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I’ve Loved My CTE Internship Experience

Wednesday, February 3rd, 2016

Sam Good photo 2By Sam Good

My CTE Internship was sponsored through the National Science Foundation. It involved work with an Arctic Polar Research Group at the University of Utah. Right from the start, I was given the task of analyzing satellite imagery of the Artic to look for plumes of pollution (mainly from forest fires) and how they interact with the cloud systems way up north. I then used computer coding to make visual representations of the data, showing the interactions between the pollution on cloud formation and inhibition. The title of my finished project was called Impacts of Long-Range Biomass Burning and Anthropogenic Pollution Transport on Arctic Clouds.

I had the opportunity to present my research at the American Geophysical Union 2015 AGU Fall Meeting in San Francisco, and the entire trip was paid for by the National Science Foundation. I was the youngest presenter at the meeting, and I was among 24,000 attendees from around the world (about 40 percent international attendance). Elon Musk, founder of Tesla, Space-X, and PayPal, also spoke at this conference, and I was able to hear him!

In terms of career, a lot of work in research is very tedious and detail-oriented and there isn’t much room for mistakes. While I can work well in this type of environment, I think I’ll be better off somewhere where I can relax a bit (and talk to people more).

I was just accepted in to Stanford University and I will be attending this fall. While in San Francisco, I was able to visit the campus and meet with graduate students who are doing research in similar areas. I hope to continue some of my work there.

I’m happy to be a part of this program, and I’ve loved my CTE Internship experience!

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Career and Technical Education (CTE) Internships are part of the Work-Based Learning (WBL) program. To participate in a CTE Internship talk to the WBL coordinator at your school.

Career and Technical Education provides all students with a seamless education system from public education to postsecondary education, driven by a Plan for College and Career Readiness/SEOP. Through competency-based instruction and hands-on experiences, students obtain certified occupational skills, culminating in further education and meaningful employment. CTE prepares students for careers that are most in demand and that are part of the economic development of the state.

Career and Technical Education: Opportunities for Career Success

National Employment Projections 2014-2024: Selected Highlights

Tuesday, January 19th, 2016

The U. S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics recently released employment projections for 2014-24. Here are a few highlights with regard to occupational employment as projected through 2024:

  • Healthcare Support occupations, and Healthcare Practitioners/Technical occupations are projected to be the two fastest growing occupational groups.
  • Two major occupational groups – Production occupations, and Farming, Fishing, and Forestry occupations – are projected to have declining employment.
  • For 11 of the 15 fastest growing occupations, some level of postsecondary education is typically required for entry.

Quick Overview of Total Projected Employment

Chart - Total Projected Employment 2024


Another way to look at the new BLS data is to organize the projections by level of education. Of special interest to Career and Technical Education, are occupations that require more than a high school diploma, but less than a Bachelor’s Degree, shown in chart below.

Most Job Openings
Associate’s Degree or Postsecondary Award

Chart - Occupations Requiring


This is just the beginning of the information available about employment in the U.S. through 2024. Check out other data of interest in the latest edition of Career Outlook, or watch the Data Snapshot Video below that the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) developed.



FAFSA – Free Application for Federal Student Aid

Monday, November 2nd, 2015

Innovations_IT_IMG_0885Without proper planning, continuing your education beyond high school can be a huge expense. Now is the time to talk to your school counselor about the process for applying for financial aid. The U.S. Department of Education Federal Student Aid is the largest provider of student financial aid and offers students the opportunity to apply for financial aid without an application fee. The completed FAFSA is used to determine eligibility for financial aid.

Beginning October 2016, the FAFSA will undergo a major change. Currently, college students and parents use tax data from the previous year to complete their FAFSA. However, beginning next October, students and parents will use tax data from two years prior in their FAFSA which is anticipated to help speed up the financial aid process.

