Monthly Archives: February 2018

Students reap benefits from CareerTech student organization membership

More than 88,000 Oklahoma students learn leadership, employability and career readiness skills through CareerTech student organizations.

Oklahoma CareerTech has seven student organizations affiliated with its educational programs: Business Professionals of America, business and information technology education; DECA, marketing education; Family, Career and Community Leaders of America, family and consumer sciences education; FFA, agricultural education; HOSA, health careers education; SkillsUSA, trade and industrial education; and Technology Student Association, science, technology, engineering and mathematics education. Our state associations consist of more than 1,617 local chapters that align with the not-for-profit national associations.CTSO Day at the Capitol

In addition, Oklahoma has a chapter of the National Technical Honor Society, which honors excellence in workforce education. It encourages higher scholastic achievement, cultivates a desire for personal excellence and helps top students find success in today’s highly competitive workplace.

These organizations offer sixth-grade through postsecondary students the chance to meet with others with similar interests in their schools and from around the state and nation. CareerTech student organizations offer co-curricular activities and lessons that provide opportunities for personal growth, scholastic achievement and career readiness. CTSOs allow students to work on community projects, competitive events and leadership activities and connect with business and industry.

CTSOs embody the core of CareerTech education in learning by doing. Students experience leadership through leading their fellow members to complete projects and serve others. They engage in teamwork to accomplish community service projects and win competitive events. They exhibit critical thinking skills by solving problems by facing them head-on and finding a way through them.

A study at the National Research Center for Career and Technical Education at the University of Minnesota found that students who are active in CTSOs have higher grades; more academic motivation and engagement; and higher career self-efficacy and college aspirations.

Anyone can see the evidence of those findings in Oklahoma CTSO students. CareerTech student organization members encompass multiple career pathways — entrepreneurs, machinists, doctors, agronomists, welders, nurses, engineers, medical technicians, diplomats, teachers, veterinarians, CEOs, lawyers, members of the military and more. CTSOs prepare students to have career success — and lead — in any field imaginable.

Students are not the only ones who benefit from their CTSO participation. Community service is a required component of a CTSO. Members spend time serving their communities through projects like Oklahoma FFA’s Hunger Challenge, which provided more than 1 million protein sticks for hungry children in Oklahoma last year.

Oklahoma FCCLA members play a role in educating individuals on the dangers of texting while driving, promoting distraction-free driving to save lives.

Other CTSOs raise money and volunteer with the American Cancer Society, the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma, the Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma and a variety of nonprofits in their own communities.

CareerTech student organizations positively affect the classroom, educational outcomes and communities while better preparing students on their career paths.

CareerTech benefits sixth- through 12th graders

CentMidSch_0013rsMore than a third of Oklahoma students in sixth through 12th grades are a part of the Oklahoma CareerTech System.

In 391 of Oklahoma’s comprehensive school districts in FY17, 37 percent of sixth- through 12th-grade students — and almost half of ninth- through 12th-grade students — enrolled in CareerTech courses.

What did the more than 139,000 students study? Agricultural education; business and information technology education; family and consumer sciences education; health careers education; marketing education; science, technology, engineering and mathematics; and trade and industrial education.

CareerTech teachers integrate rigorous academics in accessible ways for students by giving them hands-on learning opportunities. Students conduct laboratory experiments; build and repair robots and other technical equipment and machines; create and operate businesses; create marketing plans; build and repair computer hardware and software; learn animal husbandry, crop production and agriscience; write, speak and create presentations; and do so much more.

All of these activities allow the students to explore and experience potential careers while they are gaining knowledge and developing skills to continue their education and begin their careers. They don’t just learn facts; they learn how to operate in the world after graduation.

In addition to academics, more than 88,000 students learned leadership skills as members of co-curricular CareerTech student organizations: FFA; Family, Career and Community Leaders of America; SkillsUSA; Technology Student Association; Business Professionals of America; HOSA; and DECA.

In fiscal year 2017, Oklahoma CareerTech had 1,319 teachers in comprehensive schools. These teachers earn certifications above the standard Oklahoma teaching certification and spend extra time in CareerTech-provided professional development so that they have the resources they need to educate their students. Many of them spend vacation hours — spring break, for instance — working with students at events or helping them prepare for competitions.

