Career-Tech in the Spotlight
By Carrie Scheiderer, ECMC Foundation Fellow
With career technical education (CTE) in the spotlight more than ever in Ohio, it’s the perfect time to advocate at a higher level! That was the main focus of my interview with my Postsecondary Leadership Success Program at ACTE-Sponsored by the ECMC Foundation (PLSP-ECMCF) mentor, Lauren Massie.
Lauren is the Career and Technology Education Centers of Licking County’s (C-TEC) Adult Education Director, and leads one of the top performing Ohio technical centers here in Ohio. We have worked closely through the years in various roles, but the focus has always been on creating opportunities for students to develop skills that lead to in-demand careers in our region and our state.
With the election of Ohio’s new Governor, comes a new administration and new priorities. We are very lucky that CTE is one of the top priorities on his agenda. But with a state legislature full of freshmen in the House and Senate, educating lawmakers on what CTE really is, how it’s delivered, and bridging the gap between educators and business and industry is not an easy task.
The main message is really awareness, need and appreciation. In Ohio, CTE is delivered through multiple venues. Students may be enrolled in CTE at a traditional joint vocational school district, comprehensive district, compact, satellite program, Ohio technical center, or technical or community college. With so many delivery systems, Ohio’s students have multiple ways to access high-quality educational pathways that lead to high paying, in-demand careers.
So onto the advocacy…this year, Ohio’s state association, Ohio ACTE, identified three legislative priorities to focus on during legislative visits. Those priorities include: maintaining funding for CTE through the state budget, advocating CTE legislative initiative, and increasing funding for the Ohio technical centers, which are the state’s adult education centers.
In January of this year, the official advocacy season began as the new biennium budget started falling into place. It’s really about building relationships with legislators and focusing on benefits and access for students. By growing in-demand career training in the state, Ohio’s residents are more apt to stay, work and succeed in our state.
In the last month alone, I’ve met with ten legislators in the House and Senate and their aides’ to share CTE’s benefits and impacts on Ohio’s students. Each area of the state is unique, but the common thread is always in-demand career pathways for students.
As Lauren and I embark on our mentoring journey, I couldn’t be more honored to have her help guide me through my year-long experience in the PLSP-ECMC Foundation. I’m proud to represent Ohio in this year’s inaugural cohort and can’t wait to learn from one of the best in our state. Lauren’s career has also included roles at the Ohio Department of Education and Ohio Department of Higher Education. With her diverse background and guidance, I’m excited to develop and grow my skills as a post-secondary leader.
About the ECMC Foundation Fellow
Carrie Scheiderer is the Chief Administrator at Central Ohio Technical College. She is an ECMC Foundation Fellow of the Postsecondary Leadership Success Program (PLSP) at ACTE – Sponsored by the ECMC Foundation. The program is part of ECMC Foundation’s CTE Leadership Collaborative Initiative.