This is cross-posted from the Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities, see the full article with all the events and follow along on Twitter with #HBCUB2School.
Back to School Week
The White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HCBU) has partnered with several of our Federal Agency Partners to present Back to School Week on September 19th-23rd 2016. This week-long celebration will bring federal agencies closer to HBCU students to highlight student opportunities in the government and shine a light on some of the work of the agencies. To reach as many HBCU students as possible, we will provide a mix of both in-person and virtual events. Be sure to read each event description as some require pre-registration. Please check back as the list of events is being updated. Happy Back to School Time! Read more.
The tour kicks off in Washington, DC and continues across six states to highlight and celebrate the progress that we’ve made as a nation in education over the past seven years.
From rural towns to big cities, educators, schools, families, and communities share a belief that a quality education can expand opportunity and ensure our nation’s fundamental promise: that with hard work and determination, each of us can fulfill our great potential.
Working together, we can ensure that all students have access to an education that helps them achieve their dreams; that all students encounter school as a safe, nurturing, and joyful place to learn and grow; and that teachers are supported and lifted up in the vital work they do each day. Together, we can give every student and family the opportunity to succeed.
That’s what the Opportunity Across America Tour is all about. We hope you’ll follow along the journey and visit the OCTAE blog everyday to read about the programs, students and communities we meet throughout the week.
Join @usedgov on the tour and tell us what opportunity means to you by tagging your Tweet and Facebook post with #OpportunityTour
Monday – Capital City Public Charter School, Washington, D.C.
Today, on the first day of the 2016 Bus Tour: 8 Years of Expanding Opportunity Across America, Acting Assistant Secretary Johan Uvin visited Capital City Public Charter School to emphasize the Administration’s commitment to Computer Science for All and recognize the significant accomplishments of Capital City, its faculty, and its students. Capital City is an outstanding example of a school committed to the Administration’s efforts to ensure that all students reap the fruits of the new technologies and hands-on learning that are transforming public education.
Johan Uvin and OCTAE staff are led on a tour by students of the Capital City Public Charter School.
Capital City Public Charter School continues to demonstrate the ability to educate its students at a high level of success. Since its first graduating class in 2012, 100 percent of Capital City’s graduating seniors have been accepted to college! Of these graduates, seven were POSSE scholars, two were Trachtenberg Scholars, and one was a Milken Scholar.
Capital City was one of ten CTE Makeover Challenge winners in 2016, earning a $20,000 cash prize and almost $35,000 in equipment and software to help Capital City continue to provide high-quality, robust career and technical education experiences through “making” and computer science and enable students to succeed in the twenty-first century.
We were led by students on a tour of the winning makerspace and Johan Uvin led a roundtable discussion with students and faculty who shared their vision for “making” as well as work-based learning experiences with local public and private partnerships.
Johan Uvin is flanked by two students of Capital City Public Charter School during the roundtable session.
These are just some of the accomplishments that led First Lady Michelle Obama to say: “Every young person in this country should have a team of teachers, counselors, and school leaders pushing them and supporting them like you [students] all have here at Capital City” during her visit in 2014.
Tuesday – West Kentucky Community and Technical College, Paducah, Kentucky
Students demonstrate their projects to Deputy Assistant Secretary Ford during her visit to WKCTC.
Deputy Assistant Secretary Kim R. Ford visited the state of Kentucky beginning the day at West Kentucky Community and Technical College (WKCTC) in Paducah, Kentucky where she toured the Allied Health and the Emerging Technology buildings, while professors and students shared their experiences at WKCTC. Students talked about the integral role career coaches play in their academic success. The coaches support students with mandatory college paperwork, establishing educational and career goals, and other requests. It is this type of mentorship that helps sustain WKCTC’s 48 percent graduation/transfer rate, a rate eight points higher than the national average.
The visit ended with a roundtable discussion on college affordability efforts, student support systems on and off campus, innovation in postsecondary education, and strategic work-based learning partnerships in the community. Reflecting on the visit Deputy Assistant Secretary Ford said, “The level of innovation at WKCTC and the overall excitement from students and staff were very impressive. This was an incredibly exciting and informative visit.”
