Meet Brian Rick, postsecondary CTE fellow

Met Brian Rick, career and technical education (CTE) navigator at Southeastern Illinois College. His Techniques interview appears as part of a digital-exclusive spotlight series on fellows in the Postsecondary Leadership Success Program at ACTESponsored by ECMC Foundation.

What leadership skills did you develop as part of the Postsecondary Leadership Success Program at ACTE?

To be a good leader, you must see what other good leaders do. I believe in the value of networking and learning from others. Every person brings something to the table, and it’s great to meet people from other areas and see and understand their methods and skills. It’s also great to work with these people who share the same passion for CTE. Over the past year, we have worked together to promote the value of CTE and ensure success for our students.

Further, I have gained skills to be more of a transformational leader: working together, leading, being led, and empowering others to become leaders. I am grateful for the opportunities to learn and foster a data-driven approach to problem-solving. And, finally, I have become more strategic in my work to guide my institution forward.

In what ways have you innovated to engage students & inspire colleagues in CTE through the COVID-19 pandemic?

The pandemic only accelerated a loss of educational opportunities happening in our school districts. In response, I took time to research and develop ways to increase program offerings. And I worked with educators throughout my state to create hybrid programming to serve students in rural areas. Offering classes in a hybrid format has also proven to be budget friendly. Though adapting to COVID-19 was a major undertaking, at the end of the day, we innovated to support the growth and development of our communities.

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.

CTE provides many pathways to a prosperous future. But misconceptions remain. Students and their families often don’t know about the many options available. The first way to achieve the goal of equitable access is through education about what’s out there. Many students do not know about grant resources that can help them pay for tuition, books, or even child care and housing in certain situations. We must do a better job of publicizing all the great opportunities CTE can offer.

Learn more about the Postsecondary CTE Fellowship.

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
  • Shelsi Barber-Carter, CTE coordinator at Baton Rouge Community College
  • Rebecca Farley, dean of instruction at Bakersfield College