Vol. 25, No. 2: Strong Programs Producing Highly Qualified Graduates
(Go here for a PDF.)

From the Director . . .

Debbie Mills, Director, NCPN

With this issue of Connections, we bring our readers articles on the excellent programs being implemented around the country. I hope you will find them as enlightening and inspiring as I do. This year's conference—themed Building Alliances: The Future Is Here!—will be held in the beautiful Sheraton Dallas Hotel in downtown Dallas, Texas. The conference will be built around the Office of Career, Technical, and Adult Education's (OCTAE) 10-Component Framework for Programs of Study and the Department of Labor Education and Training Administration's (DOLETA) Six Key Elements for Success in Career Pathways. In alignment with the conference theme, we are inviting representatives of three federal agencies (U.S. Departments of Education, Labor, and Health and Human Services) to come together on stage to present their collaborative work in Career Pathways.

Are You Certified? Industry Certifications and Credentialing

Summary of a 2014 preconference institute

The 2014 NCPN conference in Orlando included a half-day preconference institute on industry certifications and credentialing. The presenters were John Foster (NOCTI), Jeraline M. Johnson (School District of Palm Beach County), and Marilyn Barger (Florida Advanced Technological Education Center of Excellence, a national center supported through the NSF ATE program).

It CAN Be Done! One School's Freshman Transition Program

Chris Foster, Derby High School, Derby, Kansas

The following statistics speak for themselves: 7000 students drop out every school day, 1.2 million each year. For every 100 ninth graders, only 70% graduate from high school on time, 44% enroll in college right away, 30% remain enrolled a second year, and 21% graduate college within six years. Perhaps most frightening, 67% of dropouts make their decision to do so during the 9th grade year!

"Where Do I Sign Up?" Free College, Guaranteed Job

Success through competency-based education and on-the-job work experience

Students in an associate degree program at Oakland Community College go to school for free (and even receive a stipend), get a paid apprenticeship to hone their newly learned skills while in the program, and have a guaranteed position waiting for them at a local company when they graduate.

College Tech Prep:
Still Alive and Well in Ohio

Carrie Scheiderer, NCPN Leadership Development Academy Member

Since 1991 Ohio has had an effective Tech Prep network serving public secondary and postsecondary partners. With the elimination of Perkins funding in 2011, it looked like Tech Prep might disappear for good. Ohio saw value in this program and decided to provide state funding to keep Tech Prep by restructuring from 23 consortia to six broad regions.

ABE College Day Event Promotes Career Pathways

Terri Clark, Pearl River Community College

Numerous educational opportunities are on the horizon for adult learners enrolled in Adult Basic Education (ABE) at Pearl River Community College (PRCC). Participants can "JumpStart to a Career Pathway" by enrolling in workforce training or career technical education (CTE) courses while completing their high school equivalency diplomas. Anyone 17 years of age or older who is interested in the JumpStart to a Career Pathway program can enter through the Adult Education Intake Process.

Career Planning Saves Time and Money

Suzette Fletcher, Billings Adult Education

Too many times, career pathways are promoted to the point of pushing them on students without discovering whether those pathways align with students' personalities, interests, skills, and values. Placing students in career training programs because jobs are not being filled or because money is available to pay for the training is only beneficial when the careers make sense for the students and align with the students' goals.

Buffalo Area Students Choose High-Demand Pathways

Katherine M. Heinle, Buffalo Public Schools

The Buffalo City Schools' Career and Technical Education (CTE) Department was awarded one of the 24 U.S. Department of Labor Youth Career Connect grants. Competition was stiff, but Buffalo CTE won by focusing on the health and life science field within the newly established Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus Corridor, which was created through New York State Governor Cuomo's Buffalo Billion Initiative.

Summary of Responses to Career Pathways RFI Available

A diverse group of 141 respondents from across the nation responded.

The departments of Education, Health and Human Services, and Labor issued a joint Request for Information (RFI) in April 2014 for information and recommendations about career pathways from stakeholders in the public and private sectors. Go here for the Summary Report. The information obtained through the RFI will be used to inform technical assistance efforts, funding opportunities, policy discussions, and other activities to support the development of career pathways systems.

© 2015 CORD. Connections is distributed to members of the National Career Pathways Network (NCPN) as a benefit of membership. To become a member, visit ncpn.info. NCPN, an organization of CORD (cord.org), assists its members in planning, implementing, evaluating, and improving workforce education programs. Questions? Mark Whitney, 254-741-8315, mwhitney@cord.org