April 2016
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Study Visits a Source of Innovation

Message from CELL's Executive Director Janet Boyle
Part of CELL’s tradition is to bring innovation to Indiana. One way CELL stays abreast of new models is through study visits. This past year we traveled to explore the P-Tech model in New York, high school academies in Tennessee and College for All high schools in Texas.
 
Why take study visits? On such trips, CELL brings along key school, business and community leaders who also can experience the innovative models and help determine if those programs would be valuable and feasible for Indiana. These trips include opportunities to meet with school and community leaders, staff, students and sometimes parents or graduates.
 
Pharr-San Juan-Alamo Schools – College for All
In November, CELL staff accompanied representatives from three rural Indiana Early College high schools to a College for All Conference in Texas. One aspect of the experience was visiting Pharr-San Juan-Alamo high schools in McAllen, Texas.
 
Ninety percent of the district’s student population is Hispanic and 88.5 percent qualify for free and reduced lunch. Even so, it is implementing Early College wall-to-wall in its high schools. The strategy is to lift student aspirations, performance and postsecondary completion. In the process, the Early College model addresses poverty, college and career readiness and the need for a pipeline of more highly educated workers for employers in the region. The program is comprehensive including parent education, community partnerships, extensive collaboration with its community college system and buy-in from area businesses. An amazing combination of wrap-around supports help students earn dual credits that result in certifications, associate degrees or college transcripts with substantial transferrable credits – along with their high school diplomas.
 
Biggest Take-Aways:
College for All emphasizes the role of school counselors. They were spread throughout buildings rather than in one location, and the district places several counselors at the local community college to help support, track and smooth students’ transitions. Both certified and noncertified staff members provide many counseling services and take needs of their students and families into consideration in their delivery. For example, when a heat map of students who had not filled out FSSA forms showed concentrations in some locales, a mobile unit took assistance to those areas.
 
A deep partnership has developed with the community colleges.  They collaborate not only on curriculum and instruction, but also through access to student data to better tailor supports and track student progress.
 
Providing educational opportunities for parents has helped create buy-in for Early College. Older, unused schools were up-fitted to be parent centers beginning with language classes and basic employment skill sessions taught by community volunteers. Parents “paid” for each class with a designated number of volunteer hours in their child’s school. Parents gain better employment skills and learn directly the importance of the “College for All” initiative.

Click "Read More" for descriptors of and our take-aways for the P-TECH model and The Academies of Nashville.



P-TECH (Polytechnic Early College High School)
The New York P-TECH model involves three partners – the high school, higher education and a business/industry. Industry representatives help backward map and develop curriculum for four years of high school and up to two years of postsecondary in that specific field. Programs embed professional or soft skills in instruction that frequently is delivered using work-based strategies. That could include business tours, guest speakers, shadowing activities, internships as well as apprenticeships. The four schools the CELL team visited were Brooklyn, Hamilton-Fulton-Montgomery, Troy Riverfront and Hudson Valley P-TECHs.
 
Biggest Take-Aways
Teachers receive project-based learning training and integrate those techniques into instruction and create assignments that progressively become more complex.
 
Schools shape their programs by developing skill maps based on businesses/industry input about the talents they require and what proficiencies students need to be successful employees.
 
A P-TECH often doesn’t just partner with one business or industry, but consortiums of businesses or industries. For example, a school might develop a variety of skilled program options in healthcare based on needs and supports from a group of community businesses – whether a hospital, clinic, rehabilitation agency or pharmaceutical manufacturer.
 
Click Here to learn more. 
 
The Academies of Nashville
Students in The Academies of Nashville in Tennessee choose thematic courses of study, such as engineering, healthcare or International Baccalaureate and then learn in hands-on environments with real-world applications. CELL accompanied a team where each person saw two schools that housed 2-4 academies. In addition, they attended a mini conference selecting sessions to learn about model implementation.
 
In its tenth year following the model, schools have seen graduation rates increase, major decreases in gang involvement and teen pregnancies along with significant gains in the number of dual credits and technical certifications earned.
 
Biggest Take-Aways
The program has a clear vision for the student experience that builds in depth as they move closer to graduation.
 
Financial and human resource contributions from the business community have been key in creating and sustaining the model – even through city and school district leadership changes. Over 200 city businesses are involved, ranging from the over-arching leadership CEO Champions to industry-specific Partnership Councils to businesses specifically supporting individual academies.
 
