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Archive for the ‘Career and Technical Education’ Category

U.S. Presidential Scholars in CTE

Tuesday, July 7th, 2015

MF studentsPresident Obama recently signed an executive order to expand the U.S. Presidential Scholars Program to include Career and Technical Education students.

The CTE Scholars will be chosen on the basis of outstanding scholarship and demonstrated ability and accomplishment in career and technical education fields. This is one of the nations’ highest honors for high school students.

“The U.S. Presidential Scholars in CTE program will be a fantastic opportunity to give our CTE students additional recognition that they so greatly deserve from our leaders in Washington,” said ACTE Executive Director LeAnn Wilson. “I am thrilled that President Obama and his Administration have taken this step to acknowledge the excellence and innovation happening in CTE classrooms nationwide, which is laying the foundation for students’ college and career success.”

The Presidential Scholars Program was established in 1964, during the Administration of President Lyndon B. Johnson, to recognize the nation’s top high school graduates based on their scholastic achievement, leadership and community involvement. Through this executive order, President Obama and his administration will now recognize up to 20 students who have achieved excellence in their education and at the same time build greater prestige and public support for CTE programs. The first group of U.S. Presidential Scholars in CTE will be nominated in spring 2016.

Complete details about eligibility for the U.S. Presidential Scholars in CTE will be released in the coming weeks. Watch http://cte.ed.gov/initiatives/cte-scholars for details.

2015 CTE Scholarships and Tuition Awards

Monday, May 4th, 2015

Emily Hopes (HS)On Tuesday, April 28, 2015, the 29th Annual Career and Technical Education (CTE) Scholarships and Tuition Awards Banquet took place at Salt Lake Community College. This banquet is a longstanding tradition used to honor CTE students throughout the state who have been selected to receive a scholarship and tuition award from a postsecondary institution in Utah.

Each award recipient was one of 204 applicants who applied for a CTE Scholarship and Tuition Award. At the banquet, 102 scholarships were awarded to high school CTE seniors for up to one year’s tuition at a postsecondary institution.

By the year 2020, two out of three jobs will require some postsecondary education and training. CTE is an essential component in filling these job openings. The jobs of today require advanced skills and technical training. Students wanting to stay competitive in the job market need specific training, education, and skills to compete successfully.

Utah is working to achieve the goal of 66 percent of adults holding a postsecondary certificate or a degree by the year 2020. Each student who received a scholarship will have an advantage not only in furthering his/her education, but in attaining a postsecondary certificate or degree through his/her hard work and perseverance.

We offer our congratulations and best wishes to each award recipient as he/she advances to college and career and prepares to successfully compete in a global economy.

Educators, plan now to encourage next year’s seniors to apply for a 2016 CTE Scholarship and Tuition Award.

High school juniors, it’s not too early to begin thinking about applying for a 2016 CTE Scholarship and Tuition Award. Take a look at the CTE Scholarships and Tuition Awards Web page and become familiar with the guidelines and application.

CTE Pathways at Mountain Crest High School and Beyond

Wednesday, April 8th, 2015

By Lisa Jones, School Counselor Intern

Mountain Crest_TE_IMG_0367As a part of a plan to prepare students for college and careers, Mountain Crest High School offers a wide variety of CTE Pathways to students. Each CTE Pathway consists of relevant classes that offer students the opportunity to earn skills certificates to validate their accomplishments. The experience students gain in these pathway courses sharpens the knowledge, skills, and attitudes that will put students ahead of the game for a well-paid and satisfying career. Putting aside the fact that completing a CTE Pathway jump-starts your postsecondary education, what’s the bonus of receiving such a certificate? A great looking résumé and a standout job application!

Like other students across the state, students at Mountain Crest High School who are interested in completing a CTE Pathway meet with their school counselors, set goals, and make plans to start on the career path of their choice. In addition, all students across the state are well served by Regional Pathway Coordinators who assure that they have the information they need to benefit from the hands-on learning, college credit, and money-saving opportunities that the CTE Pathways offer. These students will be ready when college and career opportunities arise!

Each school/district/region chooses the CTE Pathways that will best serve their students. You can see the full list of CTE Pathways in which Utah students are participating HERE.

 

Ms. Larsen Is and Will Always Be My Hero

Wednesday, March 4th, 2015

Derek Eaton
Utah State Counselor Association
Lynn Jensen Memorial Scholarship Recipient

Derek Eaton pictureDerek Eaton, senior at Ben Lomond High School, tells about the positive impact Tami Larsen, school counselor at Ben Lomond High School, and Career and Technical Education (CTE) has had on his life.