Student Jason McGregory describes his skills to Deputy Assistant Secretary Kim Ford.
The day continued with a visit to Graves County Restricted Custody Center (GCRCC) in Mayfield, KY, a male correctional facility where the adult correctional education classes and the Skilled Craft Training Center is administered by WKCTC. Deputy Assistant Secretary Ford got an inside look at GCRCC and its unique commitment to ensure that all incarcerated individuals hold a basic education. If individuals come to GCRCC without a high school diploma, GCRCC requires them to work towards their General Education Development (GED) certificate during their time there. Additionally, the program leverages technology and the Internet to advance student outcomes in adult basic education and English as a second language and increase the employability of incarcerated individuals when they reintegrate into society.
Deputy Assistant Secretary Ford heard from students on how the classes at GCRCC are helping them prepare for their future by exploring ideas and increasing their competencies in new technology. More than 10 community leaders joined the tour and expressed their view of adult correctional education programs as a larger effort to assist incarcerated individuals develop the skills needed for reintegration into society, not just as residents, but as leaders equipped to succeed. “It is great to see incarcerated individuals be given the opportunity to not only gain their GED, but also remain connected with technology while having the potential of their future contributions to our communities and their families be recognized by instructors and correctional facility staff,” said Deputy Assistant Secretary Ford.
Local television station WPSD featured the visit in their evening newscast. You can view their story here.
Thursday – Eastside Promise Neighborhood, San Antonio, Texas
Acting Assistant Secretary, Johan Uvin, and Chief of Staff, Carmen Drummond, visited the Eastside Promise Neighborhood (EPN) in San Antonio, Texas, a 2011 recipient of the U.S. Department of Education’s Promise Neighborhoods five year implementation grant. The vision of the program is that all children and youth growing up in Promise Neighborhoods have access to great schools and strong systems of family and community support that will prepare them to attain an excellent education and successfully transition to college and a career.
Acting Assistant Secretary Johan Uvin watches as Bowden Elementary School 5th grade Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics students work on a knee brace. The students were from left, Sariya Jackson, Jade Cavazos, Jade White, and Cithaly Cerna.
The EPN’s school and community-based programs led by United Way of San Antonio and Bexar County are helping to reinforce the idea that children do well when their parents do well. Specifically, their Dual Generation Program offers families and parents access to job-readiness programs, support to further their education and family literacy workshops. Additionally, EPN supports San Antonio Independent School District initiatives that aim to increase STEM instruction in the six EPN schools. During the visit Assistant Secretary Uvin visited classrooms implementing STEM curriculum where students talked about their projects and the fun they have learning engineering.
Director of the Eastside Promise Neighborhood Tony Leverett, left, gives a tour of the Ella Austin Child Care Center to Acting Assistant Secretary Johan Uvin
The visit included an insightful round table discussion with EPN partners and San Antonio stakeholders. The group discussed the achievements seen at the EPN schools by creating cradle-to-career solutions of both educational programs and family and community supports, and how to maintain this momentum far into the future. Assistant Secretary Uvin congratulated the EPN and community partners by saying, “It is wonderful to learn about the great collaboration San Antonio has achieved with the mayor’s office, the school system and local philanthropic organizations. I look forward to seeing these partnerships sustain the great programming at EPN schools.”
After the EPN visit, Assistant Secretary Uvin met with the San Antonio Chamber of Commerce and toured the Health Magnet Program at Fox Tech High School. Fox Tech students talked about the projects and work-based learning opportunities offered by the magnet program. Assistant Secretary Uvin also participated in a roundtable conversation with the Chamber and other community partners where he learned how the Chamber is integrating a friendly business climate through work-based learning models for students, teacher pipeline structures for future educators, and career navigating programs for the community.
