Greetings from your new NOCTI board chair! As most of our readers probably know, we elect a new board chair every two years and my term started January 1, 2019. I am the first post-secondary board chair in a number of years (20) and the only one from the state of Idaho. I work for the College of Southern Idaho, so my focus may be a bit different than that of past chairs. As we kick off a new year at the collegiate level here in my home state, we are returning to the hustle and bustle of a new semester. We are greeted by a combination of new students, who may be embarking on their educational journey for the first time, as well as a group of returning students who are continuing to take steps toward completing their educational goals. Each year I am inspired and energized by these students who are working to improve their lives through career training.
This year, I am bringing with me reflections of ACTE's VISION 2018, particularly closing session speaker Patrice Banks, who spoke about her journey in creating the Girls Auto Clinic (GAC). She created the GAC out of frustration over the lack of automotive resources geared to women. To bridge this gap, Patrice, a former DuPont engineer, enrolled in an evening automotive technology program at her local community college. The knowledge she gained led her to create car care workshops focused on educating women, as well as opening a repair garage tailored to the comfort of female consumers.
This speaker's message, emphasizing education as a means of empowerment, caused me to reflect not only on the value of education for the student, but also for our society as a whole. The need for skilled workers in healthcare, manufacturing, construction, and other critical areas continues to grow. Like the GAC, CTE educators can empower students to help them gain the skills necessary to obtain fulfilling careers. NOCTI can help your students stand out to employers with both digital badges and credentials, each providing employers with verification of an individual's knowledge and skills.
As we look forward to an exciting 2019, don't forget to share your experiences and desires with us. We are constantly reflecting on how we can provide students, educators, and employers the tools and knowledge to best meet their needs.
Michele McFarlane, Ed. D.
Chairperson, NOCTI Board of Trustees