President Obama Authorizes National CTE Scholars Program…

“ALEXANDRIA, VA – Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE) Executive Director LeAnn Wilson today expressed her strong support for the creation of the U.S. Presidential Scholars in Career and Technical Education (CTE) program, which was authorized through an executive order by President Barack Obama.

“The U.S. Presidential Scholars in CTE program will be a fantastic opportunity to give our CTE students additional recognition that they so greatly deserve from our leaders in Washington,” said ACTE Executive Director LeAnn Wilson. “I am thrilled that President Obama and his Administration have taken this step to acknowledge the excellence and innovation happening in CTE classrooms nationwide, which is laying the foundation for students’ college and career success.”

The creation of the award adds to a growing well of support for CTE among policymakers, and was promoted by Sens. Tim Kaine (D-VA), Rob Portman (R-OH) and Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), who wrote a letter to the president last year encouraging him to expand the Presidential Scholars program to recognize the achievements of CTE students.

“I also want to express my tremendous gratitude to Senators Kaine, Baldwin and Portman for their partnership in calling for the creation of this award,” Wilson continued. “Through their work as co-chairs of the bipartisan Senate CTE Caucus, alongside Sen. [Johnny] Isakson (R-GA), we can spotlight the millions of CTE students who will power our nation’s workforce in the 21st-century economy.”

The Presidential Scholars program was created during the Administration of President Lyndon B. Johnson to recognize the nation’s top high school graduates based on their scholastic achievement, leadership and community involvement. Through this executive action, President Obama and his administration will now recognize up to 20 students who have achieved excellence in their education and at the same time build greater prestige and public support for CTE programs. The first group of U.S. Presidential Scholars in CTE will be nominated in spring 2016.”

Originally Posted by ACTE –  (June 22, 2015)

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Gallop’s Stance on CTE…

Gallop, the world leader in collecting and analyzing survey data, recently released the following opinion article about Career & Technical Education (CTE) and how student’s being involved in CTE needs to become the “new normal in education.”  Enjoy!

Career and Technical Education Should Be the Rule, Not the Exception

Posted 3/13/15 – Author Dr. Tim Hodges, Director of Research for Gallop’s Education Practice


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CTE Reform Legislation Introduced…

Senators Tim Kaine (D-VA) and Rob Portman (R-OH) have introduced a new Career Technical Education (CTE) bill that would make several positive modifications to Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act of 2006. On July 10, these Senators, and co-chairs of the bipartisan CTE Senate Caucasus, official introduced this legislation on the Senate floor.  This is a significant step in the reauthorization of the Perkins Act (originally scheduled for reauthorization in 2012).

Watch the video introduction of the Educating Tomorrow’s Workforce Act of 2014 (ETWA) from Senator Portman here.

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Personality Traits of the Millenial Generation…

Originally posted at,0,3841596.photogallery

“Call us what you want — Millennials, Generation Y, and Generation We — it doesn’t change the reality that most of us grew up just as one era ended and another began. We’re old enough to remember what life was like before high-speed Internet, but young enough to lead the digital revolution. Many years from now, we will bore our grandchildren with stories about ancient things like “dial-up modems” and “books.” In the meantime, we’re dealing with our shortened attention spans, student debt and smartphone obsession.

Think you’re one of us? See if these 10 characteristics sound familiar.

Can we have that yesterday?

We need instant gratification, all the time. We used to be OK with driving to the video store to rent a DVD. Now, if we can’t stream it instantly, it’s dead to us. (If you’ve ever received an Amazon Prime order 12 hours after placing it, you know there’s no turning back.) Need to know what everyone thinks about anything relating to your personal life? Post to Facebook or Twitter, refresh, repeat as necessary. We just might be the most spoiled, self-obsessed, impatient generation yet. But have you seen the photos we just posted of our Paris trip?

Our attention spans are shot.

Forget watching whole music videos on YouTube — if this funny cat video isn’t funny in 30 seconds, we’re over it. We can’t sit through a movie without playing with our phones. If you’re telling us a story, you have five, maybe seven seconds to get to the point.

