1991 - Mission changed in the 1991 Strategic Plan to, “We provide quality, state of the art, flexible, and responsive programs, services, and activities that benefit Oklahomans and the state economy.”
• The first Tech Prep grants were awarded in the summer of 1991 under the Carl Perkins Vocational and Applied Technology Act of 1990.
1992 - Sixty-four of the state’s 66 largest processing and manufacturing companies require their current employees to update their job skills in this one but rather typical year. So confident are they of the state’s vocational system, that all 64 rely entirely on the ODVTE to prepare and present all of the instruction their employees must have.
1993 - Oklahoma State Legislature established the Oklahoma Youth Apprenticeship Program administered and supervised by the Oklahoma Board of Vocational and Technical Education. (70 O.S. §14-127)
1994 - Mission changed in the 1994 Strategic Plan to, “We prepare Oklahomans to succeed in the workplace.”
• Tech Prep launched Oklahoma’s School-to-Work system. The National Center for Research in Vocational Education researchers used the Oklahoma Tech Prep system and School-to-Work sites as national models.
1995 - As an extension of Oklahoma’s School-to-Work strategies, 90 of its high schools, 19 of its area vo-tech schools, and 12 of its colleges cooperate in programs designed to integrate a student’s academic and vocational studies from the junior and senior years of high school through another two years of postsecondary preparation.
• The American Vocational Association names Roy Peters the nation’s outstanding vocational educator.
1998 - Oklahoma State Legislature established competitive grant dropout recovery programs within technology center districts. (70 O.S. §14-103.1). Oklahoma State Legislature established pilot programs at technology center schools for the expansion of rural businesses. (70 O.S. §14-103.3)
• In January 1998, Central Technology Center became the first technology center to host an Oklahoma School of Science and Mathematics regional program when it hosted a program at its Drumright campus. The regional centers offer advanced science and math courses and hands-on lab experiences to high school students in technology center districts. Students attend the technology center part of the day and attend their home high schools the remainder of the day.
1999 - Oklahoma State Legislature charged the Oklahoma Department of CareerTech with establishing a program of training and certification for medical micro-pigmentation (70§14-103.4); Oklahoma State Legislature changed the name from Department of Vocational and Technical Education to Department of Career and Technology Education (70 O.S. §14-104). I think it was in 2000.
• Roy Peters resigns as state director to accept a position with the Tulsa-based Oklahoma Alliance for Manufacturing Excellence. Over his tenure of thirteen years as director, total vocational enrollments have more than doubled to reach 481,821, and 29 vocational districts have made training easily accessible for 97 percent of the state’s population through their 54 sites.
• Dr. Ann Benson was named state director following Roy Peters’ resignation.
• After a series of devastating tornados strike all over the state on the evening of May 3, the department responds with a swiftness equaled only by its creativity. Within weeks, the ODVTE prepares and presents through thirteen of its area schools a complete “Skills to Rebuild” curriculum, classes designed to equip people with the skills they will need to repair their own homes and businesses.2000
• By legislation signed by Governor Frank Keating on May 19, the Oklahoma Department of Vocational and Technical Education is renamed the Oklahoma Department of Career and Technology Education. Its governing board is similarly renamed the State Board of Career and Technology Education. Not needing statutory permission, all area vo-tech schools already have substituted the term Technology Center in their names.
2000 - The State Board of Career and Technology Education was granted authorization by the State Legislature to hold videoconference meetings. Months later the first meeting took place between Metro Technology Center in Oklahoma City and Tri County Technology Center in Bartlesville.
2001 - The United States Department of Education awards Oklahoma a $2.2 million federal grant to identify and coordinate what the nation’s twenty-first century students will need to learn in their schools if they are later to perform well on their jobs.
• The United States Department of Education identifies the telecommunications program offered at the Drumright campus of the Central Technology Center as an exemplary vocational program, one of only three in the nation that the department considers worthy of that high distinction.
• The Tinker Education Partnership Agreement, signed by Governor Frank Keating, State Superintendent of Public Instruction Sandy Garrett, CareerTech Director Ann Benson, Hans Brisch, Chancellor of the State Regents for Higher Education, Tinker’s Major General Charles Johnson II, and Robert Conner, executive director of Tinker’s Air Logistics Center, commits the CareerTech system to train and Tinker to hire at least 3,400 of the new employees that the base will need to replace those scheduled to retire by 2007. Airframe and Power Plant courses were restructured to meet specifications for the base.
