I would like to begin with a shout out to my alma mater, Penn State. I recently returned from a long weekend at the NCAA Division I wrestling tournament, an event that I’ve been attending for the last 10 years. This year’s tournament was one of the more exciting tournaments I have ever seen; not only because Penn State won but because of the competition. In its own way, wrestling is an expression of competence and probably one of the reasons that I enjoy it so much.
Recently, NOCTI participated and presented in two major national conferences, The Future of Education Technology (FETC) and the Association of Test Publishers (ATP). At NOCTI, we not only work in the field of education but we are also a “learning organization” that believes in staying ahead of issues that are on the forefront. FETC and ATP are two conferences that offer valuable resources geared toward professional development.
At ATP we presented with WorkCred, which is an organization affiliated with the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). Our presentation focused on the Credential Engine Initiative. More importantly, several members of our staff participated in the ATP conference where they learned about new techniques in credential development, updates to copyright laws, and enhancing credentialing test security for both the content and credential recipient. The NOCTI Board of Trustees is committed to assuring NOCTI and NBS’ IT security, and has adopted a privacy and security policy consistent with universally applicable system policies and procedures. View NOCTI’s Consortium of States first quarter meeting presentation for more information about our security policy and procedures.
At FETC we presented on digital badges and their evolution and progress over the last five years. We also had the opportunity to learn about many advancements in educational technology including the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in the classroom and new tools in Augmented Reality (AR). This might be a good opportunity to mention NOCTI’s digital study guides. Our digital study guides not only help students prepare for NOCTI credentials, but they also provide an opportunity for instructors to monitor a student’s progress. Both digital and paper-based study guides are now available and can be ordered through NOCTI’s Client Services Center.
A number of people still ask what the “C” in NOCTI represents. Though it actually means “competency,” I often joke that it stands for communication and collaboration. Speaking of collaborations, I would like to mention a few collaborations we are excited about, and even though we’ve mentioned some of these organizations before, they deserve reinforcement.
Let’s start with FANUC, the world’s leader in robotics for manufacturing. FANUC has credentials available for robotics operators and technicians for both students completing technical training programs and for incumbent workers. Several schools in our network have already started ordering these exciting new credentials through NOCTI.
NOCTI’s long-time partner MSSC (Manufacturing Skill Standards Council) is in the process of validating some other credentials in the manufacturing space, including Certified Forklift Technician and three leveled assessments for Supply Chain Automation. We anticipate these becoming available in late spring; stay tuned for more info. We are also delivering a credential in another innovative field, additive manufacturing. This credential is a partnership with another long-time partner, SME (Society of Manufacturing Engineers). Keep an eye out for more information on this initiative, coming soon.
We also have partnerships in other clusters including with ABYC (The American Boat & Yacht Council) for a Marine Service Technician credential, as well as a new apprenticeship model for those in the field of agriculture. The agriculture apprenticeship is sponsored by the Conservative Foundation of Lancaster County, the Equipment Dealers Association, and the State of Pennsylvania, and certifies mechanics capable of troubleshooting various types of farm equipment.
We wouldn’t want to forget our friends at Advance CTE or ACTE. At Advance CTE’s spring meeting we hosted a luncheon for new directors regarding the evolution of teacher and student certification. Our ACTE partnership activities include a second book for new CTE administrators, assistance with the Pennsylvania and Oregon State conferences, and our most exciting news, the inaugural Credential Summit! The Summit will take place in Louisville, Kentucky in September. For more information and to register for the Summit, visit the Credential Summit web page.
I’d like to conclude my remarks by reiterating NOCTI’s belief in continuous improvement and in the tremendous potential of CTE and its graduates. These are primary reasons we focus on issues like quality, security, and recognition. We are frequently asked how to identify quality credentials and the organizations that provide them. From a technical perspective our response is straightforward. An organization should be able to provide a technical manual and confirm that it adheres to the standards outlined in ISO 17024. From a return on investment perspective, an organization should offer value-added services such as college credit, digital badges, study guides, instructional improvement reports, scholarships, and a variety of opportunities for student recognition. NOCTI meets these requirements and is continuously monitoring its products, services, and processes to ensure we stay at the front of credentialing industry.
On behalf of the NOCTI staff, our Board of Trustees, and our Consortium of States, I sincerely hope that spring has come to your region of the country! Remember to take time to think about the important role you play in growing the workforce. As always, if you have recommendations for a new service or product that you would like NOCTI to offer, or have other suggestions or questions for us, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you for trusting NOCTI to deliver the quality credentials, comprehensive data, and professional development needed to help improve your programs. We look forward to your continued service to the CTE community and look forward to hearing from you on how we can meet your needs!
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