Arizona College to Require 7th Grade Skills

Pima Community College in Tucson will restrict admission to high school graduates or GED holders with at least seventh-grade proficiency in reading, writing and math, starting in 2012. The new admissions standards will encourage success, writes Roy Flores, the college president, the Arizona Star.

“Students who test below this level have little chance of succeeding in a college environment,” Flores writes. Only 5 percent of students in remedial classes advance to college-level work.

Pathways to Pima will replace PCC’s lowest-level developmental education classes with counseling, diagnostic testing and “self-paced, computer-based or face-to-face learning modules” that will prepare low-skilled students to meet the seventh-grade standard and start college. Students in Pathways programs will not earn college credit or be eligible for federal aid.

Of 35,000 students at PCC, about 2,300 students — 6.3 percent — test below the seventh-grade level.

Pima is abandoning its mission to save money, argues Pamela Powers in the Tucson Citizen.

With the new entrance procedures and the elimination of remedial classes, Pima will cut approximately 200 adjunct professor positions.

PCC has done little to help low-skilled students, writes Greg Hart, a former adult education dean at the college. A 2000 task force recommended replacing remedial classes with a “skill-mastery model,” but nothing was done.

Via Joanne Jacobs, Community College Spotlight.

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Report Examines Education Globally, Finds CTE Worth the Investment

In this year’s annual Education at a Glance report, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) found that students participating in “vocational education” have much higher employment rates (8.5 percent) than their general education peers. Based on these and other findings, the OECD report concluded that “Investments in vocational education is money well spent in most countries.”

The report examines various aspects of education across the globe, including educational output and the impact of learning, investments in education, and the organization of schools.

A chapter of this year’s report delves into labor market outcomes between general education and “vocational or technical education” through a pilot study of several countries, not including the United States. Still, the findings made clear that Career Technical Education (CTE) is an often-used strategy for preparing students around the world for high-demand careers.

Findings from the report’s analysis section include:

  • Vocational education and training is chosen by an average of around 50 percent of students in upper secondary education
  • Pre-vocational and vocational graduation rates are over 70 percent in Austria, Belgium, Finland, the Netherlands, Slovenia and Switzerland
  • Across upper secondary vocational programs in the countries examined, over half of boys graduated from engineering, manufacturing and construction programs. One-third of girls studied social sciences, business, and law, followed closely by health industries and service occupations
  • About one-third of the adult population across these countries attained a vocational upper secondary education
  • Young, vocationally-educated individuals have substantially higher employment rates (8.5 percentage points) than their counterparts with a general education

Click here to view this year’s report. CTE-specific information begins on page 33.

Via Kara Herbertson, CTE Blog

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