> More than $150 billion is available each year to help millions of students pay for higher education.
> Approximately 22 million FAFSA submissions are processed each year.
> Federal Student Aid includes grants, loans, scholarships, and work-study funds.
> Only 34 percent of eligible Utah students file the FAFSA.
> Utah has the lowest FAFSA completion rate in the nation.

For more information about the FAFSA refer to:

Utah Student Planning Guide Grades 9-12 Financial Aid – The Basics | Federal Student Aid – An office of the U.S. Department of Education

Utah Student Planning Guide, Grades 9-12

Monday, October 5th, 2015

CCR snippetChanges are coming to the Utah Student Planning Guide, Grades 9-12 (English and Spanish), and we need your help! We’re gathering information from educators, students and parents to:

  • Retire pages that are no longer relevant.
  • Update pages with current, high quality information.
  • Define new topics to be addressed, based on student interests and needs.
  • Format the full publication to reflect a new look and feel.
  • Increase distribution and access to students, and to the educators and parents who help them design their college and career plans.
  • Enhance student usage by making the full Guide available for download. Students can save a PDF copy, and mark it up/fill it in/personalize with their own information. They will be able to review, save, and share their personalized copies at will.

What do you think? Will you please choose at least three of the bullets in the list above, and take the time to send related comments, questions, and concerns about the changes being proposed? Specific references for suggested new content, as well as ways to increase awareness and distribution of resources are especially welcome. SEND TO: kris.dobson@schools.utah.gov prior to October 30, 2015.

Career Snapshot: Two Quick Lists

Monday, May 4th, 2015

Innovations_HS_IMG_0629The Utah Department of Workforce Services has updated their Utah Job Outlook brochure with 2012-2022 data. Here’s a look at what’s in store when you check out the full publication; two quick lists:

Occupations With Most Annual Openings*
*   Numbers in parentheses reflect the number of projected annual openings statewide.                                      

  • Retail Salespersons (2,360)
  • Customer Service Representatives (2,340)
  • Food Prep. & Serving Workers, incl. Fast Food (2,060)
  • Cashiers (1,590)
  • Waiters & Waitresses (1,130)
  • Office Clerks, General (1,080)
  • Laborers & Freight, Stock, & Material Movers (1,050)
  • Registered Nurses (1,000)
  • General & Operations Managers (970)

Fastest Growing Utah Occupations**
** Percentages in parentheses reflect projected annual growth rate for occupations with at least 100 openings annually.

  • Health Specialties Teachers, Postsecondary (6.5%)
  • Market Research Analysts & Marketing Specialists (5.3%)
  • Home Health Aides (5.1%)
  • Nurse Practitioners (4.7%)
  • Medical Secretaries (4.5%)
  • Cement Masons & Concrete Finishers (4.4%)
  • Medical & Clinical Laboratory Technicians (4.2%)
  • Drywall & Ceiling Tile Installers (4.2%)
  • Personal Care Aides (4.2%)
  • Software Developers, Applications (4.1%)
  • Dental Hygienists (4.1%)
  • Painters, Construction & Maintenance (4.1%)


College and Career Readiness Counseling

Thursday, April 23rd, 2015

IMG_0136_blurrThe National Office of School Counseling Advocacy (NOSCA) has defined eight components of college and career readiness counseling. They recommend that six of the eight be applied in both elementary and middle schools. The six components to be shared across grades K-8 are:

  1. College Aspirations
  2. Academic Planning for College and Career Readiness
  3. Enrichment and Extracurricular Engagement
  4. College and Career Exploration and Selection Process
  5. College and Career Assessments
  6. College Affordability Planning

NOSCA’s Elementary School Counselor’s Guide is the first in the series of Guides developed to help school counselors establish a college-going culture across K-12, promote college and career readiness for all students, and close gaps between low-performing or traditionally underrepresented students.

