BROUGHT TO YOU BY
National Association of State Directors of Career
Technical Education Consortium (NASDCTEc)

Achieving Excellence in the New School Year – Rebel Construction at Tolsia High

August 29th, 2014

As the new school year commences, our Excellence in Action award winners are hard at work, improving upon the great work that earned them our annual commendation in their respective Career Cluster®.

Tolsia High School’s Rebel Construction — part of West Virginia’s innovative Simulated Workplace initiative — is already actively building on last year’s success. The beginning of this school year saw visits from U.S. Department of Labor officials, as well as administrators from Workforce West Virginia curious to see Rebel Construction in action. (Story here.)

Wrapping the 2013-2014 school year as the most profitable of the Simulated Workplace program pilot in the state, Tolsia’s success has enhanced its already stellar reputation among West Virginia CTE programs. An early adopter of the initiative, Tolsia has set the standard for expansion schools joining in 2014-2015.

“I have spoken with representatives from several other schools seeking information on how we do things,” said CTE teacher and program lead Hugh Roberts. “Many instructors and administrators are apprehensive about getting started, but once they get into it, they find Simulated Workplace isn’t so different from what we already do in any successful program. After the first year of the pilot, my advice is to embrace students becoming partners in the operation of a CTE program. It is a huge step in changing from a teacher centered environment to a student centered learning environment and may be the most daunting for incoming programs. Students taking an active leadership role learn what it is like for their choices to have impact. It’s a new and beneficial kind of learning.”

That new learning appears to be paying dividends in student performance. One Tolsia carpentry student won the SkillsUSA West Virginia Carpentry State Championship, an honor that won him a coveted apprenticeship through Carpenters Local 302 out of nearby Huntington, WV. An archetype for a career pathway, that student’s experience is one component of broader collaboration through Tolsia carpentry/Rebel Construction, West Virginia Carpenters and SkillsUSA.

He is not the only student who has had success as a result of the program, however. Mr. Roberts acknowledges a pointed change in his relationship with students after graduation.

“In the past, I would only hear from students occasionally after graduation. Last year’s graduates developed a line communication with me through text and email through the call in process to report absences.” As a result, he says, he’s been able to actively help students as they move onto the next step in life, whether that means looking for a job or pursuing more schooling.

Nor were we the only ones to recognize Tolsia’s success last year. As a result of its success in the Simulated Workplace program, the West Virginia State Board of Education is recognizing Mr. Roberts and Rebel Construction as a standout program, and there’s plenty more upcoming for the Architecture and Construction Career Cluster award winners.

“It seems like I have never stopped in recent weeks!” Mr. Roberts said.

Evan Williamson, Communications Associate

Secure Your Early Bird Registration!

August 28th, 2014

Early bird pricing for the 2014 Fall Meeting: Preparing for the Future ends Friday

Summer is drawing to a close, and many of us are looking forward to one last weekend in the sun before autumn hits. But before your last venture to the pool, be sure to take a moment to register for NASDCTEc’s Fall Meeting. Our early bird special pricing – $100 off 2014 Fall Meeting registrations – ends TOMORROW, August 29, 2014.

REGISTER NOW 

Fall mtg table

General registration will remain open until October 8, 2014, but waiting will cost you!NASDCTEc’s 2014 Fall Meeting: Preparing for the Future is a professional learning event geared toward Career Technical Education (CTE) leaders, including State CTE Directors, state and district administrators, resource experts and national partners. Built around a series of collaborative group discussions, this meeting will tap all the talent in the room with expert facilitators leading focused discussions among attendees. Through this framework, participants will confront and collaboratively build solutions to an array of issues facing the enterprise today, as well as learn about major national initiatives to advance CTE.

Register now to get $100 off general registration

Help chart the future of CTE with the best and brightest in field this October. Click here for facilitator information and meeting agenda.

Evan Williamson, Communications Associate

Five Reasons to Attend NASDCTEC’s 2014 Fall Meeting

August 21st, 2014

For 94 years, the National Association of State Directors of Career Technical Education Consortium (NASDCTEc) has represented chief Career Technical Education (CTE) administrators from across the country. Through leadership, advocacy and partnerships, NASDCTEc supports innovative CTE that prepares individuals to succeed in education and their careers, and poises the United States to flourish in a dynamic global economy.

REGISTER TODAY

Bringing together creativity and expertise, NASDCTEc’s 2014 Fall Meeting is a cooperative professional development event where CTE leaders can confront challenges to the enterprise in collaboration with colleagues from across the country.

