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Posts Tagged ‘Fall Meeting’

CTE Programs Motivate Students with Microsoft Office Specialist World Championship

Friday, November 7th, 2014

Industry-recognized certification is a key part of successful CTE programs, allowing schools to validate technology skills while helping students build their resumes and preparing them to win jobs and internships.

Certiport, a Pearson VUE business, is the world leader in performance-based certification exams and practice test solutions for academic institutions, currently delivering nearly 3 million certification exams each year around the world. Many students see the value of certification, but a good healthy dose of competition never hurts.

Thirteen years ago Certiport held the first Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS) World Championship, a competition to designed to inspire more students to earn MOS certification. Over time the competition has grown in popularity and now educators use it to inspire greatness and generate excitement about certification among their students.

This year more than 300,000 students in the United States entered the MOS competition to demonstrate their level of proficiency in utilizing the world’s foremost desktop computing applications. 40 finalists traveled to Atlanta, Georgia to the MOS U.S. National Championship, where they participated in timed exams and interviews to demonstrate their expertise in Microsoft Office Word, Excel and PowerPoint programs. The champions in each program, along with a chaperone, won an all-expense-paid trip to participate in the 2014 MOS World Championship in Anaheim, California.

One of those world finalists, Tyler Millis, is a student of Dunbar High School in tylerFlorida. Dunbar is a magnet school in Ft. Myers, Florida with an enviable CTE program. Dunbar’s Technology Academy Programs offer an outstanding 24 certifications and has certified hundreds of high school students in MOS over the past several years.

Tyler heard about the competition from his teacher, Denise Spence, who has sent finalists in the past. “My teachers all supported me in everything I did and Ms. Spence encouraged me to do my best so I could make it to the World Championship,” said Tyler. He did, and he is already looking ahead since students are allowed to compete for a second time in different exam tracks. “I’m really excited to come back next year if I can,” he said.

Tyler beat out 123 finalists from 40 countries and won the MOS World Championship for PowerPoint 2007 and has become a local celebrity, but the proof is in the pudding, so they say – Tyler has an application development job at a local software engineering company and says winning the MOS World Championship will look amazing on his resume.

Participating in the MOS World Championship is easy – any state, district or school can promote it with marketing materials readily available from Certiport and students enter the competition simply by checking a box when they take MOS certification. Top scorers will be invited to the 2015 MOS United States Championship and the U.S. winners will be invited to compete in the 2015 MOS World Championship in Dallas, Texas next August.

In addition to MOS, Certiport manages a sophisticated portfolio of leading certification programs including: the Microsoft Technology Associate certification program, the Microsoft Certified Educator program, the Adobe® Certified Associate certification program, the HP Accredited Technical Associate, the CompTIA Strata™ IT Fundamentals, the Autodesk Certified User certification program, the Intuit QuickBooks Certified User certification program, and the IC3 Digital Literacy certification.Certiport-Pearson-Logo-Final (1)

Certiport was a wonderful sponsor of our 2014 Fall Meeting held in late October. To learn more about how Certiport and the MOS World Championship can help your CTE program teach and validate in-demand workforce skills with industry-recognized certification, visit www.certiport.com.

By Katie Fitzgerald in NASDCTEc Fall Meeting, Resources
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NASDCTEc Fall Meeting Blog Series: The State of CTE: Employer Engagement

Monday, November 3rd, 2014

In late October, at NASDCTEc’s annual Fall Meeting, five state and business leaders joined a panel to discuss their reactions to The State of Career Technical Education: Employer Engagement in CTE, a paper to be released accompanied by a free webinar (register now) on December 3rd. The following are highlights from the panel.

Marie Barry, Director of Career and Technical Education, New Jersey Department of Education, started us off by highlighting ways in which state leaders can use the report once it is released. First, she suggested using it as a reflection tool to answer questions such as: does your state have the right employers at the table? How can your state help in defining what a quality employer and CTE partnership is? She also encouraged states to employee a model of working with schools to ensure states are engaging businesses effectively, while also finding businesses to champion CTE in the state.

Next, Andrew Musick, Director of Policy and Research, New Jersey Business & Industry Association spoke about his group’s support of an effort to pass an eight-bill package, which among other objectives, would increase funding for the state’s Country Vocational Technical Schools. Along with the eight bills, which delve into everything from funding and teacher preparedness to implementation of indicators for student career readiness, Musick identified further goals:

  1. Focus on workforce alignment;
  2. Promote CTE as a resource for employers;
  3. Create a strong infrastructure for school and employer partnerships

Lolita Hall, State CTE Director, Virginia Department of Education, showcased a premier partnership example the Virginia Department of Education has with the Virginia Automobile Dealers Association. Through this partnership, the Association has place over 1,000 students in automobile internships since 2000. Using this collaboration as a model, Hall cited the following steps in developing an effective partnership:

Lastly, Matthew James, President and CEO, Peninsula Council for Workforce Development, Newport News, Virginia, provided a call to action to states. “Your advantage is relevancy; there is a sense of urgency. Entrepreneurs need you.” Though CTE has the opportunity to create a workforce ready population, he stated the importance of recognizing the international implications developing career-ready students has on the U.S. “Businesses will leave if you don’t provide a skilled workforce,” said James.

