Category Archives: Technology Centers

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.

Technology Centers of the CareerTech Education System

CareerTech’s technology centers provide cost-effective training throughout Oklahoma.

FY18 Technology Centers EnrollmentsThe foundation for Oklahoma’s statewide network of 29 technology center districts, operating a total of 58 campuses statewide, was laid in 1966 when Oklahoma voters approved a constitutional amendment allowing the establishment of what were then called area vocational-technical schools.

One of the main goals of these schools was to provide cost-effective vocational education. The amendment allowed school districts to join together to form a vo-tech district with an independent board of education and its own locally approved tax base. The new school could then offer specialized occupational training programs that sending schools could not afford to offer, or for which they might not have enough enrollment to justify the offering.

Gov. Dewey Bartlett, who campaigned on the issue of industrial expansion, championed the formation of these new schools as the linchpin of his efforts to diversify Oklahoma’s economy, previously so dependent on oil and agriculture. He knew that these schools would teach high school students the technical skills that a diversified Oklahoma economy would need as well as provide Oklahoma adults the opportunity to upgrade existing skills or learn new skills. He also believed these schools would evolve into a critical recruiting tool to attract new jobs and new investments to Oklahoma. Time, and hard work, has proved him right.

Oklahoma’s technology centers serve full-time students, both high school pupils and adult learners. Also, district residents, usually adults, flock to the centers to learn new skills or enhance existing ones in popular short-term courses. While high school students attend tuition-free, adult students are charged nominal tuition to offset costs. Students are frequently able to earn credit hours for their studies from local colleges.

In FY18, 20,971 high school students enrolled in Oklahoma’s technology centers. Most attend approximately three hours per day, either in the morning or the afternoon. Due to increased graduation requirements, centers are adapting schedules and pursuing other avenues to provide students with the flexibility they need to attend. The centers also serve more than 10,000 full-time adult enrollments.

On a statewide average, technology centers receive about two-thirds of their funding at the local level. The remaining is a mixture of state and federal funds.

For more information click here:   Technology Centers

The 52nd Annual Oklahoma Summit

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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 .

Links:

Conference at a glance

Frequently asked questions

Programs and agendas

Exhibits

Registration

 

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

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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

What It Takes – ASIC Partners with CareerTech

OATC Partners for Progress highlight: B&H Construction partners with Mid-America Tech

Mid-America Technology Center named B&H Construction its OklahoMidAmericama Association of Technology Centers Partner for Progress.

B&H Construction, a 36-year contractor for OneGas with crews throughout Oklahoma and parts of Kansas and Texas, is a longtime partner of Mid-America tech.

Changes in the OneGas operator qualification requirements meant B&H Construction needed to train and qualify more than 220 employees. Mid-America assembled subject matter experts and professional partnerships that helped B&H lower the costs of the changes and provided a resource for the tech center to use as well.

The mutual investment allows students and employees to benefit from operator qualification training, operator qualification performance verification, polyfusion pipe welding training, leadership training, safety training and respirator fit testing (service).

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

Oklahoma CareerTech Offers Training to Tech Center Student Services Workers

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Sixteen Oklahoma technology center student services employees recently graduated from the Oklahoma Department of CareerTech’s Student Services Endorsement Program.

The program is designed to equip student services employees with a foundation in the philosophy, knowledge and skills that are unique to Oklahoma’s CareerTech System.

Graduates were Tiffany Ash, customer service, and Jennifer Tupper, grants and special projects coordinator, both of Moore Norman Tech; Sheila Boaldin, assessment coordinator, Bryan Roybal, special needs adviser, and Tara Chase, career adviser, all of Francis Tuttle Tech; Tiffany Bruce, student services director, Tri County Tech; RaChel Crume, director of student services, Southwest Tech; Carly Jones, PATHS counselor, Stoni Peck, school counselor, and Stephanie Smithart, financial aid/registrar, all of Kiamichi Tech; Mindi Mitchell, employment specialist, Kristi Stephens, counselor, and Kari Stomprud, special needs coordinator, all of Canadian Valley Tech; Candyce Myers, director of student services, Chisholm Trail Tech; Shayne Stanford, career counselor, Autry Tech; and Sheila Williams, counselor/student services coordinator, Green Country Tech.

The Oklahoma Department of Career and Technology Education offers the Student Services Endorsement Program every other year to help technology center student services workers to better assist their students.

“Building a network of support and resources is vital to student success as the role of student services encompasses counselors, job placement staff, career specialists, assessment staff, special needs coordinators and financial aid administrators,” said A.J. Crowell, career development specialist at ODCTE.

The program was designed for newly hired technology center staff, but veteran staff members can also benefit from it, he said.

