September 16, 2016 Notes from the Director

Dear Colleagues –

It is time once again for each State to submit its annual Perkins Consolidated Annual Report (CAR) to the U.S. Department of Education (Department) pursuant to the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act of 2006 (Perkins IV).  This year's CAR report covers program year (PY) 2015-16 and each State must complete and certify its entire CAR submission by close of business on December 31, 2016.

We look forward to talking with you at our Up-to Date with DATE Webinar, Thursday, September 22 at 2:00 EST.

Best –
Sharon Lee Miller, Director
Division of Academic and Technical Education

August 25, 2016 Notes from the Director

Dear Colleagues —

I am pleased to share news that First Lady Michelle Obama's Reach Higher Initiative and the U.S. Department of Education today announced ThinkZone Games as the grand prize winner in the Reach Higher Career App Challenge, a prize competition to promote the development of mobile app solutions that will help students navigate education and career pathways, including career and technical education (CTE).

"There are so many excellent programs that teach cutting edge skills, including career and technical education programs, but sometimes it’s hard for students to navigate all those opportunities and find the right fit. So we called on all of you for help, and you truly answered the call," said First Lady Michelle Obama. "People from across the country submitted ideas for new apps to help students plan their futures."

The Challenge seeks to bring apps to middle and high school students that will help them learn about education and career options, while increasing the capacity of career counselors to assist students in planning for their futures. ThinkZone Games’ winning app Hats & Ladders supports career exploration with swipe-to-choose self-assessments, connected activities, and mini-challenges. Hats & Ladders provides repeat exposure to a broad spectrum of careers and enables students to draw connections between their personal attributes and multiple pathways to career success.

A video announcement for the winner is also posted here. Stay tuned to the Perkins Collaborative Resource Network (PCRN) at cte.ed.gov for updates on this and other Challenges being supported by our office!

 

Best —
Sharon Lee Miller
Director, Division of Academic and Technical Education

 

August 3, 2016 Notes from the Director

Dear Colleagues —

I am pleased to pass along the letter that was just issued to Chief State School Officers (CSSOs) regarding the upcoming 2017 U.S. Presidential Scholars Program. As you may recall, beginning in 2016, the program includes recognition of up to 20 outstanding students who demonstrate excellence in career and technical education (CTE).

Please note that each State is requested to submit nominations, including up to 5 CTE students, by November 23, 2016. We encourage you to work with your CSSO during the nomination process for the CTE students. In addition, I have attached the CTE selection criteria for your reference.

Please also stay tuned to the Perkins Collaborative Resource Network at cte.ed.gov for important updates on this program! We look forward to recognizing the next class of U.S. Presidential Scholars, including scholars in CTE!

 

Best —
Sharon Lee Miller
Director, Division of Academic and Technical Education

 

July 26, 2016 Notes from the Director

Dear Colleagues —

Today, a Notice was published in the Federal Register for the Providing High-Quality Career and Technical Education Programs for Underserved, High-Need Youth through a Pay For Success Model Program. The purpose of this program is to support the development of a financing model, high-quality Pay for Success (PFS), to implement new or scale up existing high-quality career and technical education (CTE) projects for underserved, high-need youth (CTE PFS Project).

To this end, the Department will award a $2 million grant for a 48-month period to an Intermediary to provide technical assistance for the first two of three phases of a PFS financing model. In phase one, the Intermediary will complete feasibility studies in four local CTE sites. In phase two, the Intermediary will provide or support transaction structuring, based on the limited funding level, for up to three out of the previously identified four local sites to the extent that the local site’s CTE PFS project is determined to be feasible. While it is our intent that all of the selected local CTE PFS projects will result in a fully-structured PFS project ready to launch, each program may have different challenges that might result in not all projects completing these first two phases by the end of the grant period. The ultimate aim of the CTE PFS TA program is to improve outcomes for underserved, high-need youth through fully-structured high-quality PFS projects ready to be implemented in the local CTE sites using high-quality CTE programs.

Applications are due to the Department on Thursday, August 25, 2016. Our office will host a Bidder's Conference on Tuesday, August 2, 2016. View webinar details. We would appreciate your assistance in disseminating this notice and information with your networks.

 

Best —
Sharon Lee Miller
Director, Division of Academic and Technical Education

 

July 14, 2016 Notes from the Director

Dear Colleagues —

Happy new year! We are pleased to notify you that the Department has issued the July 1, 2016, Perkins State grant award, covering year ten, under the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act. These awards represent roughly two-thirds of the $1.1 billion investment that the Department will make in career and technical education for FY 2016-17. Thank you for your steadfast efforts to submit your State plan revisions and budgets, and enter into thoughtful and thorough performance level negotiations with our team for the upcoming year.

