Meet Shelsi Barber-Carter, career and technical education (CTE) coordinator at Baton Rouge Community College. Her Techniques interview appears as part of a digital-exclusive spotlight series on fellows in the Postsecondary Leadership Success Program at ACTE – Sponsored by ECMC Foundation.
What leadership skills do you hope to develop as part of the Postsecondary Leadership Success Program at ACTE?
As a postsecondary fellow with ACTE, I hope to develop leadership skills that will help me establish a true foundation in CTE. This may include communication, networking and organization. When these three skills are put into place, there is a greater dynamic for implementing vision and goals. The role of a leader is not a title to indulge in, but leadership carries a responsibility to move people toward a common goal in support of the greater good. Leaders operate in service, trust, consistency, potential and respect. To add, such skills must correlate with the capacity to make a vision into a reality.
In what ways have you innovated to engage students & inspire colleagues in CTE through the COVID-19 pandemic?
Daily, I seek to engage students and colleagues through motivation and inspiration. Since the beginning of COVID-19, I found myself working with a phenomenal a team to promote a public resource for secondary and postsecondary students, faculty and staff, and nontraditional students. On this one-stop-shop platform — known as Career Waves 2 — all potential CTE students can view high-demand careers throughout region 2 of Louisiana.
Individuals create a portfolio that will give them access to internships, externships, and job offerings, as well as degrees and certifications. To add, participants may view livestreamed presentations and recorded videos that focus on math skills, career building, resume writing, mock interviews, and so much more. Career Waves 2 helped us ensure students’ access to CTE during the pandemic.
Our education systems face many challenges in 2022. Please discuss the steps CTE can take to improve equitable access to high-quality CTE programs of study.
Start by identifying programmatic successes and then drill down to find the problems. Many programs look at the need first without even considering the success of what is already in place. Looking at what has been achieved will help to identify many cracks in the system. Trust and believe, errors in the system will always peep out!! So, what do we do? Glad you asked!
- Collect data from the past three to five years. This will help identify trends, which is a necessary step in developing short- and long-term goals.
- Develop a formal strategic plan that evaluates CTE programs through the eyes of students and industry partners.
- Involve the community! We cannot assume that we know it all.
Is there anything else you’d like to share?
Thinking about equitable access, BRCC plans to launch a CTE mobile lab funded through Carl Perkins Reserve dollars to service our rural areas. Secondary students will have the opportunity to access dual enrollment and CTE certifications. Further, postsecondary students and staff will use the unit as a mobile learning center for CTE pathways identified as in high demand. We call it CTE on-demand!
Please also meet:
- Tiffanie Rosier, STEM education coordinator at Northern Virginia Community College
- Tachaka Hollins, assistant vice chancellor for academic affairs at the Tennessee Board of Regents
- Tracey D. Cooper, executive director of nursing at Temple College
- Bernie Phelps, director of Perkins, Perkins Rural Reserve and dual enrollment at Montana Technological University, Highlands College
- Vickie Thomas, director of the Center for Workforce and Community Development at Eastern New Mexico University – Roswell
- Moira Lafayette, dean of health sciences and public safety at Blackhawk Technical College
- Brad Kinsinger, director of the Global Agriculture Learning Center at Hawkeye Community College
- Eric Sewell, director of technical education at Southern Union State Community College
- C.J. Wurster, district director at Maricopa County Community College District
- Katie Vincent, director of workforce partnerships at Owensboro Community and Technical College
- Dr. Xue Xing, assistant professor of teaching and learning at University of Nevada – Las Vegas
- Aleksander Marthinussen, program manager with NOVA SySTEMic at Northern Virginia Community College
- Dan Adams, former CTE administrator and current stay-at-home dad
- Ashlee Spannagel, dean of CTE and workforce development at Southeastern Community College
- Darlene O’Rourke, Perkins grant director and officer at Queensborough Community College