Dann-Messier Finds High Quality in Nashville
OVAE Assistant Secretary Brenda Dann-Messier visited Hillwood High School and Nashville State Community College, both in Nashville, Tenn., on Feb. 16. She moderated panel discussions with secondary and postsecondary educators, business and industry advisory board members, workforce development staff members, parents and students. They discussed education and the economy and gathered information on the development of career academies, including the strategies used to overcome a variety of challenges. Dann-Messier also shared information about the administration’s proposal to reauthorize the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act of 2006. The proposal aims to increase the relevance and rigor of curricula so that they align more closely with the demands of the 21st century economy and its workforce needs while strengthening linkages between secondary and postsecondary education.
Dann-Messier visited Hillwood High School and Nashville State Community College because their programs implement the types of standards that high-quality programs should meet. By discussing with these institutions the realities of establishing and operating their programs, the Department continues to gather insight it can then apply in refining its efforts to transform CTE programs throughout the nation. The connections between business and industry and the high school academies of Nashville, such as the one at Hillwood where health sciences are featured, have resulted in internships for students and externships for teachers. The participating businesses have found that getting to know students as potential employees, gaining access to well-trained students for involvement in projects, and watching students learn through internship experiences are valuable investments for them. Student interns have benefited from learning, gaining experience and meeting people. Best of all, students have become mentors and provided opportunities to younger students. For example, a graduate of Hillwood is employed by a local business where he now provides job-shadowing opportunities for Hillwood students.
New Procurement Opportunity
OVAE is seeking a contractor for the new procurement Open Education Resources (OERs) to Support Adult Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics (STEM) Teaching and Learning. This 36-month requirement, ED-VAE-12-R-0023, seeks to advance OVAE’s understanding of these emerging technologies and instructional models and to build capacity in the adult education field to utilize OERs for science and mathematics instruction. The Department is currently engaged in market research to identify potential offerors, clarify OVAE’s requirements, and remove barriers to maximize competition. Interested parties are invited to participate in a webinar on March 5, 2012, at 2:30 p.m. ET, when the Department will share its vision and goals for the procurement. Please RSVP for the webinar to Colin Alleyne by 2 p.m. ET on Friday, March 2, 2012, at Colin.Alleyne@ed.gov. A draft Performance Work Statement (PWS) and Invitation to Submit Capability Statements are available on www.fbo.gov.
New Database Provides Economic Security Data for Families and Older Americans Across the Country
Wider Opportunities for Women (WOW) has unveiled its new Economic Security Database, which provides comprehensive information on the costs for families and older adults to cover their most basic expenses, including housing, food and transportation. Self-sufficiency is one of the optional performance measures in the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act of 2006 (Perkins IV). This new tool puts data from official sources at the fingertips of vocational educators, who should find it useful in counseling students and evaluating success in preparing students for high-demand jobs. Specifically, the Basic Economic Security Tables™ (BEST) Index and the Elder Economic Security Standard™Index (Elder Index) are comprehensive measures at the city, county and state levels of the incomes that workers and retired adults of different family types need to achieve economic security.
Additional information, including a step-by-step guide to using the database and the slides from a recent introductory webinar, is available on WOW’s website. Those interested in learning more about integrating WOW’s data into their work or who have any further questions are invited to contact Emily Wilson at firstname.lastname@example.org or 202-464-1596
Second Round TAACCCT Grants Competition Announced
On Feb 24, 2012, Vice President Joe Biden, Dr. Jill Biden and Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis announced the second round of the Trade Adjustment Act Community College and Career Training Grants (TAACCCT) program. The announcement was made at the last stop of Dr. Biden and Secretary Solis’ Community College to Careers Bus Tour at Davidson County Community College (N.C.), one of nine community colleges in a funded TAACCCT consortium. TAACCCT funding of $500 million from the Department of Labor will help institutions deliver education and career training programs that can be completed in two years or less and are suited to workers eligible for training under the Trade Adjustment Assistance for Workers Program. Grants of $2.5–3 million will be awarded to individual institutions, with grants of $5–15 million available for consortia of institutions.
Proposal requirements include: 1) an evidence based design to improve education and employment outcomes for students, 2) stacked and latticed certifications, certificates and diplomas to increase opportunities for students to earn postsecondary credentials relevant to industry, 3) applications of technology, including online and technology-enabled learning, to teach content to students, 4) cooperation among institutions both within and across state lines enabling transferability and the development of articulation agreements (including building bridges from noncredit to credit-bearing courses), and 5) strategic alignment of the program to industry, the public workforce system, and educational institutions. Partners may include adult education agencies, CTE agencies and postsecondary education agencies. Applications are due by 4 p.m. May 24, 2012.More information about the solicitation may be found here