Category Archives: Student Organizations

Celebrate Workforce Development Month

WorkForceDevelopment

Oklahoma is celebrating Workforce Development Month in September.

A key component to developing a high quality workforce is to make certain our students have the opportunity to strengthen their employability skills. CareerTech student organizations do just that throughout our programs. CTSOs are integrated into CareerTech programs. Student organizations provide opportunities for personal growth and scholastic achievement, as well as developing skills in public speaking, planning and organizing.

Members work on various community projects, competitive events and leadership activities and meet other students who share similar interests. Many students enjoy membership in more than one group.

What It Takes – CareerTech State Director Welcomes Students


Students in Oklahoma CareerTech programs earn credits toward high school graduation as well as the opportunity to prepare for industry recognized certifications and credentials and licenses.

CareerTech Student Organization Officers Kicking Off a Great Year

Oklahoma CareerTech student organization officers met earlier this summer for training at CareerTech University.

While at the camp, they also talked about what CareerTech and CTSOs have done for them and can do for others. You can see more in this video:

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.

Carter Rogers – Pioneer Technology Center and BPA

CarterRogers

Lou Brock, Ralston town clerk with Carter Rogers

Woodland high schooler wrote the code for career success.

THEN: He was only 9 years old when his grandfather bought him his first computer. Carter Rogers was curious how the machine worked, so the precocious youngster read online books and tutorials on how to write code. He wrote his first program while he was still in elementary school and discovered he liked coding.

In middle school, Carter toured Pioneer Technology Center, and when he was in high school he decided to enroll in Pioneer Tech’s business and information technology education program. At the tech center, he gained additional experience in coding, and he

  • Is working on his CCNA, an information technology certification from Cisco Systems.
  • Competed at the state and national level in Business Professionals of America.
  • Won first place in Java programming at the BPA National Leadership Conference in Anaheim, California — the first time a Pioneer Tech information technology student won the top honor.

BITE instructor Zac Ladner said Carter worked hard to prepare for the competition, and it paid off.

“Placing first at Nationals is a huge honor,” Ladner said.

NOW: This fall, Carter will be a senior at Woodland High School. He is the network administrator for the town of Ralston, Oklahoma.

“A year ago I never would have thought I’d be placing first at a national competition…your only limit is the one you give yourself.”

Carter Rogers

Industry Experts Gather at BMITE Industry Futuring Panels

More than 40 industry experts discussed business trends and skill sets needed to satisfy Oklahoma’s future employment needs at Oklahoma CareerTech’s Business, Marketing and IT Education Division’s first Industry Futuring Panels.

BMITE Industry Futuring Panels

Industry experts talk about business trends and needed skills at an Oklahoma CareerTech Business, Marketing and IT Education Division Industry Futuring Panel

BMITE hosted the think tank groups earlier this month at Francis Tuttle Technology Center’s Business Innovation Campus. Participants discussed business trends affecting employees’ needed skill sets, skills necessary for workplace success, emerging careers and career pathways and big-picture topics employees need to know

MBA Research, a national career and technology education consultant, organized and facilitated three futuring panels for the business management, finance and marketing cluster areas. Oklahoma is a consortium member of MBA Research and uses the industry-validated national standards developed through its nationwide industry connections. MBA Research will compile all of the panels’ input and its research into a comprehensive report that will help refocus the efforts to build relevant career pathways.

Hussain Ali, state BPA officer from Putnam City High School, and Austin Long and Xavier Hamilton, state DECA officers from Latta High School, spoke to the groups about the connection CareerTech has with students. The officers’ input generated interest in the student organizations and how the industry representatives could get involved and support BPA/DECA activities.

Meals for the three days were sponsored by Gooden Group, Chickasaw Nation and donations collected by the Latta DECA chapter. Refreshments were sponsored by the OKACTE/BMITE teacher organization. A special thanks to these sponsors!

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.

Steven Rogers – DECA, High Plains Technology Center

Technology center instructor literally grew up in the CareerTech family.StevenRogers

THEN: As a small child, Steven Rogers says, he ran the hallways of High Plains Technology Center while his dad taught in a classroom there. Having grown up on that campus, it wasn’t much of a stretch for him to take classes there as soon as he was old enough.

Steven chose marketing and management classes at High Plains Tech and joined DECA, the CareerTech student organization for marketing students.

He said his two years in DECA taught him:

  • Public speaking, through competitions and events.
  • The importance of good customer service.
  • How to be more self-confident, something his marketing instructor emphasized.
  • Business management skills.

After graduation, Steven used those management skills to open three businesses in five years.

I think students coming out of CareerTech have a better understanding of the mechanics of a business,” he said.

NOW: Steven needed to make a career change for personal reasons and decided to join the High Plains family once again, this time as an instructor. He was denied that opportunity three times, but he did not give up. With his fourth application, Steven was hired.

“I have a passion for teaching, and I love the CareerTech family as my own,” he said.

Steven is now the industrial coordinator at High Plains Tech. Also a fireman and EMT, Steven teaches fire, industrial and wind rescue classes.

“CareerTech helps students develop strong work ethics.”  Steven Rogers

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.

Anthony Rifenberry – Adult Basic Education

Graduation and certification are terms this BPA winner didn’t expect to hear.

AnthonyRifenberry

THEN: He had been an orphan all of his life. Anthony Rifenberry moved from a series of foster homes to the Oklahoma Lions Boys Ranch, now Lions Meadows of Hope. When he turned 18, he needed to find a job.

It was a vicious cycle. To get a job, he needed training, and to get training, he needed money. But the roadblocks didn’t stop there. Anthony wanted to enroll in Meridian Technology Center’s information technology program, but to qualify for the financial assistance he would need, he would have to have a high school diploma.

Anthony enrolled in the Meridian Tech’s adult basic education program, and in only three months, he earned his high school equivalency diploma. The ABE program gave Anthony:

  • The confidence to believe he could graduate high school.
  • Personal assistance with complex math and other subjects required to pass the HSE exam.
  • The knowledge and skills he needed to pass the HSE exam.

The smaller, more intimate classroom environment was one of the keys to Anthony’s academic success.

“I definitely learned more math at Meridian Tech than I did in high school,” he said.

NOW: Anthony is a member of Business Professionals of America, and his network design team won the state contest. The team will compete at BPA’s national conference in Anaheim, California, in May. After he graduates with his network and PC support specialist certification, Anthony would like to continue his education, possibly enrolling in network engineering or cybersecurity.

“I had convinced myself that graduating high school and getting into a technology center was not possible.”

Anthony Rifenberry

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)

ACTE Announces Oklahoma Graphic Communications Instructor as 2019 National Teacher of the Year

Liz-Dinkins-214x300The 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.

About ACTE
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.

Article reposted with permission from Jarrod Nagurka jnagurka@acteonline.org

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

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