Kentucky recently was well represented at the Future Educators Association (FEA) National Conference. Several students walked away with top honors while student Ocey Holland earned one of five national officer positions.
Holland recently graduated from Southern High School (Jefferson County), but he’ll be a national leader for FEA during his freshman year of college.
FEA has evolved in Kentucky and in the United States over the past few decades, starting out as a club before moving toward a more focused approach to prepare future educators for effectiveness in the classrooms and school buildings.
Joe Morgan, director of the Kentucky Department of Education’s Division of College and Career Readiness for Career and Technical Education (CTE), said the FEA is the newest and smallest Career and Technical Student Organization (CTSO). It is working to expand into all 50 states, he said.
“The state level organizations, including Kentucky, are working to formalize and standardize as a CTSO,” Morgan said. “This presents a great opportunity for students to have a voice in developing Kentucky FEA.”
Prior to becoming a nationally recognized CTSO by the U.S. Department of Education, FEA functioned as an extracurricular club in Kentucky, Morgan noted. As a CTSO, FEA will operate as a co-curricular component of courses designed to prepare students for an education career pathway.
“The related career pathways are aligned to career-ready assessments,” Morgan said.
While participating in FEA, students combine leadership skills and competitive events with course content, and this helps students become better prepared for college and a career in education, Morgan said.
Students in FEA have the opportunity to prepare for career pathways in agriculture education, business education and Fundamentals of Teaching and Early Childhood Education in Family and Consumer Science Education.
“They learn about the Kentucky Teacher Internship Program process, formative and summative assessments, human developmental theory and stages of growth, working with students with special needs, etc.,” Morgan said. “They are also expected to complete field hours working in classrooms, being mentored by a certified teacher at various K-12 grade levels.
“FEA and CTSO’s present excellent opportunities for students to build confidence through preparation for competitive events,” Morgan added. “All students want to win, and for many students, CTSO participation provides a first opportunity to compete on a state or national level.”
In addition, students may have opportunities to tutor or coach younger students through FEA.
The 2015 Future Educators Association National Conference will be April 23-26, 2015, in Washington D.C.
For more information about Kentucky FEA within Career and Technical Education, contact Morgan at (502) 564-4286, ext. 4248.