A menu of varying levels of business participation might include financial donations, sponsorships, providing career speakers, contributing event refreshments, mentoring, internships or industry tours.
 
Click Here to learn more. 

Southport Elementary School Honored with TAP Founder's Award for Educator Effectiveness and Student Achievement
Lowell Milken, National Institute for Excellence in Teaching (NIET) chairman and founder of TAP: The System for Teacher and Student Advancement, awarded the faculty of Southport Elementary School in Perry Township Schools with the prestigious TAP Founder’s Award at the 16th National TAP Conference in March. The school’s student achievement levels have soared even while experiencing significantly increased numbers of English Language Learners (ELLs) and high poverty rates, offering proof that when teachers succeed, students achieve. Read More.
Southport Elementary School in Indianapolis, Indiana, Receives 2016 TAP Founder’s Award and $50,000
Click photo for video profile of TAP Founder's Award winner –
Southport Elementary School.

Teacher Credentialing Update 
Indiana dual credit instructors teaching general education or other non-­occupational courses must now possess either (1) a master’s degree in the discipline of the dual credit course or (2) any master’s degree that includes at least 18 graduate hours in the discipline according to a policy adopted by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) in June 2015. Institutions accredited by the HLC, which are located in Indiana and 18 other states, must maintain their accreditation to be eligible to offer federal financial aid. The policy was slated to go into effect September 1, 2017.
 
However, last November the HLC announced that it will provide an opportunity for institutions whose dual credit programs will not be in compliance by September 2017 to apply for an extension up to September 2022. The extension application can be submitted by institutions with dual credit programs or a state higher education entity. Following the announcement, the Indiana Commission for Higher Education (ICHE) announced that it will submit the application in coordination with Indiana’s public and private postsecondary institutions. The HLC released the application in March 2016. The application is due December 15, 2016, but the ICHE expects to submit Indiana’s application by October 2016. 
 
Meanwhile, the Indiana Dual Credit Advisory Council, comprised of representatives from higher education, K­12 education, the Indiana General Assembly and more, has continued meeting to examine the issue and determine potential ways to address the impending dual credit teacher shortage. Over four meetings, the Council developed a list of short­- and long­-term strategies to increase the state’s number of current and new credentialed teachers. Potential ideas include

  • utilizing faculty on loan, on­-campus and distance learning delivery models;
  • sharing credentialed faculty amongst high schools; 
  • recruiting recently retired credentialed faculty;
  • developing “four plus one” master’s degree programs for new teachers;
  • developing 18-­hour sequences for current teachers;
  • and providing monetary incentives for teachers to pursue additional coursework.
Before its last meeting on April 25, Council members reached out to teachers and administrators for feedback regarding which incentives would most likely motivate teachers to pursue additional graduate coursework. 

CELL will continue to update Network members on the status of this work as it evolves.

STEM Teach Offerings Fill Need
for Graduate-Level Courses

Tuition-free undergrad and graduate courses and workshops offered through STEM Teach II are in high demand. A total of 365 teachers registered for 21 spring classes through six institutions. Registration for summer began March 28, and 17 of the 22 courses or workshops are already full.
 
Independent Colleges of Indiana (ICI) in partnership with CELL received a grant from the Indiana Commission of Higher Education in November for $2.14 million that placed a greater focus on offering graduate courses to help high school teachers earn dual credit credentials. ICI institutions proposed to offer a total of 186 courses or workshops for the four-semester program. Knowing funding limits, ICI and CELL selected courses based on content areas and credentialing needs. Demand surpassed capacity in spring offerings resulting in 185 teachers signing up for a wait list. Funds to cover the spring semester will use half of the grant's total award. While summer courses have lower maximum enrollments to preserve funds for later semesters, 560 slots were available for registration. ICI continues to seek additional funding for the program to continue beyond 2016. Click Here to see summer offerings.

