February 2016
Happy CTE Month!
To celebrate National CTE Month, we are focusing on career and technical education (CTE) news and research in this newsletter. CTE is an integral part of a complete education system that prepares students for promising careers in high-demand sectors. We want to highlight the excellent work that is being done to advance this type of education. So Happy National CTE Month!
  National CTE Month
National Career and Technical Education Month is a public awareness campaign held by the Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE) every February. Over the past few years, the U.S. Department of Education has supported this effort to recognize CTE students, educators, and programs.

This year, the theme is "Opportunities for Career Success." To learn more about National CTE Month, visit the ACTE website. 
In Case You Missed It...
CNA principal research scientist and former U.S. Assistant Secretary for the Office of Career, Technical, and Adult Education, Dr. Brenda Dann-Messier gave insight on the state of CTE in the U.S.

West Virginia's Simulated Workplace Initiative: 
Q & A with Kathy D'Antoni, Chief Career and Technical Education Officer 
Through the leadership of Dr. Kathy D'Antoni, the West Virginia Department of Education has launched a Simulated Workplace program in high schools around the state. Instead of a traditional classroom, the Simulated Workplace (SW) immerses students within an engaging workplace environment that offers support in addition to rigorous training while developing the skill sets students need to be next-generation work-ready employees. The state has established 167 Simulated Workplaces within four years. By the 2016/17 school year, SW will have replaced every traditional career and technical education program. 

CNA Education talked with D'Antoni to gain insight on West Virginia's SW initiative, its challenges, its successes, and its future, as well as the Simulated Workplace model's national impact on how we educate students. 

Q: What was the spark for Simulated Workplace in West Virginia?

A: I had met with business and industry over the past 15 years. Over the years, we went from a conversation where they would describe the skill sets they would need from emerging employees/future employees. We went from that conversation to where business and industry was screaming to just give them somebody to show up for work, be drug free, and give them a full day of quality work.

I knew the skill sets we were graduating students with were the proper skill sets. What was missing was the work ethic, team building, problem solving, and critical thinking.

Basically, the thought came to mind that we would put [students] in a real-life environment and let them experience and learn from actual hands-on in environments that replicate a real, true-life experience. So we flipped the classroom from an educational traditional classroom into a simulated company or business where the students organize the business or the company: they run it, they do the policies and procedures for their companies, they have uniforms, they have time clocks or some type of formal attendance measure, based on what was happening in the real world in that company.

One student said to me, who went from a 70-percent attendance rate to a 95-percent attendance rate, "Dr. D'Antoni, if I have to get up and call and say I am not coming in, I might as well just come on in." 

I asked four different students, at four different locations in West Virginia, why they liked Simulated Workplace. Each student without hesitation said, "Because we are respected." To me that was a very loud and important statement.
What I am seeing with SW is [students] feel they have ownership of their educational process. In turn, it turns their personality (the way they act) and changes the entire school environment for a positive outcome.

Look Out for CTE Facts This Month!
Learn something new about CTE each week! We will be sending out new CTE stats, facts, and infographics each Friday in February via email and social media.

Look out for these fun facts in your inbox, on our Facebook page, and on Twitter. Share the facts and graphics on social media using the hashtag
#CTEFactFriday, and share other CTE facts you have found, as well!
CNA Education Announces Its Plan for Workforce Development Research in 2016
As the new year kicks off, CNA Education is unveiling its workforce development research vision for 2016. We are focusing on STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) jobs of the future and the STEM jobs currently going unfilled. Our work will highlight the highest-paying, highest-demand sectors and what CTE programs already exist to train servicemembers, veterans, minorities, and young adults for these positions. We also will examine how current CTE programs can be enhanced to ensure that those students are equipped for promising careers. Click here to find out more about the forthcoming research and our plans for 2016.
CTE Resources
Looking for more resources on CTE? Here are some research papers, articles, and reports to get you started!

Association for Career and Technical Education, Asia Society, Longview Foundation, and National Association of State Directors of Career Technical Education Consortium

This paper delivers insight into how CTE programs can incorporate global competency training and help students develop the skills to succeed in an increasingly global marketplace. 
Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce

This report describes the 29 million jobs that pay middle class wages but do not require a Bachelor's degree, and it shows the five CTE pathways that lead to these jobs.
Association for Career and Technical Education
The Association for Career and Technical Education defines "career readiness" in two pages. According to this definition, career readiness involves three major skill areas: core academic skills, employability skills, and technical, job-specific skills.
Mary G. Visher and David Stern

This paper describes the foremost "pathway" models for CTE programs, which integrate rigorous academics with practical career training to "create clear paths from high school to and through college." It also gives recommendations for expanding and improving these types of programs.
Marisa Castellano, Kirsten Sundell, Laura T. Overman, and Oscar A. Aliaga

This article from the International Journal of Educational Reform describes a longitudinal study examining the effects of CTE programs on 9th and 10th grade students' CTE and academic achievement. Preliminary analyses from the first two years indicate improved engagement and achievement result. 
Of Interest
Upcoming Presentations 
and Events

"Indicators of College and Career Readiness and Success in Kentucky"
REL Appalachia is co-hosting a workshop with the Ohio Valley Educational Cooperative (OVEC) on February 8, 2016. The workshop is part of an ongoing series to help schools and districts develop comprehensive, local definitions and measures of college and career readiness.

"Improving Teaching and Learning through Action Research"
REL Appalachia is co-hosting a workshop with the Kentucky Valley Educational Cooperative (KVEC) on February 12, 2016. The goal of the workshop is to help pre-kindergarten teachers incorporate action research into their classroom practice.

SREE Spring 2016 Conference
Dr. Christine Mokher will be presenting at a symposium on evaluating educational policies on March 3, 2016. She will discuss practitioner feedback on the implementation of the Florida College and Career Readiness Initiative (FCCRI) and how collaboration between researchers and practitioners improve the initiative's effectiveness.
New Resources
"Teacher Retention, Mobility, and Attrition in Kentucky Public Schools From 2008 to 2012" 
"Lessons Learned From the 2015 Summer College Readiness Professional Development Forum Series" 
"What Do We Do When Middle School Students Can't Read the Text? Can't Solve the Math Problem?" 

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About CNA Education
We focus on:
  • Making Effective Use of Data
  • Teacher Quality
  • K-12 Program Effectiveness
  • Transitions from Secondary School
  • College and Career Readiness / Workforce Development
We provide:
  • Applied Research
  • Program Evaluation
  • Policy Analysis
  • Technical Assistance

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