We still haven’t grown up.

How many of your friends moved back in with their parents after college? For that matter, how many of us have “real” jobs? Our parents got married young, but we’re fine with putting that off for a while. Will we ever grow up? Maybe after we finish paying off all this college debt.

We remember what it was like ‘before’

One day long ago, a computer arrived for the entire school. They kept it in the library. Then there was one in each classroom, which we used mostly for playing “Oregon Trail.” These machines were giant hunks of plastic coated in that unforgettable shade of beige. They also had handles, for some reason. Before long, we abandoned land phone lines, registered personal domain names and started camping out in front of Apple Stores. Many years from now, we will be the last generation that remembers the whines, pings and static of a dial-up modem.

We’re all going to be famous. Briefly.

A decade ago, it seemed like anyone could be a reality TV star (thanks, “Real World”). Now, literally anyone can be famous. People are discovered every day on YouTube, Twitter and the blogosphere. The catch: If everyone is two clicks away from stardom, how much “fame” is really out there? You don?t have 15 minutes of fame anymore — you have 15 seconds.

We have multiple personalities.

After Facebook stalking someone, meeting them in person can be a huge letdown. That’s because we have two personas: us online and us in real life. Online, we post retro-looking photos of everyday things that look cooler than they should (yay Instagram!). We toss out snarky comments that took us five minutes to come up with. In person, we’re much less witty, and perhaps a little uglier than our online selves. Don’t hate.

After we die, we live on, online.

When a friend passes away, his or her Facebook profile often stays up, like a digital memorial. Friends and family post things like “missing you,” and “happy would-be 29th birthday.” Chances are, these pages will be around long after we’re gone. Facebook even has a Memorials app. Freaky, huh?

We care less about cars

Your dad had his hot rod. Your older brother may have even souped up his Honda Civic, a la “The Fast and the Furious.” But most Millennials care less about buying a new a car, according to CNW Marketing Research. Fewer 20- to 24-year-olds are even getting drivers licenses, according to data from the Federal Highway Administration. Is it an attempt to save the environment? Are cars too expensive? Do we care more about other gadgets like smart phones? Or all of the above?

This will be on our permanent records.

Almost everything we do is documented — mostly by us. When MySpace first arrived, we might have been a little hesitant about posting every detail big and small, but that’s long gone. Now we overshare about our health issues, that creepy guy in line next to us, relationship dramas, food and weather. Lots of posts about food and weather.

We are expert multi-taskers.

In the 10 seconds it takes Generation X to read this, a Millennial would have already sent four texts, paid a student loan bill and ordered Starbucks (using the app, of course).

Submitted By:  Peggy Anderson, Career Coordinator

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Being Prepared Has Never Been So Important…

“Being educated isn’t enough.  Students need to also be prepared.”  This past summer I attended a professional development conference where the keynote speaker, Chad Foster, spoke these words.  We need to make sure that our students are graduating with not only the knowledge they’ll need to live a productive and successful life, but also the skills.  Without the increasingly important workplace readiness skills, our students are not prepared and ready to be successful.

The below article (taken from Career Convergence Web Magazine) speaks to why now is a critical time to make sure our students are not only educated, but also prepared for their future.

Written By: Phil Jarvis

Originally Posted at

“Four labor force megatrends are converging to create a “perfect storm” in the labor markets in which students must establish their careers. Almost 50 percent of youth are now victims of the perfect storm, exiting education into unemployment or under-employment, often mired in debt, unclear about their employment and career prospects. They begin their careers in minimum wage jobs unrelated to their studies, with little prospect of paying off student loans soon, let alone buying a car and home and beginning a satisfying, fulfilling adult life.

School counselors need to be aware of the perfect storm and provide leadership in their schools to ensure students receive the career development they need to transition from school to success, despite the perfect storm.

The Four Megatrends Causing the Perfect Storm

1. The Great Recession – The global economy and communities across the country are weathering the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression. All levels of government are in record debt, endeavoring to balance program and service cuts with economic stimulus. Recovery is slow and faltering, and companies are reluctant to invest in new people.

