Archive for Career and Technical Education

MCCASLAND WANTS VERDE VALLEY TO HAVE A YAVAPAI COLLEGE CAREER AND TECHNICAL EDUCATION CENTER TO MATCH PRESCOTT FACILITY

“It’s my vision for the future”

In an interview with Zachary Jernigan that appeared in the Cottonwood Journal Extra October 31 Governing Board Second District representative Deb McCasland gave her full support for a Career and Technical Education Center in the Verde Valley that would match the Prescott facility.  She told Jernigan that she felt it will require the Governing Board to prioritize it over projects in the Prescott area.

The full interview by Mr. Jernigan can be read on the Journalaz.com web site by clicking here.

 

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HUGE OPPORTUNITY FOR CTE IN THE VALLEY: SIGAFOOS READY TO SUPPORT AT LEAST $5 MILLION FOR CENTRALIZED CTE FACILITY FOR EAST COUNTY

McCarver says Community College educational facilities and opportunities will “never be equal on the west and east sides of the County;” McCasland fights for Verde; Harris mum

Second District Representative Deb McCasland raised the question of adequate access to Career and Technical Education (CTE) opportunities and the absence of CTE facilities in the Verde Valley at the October 24 District Governing Board meeting in Prescott.  West County Representative Chair Ray Sigafoos said that he was prepared to support a $5 million-dollar 30,000 square foot or 40,000 square foot facility on the East side if a proposal came over the mountain to him and the Board.

Sigafoos conceded that the College does not “have an adequate single JTED facility in the Verde Valley.”  However, he blamed the former Verde Valley JTED for not providing the Board with that opportunity.  He said that there has not been a “stable [CTE] organization in the Verde Valley” or a building the College could afford until the last year or so. He claimed that he had not “ignored” the Verde Valley.

West County Representative Pat McCarver seemed somewhat less enthusiastic about CTE on the East side of the County than Sigafoos.  She blamed the prior JTED Administration for the current situation saying it was not possible until now to consider building a centralized CTE facility on the East side of the County.  She also stated that from her perspective that educational facilities and opportunities will “never be equal” on both sides of the County.

Representative McCasland continued her consistent theme of supporting the development of adequate Career and Technical Education facilities and opportunities on the East side of the County.  Representative Connie Harris and West County representative Steve Irwin made no comment.

Sigafoos noted that the Board will begin discussing capital projects in January 2018. 

The discussion covered about three minutes and is provided in the following video in its entirety.

CAREER AND TECHNICAL EDUCATION CENTER TRUCK USED TO PROMOTE STEM PROGRAMS

Funds for “wrap” project obtained from two grants

Dean John Morgan provided the District Governing Board at its September 2017 meeting with photos of a “new wrap” on the Career and Technical Education Center’s diesel truck used to promote “STEM” programs at Yavapai Community College. “STEM” is an acronym for  “science, technology, engineering, and math.  CTEC is located at the Prescott airport.

The National Foundation and the Arizona Science Foundation provided the funding for the “new wrap” project.  The photos as contained in the agenda for the meeting appear below.

FACULTY & STUDENT INTERNS ADD NEW TRAINER AND ROBOTS TO COMMUNITY COLLEGE CTE CENTER LAB LOCATED AT PRESCOTT AIRPORT

Faculty-student effort reduces equipment availability to student ratio by  2:1 or 1:1—increasing hands-on learning time

Yavapai Community College Electrical Engineering Instructor Rick Peters, and student interns Riley Lewis and Scott Blakeley were busy over the summer.  Working together, they added to the number of electric motor control trainers and robots in the Electrical Instrumentation Laboratory at the Community College’s Career and Technical Education Center located at the Prescott airport.  

According to the College, the new trainer “will continue to lower the equipment to student ratios to 2:1 or 1:1.”  Because of the additional trainer boards, students will have access and time to work on them.  One consequence is that students leaving CTEC will be better prepared to enter the workforce.

A photo of the electric motor control trainers, which was provided the Governing Board at the September meeting as a part of the Agenda, follows below.

Controller Boards at CTEC

VACTE’S BOB WEIR UPDATES DEVELOPING RELATIONSHIP WITH COLLEGE

Tells Board he appreciates cooperation he is receiving in adding new courses

The Verde Valley Academy for Technical Education superintendent, Bob Weir, expressed his appreciation at the September Governing Board meeting to Yavapai Community College for the cooperation he is receiving from its staff.

Weir said that there is now concurrent enrollment in the VACTE medical assistance program, culinary arts program and welding program.  These were all new concurrent enrollment programs with the College and are available to all high school students in the JTED District, which covers the Verde Valley.

