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Staff Analysis of the
Workforce Preparation and Business Linkages
Working Group Final Report
The following analysis sets forth the specific recommendations contained
in the final report of the Workforce Preparation and Business Linkages
Working Group, organized by the categories contained in the report. The
staff comments and questions that follow each section are intended to illuminate
those recommendations, the deliberations that led to those recommendations,
and/or important information that should be considered in evaluating those
Goals of the Working Group
The Workforce Preparation and Business Linkages Working Group organized
its deliberations and developed recommendations around three main themes
derived from the August 2000 framework adopted by the Joint Committee to
Develop a Master Plan for Education: Integration of Academic and Career
Technical Education, Alignment, and Accountability. The charge to California
education contained in the Framework to Develop a Master Plan for Education
included the following:
California's education system must respond to the challenges of meeting
the state's growing need for housing, infrastructure, transportation, other
services by increasing its emphasis on career and technical education.
All students must be afforded the opportunity to participate in a cohesive
and well-articulated system of career, technical, and academic preparation
that prepares them to excel in roles as family members, community members
and leaders, and productive workers. Career and technical education programs
must have the necessary resources to provide pupils with essential skills
for today's dynamic and competitive workplace. These programs must contain
sufficient academic rigor to enable students to successfully modify their
educational program in pursuit of more academically-oriented objectives.
For the K-12 system, it states:
For the colleges and universities, it states:
The state must define and maintain challenging education standards for
career technical education courses that are appropriate to each field of
study and are sufficiently aligned with state academic content standards;
Every district that maintains a high school shall be responsible for ensuring
the availability of a sufficient number of career and technical education
courses relevant to state and regional workforce needs; and,
Every district that maintains a high school shall be responsible for ensuring
that each career and technical education course includes reasonably current
technology and equipment to ensure adequate training in the field.
For the business sector, it states:
The statewide governing boards of California's public colleges and universities
shall be responsible for defining minimum academic content for career and
technical education courses that would warrant credit in their systems
and enable successful transfer of a career-oriented student into a more
traditional academic program.
The Workforce Preparation and Business Linkages Working Group proposes
14 major recommendations for California's educational system, grouped according
to the three themes adopted by the Group and two additional special topical
areas. The group decided to add the two topical areas because of the frequency
with which they entered into the deliberations around the three major themes.
The first five recommendations pertain to the integration of academic and
career technical education. Three recommendations address alignment. Three
recommendations focus on accountability. Two recommendations are offered
in the area of resource requirements of career technical education programs.
Finally, one recommendation is offered pertaining to the oversight of private
postsecondary and vocational education institutions.
The state should request business and industry leaders to invite the involvement
of educators in strategic planning and discussions regarding (1) economic
development; and (2) the provision of skill development that will be required
of the future workforce.
Integrate academics and career preparation throughout K-16.
Extend School-to-Career (STC) concept across K-University.
Increase resources for career guidance and assistance to students.
Expand recruitment for counselors and workforce teachers.
Improve Professional Development for Counselors and Teachers.
These recommendations are consistent with those proposed by the Student
Learning Working Group. They call for elimination of multiple tracks that
expose students to very different academic content. In the aggregate, these
recommendations also call for early and continuous exposure of students
to careers and incorporation of career skills in the preparation of teachers
and counselors. Pending questions: Should the Commission on Teacher
Credentialing (CTC) be required to further modify standards for teacher
preparation to incorporate contextualized instruction and internships in
industry workplace sites? Should similar modifications be considered for
the preparation of counseling and guidance personnel?
The state should establish the following roles and responsibilities
for a statewide system of career/workforce preparation programs in education:
Elementary schools shall be responsible for introducing career
awareness to students.
Middle schools shall be responsible for initiating career exploration
Secondary schools shall be responsible for providing school-to-career
and employment preparation opportunities to students through programs offered
at school and business sites.
Community colleges shall be responsible for providing expanded
employment training programs in conjunction with specialized courses, career
certificates, and the AA degree for adults. The training may be in high
schools and ROCPs and/or articulated programs leading to four-year college
State-approved Private Postsecondary Institutions, Continuing Education,
University Extension, Employer-provided training, and Non LEA entities,
such as WIA Board Community Partners, shall provide employment training
programs leading to specific jobs and that are responsive to industry requirements
for professional development and license renewal.
