Assistant Secretary Dann-Messier Visits Washington State to Promote Pathways to Credentials and Hold Community Conversations
Brenda Dann-Messier, assistant secretary for vocational and adult education, traveled to Seattle, Wash., on May 3 to participate in several community and technical education events. These included an address to the National Conference on Integrated Basic Skills Pathways. The event was part of ABE to Credentials, a Breaking Through Initiative. The initiative is managed by Jobs for the Future and funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Open Society Foundations, Joyce Foundation, Kresge Foundation, and W.K. Kellogg Foundation. It provides funding for design grants to replicate Integrated Basic Education and Skills Training (I-BEST) or I-BEST-like models in states where adult education is administered through higher education. Dann-Messier also hosted three Career and Technical Education (CTE) Community Conversations at Aviation High School in Des Moines, Wash. The first session was held with students, the second with employers and mentors, and the third with teachers, staff, and leaders from the school, as well as district leaders. The sessions were the latest in Dann-Messier's continuing nationwide CTE Community Conversations tour regarding the role of the Carl D. Perkins Vocational and Technical Education Act (Perkins IV) in helping ensure that all students are ready for college and careers. The key theme that emerged from these sessions was the importance of active employer involvement, such as assisting teachers with curriculum development, and serving as mentors for students and as judges in the assessment of projects. Active employers also provide scenarios with real problems from industry for students to solve and offer multiple work-based learning opportunities, including internships and externships for teachers. In addition, the close collaboration between academic and CTE teachers and employers has resulted in rigorous, highly relevant coursework.
National Research Center Colloquium Held
The National Research Center for Career and Technical Education (NRCCTE) hosted its annual spring colloquium on April 26 in Washington, D.C. The participants met with teams of researchers describing and discussing their work on topics such as Programs of Study, postsecondary remediation, and curriculum integration of science into CTE instruction. The opening session and the panel session on Programs of Study were videotaped and will be made available on the NRCCTE (www.nrccte.org) website.
What Is the 'Career' Part of "College and Career Readiness"?
Preparing all students for college and careers is the goal of a high school education. Being "college-ready" is easy to define: being able to enroll in and complete college-level courses without the need for remediation. The definition of "career-ready" is less precise. The National Research Center for Career and Technical Education hosted an expert panel to discuss career readiness at the 2011 ACTE National Policy Seminar, on March 8. The panel members were:
- James R. Stone III, director, NRCCTE
- Gene Bottoms, senior vice president, Southern Regional Education Board/High Schools That Work
- Pamela Frugoli, O*NET/Competency Assessment team lead, Employment and Training Administration
- Sandy Boyd, vice president, Strategic Communications and Outreach, Achieve, Inc.
- William Symonds, director, Pathways to Prosperity Project, Harvard University A video of this presentation is available at: http://louisville.edu/television/NRCCTE/NRCCTE.readiness.asx
New Resources in the Workforce Competitiveness Collection
The LINCS Workforce Competitiveness Resource Collection highlights workforce education, English language acquisition, and technology and distance learning. This collection includes research articles, instructional materials, reports, and Web pages. Workforce education focuses on preparing adults to transition successfully to postsecondary education and careers; English language acquisition promotes transitions to postsecondary education and work for adult English language learners; and technology and distance learning focuses on developing discipline-based critical thinking skills via the use of interactive technologies. Although topics in this collection are presented separately, some resources may be useful across topics.
The May issue of Resource Collection News focuses on new resources that address teacher quality and professional development across topics within the collection. For more information on the Workforce Competitiveness Collection and others, please access the LINCS (Literacy Information and Communication System) Resource Collections. LINCS is an OVAE-funded, subject-oriented collection of high-quality instructional resources (including multi-media resources) informed by research, for use by adult education and literacy educators.