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"Celebrating CTE" issue (February)
A newsletter (for adults) about career readiness (for kids).
This month we are celebrating and promoting all things Career Technical Education (CTE)-related, as part of National CTE Month. CTE encompasses work-based learning opportunities like apprenticeship and trade school, and has often been positioned in contrast to higher education. Today, though, it shouldn’t be “Either college, or CTE.”
More and more kids and adults are realizing that the best pathways are those that let them dip in and out of an array of education and work experiences as and when they need them; those that let them learn by doing. For one individual that might mean a combination of college and an apprenticeship. Another person might go to trade school and later decide to pursue a bachelor’s degree. Whatever choose-your-own-adventure pathway a person creates, the bottom line is this: it’s beyond time to normalize CTE as a viable option. With skilled workers in the trades often earning wages on par with, or higher than those earned by college graduates, the ability of CTE to help young people become successful in their careers is abundantly clear.
My colleague Julie summed it up perfectly last year: “Let’s remove the stigmas associated with non-degree options, in order to ensure two things: that the next generation is equipped to make informed decisions, and that our workforce is brimming with top-tier talent from a variety of backgrounds.”
Happy CTE Month! Enjoy this month’s roundup.
P.S. - Here’s my pick of the month!
How Registered Apprenticeship Led Me from Black History to Black Opportunity
I find this piece by Joshua Johnson at Jobs for the Future (JFF) inspirational for a number of reasons, as it underscores the critical importance of providing comprehensive, equitable #careerreadiness opportunities for all. In honor of #BlackHistoryMonth, I hope you'll read Joshua's powerful story.
The Rise of Skills-Based Hiring and What’s Stopping It
This piece by Forbes compares skills-based hiring to competitive swimming: the person who does it best, wins. This simple logic also seems like it would be obvious in a hiring context…but why do so many organizations still cling to the degree as the signal of work readiness, when so much evidence exists that it’s not? Some 72% of employers today say they don’t see degrees as reliable signals of employee performance.
The Bottom Line: In the ideal K-12 paradigm, skills-based hiring would await kids after school, on the other end of their personalized education-to-career journey. Thankfully, more and more educators are working to ensure that kids leave school not just able to tell what they know, but able to show what they can do, by letting them experience work-based learning and CTE. Once more employers get on board with skills-based hiring, they will help to connect the loop, ensuring potential will always be met with possibility.
Career and Technical Education Showcase Highlights Lewis Palmer Middle School Students
A local news outlet showcases a fabulous example of CTE in action. They detail one middle school’s CTE initiative, in which 13-year-old Carson Coryer, who hopes to work as a surgeon or dermatologist one day, demonstrates his skills during a forensic science showcase put on as part of an initiative called Medical Detectives. In this particular program, students learned to measure and interpret vital signs, investigate disease outbreaks, analyze medical data — and even dissected sheep’s brains.
The Bottom Line: Even if Carson never works in his field-of-interest, this program is invaluable for giving him access to real-world information and the chance to get his hands on real projects that make a difference. The power of CTE for sparking passion in young people like Carson is unrivaled.
Survey Details What Parents Want Most for Their Children (A survey by Pew Research Center)
Chamber Study Examines Value of Durable Skills (Research from the Indiana Chamber of Commerce)
Survey: Women Students Less Prepared to Make Career, College Choices (Research from YouScience)
Gen Z Says School is Not Equipping Them With the Skills They Need to Survive in a Digital World (A Study from Dell Technologies)
Shapiro Signs Executive Order to Change Degree Requirements for State Jobs (North Central PA News, February 7, 2023)
Public Schools Get Millions in State Grants for Career Ready Programs (Carolina Journal, February 20, 2023)
Gen Z Has a Passion for Political Activism. Schools Can Nurture It (EdWeek, January 6, 2023)
9 Year-Old Boy Graduates High School, Wants to be an Astrophysicist: Inspirational Kid (People, February 6, 2023)
Ditch the Degree? Many Employers Are Just Fine With That (U.S. News & World Report, February 3, 2023)
Ivy Tech-Franklin Receives Workforce Readiness Grant (The Republic, January 16, 2023)
CompTIA Collaborates with IBM, Launches New Workforce Training Program to Prepare More People for Tech Related Careers (PR Newswire, February 16, 2023)
Apprenticeship Programs are Becoming More Popular as an Alternative to College (CNBC, February 15, 2023)
Middle School Students Inducted into SCCPSS Junior Police Academy (Savannah-Chatham County Public School System News, February 13, 2023)
5 Jobs That Pay $100,000 or More and Don’t Require a College Degree—and How to Get Them (CNBC, February 9, 2023)
Below you’ll find information about upcoming panel presentations, as well as recaps of recent panel sessions featuring experts from across the education and career readiness ecosystem. Key topics include work-based learning, workforce development, Gen Z career readiness skills, youth activism, and education-to-career pathways.
GettingSmart Virtual Townhall, February 28 at 1:00 p.m. PT — Getting Smart’s upcoming Town Hall, “Raise the Bar: Policy Shaping Pathways for All,” will feature Amy Loyd, Assistant Secretary for the Office of Career, Technical, and Adult Education, and Julie Lammers, Senior Vice President, Advocacy and Corporate Social Responsibility, American Student Assistance (ASA). They will discuss how recent policies will drive school change through intentionally building and designing Pathways. Learn more and register to attend here.
2023 SXSW EDU Conference, March 6-9 in Austin, TX — During this conference, ASA thought leaders, partners, and experts from across the education and career readiness ecosystem will share insights and proven models for student success during panel discussions on the topics of work-based learning, career readiness skills, youth activism, and education-to-career pathways. Learn more and register to attend here.
2023 World of Work Summit – March 23-25 in San Diego, CA – ASA is a proud sponsor of the upcoming World of Work Summit. The in-person event will focus on the workforce development that is underway in Cajon Valley and across the nation, and how to ensure equitable and effective pathways to success in employment for all learners. Sessions and keynotes will feature state policy makers, business leaders, and K-12 innovators. Learn more and register to attend here.
How We Can Empower Gen Z to Find and Follow Their Passions through Youth-Centered Mentorship — Find the webinar recap and takeaways here.
High School Work-Based Learning: An Essential Tool for Career Readiness and Workforce Development — Find the event recap and takeaways here.