Oregon closes out its legislative session with a number of Career Technical Education (CTE) related bills and Ohio make a decision on a measure of students’ early college and career readiness.
Oregon’s Career and Technical Education Advisory Committee & CTSO Grant Program
Oregon passed HB 2912 requiring representatives from the Department of Education, the Department of Community Colleges and Workforce Development, and the Bureau of Labor and Industries to meet at least four times each year to promote collaboration between the agencies on issues related to career technical education. The Advisory Committee is tasked with making sure CTE programs are available in public schools; developing regional centers that create partnerships between K-12, community colleges, public universities, and business/unions; encouraging the establishment of local advisory committees; and addressing barriers to CTE students transitioning to postsecondary education and the workforce. This bill also establishes the Career and Technical Student Organization (CTSO) Grant Program within the Department of Education, allotted at $500,000 over two years, to encourage student participation in CTSOs.
Oregon’s Accelerated College Credit Programs
Oregon also established an Accelerated Learning Committee, comprised of the Chief Education Officer and appointees selected by the Governor, President of the Senate, and Speaker of the House, and charged with examining methods to encourage and enable students to earn more college credit while enrolled in high school. The focus will be on the alignment of funding, assessments and policies between high schools and institutions of higher education. SB 222 also requires every community college district to implement and make available at least one two-plus-two, dual credit and/or another accelerated college credit program to every K-12 district within their community college district by 2015.
Oregon’s STEM Investment Council and Grant Program|
Lastly, Oregon created a STEM Investment Council via HB 2600 to help develop and oversee a long-term, statewide science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) strategy. The council will consist of nine members from the private sector to be appointed by the Chief Education Officer to aid and advise the Superintendent of Public Instruction, the Commissioner for Community College System and the Chancellor of the Oregon University System on policies and programs, including the STEM Investment Grant Program. This new grant program will provide funds to districts, community college districts, public universities, relevant state agencies and any combination of these eligible recipients to support STEM education inside and outside of the classroom. The legislation notes that a STEM Investment Grant Account will be established in the State Treasury, separate and distinct from the General Fund, but no amount is noted or appropriated in this bill.
Specifically, the Council and grant program are focused on helping the state meet these two goals by 2024-25:
- Doubling the percentage of 4th and 8th grade students who are proficient or advanced in mathematics and science (e.g., via NAEP) and
- Double the number of students who earn a postsecondary degree requiring proficiency in science, technology, engineering and/or mathematics.
Ohio Requires the PSAT for All Students
The Ohio Department of Education, in partnership with the Ohio Board of Regents, has officially selected the PSAT as the statewide “college-career readiness assessment.” Beginning in October 2014, all sophomores will be required to take the PSAT. The goal of this policy is to provide information to students earlier about their readiness for postsecondary-level coursework so they can adjust accordingly while still in high school.
Jobs for the Future released What It Takes to Complete High School: A Shifting Terrain of Course and Diploma Requirements, a policy brief describing trends in states’ graduation policies (which NASDCTEc has begun tracking here, here, and here).
The New York State Association for Career and Technical Education issued a position paper in July entitled Recommendations for Developing College and Career Ready Students that offered the following six recommendations:
- Adopt a unified definition of College and Career Ready (that fully includes academic, employability and technical skills);
- Affirm the Common Core State Standards, Career Development and Occupational Studies and Next Generation Assessments to converge career and academic content and instructional practices;
- Avoid imposing additional math and science course requirements;
- Link learner levels by restructuring existing middle-level and early high school CTE;
- Set goals for increasing the number of students who have Technical Endorsements to their diplomas; and
- Enact policies that assist all students to develop knowledge of career pathways leading to specific occupations and to have a personal career plan with flexible career goals.
Kate Blosveren, Associate Executive Director