Lilly Grant Supports EWIN's Continued Education-Workforce Efforts

CELL’s Education Workforce Innovation Network (EWIN) will continue for an additional two years, thanks to a generous grant from Lilly Endowment, Inc. This will further EWIN’s work assisting regions of Indiana with education-workforce efforts. EWIN will support regional
efforts in
  • structured industry and community engagement with education pathways,
  • innovative strategies to implement exemplary career preparation pathways for all learners
  • and research on Indiana's progress towards development of pathways systems.
EWIN in an ongoing partnership with the Department of Workforce Development (DWD) has provided support for structured engagement such as coalition building and sector partnership agreements. EWIN continues to collaborate with DWD, Indiana Department of Education (IDOE) and Indiana Commission for Higher Education in conjunction with the National Center for College & Career Transitions (NC3T) to operate the Indiana Pathways Innovation Network (IN-PIN).

Through a partnership with the Indiana University Public Policy Institute (IUPPI), four Exemplary Career Preparation Pathways discussions took place on March 23, April 5, April 6 and April 28. Workforce and education leaders highlighted Indiana’s promising practices in career pathways systems as well as goals and barriers to their development. These discussions are the beginning of a year-long research project to add to the statewide discussion of education-workforce alignment with a compilation of exemplary models. EWIN will also announce in June 2016 three education-workforce partnerships that will receive hands-on technical assistance from CELL to create implementation plans that build upon these exemplary models.

EWIN looks forward to continuing to convene regional and statewide leaders in ways that promote collaboration, design systems that create opportunities for learners to access high-quality career preparation, in turn, developing a stronger workforce and future economy.
General Assembly Includes TAP System in Legislation, Plans to Study TAP Expansion
During the 2016 legislative session, the Indiana House of Representatives and Senate passed legislation that allows the state to provide grants to schools and districts to implement the TAP System program starting in 2017. The state Senate also passed a resolution for a legislative study committee on expanding the TAP System in Indiana, which will allow for more in-depth discussion and testimony on that topic later this year.

Before and during the legislative session, current Indiana TAP school leaders met with and testified before state legislators to advocate for support of the TAP System and opportunities to expand the initiative to other school corporations.
 
During the 2017 session, legislators will make specific funding decisions about TAP grants. CELL in partnership with other TAP leaders will continue legislative advocacy and awareness efforts before and during the next session. To read the full text of the TAP related legislation,            Click Here.
Upcoming Events
EWIN:
  • EWIN Partnership Planning Grant Application Due Date: May 6, 4 p.m. EDT
    • Notification for Interviews: May 10, 2016
    • Final Awardees Announced: June 17, 2016
TAP:
  • 2016 Indiana TAP Summer Workshops, Moving Toward a Culture of Sustainable Best Practice 

In New Roles at CELL:

• Alisa Deck, Director of Education Workforce Cultivation -  Previously, Deck was director of college and career readiness for the Indiana Chamber of Commerce, served in admissions and career placement for Ivy Tech Community College, worked for a tier 1 automotive supplier and was a EcO15 coordinator for Decatur County.

She has been an adjunct instructor in organizational leadership and supervision for Purdue University as well as for numerous courses in Ivy Tech’s School of Business and Workforce and Economic Development. She is certified in Interpersonal Management Skills and Frontline Leadership (IMS) through AchieveGlobal. She has designed and developed workplace training that includes “soft skills” and served as an employee development coordinator. She holds a master of science degree in management from Indiana Wesleyan University and graduated cum laude with a bachelor of science degree in general studies from Indiana University.

• Shannon Doody, Director of Education Workforce Partnerships - Doody previously was CELL's coordinator of school-workforce initiatives and helped direct EWIN initiatives across the state including events and collaboration related to sector partnerships and pathways development. She also worked with CELL’s Early College network providing outreach to member schools. She holds a license in school counseling and formerly worked in admissions for Valparaiso University.

She received her bachelor’s degree in psychology from Southern Illinois University in Edwardsville, where she gained classroom experience providing support to students with autism. She earned a master’s degree in school counseling and clinical psychology from Ball State University and researched qualities of effective advisory curriculums and the role of the school counselor in closing opportunity gaps for traditionally underserved populations.
                  Ex-CELL-ing                 
  • The Early College High School model and Ben Davis University High School were recognized by the Indiana Department of Education as one of its first 10 (of 200) Promising Practices that ensure all students have access to a high-­quality education. 
  • The University of Indianapolis (UIndy) has developed graduate English and history programs that will enable teachers to earn the credit hours necessary to meet the new teacher credentialing requirements. Click Here to visit the UIndy Master of Arts in Curriculum & Instruction, Master of Arts in English and U.S. History Dual Credit Teaching Certificate program pages for more details. 
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