ASSOCIATION FOR CAREER & TECHNICAL EDUCATION®
With 16 Career Clusters® and more than 75 different career pathways, today’s CTE offers students a wide variety of professions to pursue. Career pathways cover nearly every sector of today’s economy—and it’s no wonder why. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, of the five fastest growing occupations, all five require an associate degree or less. From agriculture to health care, CTE is a critical component to building an American talent pipeline that will meet 21st century workforce demands. However, for students looking to enroll in CTE programs, navigating the many different options can be overwhelming.
Last October, Mrs. Obama’s Reach Higher Initiative and the U.S. Department of Education partnered to launch the Reach Higher Career App Challenge. The Challenge encouraged mobile app developers to build software to help students navigate the many different career and education paths available to them. Today, the First Lady announced the winner of the Challenge, ThinkZone Games, developer of “Hats & Ladders,” an app geared to assist secondary students navigating their career and education options.
The app includes an interactive self-assessment tool, mini-challenges, and other engaging activities to allow students to explore their many opportunities. Hats & Ladders is a good example of the new and innovative thinking in the CTE arena brought about by strong collaborations between policymakers, industry stakeholders, educators, parents and students.
As the First Lady said, “[Hats & Ladders] is a cool, new, exciting app that will open up a whole new world for young people.” ACTE congratulates ThinkZone Games and the other app submission finalists for their commitment to CTE and the next generation of American workers.
Note: Hats & Ladders will be available for beta testing in the spring of 2017. Click here to learn more and sign up to participate.
Posted by Jarrod Nagurka on 08/24/2016 at 02:50 PM in Career Readiness, Educator Development, Executive Branch | Permalink
Today, the Technical Education and Career Help (TEACH) Act was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives. The bill, sponsored by Reps. Alex Mooney (R-WV), Katherine Clark (D-MA), Rod Blum (R-IA), Pete Aguilar (D-CA), Tom MacArthur (R-NJ), Ami Bera (D-CA), Bruce Poliquin (R-ME) and Congressional CTE Caucus Co-Chair Jim Langevin (D-RI), is a companion to the Creating Quality Technical Educators Act previously introduced in the Senate.
ACTE has endorsed the legislation, which would help to promote recruitment and training for new CTE educators and stem the growing tide of teacher shortages that pose challenges to administrators and students alike. It expands eligibility to the Teacher Quality Partnership Grant program under the Higher Education Act to partnerships between local educational agencies and postsecondary teacher preparation programs to encourage the recruitment and training of future CTE teachers, and provides them with ongoing mentorship and professional development once they enter the classroom.
“It is critical that we encourage new professionals to enter the CTE teaching field and provide them with the support they need to succeed in their role,” said ACTE Executive Director LeAnn Wilson in a statement on the bill. To learn more about ACTE’s work on HEA reauthorization and priorities for the bill, click here.
Posted by Sean Lynch on 12/16/2015 at 02:51 PM in Educator Development, HEA | Permalink
Last week, a bipartisan group of Senators took steps to strengthen pathways to the classroom for new CTE teachers by reintroducing the Creating Quality Technical Educators Act. The legislation, introduced by Senate CTE Caucus Co-chairs Tim Kaine (D-VA), Rob Portman (R-OH) and Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), and Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), would create new opportunities for schools to recruit and train professionals for critical CTE educator positions that schools nationwide struggle to fill. By expanding eligibility to the Higher Education Act’s (HEA) Teacher Quality Partnership Grants for partnerships of high-need secondary schools and postsecondary CTE teacher preparation programs, the legislation would create new teacher residency programs that bring new professionals into CTE classrooms and ensure that they are prepared for success.
"The Association for Career and Technical Education applauds Senators Kaine, Portman, Baldwin and Capito for the reintroduction of the Creating Quality Technical Educators Act," ACTE Executive Director LeAnn Wilson said in her statement endorsing the bill. "Their efforts will pave the way for the development of a new generation of educators, while helping to address our nation's critical shortage of CTE professionals... We urge Congress to adopt this legislation as part of a comprehensive reauthorization of the Higher Education Act."
The legislation utilizes existing funds under HEA, and requires that a needs assessment is conducted of participating secondary institutions to ensure that grant recipients will fulfill the needs of local communities. Furthermore, the legislation would deliver ongoing support for these new teachers by providing mentorship and professional development opportunities in addition to pedagogical and technical training. To learn more, click here to access the full press release on Sen. Kaine’s website.
Posted by Sean Lynch on 10/12/2015 at 12:24 PM in CTE Caucus, Educator Development, HEA, In the News, Postsecondary Issues | Permalink
80 percent of CTE teachers have Highly Qualified Teacher status.[i]
The majority of secondary CTE teachers, 80 percent, are Highly Qualified Teachers (HQT) as defined by ESEA--teachers with a bachelor’s degree, full state certification and demonstrated competency in their subject area. This compares to 90 percent of academic teachers with HQT status.