Casey LaytonMost agree that elementary school counselors can make a big difference in the lives of students. Unfortunately, there are very few districts in Utah that have implemented school counseling at the elementary level in their schools. But Davis School District is a shining exception. While many school districts in Utah do not yet have any elementary school counselors, Davis has been employing them for about 20 years. Why? Comprehensive Counseling and Guidance Director for Davis School District, Casey Layton, explains:

“I don’t take the credit for the hard work my predecessors did. Diann Davis and Pam Jacobsen knew the importance of a vertically aligned K-12 Comprehensive Counseling and Guidance Program, and they got counselors into our elementary schools. My goal has been to make sure everyone knows they matter.”

With 60 elementary schools in the district, it has been a challenge for Layton to keep the funding for elementary counselors amid $80 million in budget cuts in the last 7 years. However, he tirelessly advocates for them because of the difference that early intervention makes. Most elementary school counselors in Davis are assigned to two schools, and balance their time according to each school’s demonstrated need. Counselors teach “Essential Lessons” to young students, as well as perform other duties such as individual and group counseling and responsive services. They closely collaborate with the building administrator to assure that student needs are being met. Layton adds, “Our counselors become the ‘go-to’ person in the school. While administrators may rotate to different schools, counselors typically stay at their schools longer. They build rapport with the students, their families, and the community at large, and they help establish and maintain a positive school culture. We can’t afford not to have them.”

More about Davis School District’s elementary comprehensive guidance curriculum can be found here.


College and Career Awareness

Thursday, April 2nd, 2015

Cedar City_IT_IMG_4499Have you heard the news? CTE Introduction is changing to College and Career Awareness. This seventh grade course is designed to acquaint students with the Utah labor market and the employment opportunities for which they can prepare by defining a College and Career Ready Plan. College and Career Awareness offers exploration and preparation in college and career pathways, focusing on jobs that are high skill and high demand, as well as satisfying and financially rewarding.

The College and Career Awareness course is designed to help students identify their interests, abilities, and skills. During the course students will:

  • Become knowledgeable about the importance of career options and career planning; self-knowledge/self-efficacy (interest, aptitude, ability); current and emerging occupational information; and the preparatory steps for college and career readiness.
  • Improve development in core subject content that is necessary for college and career readiness; explore relevant education, training, and career opportunities essential for success.

During the year long course students will explore skills, knowledge, and concepts related to CTE College and Career Pathways in:

  • Agriculture
  • Business and Marketing
  • Family and Consumer Sciences
  • Health Science
  • Information Technology
  • Technology and Engineering, Skilled and Technical Sciences

College Career Awareness color 300 dpi

Governor Herbert Declares School Counseling Week in Utah

Tuesday, February 3rd, 2015

School Counselor - BLS imageGovernor Gary R. Herbert declared February 2-6, 2015, School Counseling Week in Utah. Utah joins the national observation to focus attention to school counselors’ vital role in helping students succeed academically and plan for a career.

“Supporting school counselors is part of the investment we make to provide an educational system where the rising generation can realize its potential,” Governor Herbert said. “School counselors work in partnership with administrators, teachers and parents to address any challenges students may experience and focus on positive ways to enhance students’ personal, educational and career development and success.”

The declaration in Utah is sponsored by the Utah School Counselors Association. The association believes that guidance and counseling must be an integral part of every student’s education experience.

CCGP blog declaration - corrected versionSchool Counselors:
> Are employed in public and private schools to help students reach their full potential.
> Are actively committed to helping students explore their abilities, strengths, interests, and talents, as these traits relate to career awareness and development.
> Help parents focus on ways to further the educational, personal, and social growth of their children.
> Work with teachers and other educators to help students explore their potential and set realistic goals for themselves.
> Seek to identify and utilize community resources that can enhance and complement comprehensive school counseling programs and help students become productive members of society.

In Utah, there are more than 1,000 school counselors. The Comprehensive Counseling and Guidance: K-12 Programs strive to have every student in the state of Utah graduate from high school with the skills, knowledge and dispositions essential for success.

