It was my honor to attend the ACTE National Policy Seminar (NPS) in Washington DC, March 20-23, 2022 and join a wonderful group of 20 ACTE new and experienced fellows who flew in from all over the United States to partake in the NPS event sessions and legislative activities. Although we met a few times over Zoom before attending NPS, fast friendships were made over the three to four days and through many moments of getting to know one another, laughter, and connection over meals and local sightseeing.
NPS included inspirational speakers and provided participants with the tools needed to conduct successful hill visits with legislators. NPS breakout sessions included insights into current issues and policies, tips, and valuable resources. My colleagues and I got the chance to observe an ACTE board meeting attended by both ACTE and Region leadership; it was fascinating to see how collegial everyone was and how discussions were on task and in the best interest of career technical education. We also got the chance to learn about the operational side of the ACTE organization. We toured the headquarters and offices of ACTE, located in a building owned and managed by the ACTE organization. The most intriguing part of connecting with representatives from other states was learning which CTE industry sectors and pathways dominate states and their local regionals based on industry needs. We all overcame the COVID pandemic and worked hard to maintain student access to high-quality CTE programming!
NPS proved to be a great networking opportunity. I had the pleasure of meeting Shani Watkins, Region V Vice President, who I interviewed for my ACTE Fellowship assignment and learned about her program in the state of Washington. I also connect with Dr. Rebecca Farley, Dean of Instruction from Bakersfield College. Rebecca and I teamed up for a successful virtual meeting with the Honorable Senator Alex Padilla’s legislative staffers.
What an unforgettable experience NPS was! I highly recommend an NPS advocacy trip to Washington D.C. to any interested ACTE member. ACTE has all the resources you need to make the journey worthwhile and meaningful.
Sue S. Key, Ed.D.
Region V Experience Fellow