Techniques Magazine Techniques January 2011 : Page 40

Fea ture By John Gaal and Andrew Wermes Certifying High-Quality CTE Educators THIS ARTICLE LOOKS AT DEVELOpING tHE pROCESS AND pORtFOLIOS tHAt ADDRESS EFFECtIVENESS. professional organization for Trade and Industrial Education (T&I) teachers. As part of its mission, ASTS is committed to providing leadership, voice and sup-port for its membership. Nearly one year ago, driven by its concern that federal or state education agencies should not independently establish and dictate qual-ity benchmarks for the T&I education profession, the ASTS Board of Directors (BOD) determined that it would be in the best interests of its membership to define what constitutes a high-quality career and technical education (CTE) educator. Other professions have established criteria that identify the “gold standard” of professionalism in their industries ( i.e., CPA for accountants, CSP for safety man-agers, etc.). But as noted by Thomas and Wingert (2010) posit, “In no other socially significant profession are the workers so insulated from accountability” (p. 25). To this end, ASTS felt immediate action was required. The ASTS BOD appointed a committee of five subject matter experts (SMEs) to develop a relevant and rigorous certification program for review by and approval of its membership. t HE ASSOCIAtION FOR SkILLED AND tECHNICAL SCIENCES (ASTS) serves as the Step one The official process to establish a bona fide certification began in March 2010 with committee chair John Gaal, director of training and workforce development with the Carpenters’ District Council of Greater St. Louis and Vicinity, contact-ing the Certified Career and Technical Educator (CCTE) committee members PHOTO By ISTOCK.COM and providing them an overview and timeline for this project. As noted in the sidebar on page 42, the SMEs represented various aspects of the secondary and post-secondary CTE community impacted by a potential certification system: secondary education, higher education, and business and industry. The committee focused on crafting a structure that would be inclusive of the CTE field. Initially, original documents only considered a system that certified one level of high-quality instructor/teach-er. As e-mails were sent back and forth to all CCTE committee members, the types of certifications, rules, etc. developed in an iterative manner. Often, sticking points were resolved more efficiently by means of phone calls versus e-mails. Accordingly, the CCTE committee “cast a wider net” to include educators (instructors/teachers and administra-tors) and all areas of CTE— not just T&I educators! In addition, it turned to other industry models to develop a two-tier certification system (e.g., American Weld -ing Society’s Certified Welding Inspector and Associate Certified Welding Inspec -tor). When the ASTS BOD met in Kansas City for the SkillsUSA Convention in late June of 2010, the CCTE committee was prepared to present a two-tier system of certification for their consideration. Step Two At the June 2010 ASTS BOD meeting, the BOD instructed the CCTE commit-tee to be “more inclusive” by adding a third tier to the certification process pre -sented. The BOD supported the resulting structure, and recommended its approval 40 Techniques JANUAR Y 2011

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