New Jersey Department of Education

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Career Equity Resource Center (CERC)

The Career Equity Resource Center (CERC) provides data-informed research based professional development and technical assistance to secondary schools and county colleges operating or planning to operate career and technical education (CTE) programs. The aim of CERC is to assist schools in building their own internal capacity to broaden access and opportunity to prepare special populations to high-skill, high-wage, or in-demand CTE careers. The delivery of CERC services is a voluntary process that schools may wish to undertake to proactively address specific equity issues or to develop comprehensive equity plans. All CERC workshops align with the goals of the Perkins V required Comprehensive Local Needs Assessment (CLNA).

Goals & Objectives

  • Increase the awareness of CTE programs among parents, students, and school district and county college personnel as viable pathways to assist special population students to prepare for the 21st century workplace and the global economy.
  • Increase the recruitment, participation, and retention of special population students in high-quality CTE programs in order to broaden their options and opportunities and prepare them to secure high-wage, high-skill, and high-demand employment.
  • Decrease disproportionate enrollment and increase successful completion of special population students participating in CTE programs and programs of study.

Who Are Special Populations?

Special populations, as defined by Perkins V are:

  • Individuals with disabilities.
  • Individuals from economically disadvantaged families, including low-income youth and adults.
  • Individuals preparing for nontraditional fields.
  • Single parents, including single pregnant women.
  • Out-of-workforce individuals.
  • Homeless individuals.
  • Youth who are in, or have aged out of, the foster care system.
  • Youth with a parent who is a member of the armed forces and is on active duty.
  • Individuals with other barriers to educational achievement, including individuals with limited English proficiency

Modules

The delivery of CERC services is a voluntary process that schools may wish to undertake to proactively address specific equity issues or to develop comprehensive equity plans. All CERC workshops align with the goals of the Perkins V required Comprehensive Local Needs Assessment (CLNA).

A sample of the professional development workshops offered by CERC follows:

Module Session Overview Suggested Audience Minimum Duration

 Equity 101

  • Learn about the role of equity and inclusion in CTE courses of study and explore key terms related to equity and inclusion.

 Middle/High School and County College administrators, leadership teams, school counselors, CTE teachers.

2 ½ hours

Equity 102

  • Foster critical awareness by exploring participants’ identities and how they shape their beliefs, values, expectations perceptions, and actions.
  • Develop skills for engaging across difference.

High School and County College CTE teachers, administrators, school counselors, leadership teams.

2 ½ - 3 hours

Leadership for Change: Acting as a Change Agent for Equity in your school/district

  • Investigate the guiding principles that educational leaders must be willing to address to improve outcomes to traditionally marginalized students. 

High School and County College administrators and/or leadership teams, school counselors. 

2 hours

Unconscious Bias and Micromessaging

  • Develop an awareness of the small, subtle cultural and gender biases that are unintentionally communicated to individuals including, but not limited to, gestures, body language, voice tone, etc.

Middle/High School and County College CTE teachers, administrators, support staff. 

1 ½ hours

 

Exploring Special Populations Data1

  • Engage in a critical examination of special populations data for your school/district and develop an improvement plan for targeted areas.

High School and County College administrators, CTE teachers, support staff.

1 ½ hours 

Recruitment and Retention Strategies for special population students

  • Evaluate strategies designed to expand recruitment and increase retention and completion outcomes in quality CTE programs.

Middle/High School and County College administrators, CTE teachers, and support staff.

2 hours

1 Perkins V legislation defines special populations as individuals with disabilities; individuals from economically disadvantaged families, including low- income youth and adults; individuals preparing for non-traditional fields; single parents, including single pregnant women; out-of-workforce individuals; English learners; homeless individuals described in section 725 of the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act (42 U.S.C. 11434a); youth who are in, or have aged out of, the foster care system; and youth with a parent who is a member of the armed forces and is on active duty.

Resources

All Students Must Thrive – Transforming Schools to Combat Toxic Stressors and Cultivate Critical Wellness (Tyrone C. Howard et al.)

Privilege, Power, and Difference (Allan G. Johnson)

Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria (Beverly Daniel Tatum)

Why We Can't Wait (Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.)

We Want to Do More Than Survive (Dr. Bettina Love)

Articles and Publications:

Media:

 

For more information, contact:
Office of Career Readiness
cerc@doe.nj.gov

DISCLAIMER:  Please note that these materials are provided as resources, and for informational purposes only.  Neither the New Jersey Department of Education nor its officers, employees or agents specifically endorse, recommend, or favor this particular entity over any other, and make no representation about the quality of service to be provided.


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