Category Archives: Oklahoma CareerTech
The Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE) announced Liz Dinkins, Graphic Communications Instructor at Francis Tuttle Technology Center in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma as the 2019 National ACTE Teacher of the Year. This award recognizes the finest career and technical education teachers at the middle/secondary school level who have demonstrated innovation in the classroom, commitment to their students and dedication to the improvement of CTE in their institutions and communities. The Teacher of the Year Award is sponsored by Express Employment Professionals.
Student success is the top priority for Dinkins. Recently, after consulting her advisory board, Dinkins has enabled her students to determine what order they want to learn curriculum, based on their interests. This keeps students engaged.
Student assessment is conducted through a project-based curriculum, in which students get to show their creativity based on a set of conditions. Similar to industry expectations, project-based learning exercises prepare students for the workforce. Standards and competencies are aligned to each course and prepare students for Adobe Certified Associate certifications in three software programs. Dinkins uses engaging instructional strategies in this curriculum wherein she personalizes students’ learning tracks. Dinkins’ CTE program of study curriculum, instruction, materials, and assessments are inclusive, nondiscriminatory and free from bias.
All of Dinkins’ students are Business Professionals of America (BPA) members. Dinkins integrates BPA into her coursework, and the students compete at state and national levels.
“The nominees for ACTE Teacher of the Year are an incredibly distinguished group of educators who are inspiring the next generation to rise up and fill the skills gap in the current workforce,” said Bill Stoller, Express CEO and chairman of the board. “I extend my congratulations and appreciation to this year’s honorees, as they all continue to embrace innovative teaching methods that will develop the up-and-coming leaders of tomorrow.”
Dinkins was one of five finalists for the 2019 national title. The national winner was announced at the ACTE Awards Banquet, a dinner and award presentation recognizing the best CTE educators in the country. The event took place on Wednesday evening, November 28, during ACTE’s CareerTech VISION 2018 conference in San Antonio, Texas. The Awards Banquet was sponsored by Express Employment Professionals, the US Army, CareerSafe, Goodheart-Willcox, and Stratasys.
The Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE) is the nation’s largest not-for-profit association committed to the advancement of education that prepares youth and adults for successful careers. ACTE represents the community of CTE professionals, including educators, administrators, researchers, school counselors, guidance and career development professionals and others at all levels of education. ACTE is committed to excellence in providing advocacy, public awareness and access to resources, professional development and leadership opportunities.
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.
Each 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.
When a CareerTech student brings an idea to life by prototyping it on a 3-D printer, or receives affordable, hands-on training that raises his or her earning potential by tens of thousands of dollars in a matter of months, these experiences are priming them with the skills and sense of purpose needed to work for the companies doing big things in Oklahoma. Employers are taking note, and in some cases even finding ways to support our efforts to prepare the next generation to join the workforce.
One such company is Midship Pipeline, a project of Cheniere Energy, representing nearly a $1 billion investment in our state. Thanks to Midship’s recent generosity, STEM programs at six Oklahoma CareerTech Technology Centers, in addition to two universities, each received $20,000 donations that will improve the quality of STEM offerings. These funds will be used to buy advanced 3-D printers, create a mobile STEM library, and provide equipment and software upgrades to pre-engineering and aeronautical labs.
Our CareerTech system frequently partners with industries and companies to improve access to STEM education. In fiscal year 2018, CareerTech helped more than 6,900 Oklahoma businesses through our customized training programs and participation in the state’s bid assistance network.
Equally important, CareerTech STEM programs serve private-schooled students, home-schooled students and public school students from more than 390 school districts.
Our goal is to nurture creative students in grades six through 12 to be problem-solvers, innovators, logical thinkers, inventors and strong communicators who excel in science and mathematics.
CareerTech STEM programs play a critical role in expanding a talent pipeline of Oklahoma students who are ready to pursue viable careers in the state’s targeted industry sectors such as aerospace, energy, advanced manufacturing, health care and biotechnology.
A few examples of our STEM offerings are biomedical sciences, pre-engineering and computer science academy programs, which are taught in technology centers as well as high schools. These prepare students for professional health, engineering, computer and science degree programs with rigorous computer, math and science courses, including AP options for students.
More than 80 middle schools and junior highs benefit from our Gateway programs, which introduce students to STEM careers. Gateway courses combine Project Lead The Way math and science concepts with STEM projects to explore STEM fields and help with the transition to high school.
Last, our CareerTech programs provide a pathway for students to enter directly into a career and continue into post-secondary education. A national survey completed by Advance CTE shows that 91 percent of parents of students in CareerTech believe their child is getting a leg up on their career.
One of the greatest challenges facing Oklahoma and the nation is producing skilled workers who are trained on the latest STEM technologies and are ready for work. Without them, Oklahoma businesses cannot compete. CareerTech and our affordable STEM offerings are meeting this challenge.
Thanks again to Midship for recognizing the value of the CareerTech system and for its generous gift that will help prepare our students for a future in STEM-related fields.
Mack is director of the Oklahoma Department of Career and Technology Education.
The Oklahoma Bid Assistance Network provides marketing and technical assistance to Oklahoma businesses interested in selling products and services to federal, state, local and tribal governments. The primary purpose of OBAN is to create jobs and expand the economy in Oklahoma by providing specific, valuable resources to Oklahoma businesses.
OBAN services clients out of 12 participating technology centers across Oklahoma. The Oklahoma Department of Career and Technology Education administers the program. As a Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC), OBAN is funded in part through a cooperative agreement with the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA).
- Daily computerized opportunity match report
- Personal consulting in marketing & contracting
- Proposal review
- Competitive intelligence
- Help in securing training, data and other resources
- Helpful Links
If you have questions or have suggestions for how OBAN can better support your efforts, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
October is national Manufacturing Month and Oklahoma CareerTech student engineers are solving real-world problems.
Students at Northeast Technology Center saw an everyday problem at Hopkins Manufacturing and developed a solution that saved money and created a safer workplace.