So, why join should you join us at the NASDCTEc Fall Meeting: Preparing for the Future, October 20 – 22, 2014, in Baltimore? Here are five reasons:

  1. Learn what works: Sessions at NASDCTEc’s Fall Meeting are collaborative, led by expert moderators and presenters with vast institutional knowledge on major initiatives and emerging practices. From State Directors to national researchers to federal administrators, diverse and well-informed perspectives will guide constructive sessions to the cutting edge of the current practice and implementation and break new ground on the future of CTE.
  2. Share your ideas…: In discussion with your colleagues, you’ll have unparalleled opportunities to share your latest innovations and build solutions to the stickiest problems you face.
  3. …And develop new ones: Inspiration strikes when innovation meets experience, as it will at NASDCTEc’s Fall Meeting. You’ll be able to apply new ideas and strategies learned to your own work when you get back home.
  4. Build your network: NASDCTEc’s Fall Meeting will be populated with a diverse crowd — not only our State Directors and Associate Members, but also national associations, researchers and top-class sponsors with deep commitment to the CTE. Over three days, you’ll be afforded opportunities to add to your professional network and start conversations that will carry on well after the meeting adjourns.
  5. Gain national exposure: Looking to expand your brand? Want to contribute to the national conversation on CTE? At the Fall Meeting, you’ll get the chance to join CTE leaders from across the country to contribute your own unique perspective to the national conversation.

Don’t wait, register now!


Evan Williamson, Communications Associate

Achieving Excellence in the New School Year – Computer Information Technology at TCAT-Shelbyville

August 20th, 2014

As the new school year commences, our Excellence in Action award winners are hard at work, improving upon the great work that earned them our annual commendation in their respective Career Cluster®.

Our Information Technology Career Cluster winner, the Tennessee College of Applied Technology (TCAT) Computer Information Technology (CIT) program has been working hard over the summer to expand its outreach efforts, stretch its curriculum across Career Clusters and reach more students.

While CIT already provides an impressive six diplomas, eight certificates and nine industry-recognized certifications, it plans to add the high-demand Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL) certification, multi-leveled server certification and a more comprehensive wireless program to align their offerings to industry needs.

CIT has also seen its alumni paying it forward to the latest generation of graduates in the form of advising and mentorship. CIT regularly brings graduates back to counsel current students in the scope of the IT field today, and received feedback over the summer from recent graduates who have stayed in the region receiving strong mentorship from more senior CIT alumni who are now their colleagues and supervisors.

Click here for our Excellence in Action profile on CIT, and click here for more information on CIT from TCAT-Shelbyville.

Evan Williamson, Communications Associate

Kentucky CTE Summer Program Highlights Learning that Works

August 7th, 2014

cte-socialmedia-kentuckyLearning that works for Kentucky was on full display as leaders from around the Bluegrass State joined students, educators and stakeholders at their annual 2014 CTE Summer Program, aptly titled “Learning that Works for Kentucky.” The event was developed by KACTE, the Kentucky Department of Education Office of Career Technical Education and statewide partners (see full program for details)

Part professional development, part CTE showcase, the event displayed Learning that works for Kentucky in the true spirit of the campaign, celebrating CTE’s ability to empower students and boost both technical and academic achievement.

At the general session, State CTE Director Dale Winkler presented career ready awards to 33 area technology centers, career technical centers and comprehensive high school CTE programs with exceptionally high percentages of students meeting the state’s career-ready benchmarks. Additional awards went out to educators, administrators and programs that displayed extraordinary commitment to excellence in CTE.

Have your own example of learning that works for your state? Contact us!

Evan Williamson, Communications Associate

Achieving Excellence: NASDCTEc Session Case-Making/CTE Works

June 13th, 2014

CTE_Logo_RGBMany are the times I have found myself handing over a business card or describing this corner of the education world and received in answer a blank stare and three confused letters: “CTE?”

For all of the vibrancy of modern Career Technical Education, public perception often lags reality – sometimes by decades. As CTE advocates, it is crucial that we be able to present a cogent picture of what CTE looks like today, where it is going and why it is so crucially important to our educational and economic future.

This session is designed to teach attendees strategies to overcome the knowledge gap that persists among all stakeholders – parents, educators, policymakers and more – about where CTE stands and where it is going. It will also contain a brief overview of the Learning that Works for America campaign – seeking to establish a national brand for high-quality CTE with myriad case-making resources and access to a wide-ranging network.