These teachers and their programs also have the opportunity to receive CareerTech lottery grants to buy equipment to enrich classrooms. In fiscal year 2017, Oklahoma CareerTech dispersed $1.6 million to comprehensive schools in lottery grants.

The money comes from the Oklahoma Lottery Education Trust Fund. CareerTech has a competitive grant process, and schools with winning proposals are reimbursed for their equipment purchases. CareerTech also provides scholarships through lottery funds to teachers who are continuing their education.

Oklahoma CareerTech’s teachers and programs in comprehensive schools are answering the call to ensure our students have the skills and knowledge they need to be successful and to ensure the future success of our state.

CareerTech powers state’s economy

cte_month_logo_2018.pngOklahoma CareerTech is joining other career and technology education entities around the country this month to celebrate Career and Technical Education Month. Each year this national awareness campaign celebrates the value of career and technology education and the achievements and accomplishments of programs across the country.

Oklahoma CareerTech touches and improves the lives of state residents in many ways. Through more than 522,000 enrollments, the system provides education and training for individuals and companies in a myriad of specialized and customized opportunities.

One of the strengths of our CareerTech System is its accessibility. Students in grades six through 12 can receive CareerTech hands-on learning while exploring career paths. More than 139,000 students take advantage of this opportunity. Young people experience career options and get to see first-hand how their passions can fuel education and training for careers.

More than 20,000 high school and adult students attend one of Oklahoma’s 29 technology centers, and adult enrollments in career programs, industry-specific training and career and development training total more than 339,000. A study conducted by economist Mark Snead found that graduates of CareerTech programs in technology centers annually add more than $3.5 billion to Oklahoma’s economy. CareerTech students earned more than 15,000 certificates and/or industry-recognized credentials. Through CareerTech programs 94 percent of students were employed, entered the military or continued their education.

Another valuable component of Oklahoma’s CareerTech System is specialized occupational training offered to more than 1,800 adult and juvenile offenders at Skills Centers sites throughout the state. These individuals are completing programs that will allow them to earn living wages for themselves and their families when they are released.

More than 88,000 Oklahoma students learn important leadership skills as members of the seven CareerTech student organizations: Business Professionals of America; DECA; Family, Career and Community Leaders of America; FFA; HOSA; SkillsUSA; and Technology Student Association. According to a study published by the National Research Center for CTE, participating in career and technology student organizations increases students’ academic motivation, academic engagement, grades, career self-efficacy, college aspirations and employability skills.

Not only does Oklahoma CareerTech work to fill the workforce pipeline through its Business and Industry Services, in FY17 CareerTech worked directly with more than 7,800 companies, helping them increase profitability through training, entrepreneurial services, bid assistance and more.

Individuals who dropped out of high school can also receive help from Oklahoma CareerTech. In FY17, CareerTech served more than 1,000 students through Dropout Recovery and served more than 17,000 individuals through Adult Basic Education, which offers high school equivalency, English as a second language and literacy.

Through all of these delivery arms, Oklahoma CareerTech plays a vital role in advancing Oklahoma workforce and powering our economy.

Welcome to our new blog!

Marcie-Mack11x14-X2We founded Oklahoma CareerTech Delivers because we wanted to develop an inspiring place for you to locate useful, informative and thought-provoking information on a variety of topics concerning career and technology education.

Oklahoma’s career and technology education system is focused on developing a world-class workforce as we deliver educational experiences through a network of 391 K-12 school districts, 29 technology center districts, 16 skills center sites and 31 adult basic education providers.

CareerTech’s ultimate goal is to improve Oklahoma’s economy by providing individuals with the training and skills necessary to be successful in the workplace and providing companies with the required workforce necessary to compete globally.

We are excited about using this new communication tool and hope it will increase our collaboration and interaction with our stakeholders. Please comment on our posts and on the posts of others, as we hope this leads to an engaging dialogue on our favorite subject: career and technology education.

We are so happy you are here!

Dr. Marcie Mack