Archive for February, 2008

Technical Education Annoyances - Funding Anomalies

I am pretty familiar with Texas funding for higher education technical programs. Just like the space allocation for technical subjects is inadequate (see my last “annoyances” post), technical post-secondary is certainly underfunded. To be clearer - if you are determined to give students an experience which is close to being in the workplace using and troubleshooting the real equipment they would use in the field, you had better have a generous corporate sponsor. TSTC Waco’s world-class Biomedical Equipment Technology wouldn’t have a real x-ray room, a working Computer Tomography lab, or an MRI machine without generous donations (See the Biomedical Equipment program YouTube Video here).

I hit Austin for the Education Open Source conference a day early this year to get training from CTAT designed for secondary school CTE administrators and counselors. I wasn’t the only college representative there, either. I recognized someone from McLennan Community College, our neighbors just on the other side of the Brazos River in Waco. We have post-secondary folks who are trying to understand the challenges faced by our colleagues on the front lines of the secondary CTE.

At the end of the administrative training, Bob Chapman from Education Service Center Region 2 gave a very interesting presentation on funding for secondary CTE (the spreadsheet and a video of his presentation/instructions are available here). The crazy formula involved the Adjusted Allotment or Adjusted Basic Allotment, multipliers, attendance percentage, schedules, etc. There are other rules involving something called V1 – V5 funding that several experts have explained to me and which I still don’t understand.

College funding is Contact Hours x CIP Funding Rate x Number of Students – period. It is inadequate, but so is secondary funding. Post-secondary funding at least has the small virtue of being understandable.

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Video of the Day - NI & FIRST LEGO Robotics

This YouTube video has the previously referenced Ray Almgren talking about National Instruments’ involvment in LEGO robotics competition.

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This is corporate involvement in CTE the way it should be.

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SkillsUSA Today

I’m back from today’s SkillsUSA Texas District 5 secondary competition at TSTC Waco (to be followed by Districts 6, 10, and 4 over the next three weekends). I had the opportunity to help with the Customer Service and Quiz Bowl events. I was also privileged with an opportunity to speak at the awards ceremony. The technical events were yesterday.

I love SkillsUSA. I am always inspired by the enthusiasm and hard work of the students. Get involved with SkillsUSA and find hope for the future!


Happy CTE Month!

February 01st, 2008 | Category: Technical Education Awareness

… or is it supposed to be “Merry CTE Month!”? Whatever - make it a good one with job shadowing and a lot of great publicity. We are kicking it off at TSTC Waco by hosting a secondary SkillsUSA competition. We will be doing that every weekend this month. (Hey, it’s a leap year. We get an extra day to celebrate!)

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