NPR recently published Educators Worry Revamped GED Will Be Too Pricey. It is interesting to note that many people return to school to improve skills to get a better job. NPR said it this way ... so when somebody gets an epiphany and says, "I need to get my high school diploma so that I can get a job ..." The NCRC is an employment focused credential. It seems that states ought to consider the NCRC as an alternative to the GED. Since the NCRC is better aligned with skills people need to perform at work, they might find the NCRC is better, faster, and cheaper.
This new report by the American Institutes for Research National High School Center is the worst report in recent memory. This is an example of the "Bachelor Degrees for All" movement that adopted the phrase "College and Career Readiness" in name only. This report totally ignores the voices of employers. Here are two blatant fouls: (1) Under the title College and Career Aspirations there is not a single point on careers, and (2) under the title Preparation for College and Work the only work referenced is college-level work. People please. Work is something we do for our employers to earn a paycheck. And, good careers are best defined as a series of good jobs. Please look up the words work and career in a dictionary and use them correctly.
Ray Henson provides an excellent overview in his recent article published in the NCDA Career Convergence web magazine. Take a look at Documenting College and Career Ready Students. Ray provides a clear case why Career Readiness Certificates are a good and valuable companion to college readiness tests.
MOOC - Massive Open Online Courses - are upon us. Read more about the Year of the MOOC in this New York Times article. It will be interesting to see how this market - the new knowledge market - will be organized. Somehow we will all need a reliable way to validate that people actually new competencies as a result of these classes. Some indicator of accomplishment will be needed so that employers can recognize the capabilities created in the classes.
A new entry on the Gallup Blog by Tim Hodges announces The New Definition of Career Readiness. Within the blog is a link to a new website CareerReadyNow by the Career Readiness Partner Council. The definition of career ready put forth here is: "A career-ready person effectively navigates pathways that connect education and employment to achieve a fulfilling, financially-secure and successful career." There is also a link to the report What it Means to be Career Ready. Most of us have figured out that the relabeling of College Readiness as College and Career Readiness is not the answer. Education anchored in readiness for freshman year at college is not sufficient. We need to anchor college and career readiness in careers ... careers that are a series of good jobs that provide a sound financial footing and quality of life. This is a significant step forward in that conversation. And, a lot of the right people are at the table. Very encouraging.
The Census Bureau has an excellent set of online infographics for just over a dozen career pathways. In two or three minutes you can quickly interact with the data to compare the value of various pathways and educational levels.
The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) published their annual education indicators report Education at a Glance last month. This report compares education indicators for the 34 OECD member countries and a few others. It contains some very interesting graphics. It is a comprehensive report, so if you are in a hurry, start with the graphics on pages 26, 28, 29, 30, and 32. Our standard of living is in large part based on the productivity of our citizens. Political stability and education are key drivers of productivity. Our standing in the world is changing and this report illustrates one of the key reasons.
Competency-based education is here now. The transition from "time in seats" to "competency based" and is sure to accelerate. To learn more about this exciting innovation in education read the new CLASP report Giving Credit Where Credit is Due. For a quick introduction, start with the blog of George Lorenzo at TrainingIndustry.com. The NCRC is a competency-based credential that employers can trust. It represents content areas of reading, math, and locating information. And, overall it represents competency in critical thinking. Colleges need to embrace the NCRC and begin to provide credit where credit is due by implementing the ACE recommendation to offer three college credits for individuals that earn an NCRC. And, secondary systems should develop articulation agreements with community colleges so that high school graduates with NCRCs have the advantage of three NCRC-based college credits earned during high school. Read the ACT Press Release on the ACE recommendation.
Take a look a this article in the Free Press on the new teachers' contract in St. Clair. This is wonderful to reward teachers for building the skills that improve the earning power of students. Very encouraging. Thanks to everyone involved.
The Center for American Progress published Let's Get Serious About Our Nation's Human Capital; A plan to reform the U.S. workforce tranining system this month. If you're in a hurry just read the five principles to reform the workforce system on pages 27 and 28. Fans of career coaching will find the ideas on Career GPS on pages 53 to 58 interesting.
There is an interesting organization with an informative website Best Colleges Online. They posted a recent blog 12 College Majors We Hope to See Soon that has an interesting list of emerging occupations. We highlight the need for more blended learning models in the Talent SCM 2025 Vision Statement. And, of course, everything we do is related to evidence-based credentialing. As colleges and universities move more to online and blended learning models, the data that comes from job analysis will become more valuable. We need solid empirical evidence of the knowledge, skills, and abilities (KSAs) that are in fact the basis for competency and performance on the job. And, colleges and universities need to align curriculum and assessments to assure that those competencies are fully developed in their graduates.
Deloitte recently released their 2012 Top Five Total Rewards Survey. By Total Rewards, they mean total compensation package. The survey gives us a view into the mind of the employers as they think about how they provide compensation and how they communicate to employees about compensation so they are attractive to top talent. If you're in a hurry, just read pages 3 and 4 to see the key points on the talent shortage priority. And, read the related article in Widening Skills Gap Threatens Employers' Ability to Compete in Employee Benefit News.
Illinois is working to add Locating Information to the Prairie State Achievement Exam in addition to WorkKeys Math and Reading. View the Winnetka Talk article here.
Click here to download a PDF of the new NCRC Plus presentation from ACT.
