Magazine article Techniques

ACTE: Connecting Policy to Real Life

Magazine article Techniques

ACTE: Connecting Policy to Real Life

Article excerpt

AS I WAS SITTING IN A MEDICAL FACILITY WAITING ROOM earlier this year, I overheard one of the employees say to his colleague: "If I get that certification, I can earn more money and then I can go back to school to get my degree." Those were his exact words, and I imagine many of you reading this article are nodding your heads in agreement, as I was.

President Obama and other leaders, both Democrat and Republican, are increasingly discussing the value of certifications, two-year degrees and other credentials in addition to a four-year college degree. This is a great sign that we are making progress, but discussion does not always translate into full understanding.

Unfortunately, even though Congress and legislators voice support for multiple credentials and pathways, too many remain under-informed. Many do not appreciate the necessity and implications of the multiple options students need and how those options improve lives by providing flexibility. Most Members of Congress and their staffs have followed the four-year college route themselves, which perhaps contributes to the ignorance concerning this matter.

The statement from the medical employee got me excited because it was an instant testimonial about the value of certifications and the career and technical education (CTE) programs which support students to earn those credentials. If more legislators and their staffs truly understood the value of various credentials and the impact on individual lives, they would be more inclined to develop and enact supportive policies. We need to ensure policymakers see CTE programs in action and hear from individual CTE students on a regular basis.

In addition to your own direct advocacy, your ACTE dues and donations to the CTE Support Fund are helping with this work. Here are a few examples from the past year:

Earlier this year, the Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE) produced an issue sheet explaining various credentials so that there is a common understanding of, and clarity about, the breadth of credentials that exist. …

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