Derek moved from Idaho to Utah to live with his grandmother after living in an abusive situation with his mother and stepfather. “My home life was more than any one person could bear,” said Derek. One day on his way to school Derek was in a car accident. As a result of the accident he received a serious traumatic brain injury that caused him to miss most of his junior year of high school. “My grandmother helped me get the medical and psychological care I needed. When I moved in I was afraid all the time and wouldn’t leave the house. I was really behind in school. While I lived in Idaho my grades weren’t very good. My freshman year I had a 2.28 grade point average. My sophomore year my average dropped to 1.89 and I had only earned a total of 11.49 credits [towards graduation]. I missed almost all of my junior school year due to my car accident and my hard home life. I felt hopeless and didn’t even know where to start.”

Eventually Derek was able to return to school. With the encouragement and support of Ms. Larsen Derek began to thrive in school, while also taking a CTE class in drafting. “During the spring of 2014, I was making medical progress and wanted to return to school. Ms. Larsen, my school counselor, reviewed my case and convinced Ben Lomond High School that even though I was really behind I was smart and worth the risk. Although I was still emotionally and physically broken, she helped me return to school for the 4th quarter of the 2014 [school year]. Daily Ms. Larsen talked to me, supported me, and encouraged me. Ms. Larsen encouraged and helped me start online high school classes. I began and completed four online classes. My grade point average rose to 3.66.”

With the guidance and encouragement of Ms. Larsen Derek enrolled in summer school at Ogden Weber Applied Technology College, where he caught up on his school work so he could graduate with his senor class. He later enrolled in Weber State University where he earned seven hours of concurrent enrollment credit. Ms. Larsen assisted Derek in registering for the ACT (scoring 30), complete college registration, and apply for scholarships. Ms. Larsen is his school counselor, advocate, friend, and most of all his hero.

Tami Larsen - Ben Lomond High SchoolDerek describes how, within one year, his life drastically changed for the better thanks to the guidance and direction of a school counselor who believed in him 100 percent. “One year ago I had no hope, no happiness, no dream, and was afraid all the time. I now understand and believe coming from such adversity doesn’t mean my life is over. I feel safe and know I have a real future. If Ms. Larsen hadn’t been an advocate for me, providing direction, encouragement, and support, I would have been considered a lost cause. She believes in me, works with me, makes me feel like I matter, and that I truly belong. I feel happy for the first time in my life, love school, and know I can do something positive with my life. Thanks to Ms. Larsen, I now believe in myself and I have worked very hard this last year. I have caught up in school and am earning credits towards my college degree. I now have a bright future and will attend college next fall.”

Derek will continue his education at Weber State University, where he will study computer science, after also being awarded the Weber State University Presidential Academic Scholarship.

Derek’s experience has been life changing and he hopes to someday provide help to someone in a similar situation. “People may say, counselors don’t do much, but Ms. Larsen is and will always be my hero. Words can’t express the gratefulness and care I feel towards her. I hope someday I will be able to pay it forward by providing a life changing opportunity to someone like me who is lost and hopeless in life. Ms. Larsen has helped me become a better person. She has taken the time to believe in me, support me, and encourage me. Because of her I know I will do great things in life.”

 

My CTE Story Began 45 Years Ago

Thursday, February 26th, 2015

LaRee Stephenson photoBy LaRee Stephenson, CTE teacher, Millard High School

My story began 45 years ago when I graduated from high school and headed to what was then SUSC now Southern Utah University (SUU) on an academic scholarship. I was interested in the one-year technical secretary program, but thanks to a great college professor, I continued in Business Education and became a Career and Technical Education (CTE) teacher. This college professor saw the potential I had and encouraged me to continue my education and she even hired me on the work study program to be her secretary. You must realize that this was the era of no personal computers, all my work was done on the IBM electric typewriter and correction tape was my best friend. Students don’t know how good they have it. The professor’s name was Pauline Nelson and I will always be grateful for her influence in my life.

Thanks to Professor Nelson, I graduated from college and was able to return to my own high school and teach for 29 years. When I started teaching there were no classroom computers. I still remember the day when I [received] my first set of classroom computers. You had to load a floppy disk, with the operating system, each time you started it and then [insert] another floppy disk to save any work. I have seen many changes in my years of teaching. Technology is wonderful and it is a challenge for me to try and keep up-to-date with all of the changes. It is my hope that I have encouraged my students, as that professor did many years ago, to go farther than they think they can and apply the knowledge and skills they have learned through CTE courses. They will be skills that will be with them for the rest of their lives.

February is CTE Month

Tuesday, January 13th, 2015

JATC_HS_IMG_2447During the month of February, students, educators, and administrators across the state will join secondary and postsecondary students nationwide in celebrating Career and Technical Education (CTE). Schools can pick a day, a week, or the entire month to spotlight CTE programs.

The 2015 CTE Month theme is:
Recognizing Classroom Innovators

Goals of CTE Month:
> Inform students about the importance of choosing a CTE Pathway.
> Increase student awareness of careers, education, and training.
> Strengthen student engagement through the College and Career Plan.
> Increase parent involvement and awareness of CTE programs.
> Promote discussion of postsecondary options—training certificates, and degrees.

