Author Archives: OkCareerTechDelivers

CareerTech Offers Funds for Rural STEM Program Recruitment

Oklahoma CareerTech is accepting proposals from schools and technology centers serving rural populations for grant money to recruit students into STEM programs.

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.

CareerTech Champions

Delaney Medcalf – Southern Technology Center

CareerTech background made college “easy” for this biology student.

THEN: Auditing a biotechnology class at Southern Technology Center as a high school sophomore. When the instructor invited Delaney Medcalf to participate in the lab portion of class that day, she knew instantly she was in the right place.

“I had never had that kind of hands-on science experience,” the Lone Grove High School graduate said.

Medcalf enrolled in the two-year biotech program at Southern Tech, where she learned

  • How to properly use lab equipment and perform sterile technique.
  • How to culture microbes.
  • How to think critically and to express or explain those thoughts.

She also gained numerous life skills. Medcalf said the program gave her self-confidence and improved her communication skills, as well as teaching her patience, teamwork and the importance of building connections with professors.

“Most importantly,” she said, “the biotech program reinforced my love and passion for science.”

Medcalf passed the Biotechnician Assistant Certification Exam and completed the biotech CAPSTONE program at the Noble Research Institute, her contributions for which were published in a New Zealand paper. Because of her new skills and achievements, she was chosen as a 2019 Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation Fleming Scholar in her senior year, which included a paid internship after high school.

In college, Medcalf said, she breezed through her courses because of the foundation she got from Southern Tech.

“The biotech program gave me such high standards that honestly, college labs have been a big disappointment,” she said.

NOW: A student at the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma in Chickasha, Oklahoma, pursuing a bachelor’s degree in biology with a triple minor in liberal arts, psychology and chemistry. After graduation, Medcalf plans to get her master’s degree, go to medical school and get her Ph.D. She would like to be a dietitian or emergency medicine doctor.

“Choosing CareerTech was the best choice I could have made, and it definitely changed the trajectory of my college experience.”

Delaney Medcalf, college student

Meridian Tech Students Renovate Train

Students in Meridian Technology Center’s metal fabrication, welding, automotive technology and collision repair technology programs recently completed renovation of a train for the Hydro Free Fair.

The students began the project in 2018, working with the Hydro Fair Association to bring the Century Flyer miniature train back to its original glory. See before and after photos of the train on Meridian’s Facebook page.

The project was also feature on KFOR’s “Is This a Great State or What?” segment.

Training offered for OK Career Guide, Kuder Galaxy

Several virtual training sessions are available in the next few months for educators interested in OK Career Guide and Kuder Galaxy.

OK Career Guide is an online tool available to all Oklahomans to explore careers and plan their futures. Participants can take assessments, identify occupations, establish education plans and connect to employers.

Kuder Galaxy is an online career awareness platform for students in prekindergarten through fifth grade. Students learn through play, videos, activities, games and rewards in the space-themed platform.

Webinars for OK Career Guide will be Sept. 28, Oct. 26 and Dec. 7. Kuder Galaxy webinars will be Aug. 24, Sept. 28, Oct. 26 and Dec. 7.

For more information or to register for a webinar, visit the CareerTech website.

CareerTech Programs Receive Aerospace Grants

The Oklahoma CareerTech Foundation and Metro Technology Centers were among 50 organizations to receive Aerospace and Aviation Education Program grants from the Oklahoma Aeronautics Commission.

The foundation received a grant of $10,000 for the Oklahoma Education and Industry Partnerships. OEIP’s mission is to create a pipeline for partnerships among educators and industry leaders that result in meeting the workforce needs of Oklahoma companies.

More than 300 Oklahoma fifth through 12th grade science, technology, engineering and math teachers, counselors and administrators attend industry tours and educational workshops each year as part of OEIP.

“The CareerTech Foundation is thankful for OAC’s longstanding support of OEIP. The funding ensures continued connections between educators and industry, with a focus on the workforce needs in the aerospace sector,” said Gina Hubbard, manager of Oklahoma CareerTech’s Education Partnerships and Customized Services Division.

Metro Tech received $12,500 for the 2022 Aviation Career Exploration Camp for seventh and eighth grade students. The camp uses a STEM curriculum to teach students about the history of aviation and aerospace and the parts of an airplane.

Students also get to take an orientation flight to experience the principles of flight first-hand.

OAC awarded the grants at its August meeting. They are given to entities with targeted learning programs that have a direct application to aerospace and aviation for elementary through postsecondary education. The grant program has been awarding grants for more than 30 years.

More about the grant program and a full list of recipients is on the OAC website.

Oklahoma CareerTech Celebrates Educators’ Perseverance

Oklahoma CareerTech’s 54th annual conference celebrated educators’ perseverance, said State Director Marcie Mack.

