Category Archives: K-12 Education

CareerTech launches preK-5 career awareness program

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.Basic RGB

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 https://galaxy.kuder.com/parents.

CareerTech 2020 Agenda to Add High-Demand Programming

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A $21 million increase in funding would allow the Oklahoma Department of Career and Technology Education to expand programming to fill Oklahoma’s skills gap.

ODCTE’s state appropriations request for fiscal year 2020 for the first regular session of the 57th Oklahoma Legislature targets narrowing Oklahoma’s skills gap through the proposed increase of $21 million that would allow CareerTech to achieve the following:

  • Fund more than 130 unfunded programs and provide for 90 new programs to be added to K-12 CareerTech offerings.
  • Add 12 new programs in state correctional facilities that would serve 500 to 600 more inmates.
  • Increase Training for Industry Programs by 10 percent to more than 3,200 enrollments.
  • Increase customized training by 10 percent to almost 300,000 enrollments.
  • Increase certifications/credentials annually by 5 percent, adding almost 2,400 more during three years.

“Oklahoma has a skills gap, and CareerTech has a solution,” said Marcie Mack, ODCTE state director. “Investing in CareerTech will produce more skilled workers for existing, unfilled Oklahoma jobs. It will invigorate program offerings in our K-12 schools and technology centers. It powers training programs for Oklahoma businesses, and it gives our incarcerated students a second chance at life.”

As a part of the appropriations request, $11.8 million would go toward paying the state’s obligation to fund the required health benefit allowance. If the state funds the current requirement, Mack said, it will immediately free up that amount to be redirected to CareerTech classrooms.

The appropriations request seeks a 14.8 percent increase over the FY19 budget of $120.4 million. While funds did increase in FY19 from FY18 levels, in the last 10 years Oklahoma CareerTech education has seen an overall reduction in general appropriations by 28 percent.

Industry leaders from across sectors that provide significant impact to Oklahoma’s economy emphasized the need to increase investments in career-ready education as a primary component of moving Oklahoma forward.

“The strongest pipeline to meet the demand in the agriculture industry is through CareerTech agricultural education and the FFA,” said Brent Kisling, Enid Regional Development Alliance executive director. “This investment in agricultural education, as well as other K-12 CareerTech programs would provide direct funding to classroom resources.

“I truly have never seen a more valuable program than Oklahoma FFA when it comes to instilling leadership and work ethic in our youth. CareerTech student organizations across the board add the workplace elements that help to make students successful. These programs are vital to training future generations.”

CareerTech’s skills gap solutions also help attract new businesses to the state and help existing businesses expand. In 2018 the CareerTech System served more than 6,900 companies, helping their employees gain new skills and adding new jobs to the Oklahoma economy.

“Solving the skills gap is at the forefront of an economic transformation pushing our state forward. CareerTech and their capabilities in upskilling workers, customizing training for industry and growing a pipeline of skilled workers is essential to keeping Oklahoma on the map for expanding and attracting companies to the state,” said David Stewart, chief administrative officer for MidAmerica Industrial Park and member of the State Board of Career and Technology Education.

Michael Culwell, campus director in Poteau at Kiamichi Technology Centers and president of the Oklahoma Association for Career and Technology Education, said, “Programs like welding technology, which give our students a high-quality wage for construction and manufacturing jobs that are in high demand in our area, should be expanded. The value of these programs and other CareerTech industry training programs are a priority to keeping Oklahoma’s future bright.”

Other items in the 2020 agenda include enriching work-based learning experiences, expanding professional development for CareerTech professionals and deploying new technology for career awareness. For an itemized list of all FY20 funding requests view the business plan and annual report for FY18 details.

ABOUT OKLAHOMA’S CAREERTECH SYSTEM

Oklahoma’s Career and Technology Education System is focused on developing a world-class workforce. This comprehensive system delivers educational experiences through 393 K-12 school districts, 29 technology center districts, 16 Skills Centers sites and 31 adult basic education providers and to more than 6,900 businesses. CareerTech’s mission is clear: to improve Oklahoma’s economy by providing individuals with the training and skills necessary to be successful in the workplace and by providing companies with the required workforce to compete globally. We are faced with a skills gap, and CareerTech has a solution.

