Looking Back - 2012

It seems that every blog does a look back at their most popular postings of the year. I have done it before and I am finding myself doing it again.

So, looking back at 2012, here are the most popular posts of 2012......and the winner is.......

Oklahoma Programs of Study Summit

I find it interesting that the most popular post is one of the most recent. Though I hope that is an indication that we are continuing to gain momentum as we push forward with Rigorous Programs of Study in Oklahoma. 

The second most popular post was about the BSA's NOVA requirements being released and the third was an announcement that the NTHS Endowed Scholarship Program has been established.

During 2012, 54 post (not counting this one) of over 460 have been made.It has continued to be my pleasure to share with you about career and technical education and I hope you may have learned one or two things from our conversations.

I hope you had a great 2012 and that 2013 is even better. Thank you for reading the Oklahoma CTE blog.


Online Applications

Back in 2009 I wrote a marketing tip  wrote about the need to have a prominent Apply Now button on your website. Back then I do not know of anyone that had a true online application (a pdf is not an online application) and slowly some technology centers are starting to add the application.

Today, via Twitter, I was notified that Gordon Cooper Technology Center now has an online application!

This is great news as we work to make CTE more accessible and easier to enroll in for students. Looking at their website there is not an Apply Now link, yet.

Getting an online application up and operational is something to be excited about and something worth sharing. Great job!


ODCTE Leadership Academy

For the past several months 20 of my fellow co-workers and I have been involved in the ODCTE Leadership Academy. The Leadership Academy was developed to enhance the skills of those interested in agency supervisory leadership positions and Class II will last from October to April. One of the most exciting parts of the academy is that it includes numerous opportunities to learn about our vast system.

Our first class focused on building teams and relationships. Many of us knew each other so the traditional forming, storming, norming and performing stages of group dynamics did not really take place. We almost went straight to performing! During our sessions we learned about work style differences, group dynamics and managing change.The session was good and it included a colors assessment. (I am green, orange, gold, blue.)  It was interesting to see the different personalities and begin to understand more about how they interact together.

The second session concentrated on our delivery arms. We toured the Skills Center at Lexington Correctional Facility, Moore-Norman Technology Center and we visited with Norman Public Schools at the middle school and high school. An opportunity to see what happens inside our Skills Centers should not be passed up and it is amazing what the instructors do to help students become successful when they have served their time. The link between technology center and secondary education is great to see first hand and it is impressive to see what students in the middle schools are able to do in the STEM areas with some of our programs.

Our most recent session covered effective meeting and presentation skills. We had the opportunity to learn from Rhett Laubach, a CareerTech product who now trains others on how to be effective leaders. Rhett shared many of the notes from our two-day session on the Authenticity Rules Blog in a Big List of Tips.
I am excited to use some of the tips that we learned, escpecially about adopting the DRI, or direct responsible individual, when meeting with others.

The academy so far has been great. We have had the opportunity to learn a lot of new information that we will be able to use in future leadership positions. Our future sessions include opportunities to lean how the legislative process works, about our state board, coaching, communications, marketing and more.

I look forward to sharing more as we move forward.


Oklahoma Programs of Study Summit

SAVE THE DATE - On Feb 27, 2013, ODCTE will host the Oklahoma Programs of Study Summit.

The event is intended to support schools in improving the quality of career and technical education (CTE) instruction provided to secondary and post secondary students. The event will specifically support secondary, technical and post secondary schools in addressing barriers as they move from Programs of Study to Rigourous Programs of Study.

Currently, the Perkins legislation requires that institutions who receive Perkins funds deliver content through Programs of Study. Indications are that under the next version of Perkins, Programs of Study will play an even larger role.This event is designed to begin educating Perkins LEA's about how these changes will affect them.

Participants will hear about Oklahoma's participation in the National Programs of Study Institute. During the morning the nine participants from the Oklahoma Programs of Study Institute will present real world, concrete examples of how they are working to improves RPOS in their institutions.  Participants will leave with a beginning understanding of what Rigorous Programs of Study are and how to assess the current level of implementation of RPOS at their institution.

The event will take place at the South Penn Campus of Moore Norman Technology Center. Invitiations will be emailed to Perkins contacts and registration will be free. It is tentativley set to begin with registration at 8:30am and conclude at 12:30pm.

For more information on Oklahoma's Programs of Study, visit our webpage.


Ok Programs of Study Institute - Session II

In November we held the second session of the Oklahoma Programs of Study Institute. Earlier, we held conference calls and the first session leading up to our final session.

During the second session it was exciting to watch the presentations of the participants projects. These projects encompassed the 10 components of the RPOS framework and described how they were going to make changes, within the context of RPOS, at their institutions.