Want to coordinate communications with your colleagues? Or learn tips and tricks to making a lasting impression? Join us on 6/17/2014 at 8:45 a.m. in Courtroom K at the Achieving Excellence Institute!

Evan Williamson, Communications Associate

Coalition Pushes Perkins Reauthorization with Letter to Legislators

May 21st, 2014

With a rapidly evolving labor market and increasing economic pressure from overseas, interest in the ability of Career Technical Education (CTE) to modernize the American workforce and maintain our country’s economic primacy is steadily mounting. The pending reauthorization of the Perkins Act – the landmark piece of legislation that represents the vast majority of federal investment in CTE – offers an unparalleled opportunity to build upon the tremendous innovation in CTE taking place right now in states across the country.

The CTE Vision Paper encapsulates the goal of CTE today: to prepare students of all ages to succeed in education and careers—and enable the United States to flourish in a dynamic and increasingly competitive global economy. Principally, the Vision Paper outlines five principles critical to setting priorities and blazing a new trail for CTE.

Among those five principles is to actively partner with employers to design and provide high-quality, dynamic programs. Today’s letter reconfirmed broad support for CTE that acknowledges and seeks input from all stakeholders, including employers. The letter cites three points of emphasis for reauthorization:

  • Align CTE programs to the needs of the regional, state, and local labor market;
  • Support effective and meaningful collaboration between secondary and postsecondary institutions and employers;
  • Increase student participation in experiential learning opportunities such as industry internships, apprenticeships and mentorships; and promote the use of industry-recognized credentials.

“What stands out is not only the sheer number of signatories in agreement with the priorities outlined in this letter, it’s the diversity of stakeholders represented,” said NASDCTEc Executive Director Kimberly Green. “CTE is critical to American competitiveness and our economic health – it’s very encouraging to have that acknowledged by such a broad and diverse group. Hopefully Congress agrees that we can’t afford to wait for a full, thoughtful reauthorization of this critical legislation.”

Full text of the letter can be found online here. For more on Perkins and CTE, visit www.careertech.org.

Evan Williamson, Communications Associate

Excellence in Action: A Chat with Keynote Speaker Mark Milliron

May 21st, 2014

The Achieving Excellence Institute is less than one month away and the excitement is mounting! We have lined up an amazing set of speakers, tours and session leaders this year (more on the program here), some of which we’ve highlighted on this blog!

As a prelude to this can’t-miss event, NCTEF spoke with the Achieving Excellence Institute keynote speaker, Civitas Learning Co-Founder and Chief Learning Officer Mark Milliron. Dr. Milliron combines decades of experience in CTE with his work on the cutting edge of digital learning with Civitas. The result is a fascinating perspective on the future of CTE and how data can inform instruction, advising and programs of study.

Listen to the beginning of the conversation below, and keep an eye on the CTE Blog for more of our conversation with Dr. Milliron.

Still haven’t registered? Sign up today!

Evan Williamson, Communications Associate

Witnessing Excellence in Action: Gateway Community College

May 16th, 2014

Nursing-003Phys Therepy-007Featuring state of the art academic and technical programs, GateWay Community College’s student staffed community clinic will be on full display during the Achieving Excellence Institute.

Gateway Community College combines service to the community with work-based learning opportunities for its students. At Healthcare United GateWay, locals receive free physical therapy and ultrasounds while students learn sonography and therapy best practices under the supervision of experienced staff. Learn more about GateWay’s innovative Health Science program, its extensive transition assistance and deep ties to the community at the GateWay Excellence in Action tour during this year’s Achieving Excellence Institute!

Don’t forget, the Achieving Excellence Institute is only a month away (6/16 in Phoenix, AZ)! Register now to ensure your spot at this fantastic professional development opportunity, and to ensure you get signed up for your top priority tour! Keep an eye on the CTE blog for more information on this event, and if you haven’t, be sure to REGISTER TODAY!

Evan Williamson, Communications Associate

Witnessing Excellence in CTE: West-Mec Aviation Program

May 5th, 2014

Come and witness the future engineers and airmen training at the West-Mec Aviation Technology program, the site of one of our Excellence in CTE tours at this year’s Achieving Excellence Institute.

Students in West-Mec’s Aviation program are held to rigorous standards in the course of their hands-on program of study, spending four hours per day immersed in the study of airplane mechanics while receiving a quality comprehensive education besides. After two school years and over 1900 hours of training, students can pursue Federal Aviation Administration airframe, powerplant and/or general aviation certifications.

Click here to learn more about the Achieving Excellence Institute and to register today!

Evan Williamson, Communications Associate

 

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