The Oklahoma Summit is a partnership between the Oklahoma Department of Career and Technology Education and the Oklahoma Association of Career and Technology Education. It provides professional development opportunities for CareerTech educators, administrators, school board members, support staff members and business partners.

Mack thanked Oklahoma CareerTech System employees for their commitment to continuing their work to educate Oklahomans during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The challenges you faced were unprecedented,” she said. “We could not have imagined the surmounting circumstances that would reconfigure our lives and that of our schools and classrooms. But your passion and dedication to educating students and meeting the companies’ needs in your community prevailed, and our system continued to progress amid these trying times.

“This event is a celebration of your perseverance in navigating the shifting landscape and reinforcing why Oklahoma CareerTech is the best in the nation.”

Oklahoma Summit celebrated several award winners, including Oklahoma CareerTech’s top two awards, the Francis Tuttle Award and the Arch Alexander Award.

Lindel Fields, who recently retired from Tri County Technology Center as superintendent, received the Francis Tuttle Award, which is named in honor of the former Oklahoma CareerTech state director and is given to someone who has made significant contributions at the state and national levels.

Jeanette Capshaw, who recently retired as deputy superintendent at Moore Norman Technology Center, received the Arch Alexander Award, named in honor of a longtime deputy state director of Oklahoma CareerTech and given to someone who has demonstrated the qualities Alexander shows in his work in the system.

Shelley Free, superintendent of Kiamichi Technology Centers, received the OkACTE Bob Funk Advocate of Excellence Award, and Daniel Tysor, Moore Norman Technology Center web design instructor, received the Lifetime Achievement Award.

Bob Funk Jr. of Express Employment Professionals was on hand to present checks from Express to four award winners: Lisa Symsack, Tulsa Technology Center, Support Staff Member of the Year, $5,000; Lorain McKay, Moore Norman Technology Center, New Teacher of the Year, $5,000; Nancy Howell, Great Plains Technology Center, Postsecondary Teacher of the Year, $7,500; and Leslie Powell, Kiamichi Technology Centers-Durant, Teacher of the Year, $10,000.

The following also received awards during Oklahoma Summit:

  • Joyce McClellan, Tulsa Technology Center chief development and diversity officer, Administrator of the Year.
  • Misty Bible, Kiamichi Technology Centers-Idabel counselor, Counseling and Career Development Professional Award.
  • Cody McPherson, Geary Public Schools technology engineering instructor, Carl Perkins Community Service Award.
  • Lucinda Francis, Moore Norman Technology Center literacy specialist/coach, Teacher Educator of the Year.
  • Eufaula Public Schools, State Superintendent’s Award of Excellence.
  • Teresa Abram, marketing and communications coordinator, Communications and Marketing Award.
  • Brian Ruttman, R.J. Curry, Athena Frank, Chelsey Graham, Elena Morales, Donna Lindly, Mikka House-Moore, Anita Parks, Ernie Gomez, Janet Portwood, Laura Manahan and Jodie Eiland, Dennis Portis Rising Star Award sponsored by American Fidelity.
  • Sen. Kay Floyd, D-Oklahoma City, and Rep. Dick Lowe, R-Amber, OkACTE Distinguished Service.
  • Jerry McConnell, Moore Norman Technology Center director of safety and security, OkACTE Distinguished Achievement.
  • Allen Schneberger, Moore Norman Technology Center academic integration coordinator, Kaleidoscope Award.
  • Lamont Harris, Metro Technology Centers; Jessie Phillips, Kiamichi Technology Centers; Benjamin Evans, Pioneer Technology Center; Christie Rogers, Southwest Technology Center; and Matt Fix and Emily Brown, Moore Norman Technology Center, OkACTE Outstanding New Professional Award.

Cancer treatment leads to award-winning agriscience fair project

Austin Hooten knew oil and gas was the biggest industry in Oklahoma, but he had no idea it would play an important role in his life.

Hooten, 18, a senior at Stillwater High School in Stillwater, Okla., was diagnosed with lymphoma in the sixth grade. During an appointment with his oncologist, he learned the port used to deliver his chemotherapy medications was made of plastic and rubber, both oil and gas by-products.

“Indirectly, oil and gas by-products saved my life,” he says.

Read how this discovery inspired his award-winning agriscience fair project on the FFA website.

Oklahoma CareerTech celebrates educators’ perseverance

Oklahoma CareerTech’s 54th annual conference celebrated educators’ perseverance, said State Director Marcie Mack.

The Oklahoma Summit is a partnership between the Oklahoma Department of Career and Technology Education and the Oklahoma Association of Career and Technology Education. It provides professional development opportunities for CareerTech educators, administrators, school board members, support staff members and business partners.

