Phoenix, Arizona
Monday, June 16, 2014

Achieving Excellence in Career Technical Education:
The National Career Clusters Institute

General Session Speaker Mark Milliron
June 17, 2014
11:15 a.m. - 12:15 p.m.

                                                   Education in a Digital Democracy
As we boldly move into the future, we are challenged to create thoughtful frameworks for our continuing inclusion of technology in how we work, play, learn, and contribute as active citizens. This keynote presents a framework for thinking about technology in education, but more so for thinking about education in our “digital democracy.” The presentation begins by exploring the enormous changes and challenges brought on by the digital age, including the digital divide. We’ll conclude with the presentation of a charge for Career Technical Education institutions in this time of transition to become key community access points for learning about and with technology.   

Agenda (subject to updating)
Sunday, June 15, 2014
9 a.m. - 4 p.m. Pre-Sessions Available   
(additional fees and advance registration required)  
Monday, June 16, 2014  
8:30 a.m. - 11:30 a.m. Pre-Sessions Available   
(additional fees and advance registration required)  
7:30 a.m. - 5 p.m. Registration Desk Hours  
1 p.m. - 2:30 p.m. Opening General Session                                                                                         
Excellence in Action Awards Presentations  
2:45 p.m. - 3:45 p.m. Session A Breakouts Session A includes these topics:
  The CTE Trifecta; Analysis of National and State Career Cluster Data to Determine Equity Trends in Employment Preparation; Embedded EdTech Professional Development Program; Strategies for Business/Education Collaboration; Illinois Transition Academy; Technology Life Careers; Aviation; Problem-Based Learning Full Session Details
4 p.m. - 5 p.m. Session B Breakouts will highlight each   
Excellence in Action Award Winner's Program
5:30 p.m. - 6:30 p.m.Reception honoring  
Excellence in Action Award Winners  
Tuesday, June 17, 2014  
7:30 a.m. - 5 p.m. Registration Desk Hours  
7:30 a.m. - 8:30 a.m. Breakfast and Sponsor Showcase  
8:45 a.m. - 9:45 a.m. Session C Breakouts Session C includes these topics:

CTE Technical Writing; Integration of CCSS for Literacy; One School's Journey to Success;What is the CCTC and How Does it Affect Me?; Illinois IT Career Cluster Public-Private Partnerships for Work-Based Learning; Putting the Data to Work: CTE Toolkit Enhancement; Back to the Basics of the Carl Perkins Act; State-Wide Initiative that Aligns Education, Business/Industry and Government; California Initiatives; Collaboration and Alignment in Arizona (Panel) Full Session Details
10 a.m. - 11 a.m. Session D Breakouts Session D includes these topics:

Career Clusters 101; What's New with SIRDC; Integrating the Common Core into CTE Programs; STEM Leadership Playbook; Business & Education Partnerships, CTE in Texas; CTE Program Viability Case Study; Advanced Career Initiative; Career Preparedness; Elements of Programs Of Study Panel Full Session Details
11:15 a.m. - 12:10 p.m. Keynote - Dr. Mark Milliron
12:15 p.m. - 1:15 p.m. Lunch  
1:30 p.m. - 2:30 p.m. Session E Breakouts Session E includes these topics:

Education in a Digital Democracy - discussion; CTE and the Common Core Approach to Professional Development; Programs of Study Initiative; Team Based Learning in a CTE Environment; Partnership with Governor's Academy for Health Sciences; iBook Author; 4-Corners Initiative; Leadership for Breakthrough CTE and Pathways; Federal Investments in Education Technology; Adding Wow Factor to CTE Programs Full Session Details
2:45 p.m. - 3:45 p.m. Session F Breakouts Session F Includes these topics:

Best Practices for CTE Participation in IEP Meetings; Common Core Math Standards in CTE; Open Digital Badging;  Technician Entrepreneur; Preparing the Emerging Workforce through Successful STEM Partnerships; Case-Making/CTE Works; Arizona Partnership for CTE and College and Career Ready Standards, Perkins 101: Overview of Perkins IV and the Path to Reauthorization; Moving Forward with High Quality CTE Programs Full Session Details
4 p.m. - 5 p.m. Session G Breakouts