CTE Month is a great opportunity to promote your programs
and advocate for CTE.
> Check out the list of 28 Things to Do During CTE Month.
> Share your CTE story with policymakers at the local, state and federal levels, as well as your community.
> Write a blog about an event in your school and submit it to UtahCTE@schools.utah.gov.
> Make a 90-second video about CTE and submit it to UtahCTE@schools.utah.gov.

Details about CTE Month will be announced on Facebook and Twitter.
Visit UtahCTE.org to join our communities today!

Consider making the following activities part of your celebration:
> Decorate your school with banners and posters.
> Post electronic announcements to your school website, marquee, and bulletin boards.
> Have an open house for parents and the community.
> Make a video profiling successful alumni and where they work.
> Using social media, post on Facebook and tweet the CTE Month events at your school.

“CTE classes contributed to my academic success and future occupational plans.”
Melissa Haws, graduate Woods Cross High School

 Blue CTE Month logo and tagline

Plan Now to Be a Lifelong Learner

Tuesday, January 6th, 2015

CaptureThe years spent in middle/junior high and high school are key to laying the foundation to succeed in life beyond high school—college and career. To be successful, you need to continue to learn throughout your entire life. There will never come a time when you have learned everything there is to know. The more you learn the more choices you have about what to learn and how to learn. Participation in Career and Technical Education assists students in planning, preparing, and setting goals as a college and career plan is developed.

Career and Technical Education:

  • Expands Your Options Courses and programs introduce students to career options and assist them in the development of career choices.
  • Offers a Path to Success Pathways take students into the real world, and training approximates real work situations.
  • Challenges You to Think Students are challenged to apply theoretical knowledge—learned in academic and technical classrooms—to practical problems in laboratories or at work sites.
  • Offers Tools for Developing a Meaningful College and Career Plan Defining career interests and other characteristics will lead students to the education and career opportunities to meet their needs.
  • Provides Concurrent Enrollment Concurrent enrollment is linked directly to postsecondary institutions, so students can meet preliminary requirements for postsecondary degrees while still in high school.
  • Helps Pay for Postsecondary Education Students can earn college credit without having to pay tuition, as long as he or she is attending high school.
  • Broadens Lifelong Career and Education Options Studies reveal a strong correlation between education/technical skills levels and continued employment/lifelong earnings.
  • Teaches Life Skills That Apply to Any Career Students learn employability skills, such as communication, teamwork, leadership, goal setting, resource management, and personal responsibility.

Being Successful in Today’s Global Environment

Monday, May 5th, 2014

By Gary Wixom
Assistant Commissioner for Career and Technical Education
Utah System of Higher Education

I recently read an article detailing the challenge businesses are having today attracting and keeping skilled workers. Businesses are finding that it is not enough to find employees that fit their requirements, but are struggling to keep them. One of the solutions being suggested for companies is to build a career map for their employees. What is a career map? A career map for employees in a business is a clear pathway of professional development available to employees within the business entity.

This career map provides an employee with a clear, transparent “road map” for employees to grow, develop, and advance within the company. In turn, the company grows and advances. Most businesses understand that the success or failure of the company rests squarely on the skill level, and the productivity of their entry and mid-level employees. These are the individuals who are the backbone of the company—keeping these employees satisfied and progressing within the company brings success to the company as a whole.

If having a career map is important for a business to succeed in today’s global economy, having a well-defined career map is also essential for all students. What does a “career map” look like for a student? A career map for a student has the same characteristics of the career map for employees within a business.

A career map for a student should start early and provide a clear pathway through the educational environment of middle school, high school, and postsecondary training. Flexibility is an essential component, giving students clear direction but offering a pathway to a variety of professional occupational choices leading to jobs and careers that provide a living wage.

A well-defined career map for a student should provide a clear pathway to not only the completion of high school, but also completing the requirements by taking a rigorous course of study that gives them the skills that prepare them to be “College and Career Ready”. In the global world that we live in, everyone needs a set of basic skills that prepare them so that they can acquire the skills that lead to productive employment at a level that provides a livable standard of living.

As a student, ask yourself, do I have a career map? Be sure that you have a well-defined career map that will help you complete high school with a career pathway that leads you to a professional occupation of your own choosing. Need help creating the map? Visit with your parents, a teacher, or a career counselor and create a career map for yourself. Make sure it is written and then post it on your wall where you will see it regularly. The result will increase the chances of you achieving the goals that you have for yourself in providing an exciting a successful future.