As you also know, the U.S. Departments of Labor (DOL) and Education (ED) have made publicly available five rules to implement the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) (Pub. L. 113-128). President Barack Obama signed WIOA into law on July 22, 2014. WIOA is landmark legislation that is designed to strengthen and improve our nation's public workforce system and help get Americans, including youth and those with significant barriers to employment, into high-quality jobs and careers and help employers hire and retain skilled workers. The final rule is available here: https://doleta.gov/wioa/Docs/wioa-regs-joint-final-rule.pdf. We also strongly encourage you to visit DOL’s Employment and Training Website at https://doleta.gov/wioa/ for updated information on WIOA, including a new set of resources that States can use for performance accountability.

Finally, stay tuned for notification about the nomination process for next year's 2017 class of U. S. Presidential Scholars in CTE. As with last year, a letter will be issued by the Department through the Chief State School Officers, requesting 5 CTE students as nominees for the upcoming year. The selection criteria, review process, and timeline will remain the same. We will notify you when the letter is issued and will post it on the PCRN Website.

On behalf of the entire DATE team, we wish you the best for a relaxing and rejuvenating summer and look forward to working with you in the new year!

Best —
Sharon Lee Miller
Director, Division of Academic and Technical Education

June 17, 2016 Notes from the Director

Dear Colleagues —

Today, the Department’s Office of Career, Technical, and Adult Education (OCTAE) and Office for Civil Rights (OCR) joined issued a Dear Colleague Letter (PDF, 590 KB)to make clear to recipients that all students, regardless of their sex or gender, must have equal access to the full range of CTE programs offered. Ensuring equitable access to CTE by eliminating discriminatory practices and taking proactive steps to expand participation of students in fields where one sex is underrepresented can increase overall participation and success in high-growth fields, such as nursing, advanced manufacturing, information technology, computer science, and cybersecurity, for both men and women. This letter serves to support and inform recipients by clarifying the legal obligations to ensure equitable access to CTE programs, and by providing examples of issues that may raise concerns regarding compliance with these obligations.

The Department is committed to ensuring that all students have access to high-quality CTE programs, including classes in fields where their sex is underrepresented. In support of this goal, OCTAE will release technical assistance resources outlining promising practices for expanding recruitment and outreach efforts, building staff capacity and knowledge of equity issues, partnering with families to mitigate perceptions of CTE fields that might impact program participation, and using data to monitor recruitment, enrollment, and persistence trends. Please stay tuned to the Perkins Collaborative Resource Network at http://cte.ed.gov/ for further information and tools you can use.

Thank you for leadership and efforts to advance equal access to CTE programs for students in your State.

Best —
Sharon Lee Miller
Director, Division of Academic and Technical Education

May 23, 2016 Notes from the Director

Dear Colleagues —

Recently, we’ve seen an increasing level of interest among community colleges to broaden their efforts to embed stackable, industry-recognized credentials within technical associate degree programs. The Mapping Upward initiative, a new project supported by the Office of Career, Technical, and Adult Education (OCTAE), is designed to provide technical assistance (TA) to sector-focused networks of community and technical colleges seeking to advance their work in stackable credential design. Over the course of a year, selected networks will receive customized virtual and face-to-face TA from subject matter experts and a dedicated TA coach who will guide the network and its colleges through needs assessment, goal setting, and action planning. The TA will address issues such as employer engagement, industry certification alignment, faculty collaboration, awarding of credit, and credit transfer agreements.

OCTAE has extended its call for applications and will consider adding one or two additional networks to the group of colleges who will receive TA support. To apply for participation, please visit the Mapping Upward project web page where you can access the application form, an overview of technical assistance services, and materials from the informational webinar hosted on May 3rd. Applications are due Thursday, June 2, 2016, by 5:00 pm CST.

We encourage your institution and partner colleges to consider applying for participation in this unique technical assistance and peer learning opportunity.

Best —
Sharon Lee Miller
Director, Division of Academic and Technical Education

May 18, 2016 Notes from the Director

Dear Colleagues —

On behalf of the Division of Academic and Technical Education (DATE), I want to remind you that we are offering technical assistance (TA) to CTE leaders to deepen CTE’s role in career pathways systems development. Two exciting opportunities are available now:

The CTE Leaders Academy: A year-long institute that will help elevate CTE’s role in career pathways system development and implementation within your state. Your state leadership team will meet and work with teams from other states to cultivate the next generation of CTE leaders and change agents.

Intensive Technical Assistance: A year of technical assistance on career pathways system development and implementation that will be customized to meet the needs of your state. Led by your state CTE office, your state career pathways team will work with a dedicated state coach to take concrete steps to build or expand an effective career pathways system in your state.

Participation request forms for the CTE Leaders Academy (https://fs23.formsite.com/msgbsee/form17/index.html) and Intensive Technical Assistance (https://fs23.formsite.com/msgbsee/form18/index.html) are due June 1, 2016. For questions, please email infoCP@manhattanstrategy.com.

Best —
Sharon Lee Miller
Director, Division of Academic and Technical Education

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