Social Media Links

This week CareerTech rolled out a new feature on our website.

Before our new feature, a visitor to the website had to click on the News section and scroll to find the social media for our System.

Now, finding our social media is as easy as clicking a button. By finding the familiar icon at the bottom of the site the user is taken directly to a listing of social media sites that are connected to Oklahoma's CareerTech System.

This is a best practice that many, if not most, of our affiliate websites have adopted. If you haven't yet, what are you waiting for?

The "Four Cs"

As part of preparing students to thrive in the 21st Century, some experts are calling for a focus on the “Four Cs” and integration of them into the classroom along with Reading, Writing and Arithmetic.

But what are the “Four Cs”?

The “Four C’s” include:
  • Critical Thinking and Problem Solving – Are students able to reason effectively? Are students able to use systems thinking? Can a student make judgments and decisions and can a student solve problems?
  • Communication – Do students communicate clearly?
  • Collaboration – How do students collaborate with others?
  • Creativity and Innovation – How do students think creatively? How do students work creatively with others? How do you implement innovation?

How does your institution ensure that the "Four Cs" are a part of a students education? How do you measure the progress a students makes? Let us know in the comments below.


Cooperative Alliance Update

Oklahoma continues to make progress on improving the Cooperative Alliance Program. Recently partners from CareerTech and higher education met at a PLA conference to to learn about the process of awarding credit through Prior Learning Assessment.

Learn more about the conference here: http://www.okcareertech.org/students/cooperative-alliances/educators-meet-to-learn-about-pla

As part of that conference a list of FAQ's were developed. This list was sent out by Melissa Overcash, field services coordinator and the lead for the Cooperative Alliance Program.

Recap of Questions and Answers from April 29th meeting.

Q:      We are hearing different stories all over the state concerning cooperative alliances.  Who do we believe/listen to?
A:      Unless your information is coming from the Regents (Debbie Blanke or Debra Stuart) or CareerTech (Melissa Overcash) call us, email, etc.  Just ask so that we can clarify and validate.

Q:      We would prefer Primary/Secondary partnerships to be eliminated, so that we will not be limited in choices and opportunities for our students.  Will they be eliminated?
A:      The issue has come up, but it is still in conversation.  The group will need to determine the benefits/detriments.  Dr. Blanke would like a list from the tech centers (benefits/detriments) for conversations and working on a policy.  Please get this information to Dr. Blanke  (both pro and con) by June 1st.

Q:      PLA statewide degree programs—what if certification is not in a degree program at the college we are aligned with? 
A:      The Institution will have to look at all programs.  Which programs have students, are the programs needed, beneficial to students and/or employers, etc.?  What programs are just a paper transaction and not really producing graduates?  If we keep the program, and we don’t have expertise on the campus, how will we justify our faculty with HLC guidelines?  Faculty expertise must be documented for HLC.

Q:       If a college offers an AAS degree in Applied Technology, and we go with PLA, what about a certification like CISCO, and there is no CISCO faculty at that college?
A:       The college MUST have faculty expertise (per HLC guidelines). 

Q:           If colleges already have a degree program in place, does the degree program have to change?
A:           Yes, for example:   Assoc. Degree in Applied Science—college would have to decide what is the value of degree to the students, employers, community, etc.  If they deem value, then they would have to provide expertise in that area.  The colleges must have a plan in place, and can offer the degree if they can show expertise, demand and value.

Q:      What are some creative solutions for us (CareerTech) when no content or expertise is at the college?
A:       The college MUST feel confident in presenting the program to the HLC.  They would need to hire a person with that content expertise.  More than likely, they could not get away with hiring a technology center employee as a technical content “consultant.”  They must have a degree or expertise when using either contract OR PLA.  Expertise = one degree level higher than what the faculty member is currently teaching, or extensive documented experience that the institution feels it can justify as appropriate expertise for an HLC review.

Q:      How do we enroll students?  What do we tell them?
A:      Be very clear that we WILL take care of them.  The colleges have obligations to “teach out” programs that are going to be deleted, and they will allow those already enrolled to complete. For NEW students, we are in transition.  If you start a program, and it is not deleted when the student enrolls, they will be included in the “teach out” plan.   This process is allowed by the Regents to ensure students are accommodated.  The programs may change how credit is awarded, and/or how much credit is granted as well. Students will be given the opportunity to finish the credit in the manner they began the program.

