Path Home News Director's Weekly Memo 2017 Director's Weekly Memo 2017-1-30
Jump to navigation

Director's Weekly Memo 2017-1-30

February is Career and Technical Education Month; CareerTech Champion: James Neel – Tulsa Technology Center; OKCRC 'Go for the Gold' campaign results in higher skill levels; SREB facilitates programs of study workshop in Oklahoma; CareerTech events; and useful links.

February is Career and Technical Education Month

Oklahoma CareerTech is celebrating CareerTech Education Month in February by sharing how the system powers Oklahoma.

Follow us on Facebook at OKCareerTech, on Twitter at @okcareertech and on Instagram at oklahomacareertech. Every day in February, we’ll be sharing facts about Oklahoma CareerTech and its programs that you can like, share and retweet.

Also watch for the hashtags #CTEMonth and #OkCareerTech for more about the CareerTech System and what tech centers are doing for CTE Month.


CareerTech Champion: James Neel – Tulsa Technology Center

James Neel
James Neel
THEN: A young college graduate who dreamed of becoming a doctor. James Neel’s admission to medical school was denied twice. Not one to give up on his dream, he enrolled in Tulsa Technology Center’s first-ever evening surgical technology program. Under the direction of instructor Mildred Hill, he worked to gain medical experience while he continued to improve his academic record. He worked two jobs during the day and attended classes at night. The CareerTech training and hard work paid off, and James

  • Worked for four years as a surgical technologist.
  • Was accepted into the University of Oklahoma College Of Medicine.
  • Completed his surgical internship at St. John Medical Center.
  • Continued his surgical training and cardiothoracic surgical fellowship in Louisville, Kentucky.

NOW: A prominent cardiothoracic surgeon at Integris Baptist Medical Center in Oklahoma City. Neel performed the first combined heart-kidney transplantation in the history of Oklahoma. He readily credits his training and experience as a surgical technologist for providing a solid foundation for medical school.

“Ms. Hill from Tulsa Technology Center was a key part of my medical school foundation.”

James Neel


OKCRC 'Go for the Gold' campaign results in higher skill levels

Today's careers require more skills ... Go for the Gold! Gold level Career Readiness Certificates lead to high paying careers. Helps you compete in today's job market. Provides a portable, nationally recognized credential. Builds confidence because your skills meet the needs of employers. Qualifies you for promotions within a company. Certified? ... It Pays! CareerTech. Oklahoma Works.The first six months of fiscal year 2017 saw a 5 percent increase in Gold level Career Readiness Certificates compared to the first six months of FY 16, according to data from OKCRC.

OKCRC credits the increase to its “Go for the Gold” campaign, which was launched at the November 2015 OKCRC annual conference. The conference featured breakout sessions highlighting best practices for achieving Gold CRCs, time for networking with staff from other assessment sites and new marketing materials that had been launched.

The “Go for the Gold” campaign developed as an avenue to bring awareness of the need for Oklahomans to properly prepare for the WorkKeys assessments by using the Career Ready 101 curriculum. The campaign emphasizes maximizing the student/client skill-building in CR101.

A Gold CRC indicates that the individual has the level of applied mathematics, locating information and reading for information skills needed in 93 percent of jobs and occupations in ACT’s WorkKeys database. A Platinum certificate indicates the individual has the skills needed in 99 percent of the jobs and occupations.

Silver level certificate holders have the level of skills needed in 67 percent of the jobs and occupations, and Bronze level certificate holders have the level of skills needed in 16 percent.

As the Gold certificates, rose, Silver CRCs fell 4 percent, and Bronze CRCs fell 1 percent.


SREB facilitates programs of study workshop in Oklahoma

Oklahoma high school and technology center educators learned more about aligning rigorous programs of study to high-demand career pathways at a January workshop.

The Southern Regional Education Board facilitated the workshop, “Enhancing Programs of Study,” in Oklahoma City on Jan. 23-24. It is the first in a series.

This Programs of Study Series will provide teams of high school and technology center leaders with the opportunity to review current program offerings to determine needed changes to better prepare students for Oklahoma jobs. School and center leaders are asked to review campus and classroom practices to identify current strengths and opportunities for improvement. The analysis will support a multiyear plan to address the alignment of programs to state and regional workforce needs; rigor of program and course offerings; and integration of professional skills needed for 21st century jobs.

At the first workshop, the agenda topics included Essential Elements of Effective Career Pathways; Best Practice Pathway Programs of Study; Components of High Quality Assignments; Promoting Career Pathways/Guidance and Advisement Practices; Supporting Student Success (Extra Help and Acceleration Options); and College Ready Courses.

The focus of the workshop series is to determine how high schools, technology centers and community colleges can organize resources to design and implement focused career pathways that expand opportunities for students to earn high school diplomas and gain advanced starts on earning credentials of value. This focus will also allow leaders to identify key actions for strengthening senior year experiences. 

SREB staff will work with representatives from the Oklahoma Department of Career and Technology Education and Oklahoma Department of Education to plan sessions two and three.


CareerTech events

FCCLA North Region STAR Events, Feb. 2

FCCLA Northeast Region STAR Events, Feb. 7

DECA CDC, Feb. 7

TechCAP VIII, Feb. 16

Oklahoma Nontraditional Student Institute - Chickasha, Feb. 16


Useful links

Oklahoma Horizon Schedule

Follow us on Twitter at @okcareertech and find us on Facebook at OKCareerTech and on Instagram at oklahomacareertech.

For news about Oklahoma’s CareerTech System, subscribe to CareerTech communications.

State Agency Assistance at a Glance

National Center for Research in Career and Technical Education

Adult Basic Education Foundations newsletters

Oklahoma Works

OK Career Guide

CareerTech Curriculum

Nothing is too small to know, and nothing is too big to attempt. – William Van Horne


Jump to content