March 20th marked the first day of spring—at least that is what the calendar says! To tell the truth, it felt like spring began in early February, at least based on the places that I visited. I can’t remember a milder winter month. The warm weather has really been beneficial to NOCTI; in addition to our normal assessment and credentialing activities, we have been expanding our headquarters in Michigan. The contractors were able to get the facility under roof pretty easily compared to the typical February weather to which we are accustomed. We hope you were able to get some outdoor activities taken care of too!
In our last newsletter, we mentioned our involvement with the Credential Transparency Initiative (CTI), which is now known as Credential Engine (CE), and the potential it has for CTE educators across the country. NOCTI is a member of the Credential Engine's Certification and Licensure subcommittee. We are looking forward to our first face-to-face meeting coming up this month. Lately, we seem to be doing a number of presentations about how to identify a quality credential and tips and tools to assist educators in understanding what some of the commonly accepted terms are, that are associated with credentialing. Our association with CTI/CE has been beneficial in ensuring that we are staying consistent with messaging.
Recent estimates indicate that there are over 4,000 industry credentials and roughly 2,000 licenses available for possible utilization in CTE programs. Even if these totals only numbered in the thousands, it would be difficult to determine what credentials should be used for students in your state. In order to help understand the terminology, we wanted to provide some standard definitions which are key components of initiatives in which we are heavily engaged.
- Certificate: A credential that designates requisite mastery of the knowledge and skills of an occupation, profession, or academic program.
- Certification: A time-limited, renewable non-degree credential awarded by an authoritative body to an individual or organization for demonstrating the designated knowledge, skills, and abilities to perform a specific job.
- Credential: A verification of a qualification or competency issued to an individual by a third party with the relevant authority or jurisdiction to issue such verification.
- License: A credential awarded by a government agency that constitutes legal authority to do a specific job and/or utilize a specific item, system, or infrastructure; these are typically fee-based and time-limited with opportunities for periodic renewal.
- Open Digital Badge: A digital verification designed to be displayed as verification of accomplishment, activity, achievement, skill, interest, association, or identity and containing verifiable claims in accordance with accepted specifications.
- Quality Assurance: A document assuring that an organization, program, or awarded credential meets prescribed requirements of accrediting bodies, typically ISO 17.024 (e.g., ICAC).
Another milestone of sorts is occurring this month—the release of our third collaborative book entitled Beyond Your First Year in CTE: 10 Additional Things to Know, and like the others, it is full of great examples from our field! You may purchase any of the NOCTI/ACTE book collaborations on ACTE's website. And, since we are talking about book collaborations, we should also mention that many around the country have noticed a shift in preparation of CTE administrators. To help with the preparation of those who administer our CTE programs around the country, we have agreed to collaborate with ACTE on a book targeted to help new CTE administrators, which we are hoping will be released in late 2017.
We have been researching credentialing needs in evolving areas of our field, specifically targeting areas like Cybersecurity, Analysis of Big Data, and Additive Manufacturing. Watch our newsletter for more information about these areas as we move into next year.
Another milestone event for NOCTI is our new "Workforce Competency Credential". We are putting on the final touches so watch for details that will be sent to our NOCTI community and friends prior to the launch. We are excited for how this credential can help your students secure employment and how it can provide information about the specific technical knowledge and skills that your students possess.
NOCTI’s annual video contest concluded in February. Once again, the judging process was challenging due to creative student video submissions that highlighted our “Bright Futures in CTE” theme. Congratulations to this year's winner, "Rise and Shine", directed by Aleasha Ettinger and Mariama Jalloh, who are in the Communication Media Technology Program at Berks Career & Technology Center, located in Leesport, Pennsylvania. If you have a few minutes, visit NOCTI's Annual Video Contest webpage to view all the winning videos and to check out next year’s contest theme!
Our team stays active through a variety of social media outlets; if you haven't done so already, connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
On behalf of the NOCTI staff, our Board, and our Consortium of States, thank you for the role you play in growing the workforce. As always, if you have an idea about a new service or product that you would like NOCTI to offer, or have other suggestions or questions for us, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you for trusting NOCTI to deliver the quality credentialing assessments, comprehensive outcome data, and professional development needed to help improve your programs. We look forward to continued service to the CTE community and are anxious to show you how we can meet your needs!
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