Category Archives: Career and Academic Connections
The 52nd Annual Oklahoma Summit (formerly CareerTech Summer Conference) is scheduled Thursday and Friday, Aug. 1-2, 2019, at the Cox Convention Center in Oklahoma City. The CareerTech Expo is held in conjunction with the summit. If you have questions about the 2019 Oklahoma Summit, contact Andrea Hancock at .
Oklahoma CareerTech launched a new online career awareness program for elementary students on March 12. The Galaxy program, a component of OK Career Guide, is for students in grades preK-5. Galaxy will be unveiled at the For Counselors Only Conference at Tulsa Technology Center’s Owasso campus.
The program combines games, activities and experiences for today’s tech-savvy learners, and is accessible from laptops, desktops and tablets. It uses an outer space theme, including astronauts and spaceships. Students launch into planets, which represent different work environments.
“It’s a fast-paced, interactive program that makes career awareness fun and engaging,” said Cori Gray, CareerTech deputy state director.
Lawton Public Schools Counselor Amy Wilcox said Galaxy encourages students to explore both traditional and nontraditional careers. Wilcox was part of a group that beta-tested the program before its official launch.
“Our students love the program,” Wilcox said. “Galaxy helps their self-esteem and encourages them to become more goal-oriented.”
The system begins with the basic concept of “What is work?” Each year the program builds on that concept, including what people do at work, why they work, what tools and skills they will use for work and how students can prepare for work. By fifth grade, students can investigate specific occupations.
“We’re just letting kids explore what’s out there,” said Lawton Assistant Principal Starla Reed.
In addition to career awareness, Galaxy’s activities integrate academic skills. It emphasizes the importance of reading and writing, and the games show how math, science and social studies fit into the world of work.
Reed said the program is designed to connect to the Individual Career Academic Plan required by Oklahoma state law. Beginning with the freshmen of 2018-19 (graduates of 2023), all Oklahoma students must have an ICAP to graduate. The ICAP guides them as they explore career, academic and post-secondary opportunities, and must be updated annually. A personal portfolio allows students to create meaningful career pathways and prepares them to be career- and college-ready.
Galaxy, a product of Kuder, makes OK Career Guide appropriate for Oklahomans of all ages in all stages of life. OK Career Guide is a statewide career development education system that offers research-based assessments that help users identify interests, skills and values. The system identifies training and education needs for each occupation and a database of schools that offer the necessary education for that career.
Parents and families can learn about Galaxy at.
More than 400 counselors attended the For Counselors Only Conference, sponsored by the Oklahoma Department of Career and Technology Education and the Oklahoma State Department of Education for the 14th year.
Elementary, middle school, junior high, high school and technology centers chose from 28 concurrent sessions with topics including ICAP, OK Career Guide, Oklahoma Promise, student trauma, drug trends in Oklahoma, engagement strategies and elementary career awareness. Some sessions were livestreamed to allow further access and can be found at Conference Playlist.
Alton Carter, author of “The Boy Who Carried Bricks,” which won the 2016 Oklahoma Book Award, and “Aging Out,” gave the keynote speech. Carter’s books are about his life’s journey from foster care through adulthood.
Oklahoma CareerTech’s online career development education system, OK Career Guide, has expanded to include opportunities for businesses and soon will expand to include opportunities for younger students.
CareerTech launched OK Career Guide in 2015 to help students explore careers, pathways and educational opportunities.
OK Career Guide is customized for Oklahoma and is designed to help students of all ages discover interests and skills and the careers to which they can lead. They can also find scholarship and education opportunities.
Schools and technology centers can also use the website to discover what their students’ top interests and skills are. They can use that information to host events promoting areas of interest or to promote specific industries.
In August OK Career Guide added a component for business and industry, Connect 2 Business. The online communication tool fosters community development by connecting businesses to students, job seekers and schools. C2B, which businesses can use for free, can target students with matching career interests and help businesses offer services to schools.
With C2B, businesses can create profiles that secondary and adult students will be able to search. The profiles will include information about the businesses – including their missions and contact information – and services the businesses can provide to teachers and students: speakers, tours, equipment and job and career fairs.
C2B will also match business employment opportunities with students who have the right skills and interests. Businesses can list several kinds of opportunities: internships, externships, job shadowing, apprenticeships, full-time employment and part-time employment.
Oklahoma CareerTech will soon launch a pilot of the elementary platform in OK Career Guide. The pilot will focus on two modules, energy and health careers, for students in kindergarten through fifth grade.
Students can learn about careers through game-based missions in which they explore, learn and solve problems and build their career awareness foundations. This pilot group will help Kuder Career Planning System and OK Career Guide by providing user feedback for a statewide rollout later in 2018.
Oklahoma CareerTech’s vision is to secure Oklahoma’s future by developing a world-class workforce. Its mission is to prepare Oklahomans to succeed in the workplace, in education and in life.
OK Career Guide fits well into both CareerTech’s vision and its mission. It is just one of the ways Oklahoma CareerTech delivers education, training and partnership opportunities to businesses, schools and individuals in our state.