ASSOCIATION FOR CAREER & TECHNICAL EDUCATION®
A recent article in Community College Daily showcased the increasing emphasis many postsecondary institutions are placing on short-term credentials and certificates earned throughout the course of a student’s education. ACTE has advocated for greater emphasis on certificates, certifications and licenses to offer students diverse learning opportunities in pursuing their chosen career, as well as to allow for professional advancement after entering the workforce.
The article notes that credential attainment has boomed in recent years, and provides students with flexible on- and off- ramps within their educational experience, as well as the opportunity to build their resume while still enrolled in school. These credentials can communicate a student’s specific skills and achievements to future employers and give them a leg up once they enter the labor market.
ACTE has advocated for additional opportunities for postsecondary students to pursue credentials and other short-term job training opportunities, including through the JOBS Act and CTE Opportunity Act. To learn more about the different types of credentials available to students, click here.
Posted by Sean Lynch on 03/10/2016 at 02:40 PM in Career Readiness, In the News, Postsecondary Issues | Permalink
A new resource developed by the American Institutes for Research (AIR) will assist states in designing and implementing career pathways systems. The tool, titled “Designing a Career Pathways System: A Framework for State Education Agencies,” can be accessed on AIR’s College and Career Readiness and Success Center website. It features four modules, including:
Each section includes presentation materials and activities that will assist education agencies at the state level in implementing career pathways. Career pathways have been a major topic of discussion at the federal level as greater emphasis has been placed on holistically approaching student preparation for college- and career-readiness. Such emphasis has grown since the passage of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act, which formally defined career pathways and looked to local workforce institutions to create these opportunities in their communities while using labor market information to guide their decision-making.
Because of this emphasis on career pathways in federal policy, ACTE’s National Policy Seminar will include a comprehensive forum to examine CTE’s role in their expansion. There’s still time to register for the forum, which will be held on Wednesday, March 2, as well as for the full National Policy Seminar! Visit the ACTE website to learn more.
Posted by Sean Lynch on 02/23/2016 at 10:49 AM in Career Readiness, NPS, WIOA | Permalink
The level of performance needed on WorkKeys assessments for each career cluster is described in ACT’s Career Readiness in the United States 2015.
For instance, in the Agriculture cluster, students need at least a Level 4 in Locating Information and Reading for Information and a Level 5 in Applied Mathematics. To facilitate this analysis, the report creates its own career clusters based on O*NET classifications as well as the National Career Clusters® Framework.
In addition, within each career cluster, the scores needed are further broken down by occupation and education level. For example, a dental assistant, classed in the middle-education group, needs a Level 3 in Applied Mathematics, a Level 5 in Reading for Information and a Level 4 in Locating Information.
The publication also examines overall work readiness skills by level of education, finding that performance in all three WorkKeys areas increases with education level.
Posted by Catherine Imperatore on 02/05/2016 at 02:25 PM in Career Readiness, Data and Research | Permalink
In the inaugural edition of its new education-focused segment, entitled “Making the Grade,” PBS NewsHour aired a story that examined the growing recognition of the value of CTE across the country and its path forward.
The story began by visiting Southeastern Regional Vocational Technical High School, near Boston, MA. There, students can enroll in immersive CTE programs that span throughout their secondary school experience, including culinary arts, skilled trades and automotive technology. In addition to requiring high-level academics for all students, the programs strive to incorporate what they refer to as “live work.” Principal David Wheeler says of these experiences that, “Cosmetology takes clients. Construction, we have done complete renovations of buildings. We have done Web sites for people. We do printing. There is no better way to engage a student than they’re doing real, meaningful work.”
The school has encountered some hesitation from those who still hold outdated perceptions of CTE programs, including concerns about “tracking” specific demographics into technical classes. However, Wheeler noted that the school has produced results for all students. He stated during the program that, “When we do follow-up studies, generally speaking, we hit the 90 — high 90 percent range of students that are either in the work force, continue to be enrolled in college, or have gone into the military. The point is to get you to be a happy, productive citizen.”