In addition, 97 percent of CTE teachers have either a regular state certification or a certification with additional requirements. This data illustrates that CTE teachers are well prepared for the classroom. When sharing with policymakers or the media, supplement this information with stories of particularly effective CTE teachers in your program, school or district. You may also want to talk about the importance of professional development for CTE teachers to continue to grow and develop as teachers and to foster their industry-relevant skills.
Find more CTE data with ACTE fact sheets and other policy and advocacy publications.
[i] U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, Schools and Staffing Survey (SASS), “Public School Teacher Questionnaire,” 2007–08.
Posted by Catherine Imperatore on 11/26/2014 at 11:56 AM in Data and Research, Educator Development | Permalink
A new survey of CTE educators, conducted by the American Federation of Teachers (AFT), highlights CTE teachers’ passion for and investment in preparing students for their futures. The survey was sent nationwide, and responses were received from 570 K-12 CTE teachers, more than 40 percent from Florida and New York.
Among the positives found by the survey were a high degree of preparedness by CTE teachers, a high level of commitment and passion for CTE, and strong connections to postsecondary education. Respondents were well prepared to teach CTE, with almost one-half holding bachelor's degrees in the industry field they teach and another 26 percent holding a bachelor's degree in education. Other teachers had associate's degrees and relevant certifications or licenses, and were often highly experienced in their field.
The respondents also expressed themselves as strong supporters of CTE for engaging students, preventing dropout and preparing students for college and career. In addition, almost 80 percent reported that their programs were connected to postsecondary education. Fifty-five percent responded that they work with business advisory boards and offer student internship opportunities, 50 percent cited mentorship by business representatives and almost 40 percent said that businesses donate equipment to their programs.
The challenges respondents reported were primarily related to resources, including equipment, textbooks and space, as well as the funding that supports these. Time was also a major challenge, for professional development and for placing students in work-based learning experiences.
In addition, schools are not always able to offer a wide range of CTE programs to meet student interests and career plans as well as workforce demand. The Career Clusters most often offered in respondents' schools were Business and Administration; Arts, AV and Technology; Health Science; Hospitality and Tourism; Architecture and Construction; and IT.
Finally, respondents noted that building partnerships and facilitating work-based learning can be challenging, particularly in rural communities.
According to AFT, it will continue to advocate for increased funding for CTE, through both the Perkins Act and state legislative activity, to address CTE teachers’ need for current equipment, technology and instructional resources; time to develop partnerships; and smaller class sizes, as well as increasing the diversity of programs offered and securing funding to support CTE programs.
Posted by Catherine Imperatore on 11/19/2014 at 10:11 AM in Data and Research, Educator Development | Permalink
Work-based professional development for teachers, such as externships, can lead to gains for educators and students, but more research is needed.
In this Education Development Center paper, author Ilene Kantrov draws on research with CTE educators that highlights the importance of industry alignment, but indicates dissatisfaction with professional development opportunities and with the quality and ease of developing employer partnerships. Kantrov proposes that one way to tackle these issues is to encourage teachers’ participation in work-based professional development that facilitates strong relationships with employers. This can help educators better align classroom learning to industry needs, design challenging and realistic project-based learning and provide more and better work-based learning opportunities for students.
The document describes different types and intensities of work-based professional development and provides several examples in CTE and STEM fields, such as the Teachers in Business Externship Program and the Academies of Nashville Teacher Team Externships.
The paper concludes that these educator experiences seem to be valuable, based on feedback from teacher and employer participants, but more research is needed to identify what is the most effective configuration for work-based professional development.
ACTE is proud to support EDC’s work by facilitating their research with CTE educators and providing feedback on a draft of this paper.
Posted by Catherine Imperatore on 10/23/2014 at 11:46 AM in Data and Research, Educator Development | Permalink
Early childhood and pre-kindergarten CTE programs take notice. The bipartisan reauthorization of the Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG) Act includes more robust requirements for training and ongoing professional development for child care workers and provides funding to develop or expand these training programs.
The proposed bipartisan bill would require child care facilities receiving federal funding under CCDBG to meet child care worker requirements established by the state to “promote the social, emotional, physical and cognitive development of children and to improve the knowledge and skills of the child care workforce.” In order to meet these requirements, the legislation would increase the size of states’ reserve fund for improving the quality of child care from the current 4 percent to 9 percent of total funds.
In addition to the increase in the reserve, states would be required to spend the reserve funds on a limited number of items, one of which is support for child care worker training and professional development programs.
The Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee developed this bipartisan legislation earlier this year and it was passed by the full Senate on a 96-2 vote in March. After negotiations with the Senate on a few key provisions, the House passed a slightly revised bipartisan, bicameral version earlier this month.