Wednesday, June 18, 2014  
7:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m. Registration Desk Hours
7:30 a.m. - 8:15 a.m. Breakfast, Closing Remarks  
8:15 a.m. - 8:30 a.m. Closing Remarks and Tour Instructions  
9 a.m. - Noon/1 p.m. Education/Industry Tours
9:15 a.m. - 10:15 a.m. Session H Breakouts Session H includes these topics:

Best Practices for CTE Participation in IEP Meetings (repeat of Session F breakout); Back to the Basics of the Carl Perkins Act (repeat of Session C breakout); What's New with SIRDC (repeat of session D breakout)
10:30 a.m. - 11:30 a.m. Session I Breakouts Session I includes these topics:

How Does a State Get Everyone Involved in Moving Forward with Developing Programs of Study? (repeat of session E breakout)

Pre-sessions offered June 15, 2014 and June 16, 2014

NASDCTEc/NCTEF and CORD are proud to host a series of pre-sessions aligned with The Career Pathways Effect: Linking Education and Economic Prosperity book. Half-day sessions will provide a strong overview of the topic of interest, with opportunities for discussion and hands-on learning. Participants will leave with a firm grasp of the topic and actionable steps for building on what they learned and discussed in the workshop. Full-day sessions will cover everything in the half-day sessions and include a deeper dive into the topic of interest, more facilitated discussion, and more opportunities for engaging in hands-on learning.  

We also offer four sponsor/vendor-hosted pre-sessions and these are complimentary. These do not require pre-registration once on-site.

The fee-based pre-session require pre-registration. If you are interested in one of these pre-sessions and did not register in advance, please check with the registration desk to see if there is any availability.

Here are full pre-session descriptions:

Offered Sunday, June 15, 2014

Teaching for Success:
This workshop is designed to support teachers in their role as learning facilitators within a career pathways system. Topics are centered on evidence-based practices that promote student engagement and the application and transfer of knowledge. Topics include 21st century teaching and learning challenges; brain-based learning research; connecting knowledge and application; contextual teaching and learning strategies; teacher effectiveness; support systems; role of business and industry; case studies; and recommendations for success. This workshop includes a copy of The Career Pathways Effect book. When offered: Sunday, June 15, 2014; 9 a.m. - 4 p.m. One hour break for lunch on your own (lunch not included). Fee: $250.

Counseling for Success: A career pathways system requires a progressive counseling system beginning in early childhood and continuing through adulthood.  This workshop is designed to support educators and career/academic counselors in their role in providing guidance with a student’s educational and career pathway. Workshop topics include: career guidance theory; career guidance tools (assessment, databases, technology); career guidance support; role of career counselors in programs of study; counselors as the lynch pin and facilitator; and individual learning plans. The workshop includes a copy of The Career Pathways Effect book. When offered: Sunday, June 15, 2014; 9 a.m. - 4 p.m. One hour break for lunch on your own (lunch not included). Fee: $250.
Partnership Opportunities: A career pathways system requires multiple partnerships within a community. This in-depth full-day workshop will give the participants an immersion into the world of partnerships. Workshop topics include partnership advantages; partner identification; goal setting; Model structures; Partner roles and responsibilities; Action plan development; and Partnership management – operating and sustaining. Participants in the full-day workshop will actually develop a plan for implementation at the local level. The workshop includes a copy of The Career Pathways Effect book. When offered: Sunday, June 15, 2014; 9 a.m. - 4 p.m. One hour break for lunch on your own (lunch not included). Fee: $250.

Purpose-Driven Career Development: Implementing a Model that Works

This pre-conference workshop will teach attendees about theoretical and practical approaches to career development that are proven effective for student success. Learn about innovative career development models from Kuder, Inc., an industry pioneer that has continued to deliver reliable, evidence-based education planning and career guidance solutions for over 75 years. Kuder's knowledge and expertise can guide you in implementing an ideal career development model that increases academic performance as well as transition, retention, and graduation rates. Presenter: Jacob Flaws, Senior Sales Associate, Kuder, Inc. The pre-session is hosted by Kuder, Inc., a sponsor, and there is no charge to registrants to attend this pre-session. When offered: Sunday, June 15, 2014, 1 p.m.-4:30 p.m. Fee: no fee.

