Tag Archive | "Career and Technical Education"

Pulaski County ATC adds Natural Gas Pipeline Technician Program to its offerings

David Hargis, left, Somerset Fuel Center Manager, explains natural gas fueling processes to Maci New, the first student to sign up for Pulaski County Area Technology Center's natural gas pipeline technician program. Photo by Tim Thornberry, May 23, 2013

David Hargis, left, Somerset Fuel Center Manager, explains natural gas fueling processes to Maci New, the first student to sign up for Pulaski County Area Technology Center’s natural gas pipeline technician program.
Photo by Tim Thornberry, May 23, 2013

By Tim Thornberry
tim.thornberry@education.ky.gov

Beth Hargis knows how important partnerships are to the success of Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs. It is the foundation on which the programs are built, she said.

As principal of the Pulaski County Area Technology Center (ATC), Hargis has enjoyed partnerships between local business and industry, local government and the local community college.

Those relationships have gotten the ATC’s newest project off the ground. A Natural Gas Pipeline Technician Program began this year at the school, signaling the development of a program to fill not only a local need but a growing demand for technicians across the country.

“I believe this program will provide a meaningful and lasting occupation for those students who become involved,” she said.

Hargis added that with the introduction of this program at the ATC comes the recognition of it being the first of its kind in the state’s secondary education sector, and the most comprehensive program at the high school level in the country.

“We have researched this for months to make sure we have all the proper components in place to ensure success and have not found anything like it anywhere, from a secondary education standpoint,” said Hargis.

The program began as an initiative from Somerset Mayor Eddie Girdler, who was frustrated trying to hire qualified gas pipeline technicians, explained Hargis.

Somerset owns a natural gas pipeline that spans seven counties, and the city recently opened a natural gas fueling center and is moving toward a natural gas fleet of city vehicles. Read the full story

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Creating a world-class system of technical centers

Terry Holliday

Terry Holliday

What do you envision when someone says career and technical education?  Unfortunately too many people harken back to days gone by of a “shop” with kids who couldn’t cut it in regular academic classes and were destined for low-paying jobs.  While that may or may not have been an accurate account in the past, today it could not be further from the truth.

Not only does career and technical education (CTE) demand a strong foundation in academics, but often leads to higher paying jobs that are in greater demand than those held by college graduates with a bachelor’s degree. And CTE isn’t just for one group of students. In 2012-13, almost 70 percent of Kentucky high school students participated in career and technical education.

The goal of Kentucky K-12 public education is to prepare students for life after high school which means readying students for college and/or career.  To achieve that goal, there must be viable alternative pathways.

In 2010, Gov. Steve Beshear created the Transforming Education in Kentucky Task Force. This group worked to develop Read the full story

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Board of Education approves educator effectiveness system

Floyd County Superintendent Henry Webb, Kenton County Superintendent Terri Cox-Cruey and Chief of Staff Tommy Floyd update the Kentucky Board of Education on the Superintendent Professional Growth and Effectiveness System. Photo by Amy Wallot, April 9, 2014

Floyd County Superintendent Henry Webb, Kenton County Superintendent Terri Cox-Cruey and Chief of Staff Tommy Floyd update the Kentucky Board of Education on the Superintendent Professional Growth and Effectiveness System.
Photo by Amy Wallot, April 9, 2014

At its meeting yesterday the Kentucky Board of Education unanimously approved a new statewide evaluation system for teachers and principals and received an update on a new evaluation system for superintendents.

The goal of the Professional Growth and Effectiveness System model is that every student is taught by an effective teacher; every school is led by an effective principal; and every district is run by an effective superintendent. Currently, multiple systems are being used across the state with no consistency or meaningful difference in performance levels or support.

Over the past four years, two steering committees and Kentucky Department of Education staff have developed a model for teachers and one for principals that focuses on professional growth and continuous improvement. It includes elements of both formative and summative evaluation. Feedback from participants in a field test, statewide pilot and other stakeholders have helped shape the system.

“It’s scary, it’s change, but I have seen the benefit of it,” Stephanie Harris, principal at Mapleton Elementary (Montgomery Read the full story

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Franklin County CTC looking to lead state in secondary Career and Technical Education

Franklin County Career and Technology Center instructor Kathy Meador and senior Hailey Boden examine internal organs on a model during class. Photo by Tim Thornberry, March 21, 2014

Franklin County Career and Technology Center instructor Kathy Meador and senior Hailey Boden examine internal organs on a model during class.
Photo by Tim Thornberry, March 21, 2014

By Tim Thornberry
tim.thornberry@education.ky.gov

Franklin County Public Schools Superintendent Chrissy Jones has one main goal for the district’s Career and Technical Center (CTC): to be the best in the state.

