From CTE Policy Watch – The following research and publications have been on our reading list as the leaves start to turn:

Parents Want More CTE: Parents’ highest priority, in an American Federation of Teachers poll, is expanding access to CTE and other programs that prepare students for jobs—94 percent strongly or somewhat approve of this proposal.

Professional Development: Micro-credentials are emerging as a way for teachers to demonstrate competency in bite-sized chunks. According to the American Institutes of Research, there are hundreds of micro-credentials for teacher professional development, available from dozens of issuers. Some states are counting these micro-credentials toward licensure renewal. This paper provides examples from Arkansas, Delaware, and Tennessee.

Career Pathways Funding: To better support career pathways, the National Skills Coalition is proposing a Career Pathways Support Fund for community and technical colleges. Grants would help these institutions provide education and support services to low-income adults preparing for the workforce in high-demand industries.

Wage Gains: Research earlier this year from Center for Analysis of Postsecondary Education and Employment finds that completing an associate degree leads to positive and persistent earnings gains of about $4,640-$7,160 per year. For certificates, the returns are still positive but not as high or as long lasting. In California, associate degree holders can more than double their pre-degree earnings after two years in the workforce, and almost triple their pre-degree earnings after five years on the job. In addition, Californians who earn a certificate almost double their earnings after five years.

Adult Education: There are large gaps in numeracy between adults with less than a high school degree and adults with an associate degree or higher, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. Meanwhile, a paper from Power in Numbers reports that more than 40 percent of skilled blue-collar jobs need advanced math, and describes the potential of open educational resources and other technological solutions for teaching advanced math to adults.