Path Home News Director's Weekly Memo 2013 Monday Memo 2013-05-06
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Monday Memo 2013-05-06

Strategic purposes; core strengths; how higher education partnerships get results; updates from key areas; and get ready for the CareerTech Foundation golf tournament; and my schedule for the week.
"A mistake is simply another way of doing things."
– Katharine Graham

Strategic purposes – adults

Strategic purposes are clear definitions of what good we seek to do for whom as we offer programs and services. Strategic purposes do not include any reference to how we deliver programs and services. They simply define what change our customers hope to achieve in their lives.
The following is our first draft of CareerTech strategic purposes for adults. Future Monday Memos will cover strategic purposes for companies.

  1. Career development – Assure students have the knowledge and skills to make informed career choices and to create an education plan to be prepared for those careers.
  2. Career readiness – Assure students know how to think outside the box, analyze issues, resolve problems, work with others and adapt to complex workplaces. Creativity, problem solving and critical thinking skills are examples of the skills embodied by career readiness.
  3. Work and family studies – Develop specific life skills which operate in synergy with career skills allowing Oklahomans to be more productive and to balance work and family life through personal resource management, health and wellness, time management and other similar skills.
  4. Career preparation – Develop students’ technical skills required for success in postsecondary education and a career.
  5. Career enhancement – Develop the technical, academic, and workplace knowledge and skills required for a student to be more successful within an organization and to achieve advancements within a career.
  6. Academic enhancement – Develop academic knowledge and skills required by the career choice of a student.

Your feedback on these strategic purposes is sought and welcome.

Core strengths we must nurture

The following are core strengths we must nurture at all levels of our system if we are going to be relevant and valued by our customers, students and companies.

  1. An intense focus on student success as our only business.
  2. Caring, competent, curious and competitive faculty and staff.
  3. Information leadership that leads the organization with clear performance understanding, not reforms or regulations.

CareerTech – higher education partnership gets results

During the spring 2013 ceremonies at OSU-IT 244 degrees were awarded. Of these degrees, 34 were earned by former Cooperative Alliance students! Graduates include students from Autry, Central, Great Plains, Green Country, Indian Capital, Kiamichi, Metro, Northwest, Tulsa, Tri County and Wes Watkins Technology Centers. Graduates earned associate in applied science degrees, associate in science degrees and bachelors of applied technology degrees in areas such as culinary arts, nursing, business, office information systems technology, engineering technologies and information assurance and forensics. (Contributed by Jeremy L Zweiacker)

Career Readiness Certificate - some details

Oklahoma has embraced the ACT Work Keys-based Career Readiness Certificate program. This is a powerful program linked to student learning and business needs. The business needs are determined by a process called profiling. Profiling occurs one company and one job at a time. It determines actual academic and career readiness levels required for success on the job. These profiles are then aggregated by ACT to create career expectations on a series of assessments. These assessments are then provided to youth and adults so they can determine if they are fully prepared for a particular occupational area.

Below is a brief description on each CRC level which scores the certificate holder's level of skills in applied mathematics, locating information and reading for information in relation to the level of skills needed in jobs and occupations contained in ACT's WorkKeys database.
A Platinum level certificate holder scores six or more in 99 percent of the jobs and occupations.

A Gold level certificate holder scores five or more in 93 percent of the jobs and occupations. This level represents the requirements of 90 percent of the living wage jobs in America today. Only 53 percent of the jobs available in the economy are considered living wage jobs.

A Silver level certificate holder scores four or more in 67 percent of the jobs and occupations.

A Bronze level certificate holder scores three or more in 16 percent of the jobs and occupations. (Assisted by Becki Foster)

Continuous school improvement

Thirteen technology centers and the Oklahoma Department of Career and Technology Education staff were represented at the Continuous School Improvement meeting held April 30 at Francis Tuttle Technology Center. Leaders shared their best practices in school improvement activities and discussed various topics. The topics for this meeting included:

  1. a statewide professional development opportunity for school improvement,
  2. performance data comparisons,
  3. industry certification procedures, and
  4. school improvement tools

This group meets quarterly to discuss topics of interest relating to school improvement. Michelle Keylon, assistant superintendent of instruction at Francis Tuttle Technology Center, coordinates the meetings. (Contributed by Joe Robinson)

Continuous improvement group remarks

I had the privilege of discussing the group’s work just noted in the previous note. This group is grappling with significant issues and is well positioned to help us rethink our continuous improvement, innovation and accreditation processes. Here are some thoughts I shared with the group.

