CareerTech Offers Funds for Rural STEM Program Recruitment
Oklahoma is one of five states that received a Strategies for Attracting Students to High Quality Career Technical Education grant of $20,000 from Advance CTE. The grant’s objectives are to support innovative recruitment strategies; increase awareness of and interest in high quality CTE programs; and identify and develop strategies to close access and equity gaps for families historically marginalized from participation in CTE programs.
“Oklahoma CareerTech offers students the opportunity to explore careers they can be passionate about,” said Kylie Moulton, communications and marketing coordinator at ODCTE. “This grant will help rural schools bring awareness to the diverse programs offered to students through CareerTech with funds and marketing materials that may not be available otherwise.”
The Oklahoma Department of Career and Technology Education will award $1,000 to 20 Oklahoma schools and technology centers to run a sponsored Facebook ad focused on recruiting students into science, technology, engineering and math programs such as aerospace and construction.
“Students begin making career decisions as early as elementary or middle school, and most students only know about careers that a family member or close family friend works in,” said Tonja Norwood, Oklahoma CareerTech STEM program manager. “It is critical that students are exposed to STEM hands-on curriculum that teaches a concept and immediately allows students to apply that concept.”
CareerTech STEM teachers also incorporate into their courses Technology Student Association competitive events that align to STEM careers, along with guest speakers, TSA conferences, research projects, videos and OK Career Guide, Oklahoma CareerTech’s online education and career planning system.
“CareerTech STEM students learn how STEM careers will allow them to solve problems and use their creativity and skills to improve the future,” she said.
Applicants must serve rural populations — defined as fewer than 50,000 residents. They also must offer STEM courses and have an official school or technology center Facebook page.
Grant application documents and instructions can be found at https://www.okcareertech.org/educators/cte-grant/high-quality-career-technical-education. The deadline for submission is Oct. 8.
About Oklahoma CareerTech
The Oklahoma Department of Career and Technology Education provides leadership and resources and assures standards of excellence for a comprehensive statewide system of career and technology education. The system offers programs and services in 29 technology center districts operating on 59 campuses, 394 PK-12 school districts, 14 Skills Centers campuses that include three juvenile facilities and 31 adult basic education service providers.
The agency is governed by the State Board of Career and Technology Education and works closely with the State Department of Education and the State Regents for Higher Education to provide a seamless educational system for all Oklahomans.