ACTE works to promote public awareness of CTE and its promise for all students. To view the segment, click here, and click here to learn more about how you can work with the media in your community to build support for CTE!
Posted by Sean Lynch on 01/28/2016 at 10:52 AM in Career Readiness, In the News | Permalink
Global financial institution JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPMorgan) announced Tuesday that in response to growing concern about youth unemployment nationwide, it will invest $75 million over the next five years in CTE programs that prepare students for their future. The initiative, titled “New Skills for Youth,” will be conducted in partnership with the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) and the National Association of State Directors of Career Technical Education Consortium. 20-25 states will receive $100,000 each to support the development of CTE programs that reflect the needs of local employers, with an emphasis on career paths in high-skill industries, and 10-15 states will receive a three-year grant of up to $650,000 annually to implement their strategy.
The announcement received significant attention from media outlets and policymakers alike, notably including U.S. Senator Tim Kaine (D-VA), co-chair of the Senate CTE Caucus.
“[CTE] has always been a passion of mine,” said Kaine in a release. “The New Skills for Youth program will help prepare America’s students for the jobs of the 21st century through hands-on learning experiences. I’m proud to help announce this program, which will help states make systemic changes to transform CTE programs and expand partnerships between schools, businesses and communities.”
U.S. News and World Report and USA Today ran Op/Ed pieces penned by JPMorgan leadership on the announcement, including Head of Workforce Initiatives Chauncy Lennon and Chairman and CEO Jamie Dimon. In addition, Education Week’s High School and Beyond blog published an article explaining the grant competition and additional investment JPMorgan will make to strengthen CTE systems nationwide, including building on CCSSO’s Career Readiness Initiative.
To learn more about New Skills for Youth, click here to visit the JPMorgan website. To access information about the grant program and application process, click here to visit the CCSSO page.
Posted by Sean Lynch on 01/20/2016 at 02:01 PM in Career Readiness, In the News | Permalink
The majority of jobs needed in manufacturing by 2025 could go unfilled, according to a report from electronic components distributor Newark element14. Two million of 3.5 million jobs needed may remain vacant, according to the analysis. In addition, companies lose about $14,000 for every job that remains vacant for at least 3 months, with a negative impact on morale and productivity.
Scaling work-based learning is one solution to the manufacturing skills gap proposed during a summit hosted by Jobs for the Future, the National Fund for Workforce Solutions and the Manufacturing Institute. Another recommended approach is ensuring that individuals be able to enter the manufacturing workforce pipeline at multiple points: in high school, in community colleges and as returning adults.
To learn more about CTE’s role in preparing the manufacturing workforce, check out ACTE’s Sector Sheet on advanced manufacturing, newly updated this past fall with more recent data and new profiles of promising programs.
Posted by Catherine Imperatore on 01/20/2016 at 11:18 AM in Career Readiness, Data and Research | Permalink
ACTE members know the value of career exploration opportunities for their students. These formative experiences can help students to connect their interests and skills with potential career paths, and can set students on the course to success through CTE. Fortunately, the chance to participate in these opportunities is expanding as new technologies are developed to guide career exploration. Education Week published a report on January 11 about the increased demand for online career exploration tools from providers including Career Cruising, Kuder and Naviance.
These tools guide students through questionnaires on their interests, learning styles and personalities, and compile the information to facilitate conversations with their parents and career and guidance counselors about the postsecondary education options that are right for them. By helping students to connect their strengths and interests with information about possible career paths, counselors can assist students in planning for their future at an earlier age.
The article notes that as these tools proliferate into schools nationwide, some questions remain. The article cites concerns about student data privacy and skepticism about the appropriate age for children to begin the complex task of identifying a career path among education stakeholders and counselors alike. However, providers remain committed to addressing these questions and working to spread their reach to serve students nationwide.
