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CTE Policy Watch

2013 NPS: Carnevale, McLean Inform and Inspire



March 12, 2013

By: Marla Sterling, ACTE Fellow

National Policy Seminar (NPS) began with informative and exciting speakers. Teacher of the Year Robin McLean kicked off the opening general session sharing her thoughts on career and technical education (CTE). NPS attendees were encouraged to use social media during the conference and to continue throughout the year. McLean made attendees think about how they were introduced to CTE and asked if we had shared our Career and Technical Student Organization (CTSO) success story. Were we preparing our students to tell their CTSO success stories? She sparked our thoughts on ACTE membership incentives, what they are and the need to share those with new members. McLean ended her speech encouraging attendees to share with colleagues how we help students apply academic, career and life skills.

Dr. Anthony P. Carnevale was the keynote speaker and discussed the need for CTE. He reminded attendees that the baby boomer retirement will create many jobs in the next few years, up to approximately 32 million jobs. Of those jobs, many of them will require some form of postsecondary education or training. This means that the majority of new jobs over the next few years will require some form of degree or certificate beyond high school. Dr. Carnevale also discussed the fact that non-repetitive tasks require more skills than repetitive tasks. Jobs with non-repetitive tasks call for skilled workers, not just machines; education and training is important for these jobs. Attendees were also informed that "what you make depends on what you take." Today's economy requires education or learning after high school.

Both speakers gave attendees the information and resources needed to advocate for their programs, to go back to their schools and communities and encourage administrators or school boards to make CTE courses--and not just one course, but a 3-course CTE pathway--a graduation requirement.

Marla Sterling is a 2013 ACTE Fellow for Region V as well as a Family and Consumer Sciences educator and FCCLA adviser at Cherryvale High School in Cherryvale, Kansas.

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