Greatra Mayana

Career & Employment Opportunities

Aligning K–12, College, and Workforce Systems to Ensure Better Jobs for Our Youth

– [Kirsten] I’d like to start by thanking you all for joining us for today’s REL Pacific webinar. Aligning K-12, college,
and workforce systems to ensure better jobs for our youth. My name is Kirsten Miller. I’m a communications
manager at REL Pacific and I’ll be your facilitator today. I’m joined by my colleague Judy Counley, who will be our technical
facilitator today, so if you have any issues with your audio, or if you have any questions about Adobe Connect functionality, please feel free to send Judy a note in the chat box to your right, and we’ll do our best
to resolve any issues. In the unlikely event that you do get completely disconnected, we don’t anticipate that,
but sometimes it happens, please just dial back in, using the instructions that
were sent to you via email and we should be able to
get you back up and running. We’re also recording today’s
webinar for future reference and for you to share with your colleagues, or if you have a conflict
that requires you to jump offline early today, and you can use that chat
box to your right also, to ask questions or make observations throughout the webinar. We’re going to try to hold questions for breaks in the presentation, but we will do our best
to get to all of them during our time together today. We’re also honored to be joined today by our presenter, Dr. Louise Yarnall, a senior research social scientist in SRI International Center
for Technology in Learning. Dr. Yarnall specializes
in community college education research, assessment design, evaluation, scaling of classroom, innovative, instructional,
and assessment practices, and journalism education research. Her community college education research focuses on workforce education, general education and
developmental education, which includes analysis and development of online communities to support professional development for faculty. She also does analysis of video based and e-portfolio records, of faculty classroom instruction and assessment practices, and designs and develops web tools to support faculty in creating formative and summative
classroom assessments. She’s really worked closely
with community college educators in a variety of fields, and we’re thrilled to
have her with us today. I’m going to start with a quick poll, to get a sense of who we
have joining us today. I’m going to ask my colleague Judy Counley to bring that poll up for us. We’re asking you to choose the role that corresponds as
closely to what you do, and if you do choose other, you’ll see you have a
little box right there, below the poll where you
can type in your response, and let us know what your job role is, and we like to do that at
the start of our webinar so we can kind of get a
sense of your context, and we can adjust our
content as appropriate and if possible to the people
we have joining us today. It looks like we have, we
have some administrators. Researchers and university faculty, career pathways regional
director, a doctoral student, and we’ve got some LEA and SEA staff also. Education policy and advocacy as well. Thank you for sharing that with us. I’d like to move on by
telling you just a little bit about REL Pacific and the
work we’re engaged in, and specifically, a
little bit of a grounding in some of the work that we’re doing in the area of alignment. REL Pacific at McREL International is one of 10 regional
education laboratories funded by the Institute of
Education Sciences, or IES, at the U.S. Department of Education. Our current contract cycle runs from 2017 to the beginning of 2022, and we serve seven state and
nation level jurisdictions. American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the
Northern Mariana Islands, The Federated States of Micronesia, which include Chuuk,
Kosrae, Pohnpei, and Yap, and then also Guam, the state of Hawaii, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, and the Republic of Palau. As you can see from this map, I’m pulling up on the next slide, the region is geographically very vast, and it spans an area that’s larger than that of the entire
continental United States. Our work focuses on four priority areas. College and career readiness and success, which is what we’re focusing on today. Early childhood education
and school readiness. Teacher professional learning, and issues in Pacific cultural education. We initially began our work around college and career readiness
and systems alignment, under the last REL contract cycle which we held from 2012 just
into the beginning of 2017, when this cycle started. Our work is structured around researcher practitioner
alliances and partnerships. We’re going to ground
our conversation today in an example from the CNMI Alliance for College and Career
Readiness and Success. But I do want to stress, however, for those of you joining us from outside of the Pacific region that this information is applicable to a wide variety of contexts. At REL Pacific we work within a geographically, linguistically, and culturally diverse region, so you’ll see connections to your unique context,
and to your own work, whether for example, you’re
working in rural areas, or in contexts where you have a high population of English language learners, and so forth. The CNMI Alliance is made up of members from the K-12 public school systems, the local college,
Northern Marianas College, and members from the Department of Labor, and the Alliance is really
the first of its kind within the CNMI in that it brings together representatives from K-12, college and career systems, as we focus on this
idea of alignment today, we’ll continue to bring in examples from this research alliance, because really the overarching galvanizing idea the Alliance has been to support that type of collaboration among K-12, college, and career systems. Over the last five years, the partnership has focused on helping more of their students be ready for and successful
in college and career through continued collaboration. Again, between the K-12,
college, and career settings, and they used research results data, and evidence based strategies to guide policy and practice, to increase college,
career, and life readiness, and success in the CNMI. Some of the work that they’ve done so far has been to examine indicators of college and career readiness. They’ve examined national indicators, identified their own local indicators, and have generated a local definition of college and career
readiness for the CNMI. They’ve also examined and implemented some nationally used approaches to address college and career readiness. That’s just a high level look at the work of the CNMI Alliance, and again, we’re going
to weave that back in as an example throughout
Louise’s presentation. We have two parts to our agenda today. Part one is curriculum alignment. Why align curriculum? We’ll talk about the advantages
of aligned curricula. We’ll talk about the problems
with non aligned curricula. We’ll talk about some current and some pending legislation, that will impact how you
align your curriculum and some challenges around
curriculum alignment. During part two, we’re going to talk about aligning education experiences and college and workforce needs. How do you identify local
workforce needs, for example? How do you coordinate
diverse local stakeholders to design and deliver workforce programs? How do you create career
aligned educational experiences? That’s the focus of
our time together today and it is now my pleasure to
hand the presentation over to Dr. Louise Yarnall, whom I’ve already introduced, and whom we thank very
much for joining us today. Louise, the floor is yours. – [Louise] Thank you Kirsten, for that lovely introduction, and welcome everyone. I’m so glad you took some time to participate in the webinar today. I’m going to talk about
how to strike a balance between the educational needs of students, and the needs of employers, and the talent pipeline
that they’re seeking. I want this to be an informative session, and I invite your questions
later in the webinar. I will pause at different points. Let’s talk now about why, and to frame this discussion, I’m going to begin by discussing the research that has
informed federal policy. That calls for a stronger alignment between education and local employers. Over the past, actually, couple of decades, researchers have studied efforts to improve local employment preparation and they have found
that local jurisdictions that used what they called
industry sector aligned education strategies
achieved positive results, and on this slide I’m gonna show you the kinds of results they achieved. But first I want to briefly
give you some background on what I mean by industry
sector aligned strategies. This comes from research done in 2007 by the Aspen Institute. Often it targets a specific industry or cluster of organizations. It involves some intervention, by a credible organization
or set of organizations that take charge of the task
of crafting workforce readiness solutions that are tailored to each industry sector in a region. It supports workers in improving a range of employment related skills, as well as future workers. It meets the needs of employers, and it creates lasting change