Statewide Implementation of Certification -  CTE Success Stories

Come learn how other CTE leaders have successfully implemented industry certification programs like the Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS) or the Adobe Certified Associate (ACA) in partnership with Certiport. Learn about the larger return on investment realized when these programs are implemented, from financial savings to students/families, to proven longitudinal metrics showing significant academic re-engagement by students involved in these programs! Aaron Osmond, State Senator from Utah and VP of North America for Certiport will be presenting this session. The pre-session is hosted by Certiport, a sponsor, and there is no charge to registrants to attend this pre-session. When offered: Sunday, June 15, 2014, 1:30 p.m. - 2:30 p.m. Fee: no fee.

Offered Monday, June 16, 2014

Four Ways to Improve CTE:
Career and Technical Education (CTE) has become somewhat of a media darling in the last few years. Some of the media and overall public are starting to realize how important CTE is to the economic growth of the United States. We need to capitalize on this attention and seek ways to grow it even more. Attend this session to learn four things that will help CTE stay in the limelight! NOCTI facilitators will share relevant information about data-driven instructional improvement, college credit for CTE students, industry credentials, and open digital badges. Each participant will receive a $100 voucher for NOCTI pre-tests for the 2014-15 school year. The pre-session is hosted by NOCTI, a sponsor, and there is no charge to registrants to attend this pre-session. When offered: Monday, June 16, 2014 from 8:30 a.m. - 11:30 a.m. Fee: no fee.

The Semantics of Common Core -The Devil is in the Details: Common Core is viewed as an objective, a process, a means of educational control, a national conspiracy, and a basis for teacher evaluations. This session will list the basic sources of information, and take a look at the costs of execution, e.g. matching Common Core, testing, and teacher development. Discussion will be encouraged. The pre-session is hosted by Today's Class, a sponsor, and there is no charge to registrants to attend this pre-session. When offered: Monday, June 16, 2014 from 9 a.m. - 10:30 a.m. Fee: no fee.

Career Pathways Overview: An introductory workshop designed to be the catalyst for the development and implementation of a career pathways system. The workshop is based on the Department of Education Office of Career Technical and Adult Education’s (OCTAE) programs of study (POS) design framework. Topics include: legislation and policies; partnerships; professional development; accountability and evaluation systems; college and career readiness standards; course sequences; credit transfer agreements; guidance counseling and academic advisement; teaching and learning strategies; and technical skills assessments. The workshop includes a copy of The Career Pathways Effect book. When offered: Monday, June 16, 2014 from 8:30 a.m. - 11:30 a.m. Fee: $125.

Building Programs of Study: Course sequences are the foundation of programs of study. This workshop will include the overview and the steps for the development of a draft program of study (POS). Topics include: The POS design process; equipping your toolbox with the nuts and bolts of career pathways (career clusters, POS framework); delivery system models (dual enrollment, middle college, apprenticeships); implementation plan development; case studies; communication strategies; technical skill attainment/evaluation; and capacity analysis. The workshop includes a copy of The Career Pathways Effect book. When offered: Monday, June 16, 2014 from 8:30 a.m. - 11:30 a.m. Fee: $125.

Note: We reserve the right to cancel a pre-session if it does not meet the minimum attendee threshold.


We are very excited to have joined with several local partners to offer site tours as an interactive feature at The Achieving Excellence Institute. Look for a tour in your Career Cluster or learn about unique methods in another—no matter your selection, you will come away with new ideas for enhancing CTE back home, along with nationwide connections in your fellow tour-goers!

  • Please note when the tour ends. Some end at noon, others end at 1 p.m. One ends at 11:30 a.m. Plan your time accordingly.
  • All tours but one are door-to-door. A bus will pick each group up at the Pointe Hilton Tapatio Cliffs and return back to the hotel when the tour is over.
  • Tours are first come, first served. The earlier you register, the greater your chances of getting your first choice. Many tours have a cap of 50 attendees or less.


