Standards

The Path Less Taken: Barriers to Providing Career and Technical Education at Community Colleges

This report produced by Diane Auer Jones for the American Enterprise Institute, provides discussion on the type of post-secondary degree programs perceptions and significance to earnings. Findings include:

-The earnings associated with post-secondary education vary significantly based on one’s major and career path, among other things.

-Some certificate and associate degree programs in technical and allied health fields at community colleges can result in higher earnings than some bachelor’s degree programs.

-Despite evidence that vocational sub-baccalaureate certificates and degrees have a relatively high payoff, liberal arts and general studies programs have experienced the most rapid growth in community college enrollments and credentials. This may partially explain the mismatch between graduates’ skills and the skills employers demand.

-Community colleges face tremendous structural and policy barriers when trying to create new or expand existing vocational programs, including funding allocation formulas, accreditation requirements, federal regulations, transfer-of-credit policies, and stigmatization of occupational and vocational programs.


Apprenticeship and Work-Based Learning, Solutions for a Stronger Economy

America’s most famous youth apprentice, Ben Franklin (a printer’s apprentice at age 12), reputedly described the basic learning process of apprenticeship this way: “Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn.” This aphorism fits 19-year-old New Orleanian Da’Jonae Curtis. Although she was valedictorian of her high school class in 2016, she had no interest in post-secondary education: “I knew that I didn’t want to go to school—I was just done with school.” Instead, Da’Jonae found Earn and Learn and is about to complete her job placement with Tulane’s HVAC department. “I was kind of skeptical [of HVAC work] at first. It was something I never thought about doing,” she says. But after almost eight months on the job, Da’Jonae is proud of the certifications she’s earned and looking forward to an externship. Da’Jonae describes what she likes about work-based learning: I like that it’s very hands on.


Robot Proof: Higher Education in the Age of Artificial Intelligence

unveils a framework for universities to train the next generation of creators, rather than laborers, by enhancing skills that are innately, and uniquely, human. The impetus for the book was a realization that robotics and artificial intelligence are advancing more rapidly than anyone predicted. Even scientists appear to be caught off-guard by the sudden and unprecedented capabilities of their creations. These technological advances have vast implications, especially for the future of work.

Northeastern University President and author Joseph E. Aoun said, “Machines are smart and getting smarter,” More jobs are going to disappear and new jobs will be created. We need to meet these challenges.”

http://robot-proof.com/

His plan? Cultivate the best of what it means to be human. Aoun has proposed a new comprehensive curriculum based on a field he calls humanics—the human equivalent of robotics—which is defined by the mastery of three literacies: technological literacy, data literacy, and human literacy—the third referring to qualities computers can’t replicate, no matter how smart they become.

Northeastern University President and author Joseph E. Aoun

How Schools are Leveraging Micro-Credentials and Badges

School systems nationwide are increasingly using meaningful credentials and badges to recognize students and educators alike. CoSN (the Consortium for School Networking) issued a report titled Micro-Credentials and Badges: Competency-Based Recognition for Learning, which examines this innovative trend-and how schools are leveraging these distinctions to expand student skills and encourage professional development in modern learning settings.

"Micro-credentials and badges are powerful ways to recognize the achievements of students, teachers and administrators," said Keith Krueger, CEO of CoSN. "More and more districts are incorporating these efforts into their curriculum to advance learning outcomes and professional development."

Colleges Filling Skills Gap by Including Hands-On Training as Part of Curriculum

Change in Education must start at the University level. The following Institutions of Higher Education are leading the way. The NY Times is covering the story. “The economy and employers have changed,” said Louis Soares, vice president of the American Council on Education. “They want you to come in with a hot skill set, ready to go. Colleges are paying attention at different levels to what that means and trying to develop programs.” 

Some are doing that better than others. “Some institutions are very good,” said Gary Burtless, an economist with the Brookings Institution. “They have their ear to the ground, they’re listening to local employers and paying attention to what they need.”

