How to Support Career Technical Education With AVIDPosted by AVID Center on 10/3/2019
By Cybele Leverett, Program Specialist, AVID Center
College + Career = Better Teaching in All Classrooms
Providing college and career support for students is essential to their future success; after all, all postsecondary education leads to a career. When schools combine rigorous academic preparation with opportunities in career exploration, students benefit. When all instructors use AVID strategies and techniques in the classroom, students thrive!
AVID’s Career Readiness Statement
AVID supports school and district career readiness efforts by providing strategies for rigorous teaching and learning that empower students with academic and 21st century skills to maximize their postsecondary career options.
21st Century Skills
There is a significant overlap of the skills required to be ready for college and a career. For students to be college ready and career ready, they need 21st century skills, such as:
- Critical thinking
- Information and technology literacy
- Initiative and leadership
These skills are supported by WICOR® (Writing, Inquiry, Collaboration, Organization, and Reading) through such core strategies as focused note-taking, Philosophical Chairs, collaborative structures, interactive notebooks, and building relational capacity among students. The use of WICOR and core AVID strategies in Career Technical Education (CTE) classrooms can increase the number of students who are successful on their certification exams. Certifications and 21st century skills can propel students into financially supportive careers that assist them in paying for a four-year college degree.
Collaboration Between Professionals
By integrating AVID’s CTE professional learning into a schoolwide approach to AVID implementation, CTE teachers and content teachers alike can deliver instruction using common AVID strategies, thereby creating a more rigorous and supportive environment for all students. CTE teachers are industry experts, but not all of them have a degree in education or experience in teaching at the secondary level. When CTE teachers collaborate with content teachers, both groups strengthen their practices and learn new teaching practices from one another. In addition, focusing on CTE can help content teachers make career connections to their subjects and, as a result, engage more students in college and career readiness.
Academic and career skills are the focus of AVID’s Career Technical Education professional learning. Teachers can attend either an AVID Summer Institute or an AVID Path to Schoolwide training to access the most appropriate instruction for their specific purposes.
Using Perkins Funding to Support AVID
The Carl D. Perkins Act of 2018 is known as Perkins V and went into effect July 1, 2019 (Advance CTE, 2018a). Perkins V enables states to award federal funding to school districts in support of CTE for secondary students, including those in grades 5–8. The Perkins grant focuses on “improving the academic and technical achievement of CTE students” (Advance CTE, 2019), making educator training a priority.
Each state administers the Perkins grant following its own protocols; however, research-based curriculum and professional development, like the AVID CTE strands or Path to Schoolwide trainings, typically receive funding. [See the Perkins’ definition of professional development (Advance CTE, 2018b).]
In addition, Perkins V increases the focus on serving special populations of students (California Department of Education, 2018), including:
- Individuals from economically disadvantaged families
- Individuals with other barriers to educational achievement, including individuals with limited English proficiency
Site Support After AVID Professional Learning
The collaboration between CTE and content teachers continues back on the campus. With tools like the AVID CTE Strand Implementation Coaching Tool, AVID Site Coordinators, District Directors, and school administrators know what to look for in the classroom. Implementation strategies and processes around focused note-taking, critical thinking, engagement, and differentiation are outlined for each strand. This tool allows for coaching and guided conversations about the levels of rigor observed in the classroom and provides teachers with opportunities to show off their new skills!
Advance CTE. (2018a). Perkins V: Strengthening career and technical education for the 21st Century Act. Retrieved from https://cte.careertech.org/sites/default/files/PerkinsV_One-Pager_082418.pdf
Advance CTE. (2018b). Legislative summary and analysis: Strengthening career and technical education for the 21st Century Act (Perkins V). Retrieved from https://cte.careertech.org/sites/default/files/AdvanceCTE_ACTE_P.L.115-224Summary_Updated082218.pdf
Advance CTE. (2019). Strengthening career and technical education for the 21st Century Act. Retrieved from https://www.careertech.org/perkins
California Department of Education. (2018). Special populations. Retrieved from https://www.cde.ca.gov/ci/ct/pk/pops.asp
Cybele Leverett is a Program Specialist with AVID Center’s Teaching and Learning team. She comes to AVID with 15 years of instructional and district experience in public education, including nine years as an AVID Elective teacher/Site Coordinator and three years as a District Director. Cybele worked as a grant coordinator for the Carl D. Perkins Act, supporting CTE programs of study throughout her district while simultaneously supporting AVID elementary, middle, and high schools, including AVID Excel.