For more about CareerTech visit OkCareerTech.org.
Learn more about the difference CareerTech makes for students.

Oklahoma’s National Career Readiness Certificate

The State of Oklahoma issues the ACT National Career Readiness Certificate™ as an assessment-based credential powered by ACT WorkKeys®.

The ACT National Career Readiness Certificate is an industry-recognized, portable, research-based credential that certifies essential skills needed for workplace success.

This credential is used across all sectors of the economy and documents the following cognitive skills:

  • Problem-solving.
  • Critical thinking.
  • Reading and using work-related text.
  • Applying information from workplace documents to solve problems.
  • Applying mathematical reasoning to work-related problems.
  • Setting up and performing work-related mathematical calculations.
  • Locating, synthesizing, and applying information that is presented graphically.
  • Comparing, summarizing, and analyzing information presented in multiple related graphics.

Individuals can earn the ACT NCRC by taking three WorkKeys® assessments.

  • Applied Math
  • Graphic Literacy
  • Workplace Documents

WorkKeys assessments measure real-world skills that employers believe are critical to job success.

Click HERE to learn more about OKCRCs!

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astellas“In a way, WorkKeys assists in turning the art of hiring the right candidate into more of a science. As a science-based company, that is very important to us.” – Pam Maguire, Sr. Human Resources Manager – Astellas Pharma Technologies, Inc.

 

CareerTech Champions

Each year, thousands of Oklahomans reap the benefits provided by Career and Technology Education. CareerTech Champions tell the story of how individuals apply learning to become successful employees, entrepreneurs and leaders in business organizations.

Lawson TLawson Thompsonhompson – Carney Public Schools

Ag educator says students gain “purpose, preparedness, and professionalism.”

THEN: A self-described sports fanatic growing up in a small town, in a sports-minded family. Lawson Thompson aspired to play college sports, like his mom, dad and brother had done. That was before he got involved in agricultural education. In his senior year at Deer Creek-Lamont High School, Lawson decided to give up sports to dedicate his energy toward his new passion, FFA. He served as a state officer that year and went on to Oklahoma State University for a bachelor’s degree in agricultural sciences and natural resources. Lawson said devoting himself to agricultural education and FFA was one of the greatest choices of his life.

“It’s a lot more than cows, plows and sows,” he said. In FFA, Lawson developed skills he uses every day, including

  • Communication – the value of clearly communicating with people of all ages in various settings, as well as public speaking.
  • Leadership – how to be a better leader, mentor and role model.
  • Time management – active participation in numerous ag and non-ag activities helped him learn how to manage his time.

“I utilize skills I gained from agricultural education/FFA every day,” Lawson said. “I would not be an effective educator, mentor, husband or person if I didn’t understand values such as hard work, dedication, discipline, leadership and service.”

NOW: Agricultural education instructor and FFA adviser at Carney Public Schools. Lawson’s FFA chapter was chosen as one of the top 10 chapters in the country. His students also nominated him for KFOR-TV’s Thankful 4 Teachers award, and he was one of the top 10 nominees in the state. Sponsor Air Comfort Solutions recognized Lawson with a $5,000 check.

“I strongly believe that if an employer interviews a candidate who came through any one of CareerTech’s eight student organizations (FFA, FCCLA, HOSA, DECA, TSA, BPA, SkillsUSA or NTHS) and one who did not, that candidate who was a CTSO member will get the job 10 times out of 10.”

Lawson Thompson, agricultural education instructor
(former Oklahoma FFA state officer, former Oklahoma CareerTech ag education intern)

Oklahoma CareerTech System Graduates Add More Than $3.5 Billion Annually to the State’s Economy

2018 Delivery ArmsACCESSIBILITY

One of the strengths of the CareerTech System is its accessibility to almost every Oklahoman.

