About a month ago, many of us California CTE professionals were in San Diego, CA, attending the CCCAOE Fall 2011 Conference. It was a packed three days, beginning early Wednesday morning and continuing through Friday. The title of the conference was, “Analyze, Innovate, Integrate: Revitalizing CTE and Economic Development,” and there was a wide array of breakout sessions and workshops that gave various perspectives on addressing this overarching theme. I wish I could tell you something about what happened in each and every one of the breakout sessions and panels, but unfortunately, there’s only one of me, so I’ll report to you on three specific things in the next three installments of this blog – the SB70 pre-conference & breakout sessions, the Vice Chancellor Van Ton-Quinlan’s keynote address at the start of the conference, and the session on the CA Community College Task Force on Student Success.
Today’s post will focus on the CTE Pathways Initiative presence at the conference.
Pre-Conference: “The Future of SB70 and Beyond”
The WestEd CTE Pathways Initiative (SB70) Evaluation team hosted a very successful pre-conference, as well as several breakout sessions, that featured grantees who shared their work and ideas. The SB70 Pre-Conference event featured talks about Audrey Green from College of the Canyons on the importance of administrative support and Larry Dutto and Randy Wallace from College of the Sequoias and Tulare County Office of Education on leveraging funding sources and developing sustainability. These were followed by Rita Jones of Irvine Valley College, who provided an overview of the Career Cafe website , and then facilitated, with the help of WestEd staff, the “Speed Meeting” portion of the pre-conference.
The “Speed Meeting,” was a riff on speed-dating, where pre-selected representatives from grantee schools and programs had exactly 5 minutes – 3 to introduce their program and give key highlights and 2 minutes for Q&A – to share their innovative work with each of nine tables of participants. At the end of the 5 minutes, time was called, and the speakers were rotated to the next table, where they’d meet a new group of participants, and do it all over again. It was a pretty intense and packed hour of talking and discussion – especially for the presenters – but as the goal was to provide pre-conference participants the opportunity to hear from colleagues who are working on exciting projects, and gather as many new contacts and ideas as possible in a very limited amount of time, the overall consensus was that it was a success. The following is a list of the Speed Meeting presenters:
- Wheeler North, San Diego Miramar College & Nancy Jones, Coastline Community College: Who Do U Want 2 Be?
- Audrey Reille, HUB: Centers of Excellence
- Sue Parsons & Mirna Cardena, Cerritos College: Teacher Preparation Pipeline
- Maricela Sandoval, Rancho Santiago Community College District: Youth Entrepreneurship Program
- Raine Hambly, Coast Community College District: Connecting with Middle Schools
- Natalie Ray, Grossmont College: Pathways
- Jan Swinton, Glendale Community College & Emma Sanchez, Pasadena City College: Faculty Externships
- Julie Pekhonen, Riverside Community College: Professional Development
- Linda Collins, Career Ladders Project; Peter Simon, College of Alameda, & Rodney Murray, El Camino College Compton Center: Career Advancement Academies
Conference Breakout Sessions
During the main conference itself, the WestEd CTE Pathways Initiative evaluation team also hosted breakout sessions, which featured grantees and their work. I wasn’t able to attend all of them, but will provide short summaries of each below. If you’d like more information on any specific panel or individual project, contact me, and I’ll get you in touch with the appropriate speaker.
- Session 1: How to Engage K-12 Schools and Students in CTE – This breakout session featured grantees sharing their insights and strategies on engaging and working with K-12 schools and students. Speakers included Bob Hawkes from Kern Community College District, Sabrina Robertson from Cuesta College, and Alisa McCord from Orange County Department of Education. Hawkes talked about ways to increase collaboration and participation with K-12 partners who are scattered over a large and diverse geographical area (also featured in a previous post here). McCord gave an overview of the evolution of STEM-based CTE programs in Orange County high schools (also featured here), and Robertson talked extensively on the details of running a CTE summer camp for middle school students.
- Session 2: Focusing on Sustainability – This breakout session featured grantees sharing strategies directly pertaining to developing sustainability for programs. Speakers included Rock Pfotenhauer from Cabrillo College, Larry Dutto from College of the Sequoias with Randy Wallace from the Tulare County Office of Education, and Greg Newhouse from San Diego Community College District. Pfotenhauer presented on the importance of collecting data, and specifically disussed Cabrillo’s Leaver/Completer survey that helps to gather information regarding students who leave or complete CTE programs at that college. Dutto and Wallace talked about the importance of relationships, focusing on how to build trust between partners and improve communication. Newhouse spoke on engaging business partners and providing them opportunities for meaningful participation in CTE programs and projects.
- Session 3: Spotlight on Health Care Industry and CTE – This breakout session featured grantees sharing strategies and experiences in developing and implementing health sector programs. Speakers included Audrey Reille from Centers of Excellence, Natalie Ray from Grossmont College, and Carol Goldsmith from Westhills Community College District. Reille presented on the resources available from Centers of Excellence, to support health and other industry sector programs. Ray talked about Grossmont’s experiences in developing course sequences in high school science departments related to medicine. Goldsmith gave a brief overview of the TAACCCT grant awarded to the C6 Consortium.
- Session 4: Faculty Externships – This breakout session featured grantees sharing their experiences and strategies from developing and implementing Faculty Externship programs. Speakers included Jan Swinton from Glendale Community College with Emma Sanchez from Pasadena City College, Raine Hambly from Coast Community College District, and Torence Powell from Cosumnes River College with Rick Larkey from the North State Building Industry Association/Foundation. Swinton and Sanchez talked about their amazing collaboration with NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) to provide a 10 week long, paid internship for high school faculty during summers and the resulting work that teachers do with their new-found skills and experiences. Hambly gave an overview of the evolution of Coast’s faculty externship projects that have resulted in their most current iteration that includes field trips to industry sites coupled with a training in soft skills. Powell and Larkey described their externship program which provides faculty with actual work experiences in building and power/energy industries that culminates in development of lesson plans, units, and curricula, that get shared through a database.
- Session 5: Professional Development – This breakout session featured grantees sharing strategies on creating and implementing professional development (PD) opportunities. Speakers included Renee Marshall from College of the Canyons, Julie Pekhonen from Riverside Community College, and Carol Pepper-Kittredge from Sierra College. Marshall shared her experiences in leveraging a Middle School summer camp into a professional development opportunity for participating faculty. Pekhonen presented on the two particular PD programs: the Counselor Conclave, a one-day event, and the CTE Team Institute, a three-day event. Pepper-Kittredge talked about Sierra College’s very successful teacher-focused PD events, which utilize strategies of close collaboration and expertise-sharing between high school and college faculty.
So, that about sums up the SB70-related activities at CCCAOE. Again, if you’d like more information on any of the projects or programs mentioned above, please shoot me an email or leave a comment below, and I’ll be happy to get you in touch with the appropriate people.