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Archive for the ‘College and Career Ready’ Category

Real Estate Occupations – Supporting Buyers and Sellers of Homes

Wednesday, March 5th, 2014

This month we highlight eight occupations that are key to the buying and selling of homes. Employed to ensure the successful transfer of property are workers in:

Home inspection and repair
Home loan and insurance
Home marketing and sales
Real estate appraisal and law
(Links take you to information about the CTE Pathways that can help you develop relevant skills.)

Successful workers in these occupations are organized, detail-oriented, and must be able to communicate effectively with other professionals and with their clients. As with most occupations, on-the-job training (OJT) and experience, and additional education, give workers an advantage in developing their skills and expertise. Browse UtahFutures for detailed occupational information.

*Source: Utah Department of Workforce Services, Occupation Information Data Viewer. Note that this is occupational information, not information for the occupation within any specific industry. An article in the Occupational Outlook Quarterly offers a national perspective of these occupations as well as a list of associations and other sources that may be contacted for additional information.

Jamie Vargas Rocks School Counseling at JATC and Beyond

Thursday, February 27th, 2014

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.

Granite Technical Institute – Career Academies, Skilled Trades, High Tech, and More

Wednesday, February 12th, 2014

Just one step into Granite Technical Institute (GTI) and the high energy of students and staff is palpable. Everyone seems to be going somewhere, and they’re determined to be there in record time. Julie Bagley, Counselor, Work-Based Learning Specialist, and Health Science Advisor, attributes this to the fact that students have gone the extra mile to be here, and they have well-defined goals for what they will accomplish. There are 2,400 students who attend GTI, described as an “extension” of their home high schools as they list GTI courses right along with the courses taught within their own walls. GTI students take advantage of the infrastructure – from transportation and administration to career centers and highly qualified teachers – in order to pursue their career interests.

Julie Bagley describes a number of programs designed to inform the community and potential students of the opportunities available at Granite Technical Institute. For example, a recent Open House was expected to draw 1,500-2,000 attendees. This is a chance for programs to show off, and that often means “hands-on” experiences such as dissections, robotics competitions, the printing of T-shirts, and food preparation.

A program that enables ninth grade students to participate in GTI is enrollment in a 90-minute dual credit course – either English/Physics or English/BioAg. Students apply for this program, and must meet certain qualifications in order to make it a part of their individual College and Career Plan. Having participated in the ninth grade further empowers these students to take advantage of GTI opportunities as they plan the remainder of their high school experience.

The Ambassadors are fundamental to promoting GTI to their peers as well as to the community at large. Students must apply to be Ambassadors. They must have a 3.0 GPA and CPA (citizenship), and must be a student at the GTI for the full year. Applicants submit their transcripts and an essay on why they would like to be a GTI Ambassador. Ambassadors are involved in promotional events in the community and at both junior highs and high schools throughout the year. They help provide an authentic student-to-student link to GTI programs.

Julie Bagley herself is a walking advertisement of what makes GTI great. She practically oozes with enthusiasm about the students she serves, the opportunities GTI offers, and all the people – teachers, counselors, administrators and others at the school, district and state – who make Career and Technical Education an attractive and valuable choice for students.

U.S. Occupational Projections for 2012-2022

Monday, February 3rd, 2014

It takes intense analysis of a vast amount of information, but every other year, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) publishes occupational projections for successive 10-year periods of time. BLS shares their view of how employment is expected to change between 2012 and 2022 in the most recent edition of the Occupational Outlook Quarterly. Highlighted below are lists featuring “top ten” occupations by education level, based on projected job openings. Be aware that the education level reflects assignments made by job analysts based on what is minimally required to enter an occupation. For any occupation of high interest, you should gather information to help you get the big picture –e.g., related training and experience often needed in addition to education in order to get that first job and to advance, earnings information, as well as factors that help you see how the occupation matches your interests, values and other personal characteristics.