 

Case Western Reserve University

 

Creating 15- or 18-credit minors may be one of the more effective strategies for preparing students to enter high-demand fields. Because a minor requires fewer credits than a major and few, if any, prerequisites, these allow colleges to be more flexible and responsive to changing industries and emerging technologies.


Virtual and Augmented Reality Learning Experience - DOE Launches $680,000 Challenge

Simulated environments, such as virtual and augmented reality, 3D simulations, and multiplayer video games, are emerging approaches to deliver educational content. Research indicates that simulation-based learning provides students with enriched experiences in information retention, engagement, skills acquisition, and learning outcomes.The EdSim Challenge seeks next-generation educational simulations that strengthen academic, technical, and employability skills. The Department is most interested in immersive and engaging simulations that include clearly defined learning goals and build diverse skill sets.The purpose of this Challenge is to stimulate the marketplace for computer-generated virtual and augmented reality educational experiences that combine existing and future technologies with skill-building content and embedded assessment. The developer community is encouraged to make aspects of simulations available through open source licenses and low-cost shareable components.


Coding to Every Classroom

The push to teach coding in U.S. schools has been growing: Thanks to initiatives like the White House’s CS for All program, computer science is now recognized as a core skill for today’s students. A new study by Gallup and Google revealed that 90 percent of parents want their child to learn CS, yet only 40 percent of K-12 school districts offer some kind of CS course. Teacher recruitment and training efforts are beginning to solve the problem at the high-school level, but in K-8 schools (where very few schools offer CS and many teachers are generalists) the challenges are different. Many teachers without much coding experience understandably feel anxious about integrating this new literacy into their classrooms.

Coding to Every Classroom

Makerspaces: Simple and Cost Effective Projects to Build Your Own STEM Program

Every new classroom project must satisfy available resources within three dimensions: 1) time, 2) money and 3) physical space. The 2016 New Media Consortium Horizon Report for K-12 Education anticipates that makerspaces will be highly adopted in schools across the country within the next year. Maker education and makerspaces are the hot topic in STEM education right now.

Over the last year I have worked with many teachers in a professional development environment who are simultaneously enthusiastic about the idea of a makerspace, and frustrated by the limitations of space in their schedule, budget and classroom layout. We all want a makerspace, but how do we make that happen within these constraints?
Ready for the Good News?
You do not need wait for additional funding or a district-wide initiative to build your own classroom makerspace. Teachers can embrace makerspaces with any level of experience and with any available resources.

YOUR FUTURE is MADE in MANUFACTURING, An Introduction to Manufacturing, Teachers Guide, recommended for grades 6-12

Dear Teacher,

I am constantly in awe of what you do every day. You inform, you influence, you interact, and most importantly, you inspire young people preparing for the exciting world of learning and work.

Over the next decade, 2 million manufacturing jobs will go unfilled due to the skills gap. With your help, we can mitigate this gap and show students the reality of modern manufacturing. Many people of all ages are amazed to learn how much we manufacture in the United States and how diverse the careers are in our dynamic industry. Today’s manufacturing is about new innovation, making an impact, and a chance to design and build the future .Whether they are interested in design, engineering, or even the business side of the industry, there is a place for everyone in manufacturing. Not only does our industry offer a wide variety of demanding and fulfilling roles, it also offers high pay and opportunity for career advancement.


Unmanned Aircraft Vehicles Provide Real World Applications to Teach STEM

The Drone Smartz™ document is a 15-Module project to learn about UAV / Drone flying, the legal issues cited by the Federal Aviation Agency (FAA) & the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and common sense safety issues.  Safety should be introduced as the reoccurring theme that guides all operations for this course.  

Drone Smartz™ was written with two 7 Module segments.  The first seven Modules will involve (head knowledge) learning about drones, various legal issues, government regulations and safety.  The second seven Modules will focus on hands-on experience and allow us to differentiate between a “STEM” program focusing on secondary school students or adult occupational technology implementation. There will be midterm and final exams in this program and opportunities for between session (homework) Lab opportunities.
John Finkler

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