in the labor market system to the benefit of both
workers and employers, and finally it features
strong relationships with workers or industry
associations in the field so that it can actually bring together multiple employers in a single
industry sector or field. What happens if you do all that? I’m gonna show you,
the research indicates, and I’ll give you
citations for the research at the end of this presentation, through your own background and youth. Worker earnings were
increased by as much as 29%, if you had this kind of access to career-aligned education. There was better employment. More people were employed. More job stability and access to benefits, for up to two years after concluding the education experience, and the employers really
respect the programs. They trust the quality of the graduates coming out of these programs, and finally, just getting a leg up on understanding the
needs of your workforce, in your region. It really helps all of us. Everyone whose working, understand the need for
lifelong education and training. What happens when we don’t align, or give some opportunity for K-12 students, college students, to get a taste of what
life’s gonna be like, and how they’re gonna apply their skills, once they get into the workforce. Again, I’m gonna talk a little bit about the research that has really grown out of the welfare reform work
in the 1990’s in particular, and there was a goal to
move people out of poverty and into better jobs by ensuring that they do go out and get work. Initially, these programs
encouraged people who received welfare, it involved some provision
of general career guidance. Generic job skills. Those were the treatments, if you will. Those were the approaches. Some researchers employed
rigorous study designs and they used random
assignment of participants to one program that used those
kinds of generic approaches, and another that just
didn’t do anything different from past welfare efforts, showed really no positive difference between the two approaches, and so there were more than a dozen programs over 25 years. No significant effect. If they didn’t do something
a little more focused. The programs that did succeed were the ones that had that alignment, and so you just didn’t
really see the better wages. You didn’t see getting
jobs and keeping them more. Employers weren’t
necessarily that impressed, and the workers also
didn’t quite understand the burden, I guess, if you will, they need to keep studying
and keep training. Why, you might ask, is the
traditional educational model, that most of us experienced, where you’re very focused
on academics, maybe, or if you’re interested in vocational, you take a specified vocational track, but for the most part, why isn’t that approach working too well? I think it really, if you look at the research
from labor economists, that’s researchers who look
at the supply of workers and demand for labor by employers. They look at employment levels, and how wages are set. They analyze the effects
of labor related policies such as minimum wage laws. They look at the impacts of unions. That kind of research has shown
over the past 25, 30 years, that the workforce is changing, and we’re all familiar with
some of these headlines, but in specific what
they’re talking about, is that when you look at how folks are faring in their careers, when they began with less
than a high school education or just a high school degree, or even if they took just
a few courses in college but never got the degree, prior to 2000, that wasn’t big problem, in your long term career
and your earnings. You could keep up with inflation, but after the 2000’s, and particularly after the last major recession
in 2007 through 2009, the lower educated households have just not kept up with inflation, compared to those with a bachelor’s degree or more education. There’s just, apparently,
there’s just a need for more. To get those better paying jobs, you need more training, and here are those larger trends. Again, I’m sure many of you
are familiar with these. There’s a proliferation of low
skill, low wage service jobs. They aren’t helping people escape poverty, and the wages at the
bottom of the labor market are declining or they’re stagnant, and this is due to many factors, such as decline of unions,
increased competition, globalization, the rise of
the gig-contractor economy, and automation. What do I mean when I say low wage job? It’s going to vary by jurisdiction. We’ll talk more about that later, but in the Commonwealth of
the Northern Mariana Islands, I looked at the data and it’s taxi drivers and food preparers. Those are examples of low wage jobs, and the labor economists, when they talk about
whose taking those jobs, increasingly it’s those who
don’t have other options, because they lack training and education to do anything else. Again, why is the education
becoming so important? Part of it is that, just for a middle wage job, and I think we’ve all heard this now, we talk about the rough spell for example, it used to be that you could come straight out of high school, maybe not even finish, and go to work in the local factory, in production and fabrication, repair, and you could make a pretty
good income for your whole life, but the rise of automation means there are fewer of those kinds of jobs. Also the technology to run the technology. You really need skills, that require more training and education. What do I mean by middle wage job? I mean, a lot of us think of a factory job, but there are lots of other
sorts of jobs that fall into this that all have that same sort of story about “you need more training,” and again, it will vary
by local jurisdiction. And our example here in CNMI, if you look at the wage data, I think financial analysts, Information systems managers, Those are examples of middle
wage jobs in that area. Other issues contributing
to the current atmosphere are that employers are not
training as much as they used to. The on-the-job training, or even offering special
training to their employees, and you may say well, why not? It’s partly because everyone’s
changing jobs more now. Workers are changing their
jobs more frequently, and employers took a look at this trend, and they decided they didn’t want to spend lots of money on training because as soon as they trained people up they would just leave, so that didn’t seem like
a really good investment. So that’s a factor. Then federal funding
for workforce training has been on the decline. For example, funding from
the Workforce Investment Act in the late 90’s declined 60% between 2000 and 2007, and funding for the seven largest federal employment training programs dropped 35% just between 2009 and 2013. Also I think what’s going
on, all these changes, I mean we hear about it in the news, that I guess sometimes we think that’s someone else’s
problem, maybe not mine. We don’t really see why we
need to engage in it, maybe, if we’ve got a job or what have you, but what’s going on is folks, parents, guidance counselors, teachers, those who are shaping the next
generation of the workforce really kind of don’t know what
they’re sending them out into and they don’t understand that there’s a different set
of skills additionally, or a whole toolkit that they need to make it in this very
changed environment, and it really does focus on the kind of lifelong learning theme. I just described the national trends, and I want to encourage everyone here, if you don’t know already, get really smart about the
labor market in your region, because as we talk today, it’s really about local. Local action and what you can do. We’re all familiar with the
story of Silicon Valley. Well, I live in Silicon Valley, and I can tell you there’s some sectors, industry sectors that are enjoying very high employment and high wages but there are many others, it’s low employment and low wages. Every place is very complex, and the goal, one of
the goals I should say, is that we’re trying to
get the education sector and the industry sector to come together to really understand, to develop a shared vision of what sectors are growing and in demand. That’s why the jobs pay more, right? They need more people, and so they’re willing
to pay more for them. I encourage everyone to get
smart about your local situation and just as an example, in CNMI, most of the high school graduates receiving scholarships for
college study abroad, default. Why does that matter? Because they don’t often
come back to the islands, to contribute to the
employment population, and so that actually,
we’ll talk more about it, that creates a very unique situation here of just not having enough
workers here in CNMI. How is the market currently
dealing with that shortage? We see that some industry sectors are really experiencing growth in CNMI, hospitality, casinos, and construction, and they really had a
shortage of available workers, so what do they do, they look at the foreign workers, and we’ll talk more about that. The CNMI, to come into
alignment with immigration law with the rest of the United States, the Federal Government decided, they passed legislation