Top Ten Occupations by Education Level Based on Projected Job Openings 2012-2022 (Linked to Page for Related CTE Area of Study

High School Diploma
Customer Service Representative
Office Clerk
Secretaries/Admin Assistant
Childcare Worker
Supervisor of Office Workers
Sales Representatives
Maintenance & Repair Worker
Bookkeeping Clerk
Supervisor of Food Prep Workers

Associate Degree or Postsecondary Non-Degree
Registered Nurse
Nursing Assistant
Truck Driver
Licensed Practical Nurse
Medical Assistant
Preschool Teacher
Dental Assistant
HVAC Mechanic/Installer

Bachelor’s Degree
General Operations Manager
Elementary School Teachers
Management Analysts
Software Developer
Middle School Teacher
Computer Systems Analyst
Market Research Analyst
Construction Manager
Health Services Manager

Meet the Counseling and Guidance Team at Corner Canyon High School

Tuesday, January 28th, 2014

Corner Canyon High School, located in Draper, is the newest high school in Canyons School District. Their student body consists of about 1,800 students in grades 9-12. Interestingly, because seniors could opt out of moving to the new high school, the senior class is the smallest and around one-third of the students are freshman! Just last year, ninth grade was still part of middle school, so these students not only found themselves in high school, but in a big, new high school, and that brought some challenges.

Fortunately, team leader Allyson Hanks (A-C) and fellow counselors Amy Hardcastle (D-H), Sally Matsen (I-M), Dina Kohler (N-R), and Phil Handley (S-Z) were totally up to the challenge. They developed a program – “Get Some Grit” – to increase the awareness of key skills and attitudes they need to succeed in high school and beyond.

Of course there are the other 1,200 students in grades 10-12 to serve, and counselors are equally dedicated to assuring the success of these students. “Visibility” is a key counseling strategy. It is important that students know the counselors – especially their own – and that students perceive their counselors as available and helpful. The number of students who drop in, and the days that counselors are spending in classrooms add up to a focus on student success as they progress through their high school careers.

The “Senior Silver Star” newsletter keeps seniors apprised of dates and deadlines, but also offers them other information to promote their success beyond high school.

Another practice worth mentioning is the building-wide effort to “catch students being good.” School staff carry “Charge Cards” – Care, Honor, Achieve, Respect, Give, Engage – to hand out to students. Students can then enter their cards in drawings for prizes.

This is just a sampling of the counseling and guidance practices being implemented at Corner Canyon High School by a team of exemplary counselors with the support of administrators at both the school and district level. Utah CTE wishes CCHS counselors and students continued success!

Great things are happening in every school across the state. Utah CTE wants to hear from you. Educators and students, what is your CTE story? Tell Utah CTE about what is taking place in your school/classroom by sharing your CTE story.

Students, nominate your favorite school counselors for an “I Love My School Counselor” honor in February, during Career and Technical Education Month. Entries are due Friday, January 31, 2014.

Utah’s Occupational Projections Promise Steady Growth

Friday, December 20th, 2013

Good news from the Utah Department of Workforce Services; their occupational projections indicate that the Utah economy will continue to grow steadily through the year 2020. (Utah Insights, Winter 2013) There are 61,040 annual job openings forecasted statewide. The following is a list of occupations in Utah projected to have the most openings. (Numbers reflect total job openings due to replacement of current workers, or “turnover” plus new openings created when new positions are created = TOTAL OPENINGS.)

The Department of Workforce Services also provides this list of the ten “fastest-growing” occupations. Here, the number of openings is expressed as a percentage of the total number of jobs for that occupation. Thus, occupations that are “fastest-growing” may not always mean plentiful openings. In fact, compared to the average base employment of 24,590 for occupations with the most annual openings, the average base employment for occupations with largest percentage change is just 1,260.


Check out the complete issue of Utah Insights, Winter 2013 for additional information – including details about Utah’s two fastest-growing occupational groups (Healthcare Support and Construction/Extraction), highest and lowest paying occupational groups, and median annual wages by entry level education. For detailed information on the occupations listed, or other occupations that interest you, browse UtahFutures.

Top Utah Occupations in Skilled and Technical Sciences

Wednesday, December 4th, 2013

Pathways in the Skilled and Technical Sciences area reflect a broad variety of interests, but when it comes to those occupations that are rated 5-Star* by the Utah Department of Workforce Services, Mechanical and Construction occupations really stand out as summarized in the table below.

For more information about these and other occupations – including related education and training options – you can browse UtahFutures. To see other “best” Utah occupations, check out the Utah Job Outlook Brochure. And to explore the full variety of Pathways in Skilled and Technical Sciences, as well as other CTE Areas, visit UtahCTE.org.

Employment by Industry

Wednesday, November 6th, 2013

The Career Highlight is usually devoted to information organized by categories focused on occupations, but this month we decided to take an industry perspective. There are some occupations that are fairly industry specific – doctors and nurses are largely employed within the health care industry, and mining machine operators work in the mining industry. However, there are many occupations employed across industries. For example, computer programmers, administrative assistants, office managers, and custodians are needed in almost any work environment, no matter the industry. Therefore – especially when jobs are scarce – it’s worth thinking about pursuing opportunities outside the industry most often associated with your occupation. That is, check out businesses and organizations within growth industries to find jobs that will use your skills and may offer better security and wages than the same occupation in an industry that is declining.

