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National Association of State Directors of Career
Technical Education Consortium (NASDCTEc)

Oklahoma CTE school delivers model for equity, STEM achievement

Recognizing the value of equity and its vital role in cultivating a qualified and robust workforce, NASDCTEc and partner organizations this week highlighted a model program in Oklahoma dedicated to advancing the cause.

At a Capitol Hill briefing, July 28 NASDCTEc, the Association for Career and Technical Education and the National Alliance for Partnerships in Equity awarded the Francis Tuttle Career Technology Center program Girl Tech with the 2009 winner of the “Programs and Practices That Work: Preparing Students for Nontraditional Careers” award. GirlTech, founded in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, has made strides in encouraging female high school students to enter science, technology, engineering and math postsecondary tracks.

With the nation’s economy shifting, Dave Buonora, NASDCTEc assistant director of programs, said Girl Tech underscores the importance of not excluding any cohort – based on gender, demographics or race – from entering the STEM/CTE pipeline. All students should be prepared with the academic background and skill sets to compete in a competitive workforce.
Established in 2005, GirlTech implements a rigorous curriculum that is complemented with intensive resources, including female mentors in the STEM fields, to support students. Since its inception in 2005, all but one of GirlTech students graduated from the program’s Pre-Engineering Academy and declared engineering or a technical field as her college major through 2008, according to Building New Possibilities: Promising Practices for Recruiting and Retaining Students in Career and Technical Education Programs That are Nontraditional for their Gender – a report issued by the award’s sponsors.

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