Mack thanked Oklahoma CareerTech System employees for their commitment to continuing their work to educate Oklahomans during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The challenges you faced were unprecedented,” she said. “We could not have imagined the surmounting circumstances that would reconfigure our lives and that of our schools and classrooms. But your passion and dedication to educating students and meeting the companies’ needs in your community prevailed, and our system continued to progress amid these trying times.

“This event is a celebration of your perseverance in navigating the shifting landscape and reinforcing why Oklahoma CareerTech is the best in the nation.”

Oklahoma Summit celebrated several award winners, including Oklahoma CareerTech’s top two awards, the Francis Tuttle Award and the Arch Alexander Award.

Lindel Fields, who recently retired from Tri County Technology Center as superintendent, received the Francis Tuttle Award, which is named in honor of the former Oklahoma CareerTech state director and is given to someone who has made significant contributions at the state and national levels.

Jeanette Capshaw, who recently retired as deputy superintendent at Moore Norman Technology Center, received the Arch Alexander Award, named in honor of a longtime deputy state director of Oklahoma CareerTech and given to someone who has demonstrated the qualities Alexander shows in his work in the system.

Shelley Free, superintendent of Kiamichi Technology Centers, received the OkACTE Bob Funk Advocate of Excellence Award, and Daniel Tysor, Moore Norman Technology Center web design instructor, received the Lifetime Achievement Award.

Bob Funk Jr. of Express Employment Professionals was on hand to present checks from Express to four award winners: Lisa Symsack, Tulsa Technology Center, Support Staff Member of the Year, $5,000; Lorain McKay, Moore Norman Technology Center, New Teacher of the Year, $5,000; Nancy Howell, Great Plains Technology Center, Postsecondary Teacher of the Year, $7,500; and Leslie Powell, Kiamichi Technology Centers-Durant, Teacher of the Year, $10,000.

The following also received awards during Oklahoma Summit:

  • Joyce McClellan, Tulsa Technology Center chief development and diversity officer, Administrator of the Year.
  • Misty Bible, Kiamichi Technology Centers-Idabel counselor, Counseling and Career Development Professional Award.
  • Cody McPherson, Geary Public Schools technology engineering instructor, Carl Perkins Community Service Award.
  • Lucinda Francis, Moore Norman Technology Center literacy specialist/coach, Teacher Educator of the Year.
  • Eufaula Public Schools, State Superintendent’s Award of Excellence.
  • Teresa Abram, marketing and communications coordinator, Communications and Marketing Award.
  • Brian Ruttman, R.J. Curry, Athena Frank, Chelsey Graham, Elena Morales, Donna Lindly, Mikka House-Moore, Anita Parks, Ernie Gomez, Janet Portwood, Laura Manahan and Jodie Eiland, Dennis Portis Rising Star Award sponsored by American Fidelity.
  • Sen. Kay Floyd, D-Oklahoma City, and Rep. Dick Lowe, R-Amber, OkACTE Distinguished Service.
  • Jerry McConnell, Moore Norman Technology Center director of safety and security, OkACTE Distinguished Achievement.
  • Allen Schneberger, Moore Norman Technology Center academic integration coordinator, Kaleidoscope Award.
  • Lamont Harris, Metro Technology Centers; Jessie Phillips, Kiamichi Technology Centers; Benjamin Evans, Pioneer Technology Center; Christie Rogers, Southwest Technology Center; and Matt Fix and Emily Brown, Moore Norman Technology Center, OkACTE Outstanding New Professional Award.

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, 399 PK-12 school districts, 13 Skills Centers campuses that include three juvenile facilities and 32 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.

CareerTech Essential to Meet Workforce Needs

A qualified workforce is critical to the state’s economic well-being and will be vital to its recovery following the pandemic. Oklahoma CareerTech, which has long been a major component of Oklahoma’s economic engine, will play a starring role in this recovery.

Through a network of 399 PK-12 school districts, 29 technology center districts, 13 skills center sites and 32 adult basic education providers, the strengths of Oklahoma’s CareerTech System include accessibility and flexibility.

Through partnerships with business and industry, Oklahoma CareerTech has responded quickly to the state’s immediate workforce needs by providing customized career training in a wide range of industries, including health care, agriculture, aerospace and energy.

Read more in CareerTech State Director Marcie Mack’s guest column in The Journal Record.

Oklahoma Summit

The 54th annual conference will be held August 1-3 at the Oklahoma City Convention Center. It will feature professional development opportunities along with recognition of Oklahoma CareerTech System employees. (Conference at-a-glance)

This year’s keynote speaker will be retired Navy Cmdr. John Herrington, who flew on the space shuttle Endeavour. In 2002, Commander Herrington flew on the Space Shuttle Endeavour STS-113, the 112th Shuttle mission, as the 143rd person to walk in space and the first Native American in history. Find out more about Commander John Herrington here

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