We gave general guidance as to the scope of the individual projects and what happened is what we hoped would happen. Each institution presented on a project that was tailored to their specific needs and when all nine projects were presented we had covered all 10 pieces of the framework!

Why is this important? It was our goal out of the institute to develop concrete, real world examples that Perkins LEA's could use as they move their institution from POS to RPOS. We wanted to show how Rigorous Programs of Study relate to the real world and that is what we accomplished.

The rest of the time was spent planning out the Oklahoma Programs of Study Summit on Feb 27. The summit will be held at Moore Norman Technology Center and the South Penn Campus. Watch this blog and the Carl Perkins blog for details on this exciting event.

Watch this blog as we begin to share some of the projects and how they relate to RPOS. You will have to come to the summit to get more details, but we will share some teasers with you!


Federal Financial Aid and the Cooperative Alliance Program

Federal financial aid is limited and contingent on some complex rules and regulations.  There are at least three areas of primary concern for students enrolling in cooperative agreement programs.

  1. Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)
  2. Pell Grant Lifetime Eligibility Used (LEU)
  3. Aggregate Loan Limits and new legislation limiting subsidized student loan eligibility (150% of published length of program)

Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)

Each post-secondary institution that is eligible to disburse Title IV funds must create and follow a satisfactory academic progress policy for all students receiving Title IV financial aid.  It has two components: a qualitative measure (usually based on GPA) and a quantitative measure (usually based on number of hours attempted compared to successfully completed hours).  Students must also complete their program within about 150% of the allowable time frame (usually measured in hours attempted).  In other words, a student must complete an associate degree program that requires 62 credit hours by the time the student has attempted 93 credit hours; a bachelor’s program requiring 124 hours must be completed within 186 hours attempted.  At many schools all college credit hours taken anywhere (including unsuccessful hours of any type) are counted whether or not financial aid was received.  Monitoring of the grade point average and completion rate is done at least annually and often each semester.  Higher education institutions monitor “pace toward completion” by calculating the percentage of courses completed successfully.  If a student has too many unsuccessful hours (including classes from which the student withdraws) or the grade point average falls below the standard required at any monitoring point, the student may lose eligibility for federal aid.  Students that exceed the limit on total credit hours attempted before a bachelor’s degree is completed will lose eligibility as well.

Pell Grant Lifetime Eligibility Used (LEU)

All Title IV eligible students are allowed approximately 6 full-time academic years of Pell grant eligibility or until the student receives a bachelor’s degree, whichever comes first.  Use of Pell grant eligibility in pursuit of an AAS degree may limit the student’s future ability to qualify for Pell grant funding if the student later chooses to pursue a bachelor’s degree.  The limit on Pell grant eligibility is based on what the student actually receives (as a percentage of the annual award).  If AAS recipients decide to pursue a bachelor’s degree after receiving Pell grant funding for their AAS degree, they may find that their Pell grant eligibility expires before requirements are met for the bachelor’s degree. 

Aggregate Loan Limits and New Legislation

New Regulations (Public Law 112-141) written to prevent student loan interest rates from doubling on July 1, 2012 also included a limit on new borrowers. A new borrower on or after July 1, 2013  will not be eligible for new Direct Subsidized Loans if the period during which the borrower has received such loans  exceeds 150 percent  of the published length of the borrower’s educational program.  These regulations are in addition to long standing aggregate limits on student loan eligibility. 

High School student example

A high school student begins a cooperative agreement program and receives 30 hours credit while in high school.  The student does not continue the AAS degree and decides to pursue a bachelor’s degree (BA or BS, not a bachelor’s of technology) at a university.  The student now begins a degree program that requires 124 credit hours.  The 30 hours taken previously will not count toward the degree, but the hours and grades may be counted for federal financial aid purposes even though the student did not receive federal financial aid for the coursework.  As long as the hours taken previously were successful and the grades were good, the student should be eligible to receive financial aid for the bachelor’s program; however, this student must be aware of the 186 total attempted hour limit and will have limited options for program/major changes and other unforeseen completion obstacles.

If the preceding student drops out of the cooperative agreement program or fails some of the hours taken, the adverse effect could be more difficult to overcome.  If the grades received were Ws, the “pace to completion” could immediately cause the student to be probationary or even suspended from financial aid.  If the grades were Fs the grade point average component could cause the student to be placed on immediate probation or suspended from financial aid.  Since all courses and grades are counted for financial aid purposes, past failures will continue to have an effect on future eligibility and options.