    Arizona Agribusiness & Equine Center

    Modeled in both content and rigorousness after university Equine Science programs, the Arizona Agribusiness & Equine Center (AAEC) curriculum is unparalleled at the high school level, and offers numerous equine-related options to engage students. The Equine Studies program provides unique, challenging, broad-based educational opportunities for students who have a special interest in horses and the horse industry. The AAEC-Paradise Valley Equine Studies program is recognized nationally and received the 2009 American Youth Horse Council (AYHC) Partnership award for innovative programs that “connect kids through horses.”

    The 12-acre charter school campus is brand new and is an Early College High School in partnership with Paradise Valley Community College, with many students receiving their Associate degrees along with their high school diploma upon graduation. The program also has a vet mobile lab with two surgery rooms.

    This tour will feature the Agriculture, Food & Natural Resources Career Cluster.
    This tour will end at Noon.

    EVIT (East Valley Institute of Technology)

    Upheld as a model for Career Technical Education by the U.S. Department of Education, EVIT provides students with the advanced skills and training needed to thrive in today's competitive job market. EVIT is a public school district, serving 10th, 11th and 12th grade students from ten sending high schools.

    Specifically, the tour will feature Radio/Audio Production, a program that trains students on a fully functioning radio station – the Pulse – that broadcasts at 90.7 FM and 92.7 FM.  Students are exposed to the day-to-day operations in the music business including audio production, radio advertising, promotions, image branding, and news writing. Students also work in digital audio workstations that are standard in recording studios and may have the opportunity to broadcast a show and participate in live radio remotes. The tour will also feature EVIT’s culinary arts (a la carte and quantity cooking), commercial baking and dining room operations program, where students gain hands-on experience working special functions, breakfasts, luncheons and dinners in the culinary banquet hall.

    Finally, the tour will include the opportunity to learn about The Great Globe Project, a world-wide initiative to precision manufacture a 40-stories high global, which is hosted at EVIT, as well as EVIT’s Nursing Program.

    This tour will feature:

    • The Arts, A/V Technology & 
      Communications Career Cluster
    • The Hospitality & Tourism Career Cluster
    • The Health Sciences Career Cluster
    • The Manufacturing Career Cluster
    • The Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics Career Cluster

    This tour will end at 1 p.m. NOTE: This tour has reached it's cap and is no longer available.

    GateWay Community College

    Among the many health science programs available, GateWay Community College provides an integrated learning experience for healthcare professional students, particularly in the physical therapy and sonography disciplines in the form of a student-staffed community clinic. The Healthcare United at GateWay (HUG) Clinic is open to the public two days a week and provides free physical therapy and ultrasounds to the public. It is one of two programs of its kind in the United States. The health science programs at this campus have very strong partnerships with industry and four-year institutions. GateWay Community College is part of the Maricopa Community College system.

    This tour will feature the Health Science Career Cluster.
    This tour will end at 1 p.m.

    Hilton Insider’s Tour

    Participants will get a glimpse of the hospitality and tourism industry with a behind-the-scenes tour of our meeting location, the Pointe Hilton Tapatio Cliffs Resort, visiting the kitchens, sales areas and other areas not seen by the public. Guest speakers will share information about the Phoenix tourism industry.

    This tour will feature the Hospitality & Tourism Career Cluster.
    This tour will end at 11:30 a.m.

    Metro Tech High School

    Metro Tech is an academic magnet high school with an integrated approach to CTE and academic programs in order to prepare students for success in college, career and life. All Metro Tech students include a CTE program course in both their junior and senior years, in addition to their academic courses. The nineteen CTE programs available to the Metro Tech students are also available to all students in the Phoenix Union School District.