Josie Fielding: Future Accountant

Tuesday, January 6th, 2015

Photo 1Josie Fielding, a student at Sky View High School, recently participated in a CTE Internship at Allred Jackson. After successfully completing her internship she was offered a permanent job. “Getting to know the people at Allred Jackson was so much fun, and I’m glad that I have had the opportunity to work with them. I loved it!” says Josie.

Josie has always wanted to pursue a career where she could apply her mathematical skills and successfully contribute to an organization. However, she wasn’t sure if accounting was a path she would enjoy. “I’ve always known I wanted to pursue a career with a math emphasis, so when I took the accounting classes at Sky View it pointed my interests in that direction. But, I still wasn’t sure that accounting was the way to go, so I decided to participate in a CTE Internship to find out. I was hoping that an internship in the field of accounting would tell me that I was, ‘On the right path,’ or to ‘Turn around, go back, accounting is not for you.’ I’m so glad I participated in an internship, because it reaffirmed my choice to go into accounting.”

Having the opportunity to participate in a CTE Internship, at Allred Jackson, helped Josie decide on a career path. During her internship Josie assembled an electronic tax return and updated client information. “I got to do bank reconciliations, data entry, sign-up for Electronic Federal Tax Payment System for several clients, set-up client accounts, and even bill some of the clients. It was fun to see the whole process and even participate in it. I also adjusted entries, updated client loan payments, and reconciled client accounts. This was fun because it was more of what I had learned in my accounting classes. Taking what I had learned in class and actually being able to apply it to the real world was pretty fun.

Josie comes from a family of accountants and although she is different in many ways she is very math oriented just like many members of her family. “If you took a picture of my family you would see a lot of tall, blond athletes who are straight ‘A’, math oriented students. Then you see me. I’m short, I have darker hair, and where the rest of my family plays basketball, I play lacrosse. I’m not a ‘typical’ Fielding, which is fine. I love being me! It’s fun being a little different. But the one thing that particularly stamps me as a Fielding is that I’m very math oriented just like the rest of them. My extended family is made up of engineers, businessmen, and scientists, all very math oriented occupations. This is where I fit in. My father got his bachelor’s degree in accounting, my brother is working on his master’s in accounting, and now I’m following suit. I’m looking forward to continuing my education in accounting and even though I’m not tall, blond and super athletic, I’m my Father’s daughter, and I’m going to be an accountant!”

How to Expand Young Minds

Wednesday, December 10th, 2014

Photo 2aBy Abbey Hortin
Sky View High School,
Cache County School District

Imagine yourself going into the hospital to get a very urgent and life-saving surgery. You get into the operating room to learn that your doctor doesn’t read very well, and doesn’t know how to spell, or work with others. Are you nervous? You should be! You’re about to put your life into the hands of a doctor with no elementary education. This is what life would be like everyday without elementary schools. We do not want a world like this, and this is how I want to put my mark on the world. I want to do my part by teaching future doctors, presidents, dentist, lawyers, and whatever else the students aspire to be.

I’m Abbey Hortin. In the fall of 2014, I completed a Career and Technical Education (CTE) Internship at Birch Creek Elementary in the field of Elementary Education. I had the amazing opportunity of working with an exceptional teacher, Mrs. Jackson. She is the true example of what I would love to achieve and become as a teacher. This internship has shown me that I do want to be a teacher. I not only want to be a teacher, but I want to be an amazing teacher that can change student attitudes toward school and learning.

Photo 1Thanks to the CTE Internship, the class that I was in, and the amazing Mrs. Jackson, I became comfortable in the classroom and learned how to teach in different styles, so that each student could learn. I now know exactly what to study in college and what I would love to do for a career. These students bring so much joy to my life, and I am so excited for my future in elementary education!



CTE Internships are part of the Work-Based Learning (WBL) program. To participate in an internship talk to the WBL coordinator at your school.