To access the article, click here. For more information on the role of career and guidance counselors in career exploration, click here.
Posted by Sean Lynch on 01/12/2016 at 05:12 PM in Career Readiness, In the News | Permalink
The Asia Society and Longview Foundation, in partnership with the National Association of State Directors of Career Technical Education Consortium and ACTE, have released a white paper on the role of CTE instruction in preparing students for the 21st century workforce, and the importance of integrating curriculum to develop global competencies in CTE.
The paper, which is available for download here, describes the growing need for global competencies for success in today’s increasingly international marketplace – as companies seek to grow their business and expand their horizons across borders, their employees are increasingly relied upon to tackle transnational challenges. The goal of integrating these competencies alongside the technical and employability skills education that CTE provides is to ensure students can compete in a global marketplace, as well as understanding the social and cultural differences that come along with international business.
The white paper recommends that a variety of strategies are employed to increase the capacity of CTE programs to prepare students with global competencies, from logistical shifts such as ensuring that foreign language and CTE courses can both be included in student schedules, as well as explicitly integrating global issues into CTE program design. An example cited in the paper of such integration is that of Sherwood High School in Sherwood, Oregon, which created an opportunity for students in its CTE programs to learn about global manufacturing and supply chains by sending design specifications for a set of gears to a partner school, which then built the components and sent them back to Sherwood. This exercise demonstrated the type of teamwork and long-distance cooperation that will be expected of today’s advanced manufacturing professionals.
To learn more about the white paper and the authors' perspectives on global CTE, click here to read Education Week's coverage on the Global Learning blog. In addition, the paper will be discussed on a webinar on Wednesday, January 13, at 3:00 p.m. ET, which you can register for here. Furthermore, we invite you to join the conversation on Twitter during a live discussion with the paper’s authors and ACTE’s own Steve DeWitt (follow us using Twitter handle @ACTECareerTech), on Thursday, January 7, at 8:00 p.m. ET.
Posted by Sean Lynch on 01/06/2016 at 11:16 AM in Career Readiness, Data and Research | Permalink
ACTE has updated the first three publications in its Sector Sheet series, addressing CTE’s role in developing the workforce in advanced manufacturing, energy and health care sectors. These one-pagers were first published in 2013.
The updated Sector Sheets include more recent employment, earnings and skills gap data and new profiles of promising or excellent programs in CTE that help meet the needs of these industry sectors.
You can find these one-pagers, and our other Sector Sheets, at www.acteonline.org/factsheets.
Posted by Catherine Imperatore on 12/10/2015 at 01:30 PM in Career Readiness, Data and Research | Permalink
Yesterday, the White House hosted its first-ever summit dedicated to raising awareness for next generation high schools, a day-long event to examine the strategies at work to redesign high schools to prepare students for both college and careers, particularly with a focus on science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields. The Obama Administration has been a longtime supporter of next generation high school strategies, including a reference in the president’s State of the Union address and a $125 million competitive grant program under his FY16 budget request to award districts partnering with postsecondary institutions to implement high school redesign strategies. The program, however, has yet to be included in either chamber of Congress’ FY16 spending bills, leaving the administration to seek alternative vehicles for its efforts.
During the event, as reported here by Education Week, more than $375 million was raised to implement high school redesign strategies aligned to the principles of the Administration’s next generation high school efforts. Highlights include $200 million from the Nellie Mae Education Foundation to build support for competency-based education in New England; an additional $20 million for the administration’s i3 grant program to support high school redesign for low-income serving institutions, and a commitment from 13 companies affiliated with Change the Equation to serve more than 100,000 volunteer hours to promote STEM education.
The White House released a fact sheet with additional details on its efforts and the event, which can be accessed here. Tell us about innovative strategies that you’ve found successful in delivering STEM curriculum in the comments!
Posted by Sean Lynch on 11/11/2015 at 05:13 PM in Career Readiness, Executive Branch, In the News, STEM | Permalink
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