Adult student example

An adult student begins a cooperative agreement program and receives a Pell grant for the program.  The student moves from the technology center to the higher education institution and completes the AAS.  At this point, these students have used about 1/3 of their lifetime eligibility for Pell grants.  Now the student decides to pursue a bachelor’s degree (BA or BS, not a bachelor’s of technology)at a university.  Only about 18 hours (general education) of the 60 hours taken previously counts toward the degree but all the hours and grades are counted for federal financial aid purposes.  The student will need to take at least 100 hours to complete the bachelor’s degree.  The student’s Pell grant eligibility will expire after about eight semesters of full time enrollment in the bachelor’s degree program. This could represent as few as 96 hours.

If the preceding student has had unsuccessful hours either in the AAS program or during the pursuit of the bachelor’s degree, options for financial aid eligibility will be limited in the same way as in the high school student example.

Receipt of student loans also complicates the student’s situation.  Aggregate loan limits may restrict students’ ability to receive loans to pay for the completion of their degrees.

Keep in mind that there are variables involved.  Institutions have some flexibility in the design of their SAP policies.  Some higher education institutions may not count hours and grades taken that do not apply to the current program in the evaluation of SAP.  However, the Pell grant limits are very defined and no student will be eligible to exceed the 6 full-time academic year limit on Pell grant recipients.  Student loan recipients must be aware of aggregate limits as well as the new borrower limits outlined in the recent legislation.   

Ultimately, the “take away” should be that taking hours for college credit can affect the student’s future eligibility for federal financial aid even if financial aid is not received for the college credit courses.  Any courses that a student fails to complete successfully or any courses that do not count toward the student’s ultimate post-secondary degree objective may jeopardize the student’s financial aid eligibility. 

The above information provided by OSRHE.


GuidanceFest 2012

GuidanceFest 2012 is in the books and what a success it was! We made five stops throughout Oklahoma and we reached approximately 500 people! This year we had counselors from elementary schools, middle schools, high schools and technology centers!

If you came to GuidanceFest, thank you. We enjoy bringing the show to you every year. If you could not make it, we encourage you to join us next year. The topics will be new but we will again be bringing relevant content to you centered around what a middle school and high school counselor need to know about CTE and how CTE fits into the academic picture.

Thank you for making GuidanceFest 2012 a success. We hope you enjoy the presentation.

OkPOSI Conference Calls

Between the first and second session of the Institute each team conducted a conference call with ODCTE and those calls were completed this week. The intent of the conference call was to help facilitate the Project plan and provide technical assistance.

There was awesome conversation with all particiapants. The institutions are beginning to put together some great ideas centered around the framework of RPOS and moving forward in developing concrete, real world examples of what RPOS looks like in Oklahoma.

Building upon the success of the conference calls we are looking forward to a great second session. At the second session each institute will present their Project and we will begin to develop and shape the Summit scheduled for February 2013.

It truly is an exciting time to be a part of career and technology education in Oklahoma. RPOS will lead to greater student achievement and we look forward to its complete implementation.


OCAP Conference Thoughts

Last week I had the opportunity to attend the Oklahoma College Asistance Program's Annual Conference. The conference was held at Moore-Norman Technology Center and was put on by OCAP and Gear Up.

Even though it was a conference aimed at getting students to college, I always like to listen for a CareerTech connection.

The opening speaker was Chancellor Glen Johnson, OSRHE. The Chancellor had very  nice things to say about CareerTech and the partnerships that exist between the two systems.

He made mention several times about the Cooperative Alliance Program and how it will help Oklahoma reach its goals in the Complete College America initiative. I enjoyed listening to his comments and look forward to seeing how we work together even further in this already fruitful relationship.

The other speaker I wanted to mention was Greg Darnieder who is the Senior Advisor to the Secretary, College Access Initiatives, U.S. Department of Education.

Throughout his remarks he mentioned CTE and the successes that students can find as they become educated and transition to well paying careers.

It was great to hear both Chancellor Johnson and Darnieder speak about CTE and the role that it can play in building America.


CareerTech on Twitter

Almost four years ago, Oct 15, 2008 to be exact, I started the okcareertech Twitter account.

Over the years I have tried to keep up with all the CTE Twitter accounts in Oklahoma and posted them on the Blog for awhile. Recently we added a page to the okcareertech.org website that is devoted not only to Twitter, but all social media in the CareerTech system. 

That page can be found here: http://www.okcareertech.org/news/social-media

I am pretty excited to share with you that as of today, with Kiamichi Technology Center beginning their Twitter account, we are at 22 of the 29 technology centers who are Tweeting!

When will we get 100 percent, who knows? All I know is that I am enjoying Tweeting with my friends in the CareerTech family and spreading the word about the great things that the Oklahoma CareerTech System does for students. 

Are you following?