Paul Gregoire is a vice president with Fisher Controls in Marshalltown, Iowa. Read his opinion on the Iowa Skills gap, the NAM Skills Certification System, and the NCRC in the DesMoines Register.
The Manufacturing Institute, the education affiliate of National Association of Manufacturers (NAM), issued their new report in 2011. Download: Boiling point? The skills gap in U.S. manufacturing, a report on talent in the manufacturing industry sponsored by Deloitte and The Manufacturing Institute.
There is a very interesting project being launched by the Mozilla Foundation with support from the MacArthur Foundation. This WSJ article Merit Badges for the Job Market provides a nice overview. For more visit Mozilla's Open Badges project.
Kathy Conklin, executive director of the Saginaw County Business and Industry Partnership along with the Great Lakes Bay Manufacturers' Association convened a broad-based community discussion on work ready communites yesterday. Here's a link to my presentation Using WorkKeys to Build a Talent Supply Chain.
Pat Hayes and friends spent some time with the Senator to discuss the NCRC and WorkKeys. Read about the visit to Hoffer Plastics here. And, view a video here.
The Rapides Foundation is sponsoring an event to help employers and community leaders to understand the benefits of using the National Career Readiness Certificate to build a work-ready region in Central Louisiana. More here.
Kentucky made headlines with their commitment to join the Certified Work Ready Communites initiative. More here.
Anthony Carnevale and Georgetown CEW team released a new report yesterday: Hard times, Unemployment, Majors and Earnings, Not All College Degrees Are Created Equal. It is an excellent overview of earnings and unemployment for various college majors. Download here (20 pages). If you only have one minute, just look at the graphics on pages 7 and 8. And here is a related article in the Washington Post.
ACT published a new research report on the "skills gap"' based on ACT Skill Profile data and assessment data. This report clarifies the skills gap at all levels in four major industry sectors. Find a link to the report on our Employers page or download the full report here.
National Skills Coalition published Driving Innovation from the Middle; Middle-Skill Jobs in the American South's Economy this month for the Southern Governors Association. This report contains specific appendicies for: Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Puerto Rico, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, U.S. Virgin Islands, Virginia, and West Virginia.
The Advocates recently compiled a list of employers - thousands of employers - that use certificates and WorkKeys in their hiring processes. If you know of employers that are missing from the list, please encourage them to sign up on their state certificate program website or send us a letter of support to post on our website. Letter of support forms can be found on our Employers page.
The International Association for K-12 Online Learning (iNACOL) and the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) just released a report It's Not a Matter of Time: Highlights from the 2011 Competency-Based Learning Summit. This is a trend, that eventually needs to fully embrace the certificate as the optimal learning outcome credential for essential workplace skills since WorkKeys is based on the nation's largest and best empirical data for skills required in the workplace. Learn more here.
A survey of state directors of adult education directors by CAAL found WorkKeys and the NCRC to be in very strong use thoughout the country as the means to certify adult education students. Download Certifying Adult Education Students here.
The Work Ready Communities preconference at Workforce2011 attracted 50 participants from 20 states plus DC. The notes are posted on the Work Ready Communities page.
Georgia has issued over 200,000 certificates. Check out the Georgia Work Ready report to see their total. And, check out the Top Ten States ranking to find out the status of the leading states.
The Roadmap to Education Reform for Manufacturing lays out six principles for innovative reform, including moving to competency-based education; establishing and expanding industry-education partnerships; infusing technology in education; creating excitement for manufacturing careers; applying manufacturing principles like “lean” to reduce education costs; and, expanding successful youth development programs.
We generally upload PDFs because they download better and always print properly. We also have PowerPoint versions of key documents on the Presentation Materials page. Please visit that page if you want to find slides to use in your presentations.
We have been working on the website to debug all of the functions. We now have the blog RSS Feed and the Search functions working. The link to the RSS Feed Subscription is at the bottom of this page. Note: The search box on this page will only search blog entries. Use the search box on one of the main pages to search the whole site.
We searched the web for Career Readiness Certificate programs for all 50 states. The results were used to update the state pages on the Advocates website. A list of revised pages can be found on the Webmasters page. Please take a look at the state websites. Some of them are absolutely fantastic. And, if you see anything missing, please send us your input.
An official proclamation was signed by Governor Nixon designating March 17, 2011 as Career Readiness Day and a statewide summit of workforce and education practitioners was held in Jefferson City.
ACT released a new policy brief Defining Credentials for the Public Workforce System. This paper outlines how the National Career Readiness Certificate meets the definition of "credential as defined by the US Department of Labor Employment and Training Administration in TEGL 15-10.
The National CRC Advocates and the States CRC Chat Group are co-hosting a preconference best practices session on the topic of Work Ready Communities at ACT's Workforce 2011 conference on Monday, April 18, 2011. Download a copy of the preconference plan here. For more information visit the Work Ready Communities page in the Best Practices section.
Clayton Christensen, the man who coined the phrase Disruptive Innovation, has published a new report Disrupting College along with coauthors Horn, Caldera, and Soares. They propose a Quality-Value Index formula for accessing Title IV funds that includes 90-day hire rate, change in salary, and more. See Figure 11 on page 48 for details. This is an interesting way to provide a market mechanism for higher education. These ideas fit well with the Talent SCM ideas we've been discussing. Click here for comentary published by Inside Higher Ed, Diverse Issues in Higher Education, and Education Week.