influence of TV shows and celebrities on career decisions, data from the National Center for Education Statistics suggests that family is the most important influencer on ninth-graders thinking about careers. Teachers come in second in influence, at 6.2 percent, while counselors were named only 2.7 percent of the time.
When sharing this statistic with the media or policymakers, emphasize how your CTE program engages students and parents in career exploration and planning.
You can access more CTE data with ACTE fact sheets and other policy and advocacy publications.
[i] U.S. Department of Education, Institute of Education Sciences, National Center for Education Statistics. High School Longitudinal Study of 2009 (HSLS:09) First Follow-up Restricted-Use Data File. Retrieved from https://nces.ed.gov/surveys/ctes/tables/h168.asp
Posted by Catherine Imperatore on 10/31/2016 at 10:06 AM in Data and Research | Permalink
With a week to go before Election Day 2016, now is a great time to reflect on the reasons why voting is important to you. Maybe you view voting as a civic duty—a part of being actively engaged in your community. Maybe it’s the issues that will drive you to the polls, education being among the critical national issues that will be impacted by the results of this election. And maybe you vote because you want to ensure the best possible future for the next generation by supporting CTE at the ballot box. No matter the reason, it is important to make your voice heard by participating on Election Day or through an early voting option.
Let us know why voting matters to you, and check out the CTE Policy Watch blog all this week to read some of the reasons why voting is important to us. You can also visit the Election Watch 2016 page on our website for more information on voting in your area.
ACTE is a nonpartisan organization that does not support or oppose any candidate for public office.
Posted by Mitch Coppes on 10/31/2016 at 08:36 AM in Action Alerts, Election Watch | Permalink
I was pleased to present about the importance of ensuring that industry certifications are high quality and valuable to students at the Advance CTE fall meeting last week, along with Roy Swift of WorkCred and Florida CTE director Rod Duckworth.
It was a great discussion about how ACTE’s Certification Data Exchange Project, the new Credential Registry and state-validated lists of industry certifications are tackling pieces of this challenge. For instance, ACTE’s project is learning about which students are earning industry certifications and how it impacts their employment and earnings. In the future, this data can be used to let students know the returns they can expect from a particular industry credential.
A related brief published by Advance CTE highlights Florida, Kanas and Louisiana’s efforts to validate industry certifications through intensively vetted lists, carefully crafted incentives and transparent processes. The publication identifies the following four themes consistent across these states:
Posted by Catherine Imperatore on 10/26/2016 at 01:09 PM in Data and Research | Permalink
After a trip in September to visit CTE programs in North Dakota, this month I spent three days in the greater Chicago metropolitan area touring CTE programs at the secondary and postsecondary levels. I visited six schools with Cindy Stover, IACTE’s executive director, and Alice Slager, IACTE’s second VP. Each school offered unique opportunities to students that will help prepare them for tomorrow’s careers.
Maine Township HS East – Park Ridge, IL
Maine Township HS East was our first stop of the tour. The school has an enrollment of just under 2,000. Among the school’s many CTE offerings is a geo-construction course, where students use geometry skills for construction projects, like framing houses for Habitat for Humanity. These types of courses, which combine real-world learning with traditional academic subjects, have been proven to be effective. In fact, students in the class performed either the same or better on geometry tests as students in traditional geometry classes. Classes like this also allow students to fulfill mandatory course requirements while taking CTE, which provides additional flexibility in students’ schedules and allows them to take CTE courses they may not otherwise have been able to take.
In addition to the geo-construction course, the school has classes in automotive technology, computer integrated manufacturing and nursing, among others. However, perhaps the most innovative offering at the school is their internship program. Led by District 207 Career Coordinator Dr. Laura Cook, the program has partnerships with nearly 400 local businesses. Students can earn class credit for internships with the district’s partners, and go through an application and interview process that matches them with internships that fit their career interests. Internships provide students the opportunity to develop real-world skills and to explore different career paths. For schools looking to replicate this model, Dr. Cook shared the district’s experience about how they jumpstarted their internship program by holding business roundtables, promoting their business partners and using parents with ties to local businesses to help cultivate relationships.
