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Archive for August, 2011

College Means 1, 2, 4, or More!

Wednesday, August 31st, 2011

The release of the ACT report on the latest group of Utah seniors who participated in testing last year (original ACT report and State Office of Education News Release) prompts Utah Career and Technical Education to remind everyone that today’s definition of “college” includes 1-year (certification, etc.), 2-year (Associate degrees), 4-year (Bachelor’s degrees) or more (professional degrees).

More Utah students than ever before took the ACT last year and the average composite score held steady at 21.8. For those students who scored 21.8 or above, congratulations! For those who scored lower, here is some information to encourage you. 

1. Average ACT Scores of Freshman Classes at Utah’s Public Universities

First, for comparison’s sake, check out the ACT scores for the middle 50 percent of freshman admitted to a sampling of Utah public postsecondary schools:


Entrance Difficulty

ACT Score


Dixie State College



Snow College



University of Utah

Mod. Difficult


Utah State University

Mod. Difficult


Weber State University



In other words, there are many freshmen who have been admitted to Utah public universities with scores below 21.8. Even at Utah’s more competitive universities, 25 percent of incoming freshmen scored below 21. 

2. Your High School Grade Point Average (GPA)

“The best predictor of future performance is past performance.” A high cumulative (grade 9-12) GPA can help convince college admissions staff that you are bound for a successful college experience, even in the face of a low college entrance exam score. In fact, the “Admission Index” (a table formulated to predict how likely you are to be accepted to a particular college), the GPA is weighted more heavily than the ACT/SAT. Do your best in all your classes, and do everything you can to excel in those that interest and challenge you. 

3. Other Factors Important to College Success

Have you ever heard of “soft skills?” These are characteristics that are often listed by employers as important to success in the workplace. These very same characteristics contribute to your success in school, and help to predict college success. For example, 

  • Maximize your strengths and interests, and find ways to overcome weaknesses – both academic and personal. (In short, be aware of the range of characteristics you “bring to the table.”)
  • Be an active participant in the classroom and other school-related activities.
  • Make a commitment to learning new skills. Find ways to utilize your skills in school and beyond.
  • Make friends of all ages. This is a foundation of a healthy network of people who can support each other through the ups and downs of life!
  • Learn to manage your resources, not the least of which are your time and money. If you’re successfully managing your resources, managing the associated stress will be easy.
  • Know what “success” means to you and define the steps to get there.

Whether you’re headed for “1, 2, 4 or more,” best wishes for success in high school and beyond!


Are You College and Career Ready?

Monday, August 8th, 2011
By Mary Shumway
State Director of Career, Technical, and Adult Education, Utah State Office of Education
Across the country politicians, business and industry leaders, and educators are asking if you are “college and career ready”. But, what does “college and career ready” really mean? The Utah State Board of Education and the Utah State Board of Regents believe all students should have education and career goals that will prepare them to experience fulfilling lives, actively participate as educated citizens, and thrive in a particularly competitive and global marketplace. A college and career ready student is prepared to succeed in college and in postsecondary workforce training programs. Read the College and Career Readiness Recommendations to High School Students and get started!

According to the U.S. Department of Education, about 75 percent of students who start public high school graduate within four or five years. However, more than 90 percent of students who concentrate in career-oriented courses graduate on time. Through participation in a CTE Pathway you will not only be prepared for life after high school, but you will be college and career ready. Secondary CTE Pathways are linked to postsecondary certificate and/or degree programs through articulation agreements with colleges and universities. Talk with your school counselor to learn about concurrent enrollment opportunities.

CTE Pathways provide you with the opportunity to plan, prepare, and be ready for life after high school. Study hard, stay in school, and complete a CTE Pathway and you will be prepared to succeed in college and a career. We wish you a successful school year.

Utah FFA Association 2011-2012 State Officer Team

Monday, August 8th, 2011

UtahCTE.org congratulates the newly appointed Utah FFA Association State Officer Team: Kaid Panek, State Vice President, Westlake High School; Sawyer Peacock, State Sentinel, Pleasant Grove High School; Logan Jones, State Secretary, Springville High School; Josh Ovard, State Treasurer, North Summit High School; Morgan Peterson, State Reporter, Juab High School; and McKena Woolstenhulme, State President, South Summit High School.

