5 Keys to Building a Successful CTE Task Force: Delaware’s Model

First of all, you’re probably wondering what a CTE task force is. Let me explain:

Recently, the Career and Technical Education (CTE) Office at the Delaware Department of Education (DOE) formed what is called a “CTE task force.” This CTE task force was formed to develop new marketing curriculum standards for high schools throughout the state.

I’ve learned a lot from being part of this task force, and I’m excited to share with you some of my key takeaways from the experience. It could be that your state needs a similar program to kickstart, or even revamp its current CTE standards. Either way, keep reading. I’ve got some insights that I think you’ll find beneficial.

I want you to know what this task force is and how it is changing education. Then, I want to show you how your state could do something similar.

The Task Force

The CTE task force is developing a “Career Pathway” program to help students transition into college or straight into the workforce.

I’m honored that I was invited to represent Stukent as a curriculum provider as part of this process. Every month I work with Delaware’s finest educators and industry professionals to help develop this program.

Now, I should point out that Delaware has been a trendsetter in education reform for quite some time. When changes have been made in the state’s educational model, other states have followed suit. It would seem that this new program is just the next step in bringing better resources to classrooms across the country. 

Delaware is bringing a new marketing communications and management program to its schools. The CTE task force’s main responsibility is selecting the learning outcomes for each of the program’s courses and helping establish how students will be tested on their knowledge.

Delaware is also providing a new “Innovation Grant to make the resources needed for the program available to ANY school in the state that wants to take part.

The Educational Program

The program consists of six 1-credit courses available for both comprehensive and technical schools. Comprehensive schools will have access to the first three courses and have the option to incorporate classes 4-6 as elective or “value-added” courses. Technical schools will get all six 1-credit courses and internship opportunities at a local business. 

5 Things Delaware Did Right that You Can Do, Too

Now that I’ve explained what the CTE task force is, and what it’s trying to accomplish, here are the key insights I promised. Or in other words, here are 5 things Delaware’s DOE did right when forming this task force:

1. Gathered educators from across the state who had curriculum design experience

When participating in the task force meetings each month, I’m surrounded by men and women with doctorate degrees in education as well as extensive industry experience.

It helps to have educators from every economic sector of the state. A well-rounded team can make all the difference.

2. Actively sought the help of in-state industry experts and  business owners 

The Delaware DOE wants to help students find careers close to home. Also, most of the program internship opportunities will come from the businesses that have participated in the task force.

3. Got help from industry experts and thought leaders from national companies

These industry experts and thought leaders have been asked to help the task force shape the program’s curriculum to ensure students are graduating with the knowledge needed to start their careers.

The goal is to make sure that Delaware’s students have the skills that employers are looking for. I was happy to dig into my own network and ask friends who work in the marketing departments of Nike, Adobe, and Microsoft to help vet the task force’s work.

4. Invited curriculum providers … like me!

Now, I’ll admit, this one seems mildly self-serving, but whichever curriculum providers you are considering, invite them! These are companies that have put the time and effort into designing tools that make teaching CTE classes easier for teachers and more accessible and relevant to students.

Stukent is happy to be involved in any state’s efforts to improve its CTE curriculum.

5. Called it a “Task Force”

This one might seem a bit silly to some, but I personally think calling the group a “task force” made a difference. The group could have been called a “curriculum committee,” or even something fancy, like “New Marketing Pathway Creation Council,” but the decision to call it a task force denotes that this is a “working committee.”

The task force is not just sitting in a boardroom making decisions — members are actively collaborating to accomplish something great, that is providing the students of Delaware with career opportunities that were previously unavailable to them.

Thanks for taking the time to read this. I’m happy to share more insights with anyone who wants to take the next steps in advancing the CTE curriculum in his or her state. If you want to take those steps, or if you want to tell me what you thought of my list, reach out to me on Facebook or LinkedIn.

I look forward to hearing your plans!

Recent Posts

Stay current with Stukent on social media!

Like this blog? Follow Stukent to stay up-to-date with new posts, webinars, free resources, product updates, and more!