2016 ACTE Postsecondary Teacher of the Year

Clifford McClain
Associate Professor and Coordinator of Career, Technical and Postsecondary Education (Retired)
University of Nevada Las Vegas
Las Vegas, Nevada

ACTE sat down with Cliff after the Awards Banquet at CareerTech VISION 2015.

Before he retired with emeritus status in 2015, Clifford McClain was an associate professor and the program coordinator for the Career & Technical and Postsecondary Education (CTPE) program within the College of Education at the University of Nevada Las Vegas, where he served as a faculty member since 1988. He earned a Ph.D. from the University of Nebraska in administration, curriculum and instruction, with an emphasis in Agricultural Education. Through his efforts, the CTPE program at UNLV provided highly qualified and dedicated teachers for the CTE needs within Las Vegas and throughout the state, and has graduated hundreds of secondary, postsecondary and adult CTE instructors and administrators; public and industry trainers; and local, state and national policymakers and leaders.

McClain began his CTE career leading a small, award-winning rural agriculture program in western Wyoming in the 1970s. Since then, he has filled a number of high-level positions within Nevada and has taken those opportunities to champion CTE to diverse political, economic and social constituencies. He has authored over 100 publications and presentations, developed grants totaling nearly $2 million and maintains numerous professional responsibilities and commitments at the local, state, national and international levels. Throughout his 38 years as a CTE educator, he has always considered himself, first and foremost, a teacher. As a postsecondary classroom instructor, his student ratings for the 50+ classes he taught approached the highest in nearly all categories. “I have enormous respect for Dr. McClain’s teaching and education skills,” says former student Greg Richens, currently a CTE specialist for the Utah State Office of Education. “He is energetic and persistent about career and technical education.”

Learn more about the 2016 ACTE Excellence Award winners.


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