OECD Reviews of Vocational Education and Training

2077-7736 (online)
2077-7728 (print)
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Higher level vocational education and training (VET) programmes are facing rapid change and intensifying challenges. What type of training is needed to meet the needs of changing economies? How should the programmes be funded? How should they be linked to academic and university programmes? How can employers and unions be engaged? The country reports in this series look at these and other questions. They form part of Skills beyond School, the OECD policy review of postsecondary vocational education and training.

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A Skills beyond School Review of the United States

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Malgorzata Kuczera, Simon Field
10 July 2013
9789264202153 (PDF)

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This book examines vocational education and training programmes in the United States, including coverage of how they are changing, how they are funded, how they are linked to academic and university programmes and how employers and unions are involved.

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Table of Contents

Summary and recommendations
-The global challenge of skills
-Funding for quality
-Anchoring credentials in the needs of industry
-Building transitions that work
-Making it happen: Implementation
Chapter 1. The global challenge of skills
-Introduction: The challenge for the United States
-The OECD review
-The US "system" of CTE
-Labor market returns from postsecondary CTE
-Patterns of transition after leaving high school
-Open access, remediation and drop-out
-Work-based learning
-Employer engagement
-Strengths of the US approach
-Challenges and implications for the review
Chapter 2. Funding for quality
-Introduction: Quality and investment in postsecondary skills
-A patchwork of quality assurance
-New challenges from a fast-changing postsecondary sector
-Weak enforcement of existing rules
-Rising indebtedness
-Quality assurance for CTE
-Information and advice
-Conclusion and recommendations: Strengthen quality assurance and its links to Title IV student aid
-Annex 2.A. Factors associated with the institutional default rate
Chapter 3. Anchoring credentials in the needs of industry
-Introduction: The organization of credentials
-Weak data on certificates and certifications
-Professional examinations in the US and other countries
-The significance of certifications
-Confusing choices and quality challenges
-Establishing a quality standard for certifications
-Signaling employer support and exam quality
-Aligning CTE programs with industry credentials
-Conclusion and recommendations: Establish a quality standard for certifications and obtain better data on both certifications and certificates
Chapter 4. Building transitions that work
-Introduction: The critical role of managing transitions between educational pathways
-Transition into postsecondary programs
-Transition into postsecondary programs: Recommendations to enhance CTE and workplace learning at high school, and use prior learning assessments for adults
-Transition within postsecondary education
-Transition within postsecondary education: Recommendations to build articulation frameworks
-Transition to the labor market: Effective guidance and work-based learning
-Transition to the labor market: Recommendations to strengthen workplace training and career guidance
Chapter 5. Making it happen: Implementation
-Our recommendations
Annex A. State case studies: Florida, Maryland and Washington State

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