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CareerTech Awards More Than $3.4 Million In Lottery Fund Grants To Tech Centers, Schools

July 28, 2014

Oklahoma CareerTech has awarded approximately $3.4 million in lottery funds to 14 technology centers and 76 comprehensive schools for the 2015 fiscal year.

The Oklahoma Department of Career and Technology Education receives almost 5 percent of the Oklahoma Lottery Education Trust Fund, which it uses to help technology centers and comprehensive schools upgrade equipment and to help system employees further their education.

Technology centers received a total of $1,629,570.29, and comprehensive schools -- those public schools that offer CareerTech programs in addition to academic curriculum -- received $1,791,417.24.

In fiscal year 2014, CareerTech awarded $403,500 in scholarships to system employees for continuing education and professional development through the spring semester. Data for the 2014 summer semester is not yet available, and scholarships have not been awarded yet for fiscal year 2015. Recipients must be enrolled in classes to be considered for the scholarship.

Schools, technology centers and those seeking scholarships all submit applications that include their plans for any money they receive. Because it is a competitive process, not all those who apply will receive funds.

CareerTech keeps a close accounting of all lottery dollars it receives and starts each year’s competitive grant process only after it receives the lottery funds, said Matt Litterell, CareerTech associate state director for partnerships, workforce recovery and customized services.

“Funds are awarded to technology centers and comprehensive schools on a competitive grant basis and distributed to winners as a reimbursement for items pre-approved in the grant award,” he explained. “The awarding process is based upon a rubric that targets innovation, student impact and the expansion of technology in the educational process.”

Technology centers receiving fiscal year 2015 CareerTech lottery funds are Caddo Kiowa, Chisholm Trail, Eastern Oklahoma County, Great Plains-Lawton campus, Green Country, High Plains, Indian Capital, Meridian, Pontotoc, Southern Oklahoma, Southwest, Tulsa Tech, Wes Watkins and Western-Sayre campus.

Lottery funds will pay for technology center equipment ranging from a simulated welding lab to advanced aerospace manufacturing equipment to computer software and hardware to improve a variety of technology center instructional programs. Also on the list are equipment for a lab for medical lab technician students, training simulators for a criminal justice program, an interactive instructional mobile lab, a video production studio and a rendering farm for Web development and 3-D animation.

Comprehensive schools will use lottery grant money to pay for lab equipment and more. One school is using the money for a PlasmaCam for science, technology, engineering and math students, while another is adding equipment for a state-of-the-art agricultural communications lab and studio with an emphasis on online streaming of school events.

Family and consumer science teachers and agriculture teachers will collaborate on a farm-to-table project, while in another FACS students will work with Gateway To Technology students to develop and market a product.

The Oklahoma Department of Career and Technology Education provides leadership and resources and assures standards of excellence for a comprehensive statewide system of career and technology education. The system offers programs and services in 29 technology center districts operating on 59 campuses, 393 comprehensive school districts and 13 Skills Centers campuses that include three juvenile facilities.

The agency is governed by the State Board of Career and Technology Education and works closely with the State Department of Education and the State Regents for Higher Education to provide a seamless educational system for all Oklahomans.

Laura Wilson, Writer/Editor

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