Career Clusters at the ACTE Convention


CarClustSmallLast week I travelled to Nashville to make several presentations on Career Clusters and programs of study at the ACTE Annual Convention.  Being at this meeting just reinforced to me the strong interest that exists in Career Clusters throughout the CTE community.  In addition to presenting at a more informal roundtable discussion about Career Cluster products and services I made formal presentations at three other sessions. 

The first was what I call the “DEFs of Clusters” where people get the information they need to know about Career Clusters after they learn their Career Cluster ABCs.  The session provides some broad context about Career Clusters and programs of study but spends the bulk of its time helping participants understand the 15 critical components for implementation.

My second session, entitled “Demonstrating the Benefit of Career Clusters and High Quality CTE to our Communities” reinforces to people why it is important to get the message out to our communities about the important work Career Clusters is accomplishing, and working with them to support our vision.  The session helps participants understand the perspectives of educators, students, elected officials, and business and industry and provides examples about methods that are effective in sharing the goals and visions of Career Clusters and CTE with diverse communities.

I also had the pleasure of being on a panel with OVAE and the Institute for a Competitive Workforce on “The National Discussion on Career Pathways & Programs of Study”.    Here I was able to provide a broad overview of the work NASDCTE/NCTEF is doing to advance the goals and vision of the Career Clusters’ Initiative.

I was struck by the diversity of types of people who made an effort to come to these sessions.  There were secondary as well as postsecondary participants, as well as a range of administrators and classroom personnel.  A trend that seems to be growing throughout the year is the active role counselors are taking to learn about Career Clusters.  In fact, I would say at the roundtable discussions a full 75% of participants were counselors seeking Career Clusters guidance and information.


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