Contact: Wendel Sloan at 505.562.2253
Reporter: Marc Schoder
PORTALES—Eastern New Mexico University inPortales has been awarded a $700,000 grant to assist the New MexicoPublic Education Department (PED) with school districts redesigningtheir high schools.
The goal,according to Frank Fort, coordinator of the new Career TechnicalEducation Project, is to get New Mexico high schools to offer arigorous college preparatory program of study using a career focus forall students.
"Half of New Mexico's89 school districts are in the process of redesigning their highschools," said Fort, a 1995 ENMU graduate. "The Career Technical andWorkforce Education Bureau (CTWEB) of the PED was charged with headingup redesign efforts for New Mexico high schools."
ThePED began hosting Career Pathways conferences three years ago inAlbuquerque to discover what stages districts were in with theirredesign efforts.
Then, over 125individuals were selected to participate in the New Mexico First TownHall on the high school initiative in the fall of 2004.
Themeeting, according to Fort, generated a consensus document which thePED has used as a foundation for moving the state toward providing avalue-add to the high school diploma.
"Ouroffice has taken on the job to ultimately help prepare student teachersfor the redesigned schools that they are going to teach in," said Fort.
The Career Clusters Model is aframework developed by the United States Department of Education toassist high schools in their redesign efforts. Career Clustersrepresent a nationwide effort to help schools ensure that learners getthe knowledge and skills they need for multiple career choices bymatching what is taught in the classroom to business and industryexpectations.
The Career Cluster isa grouping of occupations and broad industries based on commonalities.The 16 career clusters provide an organizing tool for school, smalllearning communities, academies and magnet schools.
The new office will provide:
- Professional Development for pre-service and current teachers
- Student leadership organization facilitation
- Technical assistance to high schools in the state in various stages of redesign using the Career Clusters Model
For more information, call Fort at 505.562.2188