OkPOSI - The Project

As part of the Oklahoma Programs of Study Institute, each team will create an action plan for addressing one or more implementation barriers. Implementation barriers may address specific elements of the RPOS framework or provide an overall strategy for RPOS implementation at the team’s institution.

The Project should address the current status of your institution’s RPOS development and how participation in the Institute will enhance your implementation efforts. In your action plan, please identify one or more implementation barriers and describe the implementation challenges. 

You should specifically describe how the action plan developed during the Institute will be communicated with your partners (secondary, technology center, postsecondary), used as a “blueprint” for RPOS design and used to build capacity for RPOS implementation. 

Between the first and second session of the Institute each team will conduct a conference call with ODCTE. The conference call will be used to help facilitate the action plan and provide technical assistance.

The action plan will be presented to Institute participants during the second session and during the Oklahoma Programs of Study Summit. Action plans will be posted to okcareertech.org to provide assistance to other institutions as they develop their own plan.


Ok Programs of Study Institute - Session I

This week, nine institutions met at Meridian Technology Center during the first session of the Oklahoma Programs of Study Institute. The Institute is designed to further put research from the NRCCTE into practice at the local level and help Oklahoma institutions move from Programs of Study to Rigorous Programs of Study.

Oklahoma recently completed participation in the National Programs of Study Institute conducted by the NRCCTE. Oklahoma was one of four participants and is continuing the work completed at the national level by sharing lessons learned and helping to implement proven strategies at the local level.

During the first session, participants heard an overview of POS in Oklahoma, including information on the National Programs of Study Institute, Oklahoma Programs of Study Institute and the Oklahoma Programs of Study Summit. Discussion was also held covering the research project conducted by the ODCTE with the NRCCTE.

Participants then began to learn more about Programs of Study and the framework from which RPOS will be implemented. A marketing card was distributed and participants discussed the change in terminology from Plans of Study to Individual Career Plans. Perkins view points were presented before participants completed the Programs of Study: Local Implementation Readiness and Capacity Self-Assessment.The day ended with a conversation covering The Project that each institution will complete. 

Participants in the Institute include:
  • Caddo-Kiowa Technology Center
  • Choctaw High School
  • Claremore High School
  • Meridian Technology Center
  • Mid America Technology Center
  • Oklahoma State University Institute of Technology
  • Redlands Community College
  • Tulsa Community College
  • Tulsa Public Schools
The Institute will reconvene on November 15 at Meridian Technology Center.


National Publicity

National publicity is never a bad thing and we are excited that the National Research Center for CTE has featured the Oklahoma Programs of Study Institute on their website. You can read the article below.

Oklahoma Plans Programs of Study Institute


Moving from POS to RPOS in OK

During Summer Conference 2012 I had the opportunity to present to Instructional Leaders and to the Career Services areas over Programs of Study, and more specifically over "Moving from Programs of Study to Rigorous Programs of Study in Oklahoma."

Programs of Study are the right thing to do for students and is supported by the work of SREB though Technology Centers That Work and High Schools That Work. POS are part of the Pathways to Prosperity report by Harvard University and are a major component of the new vision for CTE as shared by the National State Directors. POS are a part of the current Carl Perkins legislation, and indications are that it will play an even larger role in future authorizations.

POS are not new but the increased emphasis is. The challenge will be helping institutions (high schools, technology centers, community colleges) see where their POS currently are, and helping them move to RPOS.

The work of the POS Work Group, as part of the National Programs of Study Institute, will be shared with the Oklahoma Programs of Study Institute scheduled to start next month. The vision for Oklahoma's Programs of Study will be shared at the Oklahoma Programs of Study Summit in 2013.

These are exciting times for CTE in Oklahoma. Through the programs of Study, we will enhance opportunities for Oklahoma's CTE students to excel.

Visit our website for more information Oklahoma's Programs of Study and you can view my presentations on my presentation page.


Summer Conference 2012

Summer Conference 2012 is this week! Can you believe it?

This year we have introduced our Tweet Team who will be live Tweeting this very interactive conference. There will be a live Twitter feed during the general session and we encourage participants to use the #okacte hashtag to make sure that their voice is heard.

I will be doing two presentations over the Cooperative Alliances with special guest from the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education, and a presentation over Moving from POS to RPOS. Both presentations are during the Guidance section at Moore-Norman Technology Center, South Penn Campus.

I hope to see you this week at Summer Conference! And be sure to Tweet with #okacte


4H Roundup

Thank you 4H!

Yesterday I had the opportunity to present at the 91st annual Oklahoma 4H Roundup and share with 4H members how they can get "College Credit Now, Degree Tomorrow."

