ASSOCIATION FOR CAREER & TECHNICAL EDUCATION®
What states have policies for stackable credentials, integrated education and training, and alignment across education and other services to support career pathways systems? National Skills Coalition has the answers, with a set of state scans released in December. These briefs include short descriptions of the relevant policies in each state.
Stackable Credential Policy: 50-state Scan: This publication identifies 19 states with stackable postsecondary credential policies, including requirements that credits earned in certificate and associate degree programs be accepted at the next level of education as well as policies that provide funding to support stackable credentials at the postsecondary level.
Integrated Education and Training: 50-state Scan: This brief finds that 18 states support basic skills education delivered in the context of CTE, including grant funding, program requirements and state adult education and workforce strategy.
Alignment: 50-state Scan: This scan identifies 12 states that have policies that require and/or fund the alignment of a variety of elements of a career pathways system for low-skilled adults, including integrated basic education and skills training, career counseling, support services, high school equivalent credentials, industry-recognized and stackable postsecondary credentials, and industry engagement.
To be included in the scans, state policies must be broad in scope and applicable statewide.
Posted by Catherine Imperatore on 01/12/2017 at 12:11 PM in State and Local Issues | Permalink
ACTE and Advance CTE will soon be publishing our fourth annual state policy year-in-review, taking an in-depth look at the state policy activity related to CTE over the past year. Join us on January 25 for a webinar summarizing the trends that will be explored in this paper!
State Policies Impacting CTE: 2016 Year in Review Wednesday, January 25, 2016 2:00 - 3:00 p.m. ET
Join ACTE and Advance CTE on January 25 from 2-3 p.m. ET as we take a look back at the state CTE policy trends from 2016. This webinar will unpack the findings of our fourth annual report, “State Policies Impacting CTE: 2016 Year in Review,” which will be released the same day at www.acteonline.org/AdvocacyPublications. To register, visit http://careertech.org/webinars.
Featured speakers include:
Posted by CTE Policy Watch on 01/09/2017 at 08:29 PM in State and Local Issues | Permalink
Increasing high school students’ access to industry experts is a key priority across states, according to a new report from Advance CTE, and alternative teacher certification approaches are not enough to fill the gap.
The State of CTE: Increasing Access to Industry Experts in High School, developed in partnership with the Center on Great Teachers and Leaders at American Institutes for Research, features results from two surveys, one of 47 State CTE Directors and one of 260 local CTE teachers and administrators from 26 states. Key findings include:
The publication recommends that states expand certification policies to include part-time and co-teaching licenses; develop agreements with postsecondary institutions to have faculty with industry expertise teach dual enrollment courses; develop initiatives for industry experts to act as mentors and career coaches; enhance industry awareness of opportunities to engage in the classroom; and approach all of this in a systemic way.
UPDATE: Register for a companion webinar Monday, January 9 at 3pm ET/12pm PT.
Posted by Catherine Imperatore on 01/04/2017 at 11:55 AM in Data and Research, State and Local Issues | 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
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
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
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
State longitudinal data systems are an important way for your state to know how students are progressing through education and into the workforce. However, information gaps reduce the effectiveness of these tools.
A new infographic from PostSecData, an initiative of the Institute for Higher Education Policy, partnered with the Workforce Data Quality Campaign (WDQC) and the State Higher Education Executive Officers Association, shows the gaps in most state longitudinal data systems. Data is missing or incomplete for such key elements as:
Filling these gaps is the aim of such initiatives as the WDQC (ACTE is a partner in both PostSecData and the WDQC). In addition, ACTE is working to be part of the solution through our project to help states access data held by industry certification organizations.
Posted by Catherine Imperatore on 08/17/2016 at 04:28 AM in Data and Research, Postsecondary Issues, State and Local Issues | Permalink
Alignment between secondary CTE programs and Registered Apprenticeship is the focus of a new report from the National Center for Innovation in CTE.
CTE programs on the high school level and the U.S. Department of Labor’s Registered Apprenticeship (RA) program, which is more common for postsecondary student-workers, both incorporate school-based and work-based learning. CTE programs typically provide an entrée to classroom studies and work-based learning in a particular career area, while RA is more intensive and specialized.
The publication reviews the alignment between secondary CTE and RA in six states: Connecticut, Florida, Kentucky, North Carolina, Rhode Island and Washington. NCICTE researchers identified three strategies for alignment:
To improve the alignment between these two complementary programs, the report recommends that agencies focus on cross-agency communication and provide technical assistance, outreach to the public and tools. States can also address barriers to employer participation, such as contracting with a third-party to serve as the student’s employer of record (Kentucky), providing tax incentives (Connecticut and Rhode Island) and reducing tuition (Florida).
Posted by Catherine Imperatore on 07/21/2016 at 02:43 PM in Data and Research, State and Local Issues | Permalink
More states are counting career readiness than in 2014, according to this year’s update of Making Career Readiness Count.
A partnership between Achieve and Advance CTE (formerly the National Association of State Directors of CTE Consortium), this publication explores how states are using career readiness indicators. Thirty-four states publicly report and/or include career-ready indicators in their accountability systems, up from 29 states in 2014.
According to the brief, public-facing report cards and similar tools most typically include data on CTE participation (11 states) and concentrator/completer status (8 states). In addition, five states report WorkKeys/Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) results, while four states report attainment of industry credentials. Four states report placement beyond two- and four-year college enrollment, such as employment, military service and other training.
In accountability systems, states are most likely to include measures of dual enrollment (14 states) and industry certification attainment (11 states). Seven states include data on the completion of a program of study or pathway, and five states factor in performance on workplace readiness exams.
Challenges in accessing and validating career readiness data are addressed in the brief, and several states are profiled for their innovative use of career-ready measures: Louisiana, Connecticut, Ohio and South Carolina.
Posted by Catherine Imperatore on 05/31/2016 at 02:17 PM in Career Readiness, State and Local Issues | Permalink
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