a number of years ago, to require CNMI employers to end their reliance on foreign workers. Sounds like a good idea, but when auditors have analyzed and created models of what this will do to the economy in CNMI, they estimate that they just won’t have enough people to maintain
their productivity, and they estimated a few models that showed some drop offs there of 25% to 60%. This is a kind of thing you want to understand on the ground, and you want to have these
kinds of data to really, so everyone has a really felt sense of what the challenges are. Based on this kind of context, and what’s going on in
the larger work world, policy makers have focused on what they call sector alignment strategies or career alignment strategies for the education and
the workforce sectors, and we see this alignment
approach emphasized in both the 2014 Workforce
Innovation and Opportunity Act or WIOA, and I’m assuming
most folks know what that is, but it basically is the legislation that provides funding
to local jurisdictions to focus on increased coordination among both workforce
development and related programs, and it’s also emphasized
in pending legislation for the reauthorization
of the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act. Again, I’m sure this audience
is familiar with that. It provides grants to states to maintain, improve, and develop vocational technical education programs. Just to give you a sense of how important alignment is, in WIOA, right after goal number one of WIOA, which is to increase jobs for Americans, the second goal is quote, “To support the alignment of workforce investment, education, and
economic development systems in support of a comprehensive accessible and high quality workforce
development system in the United States.” What does this mean? It has to begin somewhere. This alignment process, and where it begins is at the very top. The state or the Governor
or the local jurisdiction is asked to appoint a board, that will develop a plan that really needs to do
the following three things: Build, measure, and implement, number one, career pathways from K-12 right through a career lifetime. Strategies in the local regions, to meet employer needs, and wider provision of resources for training and development and highlighting digital literacy, the use of computers in particular. Let’s talk now, or I’ll talk now about the components of the WIOA
curriculum alignment plan. What’s at the heart of this really? It’s, first of all, about raising awareness of the in demand industry sectors and occupations in a region. It’s to focus preparation on skills needed by employers, and we’ll talk about this. This is a sensitive point with educators, who feel that they’ve got a larger mission than just preparing for
a job here and there, and there are terrific ways
and models for doing that. Connecting education with
local labor market trends. Getting out of our silos, and out of our lanes a little bit and understanding this larger context in which we’re working, and identifying strengths and weaknesses of current education and training, and developing strategic
visions and goals. That’s really what is desired, in the curriculum alignment plan. That’s the big big picture, and everyone on this call in your state, your state jurisdiction, has some form of WIOA plan in progress or on file, and I encourage you to look it up and, just to give you a sense of who creates that plan. This is a very complex task. It involves coordination and cooperation among many institutions in a community that historically operate
in their own lanes. The Governor in CNMI, brought together agency department heads
and elected officials, and also the leaders of the school system, the various elements of the school system, and private sector leaders from a diverse and representative
sample of businesses. That’s, every state
has that kind of group, that put together a plan, and then when you look up that plan, you’ll see a lot of rich information, and I’ll be citing some of
it to show you in this talk, but just starting at the
top, the big picture, like CNMI, you want to know
how important alignment is in your state, they’ll
come right out and say it. CNMI says it right in the beginning. Increased focus and realignment of education and training programs to be responsive to the growing economy and business sector needs, and they even have a motto, and I talked earlier about the reliance on foreign workers, and how they really want to start getting more of the local residents who come up through the K-12 system, there to stay and to be hired into this growing economy in CNMI, and every state will have that same kind of vision in their WIOA plan. The WIOA plan also should
lay out some metrics. How are you gonna show that what you decide to implement, the programs you design and implement, to move forward this vision of alignment, how are you going to show that it works, and here are some samples
of the kinds of outcomes that WIOA is interested in: Graduation rates from high school, academic achievement, more high school grads pursuing
post secondary education, and more college graduates
pursuing advanced training, and more high school and college grads getting those jobs in the local economy. Other metrics include more high school grads obtaining a post secondary credential or participating in work based learning, and diversity is a priority here. If you can find a way to get high school and college grads who are underrepresented in some of your high growth industries, that is all to the good. One of the other things to think about, I’m giving the big picture, but I always want to go
back to the local picture. Know where you are. As you start this process, and many of you already
are well down the road and you have started this process, but think about where you are, as your starting point,
with graduation rates. In CNMI, they’re rather high, and yet they also know that they have an opportunity to
improve student achievement in math and English. 61% of the grads go to college, but not as many graduate,
and why not? Because of that issue with
the math and the English and needing remedial education. McREL, the host of this webinar, has done some nice research to give you specific
numbers on that situation in the Pacific region. Most folks need to know
that about their own region. 15% of high school graduates seek jobs, but they could improve their chances by securing a good strong
industry-recognized credential or participating in some high
quality work-based learning, pursuing some opportunities
in non traditional fields. Those are the kinds of things
you need to know going in. Now we’re going to talk a bit more in the next section about, how do you do it? How do you support alignment between K-12 and college and workforce? We see the why, we see the big picture now. And this is not easy. I mean those of you who
are already doing it, you know how much effort this is. You’re taking very busy
people in education and in the workforce environment who have plenty of things on their plate, and they need time and support, because they speak different languages. You need to help them
speak the same language. Help them develop a common vision, really, for what they want to do. They have to have some ways of grounding their decisions, in the data and labor demand and supply, and really just come together to develop a better
understanding of what’s going on? Who is coming into our labor market? Who is leaving? What can we do to stop
any kind of brain drain that might be happening in our region? I’m going to pause now, and open it up for any comments or clarifications, I guess, most of all. Kirsten, are we getting any
questions at this point? – [Kirsten] I don’t see any
questions yet in the chat box, but, for all of our participants, if you have any questions
for Louise at this point, please feel free to put
those into the chat box and we can pose those and answer those at this break right now. We’ll give you just a minute. Most of the questions I’m receiving are about recordings and PowerPoints, and those will be made available to you after the webinar in a followup email. I’m just gonna give us
a minute or two here, for any questions that people may have. It’s a good stopping point to see if we have any clarifying questions or any content questions so far. Dan has a question about, what’s the most efficient way
to reach out to employers? – [Louise] Great question. The most efficient way, I don’t know if there
is a most efficient way. I do think that efficiency sometimes can become a little bit of “We’re gonna check the box. We invited them over
for an advisory meeting, We served them some chicken, and we talked for two hours, and we showed them what we’re doing, and so we checked that box.” I think there’s, in my work, and in the work I looked at other people are doing in this space, particularly in community college, there’s a view now that you need more than one touch once a year. You need to have an
