NIPSCO, La Porte CTE Center Partner on Energy Academy

ceci-logoNIPSCO, LaPorte CTE Center Partner on Energy Academy NIPSCO and the La Porte County Career and Technical Education (CTE) Program recently created the state’s first Energy Academy. The CTE program offers hands-on experiences in electromechanical installation and maintenance, energy and environmental technology, public utilities, and residential and commercial energy. Students will be able to gain dual credit through Ivy Tech and earn professional certifications in their area of study.

“It is my hope that this new energy pathway will encourage students to consider future career opportunities in a truly up-and-coming field in this state,” said Governor Mike Pence. “Our administration is committed to ensuring that all of our young people finish high school ready to enter a career pathway or pursue a college degree, and I believe this new career and technical education curriculum will serve as a model for education partnerships in Indiana.”

Since the start of his administration, Governor Pence has placed a renewed effort on ensuring students have two plan A’s when it comes to their education, whether they choose college, other post- secondary education and professional certifications or move directly into a career field. State efforts are encouraging business and education collaborations, connecting what students are learning in the classroom with the jobs that are currently available.

Related Article: South Bend Tribune - Pence visits LaPorte County tech school

Related Article: La Porte Herald Argus - Pence visits A.K. Smith Career Center

SBOE Approves School Accountability Grades The Indiana State Board of Education (SBOE) approved the A-F school accountability grades for Hoosier schools, noting a continuing trend with more schools earning A and B letter grades for their educational successes.

District 6 SBOE member Dr. Brad Oliver said that while the A-F system isn’t perfect, its intentional focus on improving achievement has resulted in more schools with A’s and B’s—and fewer schools with failing grades.

“A-F is but one measure of the great things that continue to show improvement in our schools,” said Oliver. ”Graduation rates are up, ISTEP scores are up, NAEP scores are up and school grades provide the ability for our educators to communicate to their communities about the hard work that is happening within their buildings.“

The Board approved the DOE’s recommended letter grades for schools and corporations. DOE staff will reevaluate data from four schools who spoke before the Board today regarding concerns over errors in the appeals process, and the board will consider corrections at its December 3 meeting if the DOE verifies the accuracy of data provided today. Superintendent of Public Instruction Glenda Ritz promised a review of the Department’s internal appeals processes, and Sarah O’Brien asked for a report at the December board meeting regarding potential improvements, including the consideration of the DOE adding a chief compliance officer.

School administrators from West Noble Schools, South Vermillion County Schools, and the MSD of Wabash County raised issues with the Board regarding information submitted to the DOE which was not considered prior to the DOE’s denial of the schools’ appeals. Each brought separate concerns regarding the department’s process, and all expressed frustration at the lack of information and engagement from the DOE throughout the appeals process. Several board members also were distressed about the DOE’s lack of customer service, including lack of timely correspondence and follow-up with schools when easily detectible and fixable errors were found in school reporting data.

“Too much depends on letter grades to get it wrong” said Melissa Briscoe, Chief Academic Officer for Wabash MSD. “We are here today to bring an error to the attention of the Board and ensure an accurate grade is given to the high schools within the district.”

Dave Chapman, Superintendent of South Vermillion Schools noted that his community felt that the DOE’s oversight was an injustice. He noted that he personally emailed DOE administrators on multiple occasions and did not get a response.

“People told me not to come down here today, but I told them when good people have the right information, they can make the right decisions,“ said Dennis Van Duyne, Superintendent at West Noble Schools. “These grades are important--they impact raises, morale, teacher evaluations, and communicate to the community what schools are doing every day.” more

IEDC Report Studies Cities Growth Strategies The findings of Indiana’s regional cities study identifies strategies to help cities across Indiana transform into national economic powerhouses.

“If you’re looking for Indiana’s greatest natural resource, look no further than the Hoosiers who call our state home,” said Governor Mike Pence. “By investing in our regional cities and focusing on retaining and attracting the nation’s brightest minds to join our Hoosier ranks, we’ll drive population and economic growth. The next chapter of Indiana’s story is being written right now.”

Following a call from Pence and the passage of House Enrolled Act 1035 earlier this year, the Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC) commissioned a study of 11 peer cities across the nation that have experienced significant economic growth. Working with Fourth Economy Consulting, a national economic development consulting firm, the IEDC identified common themes across the cities that could apply to Indiana...Click here to read the entire IEDC press release.

