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November 2012
What's Happening

CTE State Capitol Briefing – IHELP Director Nancy Shulock and Research Specialist Colleen Moore gave a presentation at a State Capitol briefing on November 13 on career technical education sponsored by the Campaign for College Opportunity (CCO). The presentation highlighted the findings in IHELP’s first three reports in the four-part series on career technical education in the California Community Colleges and previewed the fourth report, which will offer recommendations. Click here to view the presentation. Also on the panel were 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.

California Association for Institutional Research Conference – IHELP Researcher Colleen Moore attended the California Association for Institutional Research annual conference in Anaheim on November 7-9. The theme of the conference centered on the role of institutional research in California higher education in the context of declining funding.

Irvine Foundation - SB 1458 implementation meeting – Nancy Shulock was invited by the Irvine Foundation and Linked Learning Alliance to participate in a meeting on November 14 to consider potential measures of college and career readiness that might be incorporated into the academic performance index (API) per SB 1458.

Linked Learning Postsecondary Network – Nancy Shulock was invited to attend the first meeting of the Linked Learning Postsecondary Network on November 8 in San Francisco. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss the development and expansion of the Linked Learning Initiative into community colleges.

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

State and System Policies Related to Career Technical Education: Program Offerings — a Working Paper

IHELP has been engaged in a four-part research project on Career and Technical Education (CTE) in the California Community Colleges. The project is aimed at identifying ways that state and system policy can best support the CTE mission so that colleges can be more effective in helping students earn credentials of value in the workplace and helping employers and industries in their regions obtain a skilled workforce. As part of this project, we have identified a number of problems that we believe could be addressed with selective changes to state laws and regulations.

This IHELP working paper examines policies that relate to (1) the degrees and certificates offered and (2) the processes for program approval, review, and discontinuation that affect the specific mix of programs available. In this paper, we identify several problems, examine laws and regulations related to those problems, and offer suggested policy changes to address them. We will release other working papers and then pull all the topics together into a final report, in Spring 2013, that will summarize our findings and offer a range of possible policy changes.

View the working paper

In Case You Missed It - 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

Cornerstones of Completion – Community colleges participating in the Completion by Design initiative have announced strategies for developing structured pathways or routes to help students through college to completion. These strategies aim at helping students enroll early in programs that lead to credentials with high market value. However, the effective implementation of some of these strategies may require changes to state policies so that institutional change efforts can be sustained and brought to scale.  

A new report by Lara Couturier of Jobs for the Future, presents findings from a review of the participating states. It offers ten high-leverage policy recommendations that can accelerate institutional change toward systemic, student-focused structured pathways. These policies are explained in the report, “Cornerstones of Completion,” and include topics such as faculty-led curricular alignment, building CTE pathways, accelerating developmental education, supporting college advising, and using real-time labor market information. For more information and to view the report, please click the links below.


Jobs for the Future Policy Brief – Cornerstones of Completion

Completion by Design Initiative




Sacramento State Institute For Higher Education Leadership & Policy

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