And with a new facility, an innovative blend of programs and an experienced staff, she feels that goal is very obtainable.

Students began this school year in a new facility complete with updated state-of-the-art labs and classrooms, including those for Information Technology and Health Science programs and welding, carpentry and automotive technology. The facility also includes and a whole STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) wing for the pre-engineering program.

Jones said the new building was needed as almost 40 percent of all district high school students attend the CTC.

“We were operating in a facility that was built in the 60s and, in trying to improve and expand the programs, we basically outgrew that building,” she said. “We needed a building that would service the needs of the 21st century.

Jones said the local board of education agreed with the need to update the old building and the new structure was literally built around it. Read the full story

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Strong leadership will let Kentucky soar, not stagnate

Terry Holliday

Terry Holliday

Governor Steve Beshear recently convened a group of business leaders, legislators, educators, and policy makers from across the southern region to study career and technical education. This group was convened under the support of the Southern Regional Education Board (SREB) for which Gov. Beshear is the chair in 2014. The group will complete its work with a report in late summer. I was excited to be a part of the group since KDE was also conducting a career and technical education study with the support of the Southern Regional Education Board.

During a recent meeting, all of the southern region states made presentations about different aspects of career and technical education. We had presentations from national and international leaders.  And we received numerous research reports that will inform our final recommendations. One of the reports comes from Anthony Carnevale, one of the most respected researchers in the field of education and workforce, at the Center on Education and the Workforce at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. The report is titled “A Decade Behind: Breaking Out of the Low-Skill Trap in the Southern Economy.” I want to share a Read the full story

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Elevating and integrating career and tech ed

Terry Holliday

Terry Holliday

In a few weeks, the Kentucky Department of Education (KDE) will release findings from a study of our career and technical education programs. KDE requested the Southern Regional Education Board (SREB) study pursuant to recent legislation that merged the former Office of Career and Technical Education within the Education and Workforce Development Cabinet with our local Carl Perkins programs in the Department of Education. It was important for the department to have an independent outside voice make key findings and recommendations on how to elevate and integrate career and technical education in the Commonwealth. Once we report the findings, we will ask the House and Senate Education chairs to provide time either during session or during the interim period to review the findings and recommendation from the report.

Why do we want to elevate and integrate career and technical education in Kentucky? The simple answer is that we need to do a better job preparing and advising students for the career options that are available in Kentucky and the United States. While some of these jobs will require 4-year degrees, the vast majority of jobs that pay a living wage require 1-year technical or 2-year associate degrees.

A few years ago, I read a book titled “The Coming Jobs War” by Jim Clifton. Mr. Clifton provides projections that globally, more than 3 billion people are looking for jobs that pay a living wage; there are currently only 1.2 billion such jobs. That leaves a gap of 1.8 billion jobs. Read the full story

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Hunt knows firsthand the importance of being career ready

Betty Hunt presents information about the Racer Academy, a dual credit program at Murray State University, to seniors Kiristan Dials and Bryce Dean during class at the Martin County Career and Technology Center. Photo by Amy Wallot, Aug. 29, 2013

Betty Hunt presents information about the Racer Academy, a dual credit program at Murray State University, to seniors Kiristan Dials and Bryce Dean during class at the Martin County Career and Technology Center.
Photo by Amy Wallot, Aug. 29, 2013

By Susan Riddell
Susan.riddell@education.ky.gov

When Betty Hunt was in high school, she had an interest in work-based learning and soon was placed at a job in a dentist office.

I wanted to attend college – but no one in my family had ever attended college, and I didn’t understand how to make it happen for me,” Hunt said.

Eventually, she started working at the academic affairs office at the old Prestonsburg Community College, now Big Sandy Community and Technical College.

“I drove by the Martin County Area Technology Center (ATC) every day on my way to work and thought to myself that I would really like to be a teacher there one day,” Hunt said. “It was a goal and dream of mine.”

Years later, not only does Hunt work there, but she was recently named Kentucky Career and Technical Education (CTE) Teacher of the Year by the Kentucky Association for Career and Technical Education for her work as a business and marketing teacher.