open door, if you will. So, I don’t know. Efficiency, we’ll talk more about it, but I think it really focuses on setting the roles and responsibilities right at the beginning. Having that shared vision. Knowing whose on first. “We do this, you do that. This is how you can help us.” And keeping that communication going. I don’t know if efficiency… I’m sure there are more
efficient ways to do that and less efficient ways, but I think the real challenge right now is it just doesn’t seem
to happen too much, because, I think, of the concern about time and money. Often there needs to be
a champion who owns it, or an organizations that owns it, and they really have to get people engaged and call the meetings, if you will. I think that’s the strategy I’ve seen, and I think it is efficient. It’s a good use of time, if that’s how you define efficiency. Good question. – [Kirsten] Thank you Louise. We do have a few more questions coming in. The next question is where does this statistics information come from? – [Louise] Oh you mean from the research? Everything that I gave you came from some research articles that I cite and you’ll see in the resources at the end in one of the last slides and if you go to those resources, you’ll see that’s where I
got some of the numbers. – [Kirsten] I think those
will be clickable links in the last slide so you’ll
be able to pull those up once we get there, and then we will also send that information out in our followup email. We have a question from Amy. Have you been able to effectively implement industry-valued and recognized credentials into your programs of study? – [Louise] I do not, I’m a researcher, so I would say no, because I don’t run a program of study, but I have heard of particularly, at the community college level, they often are targeting
their certificates. The credentialing programs are usually aligned with specific industry certification exams and so forth, and there are different arrangements in community college for doing that. I have heard of colleges
that will set aside time and space for the testing, and then I’ve heard of
those that do not do that, but they align their curriculum with the requirements and standards of that certification exam and they make sure that
the students are informed so that they can pursue those
certifications on their own, and I think the other big
area here of opportunity is when you form that community between industry and education, the more opportunity
the industry people have to influence or feel
like they’re influencing what you’re teaching, the more opportunity they have to come and speak to your students, get involved in the
design of your programs. There’s a trust that builds up. They feel more committed and engaged and so, therefore, they
are going to recognize some of your student’s work. If your students have a portfolio, if they have a special capstone project, and they have to produce something in that that they can show. If they had some kind of internship or apprenticeship, that also becomes a touchpoint where the industry people get to learn about the talents of the students in your education program and those in the programs of study. – [Kirsten] It looks like we have a followup question from Amy, so I’m going to skip around
just a little bit here, and then we’ll go back to, Lou and Junior have some questions also. Amy asks, do you see anything happening similarly in K-12? – [Louise] I had heard, yes. I think I’ve heard it in Florida. I think I’ve heard it
in a number of states where there’s just an increased emphasis on career readiness. And for example, some of my colleagues at SRI have done evaluations of a program called Linked Learning where they have, schools will select, or engage, if you will, they’ll engage students in
some themed career focus. Like, your school could be focused on health, allied health fields, for example. And the students, as part of
their academic programming will be writing, they’ll be doing writing
and math and science. All the classes that you take, that they’ll have an element of career exploration
integrated into that. Also in California, there’s another program called Get Focused, Stay Focused, which is really a fascinating program, put usually into English classes, but it could go into almost any class, where you have a full
class the freshman year where the students engage in thinking about career and what kind of money they want to earn and what their passions are. It’s kind of what we all used to do, if we ever walked down to the
career guidance counselor. They’ve embedded it into, and they have the materials for embedding it, into
your academic programs. And then you come up with a plan, it goes online, and then
each year after that, sophomore, junior, senior year, you’re enacting that plan. You’re driving the car, you’re picking your courses, and you’re planning what you want to do after high school, based on that plan, and you can change the plan. That’s the great thing, you’re young and you can
explore different things following this plan and rule things out, and so on. So, I have heard of that, and there’s a lot of
activity in that space. – [Kirsten] Thank you Louise. We have an interesting question from Lou. The question is Bachelor’s degree versus industry credentials: Which, if either, is trending? – [Louise] Interesting. I think, what I’ve seen, and I look at the Georgetown University, their center there for workforce, the growth in the jobs that are out there, things are staying the same, if you will. They’re kind of not growing
a lot in the Bachelor’s. The higher degrees, there will always be a certain number of people and jobs, I should say, that require those kinds of credentials, but I guess what I’m saying is that the number of those jobs, I don’t think is increasing a great deal. Where you see the growth, unfortunately, you see a lot
in the low service sector, the low paid jobs, but also in these middle wage jobs that require, in air quotes
now, “some college”, and what does that mean? That often means a
certificate or a credential. Very focused, very targeted. And so I really think, that, to me, this is one of the things, when you’re talking with a
guidance counselor in high school, instead of looking at vocations or not getting a Bachelor’s as kind of a badge of shame or something, you should really look at it like, wait a minute, I can go to school and get paid to go to school in many cases, and get a really, pretty good paying job if I have the right skillset and it’s been developed that way, in a targeted way. It’s not for everyone. I’m not saying it’s for everyone, but it’s an option that I think is developing, a kind of newfound respect, and currency. I think it’s overdue. – [Kirsten] We do still have several more questions here. Junior had asked, let
me just pull that up. What can be done to
better prepare students for college or career? I think we’re going to be
getting into that, to a degree, in part two, and then we will have, actually, a second part to this webinar at the end of November, on November 30th, and we’ll make sure you have all of that information. Louise, is there something briefly you want to say to respond to that? – [Louise] Sure. I mean, I think the challenge in K-12 in our current environment is you can’t go too far
down into the technical, those technical skills in the K-12 level, unless you’re really on a CTE track. But I think the employability skills, I’ve heard them called soft skills, communication, teamwork, those are skills that are
really, really highly valued. The self discipline,
the managing your time, taking on a complex project, and not having it spoon-fed to you with the teacher saying
here’s step one, step two, but you figure it out, you create it, you design it, and you show that you can do it, and, usually, with other people, not just by yourself. I think that’s the interesting
area to explore in K-12, because I think it’s perfectly
suited, I would argue, for that kind of experience. – [Kirsten] Thank you Louise. We have another question here from E.R. who says that it comes across that employers who have high turnover and have a high employment need, they’ve found that the wage is low and employers cannot sustain
themselves on those wages. How do we communicate that if they need employees
to fulfill those jobs, they need to raise those wages? – [Louise] That I have to confess, I think is a little beyond my expertise. But, I think again, when you form these communities
of practice, if you will, between industry and education, I think it’s time to have some candid comments and observations. If you have actual parents,
maybe of your students, who are struggling and you’ve seen the impact
on your students’ lives, in some of these fields, I think those are concrete stories. You bring those people into the
room, into the conversation, and it’s got to have an impact, I think, on some level. I think sharing stories
has got to be one strategy. I’m sure there are many others, but it’s a great question. – [Kirsten] I’m really
pleased to see in the comments that people are sharing their stories, and they’re talking about programs that they’re aware of
that may be of interest to other participants, so we really appreciate the engagement, and you jumping in with the questions and with these other resources. We do have a couple of other questions. I’d like to hold those, so we can move into part two, to make sure that we don’t