• Oklahoma State Legislature changed the name of area vocational-technical schools to technology centers (70 O.S. §14-108).
• The Technology Center Administrator Program was adopted. TechCAP is an intensive technology center administrator preparation program for individuals working in the technology center system who aspire to establish, continue or advance their technology center administrator careers and increase their knowledge of the CareerTech system.
• CareerTech’s partnership with Brainbench allowed students and instructors to take more than 300 industry certification exams online free of charge and have the results back instantly.
• The Oklahoma Restaurant Association and the Hospitality Business Alliance teamed up with CareerTech to implement ProStart. The project was a School-to-Work initiative providing high school students with classroom training and internship experience in the food service/hospitality industry.
• GirlTech began as a mentoring pilot project designed to help female students succeed in nontraditional career paths such as information technology, science and engineering.
• WorldCom donated $1.7 million worth of telecommunications equipment to 12 technology centers to further facilitate education of information technology and telecommunications workers.
• In April, Future Business Leaders of America/Phi Beta Lambda, the student organization for Oklahoma’s business and information technology education, became known as Business Professionals of America.
2002 - With the support of a special $921,000 congressional appropriation, CareerTech’s Learning Network offers its first on-line vocational courses.
• Expansion Management, the country’s leading trade journal among economic development professionals, identifies Oklahoma’s CareerTech as one of the nation’s two most outstanding workforce training programs.
• The first Project Lead the Way Pre-Engineering course was taught. PLTW is a national nonprofit organization that partners with middle schools and high schools to implement a curriculum that emphasizes hands-on experiences in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics and biomedical sciences in an effort to prepare students for academic and professional success in these disciplines.
• Fulfilling the pledge she had made when accepting the position, Ann Benson announces her retirement in her fourth year as state director.
2003 - The CareerTech Skills Centers Division (CTSC) has evolved into what amounts to a state-wide school system, with “campuses” at eighteen public prisons, one private prison and four juvenile facilities. In recent years, nearly three-quarters of CTSC’s graduates go straight into training-related jobs, and enough others find work that close to 90 percent are working immediately upon their release. On the average, they draw wages approaching $10 per hour, and their first-year recidivism rate has been reduced to no more than 2 to 3 percent.
• On January 13, Pete Buswell, nationally respected for his management expertise in the field of worldwide learning services, succeeds Dr. Ann Benson as CareerTech’s state director. Buswell is only the fifth to hold that position in the system’s entire history.
• After a difficult five-month tenure, Buswell resigns on May 21. That same day Dr. Phil Berkenbile, a man with deep roots in the system, is appointed as interim state director.
• Oklahoma State Legislature established new board structure for the system of career and technology education (70 O.S. §14-101). Whereas the former board consisted of 13 members, the new board has nine members – the state superintendent of public instruction, two members from the State Board of Education, five members appointed by Congressional district and one at-large member.
• Governor Brad Henry made appointments to the new State Board of Career and Technology Education created by legislation approved this past spring.
• The Oklahoma Career Information System, with detailed career information, assessments, and career development activities to help individuals from middle school through adults, was introduced to the state of Oklahoma as the replacement for the CD version of Oklahoma Career Search.
• Ten school districts began to use TechConnect. This program was designed to link technology education programs offered to sixth through eighth grade students with technical preparation programs offered to juniors and seniors at technology centers.
• The first Pre-Engineering Academy with academics was developed.
2004 - New director Dr. Phil Berkenbile was hired by State Board as the sixth director in the system’s history. CareerTech reached a milestone of more than 500,000 total enrollments in the system.
• Oklahoma State Legislature passed SB1271 (70 O.S. §11-103.6) that allowed technology centers to teach math and science, with certified teachers, to sophomores in a focused program of career study. This legislation allowed the system to implement true career academies in which math and science are an integral part of the education program, culminating with calculus and physics.
• Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education and ODCTE launched the Cooperative Alliance Program. Through this program, high school students can complete their high school studies while earning college credit toward associate in applied science degrees by completing courses at technology centers and colleges. Adult students can earn college credit toward their A.A.S. degrees by completing courses at both technology centers and colleges in Oklahoma.