I have multiple opportunities to speak to fellow educators about CareerTech and the Cooperative Alliances, but it is always something special when I get to talk to students. Some of the questions that they come up with will keep you on your toes and they are usually somewhat receptive to my bad jokes, which always makes a presenter feel better!

The crew that puts on Roundup always does a terrific job and I always enjoy the opportunity to present. Thank you 4H! 


Inside the Magic Kingdom

Our functional area has been been involved in a study of the book "Inside The Magic Kingdom" by Tom Connellan. 

The book follows several executives from different companies and backgrounds as they meet a former Disney cast member and learn about seven keys to Disney's success.

The lessons that the executives learn are illustrated by stories from cast member viewpoints, Disney exeuctive viewpoints and from their observations as they learn about and explore the Magic Kingdom.

Besides learning some cool Disney trivia, the keys are concepts that can be incorporated into the culture of a successful business or agency. Concepts like paying fanatical attention to details, using multiple listening post for feedback and that every cast member is important are a few that you will explore.

When I learn the most during a book review is discussions that are generated. We talk about the easy ones like customer service and who are customers are as well as talking about harder questions like our culture.

We are not yet finished and I look forward to the next conversations that our team has. Who knows, maybe when we wrap up I can share with you some of the Magical Moments that we have created!


Oklahoma recognized as Featured Best Practice

Oklahoma was recently recognized as a Featured Best Practice by the National Association of Career Pathways Leadership.

NACPL Featured Best Practices

NACPL Best Practice Document (pdf)

Disclosure - I am the Southwest Regional Director for NACPL.


Postsecondary Transitions Grants

Last year I took over the management of the Postsecondary Transitions grant. I enjoyed the opportunity to work with several recipients in helping transition students to postsecondary education and I am confident that their students benefited as a result of their efforts.

This year, the requirements were tightened up and a more concentrated goal was given to applicants. 

The goal that they wrote to was to increase the number of Oklahoma CTE students who complete high school with college credit and pursue and complete a postsecondary credential or an industry recognized certificate or degree that leads to a high-wage, high-skill or high-demand career by providing student opportunities through preparatory services that include one or more of the following goals: 

  • Comprehensive education and career planning - Helping CTE students create a vision for their future through academic and career awareness, rigorous Programs of Study and family participation
  • Awareness of student opportunities - Holding CTE students to college readiness standards through engagement in rigorous Programs of Study that include academic and technical courses
  • Student Transition Success - Providing CTE students secondary to postsecondary transition support that reduces the college remediation rate for CTE students
I am excited to be working with Eastern Oklahoma County Technology Center as the recipient of this year's grant. Their plan has a lot of good ideas for transitioning students and I am excited to see that plan be put into action.

You can bet that I will be sharing the good things that they are doing with you.


BSA's NOVA requirements released

The requirements for the BSA's NOVA awards have been released. 

There are four Nova awards. One for for Cub Scouts, Webelos Scouts, Boy Scouts, and Venturers. Each covers a component of STEM—science, technology, engineering, or mathematics.

What is great about the awards is that they line up with career and technology education very nicely. One can quickly envision a Scouting CareerTech event that would accommodate both Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts and 4H members.

For each of the NOVA awards a Scout must work with a counselor and with their counselor they complete a module. As an example, for the Boy Scout NOVA award, a Scout completing the "Shoot!" module has as an option the following requirement:

Simulations. Find and use a projectile simulation applet on the Internet (with your parent’s or guardian’s permission). Then design and complete a hands-on experiment to demonstrate projectile motion.

  • Keep a record of the angle, time, and distance.
  • Graph the results of your experiment. (Note: Using a high-speed camera or video camera may make the graphing easier, as will doing many repetitions using variable heights from which the projectile can be launched.)
Discuss with your counselor:
  • What a projectile is
  • What projectile motion is
  • The factors affecting the path of a projectile
  • The difference between forward velocity and acceleration due to gravity
After a Scout earns the NOVA award they can complete more in depth study of STEM and work on the SuperNOVA awards.

There are STEM programs for both Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts and 4H programs. Beyond the programs, these organizations have opportunities for CTE students through the Interest Project and Merit Badge programs. They also have robotics programs and compete in FIRST Robotics competitions.

Girl Scout STEM: http://www.girlscouts.org/program/basics/science/
Boy Scout NOVA awards: http://scouting.org/stem
4H STEM program:  http://www.4-h.org/youth-development-programs/4-h-science-programs/

Click here for a search on this blog covering Scouting CareerTech and STEM related post.


Individual Career Plans

One of the issues that we set out to resolve as a part of the National Programs of Study Institute is the terminology used in CTE.

Currently, Oklahoma uses the terminology of Plans of Study to describe the course sequence of a Program of Study.

