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October 2012
What's Happening

CCCAOE Fall Conference – IHELP Director Nancy Shulock and Research Specialist Colleen Moore attended the California Community College Association for Occupational Education’s Fall 2012 Conference in Long Beach on October 17-19. The theme of the conference, “Doing What Matters for Jobs and the Economy,” centered on the new four-pronged framework developed by the California Community College Division of Workforce and Economic Development to reorganize and revitalize the colleges’ career technical and workforce education in order to increase student success and better respond to and meet California’s economic and workforce needs. Nancy joined Vice Chancellor Van Ton-Quinlivan and Executive Vice Chancellor Erik Skinner in presenting during the conference’s opening keynote session.

CCCCO Workforce and Economic Development Division meeting – IHELP researchers Colleen Moore and Latonya Harris attended a town hall meeting for the North/Far North Regional Consortium hosted by Sacramento City College to discuss the strategic framework of Vice Chancellor Van Ton-Quinlivan’s Division entitled “Doing What Matters for Jobs and the Economy.” This meeting was one of many regional forums to assist and support the colleges as the framework is enacted.

The Role of For-Profit Colleges in Increasing Postsecondary Completions – IHELP Faculty Associate Su Jin Jez recently published an article in the California Journal of Politics and Policy titled “The Role of For-Profit Colleges in Increasing Postsecondary Completions.” In this article, Su Jin looked at the diverse student population and graduation rates of for-profit institutions and their role in the nation’s college completion agenda. Su Jin found that most of the degrees awarded from these institutions are in career-related fields rather than traditional liberal arts. Su Jin is also preparing a policy paper for the upcoming Association for the Study of Higher Education (ASHE) Conference arguing that state and federal policy needs to not only address the egregious practices of some for-profits, but also to make these institutions a partner in promoting access to and success in quality postsecondary education.

WICHE Interstate Passport Initiative –  IHELP Director Nancy Shulock attended a meeting in Boulder, Colorado at which faculty and staff of the five states participating in the Interstate Passport Initiative (California, Oregon, Utah, Hawaii, and North Dakota) began work to negotiate the agreements by which participating institutions in one state would accept the lower division core general education credits earned by students in participating institutions in another state, based on mutual mapping of courses to essential learning outcomes. The goal of the project is to improving graduation rates, shorten time to degree, and save students money by facilitating inter-state transfer. Participating California institutions are California State University, Sacramento and Sacramento City College. Nancy is the external evaluator for the Interstate Passport Initiative, which is funded by the Carnegie Corporation of New York.

Continuing Work with CTE Advisory Panels – IHELP staff continue to draw on the expertise of CTE faculty and staff across the California community college system through meetings and telephone interviews with members of the advisory panels and others to understand how state laws and regulations affect the ability of colleges to deliver high quality CTE programs to benefit their students and communities. IHELP staff are always interested to hear from the field about how the CTE mission might operate more effectively with more supportive state and system policies. Feel free to contact us at IHELP@csus.edu to schedule a phone appointment.

Features This Month

Capitol Briefing Series: Career Technical Education and the College Completion Agenda

The Campaign for College Opportunity (CCO) is hosting a briefing at the California State Capitol highlighting the findings in IHELP’s first three reports in the four-part series on career technical education in the California Community Colleges and previewing the fourth report, which will offer recommendations. The briefing will feature presentations and comments from IHELP Director Nancy Shulock, IHELP Research Specialist Colleen Moore, California Workforce Investment Board Executive Director Tim Rainey, California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office Career Education Practices Unit Dean Debra Jones, Laney College President Elnora Tena Webb and CCO Policy Director Kim Tran. The briefing will be on Tuesday, November 13 from 1:30 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. in Room 126.

Click here for more information.

In Case You Missed It - Career Opportunities: Career Technical Education and the College Completion Agenda – Part III: Promising CTE Policies from Across the States

This IHELP report is the third in the four-part series on career technical education in the California Community Colleges with a goal of identifying necessary changes to state and system policies to improve CTE. This report examines policies in other states that might offer helpful lessons for shaping CTE in California to better meet student and employer needs. It provides examples in the following five policy areas: degree and certificate programs offered; curriculum structure and delivery; high school – community college – workplace pathways; financing CTE – college and student costs; and accountability. Researchers explain how each policy area relates to an effective CTE program and provide brief descriptions of relevant policies in place in other states with endnotes that provide references to further detail on the policies.

View the report

Spotlight On

Thoughts on CCCAOE – The California Community College Association for Occupational Education held its Fall 2012 Conference earlier this month. As mentioned in our What’s Happening section, the theme of the conference centered on the new four-pronged framework developed by the California Community College Division of Workforce and Economic Development:

  • Give Priority for jobs and the economy

  • Make Room for jobs and the economy

  • Promote student success

  • Innovate for jobs and the economy

One major strategy of the framework, and a major theme of the conference, is the need to take a regional approach to CTE and workforce development. Rock Pfotenhauer, Cabrillo College Dean of Career Education & Economic Development, made a convincing case, in several conference sessions, for taking a regional approach arguing that the community college system fails to realize the many benefits of its scale by organizing such that each college is expected to contribute individually to its regional workforce and economy. He emphasized that "some challenges are too small..., some challenges are too big..., and some are too important" to be effectively addressed by individual colleges.

Achieving the benefits of scale is a huge opportunity for the California Community Colleges. It applies to the following topics that we at IHELP are working on as areas where policy change might help by promoting regional approaches:

  • Program approval and review processes – to do it right is prohibitively time consuming and demanding for individual faculty in individual colleges and such individual processes can result in unnecessary duplication

  • Acquiring and analyzing labor market data – a technical and complex task that could be done much more effectively at a regional level

  • Achieving substantive employer engagement – employers resist duplicative requests from neighboring colleges but respond well to a coordinated effort by a region to engage in employers in program planning, work-experience opportunities, and economic development.

There was an impressive level of energy among conference attendees devoted to considering new ways to collaborate around regional priorities and industry sectors and to better help students find their way into and through programs to earn credentials of value. This is not “tweaking” but is fundamental change in the way the system is organized and the way colleges will likely receive a significant portion of their CTE funding. These are bold measures and the CTE and workforce development community should be applauded for the work they are doing on behalf of their students and their regions.

Sacramento State Institute For Higher Education Leadership & Policy

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