For more information and resources from the 2014 Fall Meeting, visit the Fall Meeting page.

Katie Fitzgerald, Communications Associate 

By Katie Fitzgerald in Meetings and Events, NASDCTEc Fall Meeting, Publications
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Fall Meeting: Being an Innovative Leader During Tough Times

Monday, October 31st, 2011

Given the tough fiscal climate, states are being asked to do more with less. During the opening session at NASDCTEc’s Fall Meeting, states shared how they are continuing to expand CTE and be innovative in their approach, despite funding cuts and dwindling resources.

John Fischer, State Director of CTE in Vermont, spoke about a consortium of New England states leveraging their resources to ensure that high schools graduates are prepared for college and careers in the 21st century. For example, partner states are working together to build flexible pathway and proficiency based graduation models together.

Sherry Key, State Director of CTE in Alabama, shared the work being done by her state on a commission that Alabama has created to look at the future of CTE. The Career and Technical Education Commission will review the status of secondary CTE programs as well as the needs of employers in the state, and then make recommendations on how to strengthen and support CTE programs. Despite state budget crises, Alabama has chosen to focus on CTE as a way to help the economy and get people back to work.

T.J. Eyer, Division Administrator for CTE in Montana, discussed the work that Montana is doing around the transition to Programs of Study. Montana is prioritizing all of its Perkins funds to focus on Programs of Study until all programs meet RPOS standards. See his PowerPoint presentation for more information.

Nancy Conneely, Public Policy Manager

By Nancy in Uncategorized
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NASDCTEc Fall Meeting: OVAE Holds Perkins Listening Session

Friday, November 5th, 2010

The concluding session at last week’s Fall Meeting in Baltimore, Maryland was a listening session on Perkins reauthorization, moderated by Assistant Secretary for Vocational and Adult Education, Brenda Dann-Messier, and Sharon Miller, the director of the Division of Academic and Technical Education. Assistant Secretary Dann-Messier told the attendees that this listening session was going to be the start of a national conversation about Perkins reauthorization. She and her staff plan to host a series of listening sessions that will conclude at NASDCTEc’s Spring meeting in April 2011. She also said OVAE is soliciting feedback and comments from the public about Perkins reauthorization at [email protected].

The session was structured around four topic areas: Programs of Study, secondary to postsecondary transitions, performance measures, and whether there should be more specific or common measures and definitions, including regulations.

Programs of Study

o   Need to better engage postsecondary, but Perkins does not mandate secondary and postsecondary collaboration

o   Need a clear definition of POS

o   Not all community colleges offer all POS, so it can be limiting for students

o   It is also limiting for students that many four-year colleges do not accept credit from two-year institutions

Secondary to Postsecondary Transitions

o   Two-year schools are struggling to get four-year schools to accept credit

o   Not all states have statewide articulation agreements

o   As more and mores students flood into community colleges, there is less of a priority in serving high school students through articulation agreements and dual enrollment

Performance Measures

o   Academic attainment at secondary level – because students are often tested before 11th grade (when most students begin CTE), it is tough to the impact of CTE on academic attainment

o   Certificate completion at postsecondary level – the results go to the students, and it is hard for states to track this information

o   Technical skill attainment at secondary level – this is tough to measure, and is not always appropriate at the secondary level

o   Placement at the secondary level – tough to track because of FERPA restrictions on collecting data

Common measures/definitions and regulations

By Nancy in Legislation, Meetings and Events
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NASDCTEc Fall Meeting: Levers of Change

Friday, November 5th, 2010

During a workshop session facilitated by Langdon Morris of Innovation Labs, Fall Meeting attendees learned about the “levers of change” though a series of case studies aimed at highlighting how companies have transformed their brand, their strategies and their vision. Lessons learned at this session were translated to how State Directors and the CTE community can transform CTE by putting the new vision, Reflect, Transform, Lead, into action as attendees worked together in small groups.

One of the takeaways from this session was that failure is not always a bad thing because the faster you fail, the quicker you can reach success.

We also learned that the closer you get to changing a system, the harder it pushes back. Therefore, each movement, company or organization needs three players to make change happen:

These three players must work together in order for change to happen. Who serves in these roles in your organization?

By Nancy in Meetings and Events
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