Advance CTE and ECMC Foundation Expand Investment in State Postsecondary CTE Data Initiative


Advance CTE and ECMC Foundation Expand Investment in State Postsecondary CTE Data Initiative

Silver Spring, MD, March 4, 2024 — Advance CTE, the national advocacy and policy organization for state leaders responsible for secondary, postsecondary, and adult Career Technical Education (CTE), has selected four states to participate in the Strengthening the Culture of Data Use in Postsecondary CTE Initiative, a two-year initiative generously funded by ECMC Foundation. 

Delaware, Iowa, New Mexico, and South Carolina’s grant-funded work will focus on adding new postsecondary CTE data elements and improving postsecondary CTE data communications and use. 

The Delaware Department of Education, Iowa Department of Education, New Mexico Public Education Department, and South Carolina Technical College System serve as the lead partners in their respective states. Each state will receive planning and implementation grants totaling $40,000, intensive technical assistance, research support, and a peer collaborative network. 

Recent research reinforces what leaders in the CTE field have been hearing anecdotally for years. There is a growing interest among learners for more career-focused postsecondary experiences, including through CTE. To make good on the promise to learners that postsecondary CTE programs can serve as a launchpad into good jobs, states must lean into the evidence about what works and use that evidence to provide necessary supports and services for learners. Fostering a culture in state postsecondary institutions that centers both high-quality and high literacy of data is essential for postsecondary CTE program design and delivery to reflect learner needs. 

“When we foster data-first mindsets at the state level, we enhance our ability to tell a more complete story of every learner’s journey in postsecondary CTE programs and make better, more data-informed decisions that close gaps in learner outcomes,” states Emily Passias, Deputy Executive Director for Advance CTE. “We greatly appreciate ECMC Foundation’s continued partnership to strengthen postsecondary CTE structures, including data quality, data literacy, and leadership pipeline diversity that are essential to learner belonging and success.” 

This investment will build on the impact, structures, and systems developed through initial investments in Alabama, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Florida, and Oregon from 2020 to 2022 through the Advancing Postsecondary Data Initiative in partnership with ECMC Foundation. 

 “ECMC Foundation is proud to support states who are investing in critical and necessary postsecondary CTE data systems,” says Anna Fontus, Program Officer at ECMC Foundation. “Understanding the impact of postsecondary CTE programs will strengthen program quality and outcomes for students across the country and shine a much-needed spotlight on programs that continue to advance economic mobility for diverse learners.”

“Delaware is excited to partner with and learn from other states to align postsecondary Pathways in Delaware. Improving and sharing data around access and outcomes for all learners to support equity is a cornerstone of our work. We are excited to partner with Advance CTE and ECMC Foundation. A September 2023 policy playbook highlights our progress in our Pathways 2.0 secondary work that will apply to postsecondary CTE systems,” says Jon Wickert, Director, Career and Technical Education (CTE) and STEM Initiatives, Delaware Department of Education.

“Iowa being one of four states selected to participate in Advance CTE’s Advancing Postsecondary CTE Data Quality Initiative is an exciting opportunity. The primary goal of this project is to improve linkages between secondary and postsecondary CTE data systems to more fully align both credit and non-credit CTE programs,” says Dennis Harden, chief in the Bureau of Community Colleges and Postsecondary Readiness at the Iowa Department of Education.

“New Mexico is very excited about the potential of this cross-disciplinary work between multiple agencies and partners. It’s innovative in that this is the first of its kind in New Mexico. It addresses and resolves opportunity gaps for each agency, targets interventions where needed, and establishes determinants of quality for data collection and reporting procedures across partner agencies. Such work ultimately supports the importance that New Mexico places on building equitable outcomes for all postsecondary students. By improving multi-agency CTE data reporting methodologies, there is potential for a substantial increase of postsecondary participation in Perkins V CTE grant funding state-wide,” says Dr. Susan Chaudoir, Education Administrator, New Mexico Public Education Department.

“It is a great opportunity that South Carolina can take part in Advance CTE’s Advancing Postsecondary CTE Data Quality Initiative. South Carolina has a strong relationship with industry, and communicating the outcomes of students who participate in CTE will continue to strengthen that relationship. We want to ensure these opportunities are also communicated to potential students, parents, and other stakeholders across the State,” says Dr. Rosline Sumpter, Vice President of Academics, Student Affairs and Research at the SC Technical College System.


About Advance CTE 

Advance CTE is the longest-standing national non-profit that represents State Directors and state leaders responsible for secondary, postsecondary and adult Career Technical Education (CTE) across all 50 states and U.S. territories. Established in 1920, Advance CTE supports state CTE leadership to advance high-quality and equitable CTE policies, programs, and pathways that ensure career and college success without limits for each learner. 

Media Contact: Stacy Whitehouse (Advance CTE) – [email protected]

About ECMC Foundation 

ECMC Foundation is a Los Angeles-based, nationally focused foundation whose mission is to improve higher education for career success among underserved populations through evidence-based innovation. It is one of several affiliates under the ECMC Group enterprise based in Minneapolis. ECMC Foundation makes investments to remove barriers to postsecondary completion; build the capacity of institutions, systems, and organizations; and transform the postsecondary ecosystem using a spectrum of funding structures, including strategic grantmaking and program-related investments, to support both nonprofit and for-profit ventures. Working with grantees, partners and peers, ECMC Foundation’s vision is for all learners to unlock their fullest potential. Learn more about ECMC Foundation by visiting and ECMC Group by visiting

Media Contact: Anna Fontus (ECMC Foundation) – [email protected]