run out of time at the end, if that’s okay with everybody, and we can go ahead and get
back into the presentation. – [Louise] Okay great. I’m glad there’s so many
questions and comments and I saw someone was mentioning, I think it was New World of Work, which is a program I’m
just learning about. It sounds terrific, another example, and I just think there are many others, that we all can look at. Now in this section, I’m just gonna give you a high level, a pretty high level. The second webinar I think
gets into it a little more, but this is high level, concrete steps that you can take to realize
the alignment process, and just for the sake of simplicity, I’ve broken it down into three steps. I’ll talk more about each of these, and we’ll have questions and
comments after each section. Number one, identify
local workforce needs. Number two, coordinate
diverse local stakeholders to design and deliver workforce programs, put your team together, and create career aligned
educational experiences. I’ll jump right into step one now. Really this is all about everyone getting on the same page on your team. Getting the educators and
industry leaders together and really come to some picture of what local industries are growing today, and a lot of this information is available in your WIOA plan, in many cases, so don’t try to reinvent the wheel. Lean on what other smart people have already done to understand your labor market and
your regional economy. In preparing for this presentation, I came across a resource I
only looked at it briefly, but I’m going to also put it
on the final resources page. It’s something out of, I
think, Harvard University, and I think it was called, and for those, I’m not a labor economist but in my line of work I’ve had to start to wrap my head around what they do, and this tool allows you
to look at your state and it gives you a lot, like the way the economists
look at the productivity of your economy and so on. It’s just a fascinating
place to play around with if you want to get smart. CNMI is an example, and I’m sure you’ll find it too when you look at your plans, they identified 19 different fields that were growth fields and continue to be growth fields. I’m just gonna click
these off, for example, but the jobs in here,
these are the fields, and then the jobs would be like executives and managers, management support, accountants and auditors, science technicians, marketing and sales, administrative support. There’s a lot for all of these fields, and, in your area too,
you’ll know the story. CNMI is going through an
interesting transformation. They really want to emphasize
the gambling industry. I guess they’re well located, they’re on a beautiful island and people from the far East will often go there as their playground. So, they really want to
accent this opportunity, and so what does that mean? That’s not just a casino. A casino involves hospitality, it involves real estate,
involves construction. There are a lot of accounting, and probably cyber security jobs, and IT jobs affiliated with that, so there are all kinds
of fields in these areas. Get smart about that and then start to understand what’s leading to the mismatch. Obviously in some areas you’ve done a lot. You’ve done some great
things in some areas. We know we have, but we also know that there’s some areas where we have a mismatch. Where we know it, because in CNMI, we had
a shortage of folks, they’re not available for work, and just, there could be
some deep seeded things that you have to get smart about, like I’m just gonna give
you an example from CNMI. I was looking, when I was
looking at their WIOA plan, I was struck by how low the wages were relative to where I live
in Northern California, and I thought, well! As it turns out, the wages
need to be even much lower, and I believe the Federal Government passed a law saying, look, you’re part of the United States and if you want to be able
to get American citizens, if you want to compete to employ and recruit the American citizens, and get them to fly all
the way out to CNMI, you’re going to have to
bring up those salaries. So they literally have required them, and the employers, to gradually
increase the minimum wage. Every area will have something. This is very unique to CNMI, but understand these kinds of things. This is important to understand. And then obviously we
have the situation of, they just don’t have enough locals so they’ve been leaning
on the foreign workers. Get smart about the local wages. Just knowing what people
get paid for certain jobs. Again, this is a document, I got this from the WIOA report for CNMI, and you can see now who is
going to be a taxi driver and a chauffer, food preparation. I mean, I know they probably, they get some tips and so on, but we’re under $10 an hour. Event planners, not much better. You start to get up to
more of the mid-range here with these jobs with information systems and architects and so forth, and then you have the professional class. Know that stuff. One might not think, hey, it’s not my job. I’m a teacher. I’ve got a lot, and yes you do, and yes we do, but just understanding the world your students are going out to. I think it’s really helpful. And then take stock of what you’ve already accomplished. Where you have some places where people are already
crossing the road, if you will. In CNMI school systems have partnered to work on college and
career readiness and success. They already have established
that as a priority and they’re already
engaged in learning about approaches that are being used nationally to improve college and career readiness. They’re already coming together to develop a shared and local definition and they’re already
cultivating increased awareness of this kind of data and sharing it out. So, your area too, you’re
not starting from scratch. Notice where you have
already done your homework. Then again, when you develop a high level vision of
the workforce needs, be sure to translate it into the skills that the employers seek. Put it in terms, like in CNMI, again, I found this in the WIOA plan, so those WIOA plans are potentially a real treasure trove. You don’t have to, again,
create it from scratch. But computer and digital literacy skills, critical and analytical skills, language skills. I mean look at these things, and if you’re a math teacher, if you’re an English teacher, if you’re a social
studies teacher, whatever, you can see how you can contribute to building these kinds of competencies. This is what the employers say they want. I was gonna stop now. That’s step one, and step one is identifying
local workforce needs, and I’ll take a stop right now, and see if there are any
questions I can answer on step one, identifying those needs. – [Kirsten] We’ll give it just a second for people to type any questions on step one in the chat box. We also, we do have a few questions leftover from part one of the webinar which I am tracking and I’m holding those until the end of the webinar. Hopefully we’ll have enough
time to get to those, but if we don’t we can certainly follow up with people individually after our time together is over today. Looks like a few people are typing, so just bear with us for one moment. We have a question from Amy. Has your research discovered any strong models of the roles of the chambers of commerce and workforce alignment? – [Louise] I wouldn’t say a model. What I would say is, they
are mentioned as players. They are part of the mix, if you will. When you pull your team together, I think your rotary club, your Chamber of Commerce, any place where you bring
business people together for the good of the community, and that really is what those kinds of organizations are about. Fantastic places to meet
civic-minded employers. Yes, I think in terms of a model, I’m trying to think if I’ve ever seen. I have heard of little
things like scholarships, but I think that, again, you could use that conversation when you bring them together, to develop a model along the lines of what I was describing earlier, if you can use the chamber
as a networking location where you can reach out and suggest ideas or present ideas. A lot of these organizations
invite speakers, and I know they love having people who lead the local school district come and talk about really powerful interesting things they’re doing, and particularly if it has
to do with the workforce. Brag. Use it as an opportunity to brag, and then after you do the presentation, that’s where people come up and start to have those
personal connections and I think that’s when you
can design the experiences. You can come up with
your own models, I think. – [Kirsten] Great. Great question Amy, and thank you Louise for that answer. I don’t see any other typing coming up in the chat box, so I think we can move forward, but again, I will continue to track those questions as we go along and we’ll try to get to all of them before the end of the webinar today. – [Louise] Okay, thanks Kirsten. The step two is really assembling