The officers were elected in March at the State FFA Convention. They were selected from a pool of 21 candidates by a nominating committee of their peers. Selection criteria included FFA and agriculture knowledge, presentation skills, and communication skills. High school grades were also important in the selection process as well as a Supervised Agricultural Experience Program, which is an agriculture based occupational experience or work-based or community-based experience.

The summer started with a National FFA training activity with five other western states hosted in Bryce Canyon, Utah. The FFA State Officers then passed that training on to the local chapter officers through three Chapter Officers Leadership Training (COLT) Camps. The first training was the Northern COLT held at the Fair Grounds in Morgan. The second training was the One-Day COLT held in Willow Park in Lehi. The third training was the Southern COLT held in Cedar City at the SUU Mountain Center. The Chapter Officer training included how to work together, how to set an agenda and conduct a meeting, and how to develop an effective Program of Activities for the year.

The theme for this year is “Make a Ripple”. The State Officers believe members can create a positive effect in their homes, schools and communities that will create a ripple across the state. We can all be a part of making a difference.

FFA is dedicated to making a positive difference in the lives of young people by developing their potential for premier leadership, personal growth, and career success through agriculture education. Nationally there are half a million members in 7,487 chapters. In Utah there are approximately 6,000 members in 77 chapters, where 38 percent of the membership is female.

Like Utah FFA on Facebook to follow FFA events throughout the year.

Learn about the CTE Agriculture Pathways and get started on a pathway to success.

Meet a Cabinetmaking Student

Tuesday, August 2nd, 2011
Kaydee Walters graduated in June from Tooele High School where she was a member of the track and field team and the SkillsUSA Vice President. As Vice President, Kaydee joined with the Tooele High School SkillsUSA chapter to collect over 800 lbs. of food for the local food bank. This service project was in conjunction with the SkillsUSA National Week of Service.



During her last two years of high school Kaydee participated in several SkillsUSA competitions. Last year, she was a member of the Quiz Bowl team who won first place at the state competition and then placed ninth at the national competition. In March, Kaydee participated in the state SkillsUSA cabinetmaking competition where she placed first. In June, she advanced to the SkillsUSA National Skills and Leadership Conference in Kansas City. In this competition students received a set of plans they have never seen before and were required to build the project within six hours. The students were given only enough materials to do it right the first time. Projects were scored on an accuracy of 1/32 inch. Kaydee performed with accuracy and precision. She was the gold medal winner in cabinetmaking surpassing 49 competitors—all of whom were male. Kaydee was the first female, ever, to win this competition.

Woodworking is Kaydee’s passion and has been for a long time. “Throughout my high school career I focused on the Cabinetmaking/Millwork CTE Pathway.” Michael Florence, Kaydee’s cabinetmaking instructor says, “Early on, Kaydee exhibited the potential to be a skilled woodworker. Kaydee designed and built her first personal woodworking project with very little help. The craftsmanship was not perfect, but the understanding and ability she displayed during its design and construction was outstanding.” Through hard work, perseverance and dedication Kaydee honed her skills and became a skilled craftsman. “I am very dedicated to my work. I am a hard worker. I am motivated, strong willed, and efficient. . . My CTE classes in high school prepared me in many ways. Such as teaching me the knowledge I needed to know about woodworking, learning about all the tools and machines and how to use them, and how to create and read plans.”

Kaydee completed the Cabinetmaking/Millwork Pathway and received the CTE Secondary Pathways Completer Recognition Award. She also received a CTE Scholarship and Tuition Award to Utah Valley University (UVU) where she will be studying Cabinetry and Architectural Woodworking to earn an associate degree. “Upon completing my degree I will find a job in a cabinetmaking and architectural woodworking business, like Fetzer Architectural Woodwork, or a similar company that produces high quality, custom made furniture and cabinetry. This will allow me to gain the experience I will need to obtain my ultimate goal of owning and operating my own custom woodworking business.”

“[CTE] classes, my participation and leadership in SkillsUSA, and all the classes I will be taking in college will help me to enter and succeed in cabinetmaking and architectural woodwork.”

UtahCTE.org congratulates Kaydee on her many accomplishments and wishes her all the best as she advances to college and career.