Dale Winkler, associate commissioner of the Kentucky Department of Education’s Office of Career and Technical Education, said that Hunt is an effective CTE teacher who ensures every lesson is relative to the real world and builds strong relationships with students, the Martin County ATC, Sheldon Clark High School, Big Sandy Community and Technical College and businesses in her community. Read the full story

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Governor signs bill to ramp up career, technical education

Gov. Steve Beshear yesterday ceremonially signed House Bill 207 that unites the state’s two Career and Technical Education (CTE) systems under the guidance of Kentucky’s Department of Education. The goal is to create a unified, more relevant and efficient system to educate and prepare students for the world of work in a real-life setting.

“Our students need an education system that provides job-training and learning opportunities that will prepare them with the skills today’s businesses require,” said Gov. Beshear. “Recognizing the valuable role that CTE plays is an essential part of building a viable, competitive workforce.”

The legislation, which codifies an executive order signed by Gov. Beshear in August 2012, is part of a larger effort to prepare students for a wider range of career options through high-quality CTE programs. There is a statewide movement to make these programs more accessible earlier, more academically rigorous and better aligned with postsecondary requirements and employer needs.

For example, the Kentucky Board of Education has adopted a college and career readiness measure that includes an academic component and a technical skill component. The Kentucky Community and Technical College System (KCTCS) offers dual credit opportunities so that high school students can earn college credit. Kentucky provides funds from the Carl D. Perkins CTE Basic Grant to encourage secondary and postsecondary institutions to develop innovative career pathways.

“Career and technical education directly connects learning and jobs for our students and provides them with engaging real-world opportunities so that they can transition to higher education or Read the full story

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Legislative session yields passage of numerous education bills

Students from Warner Elementary School (Jessamine County) tour the Capitol in Frankfort. Photo by Amy Wallot, March 7, 2013

Students from Warner Elementary School (Jessamine County) tour the Capitol in Frankfort.
Photo by Amy Wallot, March 7, 2013

By Tracy Goff-Herman
tracy.herman@education.ky.gov

The 2013 legislative session was a so-called short session, lasting only 30 days, but it was packed with action on education bills, many of which support the state’s efforts to ensure all students graduate high school college- and career-ready.

Several of the bills that were passed also were priorities for the Kentucky Board of Education (KBE).

Among those were Senate Bill 97 which, like similar legislation that stalled in previous sessions, raises the compulsory student attendance age from 16 to 18.

The bill, sponsored by state Sen. David Givens, R-Greensburg, allows local school districts to adopt a policy to raise compulsory school age attendance from 16 to 18, beginning with the 2015-16 school year. The policy must apply to all students residing in the district, even if they attend school in another district under a non-resident contract. Additionally, local school boards must certify to the Kentucky Department of Education (KDE) that their districts have programs and supports in place to meet the needs of students.

If 55 percent (96 of 174 districts) of all Kentucky public school districts adopt a local policy to raise the compulsory attendance, then a Read the full story

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Career and technical education, preschool funding and dropout prevention lead 2013 legislative agenda

By Tracy Goff-Herman
tracy.herman@education.ky.gov

Meghan Jones, a student at the Barren County Area Technology Center, participated in the Community Service Day held in conjunction with the 2012 Kentucky Leadership and Training Institute. KLTI is held yearly and provides leadership training opportunities for members of SkillsUSA Kentucky, an organization comprised of students enrolled in skills trades programs in technical education centers and high schools throughout Kentucky. Photo by Tim Thornberry

Meghan Jones, a student at the Barren County Area Technology Center, participated in the Community Service Day held in conjunction with the 2012 Kentucky Leadership and Training Institute. KLTI is held yearly and provides leadership training opportunities for members of SkillsUSA Kentucky, an organization comprised of students enrolled in skills trades programs in technical education centers and high schools throughout Kentucky.
Photo by Tim Thornberry

With the start of the New Year, the beginning of the 2013 Regular Session of the General Assembly is at hand. This is not a budget session, but rather a short, 30-day session that traditionally focuses on policy issues that do not impact the budget.

Still, two fiscal issues are looming that likely will have significant long-term financial implications, state employee pension funds and tax reform. 

The Legislature and Governor established task forces to look at both issues during the interim. Several lawmakers believe that addressing the shortfall in the public employee pension fund will dominate the 2013 session. Final reports from both groups are forthcoming, but some of the possible solutions vetted during meetings of both groups would address the issues of the underfunded pension fund and the lackluster rate of growth in the economy. Among the options discusssed: raising taxes; legalizing gambling; restructuring current taxes; and closing loopholes created by tax expenditures. Read the full story

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