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Challenging the Status Quo: Innovation in CTE - Educators in Action

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Dr. Robert Marraccino

Thanks Alex, we can all use your thoughtful insights. I endorse your, often repeated, motivational phrase: "Truth to Power" to ignite the light of student achievement in CTE.

I want to underscore some of your suggestions that worked for me by describing the ways that students can take ownership of the program in partnership with the instructor.

1)Creating a professional atmosphere of accountability with technical notebooks and resume portfolios has worked for us; appropriate work attire (like laboratory coats for CTE Medical Laboratory program) distinguishes and binds the community of students together, and surrounding your students with authentic workplace technology in a planned dedicated space is critical.

2) Reaching out to Chambers of Commerce, Economic Councils, and major employees has lead to phenomenal opportunities , and is also a great idea as you suggest. For example, I started a career fair without colleges but with the inclusion of businesses. Our business partners offer authentic career advice, not programming information for courses, and CTE students offer demonstrations directly to the local business community to build awareness of CTE quality workers.

3) Creating regularly scheduled symposiums at local businesses creates that initial contact that opens career pathways to students rather than jobs. For our local CTE Medical Laboratory Program, I worked with the Vice President of a local hospital to create exposure to the dynamic interactions which define health care with the hope of sparking interest in the many careers that support the individual Departments at the hospital. Students too often focus on the point-of service careers (like, doctor, nurse, pharmacist)and spend most of their college years too focused on a job with a limited availability. Most end up in great debt, and not employed in that dream job. Rather with more exposure, students can envisage a more productive pathway that matches their skills, academic abilities and true aspirations.. ...and something that none of us do ....start a Middle School Explorers program with your high school students.

Moreover, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce helped our local Chamber get involved with the YEA.org mentoring program, originating from the University of Rochester which I fully endorse.

Best of luck in the spreading of your most valued advice and experience!

Daniel Solomon

Thanks to dedicated professionals such as you both are, the stigma of career education is being eliminated and CTE is either at or coming to the forefront of many school districts around the country. CTE provides the needed "bridge" to both the academic arena and the workforce beyond. Your administration thanks you, your community thanks you and most importantly, your students thank you.

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The Educators in Action blog is a forum for educators to share their experiences, insights and best practices with their peers across the country. The posts in Educators in Action are written by ACTE members and published on the blog by ACTE staff. The individual thoughts expressed on the blog do not necessarily reflect the official position of ACTE. Interested in writing for the blog? Contact Megan Kmiotek (mkmiotek@acteonline.org) for more information!

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