Utah Counselor a Finalist for National Career Guidance Award
October 9, 2013
ALEXANDRIA, VA—The Association for Career and Technical Education announces Jamie Vargas, a CTE/comprehensive counseling and guidance specialist with Jordan Applied Technology Center in West Jordan, Utah, as the winner of the ACTE Region V Career Guidance Award. Vargas is one of five finalists competing for the 2014 national title. The ACTE Career Guidance Award recognizes school counselors and career development professionals who are currently making significant contributions in career and technical education programs in their communities and/or states and must have made significant contributions to advocate, educate and communicate the value of CTE as a viable career option to a variety of audiences, including students and adults.
This guidance award, in its second year, is sponsored by Kuder Inc., a provider of online solutions for career planning. The winner will be announced at the ACTE Awards Banquet, a dinner and award presentation recognizing the best CTE educators in the country, which will take place on Wednesday evening, Dec. 4, 2013, during CareerTech VISION 2013 in Las Vegas, Nevada.
As the Jordan District CTE/comprehensive counseling and guidance specialist, Jamie Vargas has spent the last three years promoting CTE courses and his innovative practices in schools and at conferences across the district. He also counsels students at Jordan Applied Technology Center, where his principal has said of him, "We are fortunate to have such a hip and charismatic counselor who makes CTE appealing and exciting even to the most finicky middle school student."
As a middle school teacher pursuing his master's degree in counseling, Vargas revamped the 7th grade CTE introductory course to appeal to his students' interests. This curriculum is still being used by Technology, Life & Careers Guidance teachers across the district. In the late 90s, Vargas taught himself how to build a website for his school's guidance department and has since been a technical resource at each school where he has worked, demystifying and promoting technology among his colleagues. During his time at the district's early college high school, Vargas strengthened the comprehensive counseling and guidance program, resulting in 70 percent of graduating seniors going on to earn their associates degrees upon graduating from high school. Vargas is responsible for developing a college and career readiness student portfolio, which emphasizes skills developed in CTE courses and leadership opportunities offered in career and technical student organizations. Vargas has successfully promoted its completion school-wide, and, in its first year, 100 out of 600 students voluntarily completed the portfolio. Vargas continues to enhance the portfolio and develop additional resources.
The ACTE Awards Banquet is sponsored by Cisco, Kuder Inc., Stratasys, CEV Multimedia Ltd. and Certiport. For more information about the Awards Banquet at CareerTech VISION 2013: www.acteonline.org/vision_banquet
For more information about the Awards Program: www.acteonline.org/awards.aspx
The Association for Career and Technical Education is the nation's largest not-for-profit education association dedicated to the advancement of education that prepares youth and adults for successful careers. Founded in 1926, ACTE has more than 25,000 members; career and technical educators, administrators, researchers, guidance counselors and others involved in planning and conducting career and technical education programs at the secondary, postsecondary and adult levels. ACTE provides advocacy, public awareness and access to information on career and technical education, professional development and tools that enable members to be successful and effective leaders.
About Kuder Inc.
Kuder Inc. was founded in 1997 with a mission to raise student aspirations and to provide career options to students and adults through self-assessment and education. Kuder offers customized, innovative, online solutions for career planners at all life stages while facilitating communication and collaboration between key stakeholders in economic prosperity-education, business, industry and state agencies. For more information, visit www.kuder.com.