2. Shifting Demographics – The oldest baby boomer turned 65 in 2012. Many have retired and an annual tsunami of boomers will retire over the next 20 years. This mass exodus from the work world of the most knowledgeable and experienced employees will create new challenges for employers seeking to fill talent voids.

3. Upskilling of Jobs – New technology has rendered many jobs obsolete, enabled robots to replace humans in other jobs, and raised skill requirements in all sectors, while producing new jobs every month. More education and skills are now demanded of workers in all jobs, especially in new and emerging sectors requiring science, technology, engineering or mathematics (STEM) skills. Despite high unemployment and underemployment, employers in most sectors report challenges finding the talent they need to fill “mission-critical” positions.

The economic consequences of unemployment and underemployment are staggering. Lost productivity and reduced competitiveness cost employers dearly. Lost tax revenues, social assistance, corrections, stress-induced health costs alone run into billions of dollars annually. The human consequences are higher. The most effective way for governments to reduce deficits and debt, and for companies to increase productivity and grow, is to get the right people in the right jobs, fully engaged in creating economic prosperity for their companies, communities, and families. Students must be prepared to exit school into appropriate employment.

4. Unprepared Graduates – Today’s students need higher skill levels than any cohort before them. Yet, key 21st century skills employers now insist upon are not in the curriculum in most secondary and post-secondary programs. All job sectors experiencing growth require at least some level of post-secondary certification, yet of 100 students in the 9th grade today, fewer than 25 will graduate on schedule with a post-secondary degree, diploma or certificate.

The portends are clear. Many students risk becoming casualties of the perfect storm. Skilled counselors and exemplary career development programs and services are needed to support students in all grades. Available resources tend to be underutilized because career development is not a priority.”

Submitted By Jennifer George, Career Resource Educator

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February is National Job Shadow Month…

 Just as the legendary groundhog spots its own shadow, so too will employers across the nation spot theirs. Except this time, the “shadows” will be eager young high school students ready to learn all about the workplace of their host participant or parent. Since 1997, the Groundhog Shadow Program has provided today’s employers with a unique and informative way to directly interact with tomorrow’s work force and has enabled students a memorable experience in shadowing their parent or host as he/she goes through a normal day on the job. This shadowing activity provides an up- close look at how skills learned in school are put into action in the work place.

By participating, you are helping students make that critical link between the classroom and the work place. Through combining classroom lab activities with job site observations, students will better understand the importance and relevance of their education. They will see firsthand the range of knowledge and skills a job requires, regardless of the job or its location. In addition, they will gather valuable career information to assist them in making career decisions concerning their future.

Our goal is to enable as many of our students as possible the chance to participate in National Job Shadow Month.  Last year approximately 450 of our students journeyed into all areas of the work force which included private business, industry, non-profit and government agencies and sectors. By schools, community organizations, businesses, industries, and parents working together, we accomplished a joint mission of getting our young people ready to accept the challenges of the world of work through firsthand knowledge and experience.

This school year, The Career & Technical Education (CTE) Department is excited to partner with several established businesses as well as new organizations that are willing to put forth the time and dedication in promoting their professions to our future workforce.  The CTE Department promotes Career Forums, which serve as group job shadows, based on student’s career interests and workforce trends.

Therefore, February “Job Shadow” month is a kickoff month to promote and encourage students to participate in career forums upon request.  Look at the career development opportunities our students are exposed to by attending one or more of these Career Forums:

  • Photography
  • Automotive Services
  • Architecture & Engineering
  • Energy & Environmental
  • Law Enforcement
  • Health & Fitness
  • Mental Health & Human Services
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Information Technology
  • Judicial
  • Finance & Banking.

We would like to thank all of you who were able to participate over the past years in providing these learning opportunities for students.  We are excited about the number and variety of this year’s Career Forums and look forward to celebrating a successful Job Shadow Month.