your team, as I call it, and we were talking a little bit about that just a second ago, and really what this whole step is about is it’s kind of again, taking stock of who is out there and looking at them as
kind of an ecosystem, that’s actually a term
that I’ve heard used, and really looking at the mix, and who is already collaborating and who could be collaborating more. I’ll talk more about those
already collaborating. In CNMI, when I looked at CNMI, we already have a public
school system, or PSS. We have the Northern Mariana College, that’s their community college, adult education office, GED, and basic education for adults, and Northern Mariana Trade Institute. These are all players. These are the educational programs. They’re already working
to some extent together and that’s a great thing. I mean sometimes you’ll see tension among the different school partners, not to dwell on these sorts of things, but that’s part of the eco system. Know whose already playing, as friends, and partnering, and who is a little bit
feeling competitive. It’s okay to just notice that, and you have to understand what the reality is when you
start working through. Many employers in
CNMI, are already saying, they tell, I found articles that they were saying
that they were benefiting from these very targeted programs. Take stock of that kind of thing. Also do take a look at the shortfalls. Who is not in the mix yet? Where are you lacking funding? Where is your funding
maybe going to be changing to support workforce education? Know, what’s in your piggy bank, if you will. I’m just gonna take a moment to talk about this situation in CNMI. I know it’s kind of unique to CNMI, but I’m sure everyone on the call has these kinds of situations where your funding streams change. You were counting on them and now they’re not as available. I told you earlier how CNMI is under federal mandate,
and their employers, their allocation of permitted
foreign workers is dropping and has been dropping
year by year by year. Guess what? The education system in CNMI had found a way to monetize those permits and they were getting $150 fee every month for every one of those workers from the employers and
that money would go to the Department of Homeland Security and come back to the tune of, from 2012 to 2016, the CNMI Treasury received about $9.1 million in these fees. And that is a nice little piggy bank and it’s going down. And so this is what the community college and the trade institute, they use most of that money to pay the salaries and benefits of faculty and staff involved
in child training programs. And now as of 2016, the trade institute was even considering having to cancel some classes, because they just didn’t have
that funding stream any more. You need to keep your
eye on that kind of stuff and obviously come up with a
contingency plan of some sort. And the other thing is
to take into account the accessibility to
your education training that you already have in place. How are there some gaps
in the accessibility? CNMI is three islands, and the big island is Saipan, and then there are two little islands Rota and Tinian. I hope I’m pronouncing
them correctly, Kirsten. But those residents on Rota and Tinian, I mean, to get training, imagine they have to get on an airplane, they have to pay for their transportation and they have to pay to
maybe stay overnight. I mean think about how hard that is and what a disincentive that would be to continuing your training. Take into account, like if
you’ve got a big rural area, and people have to drive
really long distances for their high school students who might want to be learning and getting better training, as well as their parents. Those are the things
you really have to take, and know what you’re lacking. Then you might even also have to look at some of your treasured programs, your pet programs, and really think, are they helping us meet
this goal of alignment? Are they? So I’m just gonna talk a
little bit about this program, and CNMI which is kind of neat, and I’ve seen this in other states too with fantastic scholarship programs. CNMI has a couple of these programs, and this just gives you a picture, nearly 60% of the recipients, in 2014, 2016, of the scholarship, it’s called the CNMI Scholarship. $3.5 million. How do they use that money? It wasn’t coming back into the training system on the island. They went off island, it went off island. And they do that with an agreement. They say okay, we’re
going to give you this money, but we want you to come
back with credentials, in a few years and work here in CNMI and contribute productively
to our economy. Well 50% are defaulting on some
of those conditions somehow. Think about that, that’s a problem. And then their other big
resources for scholarship. $5.2 million, 2014 to 2016. Saipan Poker and gambling
proceeds, 40% again, went off the island, and 90% defaulted. When you have things like that going on in even your pet programs, the ones that are really popular, everyone loves them. You’ve gotta be creative, and think about how are
we gonna move the needle? How are we gonna get this to serve our economy and our workforce, and help our partners
in the industry sector? Then I’ll just talk a little bit about some of my research. This is a model that I
developed with my colleagues with some funding from the National Science Foundation’s Advanced Technological Education Program. They do a lot of work
with community college and workforce training,
and what we were doing, we did case studies of
five different industry education partnerships in different parts of the United States, and what we were really looking at was what makes it work? What makes it not work? What we found is sustaining
these partnerships is really challenging and it really does make the difference. I mainly want to encourage everyone to not look at this
WIOA plan as a one-shot. Like, okay, we’re gonna talk with
the industry partner once and do one thing and we’re done, check. Check the box. I really, I know it’s challenging, but try to find a way to think of it as a relationship. As something that you’re going
to keep working on over time. Why? Why? Because, and I’m gonna
talk about each box here. The labor market context, it’s changing. It’s changing all the time. What’s hot today, is not
going to be hot tomorrow. Maybe when you start, the highest demand is for a basic worker in a certain field, but then a few years down
the line, guess what? Those basic jobs are saturated. Maybe then what you really need is to think more about the more advanced jobs
in that same sector. As more of the things you’re targeting
people to think about. Partnership quality. Anyone in a relationship, whether it’s a married
relationship or a friendship, you know it’s about taking
care of that relationship. Making sure that we’re
communicating with each other. That we have some checkpoints,
into how are we doing? How are we feeling? Are we all feeling like we’re
contributing in a fair way? In a productive way? Or do we kind of feel like, hey, I’m doing more work. I’m doing more than my fair share. You’ve got to have some checkpoints into that, because that’s what kills it. I think, when I’ve seen it
die, that’s where it dies. People don’t nurture the
relationship, and it’s hard. It’s hard because were all too busy, and we’re all doing other things. Finally, look at your
instructional quality. Think about technologies that
are changing all the time. Think about how your
students are changing, and how their capacities are changing. Do you need to provide
more backup for them? More foundational content
to get them launched? The I-BEST? Everyone should be familiar
with the I-BEST program in Washington state, where they blend the remedial education, their developmental education, with the actual technical training that you’re getting for a job. I mean take a look and make sure that you’re really providing
robust instructional material that your industry partners value. That’s really what these
three boxes are about, and I’ll give you some
examples, real quickly, of examples of checkpoints like, if I applied it in CNMI, how would I do the
checkpoint for labor markets? I’d put my group together, and I might deputize someone to regularly check with
the Department of Labor. Look at those online hiring boards. Go to You just go look and see who is hiring for what jobs in my community? Browse and look at it. Year to year. Maybe do a little report. What’s changing? Seek to understand the structure, and what I mean by that, I mean in certain fields, and the jobs that are in those fields, sometimes there’s just one employer. There’s a big elephant
if you will, in the room, who is hiring mostly
everybody in your region. Those are going to be incredibly important partners for you to bring
into the conversation. They often have a lot of
ancillary businesses too that feed into their big business, and those also can become your partners. Think about a field like IT. IT is diffused everywhere. Every job, every field, every industry has a need for IT now, and has cyber security needs and so on. That again, if you’re in
that kind of industry sector, if you want to develop
that industry sector and point your guns in that