STEM 101

Tuesday, April 1st, 2014

By Mary Shumway
State Director of Career, Technical, and Adult Education
Utah State Office of Education

If you live in the U. S., the buzz surrounding “STEM” is unavoidable. But the lack of a clear definition of STEM – or even its component parts (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) – may have us buzzing without fully recognizing basic differences in our understanding. “STEM 101” is an effort to increase your awareness of STEM, and to recognize the various foundations upon which different conversations about STEM are based.

The buzz around STEM began with debates in education and immigration as concerns were raised about a lack of qualified candidates for high-tech jobs. The STEM buzz also fed into concerns about the way subjects were being taught “in silos.” Science and math are long-recognized “core academics,” and the introduction of technology and engineering to the mix was an effort to highlight the need to apply science and math in better integrated curriculum.

The U. S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) published their first STEM-Designated Degree Program List in 2008, identifying college majors associated with occupations for which foreign workers were needed. In education there were efforts to help students understand rigorous academics by applying science, technology, engineering and math in “real-world” contexts, and assuring that students were developing the 21st century skills that would make them college and career ready. The buzz grew, and there were other groups that saw value in associating with STEM.

Utah has its share of organizations, partnerships and government agencies working to increase participation in STEM including the STEM Action Center. The STEM Action Center was funded in the most recent session of our state legislature, and charged with:

>Supporting instructional technology and related professional development.

>Developing the STEM education endorsement and related incentive program.

>Promoting STEM in middle school, in part through enhancing CTE-Intro.

>Promoting STEM education initiatives that result in certifications in high schools across the state.

So, what’s a person to do? Perhaps this background has only served to confuse you further, but here are the two main points: (1) There is no universally accepted definition of what STEM is. (2) The emphasis you see on STEM is the result of various (and many) efforts to make STEM – be a STEM industry, a STEM program of study, or a STEM occupation – more attractive. You, as a student or potential worker, are being asked to invest your time and other resources (college tuition), so you need to know how to critically analyze the information about STEM being offered. Dr. Kris Dobson (an expert in career assessments, occupational data, and college and career planning), advises everyone who is exploring their college and career options – STEM or otherwise – to ask some key questions as they consider career information:

S – Consider the source of the information. Is it a college or company that is motivated to recruit new students or workers, or is it an organization that is a respected developer of descriptive economic information?

T – Look twice. Think about the information as a whole; does it make sense on the surface? Then break it down to consider specific claims (about STEM industries, education, occupations) that are being made and judge the validity of those claims.

EEvaluate the information based on the methods used to gather, analyze and interpret the data. For example, if information comes from a survey, who conducted the survey, and who (and how many) answered the survey?

M – Finally, ask yourself whether the information is meaningful to you, and – if so – how it can be applied in your decision-making?

In today’s complex world, where information is readily available, but not always of high quality, critical thinking is a key to making good decisions. Is critical thinking a “STEM skill?” What do you think? What do you know about the skills and knowledge needed to succeed in occupations that are of interest to you?

President Obama Supports CTE and Career Pathways

Wednesday, March 5th, 2014

By Gary Wixom
Assistant Commissioner for Career and Technical Education
Utah System of Higher Education

February was Career and Technical Education (CTE) Month. All across the country people were celebrating the important contribution that CTE is making to individuals, to communities, to the economy, and to the nation’s labor force as the United States struggles to get its economy moving. The unemployment rate is dropping, but the economy is not growing as fast as it should and one of the reasons is that jobs are still going unfilled because we don’t have enough workers with the skills that are necessary to fill those jobs.

Students graduating from high school today are facing challenges that others who have come before have not faced. Just a few years ago, a high school diploma and a little determination meant a high school graduate could enter many industries and earn a livable wage and launch a career. Today, the chances of that happening are getting slimmer each year.

In the State of the Union address, President Obama indicated that 2014 needed to be year of action, and that our challenge was to help the country to maintain its edge in the global economy. He said, “Here in America, our success should depend not on accident of birth, but the strength of our work ethic and the scope of our dreams.” The President emphasized that career and technical education training that prepared people for work was the key and that we needed more programs that linked high school programs to college programs where students could learn the skills that employers need.

Part of the answer to the needs of the labor market is to have quality CTE programs. Arne Duncan, the secretary of education recently said, “The president and I believe that high-quality CTE programs are a vital strategy for helping our diverse students complete their secondary and postsecondary studies. In fact, by implementing dual enrollment and early college models, a growing number of CTE Pathways are helping students to fast-track their college degrees.”

More and more CTE Pathways are being developed across the state of Utah. These CTE Pathways when fully developed connect the high school sequence of courses to a postsecondary certificate or degree. Students who are engaged in these CTE Pathways are having great success, and finding careers that are fulfilling and provide good wages. Check out the CTE Pathways that are available in your high school and schedule a meeting with your school counselor. He or she will provide you with information about how the pathway you are interested in pursuing will connect to postsecondary training, education, and to a career.