Serving as NOCTI’s Board Chair for the past two years has been a phenomenal experience. It has been exciting to watch NOCTI grow through some new and expanded initiatives including offering digital study guides, developing new assessments, updating existing assessments, forming new partnerships, and strengthening relations with current partners. Each of these areas are intended to better serve our users and create a world-class system for determining and validating technical skill competence. None of this success would have been possible without the support of an amazing group of people who make possible, and benefit from, NOCTI’s evidence-based model of change. From students to school superintendents, their personal stories inspire us all to continue building a better-prepared generation.
NOCTI’s work directly impacts millions of students, with a strong focus on reaching low-income and minority populations. In 2017-2018, more than 6,000 schools purchased NOCTI products/services, which is by far the largest year in the company’s history. Students in these schools have access to high quality, industry aligned assessments in over 100 skill areas.
One of the highlights of the past two years is NOCTI’s involvement with the Credential Engine (CE). We are proud to serve on two CE committees: 1) the Technical Advisory Committee and 2) the Credential and Licensure Advisory Group. Essentially, CE hopes to provide transparency to those seeking any sort of credential including degrees, licensures, badges, certifications, and diplomas. It’s an exciting and forward-thinking initiative sponsored by Lumina, JP Morgan, and Microsoft. We are also proud to have some of the first credentials listed on the site! NOCTI has conducted a number of presentations on how to identify a quality credential as well as tips and tools to assist in the understanding some of the commonly accepted terms associated with industry credentialing. Our involvement with CE helps to ensure consistent and clear communication regarding credentialing.
NOCTI has strengthened its partnership with ACTE by co-hosting the first-ever Credential Summit! The Summit will be held September 25, in conjunction with ACTE’s Best Practices and Innovations Conference in Louisville, Kentucky. Also in partnership with ACTE, is the release of our collaborative book series for CTE teachers and the second book in the CTE administrators’ series. Each of these publications has been well received and includes helpful examples from experienced practitioners. Speaking of partnerships, we have developed several new partnerships and collaborations over the last two years. NOCTI recently partnered with FANUC, a global leader in manufacturing automation, to offer the FCR-O1 FANUC Certified Robot Operator 1 certification, as well as the American Boat and Yacht Council (ABYC) to offer two Marine Service Technician certifications. We are also in the very beginning stages of developing a cybersecurity credential. We are excited about our collaboration with SME (formerly the Society of Manufacturing Engineers) focused on an additive manufacturing credential for secondary and post-secondary CTE manufacturing students. SME is the latest industry association to form a collaboration with NOCTI. Some of our other collaborations are with industry leaders like the American Culinary Federation (ACF), Electronics Technicians Association (ETA), and the North American Technician Excellence (NATE).
I also want to mention our own internal initiatives. Over the past year we have been working on an alternate delivery option for study guides. For many years, NOCTI has provided paper copies of its study guides. We now have digital study guides which include tools for students and teachers to track progress as they work through technical competencies. The study guides are designed to help students in preparing to acquire NOCTI credentials, and for teachers to be able to focus their instruction on the national industry standards NOCTI provides. Another initiative is the alignment work that occurred between NOCTI’s 21st Century Skills for Workplace Success assessment, Office of Career, Technical, and Adult Education’s (OCTAE) Employability Skills Framework, ETS’s competency modeling system, and Today’s Class Workplace Readiness online curriculum.
In 2017, NOCTI expanded its facilities at its headquarters in Big Rapids, Michigan. This expansion provides much needed space for our growing staff as well as additional meeting rooms.
NOCTI’s many accomplishments over the past two years shows that we are on the right track. With your support, we can continue to provide educators with the tools they need to ensure their students are meeting the employability and technical skills required by industry, while providing students with a data-driven method to prove and document educational success. What an amazing two years!
With sincere gratitude,
Chairman, NOCTI Board of Trustees