Revised --- OCTAE Connection - Issue 242 - November 13, 2015

OCTAE Newsletter

November 13, 2015

Supporting Student Success at Minority-Serving Community Colleges

On Monday, Nov. 16, and Tuesday, Nov. 17, the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Career, Technical, and Adult Education (OCTAE), will host a national convening of minority-serving community colleges in Washington, D.C. The purpose of the event is to improve student success at participating institutions by 

  • providing an interactive forum for institutions from across the country to exchange promising practices on student success;
  • offering an opportunity to meet representatives of several federal agencies and learn about federal programs for minority-serving institutions;
  • providing an opportunity to hear from and talk with researchers and funders;
  • offering a chance to interact with representatives of the U.S. Department of Education and learn about standards of evidence, how to reduce cohort default rates and more; and
  • providing an opportunity to join an ongoing community of practice. 

OCTAE is excited to announce that 250 participants, representing 128 institutions and organizations, are registered to attend. We regret that our conference space did not allow for additional registrants and apologize if you were not able to register before registration reached capacity. Please know that we will distribute communications that summarize the convening in our December issues of OCTAE Connection. Stay tuned!   Back to Top

Excellence in Action Award Now Open

The National Association of State Directors of Career Technical Education Consortium (NASDCTEc) is pleased to announce its third annual Excellence in Action award application opportunity. The award will recognize and honor superior Career Technical Education (CTE) programs of study from around the nation. The programs selected as awardees will exemplify excellence in the implementation of the National Career Clusters, and have a meaningful impact on student achievement and success. All winners will be honored at an awards ceremony in spring 2016 in Washington, D.C. 

This award is an opportunity to recognize excellent programs of study nationally through the media, at conferences, on webinars, and in blog posts, newsletters and articles throughout the year. In 2015 alone, award winners have been highlighted at the White House’s Celebrating Innovations in Career and Technical Education’s event, at the Association for Career and Technical Education’s CareerTech VISION conference, and in a variety of local and national publications. Winning programs will be selected by a panel of state CTE directors and past award recipients.  

Learn more about and apply for the award here.  Back to Top

Strengthening Skills Training and Career Pathways Across the Transportation Industry

U.S. departments of Education, Transportation, and Labor jointly released in August the report Strengthening Skills Training and Career Pathways Across the Transportation Industry. It examines six transportation subsectors as they will manifest themselves up to 2022: trucking transportation, highway construction and maintenance, transit and ground passenger transportation, rail transportation, air transportation, and maritime transportation. Projections from the data available and anticipated developments suggest the following workforce trends: 

  • The transportation industry faces major demographic challenges in filling its workforce needs from a combination of factors, including job growth and separations (retirements, transfers to other occupations, and other turnovers).
  • The transportation industry will need to hire about 4.6 million workers from 2012 to 2022.
  • Projected annual job openings, according to preliminary estimates, are 68 percent larger than the number of trainees who are completing related education programs annually.
  • The skills in greatest demand are in the semi-skilled and skilled sectors of operations and maintenance. “For every future job opening in central services or construction in the transportation industry, there will be an estimated two jobs in maintenance and 21 in operations,” according to the current projections.
  • Transportation jobs pay comparatively well. Thirteen out of the top 20 highest-demand jobs in the transportation sector pay above the median wage, sometimes by a substantial amount. Many of these jobs also include good benefits.
  • A high school diploma and demonstration of proficiency in mathematics and language are adequate to gain access to many entry-level jobs in the transportation industry. The higher-level skills necessary for advancement in some positions, however, are frequently gained through postsecondary education, for example some combination of career and technical education, apprenticeships and on-the-job training. 

Strengthening career pathways is seen as an integral element in developing the 4.6 million new hires projected for the 10-year timespan covered by this study. The six key elements of career pathways are: (1) build cross-agency partnerships and clarify roles, (2) identify the sector or industry (in this case transportation) and engage employers, (3) design education and training programs, (4) identify funding needs and sources, (5) align policies and programs, and (6) measure system change and performance (see page 10 of the study). 

With this model of career pathways in place for the transportation industry, the Strengthening Skills report advocates for the following elements to support the model: 

  • “Career and technical education programs of study, beginning in high school and continuing into postsecondary education or an apprenticeship [that] can provide the foundational and early occupational skills training needed in skilled occupations.
  • Pre-apprenticeship programs for disadvantaged youth and adults [that] can prepare low-skilled and underrepresented populations for entry into these skilled positions.
  • Career pathways systems that are aligned with Registered Apprenticeship programs [so as to] expand the number of people who can access these high-demand jobs.
  • Significant training at the workplace [that] helps people move from novice to skilled practitioner in their craft.”

 The full report, a fact sheet, and other reports (under the Additional Information link) are available at   Back to Top

Urban Institute Report Examines Low-Income Parents’ Participation in Education and Training