We love acronyms and when using the the Program of Study and Plan of Study terminology both have the same one, POS. This can lead to lots of confusion about what you are talking about and what it actually entails.

In an effort to eliminate some confusion, we are changing the Plan of Study terminology to Individual Career Plan, or ICP.

We know that people will call the course sequence different things. Career Plans, Individual Career Plans and others. That is ok, we just will no longer be referring to them as Plans of Study and wanted you to be aware of what we are talking about when we say Individual Career Plans.

Please be patient as we work this new terminology into our everyday vocabulary. You will start seeing it in the CareerTech glossary, on Power Points and soon on our website.

We think this is a good change that will help clear up confusion. Thanks for your help in spreading the word.


POS Graphics

One of the projects we undertook as part of the National Programs of Study Institute was to create a graphic that explains where Programs of Study fit into Oklahoma's structure of Career Clusters.

The graphic below is a result of that effort. The graphic shows that POS encompasses the Cluster level, Pathway level, Major and Courses.

We hope that by providing graphics as we talk about Rigorous Programs of Study, or RPOS, we will help clear up that a Program of Study is much more encompassing than simply a Plan of Study. We think our graphics do just that.

(The first graphic is an Oklahoma CareerTech designed graphic. The second graphic explains the framework and is originally designed by the Perkins Collaborative Resource Network. It can be found in its original format here. Thank you to the PRCN for permission to change the colors of their great graphic.)


NPOSI - Session VI

The sixth and final session of the National Programs of Study Institute was held this week at Meridian Technology Center.

The final session concentrated on the development of the Oklahoma Programs of Study Institute, to be held in the Fall of 2012.

The agenda, assessment tool and marketing card where all discussed. The agenda was set and is ready to be implemented. The first session will be jam packed and participants will have to buckle up as we lean about each others successes and begin to move from Programs of Study to Rigorous Programs of Study in Oklahoma.

The final report for the NPOSI was also discussed. The last six months will be summarized and provided to the National Research Center for Career and Technology Education (NRCCTE).

The team wishes to thank Dr Rob Shumer, University of Minnesota, for his leadership as our national facilitator. The progress we made as a team is due in part to your help in guiding us and keeping us on track.


NPOSI - Session V

Session V of the National Programs of Study Institute was held via conference call with our four participating states/territory.

Session V was an opportunity for Team Leaders and In-State Facilitators to meet and give updates on where they were on developing an actionable plan for their state/territory centered around Programs of Study.

Each state was given the opportunity to report and listen to the others. Participants reported making great progress and are excited about their individual results.

Oklahoma is putting together an Oklahoma Programs of Study Institute that will be followed with an Oklahoma Programs of Study Summit. More details on both will be shared via this Blog.



We are getting closer to the release of the BSA's NOVA Award.

The NOVA Award is for Scouts pursuing interest in STEM, or Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics.

This provides an opportunity for those who teach CareerTech education to join up with Scouts, even those at the elementary level, and help them earn a cool award.

Even more so for those in the CTE profession, it provides an opportunity for instructors to work with potential students. It can be a part of a larger Scouting CareerTech opportunity or a specific program designed to get students on your campus and focus on per-engineering or bio-medical academies and to find out what your technology center has to offer.

This is a part of an expanded STEM initiative of the BSA that has seen new merit badges like Robotics and an expansion of CTE related merit badges like Welding.

You can watch the video to learn a bit more and the requirements will be avaliable at www.scouting.org/stem very soon.

The NOVA Award is only one example of how CTE educators can get connected with youth programs. The Boy Scouts and merit badges, Girl Scouts and interest projects, 4H and their Engineering & Technology Programs and more.


Oklahoma National Technical Honor Society Endowed Scholarship Program

I am very excited to share that the OkNTHS is taking a giant leap in providing opportunities for our members.

We are pleased to announce the Oklahoma National Technical Honor Society Endowed Scholarship Program

We are in the beginning stages of endowing the program, but have set up an agreement with the CareerTech Foundation. We are very excited and look forward to this opportunity. 


NPOSI - Session IV

We recently held Session IV of the National Programs of Study Institute at Meridian Technology Center in Stillwater.

The team members are very excited about the outcomes of the session as we have a clear direction of where we are headed with our project and are excited about the outcomes leading to improved student achievement in CTE.

The two big items that came from the session is the development of the Oklahoma Programs of Study Institute and the Oklahoma Programs of Study Summit.

The OPOSI will be a two-session Institute involving nine participants that include secondary, technical and post-secondary schools. The Institute will allow schools to share best practices, identify barriers, be provided technical assistance to strengthen and enhance POS, and to disseminate lessons learned via the Oklahoma Programs of Study Summit. Participants will serve as state models for POS implementation. 