  • CareerTech offerings in 393 comprehensive school districts – 1,319 teachers
  • 29 technology center districts with 58 campuses – 1,234 teachers
  • Business and industry training attracts new industry and helps existing businesses expand and prosper – 6,948 industries
  • 16 Skills Centers (inmates/juvenile offenders) – 38 teachers
  • 31 adult basic education providers at 121 sites

One of the primary strengths of Oklahoma’s CareerTech System lies in its diversity. Here are a few of the diverse constituencies the CareerTech System serves:

  • Oklahoma’s businesses and industries.
  • Junior high school students.
  • High school students.
  • Non-diploma-holding adults.
  • Employed adults.
  • Unemployed adults.
  • Senior citizens.
  • Law offenders.

FY18 CareerTech Systems EnrollmentsEach of these constituencies has its champions, Oklahomans who have personally experienced what the system has done for them or who have witnessed that personal growth in others.

The system’s diversity helps it rise to the challenge of meeting its goals:

  • high expectations.
  • new standards and accountabilities.
  • managing and staffing such a diverse system.
  • funding emerging technologies.

Through efforts such as High Schools That Work, we’ve seen firsthand that cooperative efforts between CareerTech educators and academic teachers pay big dividends in increasing academic performance.

Oklahoma’s CareerTech Education System maintains high-quality instruction by recruiting, retaining and developing instructors on the front line. We have placed great emphasis on our teachers attaining national certifications in their respective fields. In addition, Oklahoma ranks in the top 10 states per capita with teachers who have earned certification through the National Board of Professional Teaching Standards.

Our mission — our single and steadfast mission — is to help Oklahomans succeed in the workplace, in education and in life.

Oklahoma CareerTech Hall of Fame

The CareerTech Hall of Fame recognizes a select group of visionaries, leaders, and luminaries who have made significant contributions to the development and advancement of Oklahoma CareerTech.

These individuals have been instrumental in developing a system of career and technology education that has focused on improving Oklahoma’s economy by offering individuals the training and skills necessary to be successful in the workplace and providing companies with the required workforce necessary to compete globally.

Please look at the links above and honor those that have contributed so much to career and technology education in Oklahoma or visit the Hall of Fame Wall the next time you visit the Oklahoma Department of CareerTech.WallofFame

Aerospace Impact – Want One?

Oklahoma’s Aerospace industry employs more than 200,000 Oklahomans, and the industry is growing. Oklahoma CareerTech offers training in a variety of aerospace careers.

Click HERE to locate Oklahoma’s technology center districts and to discover careers in aerospace and more!

 

CareerTech Champions

Each year, thousands of Oklahomans reap the benefits provided by Career and Technology Education. CareerTech Champions tell the story of how individuals apply learning to become successful employees, entrepreneurs and leaders in business organizations.

Emma Hutchison – DECA

Hutchison

Emma Hutchison – DECA

Former DECA officer plans to take her leadership skills into the courtroom.

THEN: A class dedicated to topics like sports marketing and fashion marketing sounded exciting to the Putnam City North High School student. Emma Hutchison had also heard great things about the DECA advisers at her high school and the strong reputation of their marketing program.

Emma got involved in DECA and later was chosen to serve as Oklahoma DECA president. She said the CareerTech student organization gave her

  • Public speaking skills, which she uses almost daily, both in law classes and advocacy competitions.
  • Leadership skills.
  • An opportunity to travel and meet DECA members from around the world.
  • Confidence about her future.

“I am more confident talking to professors or interviewing for positions because of my experience addressing the Oklahoma DECA membership and staff,” she said.

Emma said CareerTech is unique in that students are learning material in class and applying it outside of the classroom at competitions and other activities.

NOW: A college graduate with a B.A. in political science from the University of Oklahoma. She is a law student at George Washington University Law School and plans to practice law in the D.C. area after graduation. Her resume since high school includes serving as an intern for the American Civil Liberties Union of Oklahoma, an Appropriations Committee intern for the Oklahoma Senate, a legislative intern for the U.S. Senate and a law clerk for the National Association of Attorneys General.

“I would advise young people to take advantage of opportunities early in high school and college to get hands-on experience and gain skills you can use to make yourself stand out as a candidate,” she said.

“Employers should value CareerTech students because they are driven, passionate and skills students who will become valuable employees.”