While the compromise bill is now back in the Senate for expected final approval, Sen. Pat Toomey objected to advancing the legislation before consideration of his unrelated K-12 background check requirements. While the Senate is expected to approve the bill when it comes up for a vote, that vote will now have to wait until Congress reconvenes, which is not currently scheduled to occur until after the election. If the Senate is ultimately able to approve CCDBG, it will head to the President’s desk for his signature for the first time since its last reauthorization in 1996.
Update (9/22/14):Seeking to end the impasse created by Sen. Toomey's objection to the CCDBG, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) has scheduled a cloture vote for November 13. If the required 60 votes are acheived to invoke cloture, then the bill may advance to a regular vote for passage.
Posted by Brendan Desetti on 09/19/2014 at 11:36 AM in Educator Development, Federal Funding | Permalink
Senate CTE Caucus co-chairs Sens. Tim Kaine (D-VA), Rob Portman (R-OH) and Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) introduced legislation yesterday to address our nation’s critical shortage of CTE teachers and help school districts fill CTE classrooms with qualified educators. The Creating Quality Technical Educators Act would create an additional use of the Teacher Quality Partnership grants program under the Higher Education Act by incentivizing partnerships between school districts and postsecondary institutions to prepare mid-career professionals, veterans and current educators to be effective CTE teachers.
ACTE worked closely with these Senators in developing this legislation and strongly supports their efforts to strengthen the CTE educator profession. Over the past few years, ACTE and the CTE community have seen the number of students served by our programs surge while the number of CTE educator preparation programs has drastically declined. If we truly intend to prepare our students to be college- and career-ready, we must prepare our teachers with strong pedagogical and technical skills.
Learn more about our bipartisan #CTE bill, the Creating Quality Technical Educators Act. Endorsed by @actecareertech http://t.co/EoLTAFtkZB
— Senator Tim Kaine (@timkaine) September 18, 2014
Learn more about our bipartisan #CTE bill, the Creating Quality Technical Educators Act. Endorsed by @actecareertech http://t.co/EoLTAFtkZB
"The Creating Quality Technical Educators Act provides another path to the classroom for professionals with invaluable experience in technical fields and a passion for preparing students for college and career success." said LeAnn Wilson, ACTE Executive Director. "By opening the door for future CTE educators to existing Teacher Quality Partnership grants, these Senators have found a creative solution to the challenges posed by our nation's critical shortage of CTE educators."
Posted by Brendan Desetti on 09/19/2014 at 09:32 AM in CTE Caucus, Educator Development, HEA | Permalink
Benefits that accrue to students from taking courses that provide both CTE and academic credit, and the challenges that states face implementing these courses, is the topic of a recent brief from the Center on Great Teachers and Leaders.
One challenge is when CTE teachers do not meet federal highly qualified teacher (HQT) requirements for academic courses, typically because they do not have a bachelor's degree and/or do not have proof of competency in the academic subject area. While some CTE teachers do meet these qualifications, others, especially teachers who come to CTE from industry, may not.
When CTE teachers do not meet HQT requirements, states have recourse to two general models: course assignment and collaboration. Wisconsin and Washington are two examples provided of states that use course classification to facilitate awarding credit for academic content in CTE courses. For instance, in Washington students can earn academic credit for a CTE course, with district approval. Since the course is coded under CTE, the teacher does not need to meet HQT requirements.
In the collaboration model, CTE teachers and academic teachers work together to deliver academic and CTE credit, through such methods as co-planning, co-teaching and/or having an HQT teacher support CTE teachers across a district. Michigan and Missouri are examples of states that use this method.
Regardless of the model used, students benefit greatly from taking courses that develop their academic and technical skills through real-world application, and these courses also help students more easily meet high school graduation requirements while preparing for careers.
Posted by Catherine Imperatore on 08/20/2014 at 01:39 PM in Educator Development | Permalink
The National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (National Board) has announced the public comment period for the revised Career and Technical Education (CTE) Standards, 2nd edition.
Drafted by a committee of CTE educators and other experts in the profession, the standards will be available for review from March 16 to April 13. Once approved, they will serve as the foundation for National Board Certification in CTE. The link to the survey and more information are available on the National Board's website at http://www.nbpts.org/public-comment.
Based on the National Board's "Five Core Propositions," the standards:
1) Identify specific knowledge, skills and attitudes that support accomplished practice, while emphasizing the holistic nature of teaching;
2) Illustrate how a teacher's professional judgment is reflected in action; and
3) Describe how the standards come to life in different settings.
National Board Standards are periodically revised to reflect advances in the field, research and best practice. This is the first time Career and Technical Education Standards are being revised and ACTE was pleased to participate in a stakeholder meeting early in the revision process which contributed to the committee's deliberations.
If the standards are truly to represent the consensus of the field, a large response rate from CTE practitioners is needed. ACTE urges you to participate during the comment period!
Posted by Steve DeWitt on 03/18/2014 at 05:49 PM in Educator Development | Permalink
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