Enrollment so far includes 12 students in the medical assistance program, who eventually will take nine classes through Yavapai College.  There are seven students from Mingus and six students  from Sedona Red Rock high school enrolled in the culinary arts program.  VACTE did not market the culinary arts program to Camp Verde because it has its own dual enrollment program with Yavapai College.  The welding program has eight students mixed in with adults in the night program.

Weir also told the Board that VACTE has created a five-year strategic plan and hopes to have an independent CTE facility jointly with the College in the next five years.

You may view the three-minute report by Superintendent Weir to the Governing Board  in full by clicking on the video below. (Note the speaker’s microphone was not turned on for about the first 45 seconds. You can turn the volume up on your computer and then hear the report as picked up by other microphones in the room until the speaker’s was activated.)

HOW THE COLLEGE KILLED OFF CAREER AND TECHNICAL EDUCATION IN THE VERDE VALLEY

Essay:  What happened to the 2004 Northern Arizona Regional Skills program that was to provide CTE from the facility on the Verde Campus

This essay, which you may read by clicking below on the title, focuses on the question: “What happened to the Northern Arizona Regional Skills program that was opened in 2004 on the Verde Campus?”  The essay is heavily footnoted with authority so the reader may check for himself or herself the data contained in it it.

It provides needed background for anyone who intends to fully understand why the Community College appears so reluctant to invest in a career and technical education program in the Verde Valley.  It also details the CTE hopes and aspirations of those who were developing the Verde Valley program thirteen years ago.  Those hopes and aspiration were dashed when the Community College set up a joint program with the town of Prescott Valley to locate a CTE facility at the Prescott airport.

MAJOR VERDE CTE FACILITY 

WILL PENELOPE WILLS’ VIEW OF CONSTRUCTING EAST SIDE CTEC AFFECT GOVERNING BOARD?

Tells Clarkdale Council that East side  of County should bond for it in their JTED District; completely ignores how CTEC was built on west side of County using primary tax money that remains available for east side development

Will Yavapai Community College President Penelope Wills’ view of how revenue for constructing a small Career and Technical Education facility on the east side of Yavapai County influence the Governing Board? Many believe it will.  The Blog obtained a recording of her address to the Clarkdale Town Council on April 26, 2016 where this issue was raised.  It was discouraging.

According to Wills,  the Valley Academy for Career Technical Education should seek a General Obligation Bond to construct a small CTE in its district.  “They can bond and it is just within the Verde Valley,” she said.

When she made this statement, Wills ignored the fact that an estimated $15 million in primary tax revenue obtained from County property taxes was used to construct the Career and Technical Education Center on the West side of the County.  She also ignored the fact that the College has available to it annually from $6 to $8 million to spend on capital projects. This revenue is generated using County primary property tax revenue. Some of it could easily be used to construct a CTE on the east side of the County were Wills’ and the Governing Board to decide to do so.

Wills was not, of course, speaking for the Governing Board when she addressed the Clarkdale Town Council.  One fears, however, that her view will influence the Board and prevent it from using the available capital revenue to construct a small CTE facility on the East side of the County. Or, at least keep any effort at developing such a facility at a minimalist level.

One can hope, of course, that the Governing Board would actually make an independent decision on this important educational issue separate from the harsh and some might say “selfish” views of Wills.

You may listen below to a clip of Wills’ speech to the Clarkdale Town Council where this issue was addressed.

EDUCATIONAL ECONOMIC DISCRIMINATION AGAINST VERDE VALLEY ILLUSTRATED IN THE COLLEGE AND DISTRICT GOVERNING BOARD APPROACH TO CENTRALIZED CTE FACILITIES

Valley starts constructing facility on its own with student help; College scoops  up estimated $15 million in primary property tax revenue including millions from the Verde Valley when starting and then developing  CTE Campus for the West side of the County

Commentary

There is no better illustration of the educational economic discrimination practiced by the Yavapai Community College and the Yavapai College District Governing Board than their approach to constructing centralized career and technical education Centers within the County. When that issue was broached on the west side of the County in 2007, the College took the lead and the financial responsibility to construct a state-of-the-art Career and Technical Education (CTEC) facility at the Prescott airport. The initial investment was $5.75 million. That money went to purchase the 108,000 square-foot facility at the airport plus 8 acres of land. Over the two year period following the purchase, the College is estimated to have invested more than $1 million in equipment to get CTEC up and running. Recently, the College renovated and added to CTEC at a cost estimated in excess of $7 million.