    The College of Cosmetology program has a working salon open to the public. The Floral Design and Business Operations program combines fresh flower designing and business office skills, with a shop also open to the public during the school year. The Culinary Arts two-year program prepares students for entry-level positions in the culinary field and dual enrollment is available in Baking. Food used in one of the two on-site dining facilities is in part supplied by an on-campus greenhouse. The Banking/Finance program has a full-service credit union on the school premises, where students learn all aspects of banking as part of their training. Metro Tech has modified the names of their Career Clusters to include Cosmetology, Culinary Arts, Financial Services, and Business Operations Support and Assistant Services. 

    Metro Tech provides good examples of how entrepreneurship in the form of working businesses can be incorporated in a school setting.

    This tour will feature:

    • The Finance Career Cluster
    • The Hospitality & Tourism Career Cluster
    • The Human Services Career Cluster

    This tour will end at Noon.

    SUMCO Corporation

    SUMCO Corporation is an international leader in the production of ultra-pure, defect free, single-crystal silicon wafers for the global semiconductor industry. SUMCO provides state-of-the-art products, high-tech solutions and technologies to customers worldwide, and offers the broadest technology base in the wafer industry. On the SUMCO tour, you will see how silicon wafers are made from raw poly silicon into 99%-pure, crystal silicon ingots weighing 275 pounds.   These ingots are ground, cut into blocks and then cut into 8-inch diameter wafers less than a millimeter thick, which are given a mirror-like polish. SUMCO operates 12 manufacturing facilities located in Asia and the United States, with their corporate headquarters located in Phoenix. This tour has a cap of 25 attendees.
    Note: This tour will require a lot of walking. Attendees are advised to wear good walking shoes and to bring a light jacket as the plant is kept very cool.

    This tour will feature:
    • The Manufacturing Career Cluster
    • The Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics Career Cluster

    This tour will end at Noon. This tour has reached it's cap and is no longer available.

    Sunrise Mountain High School

    Part of the Peoria Unified School District, Sunrise Mountain High School is a comprehensive high school with a range of in-school CTE programs, which largely subscribe to the Program of Study (POS) model. Their early childhood program is supported by a Rigorous Program of Study grant, which gave them the tools they needed to turn in a program that was essentially “child care,” into a POS that has strong articulation with a community college (and the community college with a four-year institution) allowing students to earn up to 12 credits towards their associates degree through this program.  They also have an engineering program that has a new partnership with Embry Riddle and other postsecondary institutions. Their Fire Safety program has the support of the local fire department, and is taught by a local firefighter. Their Automotive Technologies program prepares students to use some of the most modern technology being used in our automobiles today.

    This tour will feature:
    • The Education & Training Career Cluster
    • The Human Services Career Cluster
    • The Law, Public Safety, Corrections & Security Career Cluster
    • The Science, Technology. Engineering & Mathematics Career Cluster
    • The Transportation, Distribution & Logistics Career Cluster

    This tour will end at Noon.

    West-MEC Central Campus 

    This program is one of only three high school programs approved by Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) in the nation as of 2011, as being able to administer three FAA certifications: ‘General Aviation’, ‘Airframe’ and ‘Power Plant.’ Students must complete 1900 hours of training during their junior and senior year, including summers between and post-graduation. This two-year program teaches maintenance and repair of aircraft mechanical systems including, electricity, turbine and reciprocating engines, aircraft finishes, sheet metal, welding, landing gears, hydraulics, propellers and more. In March 2013, West-MEC started its first cohort of adults in the Aviation (Airframe and Power Plant) programs.

    Participants will also be able to see the brand-new Computer Numerical Control (CNC) Precision Manufacturing building, adjacent to the Aviation building. This two-year program exposes students to precision manufacturing and computer numerically-controlled machining. Students will gain insight on the select tools and materials needed to make durable goods, read blueprints, and comprehend CNC theory and procedures, applying math skills. Upon completion of the program, students may test to receive a certification with the National Institute of Metalworking Skills (NIMS). West-MEC Central Campus is part of the Western Maricopa Education Center, which serves 12 member school districts.

    This tour will feature:

    • The Manufacturing Career Cluster
    • The Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Career Cluster

    This tour will end at 1 p.m.


    Contact Information

    • Questions? Call us at: 301-588-9630 or e-mail us at

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