CTE programs and their teachers are crucial to equipping students with the specific skills and knowledge they need to succeed in their chosen industry. Now more than ever it is critical to attract students to CTE and work with industry partners to build a robust pipeline of talent for our nation’s future. The quality and currency of the instruction along with engaging instructional strategies have a direct impact on student retention and ultimately their readiness to enter the workplace and/or continue their education beyond high school. It is critical that new CTE teachers have access to resources that support their success.
Deciphering the Data
Data can be a powerful tool. In order to ensure students are ready and equipped to enter the workplace and/or continue their education, teachers need to understand the importance of data and reporting and how best to use it to prepare their students and improve their programs. Analyzing data to make learning improvement decisions is often difficult because it is challenging to figure out what data is useful and how best to use it. CTE educators receive a significant amount of student performance data and it can be challenging to understand the data and how it can help guide decisions.
When students complete a credentialing assessment, CTE teachers should receive in-depth cumulative and individual score reports. While reviewing the assessment reports, take note of any patterns or trends that may be occurring in the data. How do the overall scores compare year-to-year and to the state and national averages? Analyze how individual student scores changed between the pre-test at the beginning of the year and the post test at year-end. Are there specific technical skills or academic learning gaps that need to be addressed? How much did a particular student improve compared to his peers in the district, statewide, and at the national level?
Observing these types of data points can be helpful in understanding if students are truly learning what they are supposed to be learning and for considering different methods to teach the subject to ensure students will comprehend it. It will also help to identify the impact on scores when new curriculum or a learning tool is introduced.
Engaging the Parents
Research shows a strong connection between parent engagement and student achievement. Sharing the responsibility to help students learn and grow helps to build a support system both at school and at home as well as reinforcing expectations that students should work hard and fully participate in their program.
There are several ways to engage parents in the credentialing process:
- Provide a copy of the course outline and explain what students will be learning with examples of teaching methods and activities and how these relate to certification.
- Create a parent communication schedule to provide updates and help reinforce open lines of communication between parents and teachers.
- Explain the importance of credentialing and certification opportunities.
- Share credential assessment blueprints, the test schedule, and student preparation resources.
- Provide scores to parents for pre- and post-testing. This offers an excellent opportunity for parents to ask questions and for teachers to help them understand how they can encourage and support their students during the credentialing process. NOCTI offers a flyer with some helpful guidance. Download the flyer here.
NOCTI’s Teacher Resource Center provides additional resources including score reports and Instructor Prep Packs which can assist in credential preparation.
CTE Teacher Resources
According to techlearning.com, “CTE is currently receiving increased attention as it is expected to play a key role in the recovery from the pandemic. New skills, approaches, and funding introduced over the past year are helping to drive the expansion of programs as many employers continue to struggle to find qualified workers.”
With an increase in interest in CTE programs comes an increased need for new CTE teachers and ensuring they are well-supported with resources to help them and their students be successful in the classroom and beyond. That’s why NOCTI provides a dedicated online space focused on credentialing resources called The Teacher Resource Center.
The Teacher Resource Center has valuable tools to assist with preparing and supporting teachers as they plan their NOCTI credentialing program. From choosing the appropriate credentialing assessment to utilizing study guides, and interpreting score reports to put data to use, NOCTI resources can help guide educators through every stage of the credentialing process. The Teacher Resource Center is a secure, password-protected site. Access is permitted based on permissions established by Site Coordinators.
Some of the tools included are:
- Instructor Prep Packs for all skill-based credentials. These include guidelines and lists of materials and supplies needed to administer a credentialing assessment.
- Student Score Reports for targeted insight into which skills need improvement and to see the comparison between pre-test and post test data.
- Digital Study Guide Information to assist with incorporating these helpful resources into the classroom.
- Micro-Credential tools and resources for managing a NOCTI micro-credential program.
NOCTI also offers professional development, webinars, and blogs to support educators. CTE teachers play a critical role in assuring the future for our students is bright and that the workforce of tomorrow has the knowledge and skills deemed essential by employers.