Acting Assistant Secretary Johan Uvin shares remarks with students and staff of the Greenville Superintendent’s Academy
On the last day of the #OpportunityTour, Acting Assistant Secretary Johan Uvin and Deputy Under Secretary Kim Hunter Reed visited Greenville Superintendent’s Academy in Baton Rouge, Louisiana to highlight the Administration’s commitment to make significant improvements for disconnected youth in educational, employment, and other key outcomes. The Baton Rouge Performance Partnership Pilot (P3) for Disconnected Youth program is a collaborative effort between the city and school district that focuses on disconnected youth ages 14-24 by offering catered programming at two schools in the East Baton Rouge Parish School System (EBRPSS).
During the visit, Acting Assistant Secretary Uvin and Deputy Under Secretary Reed engaged students in a dialogue during a roundtable discussion about the services that the P3 program will provide and how it will address the needs of youth living in Baton Rouge. Students talked about their dreams and aspirations, but also about the obstacles to success they had to overcome. Other important issues discussed were the impact of the flooding, the recent unrest over racial issues and challenges with law enforcement, and the need to find solutions to end the gun violence and killings. Students made several suggestions to the Mayor and Superintendent to improve their schools and community.
The day ended with a community partnership roundtable where Deputy Under Secretary Reed led a broader discussion on current issues in her hometown of Baton Rouge, including many of the concerns the students raised. Ms. Gail Grover from the Mayor’s Office and Student Ambassador Benjamin Jenkins helped facilitate the discussions during the student and community roundtables.
Reflecting on the visit Acting Assistant Secretary Uvin said, “The students care so deeply about their community and called on all adults in the room to help find solutions to end violence in the community and expand education opportunities.” The U.S. Department of Education, in partnership with the Mayor’s Office, has formed a group to share information and coordinate a response to issues related to the Louisiana flooding.
Southern New Hampshire University, Manchester, New Hampshire
Also on Friday, Deputy Assistant Secretary Kim R. Ford and Senior Policy Advisor David Soo visited College for America at Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU), a leader in competency based education, distance learning, and employer engagement.
SNHU is also one of 44 institutions selected by the Department for the Federal Student Aid Dual Enrollment Pell Experiment. This three-year experiment will allow students taking college-credit courses to access Federal Pell Grants as early as high school. These programs can improve academic outcomes, lower costs and increase access to colleges and universities, especially for low-income students. Through the experiment, SNHU will offer its competency-based Associate of Arts in General Studies and will partner with several high schools.
Research consistently has shown that individuals with college degrees are more likely to live healthier lives, be more civically engaged in their communities, have good-paying jobs, and experience greater job security. SNHU and College for America are helping make more Americans enter and complete college by offering a wide range of degrees at an affordable price.
During the visit, Deputy Assistant Ford toured the traditional campus, which serves 3,000 students, and their online center serving 70,000 students across the country. College for America collaborates with over 100 businesses, nonprofits and governments to offer accredited associate and bachelor degrees that students earn online by mastering competencies through real-world projects.
Deputy Assistant Secretary Kim R. Ford and Senior Policy Advisor David Soo held a roundtable discussion on the College for America at Southern New Hampshire University
In the morning, a group of SNHU student ambassadors joined Deputy Assistant Ford for coffee and talked about why they chose to attend the traditional campus. Later in the day, Deputy Assistant Ford met with College for America students and learned how the competency-based programs are helping them gain college credits or workforce training to complete a degree at their own pace.
During a roundtable discussion with University and College administrators Deputy Assistant Ford said, “It is great to see how the innovative models at SNHU, such as online and competency-based programs, provide traditional and non-traditional students the opportunity to complete a college degree at a fraction of the typical cost. These models are allowing thousands of Americans the ability to pursue a college degree for the first time, as well as also complete a degree they might have started years before.”
OCTAE concludes its series of visits on the Opportunity Across America Tour—the seventh and final back-to-school bus tour of the Obama Administration that celebrated progress in education in communities and states across the country.
September 8 is International Literacy Day! UNESCO is celebrating the day under the banner “Reading the Past, Writing the Future”. International Literacy Day 2016 celebrates and honors the past five decades of national and international engagement, efforts and progress made to increase literacy rates around the world. It also addresses current challenges and looks to innovative solutions to further boost literacy in the future.
