IN PARTNERSHIP WITH
HOW WE GOT HERE
Twenty years ago, the states and key stakeholders built and launched The National Career Clusters® Framework. Over the past two decades, Advance CTE has been its steward. The Framework has been used by states and educational institutions to describe the universe of Career Technical Education (CTE) and to organize career preparation programs, by counselors and advisors to discuss career exploration and career pathways, by industry leaders to connect education to the workplace, and by researchers and other experts to evaluate and provide continuous improvement.
A full generation later, the world of work continues to change rapidly. While The Framework once reflected the realities of the working world, it is time to modernize The Framework’s structure and design to ensure its relevance for current and future needs of learners at all levels and of the workplace. Thus, we need your help.
WHERE WE'RE GOING
Just as we did when creating the original Framework, we believe the modernization of The Framework should be done in a collaborative fashion. By launching this innovation portal, we’re hoping to crowdsource ideas from you--the past, current and future users of The Framework -- and we feel the outcome will be stronger because of your input. We’ll turn top ideas into prototypes to further workshop and refine.
The goal? Fully launch a new Framework in late 2022 that is adaptable to the world of work and empowers learners to explore, decide on, and prepare for dynamic and evolving careers. This new Framework will be designed with equity and access in mind, relevant to both secondary and postsecondary CTE, learner-centered, forward-focused, informed by stakeholders, research and data and embraced by states.
Advancing the Framework Journey
Advancing the Framework is a state-led crowdsourcing initiative to modernize the National Career Clusters® Framework. The purpose of this project is to build a new, modern construct that is reflective of the future of work and adaptable to the current and emerging needs of learners and the workplace. This update is vital to ensure CTE’s viability and contribution to the current and future needs of learners and the workplace.
Advance CTE kicked off this project in 2020 by researching current use of The Framework in programming and research and by gathering feedback from State CTE Directors and other state CTE leaders on the value and usage of The Framework, its current strengths and weaknesses, and its potential future. We heard the following common themes about the strength and value of The Framework:
- It provides a common, shared language for its users to communicate about CTE to various audiences and stakeholders;
- It is flexible enough to allow for multiple uses at the local, state and national levels;
- It supports alignment across multiple aspects of education and workforce;
- It accommodates the needs of business and industry; and
- It accommodates career pathways and advising across a broad spectrum of careers.
Based on that research and feedback, Advance CTE developed a purpose statement for a renewed Framework:
"The National Career Clusters Framework provides structural alignment and a common language to bridge education and work, empowering each learner to explore, decide and prepare for dynamic and evolving careers."
This renewed purpose statement was approved by the Advance CTE Board of Directors and The Center to Advance CTE Board of Directors in September 2020, and the statement will guide Advance CTE’s work in 2021 and beyond to modernize The Framework.
We will use this phase to generate a volume of ideas for modernizing The National Career Clusters Framework®.
We will publish and market a series of Idea Challenge Briefs on this website to solicit innovative ideas for revisions to The National Career Clusters Framework®. The Briefs will engage the broader Career Technical Education (CTE) community, scale idea generation, and allow submitters to gravitate to a particular challenge.
The portal to collect idea submissions will be open from April 1, 2021 through early May 2021.
We will use ideas submitted through the website during Idea Collection to synthesize disparate ideas into a cohesive whole.
We will practice innovation mindsets and behaviors to develop groupings of idea sets that will lead to distinct prototypes for revisions to The National Career Clusters Framework®. We will develop several first draft prototypes and narrow on 2 distinct prototypes for consideration.
Facilitated Ideation Workshops, that will be by invitation only, will take place between mid-May 2021 and mid-June 2021.
This phase will engage with a diverse set of users of The National Career Clusters Framework® at the national, state, and local levels.
We will design small, tangible tests to fail fast, learn quickly, and move the idea forward. We will incorporate feedback, refine the prototypes, and share updated prototypes for additional feedback. The feedback and refinement cycle will repeat as needed.
The Prototype and Testing cycle will take place between July 2021 and September 2021.
By the end of 2022, we will share a new, modernized National Career Clusters Framework with the CTE community, with the goal for states, school districts, postsecondary institutions and others to begin using the new Framework in July 2024.