The West County Joint Technical Education District (Mountain Institute) is now headquartered at CTEC  and also sharing joint facilities with the Community College’s recent $4 million construction investment at the new Prescott Valley Allied Health Center. This makes for excellent coordination between the west side JTED and the College. But there is nothing remotely similar on the East side occurring.

It should be noted that when it decided to build the CTE campus at the Prescott airport, the College and District Governing Board abandoned the CTE initiative on the Verde Campus, which was called the “Northern Arizona Regional Skills Center.” This facility was intended to serve several counties in Northern Arizona through CTE training on the Verde Campus.  It had been approved by voters in the 2000 General Obligation Bond election and had received over a million dollars from the Federal Government for capital construction that was completed in 2004. It was shuttered once the new CTE campus was constructed at the Prescott airport.

The facilities at CTEC provide excellent learning opportunities for high school students on the west side of the County.  Unfortunately, those same opportunities are not available to high school students on the east side of the County.  Moreover, access to  CTEC is too far to drive for many in the Verde Valley, especially single parents, the unemployed, and those seeking additional CTE training while holding a full-time job.

Meanwhile, in a story written by Zachary Jernigan in the September 27, 2017, Cottonwood Journal students were described as being used to “construct and install metal studs, hang and finish dry wall and run electrical lines for outlets and light fixtures” for the East County’s first centralized Career and Technology Education Center.  

Jernigan quoted the Valley Academy for Career and Technical Education superintendent, Bob Weir, as explaining that “The construction students were able to learn from the insulation techs from Banker Insulation today as they sprayed the insulation on the walls in our new VACTE classrooms and district office. . . . It was an opportunity for our students to learn from leaders in the industry and have them work hand in hand with the students for a successful project.”

VACTE and Bob Wier must be congratulated for the decision to move forward with a centralized campus using the sparse funds available for the effort.  And the students applauded for their outstanding efforts!  But in the end, the treatment by the College and the District Governing Board when it comes to developing a Career and Technical Education facility on the East side of the County is nothing more that educational economic discrimination.

You may read all of Mr. Jernigan’s article in the Cottonwood Journal by clicking here.

Note:  A centralized campus on the East side of the County was authorized in 2000 and construction on the facility completed in 2004.  As noted above, it was abandoned three years later as a CTE facility of the type developed at CTEC at the Prescott airport.

WEST COUNTY JTED DISTRICT OFFICE NOW LOCATED AT YAVAPAI COLLEGE CTEC

East County property taxes helped provide space for Mountain Institute office

The District office of the Mountain Institute Joint Technical Education District is now located at Yavapai Community College’s Career and Technical Education Center at the Prescott airport.  The institute provides and coordinates Career and Technical Education programs for high school students on the West side of the County.  By locating within the CTEC facility, the Institute has an unparalleled opportunity to closely coordinate its JTED students CTE needs with the College offerings at the state-of-the-art facility.

Unfortunately, no Verde Valley high school JTED students and only a handful of residents have been able to take advantage of the state-of-the-art training offered at CTEC.

The Technical Education Center at the Prescott airport was made possible in part because of property taxes paid by East County voters; all of whom reside in the Verde Valley.  Because the property taxes they generate pay for all the costs of operating the Verde Campus and Sedona Center, around $5.5 million each year is sent over the Mountain to be spent on projects on that side of the County.  In addition, the West side is able to use tuition, state aid, government grants and other revenue generated by Verde Valley students on West side development. Only on a rare occasion when a capital project is created on the East side of the County does some of that money return to the Verde Valley.

The relationship developed between the Mountain Institute and the College over the past decade is a model of cooperation and development. However, as noted above, it would not have been possible without the taxpayer support from the Verde Valley. It is a model that should be emulated on the East side of the County for its 70,000 residents.

(JTED entrance photo from District Governing Board Agenda.)

TIME MAGAZINE ARTICLE EXAMINES SUCCESSFUL CAREER AND TECHNICAL EDUCATION PROGRAMS

Provides window into future potential creative community college Verde Valley development

The June 1, 2017 article in Time magazine written by Josh Sanburn entitled, “The Case for Community College,” provides insight into the need for creative approaches to developing career and technical education programs as a part of Yavapai College’s responsibility to the Verde Valley. It explains why several Community College CTE programs have been so successful. At a time when Yavapai College has developed a state-of-the-art career and technical education Center on the West side of the County while leaving the East side of the County struggling and well behind in CTE development and training opportunities, the Time article is extremely relevant.

You may read the entire Time article online by clicking here.   The Blog encourages everyone to read the article.