Public and private colleges and universities shall jointly be
responsible for preparing associate, baccalaureate, and advanced degree
graduates for productive roles as problem solvers, innovators, and leaders.
All three public postsecondary systems should give prominent consideration
to the state's changing economic needs and to emerging workforce opportunities
for graduates, as factors in academic and strategic planning.
The alignment of career technical programs should be broad in scope.
The structure of a career/workforce preparation system should reflect
a tightly-coupled network model, characterized by relatively autonomous
nodes of education/training providers, intermediary industry, trade, and
professional organizations; strategic connections to the labor force; and
a high level of communication among network members.
The group advocates improved alignment between and among education providers
at all levels and between education providers and the employment sector.
It offers a set of differentiated responsibilities to facilitate the recommended
alignment. Pending Questions: What measures should the state consider
to evaluate the extent to which increased alignment is indeed occurring?
What would be the most effective mechanism(s) for the state to use to achieve
Some California community colleges have partnered with high schools in
the past to align career technical education programs, known as 2+2 programs;
others have extended such partnerships to include baccalaureate degree-granting
institutions, commonly known as 2+2+2 programs. Pending questions:
What have been the outcomes of these previous efforts? How do these 2+2
and 2+2+2 programs differ from the alignment being recommended by the Group?
Are there other examples of efforts to align programs between and among
education providers in the state? If so, what lessons can be learned from
Pending issue: The Group's rationale for Recommendation 2.3 is quite
similar to that advanced by the Emerging Modes working group that the state
encourage education providers to extend teaching and learning opportunities
to community-based sites, which could include industry work sites that
meet the state's Uniform Building Codes.
The state should expand the current workforce report card to include
The state should expand student data collection system and link
to postsecondary institutions and the Employment Development Department
The state should focus some portion of postsecondary funding on
program/certificate/degree completion, time to completion, and education/labor
market outcomes rather than only enrollment.
The Group's recommendations in this area are consistent with those put
forward by other working groups.
The workforce report card developed pursuant to Senate Bill 645 (statutes
of 1997) has included the participation of all levels of public education
except UC, which has argued that it does not consider itself in the business
of workforce preparation. Pending question: should the state explicitly
designate professional education as workforce preparation and request UC
to formally participate?
Pending question: Should the state alter its fiscal support of public
colleges and universities, particularly in the area of workforce preparation,
to incorporate performance funding for some portion of the annual state
Any proposed funding model must recognize in its formula for adequacy:
The costs of recruiting, education and professional development for
staff in career technical programs, and career technical learning strategies;
The costs associated with the instructional facilities and equipment
required to delivering instruction in career technical programs.
Consideration should be given to granting the educational segments
flexibility in their internal allocation of funds to address the higher
costs associated with career, technical and scientific instruction and
contextualized learning more broadly. Specifically:
The differential cost of recruiting, education and retaining teachers,
faculty and support staff in career, technical and scientific disciplines;
The differential costs associated with the instructional facilities
and equipment required to deliver instruction in career, technical and
scientific fields; and
The differential costs associated with contextualized learning, including
laboratory, field and applied industry experiences.
The traditional manner in which the state funds its public schools, colleges,
and universities averages the costs of high- and low-cost programs into
an average appropriation per FTE student and institutions are allowed to
expend funds received differentially to support their instructional programs.
Pending questions: Should the state consider additional funding
for some career technical programs over others? What criteria should be
used to make such determinations?
The evolution of technology occurs at such a rapid pace that it is likely
the state could never support currency in the equipment available to public
schools, colleges, and universities for their career technical education
programs. Accordingly, equipment currency should be a shared responsibility
with industry partners and education providers. Pending question:
Should the state consider incentives for industries to meet the needs of
its educational partners to achieve instructional and training equipment
within a generation of current standards?
The Joint Committee should conduct a review to determine the most
efficacious and effective placement of governance for the Bureau for Private
Postsecondary and Vocational Education (BPPVE).
More than 400,000 Californians have chosen to enroll in state-approved
private vocational and degree granting institutions in the state. Despite
the state approval and eligibility of some of these institutions to participate
in the state's Cal Grant program, students enrolled in these institutions
are unable to transfer credits completed to any public or regionally accredited
college or university. Pending questions: Should the state continue
to approve these institutions without explicitly incorporating them within
the state's education system? Are educational providers of any type, that
are approved by the state to offer academic degrees or workforce preparation,
appropriately placed under the oversight of a non-educational entity?