Career Council Discusses Education & Workforce Collaboration Assessing Indiana’s high school diplomas, realignment of state workforce and training programs, and expanding work-to-learn experiences for students were all topics for the Indiana Career Council (ICC), which met last week following followed several supportive taskforce and subcommittee meetings on key issues. Lt. Governor Sue Ellspermann, who chaired the meeting, recapped several career and technical education (CTE) efforts that have taken place across the state in the past month with local employers and schools partnering on several initiatives to better align CTE curriculum and regional workforce needs, including:

* Governor Talks CTE, JAG Program at Vincennes University

* Educators, Workforce Leaders Meet at Subaru in Lafayette

* Governor Pence Applauds CTE Curriculum in Kokomo

“All of these activities are just a snapshot of the ongoing work across our state thanks to the collaborative efforts of educators, local businesses, and CTE professionals,” said Lt. Governor Ellspermann. “We value these contributions toward expanding opportunities for our students, and in opening doors to high-demand career opportunities at Hoosier businesses.”

The extensive meeting activity comes as the ICC taskforces and subcommittees report ongoing work reflective of the strategic plan and specific assignments. The ICC also heard updates from its Core 40 Subcommittee, Pathways Taskforce and Sector Strategies Taskforce. Additionally, the Council reviewed its Annual Training Inventory and was presented recommendations by the System Alignment more

Noblesville Intern Program Connects Students with Local Companies Noblesville High School (NHS) recognized the need for the high performing school to broaden the idea of college and career readiness to include the development of workforce readiness skills. Spearheaded by Principal Jeff Bryant, Assistant Principle Beth Meguschar and internship coordinator Susan Wiersema, NHS created a unique internship program that is partnering with local companies to create relevant work opportunities for NHS students.

"We wanted to give the students the opportunity to take the skills they're learning in school and transfer that into real world settings," said Bryant. "The benefit is that our students gain college and career experience during school and they're able to take what they have learned and apply it down the road."

The program informs students about the various pathways available after graduation. Upon completion of an internship, NHS students have developed professional competencies, an understanding of the type of postsecondary training required in their career field, and necessary soft skills and workplace professionalism.

"We started talking with local businesses to learn what they were looking for in students and what they needed to improve their workforce and talent pool," added Bryant. "We have a dedicated internship coordinator who evaluates the needs and skills of our students and then goes out into the community to match them with companies that are an ideal fit."

The success of the program is best illustrated by its rapid growth. NHS kicked off the program with 22 students in January of 2013. Last school year, 71 students were placed in 28 businesses. This year, 135 students and 38 businesses are participating in the program.

Bryant also suggests that any district looking to start a similar program should be willing to listen to their local businesses and workforce council. He recommends that a district determines whether there is a need for student experiences that extend beyond the walls of the school.

"You cannot see your school as an island," said Bryant. "If you can rely on the resources within the community, then you can effectively send your students out into the community."

Related Article: Indianapolis Star: Internship program gives Noblesville teens a taste of the real world

Hoosier High Schoolers Join in College Application Day on October 28 Hoosier high school students around the state participated in College Application Day on October 28. The event was sponsored in partnership with Learn More Indiana and the American College Application Campaign in an effort to increase the number of first-generation and low-income students pursuing a college degree or other post-secondary credential. The primary purpose of College Application Day is to help high school seniors navigate the complex college admissions process and ensure they apply to at least one postsecondary institution.

South Bend Schools Plan Robotics Program, Hosts MFG Events The South Bend Community School Corporation's CTE Department, in partnership with nearly 20 manufacturing facilities, Ivy Tech Community College and the St. Joe Co. Chamber of Commerce, hosted nearly 500 students for Manufacturing Day events. The day-long celebration aimed to increase awareness of CTE opportunities and highlight local manufacturers. Participating students each toured training facilities at Ivy Tech and visited three local businesses.

SBCSC CTE also announced it will be adding an Introducing Automation & Robotics course to its already 23 different College & Career Pathway programs. They will highlight this and other recent developments and initiatives at the district's upcoming CTE Pep Rally on November 8, 2014.

Related Article: WSBT-TV - Manufacturing day draws hundreds of students