A $75,000 grant from the Otto Bremer Trust will provide seed money to help further establish the Emerging Center for Career and Technical Education Excellence at University of Wisconsin-Stout.
The one-year grant, awarded recently, will provide funding to hire a part-time graduate assistant to help with research, continue grant writing, work on social media and also help with hiring a part-time instructional specialist to provide outreach to share and highlight research, according to emerging center Director Deanna Schultz, an associate professor in graduate education and Master of Science career and technical education program director.
The idea for a center started at the first Career and Technical Education Summit held at UW-Stout in 2016. Participants felt there was a need for a center to provide leadership for career and technical education.
The center started earlier this year. Its mission is to offer programs and services that support and promote career and technical education in partnership with educational institutions, government agencies, business and industry, nonprofit organizations and professional associations.
The work of the center will focus on three areas:
- Professional development to enhance educators’ effectiveness<
- Research to establish an agenda that influences policy and practice
- Communications and outreach by supporting quality career and technical education programs at the secondary and postsecondary levels through communication and outreach
“We have opportunities here in education for master and doctoral programs, and we have students to do research and who can tap into student and faculty research,” Schultz said. “I think there is an opportunity there.”
There also would be opportunities for teachers to have more professional development through the center, which in turn helps students and industry, Schultz said. “The work we do with teachers ultimately leads to educating students to go into the workforce.”
The grant means a great deal to the emerging center, Schultz said. “It’s huge having that money to hire some staff to start developing some of these initiatives we have already started,” Schultz said. “It is really giving us a kickstart as we move forward.”
Daniel Reardon, co-chief executive officer and trustee of Otto Bremer Trust, said the Emerging Center for CTE Excellence will serve as a “valuable resource to those seeking information about career, technical and workforce education. The center’s boots-on-the-ground approach gives all students the opportunity to experience quality workforce education that prepares them for successful careers.”
UW-Stout is Wisconsin’s Polytechnic University, with a focus on applied learning, collaboration with business and industry, and career outcomes.