Thanksgiving Meal

Thanksgiving is less than 4 weeks away. On some campuses that means it is time to start thinking about how they will cook that 400 pounds of turkey and where they will store those 100 pies.

Last year we had a guest post from Carolyn LeGrand, a Culinary Arts instructor at Meridian Technology Center. She talked about Meridians Community Thanksgiving Meal and what goes into feeding 1,000 hungry Stillwater residents. She also discusses some of the benefits not only to students, but to the community as well.

What a great marketing and public relations opportunity. If you have thought about doing it, the time is right. You are giving students real world experience, getting people to visit your campus who might not otherwise and you get to do it all while eating!

Be sure to include this in your year round recruitment plan and let us know how your plans are coming along.

Beyond the College Credit Flag

How do you let students know about college opportunities on your campus?

Are you just depending on word of mouth? Word of mouth is important and peer to peer recruitment is highly effective, but what else can be done?

How about a college display at the front entrance? Work with your college partner to develop displays that highlight the partnership that exist between your technology center and the college. Place a vinyl banner strategically in the front lobby and you will provide a daily reminder that students can earn college credit while attending your institution.

Do you have an information booth by the welcome desk? Are there brochures that highlight your Cooperative Alliance along side your automotive and cosmetology programs? Place some brochures that tell a prospective student that they can get credit, and how they can do it. If you have to develop a new brochure, make sure to brand it with your campus.

Does your institution use an electronic display board? Along with the date of your next board meeting and when Christmas Vacation begins, run slides highlighting Alliance opportunities to students and guest. Put a slide in the rotation that shows the logo of your college partner and tells an interested student where to go to get more information.

What do your callers hear when you place them on hold? Do you run facts and figures about your institution? How about adding how many college hours your students were enrolled in along with the fact that you were founded in 1938?

Where do you highlight the Alliances on your website? Is it a "best kept secret" or have you brought it to the forefront where a person who comes to your website knows right away that you have an institution that values the college transition? Place a link to college credit opportunities front and center. Once the student clicks, they would get all the information that they need to know plus a phone number and email of who they should contact.

Some of these are simple, others involve a little more planning or work. There are lots of ways that you can develop to get the word out that your technology center values college opportunities and that students looking for those opportunities can be successful by enrolling with you.


Trick or Treat

Are you ready for an evening of tricks or treats? Since becoming widespread in the 1930's (Wikipedia) kids have flocked to the street to ask for candy from neighbors dressed as their favorite super hero of ghoul.

Gaining in popularity are alternatives held in the parking lots of community buildings and downtowns. Pickup tailgates are turned into candy stands reminiscent of the old soda fountain where kids indulged in stick candy of the Banana, Cherry-Cola, Orange and Root Beer flavors.

What a great opportunity for your institution to host a community-wide Fall Carnival. We have mentioned the idea before and want to bring it out again during this spooky week.

In addition to candy (I like the Root Beer flavored sticks) you can set up games throughout the campus. Ring-toss, musical chairs or even a hula hoop contest. Charge an admission of canned foods for your local charity or food bank, Thanksgiving is just around the corner.

Have instructors and staff run the games and hand out prizes. Make sure that they are wearing a shirt or jacket that reminds everyone that they are on your campus.

If you haven't planned out your Fall Carnival, it is to late for this year. But you can add it to your year round recruitment plan and you should do so today. Adding it now will make sure that you are prepared to implement it next year.

In honor of Halloween I would like to ask you to send a "treat" to your fellow CTE educators. Forward this post/email and let them know about the great information that you get. Tell them how easy it is to sign up and show them how. Lets spread the word about Tech Prep.


Friday Marketing Idea - Movie Theater Advertisement

Love them or hate them, we all watch them, the movie theater preview.

You know the drill, out front it says your movie starts at 10pm and after 20 minutes of trivia, ads and previews of upcoming movies, the main feature begins.

It is the time before the movie that we are interested in today. How can you could get your message to the audience? There are lobby promotions, cinema spots, cinema slides and more.

You have a captive audience, who is watching every slide, guessing what movie the actor was in and thinking to themselves that they really should get that cola at the concession stand.

This is your opportunity to showcase career advancement opportunities through your institution. Maybe you show a success story, show how much money they can make through CTE education or just get your website out there in a way that will motivate audience members to find out more information.

