There are about 700 students who take advantage of the Career and Technical Education programs at Jordan Applied Technology Center each year. As part of the application process, students must demonstrate that they have the basic competencies needed to succeed in the programs to which they apply. Counselor Jamie Vargas has taken a keen interest in assuring that the most relevant competencies are being assessed, that the instruments being used meet high standards of quality, and that testing protocols are strictly followed. In addition, he closely monitors data to identify potential issues, e.g., appropriate gender and ethnic balances, and meaningful differences between students who are accepted and those who are not. In other words, Jamie Vargas is working diligently to keep his finger on the pulse of the student body to gauge health and wellness, and following through with policy and other changes as indicated.
Jamie Vargas also brought leadership to the development and implementation of the College and Career Ready Student Portfolio. A web-based guide outlines the core and supplemental requirements that students complete in order to demonstrate competencies in four areas: (1) Leadership; (2) Program Competency; (3) Career Readiness; and (4) College Readiness. An online guide with links takes students to support information, forms, and other documents. In addition, students can track their progress using a printed Student Portfolio Tracking Sheet. Vargas has generously shared both the philosophical underpinnings and the practical mechanics of the Portfolio. It is becoming a popular and much-valued tool for students, parents, and counselors in Utah and beyond.