Peggy Anderson, Career Coordinator

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The College-For-All Model Isn’t Working…

Article originally printed on December 3, 2013

“Instead of going through Congress and making the initiative bipartisan, President Obama acted alone in mid-November, promising $100 million in grants to specialized high schools — such as New York City’s Pathways in Technology Early College High School — that prepare students for technical careers. The president’s on the right track, but why make it partisan? Schools like P-TECH are an idea whose time has come — one that can be adopted by both parties and by business as well as government.

Vocational education fell from favor decades ago because it was seen as an inferior track for less able students. More Americans attend college today than ever before: this year, 42% of young people 18 to 24 years old. Even among high school students in the bottom quarter of their class, 90% expect to go to college. And there’s no question that, for many Americans, college is a ticket to the middle class.

But there’s also mounting evidence that the college-for-all model isn’t working. Nearly half of those who start a four-year degree don’t finish on time; more than two-thirds of those who start community college fail to get a two-year degree on schedule. Even students who graduate emerge saddled with debt and often without the skills they need to make a decent living.

Meanwhile, companies in a range of sectors — manufacturing, construction, healthcare and other STEM fields — report severe skilled labor shortages. With more than 11.3 million Americans out of work, there are 3.7 million unfilled job openings — due largely to the growing mismatch between workers’ skills and employers’ needs.

The good news: questions about college-for-all have created space for a burgeoning education reform movement that’s rethinking and reshaping the options open to young people preparing for jobs in the middle of the skills ladder — jobs that require more than high school but less than a college degree. Call it “voc ed 2.0” or — today’s term — “career and technical education”: CTE.

Some CTE advocates are still focused on college; they see technical training primarily as a pathway to college. Others are skeptical that the trade-offs can be finessed this easily. They argue for sharper distinctions and harder thinking about priorities. But both camps agree: New, improved technical education is a key piece of the puzzle, and it’s time for the nation to invest in it — big time.

The movement has spawned a wealth of experiments: CTE high schools, “early college” high schools, new investment in community colleges, industry-driven craft training, career mentoring, internships, apprenticeships and more.

Some offerings are better than others, and it can be a challenge for young people to choose, picking their way through what one researcher calls a “Wild West of programs.” Reformers agree that there’s a desperate need for better metrics and more reliable standards. But ultimately, for students, there’s only one standard that counts and one way for the new vocational education to compete with college: Is the program a reliable route to a highly skilled, well-paying job?

This is where business comes in. Employers facing shortages can do well by doing good, partnering with educators to set standards and design curriculum. After all, they know better than educators what skills are needed in the workplace. At a time of record deficits and revenue-neutral state and federal budgeting, employers are a natural source of funding for vocational training. And only employer involvement can guarantee that bottom line for students — that CTE actually leads to a job.

The challenge is that few U.S. employers see the next-generation workforce as their responsibility.

Some employers are stepping up. P-TECH is a partnership between IBM and the New York City public schools. Several brand-name restaurant chains — Darden, Brinker and Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen — sponsor training in culinary arts and restaurant management through the National Restaurant Assn.’s ProStart program. Lockheed Martin, Boeing, Siemens, Kaiser Permanente and PricewaterhouseCoopers, among others, partner with stellar CTE programs in cities across America.

But these forward-thinking companies are the exception that proves the rule. Business needs to do more if CTE is to reach its full potential. And just writing a check or inviting students to the workplace for an occasional visit isn’t enough.

The key ingredient of the most effective CTE programs is on-the-job training combined with classroom learning. Sometimes called apprenticeship, sometimes dual training or craft training, the combination can be expensive and difficult to structure and maintain. But nothing works as well, and it’s a proven long-term win-win — for trainees and for the employers who invest in them.

Voc ed is dead. Long live the new CTE. The question for the future: Will today’s ferment take hold? Will Democrats and Republicans come together behind it, and will it produce a lasting transformation of American education? It all depends how seriously employers engage.”