Have you ever tried movie theater based advertising? Let us know how it went.


Friday Marketing Idea - Bus Wrapping

This Fridays marketing tip has to do with your buses.

Have you ever thought of your bus as a mobile bill board? According to internet sources American spend 2-3 hours driving a day. How do we reach those "captive" people who are looking your direction at the stoplight?

One simple idea is to put your website URL on the back of the bus and on the sides. Just putting a few extra stickers on the body, showing people where they can find more information on what you offer could prove to pay dividends.

Want to go to the next level? How about "wrappng" your bus? The picture above is of Pioneer Technology Center's Mets Lab. Using vynil wrap you can put a cool design, clear logo and pictures of your students in that brand new Pre-Engineering Lab out where people can notice.

How do you use your buses, vans and cars to get the word out?


Learning Journals

During our 1st QTA meeting of 2009 we took on the challenges of professional development and to start the learning process we passed out and discussed Learning Journals.

With a quick Google you can get several thoughts and ideas on what a Learning Journal could entail. Run through slideshare and you can find presentations from around the world that attempt to attack the subject.

When we talked about the Learning Journal with the consortia coordinators we discussed it in the context of recording professional development activities. Taking steps to write down our thoughts on presentations, conferences and other opportunities that we have to interact and learn about CTE, Tech Prep and education.

But how to keep your thoughts organized?

Many of our technology centers are engaged in the Tech Centers That Work initiative and some high schools in Oklahoma are part of HSTW. By looking at the 10 Key Practices of either, and then applying them to your institution, you can begin to guide your learning process in s strategic way.

But what if you are not involved in TCTW or HSTW? You can align your learning to your institutions strategic plan, your own personal learning goals or you can align it with my favorite school improvement initiative, Tech Prep!

Using the Oklahoma Tech Prep model, we have four focused strategies that we employ to deliver on the goal of Tech Prep in Oklahoma, more students graduating high school with college credit.

Using the strategies (Career Majors, Professional Development, Preparatory Services and Accountability) one can begin to be strategic in choosing sessions at a conference, deciding which webinar to attend or what feed they should add to their aggregator.

As you listen, interact and learn, you can begin to record your thoughts in a process that helps you align yourself with a strategy, goal or plan. You will begin to listen for key words that you can record in your journal to retrieve later. When you get home or back to the office and begin to reprocess your notes, they become more purposeful and meaningful to why you need the new information and how you can apply it in your situation.

The Tech Prep Blog has been my Learning Journal for a number of years now. After attending a presentation I will bring back my notes and start Googling. I will look up the presenter and see if I can find anything else that they have done. Then you can start going though your notes and see what websites were cited, and I share them through the CareerTech Deliciousness email. After spending 10-15 minutes, you have a good record of what the presenter has done, where they are coming from and it is highly likely that you will find something new to add to the knowledge that you gained in the original presentation.

No matter if you use the traditional paper and pencil method, or if you take to the internet, by being more purposeful in your learning, and building your personal learning network, you are helping to develop yourself and the opportunities for Oklahoma's students.


Electronic Holiday Greeting

The holiday season is fast approaching and if you follow this Blog regularly then you know I am a fan of the electronic holiday greeting.

So, what to do for 2009? If you have developed your Year Round Recruitment Plan then you know it is time to start planning your greeting and putting those thoughts into action.

To get you started, here are some previous years post where we have shared ideas for electronic cards and more electronic cards.

Bottom line, get one out. It does not have to be intricate, it can be simple and straight to the point. You are trying to convey that you and your institution care about your students, your business partners and your potential students. Putting a personal touch helps build those relationships which we hope exist with our partners.

When you get yours done, send it to us and we would love to share it.


Imporving Student Performance

Dr. Bill Daggett brought his insight and vision to the attendees of the 2009 NCPN Conference during a special Friday evening session.

Daggett, President of the International Center for Leadership in Education has appeared at the NCPN Conference for a number of years and brings with him many thought provoking questions.

If you attended the session, Improving Student Performance During Times of Declining Resources, he mentioned a few white papers that you could read to get further information about his presentation

Improving Student Performance in Times of Declining Resources
The Efficiency and Effectiveness Framework
Stimulus Webinar

One of the "new" things that I heard in his presentation had to do with the world stage.

