IN THIS ISSUE
- WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT
- K-12 ED REFORM
- ON THE ROAD
Since the financial crisis of 2008, occupations with growing demand have been few and far between. One category of jobs that has seen significant growth in advertised positions is the field of health care informatics—the collection, handling, and processing of clinical and medical information. Job postings in health care informatics increased by 36 percent from 2007 to 2011, compared with 9 percent growth for health care postings and 6 percent for all U.S. jobs. These trends were brought to light not by traditional federal employment data but by real-time labor market research highlighted in a June 2012 report written by Burning Glass Technologies and published by JFF.
Real-time labor market tools have the ability to reveal how many jobs are available today and to sort them by city, region, or state; by skills required; and by credentials required or preferred. Community colleges can use real-time labor market data to better prepare students for those jobs. Read more . . .
In recent years, career pathways have gained prominence as a promising strategy for helping individuals move into long-term, family-sustaining employment. Career pathways align education, training, and workforce development programs to meet not only the skill needs of students, jobseekers, and workers but also the skill requirements of employers in high-demand industries and occupations. For workforce systems and Workforce Investment Boards, career pathways provide a valuable way to organize and improve the effectiveness of education and training.
In a brief written for the U.S. Labor Department, JFF workforce policy director Mary Clagett discusses the pivotal role that local and state workforce investment systems can play in building and implementing career pathways. Her recommendations come out of best practices nationwide and expert forums of the Labor Department’s Employment and Training Administration and the U.S. Education Department’s Office of Adult and Vocational Education. Read more . . .
- As demand for an educated and skilled workforce grows, many governors have made college and career readiness a priority in 2012, and in their State of the State addresses, governors in Mississippi, Missouri, Virginia, and Wisconsin promoted the expansion of dual enrollment programs as a key strategy for strengthening academic preparedness. Dual enrollment provides high school students with opportunities to take college courses while completing high school, giving them an experience of college-level work, a better understanding of what it takes to succeed in a college environment, and a head start on earning college credits. A policy brief by JFF’s Diane Ward and Joel Vargas details these governors’ blueprints for expanding dual enrollment opportunities. Read more . . .
With only 15 states graduating at least 60 percent of black male high school students, Mamadou Ndiaye of JFF’s Back on Track team proscribes three steps for recovering those who drop out of high school and helping those in school succeed and transition smoothly into college and careers. “There are pockets of excellence… around the country with schools where young black males actually graduate high school and go on to college at exceptionally higher rates,” Ndiaye writes in his blog entry “The Great Letdown.” “Rather than the exception, they ought to be the norm.” Read more . . .
Also from the Back on Track team, Clare Bertrand discusses how do-it-yourself instructional technology strategies are spreading into classrooms serving formerly off-track students. In these technology-enriched classrooms, Bertrand observes that “elements of the edupunk movement are springing up in classrooms where teachers and school leaders are continually disappointed by the packaged curricula offered by big education vendors.” She also shows how embracing an edupunk approach to teaching and learning goes hand in hand with the Common Core State Standards, as well as what free tools teachers and students are using to make it work for them. Read more . . .
The latest in student-centered learning research is now available free on your iPad, iPhone, or Kindle. JFF’s free e-book includes the executive summaries of all nine research papers written for Students at the Center. This book follows an April symposium at which 150 education, foundation, and thought leaders took a fresh look at teaching and learning practices that benefit all students. The approaches they discussed align with how the brain functions and how best to motivate students; take advantage of the full range of learning experiences at all times of the day, week, and year; and can help bridge our nation’s persistent racial and economic achievement gaps.
“For a long time, society has benefited from having some of our learners move on to higher levels of education. Today that’s no longer tenable,” said Nicholas Donohue, president and CEO of the Nellie Mae Education Foundation, which funds Students at the Center. “We need more people to succeed at much higher levels. . . . There’s a strong argument to be made for thinking differently about how we engage learners.”
The nine full reports are available HERE.
June 29, U.S. News STEM Solutions: A Leadership Summit, Dallas, TX:
- VP Joel Vargas discusses how to strengthen the K-16 pipeline to help students transition smoothly from education into employment. (9:45-10:45 a.m.)
June 6-7, College Now’s Statewide Summer Conference, Billings, MT:
- Sr. Project Manager Rachel Pleasants is a featured presenter, talking about how states and community colleges can help create effective student transitions from ABE to postsecondary education.
May 11, Good Jobs: Green Jobs, Detroit, MI:
- Sr. Project Manager Stephen Lynch of the Greenforce Initiative reported on the top skills and certifications required for emerging green jobs and how community colleges are partnering with employers, others to prepare students for them. Click here for the presentation.