The purpose of my presentation is to enlist your assistance with Career Pathway student identification; help advise these students with their next steps in the process; assist them so they can complete the program they started at high school; and last, but not least, share tools with you that helped me tremendously to make up for missing staff and funds.
As of 9/1/11, federal funding for Tech Prep ended. As a district, we decided to continue with articulated Career and Technical Programs with our area ISDs (Independent School Districts). Per request of THECB we renamed the program from Tech Prep to Career Pathways to avoid any confusion about the funding stream. In the past, our district belonged to the North Texas Tech Prep Consortium and we received over $200K annually to run the program. When the program became unfunded, the consortium was eliminated, our office – staffed with 4 was reduced to a staff of 1. In order to justify this position other programs and responsibilities were added. At the campuses we retained all liaisons for this program which was a major benefit. We changed the articulation process to make it lean and we adjusted the time students have to claim credits from 15 months to 12 months. Since the name and some program details had changed, new marketing materials had to be developed. In previous years, external funding was budgeted around $7K for marketing efforts. This year it was developed in-house, in electronic formats rather than in hard copy and distributed electronically to all partners. This allowed us to share the burden and also be more responsive to updates on the materials. We restructured our outreach efforts from individual classroom presentations to high school staff development and large group presentations. We uploaded all forms, files, and relevant links to a Livebinder and made it accessible to high school administrators, teachers, counselors, students, parents, college professionals, and industry partners. This binder is maintained 24/7 with Internet access only and doesn’t require layers of approval. It doesn’t replace our official DCCCD Career Pathway website but supports it. It eliminates the constant requests for updating forms, agreements, and contact information that changes frequently.
We have over 20 articulated programs in our district. While the courses are aligned with the Applied Associate of Science Degree in each program, each of these degrees provides certificate options that are faster to achieve. They provide stepping stones towards the AAS and technical courses may be taken alongside of developmental courses. This allows students to get college and workforce ready at the same time.
Students can earn articulated credit as early as 9th grade. In order to be considered in a pathway, they must complete 2 or more courses in the same program and earn a “B” or better in each course. Since the funded changed we were also able to allow dual credit courses as part of a pathway if the student continued with the program at the college. The student has 12 months after high school graduation to claim their credits and enroll in an AAS program at one of our colleges. When students identify themselves as Tech Prep or Career Pathway students they are asked to see the Career Pathway person at that particular campus to assist them with the petition process. At this point they are also informed how to best apply their credits toward a certificate or degree program and about their eligibility of a special scholarship (up to $500).
This is a visual how the high school credits (bottom box) and high lighted in red fit into certificates and the AAS degree. On the left there are 2 certificate options that build upon each other and then lead into the AAS program. The certificate option on the right only allows 2 of the possible 3 articulated courses to be applied. However, all 3 articulated courses can be ultimately applied to the AAS degree. This visual helps high school counselors, students, and parents to see the pathway and appreciate the value of the CTE courses.
This screen shows elements of a high school transcript to explain how to identify potential articulated courses. Articulated courses should have an “A” next to the grade to identify it as such. Sometimes ISDs do not print this and we have to compare the CTE course abbreviations to our articulation agreements to identify them. This can be a tedious research if ISDs don’t use the TEA abbreviations on their transcripts. Our Career Pathway Advisors have years of experience with identifying these courses and keeping all of these advisors in their role is crucial to identifying Career Pathway students.
Here is the line-up of the articulated courses for the CADD program. On the left are the high school courses and on the right the matching college courses. High school and college faculty meet each year to discuss how the content and outcomes of their courses may align. During these meetings alignments are worked out and our office facilitates the process to turn these into formal agreements. The agreement spells out if in addition to the alignment students must complete portfolios, take exams or enroll in specific courses after high school graduation to earn the articulated credits.
Slide shows that articulated credit in Career Pathway can be combined with other ways to earn credit and with careful planning propel student into program completion with just 1 or 2 semester of college. While all articulated courses fit into the certificate, due to high school pre-requisites and course offering, students have not been able to complete more than 2 courses. These are year-long courses and not all 4 courses are offered at each high school. However, a student that earned 2 courses via articulation could easily finish this certificate during their first semester or first year, while still working on developmental courses too. This will increase student retention and provide them with an achievable goal.