UNESCO Literacy Day 2016
Download the poster and follow along on Twitter with commemorations around the world, tagged with #LiteracyDay.
OCTAE salutes our 1.5 million adult education students, over 46,000 teachers, and over 9,000 tutors who made literacy a priority last year.
Get more facts about OCTAE’s programs in two new fact sheets:
On any given day, more than 60,000 young people under age 21 are confined in juvenile justice facilities throughout the United States.
The National Institute of Justice (NIJ) recently released a multi-jurisdiction scan, identifying programs which address the developmental needs of young adults in the criminal justice system. NIJ is the research, development, and evaluation agency of the U.S. Department of Justice. Their mission is to advance scientific research, development, and evaluation to enhance the administration of justice and public safety.
OCTAE is pleased that one of the Improved Reentry Education grantees, UTEC, was highlighted as an organization which took an innovative approach to address these developmental needs of youth. NIJ describes the UTEC program as one that “has responded to a need in the community and the population served by developing in-house social enterprises in order to offer its participants a paid work experience in a supportive setting”. As part of their approach, UTEC conducts pre-release visits to individuals in correctional and juvenile justice facilities and also uses street outreach and gang peacemaking to connect with individuals. As youth progress through the program, they are paired with case management with a focus towards social enterprises and a resumption of education in the community.
Sean Addie, Director of Correctional Education, OCTAE
Guest Blogger, Sean Addie, Director of Correctional Education, OCTAE
The Mapping Upward project, a national activity led by OCTAE’s Division of Academic and Technical Education, selected four sector-focused networks representing twelve colleges to receive technical assistance to support the embedding of stackable, industry-recognized credentials within technical associate degree programs. The four college networks selected to participate in the project include:
Bakersfield College, Shasta College, and Reedley College (California, Horticulture focus)
Forsyth Technical Community College, Catawba Valley Community College, Isothermal Community College, and Piedmont Community College (North Carolina, Advanced Manufacturing focus)
Luzerne County Community College, Lehigh Carbon Community College, and Northampton Community College (Pennsylvania, Advanced Manufacturing focus)
Rowan-Cabarrus Community College and Mitchell Community College (North Carolina, Advanced Manufacturing focus)
Thirty-one individuals representing the college teams participated in the Mapping Upward Technical Assistance Institute, July 21-22 at Gateway Technical College in Kenosha/Racine, Wisconsin. The teams were immersed in sessions with content experts on topics ranging from employer engagement strategies and program design to credit issues and work-based learning experiences. Teams also met in small groups to work on action plans that will be the focus of their technical assistance activities for the next year. College teams will tackle institutional issues as well as collaborate with their in-state partners on the broader goals of their network. All twelve colleges are engaged in an online community of practice for resource sharing and exchange of promising practices. Each network is receiving dedicated technical assistance from a coach as well as support from subject matter experts on targeted topics.
Federal agencies have released a third call for proposals to improve education, employment, and other key outcomes for disconnected youth.
While our nation has seen progress over the last few years, there still remain over five million 14-to-24-year-olds in the U.S. who are out of school and not working. In many cases, these youth face additional challenges including being low-income, homeless, in foster care, or involved in the justice system. In response, seven federal agencies are, for the third time, jointly inviting state, local, and tribal communities to apply to become a Performance Partnership Pilot (P3) to test innovative, outcome-focused strategies to achieving better outcomes for these youth, as well as youth at risk of becoming disconnected from critical social institutions and supports.
The P3 initiative allows pilots to receive customized flexibility from the participating agencies—including the U.S. Departments of Education, Labor, Health and Human Services, Justice, the Corporation for National and Community Service, the Institute for Museum and Library Services, and now also the Department of Housing and Urban Development—to overcome barriers and align program and reporting requirements across programs. This flexibility enables communities to pursue the most innovative and effective ways to use their existing funds that they already receive from the federal government to improve outcomes for the neediest youth.