Q:      How will PLA look on a college transcript?
A:      After a student has completed 12 hours at the college, the PLA would be transcripted as ungraded work (P=Pass).  We need to approach our institutions and ask them how PLA work will look on the transcript.  Update:  The course prefix and title should be noted on the transcript so that it will be transferrable.

Q:      Advanced standing for military—are they charged for that?
A:      This may be different at each institution.  Areas with higher concentrations of military personnel may not charge, but those with fewer may have a set fee for assessment.  If there is a fee, it would be that same as any other PLA assessment fees. 

Q:      In the case of a PLA, the institution can’t charge a fee based on credit hours, correct?  This was principle #8 on the CAEL PowerPoint. 
A:       Institutions are very clear that they do not “sell” academic credit.  But they can assess and charge a fee for the assessment; the assessment or its review may vary in cost dependent on the time and expertise required for the review process.   In case of portfolio or skills, the student may pay for review even if no credit is awarded.

Q:      What will the fees be?  Will it still be $8 per credit hour?
A:      $8 per credit hour was based on services offered; we did not know how much time would be required by institution working with CAPs.  The PLA and transcription fees will have to be determined as we move forward in the process.  Fees must be for the cost of services and most institutions feel the process and services have resulted in more costs (staff time, expertise, and travel) than the current rate covers.

Q:      15 hour residency requirement—If a student has 15 hours at one college, then attends a technology center, and finally goes on to a different college and only needs 6 hours, do they still have to have the 15 hours residency requirement?
A:      15 hours of associate’s degree must be at the college that will award the degree.  PLA does NOT count as resident credit.  If a student changes colleges, the student would still have to complete 15 hours in residence at the next college for the degree to be awarded from that college.  PLA cannot be more than 75% of the degree and must have a minimum of 12 hours earned at the college before the PLA would be transcripted.  CLARIFICATION:  Dr. Blanke misspoke on April 29, getting PLA and contract credit confused (too much sinus pressure!!).  SO:  PLA = IS NOT resident credit; Contract = IS resident credit.

Q:           Would hours be resident hours if completed under contract?
A:           We will need to clarify this possibility.  (Yes, this was clarified above after the  April 29 meeting.)

Q:      Will these new courses be transcripted as block or course to course?
A:      Courses will continue to be transcripted as courses within a contract.  PLA assessments could be both one course or a group of courses.  For example:  two assessments may qualify as one course, OR one large assessment could meet the qualifications as covering  multiple courses (such as 3 courses or 9 credit hours).  However it will be agreed upon in the statewide review, published and consistently available at colleges offering the program as published statewide.

Q:      PLA = pass/fail or Contract= grade:  What about the competitive advantage for students trying to enter, for example, OU HSC?
A:      We are conscious of this and will be looking closely at all requirements for those types of programs.  Update:  With information gathered so far, we are not aware of students being disadvantaged by receiving PASS grades.

Q:      Will there be a policy on how long students can “bank” their credit?
A:       No.  They will be assessed, and after the student completes 12 hours at the college, then the credit will be transcripted.  If the assessing body stipulates a timeframe of validity for a certification, this will impact the credit that can be awarded.

Q:      What about the portfolio process?  It is current when it is put together, and then transcripted, so it is good forever.
A:       At this time, we are not seeing the portfolio process being implemented for technical work review.  We have been working toward this process since 2000 in other liberal arts and sciences area, but the work has been slow in this area.  If the student has a well developed portfolio, they can approach the institution with it and request a review and assessment of the portfolio.  Each institution has autonomy, so one may be willing to conduct the review.  Once the portfolio is assessed and credit is transcripted, that transcripted work is good forever, however, degree requirements may change over time that makes particular credit not apply to particular degree requirements.

Q:      In addition to the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology or JRCERT, what accrediting bodies do we need to communicate with in regards to sponsorship concerns?
A:       We are working on this answer. 

If you want to be in the loop about what is happening with PLA send an email to Melissa and we will share information here as we move forward.


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