According to Daggett, it was about quality with Japan's exports being considered junk in the 1960’s but their products are considered quality products. Know where your iPhone came from? Shenzehn, China.

In the 1980's there was no talk of India and China and now they are our economic competitors. Where does the future go? According to Daggett, Vietnam, Argentina, Indonesia and Panama are growing the fastest economically. How will we compete with them?


1,000 Book Marks!!!

It may seem like a random milestone, but CareerTech Deliciousness has passes 1,000 bookmarks!!

What do followers of the CareerTech Deliciousness account get? Articles, white papers and reports about education, accountability, recruitment, retention, transitions, Web 2.0, innovation and more.

Are you following along? You can get the email or go to delicious directly. Come join in the fun and learn more about CTE in Oklahoma.

CTE Showcase

Today was the annual CTE Showcase on the campus of Moore-Norman Technology Center, South Penn.

The day was packed with excellent speakers and breakout sessions that covered a variety of topics including marketing, online academics, student advocacy and instructional improvement.

After a video introduction by Dr Phil Berkenbile, OSU President Burns Hargis spoke about educational partnerships and how we need to get out of our silos and work together in education for the student. During lunch Dr Gene Bottoms from the Southern Regional Education Board (SREB) spoke about the future of CTE and shared data about the successes of CTE students. Jim Brazell closed the showcase with an energy packed call to arms with the cry that the future is here, what will we do?

The CTE Showcase is about how do we move the CareerTech System in Oklahoma forward. It is easy to say that we are the best, or to say that we innovate, but how do we do it? How do we prove it?

The 2010 CTE Showcase has been set for October 6, at Moore-Norman's South Penn Campus, will you be there?


Hooked at the Roots

On Friday, NCPN members were treated to a Keynote address by Charles Whalen Jr., Chairman of the Warren Featherbone Company.

Since 1883, the company has transformed itself from its beginning as a maker of a product called Featherbone, which was used primarily as replacement material for whale bone in women’s corsets, to the present Featherbone Communiversity.

"Gus" was a humorous speaker and the audience laughed along as he took them through the history of Featherbone.

From a young company just starting to holding 100% of the featherbone market. The company came up against new innovations like Koroseal in 1938, which lead Featherbone to develop waterproof diaper covers. Then in 1960's the disposable diaper threatened their existence and the company transformed itself into a baby clothing company until 2005. It was during this transition that the company decided to "go to their roots" in education and thus was born Featherbone Communiversity.

At each transition along the way Gus made reference to an old saying, "If the horse is dead, dismount" And that is just what Featherbone did.

According to its Web site, "the role of Featherbone Communiversity is to provide everyone in the North Georgia region an opportunity to make connections, engage in collaborative learning, imagine possibilities, and work together to create a better quality of life for all."

It will be interesting to watch a 126 year old company take hold of education and what will come out of it. For now, I am reading Hooked at the Roots, The Evolution of Featherbone Communiversity and will share some of its insights with you.

You Can Make It Happen

Thursday afternoon found me front row during the 2009 NCPN Conference. Stedman Graham was the opening session keynote and I should of brought a better camera!

Graham is the Chairman and CEO of Graham and Associates, and author of You Can Make it Happen, A Nine Step Plan for Success.

Graham shared inspirational stories and yes, he even mentioned his relationship with Oprah.

The main portion of his presentation was about his nine step program and how it can change lives. He shared his nine steps with an eager audience.

Step 1: Find your passion

Step 2: Find strength in your identity/vision

Step 3: Have a plan

Step 4: Keep a positive attitude

Step 5: Overcome your fear

Step 6: Be willing to change

Step 7: Build Your Dream Team

Step 8: Read

Step 9: Commit to Your Vision

In conclusion, Graham shared the short inspirational book The Race, by DH Groberg, which wrapped up with the line "To me you won", his father said "You rose each time you fell"

Some times in CTE and Tech Prep we will fail, but we have to get up and press on, we have to finish the race. Our students depend on it!


National Career Pathways Network

Just got back from the National Association of Tech Prep Leadership and National Career Pathways Network Conference in Atlanta, Georgia.

I had a great time, presented and made a lot of new "Tech Prep Friends!" Later this week I will work on a recap of the sessions that I attended but I wanted to share my presentation in case you attended and are looking for the notes.

Here are the presentation slides.....

See you in Dallas - October 20-23, 2010!!!


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