FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 4, 2021
Megan Kmiotek, ACTE
Patrick Biggerstaff Named ACTE Champion for CTE
ALEXANDRIA, VA – The Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE) and its Board of Directors are pleased to announce the ACTE Champion for CTE: Patrick Biggerstaff, Indiana CTE Director at Area 31 Career Center in Indianapolis, IN. The ACTE Champion for CTE award recognizes education leaders, business and industry executives, celebrities and thought leaders who support and champion career and technical education (CTE) programs as a vital part of developing a prepared, adaptable and competitive workforce.
Patrick Biggerstaff and a group of stakeholders led the development and operation of Indiana’s first associate degree-granting Early College Career Center (ECCC). This four-pathway program was formed in partnership with Vincennes University, local high schools, and several local business partners; all classes are managed at the career center. Area 31 provides students the opportunity to earn a High School Diploma and university credentials such as associate degrees in a variety of pathways. Area 31 awarded 10,552 transferable college credits in 2019-2020, saving students $2,019,863.84 in tuition last year alone. Additionally, Area 31 has been recognized as an Indiana Department of Education STEM-certified school and as an exemplary early college by the Center of Excellence in Leadership of Learning (CELL) at the University of Indianapolis.
Biggerstaff is willing to share his best practices but also learns from other states and countries. Biggerstaff was invited to participate in the 2020-2021 and 2021-2022 CEMETS Institute in Zürich, Switzerland. The Center on the Economics and Management of Education and Training Systems (CEMETS) is dedicated to improving vocational education and training worldwide through the support of economic policy development for educational reform leaders.
Biggerstaff has personally written numerous grants to fund program innovations. He received significant grant funding to upgrade facilities and equipment in local Health Science, Manufacturing, Criminal Justice, and Pharmacy Technology programs. These initiatives are promoted through numerous media channels, and to a local CTE Outreach Committee composed of legislators, educators, economic development partners, postsecondary partners, and business professionals.
Biggerstaff served as Indiana ACTED Legislative Chair (2017-2019) and serves on various committees for the Indiana Governor’s Workforce Cabinet. As legislative chair, Biggerstaff met with several legislators, served as a voice for CTE directors on multiple panels, and hosted an annual CTE Day at the State Capitol. This past year, Biggerstaff represented Indiana CTE Directors on the Indiana Governor’s Workforce Cabinet CTE “Back on Track” working group to help develop the guidance for reopening facilities and returning to in-person instruction after COVID-19 and contributed to National-ACTE “High-quality CTE Planning for a COVID-19 Impacted School Year” publication.
Patrick Biggerstaff will be recognized alongside other national ACTE award winners on virtually at the Awards Gala on November 30 at 5:00 p.m. ET. For more information on the Excellence Awards and the Awards Gala, visit http://www.acteonline.org/awards.
The Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE) is the nation’s largest not-for-profit association committed to the advancement of education that prepares youth and adults for successful careers. ACTE represents the community of CTE professionals, including educators, administrators, researchers, school counselors, guidance and career development professionals and others at all levels of education. ACTE is committed to excellence in providing advocacy, public awareness and access to resources, professional development and leadership opportunities.