The OPOSS will be a one-day Summit that all Perkins LEA's will be invited to attend live or electronically. The participants from the Institute will present their discoveries and help LEA's as they work to implement more rigorous Programs of Study at their school.

We are very excited about the work that is a result of our involvement in NRCCTE's National Programs of Study Institute. Details are rough, but it is shaping up as an opportunity to increase student achievement, and that is a good thing for all Oklahomans.


Online Application

Using an "Apply Now" button, clearly marked on your website is a great idea. It lets students quickly and easily find where they can gain admission to your technology center.

But where does it go? If it goes directly to a pdf version of your application that is good, if it is a writable pdf that is better, and if it goes to an online application that is best! 

(I suggest that the Apply Now button goes to a page on the website that has links to both a writable pdf and one to a true online application.)

Today, Meridian Technology Center announced their new online application. Their apply now button takes a student directly to an online application that is easy to complete and looks great.

The next step would be to have the application download directly into your student information system and have it set where an automatic email is generated that tells a student that his application has been received, and one that lets them know he has been accepted.


United We Stand...

Back in November I did a post about the number of websites with the CareerTech logo. (Proud Partner of Oklahoma's CareerTech System).

Five months later, we are still at seven of 29 sites with the CareerTech logo.

Maybe it is something that is trivial? Maybe it does not matter at all? I however would like to see all 29 sites include the CareerTech logo with a link to to the main CareerTech website.

"United we stand, divided we fall." We are a System and our online presence should reflect that.

I will let you know after the summer where we are at.


Oklahoma FIRST Regional

The Oklahoma FIRST Robotics Regional is this week!!

Teams all over the US have been preparing to come and battle with robots of their own design and particiapte in Rebound Rumble.

So head on down to the Cox Center in downtown OKC and watch for free. Bring your kids and have some great fun!  The practice starts on Thursday and the competition goes Friday and Saturday. Be sure to wear closed-toe shoes so you can go into the pits.

To get you excited, check out this super cool video from one of the teams who will be competing this week: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RCJqXsE4w64 or check out oklahomafirst.org for more info


Supplemental Grants

The Carl Perkins Supplemental Grants are now open.

Grants are open from March 15 to June 1. They include Gateway to Technology, High Growth and Emerging Technologies, Summer Bridge, Tech Now, Postsecondary Transitions, Career Guidance and Advisement.

Grant Applications

Reaching Out

The Norman School District recently held Spanish Family Night for students and parents. They had about 160 people attend the event with the hope of eliminating potential barriers to students success.

Parent nights and recruitment events tailored to specific cohorts of students are a great way to interact and build personal relationships with current or potential students. Nights designed for Hispanic students, Native American students, STEM students, Women in Engineering, etc are all potential events that could benefit a technology center in attracting potential students.

What specific recruitment events do you do?


Oklahoma CTE Social Media - Your One Stop Shop!

Have you seen the new CareerTech Social Media page?

It is our attempt to put together the Facebook groups, Twitter accounts, YouTube streams and more of the CareerTech System.

On the page you will find links to social medial for CareerTech, our student organizations, technology centers and more. All in one convenient place!

Check it out. Maybe there are some accounts that you would like to follow that you did not know about? Maybe we did not include one of your accounts that you feel should be included, let us know. We hope that the new page will become the one stop shop for all things Oklahoma CTE related!

We also hope that the new page will serve as an example to others who are doing social media and that they will develop a webpage that encompasses all of their social media in a one-stop shop so that people can get connected with them.

Happy connecting!!



This week we held our third session of the National Programs of Study Institute in Washington DC. The session was held in conjunction with the National Policy Seminar.

It was good to see our fellow facilitators at this facilitator only meeting and to talk about the progress that each state/territory is making with instituting Rigorous Programs of Study.

It was also good to hear of the collaboration beginning to take shape within each. CTE is bringing in departments of education, higher education faculty and instructors, WIB's and others to start the RPOS discussions.

Looking at focus areas, many identified RPOS quality, resources, accountability, buy in (onboarding), terminology and how does CTE help secondary and post-secondary education implement RPOS? The discussion also included much debate on the role of guidance and how does guidance start to align between secondary, CTE and post-secondary, much like we currently align curriculum.

Of the discussion, accountability and buy-in were the two most often repeated themes.

The facilitators also discussed the NPOSI plan more in depth and talked about challenges including time being the biggest obstacle.

As we left, we were challenged to answer the following questions for our state:

What is my state's plan focus?

At the end of the year we want to accomplish what?

To achieve our plan we need to?

By involving groups what opportunities and barriers will be presented?

Taking all above into consideration how will the pilots be designed?

