Category Archives: Oklahoma CareerTech

Preparing Oklahoma Students for the Workforce

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.

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Dr. Marcie Mack

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.

Oklahoma Bid Assistance Network

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).

Services include:

  • 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: okptac@careertech.ok.gov

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

Student Engineers Solving Real World Problems

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.

CTE Issues, Research & Dialogue

Are you spending your time scouring the Web searching for information onangry-robot_crop career and technology education? The Resource Center for CareerTech Advancement has identified and vetted websites, articles, and resources that can assist you with instruction, assessment, professional development, policy, and more.

Make sure you bookmark CTE Issues, Research & Dialogue and visit often. Don’t miss out on any new updates!

Basic Foundational Skill Sets

What are the basic foundational skill sets that businesses are looking for in their next employees? Watch Dr. Marcie Mack’s interview with Jennifer Monies, Executive Director of Oklahoma Achieve, to learn more.

Resource Center for CareerTech Advancement Highlights Industry/Workplace Data and Trends

CTLogo_RCCTABesides offering educational resources and help with instructional design, the Resource Center tracks industry/workplace data and trends. Click HERE for this month’s featured links.

 

The Resource Center for CareerTech Advancement is a division of the Oklahoma Department of Career and Technology Education. The staff of the Center research educational materials and best practices to disseminate throughout the state CareerTech system. The Resource Center also provides support in identifying curriculum, assessments, professional development and other instructional delivery resources on request.

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!

 

Bob Funk gives his perspective on meeting workforce demands

CareerTech Teacher of Year

Bob Funk

Bob Funk, co-founder and former CEO of Express Employment Professionals, sings Oklahoma CareerTech’s praises in a recent column in The Oklahoman.

Funk drew upon his background of helping people find jobs to discuss the benefits of work, the problem of the skills gap and solutions for filling that gap. CareerTech, he wrote, is “one of the finest vocational education systems in the nation.”

More

 

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.

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