Active Advisor News
March 2012

Message from Tim
Work Force Ready System
Skill Connect Assessments

A big thank you goes out to our local chapters and state associations for making SkillsUSA Week and CTE month a big success. The promotion of CTE as "Learning that Works for America" is such an important message and we’re excited about the reports from our members who delivered this message to their communities and state governments.

As part of our SkillsUSA Week celebration, February 6-10, we experimented using advertising on Facebook by posting the SkillsUSA public service announcement (PSA) featuring alumna and NASCAR reporter, Wendy Venturini. The ad ran from February 9-12. The campaign reached over 420,000 unique viewers and yielded nearly one million impressions.

 


National Education Startup Challenge

On February 1, 2012, the U.S. Department of Education (ED) launched the National Education Startup Challenge, http://nesc.challenge.gov, asking students to develop innovative, real world solutions to improve education.

Students from across the country are invited to submit business plans and video pitches for a for-profit or non-profit startup that includes an innovative strategy, product or service designed to address one of these four topics:

  • Middle Grades Matter – Helping middle school students transition to high school and stay on track to graduate.
  • Skills, Skills, Skills – Providing students in rural, urban, and/or high-poverty communities with opportunities for internships or other work- and community-based learning experiences that help them develop skills for success in postsecondary education, 21st century careers, and civic life.
  • Education Pays – Making it easier for students and families to find and select high-quality, affordable postsecondary programs - whether colleges, universities, or career training programs - that provide good value.
  • Finishing Faster – Increasing the likelihood that postsecondary students complete their degrees and decreasing the time it takes them to finish, such as by improving and speeding up remedial education.

The deadline for entries is May 1, 2012. Please share this information with your students. For more information or assistance with outreach, please contact Scott Hess at 202-245-7772 or scott.hess@ed.gov.


So You Want to Be a National Officer? Webinar
We invite you to join us for a Webinar on March 14 if you have a student you think would make a good national leader. Our experts will provide an overview of the national officer candidate procedures and national officer responsibilities and you will get to hear first-hand experience from a current national officer.

National Officers

Here is the log on information:
URL: http://web.ganconference.com/?meeting=8705179
Telephone: 888-222-0475
Attendee code: 5692952

The deadline for national officer candidate application submissions is June 1. If elected, the new national officers must attend training in Lansdowne, Va., July 19-27, 2012.

If you have questions, contact Stephanie Bland at 703-737-0622 or by email to sbland@skillsusa.org.


Sharon Melton Myers Memorial Fund Scholarship
Through a donation from the Sharon Melton Myers Memorial Fund, SkillsUSA and the McMinn County Vocational Center SkillsUSA Alumni Association are offering a $500 scholarship to a SkillsUSA student in memory of Sharon Melton Myers. The Sharon Melton Myers Memorial SkillsUSA Scholarship fund will provide graduating SkillsUSA members the opportunity to continue their education in college or technical school.

A judging committee composed of Catherine Melton and National SkillsUSA staff will review the nominations and select the national winner.

Candidates may nominate themselves. All nominations must include two letters of recommendation from any of the following individuals: a) instructors; b) SkillsUSA advisors; c) state association director; d) community leader. A nomination form can be downloaded from SkillsUSA's website at www.skillsusa.org. Nominations must be postmarked by April 30.

If you have questions, please contact Christen Battaglia 703-737-0627 or cbattaglia@skillsusa.org.

WFRSAssessment season is drawing near and we’re excited to offer 47 industry-driven technical and employability assessments, which include 44 Skill Connect assessments and four automotive assessments offered by our co-vender Automotive Service Excellence (ASE).  Information on our assessments and a complete list of the assessment areas available can be found at: www.workforcereadysystem.org. At the site, there are also instructor and administrator resources to help prepare students for testing, a free 10-question demonstration of each Skill Connect Assessment, an option to purchase a 50-question sample test for $10 per assessment area and links to purchase a Skill Connect Assessment for student testing or for instructor or administrator preview.

Tips for student testing. As you begin preparing your site for student testing please refer to the website to review testing instructions at: www.workforcereadysystem.org/testing.shtml prior to administering the assessment and ensure your hardware and software are test-ready by reviewing the requirements before beginning testing.

If you are using Internet Explorer as your browser, the requirement is Version #8.  You will need to upgrade to V8 if you are running at a lower version in order for the graphics to appear correctly. If you are running V9 you must turn on compatibility mode before beginning the assessment. We suggest you test your equipment by taking the Television Video Production 10 question demo because it tests all question types and sound.

Accommodations are available for students with special needs. It is possible to configure your computer from text to speech and an animated voice will read the test to the student. See the Skill Connect Getting Started Guide for technical assistance to configure your computer.

Join an assessment Webinar in March. Topics include Instructor Tips for Student Success and Meeting Industry Demands. For Webinar dates and times go to: www.workforcereadysystem.org/webinars.shtml

Coming Soon! Assessment blueprints with the weighted percent of standards and competencies to be available online by March 9 at this link.

To purchase a Skill Connect Assessment for student testing, go to: www.workforcereadysystem.org/purchase.shtml


Alumni Membership Incentives
AlumniThe Alumni Coordinating Committee is offering two incentives this year. One is for SkillsUSA advisors who sign up alumni from their chapters and the second for students who join alumni. For every five members an advisor gets to join the SkillsUSA Alumni & Friends Association, he or she will be entered into a drawing for a VISA gift card. For each student who joins the Alumni & Friends Association, he or she will be entered into a drawing for a VISA gift card.

To be officially entered into the drawing, the advisor must have students register and join online at this link.

The advisor must then send an email to Niki Clausen at nclausen@skillsusa.org. The email must contain the advisor’s name, school and state, and a list (for verification) of the students (first and last names) who joined as alumni. Remember that graduating seniors qualify to join during their senior year. Former SkillsUSA students are also eligible, provided they are not members already. These students must register through their former advisor to be counted as part of that advisor’s entry. Students who join are automatically entered into the drawing. Students may only join once.

Deadline for entry into the drawing is June 1. Contact Niki Clausen at 703-737-0639 or via email, if you have questions.


Proven.com Reminder
Proven.com offers a website for individuals to showcase their skills and get connected with employers. Advisors, please encourage your seniors and alumni to join Proven.com for FREE to create a profile and earn badges based on their SkillsUSA experiences. SkillsUSA business and industry partners, like Air Products, are using Proven.com to recruit and hire SkillsUSA alumni. To join and create a profile, visit: www.proven.com/skillsusa.