This year, for the first time, we created 2-page credit request forms. On the front is the form, on the back is a copy of their associated articulation agreement. This year we didn’t have an outside student tracking system (lack of funding) and we asked the high school teachers to provide these forms to the students. This way students can check their transcript prior to leaving high school and come prepared when enrolling at college. We hope that it will increase the number of students to self-identify as Career Pathway students. It also gives the high school faculty an opportunity to remind students to claim the credits and assist them with the process.
The biggest challenge during this transition has been the lack of staff. Having 4 people to assist with communication and marketing is definitely easier than just relying on one person. In addition, this person (me) has multiple other responsibilities and partners to communicate with (Teacher Education, International Education, Study Abroad, Skills for Small Business Grant). Again, it was technology that became a huge asset. Sharing marketing information, agreements, forms, and other information can create file sizes that exceed the allowable email size. Directors can download information from LiveBinder; files that cannot or should not be shared publicly are on a secure folder in Dropbox. I can share this folder with individuals and revoke the sharing if needed. Dropbox behaves like a network environment. But I can also synchronize my own folders between different computers. This is extremely helpful when working on files from different locations. No need to have a flashdrive or email the file back and forth. Each of our colleges is on a different network and I couldn’t share files with my Career Pathway Advisors on our regular network drives. But I can share a folder with them on Dropbox. The moment I update a file, add more files or delete old information, their folder is updated immediately. This allows me to provide them always with the most up-to-date information but doesn’t require them to save or move files out of email or from a flash drive. It is also safer than sending student information via email. I created newsletters with information that would easily exceed 4 pages on just 2 pages but imbedding links as QR codes and guiding students to additional information by scanning with their smart devices. These newsletters can be posted in schools and college and anyone can access more information then is printed on these. Another tool I am currently piloting is video email (vMail). It allows me to record short video clips about Career Pathways and send it out as a linked email. I can track if the email has been viewed and how many times. I recently sent a short recording to all ISD CTE Directors to share with their CTE teachers to play in class to students. This email was just a reminder to students NOT to forget about claiming their Career Pathway credits. The video is less than 5 minutes and can be played in class without taking away valuable instructional time. It can be played multiple times – whereas it is impossible for me to appear in the same class or high school multiple times. With over 80 high schools and more than 400 classes to visit I would need an extensive team to accomplish even 1 visit per year. Video emails however make it possible. These can be send to students and parents right from high school faculty or administrators. On the next slide I have links for each of the technology I mentioned.
Earlier I mentioned a special scholarship for students who are in a Career Pathway and want to continue with it in college. This scholarship can cover tuition and books for 2 courses.
Feel free to contact me any time with any questions you may have about the program or about this presentation. Thank you for your interest.
Career Pathways to Student Success - UNT Advising Conference 2012
CAREER PATHWAYS TO STUDENT SUCCESS Christa Jones District Coordinator, Academic and Student Programs Dallas County Community College District
Transition • Tech Prep Career Pathways – Federally funded to district supported – Eliminate consortium – Eliminate Tech Prep office – Rename program – Keep advisors at all campus locations – Change articulation process – Develop new marketing material – Restructure outreach
Articulated Programs @ DCCCD • Accounting • Auto Body • Automotive • BOSS • Child Development • CADD/Eng. CADD • Computer Graphics • CIT – Network Admin & Support • CIT – PC Support • CIT – Programmer/Developer • CIT – Web Production and Design
Articulated Programs @ DCCCD • Culinary Arts • Digital Imaging • Electronic/Computer Technology • Engineering Technology • Health Professions • International Business and Trade • Marketing (Business/Fashion) • Travel, Exposition and Meeting Management • Visual Communications • Welding
Career Pathways Criteria• 9th - 12th grade• Complete 2 or more courses in a program• Earn “B” or better in courses• May combine with dual credit courses• Pending credits: within 12 months of HS graduation• Enroll in AAS program at DCCCDOptions:• Complete certificate program while completing AA or AS degree• Transfer core and use skills for employment
Example: CADDIf you make a ‘B’ or better in You could get college creditthese high school courses: for:Engineering Design & Presentation (1 cr) DFTG 1405 Technical Drafting(ENGDSNPR) 13036500Advanced Engineering Design & DFTG 1409 Basic Computer-Aided DraftingPresentation (ADVENGDP) 13036600Architectural Design (1cr) (ARCHDSN) DFTG 1417 Architectural Drafting-13004600 Residential