Today, National Skills Coalition joined with seven other national organizations to release “Putting Learner Success First,” a collective vision for the future of career and technical education (CTE) in the United States. The new document – which is supported by Advance CTE, the Association for Career and Technical Education, the Council of Chief State School Officers, the National Association of State Boards of Education, the National Council of State Directors of Community Colleges, and the US Chamber of Commerce Foundation – provides an important call to action for policymakers and stakeholders to strengthen CTE to ensure that jobseekers and businesses have the skills they need to compete in today’s economy.
“Putting Learner Success First” outlines five guiding principles for transforming CTE, as well as key action steps to implement those principles. Specifically, the framework calls for a system in which:
- All CTE programs are held to the highest standards of excellence. This includes developing and implementing rigorous review and approval processes for CTE programs, aligning funding to high-quality programs of study, and developing and processes for employers to inform, validate and participate in the implementation of CTE programs
- All learners are empowered to choose a meaningful education and career. This includes developing and implementing a career advisement system that allows learners to be successful in a career pathway, and providing learners with real-world experience linked to career interest
- All learning is personalized and flexible. This includes identifying, building, and scaling programs and models that fully integrate academic and technical expectations and experience; building and scaling competency-based systems at the secondary and postsecondary levels; and aligning secondary and postsecondary programs to ensure seamless transitions
- All learning is facilitated by knowledgeable experts. This includes modernizing K-12 instructor certification programs, prioritizing professional learning opportunities, and building and supporting a pool of experts from relevant sectors to supplement learning opportunities
- All systems work together to put learner success first. This includes establishing a statewide vision to providing all leaners with career pathways; coordinating federal and state policies, programs, and funding to maximize investments and reduce inefficiencies; developing and supporting sustainable partnerships and intermediaries; and building indicators of career readiness into federal and state accountability systems.
The vision document is the result of the Future of CTE Summit, a 2015 convening hosted by NSC and partner organizations that brought together a range of state and local leaders from secondary and postsecondary education systems, workforce development, businesses, and the philanthropic community. NSC staff, board members, and local partners participated in the event, and worked closely with our national partners in the development of the final report.
NSC is proud to support the vision of “Putting Learner Success First,” which is consistent with NSC’s recommendations for reauthorization of the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act. With Congress considering significant updates to the Perkins Act for the first time since 2006, “Putting Learner Success First” provides an important framework for policymakers to ensure that our nation’s CTE systems are aligned with the skill needs of workers and industries. We look forward to working with our national partners to build on this foundation in the months and years to come.