What resources do we need from NRCCTE?

It was a good session with a lot of good discussion. Our next session will be in state with out national facilitator and we hope to have a good deal of progress on our plan, maybe we will even share some of it here! (You know we will.) 


NTHS Day at the Capitol

Today was the 16th annual National Technical Honor Society Day at the Capitol.

The event was held recently with more than 350 NTHS members, advisers and guests participating. Representatives Skye McNeil and Dennis Casey were the featured speakers during a special session held in the House Chamber. Students also heard from Pat McGregor, OkACTE and National NTHS Historian Greg Winters. 

Day at the Capitol is a great opportunity for students to visit the Oklahoma State Capitol. During the session, those that were there for the first time were asked to raise their hands and over half of the students attending, high school and adult, had never been to the Capitol. These students are getting a first hand look into how the legislative process works, getting to meet their state officials and sit in the House Chamber, not bad for a first visit!

After the general session I had the opportunity to meet an adult student and talk with him for a few minutes. I asked him his story and he said that he had been laid off, decided to use his severance to learn a skill and how to weld, and was going to get his national certification in May. He was excited becuase he was gaining a skill that would help him provide for his family. I asked him about NTHS, and a huge smile came across his face and he told me that NTHS is not going to look to bad on a resume! 

Students are why we do out jobs in CTE. Events like Day at the Capitol are times for us to showcase the best of what CareerTech has to offer. Students like the one I met today truly are and they have a right to be proud.


NPOSI Session II

This past week a team of Oklahoma CTE experts attended the second session of the National Programs of Study Institute. This session was held at Tulsa Technology Center and included attendance by an out of state facilitator from the NRCCTE.

Session II was an intense day of reviewing Session I, discussing several challenges and perceived barriers to the full implementation of Rigorous Programs of Study in Oklahoma, discussing the overall goals for the Institute and Oklahoma while setting a timeline for a deliverable.

Also discussed was an exciting project with a research assistant from the NRCCTE. This project will look at Oklahoma's Plan of Study and Career Majors while crosswalking them to the framework for a Rigorous Program of Study.

Session III will be held in conjunction with the National Policy Seminar in Washington DC. The full team will not be attending, but all state teams involved with the Institute will be represented and sharing progress to date. It should be a great session. 


Using Twitter to Promote NTHS

Using Twitter to promote your student activities is a great idea. Tulsa Technology Center recently held its National Technical Honor Society induction and used Twitter to spread the word about the induction and the successes of their students.

How do you use Twitter to promote your student successes?


CTE Social Media Day

CTE Social Media Advocacy Day is February 23rd. Tell your story and let the world know what CTE has done for you. 


Welding Merit Badge

As you look at youth organization there are numerous opportunities for CTE instructors to get engaged with potential students. Beyond the traditional CTSO's, 4-H, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, Camp Fire and more offer opportunities for you to work with youth, introduce them to CTE and encourage them as they think about their educational future

The Boy Scouts of America has recently launched its Welding Merit Badge. It has been a joint project with the American Welding Society and covers everything from safety and first aid to welding plates of beads and learning how to make lap joints.

Teaching the objectives of the Welding Merit Badge can be an individual instructor working in a special class, or it can be a part of a Scouting CareerTech event with multiple classes and both Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts earning merit badges and completing interest projects.

What ways have you tied youth organizations with your CTE class?


National Programs of Study Institute Session I

This week, six members of the Programs of Study Workgroup traveled to Louisville to participate in our first session with the National Programs of Study Institute. The Institute was great! The team learned a lot and found a renewed direction for the implementation of Programs of Study in Oklahoma. Working with people from NRCCTE and other states, Oklahoma will be well positioned to implement a high quality plan that will help elevate CTE in Oklahoma. Our next session is in a few weeks and our team will be joined by NRCCTE staff in-state. We can't wait to share what we are doing and we will share some highlights soon!


NTHS Stars of Excellence

Nominations are open for the National Technical Honor Society Stars of Excellence Award.

Who is a Star of Excellence? Past recipients include Senator Josh Breechen, ODCTE Director Phil Berkenbile and National NTHS Board Member Greg Winters.

What makes a Star of Excellence? Contributions and service that the candidate has provided to promote scholarship, career and technology education and most importantly to NTHS.; and leadership to the candidate’s profession, to scholarship, career and technology education and to NTHS at the local, state, and/or national level are the requirements to be considered.

Inductees are not required to be former NTHS members or advisors and nominations may be made by any OkNTHS member, advisor, chapter, or Coordinating Council member. Up to two nominees shall be inducted annually.

Inductees will be recognized at Summer Conference

You can view all past recipients or download the application from the OkNTHS website


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