Should we support Tech Centers that Work, Model Schools or some other education reform? Should we do Lean Office as a way to improve our back office results? Where does a PDK curriculum audit fit into our planning? These are questions on the top of every education leader’s mind trying to assure long term success and sustainability.

Historically, ODCTE has championed specific reform initiatives. This is typical in education. These reform initiatives are often valuable when implemented with integrity and for the right reasons. They provide fairly specific plans to address specific needs. They are answers.

Moving forward, I'm interested in providing our system members with the right questions and give them latitude to choose answers that make sense to their situation. I’m also interested in the questions being comprehensive, not just focused on the educational process. Finally, I’m interested in linking our improvement and innovation efforts to education generally and to other industries.

There are three factors I consider important in the continuous improvement, innovation and accreditation process. First, processes need to be comprehensive in nature. This means they have to go beyond the educational process and include all aspects of the district and the system. Most reform efforts are at once useful and incomplete by this criteria.

Second, they need to maintain consistency of criteria, not consistency of process. For example, the Baldrige criteria asks questions and leaves the answers to the unique circumstances of each entity. This is critical. For example, Tech Centers That Work and Model Schools are both more an answer than a criteria or question. They may be the answer of choice for selected schools, but they are not exclusive solutions.

Third, the process of improvement and innovation must be non-duplicative of the accreditation process. In other words, we need to reduce the amount of non-education work we expect of schools.

There are many details to sort out as we move forward and the Continuous Improvement Group will be a integral part of this work. Also, the ODCTE will be providing substantial leadership in this area. We must take responsibility for the capacity of our system to improve and innovate.

Tentative budget agreement reached

The legislature has come to an agreement on a preliminary budget. They have allocated CareerTech an increase for FY14 of $3 million. Preliminary discussions with key legislators have indicated their only specific desire is to assure we have enough agency resources to complete any transformation work we are seeking to accomplish. The remainder of the funds are not being earmarked in any way. The agreement does not provide any FY13 supplemental funding.

Boggs delivers a great conference and gets special recognition

Another great FFA Convention was completed last week. Thousands of FFA members were in attendance. Kent Boggs is the lead on this amazing youth event. But, that wasn’t all that involved Kent last week. He was named the 2013 National Land & Range Judging Contest Honoree on May 2. Oklahoma has hosted the National Land & Range Judging since it began 62 years ago. For more than 30 years, Kent has assisted with the contest. The Ag Ed state staff annually helps tabulate the contest sponsored by the Oklahoma Association of Conservation Districts. (Contributed by Rose Bonjour)

Central Tech Center counselor highlighted

This month's issue of Techniques magazine features an interview with Diana Plummer, career counselor, Central Technology Center, Sapulpa. Plummer was named the 2013 Association of Career and Technical Education's Outstanding Career and Technical Educator of the Year at CareerTech VISION 2012 professional development event.

Oklahoma business leaders support Metro Tech Foundation

Metro Technology Centers Foundation raised more than $70,000 at its fourth annual fundraising event May 1 at Oklahoma City Golf and Country Club. Oklahoma Horizon Executive Producer Rob McClendon served as master of ceremonies for the most successful foundation fundraiser in the tech center’s history. More than 350 business and community leaders attended. During the program, adult and high school students were awarded $17,000 in scholarships. Students received funds for continuing education, outstanding performance, academic and career excellence, and to purchase tools and equipment.

The Metro Tech Foundation was formed 25 years ago and has revived its energy and connections with business in recent years. Its board includes members from Chesapeake Energy, The Latino Community Development Agency, Morgan Stanley, Potts Family Foundation, Redbud Financial, McAfee & Taft, Boeing, Wells Fargo Bank, Alva Roofing, White Fields, St. Anthony Hospital, The Oklahoma Department of Commerce and Kimray. These dynamic business leaders serve 3- or 6-year terms, devoting time and financial resources to Metro Tech for student need-based grants, scholarships and recognition awards. During the course of the year, Metro Tech Foundation gives approximately $35,000 to students. (Contributed by Cindy Friedemann)

