OVAE will be sharing updates and information at the 2013 National Career Clusters Institute in Fort Worth, Texas next week. Hosted by the National Career Technical Foundation of the National Association of State Directors of Career Technical Education Consortium (NASDCTEc), the annual event brings together educators, counselors, state leaders, workforce development professionals, business and industry experts, and economic development partners to share insights and strategies for coordinating educational delivery in communities and states.
Rutgers University. Yale University. Northeastern University. Stevens University. University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey. These are among the colleges that seniors from Union County Vocational-Technical Schools in Scotch Plains, New Jersey are headed this fall.
As one parent of a Yale-bound senior put it, “This is what high school should be for every student.” The Administration agrees, having issued both its blueprint for Perkins reauthorization in April 2012 and proposed a $300 million High School Redesign in the FY 2014 budget. Assistant Secretary for Vocational and Adult Education Brenda Dann-Messier states, “Our students shouldn’t have to make a decision between college or a career; every student needs to be prepared for both.” Union County Vocational-Technical Schools has turned this vision into a reality and, at the same time, become a school of first choice for students in Union County. Assistant Secretary Dann-Messier had the opportunity to experience the vision first-hand during her recent visit on May 23.
It used to be that enrollment in career and technical education, much less a full-time area career center, would not be the best option for students preparing for college, particularly at one of the leading universities in the nation. Union County Vocational-Technical Schools has fundamentally changed this situation and now makes enrollment in career and technical education the “sought-after option” for high school students.
Union County Vocational-Technical Schools offers five academy schools on its campus, including The Academy for Allied Health Sciences, The Academy for Information Technology, and a Magnet High School which focuses on STEM-related programs. Students participate in rigorous academic courses that are integrated with their career and technical education courses, complete work-based learning, earn college credit for courses taken during high school, and earn industry-recognized certificates.
School administration officials attribute their schools’ success to ongoing partnerships with business/industry and postsecondary education to develop and implement their programs. Students credit the teaching staff and career guidance counselors who help them acquire work-based learning opportunities, complete FASFA forms, and submit college applications. Parents recognize the entire school team for helping students gain the academic, career-related, and employability skills that help them prepare for their future.
Since 2007, LaGuardia Community College (LAGCC) has worked to redesign its approach to high school equivalency preparation by providing contextualized, career-focused GED bridge classes that integrate basic skills instruction with occupational content to prepare adult learners to pass the GED exam and transition more effectively to postsecondary education and training or the workforce.
MDRC conducted a random assignment evaluation of LAGCC’s GED Bridge to College and Careers programs, the results of which were released last week. Preliminary evidence strongly supports LAGCC’s redesigned, contextualized approach.
The U.S. Department of Labor and the U.S. Department and Education invite you to attend a live online panel discussion this Thursday, May 23, from 1:30 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. This session will highlight important focus areas for the third round of the Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training (TAACCCT) grant program including employer engagement, capacity building, and innovative service delivery.
Now more than ever, maintaining America’s competitive edge requires that workers obtain relevant post-secondary credentials and that employers have access to a well-trained and highly-skilled workforce. For decades, the national Registered Apprenticeship system and the nation’s extensive network of two- and four-year post-secondary institutions have been at the forefront of providing industry-driven education and training that supports business competitiveness and career advancement for workers.
Literacy Means Business was the title of a public dialogue hosted by the Literacy Council of Northern Virginia that focused on the role of the business community in career pathways and adult education and training. Johan Uvin, OVAE Deputy Assistant Secretary, shares, “The panel discussion addressed many important challenges and opportunities in both ESL and adult education policy and practice. Among the many takeaways was the opportunity that strong partnerships with businesses represent to address both the needs of adult learners and firms. Several examples were discussed from health care and other contexts that illustrated how improved skills of workers benefit employers, too.”
Update: Registration is now open for the webinar. Click here to register.
The third event in OVAE’s 2013 community college webinar series will be held on Tuesday, May 14 from 3:00 to 4:30 p.m. EDT. Building on the National Dialogue on Career Pathways held last October, this event will bring together foundation, state, and local community college representatives to discuss the central role of community colleges in career pathways systems. Whitney Smith from the Joyce Foundation will discuss the importance of career pathways systems and the Joyce Foundation’s work to expand the development of these efforts in the Great Lakes region. Dr. Jay Box, Chancellor of the Kentucky Community and Technical College System, will present on the numerous statewide initiatives underway in Kentucky to ease postsecondary access and transitions for youth and adults. The webinar will also highlight two promising local career pathways programs. Deborah Davidson, Vice President for Workforce and Economic Development at Gateway Technical College in Kenosha, Wisconsin will discuss the work of her institution to provide on-ramps for low-skill adults to access postsecondary education and training. Lupe Chavez, Director of High School Programs at South Texas College in McAllen, Texas will also present on South Texas’ efforts to expand partnerships with local high schools to increase dual enrollment and promote postsecondary transitions for young adults.
On April 19th, the U.S. Department of Education, in partnership with the U.S. Department of Labor, announced the availability of $474.5 million to create and expand innovative partnerships between community colleges and businesses to educate and train workers with the skills employers need. This is the third of four rounds of funding under the $2 billion Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training (TAACCCT) grant program.
On April 17th, we had the opportunity to host the 2013 Meeting of the State Directors of Career and Technical Education at the U.S. Department of Education.
Presentation materials and other resources shared during the meeting can be found on the Perkins Collaborative Resource Network. We encourage you to explore the site to learn more about national and state initiatives to promote career pathways and education programs of study development.
In case you were not able to attend the meeting, here is a brief recap:
In case you missed it, the President’s FY14 Budget was released last week. This past Tuesday, a special edition of OVAE Connection analyzed OVAE programs in the budget. Check out the detailed analysis here.