Magazine article Techniques

The Community Must Work for CET: NASDCTEc's "CTE: Learning That Works for America" Campaign Calls on CET Community to Advocate

Magazine article Techniques

The Community Must Work for CET: NASDCTEc's "CTE: Learning That Works for America" Campaign Calls on CET Community to Advocate

Article excerpt

Funding threats have long loomed over career and technical education (CTE). However, congressional advocates have faithfully preserved investments in CTE--until fiscal year 2011. Despite many years of unwavering bipartisan support, even the most coveted programs are being held to a higher standard to showcase their worth and document their impact in order to survive these tough economic times. Global competition and a weak economy are game changers in terms of how policymakers perceive the value of CTE and education overall. And the CTE community must convince policymakers that CTE has been able to evolve to meet the new demands of the economy.

Unfortunately, like most in the education world, CTE has not been diligent about documenting and broadcasting its success. We have not been vocal and clear enough in communicating who we are, who we serve, and the impact and growth of our programs. Now, on the heels of economic and educational shifts, a strong communications and marketing initiative is needed. In response to this demand, the National Association of State Directors of Career Technical Education Consortium (NASDCTEc) recently launched the "CTE: Learning that works for America" campaign. The initiative is designed to increase awareness of, and support for, CTE by providing advocates with the tools to communicate the value of CTE clearly and effectively. We hope you will join us!

The CTE Brand Promise

Think of your favorite chain retail establishment. One of the things that makes these chains successful is consistency in the experience and product they offer. What is the CTE brand experience? It varies tremendously across the country, within states and even within schools. To apply these expectations of a brand-delivery of the exact same thing everyplace across the country--wouldn't be appropriate in an educational environment. But given recent concerns raised by Secretary of Education Arne Duncan that CTE has "islands of excellence," consistency in the CTE brand has been called into question. To be clear, we do not believe in building a cookie-cutter approach to CTE. Instead, the CTE brand is about achieving a level of agreement and consistency in our core beliefs--what we stand for and what we hold ourselves accountable for.

To truly understand the CTE brand promise--the spirit and ambitions of "CTE: Learning that works for America"--it is important to understand the efforts and ideas that led us to this point. Reflect; Transform, Lead: A New Vision for Career Technical Education, located on the Web at is the result of collaboration among CTE leaders from a range of organizations, including the Association for Career and Technical Education. The vision is framed by five principles:

* CTE is critical to ensuring that the United States leads in global competitiveness.

* CTE actively partners with employers to design and provide high-quality, dynamic programs.

* CTE prepares students to succeed in further education and careers.

* CTE is delivered through comprehensive programs of study (POS) aligned to the National Career Clusters Framework.

* CTE is a results-drive system that demonstrates a positive return on investment.

These five principles were our guideposts by which we crafted the "CTE: Learning that works for America" campaign. …

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