Business and Industry certification

Twenty participants from 14 technology centers, the Oklahoma Manufacturing Alliance and ODCTE were recently recognized for completion of the 2012-2013 Business and Industry Services Certification Program. The BIS Certification Programs’ primary goal is to assure strong leadership and understanding of the Business and Industry Services specifically and the CareerTech system as a whole. Through a year-long comprehensive mentoring assignment, participants spend time building skills in consulting/needs assessment, marketing, communications and leadership. (Contributed by Tara Fiechtl)

Curriculum unit provides free online resources

CIMC has completed the eighth edition of the free resource Websites, Apps & More. This popular resource is offered free online or you can order CD or print versions. It provides a variety of websites to enhance the classroom experience and assist instructors with student engagement activities. This edition includes sections for Common Core, teacher resources, eLearning, and careers, in addition to websites and apps for each cluster area. Download your pdf copy from: or order from Customer Service at 800-654-4502. (Contributed by Kimberly Sadler)

New assessment partnership

The state of Minnesota has purchased our agency's competency assessments. We continue to capitalize on the growing national demand for student accountability measures. And, because our assessments are delivered online, we can increase revenue to our system without increasing costs. (Contributed by Kimberly Sadler)

OKC Memorial Marathon includes our own

Debbie Saterbak from the ODCTE Health Careers Education Division completed the half marathon in the OKC Memorial Marathon in memory of Rebecca Anderson. Rebecca was the 1992-1993 Oklahoma HOSA State Vice

President and was the only healthcare provider who died as a result of the April 19, 1995 bombing. Oklahoma HOSA awards a $250 scholarship every year to a deserving HOSA member in Rebecca's honor----The Rebecca Anderson Memorial Scholarship. (Contributed by Greg Dewald)

All staff meeting will include new recognition opportunities

The Oklahoma Department of Career and Technology Education on June 3 will host its all-staff meeting. This year, in addition to professional development, the agency will recognize employees through the new CareerTech Staff Performance Awards program.

The agency will present five awards: Innovation, Customer Focus, Team, Rising Star and Unsung Hero. The agency is asking customers and stakeholders (agency personnel, field personnel and employees of other agencies with which ODCTE works) to nominate ODCTE staff members they feel deserve recognition. Nominations, which include a short questionnaire about why an employee deserves recognition, can be made at

ODCTE values its employees and their customer and stakeholder relationships. Thank you for helping recognize deserving CareerTech employees.

CareerTech Foundation fundraiser – don’t miss it!!

The Oklahoma CareerTech Foundation is holding its annual golf outing on July 31. Wouldn’t it be great to fill the course for this important event? I have personally committed to a Gold Sponsor status and will be fielding the winning team. Of course, if there is someone who thinks they can knock off my team, sign up!!

Here are the details. Remember, I will enjoy listing those who supported this event in an August Monday Memo. (OK, have I over marketed the event? :-) )

Coffee Creek Golf Course
4000 N. Kelly • Edmond, OK 73003
405.340.4653 • Tee Time – 8 a.m.

  • Format: Four-Person Scramble — Shotgun Start
  • Each team must have a minimum handicap of 50 (25 will be the maximum allowed per player)
  • Cost: $90 Per Player (Payment must be received by July 25, 2013)
  • Includes: Lunch, Green Fee, Cart and Mulligans (2) $5 Per Player Split the Pot (Closest to the Pin) Contest.
  • Prizes:• 1st Place Team/flight • Hole-in-One • 2nd Place Team/flight • Longest Drive (Men’s and Women’s)
  • Tournament will be flighted based on team participation
  • Note: Soft spikes and collared shirt required.

This tournament is a fundraising event for the Oklahoma CareerTech Foundation. It is also a great opportunity for CareerTech golfers from around the state to play together in a tournament prior to Summer Conference. You do not need to be an avid golfer to play - just be ready to have a great time and support a worthy cause.

Schedule for the week

This schedule is subject to change without notice:


Personal day


General office work
Leadership class graduation – Canadian Valley TC


Meeting with Marie Saatkamp
Meeting with Lisa Eden
Meeting with Joe Robinson
Meeting with Stillwater Mayor John Bartley
State employee recognition event
Presentation at Meridian Technology Center
Stillwater Chamber of Commerce reception


Meeting with the Governor’s office on performance measures
Quality Oklahoma event – state capitol
Meeting with Stillwater Economic Development leadership
Meeting with Shari Carter, United Way


Senior leadership meeting
Tech Cap graduation
Legislative update meeting
General office work

See you around!

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