The Push for CTE Education in Wyoming

Dear Superintendents,

Next week my family welcomes my daughter home from a military deployment in the Middle East. For so many reasons I am a proud mom – but I’ll save the bragging for a different time. Through high school and since graduation, she has had countless opportunities to learn. Through CTE pathways in high school she earned FFA degrees and deepened her knowledge of agriculture. She also became a Certified Nurse’s Assistant (CNA) and earned college credits through dual enrollment. During her tenure as a soldier she has served her country, trained, traveled, and earned a semester’s worth of college credits. As a mom and educator, I love how college, career, and military readiness has evolved to mean more than three singular pathways after high school. Today, all three paths (or any combination therein) prepare the next generation of adults for success and fulfillment through coursework, training, experience, and discovery.

According to a Bureau of Labor Statistics study, a group of baby boomers (now nearing retirement or retired) changed jobs 11.7 times during their careers. Most economists agree that today’s millennials are on-track to change jobs more times during their careers. This means that lifelong learning is more important than ever and exposure to foundational and executive skills is key.

I’ll add three final thoughts:

  1. Thank you Wyoming educators for instilling a love of learning and discovery in students while preparing them for the world of today and tomorrow.
  2. We must never lose sight of the demands of this fast-paced world and must always ensure every student has relevant learning experience.
  3. It always takes more than school to develop lifelong learners and self-sufficient adults. I am so encouraged to see strong partnerships between education, business/industry, and community partners.

Over the past couple of weeks, WDE’s Dr. Michelle Aldrich and her CTE team have traveled across the state to conduct listening sessions for Perkins V. Stakeholder participation for these events has been immense and we are so encouraged that Wyoming is interested in steering the career and technical education ship. Of note, Perkins V:

  • Places greater emphasis on developing clear connections between CTE programs and labor market demands.
  • Encourages states to to invest in early postsecondary opportunities.
  • Expands stakeholder input requirements.
  • Provides states and local recipients more flexibility in how they spend Perkins funds.
  • Creates the framework for Perkins accountability at the state and local levels.

In Wyoming, we look forward to leveraging Perkins V as a way to ensure that all students have opportunities to discover and acquire valuable skills as they make choices about college, career, and military readiness.

1

Teams from Wyoming Destination Imagination competed recently. DI is a program that teaches students the creative process and 21st century skills.2

Students compete using their skills to develop innovative solutions to complicated problems.

Memos to be released on Monday, April 22:

  • 2019-057: Innovative Leaders Virtual Conference-Spotlight on Wyoming
  • 2019-058: Kindergarten Readiness Data Collection
  • 2019-059: Student Volunteer Opportunity: My Life, My Story
  • 2019-060: 2019 Summer Learning Opportunities for Students
  • 2019-061: 2019-20 Hathaway Success Curriculum Course Verification

 

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