We commissioned this working paper for the California Education Policy Fellowship Program (EPFP) because we had a hard time finding one current source…
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California Education Policy, Student Data and the Quest to Improve Student Progress examines California’s approach to gathering and sharing data on student progress through the public education system. The four reports in the series look into the perspectives of state and local leaders with regard to the responsibility for gathering and sharing statewide educational data across systems.
“Get Me from point A to Point B:” Student Perspectives on Barriers to Timely Graduation at the California State University
Nearly all students enter the California State University system intending to graduate “on time,” and graduation rates are increasing systemwide. Currently, less than a quarter of incoming freshmen graduate within four years and a third of community college transfer students graduate in two years. This study investigates the personal and institutional obstacles that students experience as they navigate through college on the pathway to timely graduation.
After the California State Legislature reauthorized EWD in 2012, the CCCCO created a new structure for the program based on seven geographic regions. Each region selected five rapid-growth, high-demand industry/business sectors, and EWD services in each region were targeted to those sectors. This brief outlines perceived strengths and weaknesses of this restructured program and offers recommendations for improvement. The information is drawn from an evaluation of the EWD program, Aiming to Meet Workforce Needs: An Evaluation of the Economic and Workforce Development Program.
Roles for County Offices of Education to Support College and Career Readiness: Bridging California’s Vision with Local Implementation Needs
This brief focuses on the potential role of County Offices of Education (COEs) in bridging the state’s vision for college and career readiness with the implementation needs of local districts and schools. After summarizing the work of 10 COEs that are known for supporting districts in increasing college and career readiness, the brief raises questions and outlines concerns in this area for COEs across the state.
California’s dynamic economy depends on having a large and skilled workforce; consequently, the state must continually support and refine efforts to provide workers with employer-valued competencies. Given the wide range of regional and state needs across this vast state, ensuring that the workforce has the training to keep up with labor market demands is difficult. The California Community Colleges’ (CCC) Economic and Workforce Development Program (EWD) aims to support the development of a workforce that will promote California’s economic development by connecting employers and educators. This report summarizes the findings of an independent evaluation conducted on EWD.
Co-Design, Co-Delivery, and Co-Validation: Creating High School and College Partnerships to Increase Postsecondary Success
Co-authored by Andrea Venezia and Joel Vargas at Jobs for the Future, is part of a series, “Ready or Not: It’s Time to Rethink the 12th Grade.” The introductory paper in the series suggests a “shared transition zone,” in which secondary and postsecondary education systems and institutions would collaborate in key ways to bridge existing gaps and substantially increase the percentage of youth prepared for college and careers. While high schools and colleges have their own distinct roles in educating students—and are trying to make improvements in their respective systems—their shared interest in student success comes closest to converging at the end of high school and the beginning of college. The aim of this paper is to frame how educators can build upon this momentum to increase collective responsibility and solutions across systems.
Workforce Investments: State Strategies to Preserve Higher-Cost Career Education Programs in Community and Technical Colleges
This report addresses the challenge of financing community college career and technical education programs. It examines finance policies and practices in 20 states and identifies five strategies that may help preserve higher-cost CTE/workforce programs. The report is intended as a resource for education leaders and policymakers in California.
Career Opportunities: Career Technical Education and the College Completion Agenda – Part III: Promising CTE Policies from Across the States
This report is the third in the four-part series on career technical education in the California Community Colleges. It 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.
Career Opportunities: Career Technical Education and the College Completion Agenda – Parts I and II (summarized)
This policy brief is a summary of the first two reports in a series on career technical education in the California Community Colleges. The first report analyzes the complex organizational structure and funding arrangements for the CTE mission and the closely related economic and workforce development mission, while the second report examines the full set of career-technical certificate and associate degree programs offered by the CCC. The brief identifies key issues discussed in the two reports that will need to be addressed as efforts proceed to increase the effectiveness of CTE.
Career Opportunities: Career Technical Education and the College Completion Agenda – Part II: Inventory and Analysis of CTE Programs in the California Community Colleges
This report is the second in the four-part series on career technical education in the California Community Colleges. It examines the full set of career-technical certificate and associate degree programs offered across the system as a basis for understanding how well the CTE programs are meeting students’ needs to identify, enroll in, and complete programs with real value in today’s labor market. In the report, researchers evaluate the findings against a set of criteria, based on a literature review, that characterize an effective CTE mission and identify key issues that will need to be addressed to increase the effectiveness of CTE.
Career Opportunities: Career Technical Education and the College Completion Agenda – Part I: Structure and Funding of Career Technical Education in the California Community College
This report is the first in a four-part series on career technical education in the California Community Colleges. It describes the complex organizational structure and funding arrangements for the CTE mission and the closely related economic and workforce development mission. It offers a set of criteria, based on a literature review, that characterize an effective CTE mission and identifies five key issues that will need to be addressed as efforts proceed to increase the effectiveness of CTE in the California Community Colleges.
Sense of Direction: The Importance of Helping Community College Students Select and Enter a Program of Study
This report examines the importance of declaring and entering an academic program of study for community college student success and completion. Researchers track an entering cohort of community college students over a six-year period through programs of study to completion of a certificate, associate degree or transfer to a university. The study used student course patterns to identify those who entered a program of study in 21 program areas across the liberal arts and sciences and career technical education, and found that entering a program of study is an important milestone on the path to college completion.
The Road Less Traveled: Realizing the Potential of Career Technical Education in the California Community Colleges
This report examines four high-wage, high-need career pathways in the California Community Colleges as a basis for exploring the career technical education mission and its role in the college completion agenda. The study found that the potential of CTE to help meet the state’s completion, workforce, and equity goals is not fully realized due to a lack of priority on awarding technical certificates and degrees and an absence of clear pathways for students to follow in pursuing those credentials. The report offers recommendations to strengthen the CTE function.
This literature review analyzes evidence on the effectiveness of career-oriented education in high schools and community colleges and discusses the factors that promote successful educational outcomes for students enrolled in career-technical programs. It finds the literature scarce on career-technical education (CTE) student success and suggests that further research would help us better understand and strengthen CTE student and program outcomes to better meet the needs of the workforce.
Technical Difficulties: Meeting California’s Workforce Needs in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) Fields
This report draws attention to California’s looming shortage of educated workers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields, as the demand for such workers increases and the state is producing too few graduates to meet the demand. The report offers recommendations to meet workforce needs and maintain the economic benefits that have resulted from the state’s historical strength in STEM employment.