Best Practices and Concepts

Program of Work

Membership

1. Have CTSO membership fees added to class fees if possible. (Sometimes Industry partners will pay for this for programs when they see results)

2. CTSO’s are not "Clubs". They are co-curricular and an integral part of every program. This message should be made clear to all of your publics.

3. Teachers should revise their syllabus to include direct reference to SkillsUSA activities for in-class, graded exercises. See Professional Development below.

4. When inputting on-line membership, key in your own information to insure correct e-mail and phone contact information.

5. Have students monitor our web sites for updates and resources.

Professional Development

1. Have syllabus include Job Skills Demo A, Prepared Speech, and Job Interview. "Each student will prepare and deliver_________ based on the current SkillsUSA technical standards. Top performing students will represent___________ at state-level competition.

The reasoning behind this is that it replaces much of the content from the old Core course that is no longer in force. It also defeats the argument that some teachers have stating that they "don’t have their students long enough to be competitive in welding, electrical, etc." You may want to compose those statements yourself to leave no room for interpretation or the old "I didn’t understand" excuse. If you feel uncomfortable teaching these soft skills get assistance from industry partners, T, or an Alabama One Stop. Once you see how it’s done you will do fine.

For Employability and technical assessments teachers should constantly refer to and use SkillsUSA technical standards and Blue Prints. All students are prepared for competition and assessments - not just a select few for conference competition.

Credentialing, Scholarships and Employment

1. Credentialing is not something added to the end of a course. It is built into daily instruction and active CTSO exercises. Note, this is why it is called the Workforce Ready SYSTEM!

2. Workforce Ready assessments meet Perkins requirements, are affordable, and attainable.

3. Workforce Ready assessments prepare students for other industry-based credentials.

4. Credentialing, working in concert with SkillsUSA Championships will provide scholarship opportunities and entry-level employment by giving students ways to distinguish themselves from competition in tight job markets.

5. Have Program Advisory committee members from each program grade or judge all, or the top 5 students from each program in technical contests, Job Skills Demo A, Prepared Speech, and Job Interview. Industry folks will respond very positively to this. They will also become more active in planning and support.

6. Have CTSO student leaders attend and possibly address advisory meetings.

7. Familiarize yourself with all aspects of the system at http://www.workforcereadysystem.org/

8. Keep communication lines open between yourself and your affiliated college. Be a team and include them in your program activities. Ask them to do the same and include your students in campus events. Keep those relationships strong.

As you see, the 8 items listed above support all aspects of program improvement, individual empowerment, workforce development, advocacy, and public relations. [BEST PRACTICES WORKING DRAFT] August 6, 2010

Conference and Championships

1. Preparation for competitions should be integrated into your lesson plans and serve as your basis for preparing all students for Workforce Ready Assessments as well as other industry recognized credentials.

2. Order the new Technical Standard CD and have teachers save it to your PC – see below

2015SkillsUSA Technical Standards CD-ROM Package $19.95 Preorder now! http://www.skillsusa.org/store/contests.html

The 2015 SkillsUSA Championships Technical Standards is the official competition guide for the SkillsUSA Championships. It contains rules for all national events including an overview, lists of technical skills and knowledge required, clothing requirements, eligibility, equipment lists, and scoring criteria. It also lists the embedded academic skills in math, English and science. Events are updated annually by contest committees; please use the current version to ensure that your students are adequately prepared. Rules for state and local events may vary from the national guidelines, but most competitive events are modeled after the national technical standards. The CD-ROM allows you to select, view and print any competition and is housed in a convenient, space saving pocket folder with a SkillsUSA poster and a copy of the 2014SkillsUSA Championships Contest Projects CD-ROM. These projects can be used as lesson plans or to help prepare students for upcoming competitions.

3. Technical standards and contest projects work together to facilitate project-based learning and portfolio development.

Ways and Means

1. SkillsUSA Chapters must be an asset not a burden to their systems. There is financial support to be had from industry if community service and public relations activities are held on a regular basis.

2. Perkins funding can be used for some CTSO activities. Key among them are any activities that "drive program improvement".

3. Fund raising can be an ongoing effort or special events. In either case they must be well planned, executed, and monitored.

4. Look for outside sources of financial support such as civic groups and governmental agencies.

5. The more visible you are to your community the easier it will be for you to secure support.

6. Use school sporting events to your advantage by having your student’s man tables and displays promoting SkillsUSA.

7. Wear SkillsUSA formal or contest dress whenever possible.

Community Service

1. Service learning is an effort being used on college campuses nationwide. This can be not only a career development and learning experience for students but also a way to have you, your students, and your programs highly visible to your publics.

2. Can be combined with social activities.

Public Relations and Advocacy

1. This is one of our least utilized tools. See http://capwiz.com/skillsusa/home/ for your most powerful resource.

2. Have students prepare announcements and submit to the media. This can be a graded writing exercise for all students.

3. Add school counselors and administrators to you program advisory committee

4. Have student officers attend meetings to make presentations and demonstrations. These can be graded Job Skill Demo and prepared speech assignments to all students with top students delivering their work again for your committee.

5. Have parent members on your committee

6. Ask committee members to bring guests. This works well with counselors bringing their peers.

7. Signage and posters promoting SkillsUSA should be prominently displayed.

8. Review our handbooks and study our material. Remind everyone what we stand for!

Social Activities

1. High school and college campuses are social places. Are you doing what you need to do to meet this need? SkillsUSA activities can be fun – support this important aspect of student life.

2. Can be combined with Service Learning and Community Service projects.

Next Steps

1. Attend on-line Web-based training sessions when available.

2. Identify the "Lead Advisor" on your campus. Look to them for information. Their job is to pass along information and remind other advisors of our responsibilities to CTSO, student leadership development, and credentialing through year-round, integrated effort. 


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