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2017 ACTE Career Guidance Award


Shelli Sowles 
College and Career Readiness Specialist
Northeast Metro ISD 916 – Career Technical Center
White Bear Lake, Minnesota

As the career and college readiness specialist at the Northeast Metro Career Technical Center (CTC) in White Bear Lake, Minnesota, Shelli Sowles developed the center’s first career and college readiness series (CCRS). The series was so successful that students from outside CTC started attending and it has since become a mandatory offering for CTC students. Sowles was instrumental in facilitating the expansion of a statewide data-driven college articulation repository website which has dramatically increased communication and visibility for career exploration and college credit opportunities. It is now used in over half the state Perkins consortia with participation from over 300 high schools and 31 two-year Minnesota colleges. Furthermore, Sowles directly contributed to the expansion of concurrent enrollment/transcripted college credit option for students, helping high school students earn over 3,200 college credits last year, saving families nearly $50,000 in college tuition.

In addition to these initiatives, Sowles’ contributions to student leadership programs have made a significant impact on CTC students’ opportunities and success. The SkillsUSA chapter Showles launched at CTC has grown in the last five years from one 12-student program to eight programs of over 350 student members. In 2010, Sowles developed the CTC student ambassador program to develop the leadership skills of the center’s most promising students. The program has grown to recruit 100 students a year, and has been cited by the North Central Accreditation AdvancED Committee as a vital part of student success at the CTC.  “I have seen [Shelli] work with and lead students in such a way they see their potential, abilities and future careers,” says Carrie Hageman, Century College Career Services Director. “She is a team member…one that I have relied on and valued tremendously.”

Learn more about the 2017 ACTE Excellence Award winners.  

Sponsor of the 2017 ACTE Career Guidance Award 
  The U.S. Army is made up of the most dedicated, most respected Soldiers in the world who protect America’s freedoms while serving at home and abroad, and they are always prepared to defend the nation in times of need. The U.S. Army offers multiple career and education opportunities, including Army ROTC scholarships, for those considering the military as a future option.  



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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