This third round of pilots will build on innovative work underway by existing pilots. In October 2015, the Department of Education announced the first round of nine pilots on behalf of all the participating agencies. From supporting young moms and their young children with a two-generation approach to helping foster care youth transition successfully from high school to college and career, these pilots will serve a total of roughly 10,000 disconnected youth from urban, rural, and tribal communities around the country. Applications for the second round of pilots closed on June 27, 2016, and agencies expect to designate pilots by the end of the year.
Early pilots are seeing the value of the P3 model. “It takes more than a single agency or funding source to help young people in tough situations get back on track,” said Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti. “The Performance Partnership Pilot gives L.A. the flexibility to break down boundaries and test new ideas for putting kids on a path to success.”
This third round of pilots again offers up to 10 state, local or tribal communities the opportunity to propose bold new ideas for how they would use P3 flexibility to transform the way they deliver services and improve outcomes for their disconnected youth. Additionally, this round will newly permit communities to use their Continuum of Care and Emergency Solutions Grants Program funds, funded through the Department of Housing and Urban Development, in the pilots.
Stakeholders on the front lines of service delivery have let us know that flexibility, such as better aligning the multiple systems that serve youth, is sometimes needed to achieve powerful outcomes. P3 responds directly to on-the-ground challenges by offering broad new flexibility in exchange for better outcomes. While this competition offers small start-up grants that can fund administrative expenses, data collection, evaluation or other activities that support effective implementation of a pilot, P3 primarily focuses on creating flexibility. Partner organizations already working together on the ground can propose true seamless service delivery systems that maximize outcomes for disconnected youth by seeking waivers across multiple funding streams that they already receive.
This round of P3 includes several priorities to test this authority in diverse environments across America and support broader learning in the field. For example, acknowledging the diverse needs of communities, the competition allows separate categories of consideration for applicants that propose to serve disconnected youth in rural communities, in tribal communities, or in communities that recently have experienced civil unrest. In addition, applicants can earn bonus points in the selection process by proposing to rigorously evaluate at least one component of their pilot, proposing to implement work-based learning opportunities, or proposing projects that would specifically serve youth who are neither employed nor in school.
You can find more information about the third round of P3 application requirements and selection criteria in the Federal Register Notice Inviting Applications (NIA).
Earning a postsecondary degree or credential has become a prerequisite for the growing jobs of the new economy. President Obama has challenged every American to commit to at least one year of higher education or postsecondary training to better prepare themselves for the challenges they will face in the ever-evolving workforce. OCTAE is committed to supporting community college students and, in turn, strengthening the coordination and alignment between adult education and developmental education programs at community college campuses to better prepare students for the 21st century job market. The Supporting Student Success: Adult Education and Remedial Education Reform in Community Colleges initiative is a technical assistance activity, funded by OCTAE to support the President and the Department’s goals.
As part of Supporting Student Success, OCTAE, through the support of the Manhattan Strategy Group is hosting three Community of Practice (CoP) discussions this fall. The CoPs will be hosted on the LINCS online platform. To comment in the discussions, free membership to LINCS is required, but no membership is necessary to read the discussion. Make sure you are subscribed to Postsecondary Completion LINCS Community of Practice group for more information. Learn more about LINCS here. We highly encourage you to join the CoPs by signing up prior to the start of the discussion.
Get involved! The CoP discussion of best practices listed below will be led by current practitioners of adult education and developmental education programming.
Building Bridges Between Adult Basic Education and Developmental Education: October 17-21, 2016
This discussion is designed to present strategies and models for collaboration and communication between Adult Basic Education (ABE) and Developmental Education (Dev Ed) programs based on work being done at Amarillo (TX) College and Gateway (CT) Community College.
Intensive Skill and College Readiness Programs at Community Colleges: November 7-11, 2016
This discussion will lead with the presentation of two programs, St. Louis (MO) Community College’s Academic Academy and Gateway Community College’s Academic Bootcamp. They will provide information about their opportunities surrounding skill development, college and work readiness competency development, and career guidance.
