CTE Month: U.S. Department of Education and States Recognize CTE Month

Career Technical Education (CTE) is working across the nation to enable students of all ages to excel in their schools and colleges, and secure high-demand jobs. This month, CTE students and professionals from across the country are celebrating CTE Month to raise public awareness of the value of CTE programs to individuals, communities, business and industry, and the nation’s economy.

U.S. Department of Education Celebrates CTE Month

The U.S. Department of Education is among those celebrating CTE Month through a schedule of activities that highlights outstanding CTE programs. The Department will also draw attention to the need to align all CTE programs to the needs of in-demand fields. Learn more

California State Superintendent Calls for Career Readiness Initiative

California State Superintendent Tom Torlakson has recognized February as CTE Month as he works to expand and promote CTE courses in California’s public schools. Through his Career Readiness Campaign, Torlakson has directed the California Department of Education to work toward 17 key objectives for supporting and strengthening CTE. Some of the objectives include:

  • Joining the CTE: Learning that Works for America campaign and adopting a CTE: Learning that Works for California logo.
  • Making efforts to educate stakeholders on the benefits of CTE
  • Developing strategies to increase CTE student enrollment
  • Supporting and expanding Career Technical Student Organizations
  • Promoting articulation agreements and concurrent enrollment opportunities
  • Increasing web presence to promote career readiness

California schools offer more than 42,000 CTE classes and serve more than 1 million students. Learn more

Via Kara Herbertson, Research and Policy Manager, CTE Blog.

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DOL Aims to Open Next Round of TAAACCT Grants in April

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) will tweak its application for Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training (TAAACCT) grants to improve some areas in the program, such as communication among consortia members, according to Jane Oates, the department’s assistant secretary for employment and training.

The $2-billion, four-year TAAACCT program funds community colleges that develop job training partnerships with local employers. The department will begin accepting applications for the third round of the grants at the end of April or early May, Oates said during a virtual address at the American Association of Community CollegesWorkforce Development Institute last week. Grant winners will be announced in September.

There might be two time frames, Oates noted, with applications for consortia given a little more time than those from a single college.

Employer commitments

The department has adjusted requirements for the program with each round. After the first round, DOL realized there was a need for more evaluation, so in round two it required third-party evaluations, Oates said.

“This is crucial as a roadmap when you reinvent yourselves in 10 years,” Oates said.

In the second round of grants, the department learned that the idea of capacity building can vary greatly, so more flexibility will now be allowed.

“We don’t think every project should look exactly the same,” Oates said. Online learning, accelerated learning and more compressed schedules are all acceptable. “Not every community college needs to do the same thing,” she said.

Oates added community outreach and return on investment are important, as well as the need to build bridges between credit and non-credit-bearing programs. What’s most crucial, she said, is the need for “real, rigorous, meaningful partnerships with employers.”

Even though employers can’t guarantee jobs, Oates encouraged colleges to try to secure some type of workplace-related activity for students, such as internships and cooperative learning. (Read more.)

Via Ellie Ashford, The Community College Times.

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Analysis Adds to Data Showing the Economic Benefits of a College Degree

A new report from the State Higher Education Executive Officers offers further evidence of the value of a college degree in terms of future earnings potential. The report, “The Economic Benefit of Postsecondary Degrees: A State and National Level Analysis,” concludes that, despite substantial variations across states and disciplines, “postsecondary-degree attainment clearly results in higher earnings for the vast majority of individuals in all 50 states.” It also found that “almost without exception, each successive level of higher-educational attainment yields additional economic benefits.”

Based on an analysis of census and education statistics, the report says Americans who complete a bachelor’s degree have a median income of $50,360, compared with a median of $29,423 for people with only a high-school diploma. Those with an associate degree earn some $9,000 more than those with only a high-school diploma. Those with a graduate degree have a median income of $68,064, about one-third more than those with a bachelor’s degree.

The report also provides national and state-level data on the wage premiums associated with degree attainment across seven broad discipline categories: arts and humanities; business and communications; education; social and behavioral sciences; the STEM fields (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics); health; and trades.

Its findings mirror those of recent studies by the U.S. Treasury Department  and the U.S. Census Bureau, as well as a series of reports from Georgetown University’s Center on Education and the Workforce on topics including the relationship between college major and earnings, college major and unemployment, and occupation and earnings.

Via The Ticker – The Chronicle of Higher Ed.

Posted in Data/Research, Postsecondary (13-18). Comments Off on Analysis Adds to Data Showing the Economic Benefits of a College Degree

Report Calls for Renewed Focus on Raising College-Completion Rates

Improving college-completion rates is “an economic and moral imperative,” a national higher-education commission said on Wednesday in an open letter to college and university leaders.

The letter, which takes the form of a report subtitled “College Completion Must Be Our Priority,” summarizes a yearlong effort by the National Commission on Higher Education Attainment to identify innovative repairs for colleges’ leaky pipelines.

The 18-member commission, including presidents from every college sector, was assembled in 2011 by the American Council on Education and five other national higher-education associations. The mandate came from President Obama, who has challenged the nation to have the world’s highest proportion of people with college credentials by 2020.

As millions of low-skill, well-paying manufacturing jobs have been automated or outsourced, a growing number of positions require at least some postsecondary education, the report notes. College graduates are also more likely to land jobs with health insurance and retirement plans, are less likely to divorce, and are more likely to be tolerant and civically engaged, it adds.

But while a record number of students now attend college, too few of them graduate, and that’s where colleges should be focusing more attention, the report notes.

First-generation, working, and part-time students far outnumber the 18- to 21-year-old residential students who used to be considered traditional, and the disparity is growing rapidly, the commission points out. They need flexible schedules, more financial help, and an efficient remediation system that doesn’t discourage them so much that they drop out, it says.

“For all students, traditional or not,” the report says, “offering access without a commitment to help students complete their degrees is a hollow promise.” (Read more.)

Via Katherine Mangan, The Chronicle of Higher Ed.

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Associate degrees have best ROI

Online Degrees’ has launched its degree value calculator with advice on which degrees provide a good return on investment. All the best ROI degrees are associate degrees from community colleges.

* the degrees are screamingly cheap ($5,000 or so on average)

* associate’s degrees offer immediate, huge benefits over a high school education

* credit sometimes transfers to 4 year institutions

Academically prepared students who can afford the opportunity cost of not working for four years probably should get a bachelor’s degree in a decent-paying field, the article advises.

Given how cheap degrees and loans are, there is no reason to forgo the difference in wages between a BA in Computer Engineering ($100,000 or more) and an AA in Physical Therapy ($33,000) just to save on the cost of the degree.

But don’t borrow $97,000 for a degree in gender and religious studies and expect to make enough to pay back student loans and have money left over for two or three meals a day.

Here’s more on the best-paying careers with an associate degree,  a bachelor’s degree and up.

Via Joanne Jacobs, Community College Spotlight.

Posted in Postsecondary (13-18). Tags: . Comments Off on Associate degrees have best ROI