Emma Hutchison, law student

CareerTech unveils Resource Center for CareerTech Advancement

The Oklahoma Department of Career and Technology Education in Stillwater has created a new online resource center to help educators make the most of their work.
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The new division, known as the Resource Center for CareerTech Advancement, took shape over the past several months before going live at the end of July.

Francis Tuttle, known as the architect of Oklahoma’s CareerTech System, created the curriculum function at the state agency in 1967. The new Resource Center is a natural next step, said Marcie Mack, Oklahoma CareerTech state director.

“Oklahoma was known for 50 years for its competency-based instructional materials for what was then called vocational education, now career and technology education,” Mack said. “That curriculum was developed, printed and delivered to teachers across the state and throughout the nation from the agency headquarters here in Stillwater.”

Increasing competition from national publishers made it difficult to continue to develop new printed products, but paved the way for a new digital opportunity, she added.

Staff members of the Resource Center research educational materials and best practices to distribute online for free throughout the state CareerTech System. They also adapt select curriculum content into smaller resources for teachers, such as rubrics, PowerPoint files and handouts. The Resource Center also provides support in identifying curriculum, assessments, and other instructional delivery resources on request.

Although the focus is on the needs of CareerTech teachers and administrators, public school teachers will find helpful resources as well, Mack said.

The Resource Center website features categories of resources for teachers, trainers, career counselors, administrators and decision-makers, which include tools for teachers and trainers; resources about standards, credentials and assessments; employability and adult basic education resources; and career and academic connections resources.

Planners and researchers can also find something useful on the Resource Center website. An industry/workplace data and trends category provides links to dozens of recent studies, reports and other publications from sources including state and federal agencies, think tanks, foundations, industry groups and education research organizations.

“The new Resource Center for CareerTech Advancement is a comprehensive source for teaching and planning resources,” said Mack. “It brings together a wealth of expertise and research from across the country so that teachers and administrators can focus on applying that knowledge to the benefit of their students.”

Leaning on its legacy of curriculum development to initiate a digital resource center made sense, said Justin Lockwood, a deputy director at the state agency.

“Today’s teachers can access online textbooks with built-in gradebooks. Students can use their tablets or even their smartphones to access digital content, including video, anytime and anywhere,” Lockwood said.

Instead of competing with the national publishers to provide the textbooks, ODCTE saw an unmet need for digital resources to help teachers enhance their lesson plans, he explained.

“With so many online courses and textbooks available from a variety of sources, it creates a need for supplemental resources that can assist a new or experienced teacher in building a comprehensive learning experience for students,” he said.

One of the most popular resources from the Resource Center is a digital version of a longtime print resource known informally as the web book. When the internet was new, teachers spent a lot of time searching for useful online resources, said Craig Maile, ODCTE curriculum manager. The web book was Oklahoma CareerTech’s answer.

“Our curriculum staff listed links to supplemental resources based on their work developing curriculum. Every few years, we’d produce a new edition of the web book and give it away to teachers at conferences and workshops,” he said.

A 2018 digital edition with hundreds of links to resources organized by career cluster is available on the Resource Center website.

“Our next most popular free resource is a notepad with a grid on it,” Maile said. “We’ll probably continue to print that one.”

The Resource Center for CareerTech Advancement website is at https://www.okcareertech.org/educators/resource-center. Visitors can also find it as one of the divisions of Oklahoma CareerTech at www.okcareertech.org.

51st Annual CareerTech Summer Conference

2018SummerConferenceGoogle education evangelist Jaime Casap will speak to more than 3,700 CareerTech employees at the 51st annual Oklahoma Career and Technology Education Summer Conference Aug. 1-2 at Cox Convention Center in Oklahoma City.

The conference is held in partnership with the Oklahoma Association of Career and Technology Education.

“Summer Conference brings together individuals from all of the CareerTech delivery arms: K-12 schools, technology centers, Skills Centers, business and industry services and adult basic education. They are the foundation of excellence in providing training and education so that Oklahoma has the most qualified workforce possible to power our economy. It is exciting to witness the dedication that all our CareerTech staff has for moving our system forward,” said Marcie Mack, Oklahoma CareerTech state director.

For additional information click HERE

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