The North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) organizes industries into just two very broad groups: goods producing, or service providing. The goods-producing industries include: ¨ Construction; ¨ Manufacturing; ¨ Mining.  Service-providing industries include: Educational services; Financial activities; Health care and social assistance; Information; Leisure and hospitality; Professional and business services; Public administration; Trade, transportation, and utilities. Service-providing industries are projected to account for the most job growth through 2020. As illustrated below, employment is projected to increase by more than 5.6 million in the health care and social assistance sector, with home health care and family services leading that growth. Providers of management, scientific, and technical consulting services will lead the growth in the professional and business services. For additional details, consult this article in the Occupational Outlook Quarterly. For Utah-specific industry outlook information, you may be interested in the regional Industry Briefs developed by the Utah Department of Workforce Services.

Meet Jeananne Lybbert: Dishing Up CTE Intro and More

Monday, October 21st, 2013

Jeananne Lybbert joined the staff at Fort Herriman Middle School about six years ago, and is an integral part of a dynamic CTE team that is dedicated to helping students learn about all areas of career and technical education. (Read about their celebration of CTE Month in the Fort Herriman MS Newsletter.) For Ms. Lybbert, it is equally important to help students discover their personal talents and interests. That is one reason that she enthusiastically endorses the Career Development Activities (CDAs) in CTE Intro. For example, students complete a career interest inventory to help them understand how the school subjects, extra-curricular activities, and hobbies that they enjoy translate to potential career interests. Students have opportunities to study specific occupations that match their interests, and can even try out various work roles through Work-Based Learning experiences. Ms. Lybbert says that seventh grade is ideal for engaging students in self-discovery, and she enjoys the many “ah-ha” moments that her students experience as they participate in the CDAs. As a FACS teacher, perhaps Ms. Lybbert might say, “CTE Intro is the best thing since sliced bread.”

In addition to her CTE Intro responsibilities, Ms. Lybbert also teaches FACS Exploration and Foods to grade 8 and 9 students. As a National School to Watch, Ft. Herriman has organizational supports to promote her efforts to meet the distinct developmental needs of middle school students. She is pleased to be a part of Ft. Herriman’s larger community – the school, district, and the partnerships – that work together to promote the success of their students.

Fort Herriman Middle School


Nebo Students Soar in CTE Work-Based Learning Opportunities

Wednesday, October 16th, 2013

On October 3, 2013, the Daily Herald highlighted students in Nebo School District who participate in Career and Technical Education Work-Based Learning (WBL) opportunities. WBL provides opportunities for students to learn a variety of skills through rigorous academic preparation with hands-on career development experiences. Under the guidance of adult mentors, students learn to work in teams, solve problems, and meet employers’ expectations. Through a variety of WBL experiences students see, firsthand, how classroom instruction connects to the world of work and future career opportunities.

Below is a portion of the story featured in the Daily Herald:

Ever wonder if being a pilot, a nurse or a teacher would be the right job for you? Well, one Utah County school district is helping its students find out this information while they are in high school. Nebo School District’s Work-Based Learning program matches student interns to businesses whose trade relates to the students interests.

Students sign-up for Work-Based Learning, spend the first couple of weeks attending critical workplace skills classes, and with help from advisors, select an internship. Then students learn from professionals in the field while visiting the businesses or organizations twice a week.

“The program gives students a chance to try out a career that they are interested in. If students do a couple internships in high school, they tend to have a better idea of what they want to do in college,” said Chris Thomas, the Work-Based Learning Coordinator at both Spanish Fork High School and Salem Hills High School. “If career sampling is done in high school, not college, ultimately it will save the students money.”

Part of the matching process includes filling out an application, stating career goals and listing three choices of places the students would like to intern. Though Thomas has an extensive list of internships from past years, she claims that new internships are created every semester.

“While they aren’t on location, the students are in the classroom, learning how to get a job and then how to keep a job,” said Thomas. “We teach students how to write resumes, cover letters and reference pages. They learn interviewing skills, networking, how to fill out job applications. Later, once they’ve been placed with an employer, the students are taught business ethics, attitude and teamwork.”

Read complete story HERE

Work-Based Learning opportunities are available at every high school throughout Utah. If you’re interested in participating in a WBL experience talk to the school counselor in your school.