direction, so to speak, that’s going to be an interesting challenge. You need to understand that structure. You need to understand if you’re dealing with one big one or if
you’re dealing with multiple. Obviously, if you’re
dealing with multiples then you might have to lean on the association and the chamber and those kinds of organizations that already bring those folks together across competitive business lines. Checkpoint two is partnership quality. This is really, to me,
what it gets down to, is we all have the work of getting the information
and the training out, and making it accessible. Really, how much are we
sharing with each other? How much is education supporting industry and visa versa in these
high demand fields? Does CNMI have access to employers with assets to donate equipment? Do you? You have to think about it. Is there employer work site
that might be fashioned into an off site location for focused
learning with your students, or field trips, or industry
visits or what have you. Do you have a range of education providers who can meet the time and
travel and budget constraints of your different learners,
and their families? You’re looking at a balance. Collaboration and competition among the education providers. I mentioned that earlier. We’ve seen that sometimes
from dual enrollment programs, and early college where there’s a little tension sometimes depending on the local funding formula around how I get my
average daily attendance or my school’s enrolled equivalent. How do I get my bread and butter? You don’t want people touching
that or messing that up. If you know that’s a tension
with your funding formula, you’re gonna have to sit down and have a real conversation, and work out a place where everyone feels whole on that one. That’s partnership quality. And then instructional quality, again, this is really drilling down a bit into your curriculum and your instruction that are used in these high demand fields. This is really what I tend to love. I’m so interested in this kind of design. Because my background
is education psychology, so I’m really interested in this, but it’s really about variation in the learning experiences. There’s just the basics, which often has a cookbook quality and is stepping people through it, and hey, I got the gold star, because I passed my little step by step and I remember everything. Good for me. But that’s really not
enough for the workforce. The workforce really wants to see people flying on their
own a little bit with no net, and those are the industry-
recognized experiences. Problem based learning, those kinds of modalities and capstone experiences are powerful, and I think K-12, you can do some of that. Do you have enough employers in the target fields to
collaborate with educators? Keep the instruction up to date. To give them ideas that they can rip from, play from, and be creative with. That’s sometimes a real challenge, and again, it’s all about networking, and getting out to where they are. Meeting them where they are. I’ll stop there and see if there are any questions around this step two. The coordinating the
diverse regional players who can design and deliver
workforce programs. – [Kirsten] We’ll just keep
that open for a minute. I don’t see anyone typing in
the chat box at this point, but I’ll just give people a moment to think about any questions they might have about step two, and if there aren’t any
questions, we can keep moving. – [Louise] I’m not seeing any typing. – [Kirsten] I think we
can keep moving along, and then if anyone else has
any questions about step two that come up as Louise is
going through step three, we can try to get to those at the end. – [Louise] All right. Step three, creating workforce
educational experiences. This is the creative part. This is where, I think, please think big. Dream big. Imagine. Put the naysaying aside. At least put it on the table for a moment. Put it on the back burner, and really think what you want to do, and what you want to offer, and again it always starts with, hey, what are we already doing? I took a look at CNMI, I’m just gonna quickly go over these. They’ve got a cooperative
education program for workforce, and you can get your work
experiences on or off campus. It helps students find jobs. It helps them develop
communication skills and so on. Why is this important? It’s important because these are your jungle guides, if you will. The people who have
assembled these programs, they are familiar with a lot of the things I’m talking about, about talking across the lanes. Talking across the different specialties of education and industry. The different vocabulary and translating. You really want to take stock of not just what we do, but who is doing it, because they’ve got it
all locked in their heads, and you’ve gotta bring them to
the table to have it shared. Their public school system also offers apprenticeship programs
in target industries and they’ve worked with some employers, to have some flexible
scheduling around work so that students can work part time, and also go to school. What else do they do? The community college does
what community colleges do. They offer the four
credit vocational courses in fields that many of
which are high demand. They’ve got to do that. They have bootcamp. Those are the shorter, more focused ways of developing industry
recognized credential. You have something called a
Community Development Institute for continuing education. Every community college
has that part of the mix. The non-credit mix, and that whole discussion about, when is credit important? When, maybe isn’t it? We always talk about stackable credit, and getting more people to having, if they want to pivot into
going in Bachelor’s track or staying on Associate’s degree. That’s wonderful, and the more you can encourage that, it gives people more options later, when they can come back and add another brick to
the wall, if you will. But don’t discount the non-credit, because the non credit
is usually very targeted. It’s often done at the service, or the behest of local industry, and again if I were a
high school student today, I might want to take one
of those courses at night just to get a really good skill that I know I can turn right into a job, maybe to support me in college. There are all kinds of
ways to think about that. And, finally, here we’ve
got the trade institute and what are they doing? They have, as you might imagine, very targeted towards
the growth industries. They have training for youth and adults, and what’s neat about their program is the range of time frames. That’s useful. And also, they are helpful with the internships and apprenticeships. That’s something they’ve got, for example, with Saipan hotel. People can get experience
with kitchen and management, and again, you might say, well, why do I need to know about this? I’m a K-12. What do I need? That’s the guidance
counselor’s job or whatever. Maybe it is the guidance counselor’s job. Maybe that’s how you want to design it, but make sure that someone or some group of people, is sharing this information, this wealth of information, all the options, because it will empower your
students and their families. You’ll be providing a
tremendous resource to them to make their lives easier, so they’re not hunting and pecking and going by word of mouth. You’re democratizing access to these kinds of things that way. Then it isn’t just the schools. There are other things. The private sector sometimes has
special mentoring programs. Job fairs by certain employers. Trade groups. These are all things you
should have in the mix, and get the information out. There’s so much going on, and people often don’t hear about it. Think about your students and your families and parents who are struggling. Maybe you know who they are, and maybe there’s a way, if you have a real critical mass of the population, dealing with some difficult transition and unemployment and what have you, tremendous resources out, in every community if you go and look, in the non profit sector, the community based-organization sector. They’re really helping
people get out of debt. Do their finances, and get the education they need to support their families. And then financial literacy training, who knew? From local banking institutions. That’s what they’ve got at CNMI. I’m sure you’ve got some similar good opportunities from your local business community for people
to learn financial skills. Think about that. That’s so important. We often don’t really pay much
attention to it in school, but I think it’s very important. Also keep in mind that, who is coming into your community, who is leaving your community? The people coming in, and these will be the people, your students are working with, and think about the skills that maybe your students can develop to be an ambassador or someone
who is working alongside. If your region is experiencing a large influx of people from other places with different backgrounds,
different customs, make your students smart to
be working in that field, and working with that personality. Develop some cross
cultural awareness skills. Think about CNMI. They are going to be