Lyons Township HS North – La Grange, IL
Lyons Township HS North is ranked one of the top 50 schools in Illinois by Newsweek, and 94 percent of its graduates will attend some postsecondary school or program.
Two of the most unique offerings at the school were its television and radio programs. Both programs had state-of-the-art equipment that align with equipment actually used in industry. The instructor introduced a student who, upon graduation, had nearly 200 film projects in his portfolio, far more than some college students would have after graduation. This is an example of how secondary education is preparing students for both college and the workforce. The radio program included three different studios, and students manage a 24-hour local radio station. In fact, for the sixth time, the station recently earned top marks at a national high school radio awards ceremony.
The school also offers automotive and engineering classes. At the time of our visit, the students were working on building a scaled-down, fully-functional replica Lamborghini. Students also have the opportunity to take an aviation course, complete with flying hours at the local airport that could count towards a private pilot’s license.
Rolling Meadows High School – Rolling Meadows, IL
Rolling Meadows High School has some fantastic CTE programs, from manufacturing and engineering to entrepreneurship and health sciences. But, again, what really sets this school apart are the internship opportunities for students. District 214’s Associate Superintendent for Teaching and Learning, Dr. Lazaro Lopez, has set the ambitious goal of giving every student an internship experience. As Dr. Lopez says, “our goal is to graduate students into careers, not just jobs.”
And the school district is well on its way to achieving its goals: the internship program currently has nearly 900 business partners, and last year students logged over 2,000 internship experiences. Equally as impressive, since its inception, students in district 214 have recorded nearly 2 million hours at internships! One unique offering in the program is the concept of “microinternships,” which last for 30 hours and grant students .25 credits. This allows students the opportunity to explore careers and gain work-based experience while still in high school.
The district begins courting students in middle school so by the time students enter high school, they can begin taking classes in a particular career pathway. Students have a variety of course options spanning over 40 pathways and 16 career clusters. Then, when students enter their junior year, they already have industry skills, and sometimes even industry-recognized certifications or other credentials, and can immediately bring value to their business sponsors. For students who follow a career path, internships are guaranteed. Students do, however, still go through an application and interview process to ensure they are matched with appropriate internships that will bring both employer and student value.
Harper College – Palatine, IL
Harper College, which will celebrate its 50th anniversary next year, serves more than 40,000 students by preparing them for a variety of career paths or four-year degrees. In fact, the school has dozens of AAS degree programs and specialized study areas, over 100 certificate programs and transfer partnerships with over 100 schools. Some of the certificate programs and AAS degrees in CTE fields include computer information systems, construction, interior design, and engineering and technology.
Harper College also offers apprenticeship opportunities for students, which gives them the ability to graduate with no debt, guaranteed employment and valuable work skills. These apprenticeships are offered in fields like supply chain management, industrial maintenance and CNC precision machining. The college prides itself on having some of the most cutting-edge equipment available so students can learn to use the same machines they’ll be using in industry.
Joliet Central High School – Joliet, IL
Joliet’s two major high schools serve nearly 6,500 hundred students, where nearly 70 percent are students of color and 65 percent of the population is classified as “low-income.” Despite this, average daily attendance is over 90 percent, which can be partly attributed to Joliet’s CTE program. National data consistently demonstrates that CTE classes reduce a student’s likelihood of dropping out of high school. Joliet Township also has a 1:1 technology program that distributes devices to students and provides them with around-the-clock access to a portal of information that they may not have otherwise had at home.
On the tour, we visited more than a dozen different CTE programs and courses, including engineering and computer aided design, where students have access to a 3D printer. We also visited courses on construction occupations, welding and photographic communications (complete with a darkroom).
The building that currently houses Joliet Central High School is the previous site of the nation’s first public community college. Today, Joliet Central High School is following through with the community college’s original mission by providing education to the area’s secondary students to help prepare them for college and careers.
Presence Saints Mary & Elizabeth Medical Center – Chicago, IL
Chicago Public Schools face some unique challenges. With more than a 100,000 secondary students and 86 percent of them considered “economically disadvantaged,” providing access to high-quality CTE can be a challenge. However, one unique program in particular is giving students the opportunity to pursue real-world experience in the career choice they’re interested in. For this part of the tour, we joined students who were touring different hospital wards and talking with staff at the Presence Saints Mary & Elizabeth Medical Center. Many of these students will go on to paid internships at this hospital and with other CPS partners, potentially leading to careers in the medical field. These opportunities for work-based learning give students the exposure and skills to be better prepared for college and careers.