Re-Visioning Student Instruction and Support: December 1-8, 2016
This discussion is designed to present national programming which incorporates intensive support services. Individuals from St. Louis Community College and Amarillo College will begin by sharing some of their practices which include, but is not limited to: face-to-face advising, online media instruction, and community based supports integrated into training.
Guest blogger: Erin Berg, OCTAE Community College Program Specialist
Dequan Wilkins poses with OCTAE’s Deputy Assistant Secretary, Johan Uvin, and his mentors, Natasha Muhammad and Stephanie Amponsah, from the Baltimore-based Urban Alliance.
Dequan Wilkins, graduate of Friendship Academy of Engineering and Technology in Baltimore, Maryland, provided opening remarks for the U.S. Department of Education’s Strengthening Work-Based Learning in Education and Transition to Careers Workshop, co-hosted with the Organisation for Co-operative Economic Development (OECD) in Baltimore, Maryland, from July 26-27, 2016. As a child and young adult growing up in Baltimore’s foster care system, Dequan recounted his “once-in-a-lifetime opportunity” to obtain an internship at the Episcopal Community Services of Maryland (ECSM) Culinary Arts program and how this work-based learning experience transformed his pathway from school to work. He connected with a workplace mentor, learned the requisite technical and employability skills, obtained an industry-recognized certification (ServSafe), and was ultimately hired as a Sous Chef. Dequan is passionate about culinary arts and is looking forward to creating his own bakery.
Maalik Groves, Shanelle Lockhart, Chloe Starcher, and Dequan Wilkins served as panelists for Youth Voices session moderated by John Ladd, Administrator, Office of Apprenticeship, U.S. Department of Labor.
Three other students—Maalik Groves and Shanelle Lockhart from the Urban Technology Project in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and Chloe Starcher, an apprentice at Joint Apprenticeship and Training Committee (JATC) 24 in Baltimore, Maryland—provided similar stories of how work-based learning, as part of their career and technical education programs, enabled them to connect their academic and technical learning and test out their career interests in real life work settings. Each told of the importance of a caring adult who mentored them, guided them, and helped them master critical employability skills that would help them navigate and excel in the world of work.
These student stories set a perfect context for the two-day meeting that featured international policies and practices for developing and scaling up work-based learning opportunities in the U.S. and abroad. The full agenda, discussion papers, and speaker bios are available for review at sites.ed.gov/OCTAE/WBL2016. A U.S. report on work-based learning will be available early Winter 2016 and an international report on work-based learning will be available in 2017. Stay tuned to the Perkins Collaborative Resource Network (PCRN) at cte.ed.gov for these reports.
The Department of Labor (DOL) announced the Equity in Apprenticeship Request for Proposals (RFP) to increase apprenticeship opportunities for underrepresented populations. This RFP seeks to award multiple contracts to national intermediaries to develop national or regional “Opportunity” partnerships. These “Opportunity” partnerships will work to increase gender, racial, ethnic and other demographic diversity and inclusion in apprenticeships.
Links to the announcement and the DOL news release on this effort are below:
New funding announcement released: Providing High-Quality Career and Technical Education Programs for Underserved, High-Need Youth Through a Pay for Success Model
Every year, the U.S. Department of Education allocates roughly $1.8 billion in funding to States and outlying areas for strategic investments in career, technical and adult education at local education agencies, community colleges, correctional institutions, libraries, housing authorities, and community-based, faith-based and other non-profit organizations. Together, States and outlying areas match federal adult education resources with State and local investments totaling between $1 and $1.5 billion annually. And, the State match for career and technical education is $116 million per year with additional State and local resources estimated to be eight to ten times the federal investment.
We have made significant improvements in the collection of performance data related to these investments over the last decade, but unfortunately we have limited evidence-based feedback at the national level on these investments. Given statutory performance accountability requirements, we have aggregate data from States and outlying areas on the number of people who participated in career, technical and adult education and their overall outcomes during a given reporting period. However, there are some significant limitations to these data that lead us to a troubling spot: we too often just don’t know if participation in our programs brought about positive outcomes. Furthermore, we don’t know what would have happened to these participants had they not participated.