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2017 ACTE Administrator of the Year


Samuel Cotton 
Professor – Chairperson
Ball State University
Muncie, Indiana

Samuel Cotton came from a background in construction, automotive technician and management before receiving his doctorate in curriculum and instruction from Purdue University and entering the higher education field. Cotton currently serves as professor and chairperson for the Department of Technology at Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana, where he has led the department through major building renovations, program restructuring, and a college-wide reorganization process. He was integral in converting the university’s traditional CTE programs to full online delivery, significantly broadening access to the programs for domestic and international students. Under Cotton’s leadership, the two newest programs in the department—Computer Technology and Construction Technology (both less than 6 years old as majors)—have grown to become the two largest programs in the department.  

“Sam is often referred to as the ‘father’ of modern day CTE teacher education in Indiana,” says Charlie Feldhaus, Associate Professor and Interim Chair at Purdue University. An expert on special populations and instructional strategies, Cotton has been involved in CTE research, refereed publications, and domestic and international presentations on these and other CTE topics for over 20 years. He has been tapped to serve on a number of Indiana Department of Education and Department of Workforce Development committees charged with developing state CTE standards, licensing rules, assessment strategies, policy manuals and training resources and professional development requirements for CTE professionals. Cotton’s influence and involvement in state and procedural committees has improved on the training opportunities for new teachers and streamlined education processes across Indiana. Cotton has served a term as president for both Indiana ACTE and Indiana Association for Career and Technical Education Administrators.

Learn more about the 2017 ACTE Excellence Award winners.

Are you the best in CTE? Do you know someone who is?
Learn more about the ACTE Excellence Awards and how to apply

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ACTE is committed to enhancing the job performance and satisfaction of its members; to increasing public awareness and appreciation for career and technical programs; and to assuring growth in local, state and federal funding for these programs by communicating and working with legislators and government leaders.



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