Just like metropolitan districts all across the country, schools in the City of Chicago and the surrounding suburbs face challenges. Some — like finding qualified teachers from industry — are similar, and others are very different. However, the tour clearly demonstrated that though these schools often have different budgets, resources and student backgrounds, all are working hard to enhance their CTE offerings and provide opportunities for their students as they continue their education and transition into careers.
If your state’s ACTE would like to schedule a town hall or media tour, you can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Posted by Jarrod Nagurka on 10/24/2016 at 11:59 AM in Advocacy Resources, State and Local Issues | Permalink
Chicago, IACTE, Media Tour
The U.S. Department of Education has released its latest batch of non-regulatory guidance on implementation of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA)—this time focusing on student support services funded through the new Title IV block grant. Under Title IV, Part A of ESSA, states and school districts have flexible funding that can be used to support activities that advance the use of technology in the classroom, improve school climate and provide students with a well-rounded education. ESSA includes CTE in the definition of a well-rounded education, alongside other critical subjects that contribute to the academic and career success of all students.
The Student Support and Academic Enrichment Grant in Title IV of ESSA specifically provides funding for school districts to offer college and career guidance programs, which may include career awareness and exploration activities. It also allows districts to offer counselor professional development opportunities focused on utilizing labor market information to enhance student advisement on in-demand career pathways.
Additionally, the department has provided guidance on supporting school reforms through Title I funding for disadvantaged students. ESSA allows those schools in greatest need of assistance, operating a schoolwide program, to provide opportunities for students to earn postsecondary credit while still in high school, which can include offeringing CTE dual or concurrent enrollment programs.
For more information, read ACTE’s CTE in ESSA fact sheets on Career Guidance and Counseling and Academics and CTE in the Classroom. Additional ESSA implementation resources are available on our website and the CTE Policy Watch Blog.
Posted by Mitch Coppes on 10/24/2016 at 11:25 AM in ESEA | Permalink
Recently, the Department of Education published its final regulations affecting teacher preparation programs nationwide. The rule requires states to report on the quality of both traditional teacher preparation as well as alternative routes to teaching programs, and to link program quality to eligibility for the Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) grants, which help students with the cost of pursing a postsecondary education for a career in teaching.
The rule requires states to report annually on teacher preparation program performance on multiple measures, including the placement and retention rates of program graduates in their first three years of teaching, feedback from graduates and their employers on program quality, and state-determined measures of student learning outcomes. Programs will be rated on a scale with at least three classifications that include “low-performing,” “at-risk,” and “effective.”
States will design their reporting system with feedback from stakeholders in the state, and then implement that system by the 2018-19 academic year. Starting with the 2021-22 academic year, programs will lose access to TEACH grants if they were not deemed effective in at least two of the previous three years. States must also provide technical assistance to any program rated as low-performing. The final regulations can be found here. We will provide more updates when they become available on the CTE Policy Watch Blog.
Posted by Mitch Coppes on 10/21/2016 at 11:12 AM in HEA | Permalink
Individuals who earned short-term postsecondary certificates in the Health Professions Pathway (H2P) initiative often continued their education, pursuing longer-term certificates and associate degrees, found a study of H2P, which brought together community colleges, community agencies and employers through a Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training Grant.
An Inside Higher Ed review of the research found that students who earned even the shortest-term credentials were more likely to be employed. However, these short-term credentials had minimal and—in some cases—negative wage impacts. Racial and ethnic gaps were also a concern, with Latino and African-American students under-represented in longer-term programs.
These findings show both the promise and the challenge of stackable credentials, which must be carefully designed to maximize employment and wage benefits at entry levels and facilitate transition to higher-level credentials.
Posted by Catherine Imperatore on 10/20/2016 at 09:08 AM in Data and Research, Postsecondary Issues | Permalink
October has brought with it crisp weather, falling leaves and updates to national education data, as well as a host of new resources:
Growing Grad Rate: The high school graduation rate continued its rise to 83.2 percent in the 2014-15 school year, an increase of four percentage points in four years.
