ASSOCIATION FOR CAREER & TECHNICAL EDUCATION®
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
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
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
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
Did you know that job opportunities are predicted to increase by more than 13 percent in the next few years for writers, multimedia and graphic designers, and audiovisual equipment technicians?
ACTE’s latest Sector Sheet explores CTE’s role in developing a skilled, adaptable workforce in media and entertainment. This one-pager describes projections for the workforce in media and entertainment, and details how CTE prepares high school, postsecondary and adult students for careers in this sector through CTE courses, career and technical student organizations, work-based learning experiences and more.
With this new publication, our Sector Sheet series has grown to include 13 publications on CTE and its role in developing various industry sectors. We encourage you to share these advocacy tools with business, policymakers, education leaders and the public to illustrate how CTE supports specific industries and prepares students for in-demand careers.
Posted by Catherine Imperatore on 10/07/2016 at 09:00 AM in Career Readiness, Data and Research | Permalink
Helping veterans transition to civilian careers is increasingly a priority on the federal and state levels. Between 2013 and 2015, 39 states created policy to assist veteran transfer to civilian employment. Recent federal legislation, the Veterans’ Opportunity to Work (VOW) to Hire Heroes Act of 2011, created a demonstration project to help states streamline veterans’ access to credentialing and licensing.
Six states participated in the demonstration project, and below are the strategies they developed to facilitate veteran transition:
Recognizing and rewarding the skills and experiences of veterans is crucial for developing the workforce and helping individuals who have served this country to be successful in civilian life.
Posted by Catherine Imperatore on 10/05/2016 at 03:44 PM in Data and Research, Postsecondary Issues, State and Local Issues | Permalink
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
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
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
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