going to U.S. citizens in all of these places, and if they’re successful, people from all over these places, they’re going to be coming into CNMI, it’s a new place to all of them, and those folks will also need some training and
education too, eventually, so think about them too, when you’re putting your program together. And then the final piece is, next to final piece, is taking a deep dive into the materials. This is an approach that
I did in my research and people seem to really like it. We would get a group of
stakeholders together, industry and education. We put them in the same room and then we gather some actual samples of classroom curriculum, and what I’d recommend in this case, it’s either curriculum that you think is already fantastic for career alignment or it has potential. Add some things and adapt it a little, and it’s gonna be great, and pull them together. Have them sit down and literally look through the curriculum together, and we have a way of really focusing them on rating it and rating it according to, does it align with what
they need academically? Does it align with what they need to meet the workforce
needs in our community? Overall what do we think holistically, and it’s really, and you get them to think too about the skills that they don’t have in that lesson right now, but you could with a
little adaptation layer in, here are some of those skills which I won’t read through, since we’re coming down
to the final minutes here. Then you get into the last part of this which is the co-development, and when I say co-development, I mean really working together, using the input from industry. Sometimes, I’ve heard of industry, they actually will create
curriculum, believe it or not, and then they’ll want to
share it with educators, and sometimes they get a mixed response from the education folks on that. Try to be open minded. Try to think about, hey, maybe there is some way, I know there’s already so
much in the curriculum, and that’s usually what
everyone’s worried about, but, again, think about integration. You are the designer. You can find a way to do it. But I’m looking at CNMI. Here you’ve got an opportunity to think about virtual curriculum, Think about that problem with the people who are
on the other two islands. Wouldn’t it be great to really expand the virtual options that they have, and also think about how
challenging that is for some folks, and that they might need
some additional support to learn better in that
kind of environment. That’s an example of a tailored strategy that could really work in this location and every place has
something a little unique. And again, think about more
people who can help out. Think about satellites. Work-space programs. Fab labs. Fabrication laboratories where people have 3-D
printers, and CMC machines, and they learn how to make things and prototype products and things. Make those kinds of resources available and integrate virtual workplace technology into the classroom. I’ve done a lot of work in this space. Kids are doing things with bioinformatics, and using really interesting technologies that people in that field use. You can come up with a very focused lesson and they can play with it, and they can start to see why, why what I’m learning in biology classes is informing new
technology and innovation. That’s one illustration. There’s tons of things like that. Give them a taste. You can’t have it take
over the whole class, but maybe it’s one experience, and they’ll always remember it. Then also think about the logistics. If you’ve got places
you want your students to be able to go, that you know transportation’s
gonna be a challenge, it’s time to get creative, and work out how you’re
gonna solve that one. That’s pretty much everything on three, and before I do the followup resources, I just wanted to pause again, and see if there were any more comments or questions on step three, which is creating the workforce
educational experiences. – [Kirsten] Louise, I’m wondering if, while we wait to see if
there are any questions popping up in the chat box, if we could circle back to those questions from part one of our agenda. We had one question from Patricia who had mentioned that they have career, technical,
education secondary programs in their public high schools, but the problem is that they have students who invested two to three years of their CTE, career, choice
and work experience courses, but don’t pursue jobs in that field, or post secondary programs in that field. The question was, she was wondering if it’s too early for 9th graders to
choose their CTE programs because they may not
have the career maturity needed to make the decision that early. – [Louise] Yeah, in a nutshell, yes. But again, I wouldn’t be
hard on yourself or on them. It’s exploration and these
explorations are golden. I know everyone listening to this still, you can think back to
some experience you had, maybe as a teenager where you realized, oh, wait a minute, I’m good at that. Or, wow, that was really fun, or that wasn’t quite what I
want to do, I don’t think. A lot of that working
the jobs that you have, while you’re in school
to support yourself, I would love to just see more reflection. More opportunity for
students to reflect on that. Bring that back into school. And, yeah, I’m working at this job at the local grocery store, or something, and I am learning these things, and I think I can take
that skill elsewhere. But these other things I’m realizing, this is not gonna be my
calling and this is why. That kind of reflection is so important and I don’t think we do enough of it. Again, I think, I don’t
know what the rules are with respect to your CTE program. You’ve raised an interesting question and now I want to go do some homework and understand, gee, why would it be, that someone would devote time to CTE? I guess all that’s coming to my mind, and I don’t know if this
is backed up by research, is they’re going through the motions. They’re going through the
motions for some reason, and it might be that, I don’t think I’m smart enough. I’m just saying this. I’m talking as if it were myself. Maybe CTE, because I like, I don’t really like academics. I don’t feel like I’m
that kind of student, but I really like hands on, and I like talking with people, and I feel like this is more
the way I want to learn. It could be some of that going on, and it also could be like, moms and dad told me I have to. It could be all kinds of things, that lead students to that. It could be alienated from school and give them credit for
at least finding a path, a way to get into it, even if it’s not the one ultimately they decide they want to stick to. And maybe it’s time to think more about how you frame the program
of study experience, as exploratory, maybe. I don’t know. It’s a great question
and thank you for asking. – [Kirsten] Amy actually
has a comment about that, where she mentioned that’s where the power of the message, college,
and career is vital, which is absolutely true. Let me jump into another question here. Or comment rather from Lou. He says that high school grad requirements are often strictly aligned
with college track, but the European model of
rigorous CTE diploma option is not widely available in the U.S, and would like a comment on that. – [Louise] Yeah, it’s true. I think my colleague, Cliff Adelman, did some work in this space. It’s called the Bologna Process, and it really describes in Europe. I know we’re coming to
the final minutes here, so I’ll try to cut this short. I would encourage you to
look at some of his work, because he really articulates quite well, what you get from K-12. What you can get from community college. What you can get from the four year track. What you can get from
a post graduate track. He literally, in different fields, they describe the skillset. They really describe, really what you’re supposed
to be getting in high school and I would just look at that because I do think what
you’re saying is a problem, and I think the guidance counselors and the press of the parents that everyone’s gotta go to college, I think that that is creating a self-fulfilling
prophecy or something, where they don’t want to focus on that. But as an educational psychologist, I just know that people are developing their identities in high school and it’s really a tough
challenge, and you’re scared. You’re thinking you’re going to work, and how are you gonna do that? I think the more you can do around that, the better it’s going to be for your students, and for you, in motivating
them to be engaged in school. – [Kirsten] Louise, could
you please share the name of your colleague again,
who did that research? – [Louise] Sure, Cliff
Adelman, A-D-E-L-M-A-N. – [Kirsten] We have
another webinar scheduled. This webinar will be on
strategies for aligning K-12, college, and workforce systems, so you’re not going to want to miss that. We’ll send you all an invite probably within the next week. No later than that, and we hope you can join
us for that as well. I wanted to take a moment
to thank all of you for participating and for being so engaged and for all of your great questions, and, Louise, thank you
so much for joining us, and for such a wonderful presentation.

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