Student Loan Debt Increases: According to the Institute for College Access & Success (TICAS), 68 percent of graduating seniors in 2015 had student loans, with an average debt load of more than $30,000.
Work-based Learning: Connecting at-risk and disconnected youth back into the education and workplace pipeline through work-based learning is the topic of a new brief from the National Skills Coalition. To succeed, the brief recommends that this work-based learning be paid and facilitated by an intermediary organization to recruit, coordinate training and take on liability issues. The brief emphasizes that the best programs connect to career pathways. On a companion webinar, Guilford Apprenticeship Partners noted that a strength of their initiative is partnership with high school CTE programs.
More Work-based Learning: Advance CTE has created A Comprehensive Guide to the State’s Role in Work-based Learning to help states develop and implement a statewide vision for work-based learning. The guide provides key considerations and guiding questions to walk states through the steps of building and scaling a high-quality work-based learning system, drawing on examples from several states.
Women and Middle-skill Jobs: The Institute for Women’s Policy Research has launched a website, womenandgoodjobs.org, dedicated to research and data on middle-skill jobs, relevant education pathways and recommendations for how to help more women into these worthy, family-sustaining careers.
Posted by Catherine Imperatore on 10/18/2016 at 03:51 PM in Data and Research, Postsecondary Issues | Permalink
With Election Day just around the corner, there are already opportunities for CTE advocates to make their voices heard at the ballot box. Most states have methods for voters to cast their vote before Election Day through early in-person voting, absentee voting by mail or a combination of these options.
For example, all registered voters in Ohio are able to vote absentee by mail, which allows the voter to vote early from the convenience of home while avoiding the lines at the polls on Election Day. The state also provides for early in-person voting at designated locations in each county during regular business hours, as well as certain weekend hours, right up until November 7. Georgia’s early in-person voting begins today and runs through November 4. Early voting locations and hours vary by county in the state, but Georgia voters should mark October 29, on their calendars because it is the only Saturday where early voting must be available statewide. The Peach State also offers mail-in absentee ballots to all registered voters, which is currently underway.
It’s important to remember that every state runs its elections differently, so the details, deadlines and timeframes for early voting will vary from state to state. Find more information about your state through our partners at Nonprofit VOTE. You can also visit the Election Watch 2016 page on our website or the CTE Policy Watch Blog for more election coverage.
Posted by Mitch Coppes on 10/17/2016 at 04:59 PM in Election Watch | Permalink
Today, the conversation is all about credentials—What credentials should an individual earn? How do credentials impact employment and earnings? What about these newer types of credentials, like digital badges? More and more resources and research are helping to make sense of this growing ecosystem.
Earning STEM Credentials at the Community College: Students earning career-oriented STEM credentials at community colleges—particularly associate degrees—reap short-term earnings benefits, confirms an analysis of Virginia Community College System data. In particular, allied health and technician programs lead to higher earnings. This research also compared STEM and non-STEM community college students and found them very similar, suggesting that more students could pursue STEM education successfully.
The Value of Postsecondary Certificates: The number of postsecondary certificates awarded has skyrocketed in recent years—an increase of 63 percent for long-term certificates and 157 percent for short-term certificates between 2000 and 2012, according to a Brookings brief—as people search for credentials with value in the workplace that take less time and money to earn. But what value do these credentials have? This publication summarizes what we know so far about what the benefits of certificates, including the greater return on average for long-term certificates over short-term certificates, and how certificate returns vary by career field.
Licenses and Certifications 101: Do you need a quick resource that helps students understand why and for what careers they might need to earn a license or industry certification? This Bureau of Labor Statistics article may come in handy.
Growth in Digital Badges: To recognize students for skills and experience that are not captured on transcripts, colleges are increasingly adopting digital badges: One in five colleges, according to the University Professional Continuing Education Association and Pearson, as reported in Inside Higher Ed.
Posted by Catherine Imperatore on 10/12/2016 at 03:43 PM in Data and Research, Postsecondary Issues | Permalink
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