By Tamar Jacoby

Opt Ed, Los Angeles Times

Original Article – Click Here

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NTHS Serving Our Community…

National Technical Honor Society (NTHS) honors the best and brightest students in Career and Technical Education classes.  One of NTHS’s seven core values is citizenship.  Each member of NTHS completes twenty hours of individual volunteer service and also participates in a group volunteer activity.

Each one of us has gifts, talents, and special abilities that we can share with those around us.  In an effort to help our NTHS members carry this concept into their volunteering, Darrel Casperson and I (NTHS advisors) invited guest presenters in to speak to our members.   Sarah Shimek, Grand Forks Public Schools’ Character Education and Prevention Coordinator, and Maria LeBlanc, Saint Joseph’s Thrift Store and Social Care, did a wonderful job giving our members vision and inspiration to go out and use their talents and abilities to serve our community.

Thus far this year, we have had three group volunteer activities.   NTHS members volunteered at Tufte Manor bringing goodies and leading the nursing home residents in bingo.  They are some serious bingo players!  We also assisted with the set-up for Saint Joseph’s fall festival for kids held at Saint Michael’s.  Finally, we volunteered at Northland’s Rescue Mission wrapping Christmas gifts and putting on a competitive game of bingo.

Volunteering together is always a rewarding experience.  Not only is it a good way to bring us together as an organization, but it feels good to give back to our community.  Where ever we go, the people express time and time again how thankful they are for us coming.

In early spring, we are planning to volunteer at Good Samaritan to play games with the nursing home residents.

Current Grand Forks Central NTHS Members: Samantha Burkett, Nicolette Cariveau, Taylor Crafton, Shelby Curtis, Nikki Dogan, Casey Johnson, Jason Kutz, Megan Meyer, Morgan Myvik, Cody Rowley, Katie Sween

Current Red River High School NTHS Members:  Abdullah Abdussaheb, Abby Beczkalo, Chase Christen, Matthew Collings, Erik Hanson, Sam Mattice, Joshua Pierce, Dan Raymond, Brady Regimbal, Chris Rieth, Mitch Rogers, Billy Sturman, Helen Thomas, Jennifer Trader, Sydney Vorachek, Allison Walker, Matthew Yaeger

Jennifer George, Red River High School NTHS Advisor


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Exhibitor Showcase A Huge Success….

On November 13, 2013 all of the region’s 10th graders attended the 2nd annual Northern Valley Career Expo at the Alerus Center in Grand Forks.  Students attended 4 sessions, one of which was the Exhibitor Showcase on the arena floor.  For most students, this was the highlight of their career expo experience.  The arena floor was filled with over 150 booths showcasing post-secondary and career options.  Students took advantage of the many hands-on activities found at the exhibitor’s booths.  These hands-on activities gave students an awesome opportunity to directly and kinesthetically explore career options.

The goal was to have representation from each of the career clusters present and the planning committee did a fantastic job of making that happen.  Students with varying interests could find something that appealed to them.  Students were surveyed following the event and 87% said that the Career Expo will be helpful as they determine their career pathway.  Overwhelmingly, this was a positive and helpful experience for our students and I believe that by offering a wide-variety of career options to explore, students were able to find something that struck their interest making this a meaningful career exploration activity.

Jennifer George, Career Educator

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Health Care Job Growth…

Besides home-health aides, other health care occupations expected by CareerBuilder to see more than 30 percent job growth by 2023 are: veterinary technologist and technicians, diagnostic medical sonographers, physical therapist assistants, occupational therapy assistants and physical therapist aides.

Jobs for audiologists and physical therapists should see a gain of 27 percent increase. Emergency medical technicians’ and paramedics’ positions are projected to increase by 26 percent and dental hygienists by 24 percent.

A new report by CareerBuilder projects that, nationwide, there will be 44 percent more home-health aide jobs available in 2023 compared to 2013, rising from 1.1 million to 1.6 million, respectively.

Altru Health System today employs nine home-health aides and is looking to hire two more for flexible-hour positions in Cavalier and Grand Forks.

Peggy Anderson, Career Coordinator

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