Governor Bruce Rauner
Chair Dr. Lazaro Lopez
Executive Director Dr. Karen Hunter Anderson

Illinois Community College Board

OCCRL Blog

The Office of Community College Research and Leadership (OCCRL) is celebrating CTE Month through a four-part blog series. February is also Black History Month. To observe and recognize the importance of Black History Month, the first OCCRL blog segment touches upon the work of Carter G. Woodson, the complex historical parallels between Black Americans and CTE while also discussing current equity issues and identifiable gaps in today’s CTE programming.
DAY 10: OCCRL Blog Series: 1- Celebrating CTE and Black History Month

“In order to cultivate a diverse pipeline of participants in CTE, we must look at the diversity pipeline of the educators standing before them. How can we promote equity and student success through Career Technical Education in a culturally pluralistic 21st century global knowledge economy in the absence of race and ethnicity? Today’s CTE training calls for high-quality curricula that present new opportunities to increasingly diverse cross sections of American learners. Critical to meeting the national completion agenda is broadening access to high-skill, high-demand, and high-wage employment opportunities across racially/ethnically diverse groups. Fostering on ramps to further education and articulated CTE pathways that provide an accelerated track to college degrees is very necessary for the U.S. to remain competitive globally.” – Eboni M. Zamani-Gallaher

Please read the full blog here. The Illinois Community College Board partners with OCCRL on research projects throughout the year, mainly focusing on equity issues concerning access and participation in the community college system. OCCRL also facilitates the well-known continuous quality improvement process, Pathways to Results. To learn more about OCCRL and their current research projects and publications, please visit their website.

DAY 16: OCCRL Blog Series: 2- Unlocking Mobility: Building CTE Transfer Pathways

“While there are a growing number of pathways within CTE that are designed to support transfer to a baccalaureate program, far more often CTE programs are considered to be terminal and thus designed with minimal consideration of transferability. Generally, students in CTE programs are expected to enter the workforce upon completion of their program. These expectations are reinforced similarly to how the expectations of transfer are related to students in ‘academic’ programs.”

“Despite the barriers to transfer, students in CTE programs transfer at a rate similar to those in “academic’ programs (Townsend, 2001). However, students in ‘academic’ programs on average have about 50% more transferable course units than students in applied associate degree programs (Chase, 2011).  In cases where there is not a transfer agreement in place, CTE students have a credit loss exceeding 50% when they transfer to a baccalaureate program (Chase, 2011).”

“First, though, for change to be possible we need to re-conceptualize who our transfer students are, and we need to ensure that CTE students are part of that population. Only then can we honestly step back and understand what systemic changes are needed build supportive pathways for students to successfully transfer from associate-level to baccalaureate-level programs.” – Heather L. Fox

Please read the full blog here. The ICCB partners with OCCRL on research projects throughout the year, mainly focusing on equity issues concerning access and participation in the community college system. To learn more about OCCRL and their current research projects and publications, please visit their website.

DAY 24: OCCRL Blog Series: 3- Why Should You Care About Work-Based Learning?

“Work-Based Learning (WBL) programs allow students to create a well-rounded learning experience through traditional education as well as gain career and technical skills. There are four key elements to a successful WBL program: doing work that matters to someone, doing work with adults who care, doing work that is challenging, and having compensation tied to real market value (Chicago Public Schools, n.d.).”

“Fuller Hamilton (2015) highlights the important role WBL opportunities play in students’ career development. Specifically, Fuller Hamilton states: ‘Exposing students to information on careers beginning in the early elementary grades, continuing career exploration into the middle grades, expanding into career preparation in the early high school years, and providing specific career training in the late high school years and beyond are essential in providing high quality preparation for college and careers.’ (Fuller Hamilton, 2015, p.3).”

“Whether you’re a student, administrator, or employer, in the spirit of CTE Month® 2017, take time to explore WBL options and/or possible partnerships in your area…” –  Devean R. Owens

Please read the full blog here. The ICCB partners with OCCRL on research projects throughout the year, mainly focusing on equity issues concerning access and participation in the community college system. To learn more about OCCRL and their current research projects and publications, please visit their website.