The Oklahoma Department of Career and Technology Education provides leadership and resources and assures standards of excellence for a comprehensive statewide system of career and technology education. The system offers programs and services in 29 technology center districts operating on 58 campuses, 393 K-12 school districts, 16 Skills Centers campuses that include three juvenile facilities and 31 adult basic education service providers.

The agency is governed by the State Board of Career and Technology Education and works closely with the State Department of Education and the State Regents for Higher Education to provide a seamless educational system for all Oklahomans.

Northeast Tech Partners with MidAmerica Industrial Park on Industrial Maintenance

 

Northeast Tech and MidAmerica Industrial Park worked together to create an apprenticeship program to train industrial maintenance employees for companies in the park.

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The program, which is registered with the U.S. Department of Labor and was developed in coordination with the Oklahoma Office of Workforce Development, serves as a liaison between MidAmerica employers and other key community organizations. The Department of Labor provides technical assistance for the formation of on-the-job work processes including technical instruction and has guided MAIP and Northeast Tech through the steps of developing the program.

Participants in the two-year program spend four hours a week in the classroom and the rest of their week at work. The program is in its first year, and the participants are employees at MAIP businesses, giving MidAmerica companies the opportunity develop employees from within.

Apprentices are guaranteed two pay raises within the program and graduate with a certificate in industrial maintenance from Northeast Tech and a Department of Labor apprenticeship certification.

Travis Smith – Metro Technology Centers

Travis Smith, a heating, ventilation and air conditioning instructor at Metro Technology Centers, recently received the Outstanding Instructor of Non-Traditional Students Award from the Oklahoma Career and Technical Education Equity Council.

He was one of 21 Oklahomans honored at the 25th annual Making It Work Day at the Capitol on March 28. Making It Work Day recognizes individuals who are committed to removing barriers to success for single-parent families by providing educational experiences for students beyond the classroom. The ceremony also recognized nontraditional students and members who received national honors for their efforts.

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From left are Becki Foster, Oklahoma CareerTech chief of staff; Patrick Klein, Oklahoma DHS chief officer and division director of adult and family services; Rep. Andy Fugate, D-Oklahoma City; Travis Smith, Metro Tech HVAC instructor; and Goldie Thompson, OSRHE vice chancellor for student preparation and special programs

Individuals were recognized on the floor of the Oklahoma House of Representatives, and presentations were made at a luncheon at the Oklahoma History Center.

Smith has worked in the HVAC industry for more than 13 years. While teaching HVAC at Vatterott, he attended an advisory board meeting at Metro Tech for his boss and met an HVAC instructor who was retiring, said Terri Grusendorf, Metro Tech BEST Program coordinator, who nominated him for the award.

“Not only does he help students obtain their HVAC certification, he also teaches them about interpersonal skills, communication and proper presentation in the workforce,” Grusendorf said. “Mr. Smith is a great example of going the extra mile for his students.”

OkCTEEC is affiliated with the administrative division of the Oklahoma Association of Career and Technology Education. The council advocates for students pursuing nontraditional careers and for resources for educating single parents.

“OkCTEEC is so very proud and honored to host the Making It Work Day award ceremony and also very excited that Oklahoma’s Legislature has the opportunity to recognize those students who were nominated for outstanding achievement. This day is about recognizing not only outstanding students, but also business and community partners, instructors, OkCTEEC members and outstanding leadership. The students have incredible stories to share about overcoming barriers, but without all the partners, sometimes the barriers may not be overcome. This day is a day of celebration for all those who have vested their time and energy into seeing students succeed and rise to the occasion,” said KayTee Niquette, Work Prep and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families coordinator at the Oklahoma Department of Career and Technology Education.

She serves as an adviser for OkCTEEC, along with Lisa French of the Department of Human Services and Gina McPherson of the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education.

“OkCTEEC Making It Work Day at the Capitol is about making connections, reaching out to the community and recognizing our students who have pushed through many obstacles to make completion and employment goals a reality. It is a day to celebrate our administrators and instructors who focus on making it accessible for programs involved in the process,” said Angela Barnes, OkCTEEC president and coordinator of the Student Success and Opportunity Center at Oklahoma State University-Oklahoma City. “OKCTEEC Making It Work Day is a day to tip our hats off to our business partners for providing their valuable services and supporting our vision and purpose. It is a great day to let our state leaders, legislators and Oklahomans see the faces of those who go over and beyond at making a difference in our state.

“Oklahoma Career and Technical Education Equity Council is an organization devoted to equity in education and employment for disadvantaged groups. I can’t emphasize it more. We are dedicated to providing real-life experiences for our students, developing leaders and maintaining relationships within communities.”

OkCTEEC’s purposes include promoting and supporting career and technology education, increasing its effectiveness, promoting research in the field and in educational equity, developing leadership and advocating for equity and diversity.

For more information about OkCTEEC, visit www.cteec.org/. For more information about the Oklahoma Department of Career and Technology Education, visit www.okcareertech.org.

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