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Ohio Association for Career and Technical Education

Career TEchnical AND Adult Education News

  • December 10, 2019 11:23 AM | Ohio ACTE (Administrator)

    Lt. Governor Jon Husted, who serves as Director of the Governor’s Office of Workforce Transformation, announced Dec. 6 that awards are being distributed following the first application period of the TechCred program.

    “TechCred gives Ohio employers the chance to help mold their future workforce and develop the talent they need in order to grow in the community,” said Lt. Governor Husted. “Today’s announcement means that over 1,500 Ohioans will soon be better prepared for the next step in their career.”

    Applications were approved for 234 Ohio employers, resulting in 1,576 credentials that will help upskill Ohio workers.

    TechCred logo

    "These tech credentials will add value to the workplace, increase job security, and lead to higher wages,” said Lydia Mihalik, Director of the state economic development agency. “This will be a catalyst for both businesses and workers to succeed in new ways.”

    TechCred asks employers to identify the specific qualifications they need and employees they want to upskill toward a more advanced position. Then, in partnership with a training provider, the employer can apply online at and the state will reimburse up to $2,000 of training upon completion of a credential.

    The next online application period opens on January 2, 2020.

    TechCred fulfills a commitment made by Governor Mike DeWine and Lt. Governor Husted to fund the completion of 10,000 microdegrees each year in order to aid in closing the skills gap for growing technology jobs.

    Earlier this week, Lt. Governor Husted also announced that 219 additional technology-focused credentials have been approved for inclusion and potential funding through the TechCred program. You can learn more about the program at

    Click here for the list of approved credentials.

  • December 06, 2019 12:02 PM | Ohio ACTE (Administrator)

    Ohio educator and leader Thomas Applegate, former executive director of the Ohio Association of Career Technical Superintendents and current executive director at National Council of Local Administrators was named the recipient of the 2020 National ACTE Lifetime Achievement Award, which recognizes CTE professionals for their leadership on behalf of ACTE, their innovations in CTE and their contributions to the field over an extended period of time.  Tom is pictured here with his wife Linda after receiving the award.

    Tom is a lifelong educator and workforce development professional having served as a high school CTE teacher (marketing education), adult education instructor, college instructor and college dean. Currently he serves as the Executive Director for the National Council of Local Administrators of Career and Technical Education (NCLA).

    Previously he has served in a variety of capacities, including as the Executive Director for the Ohio Association of Career and Technical Superintendents and as the Executive Dean at Austin Community College (ACC) in Texas. Applegate has also served as the Associate State Director for CTE in Ohio. His responsibilities included business/industrial training and development, adult basic and literacy education, the marketing of CTE and intra state agency linkages. Additionally, he has served in many leadership roles, including as the president of ACTE.

    A noted authority in workforce development issues and CTE, he has worked both within the U.S. and internationally, and has provided consulting services to numerous countries, states, colleges, universities and school districts.

    The Award was presented on December 4, during ACTE’s CareerTech VISION 2019 in Anaheim, California.

  • November 27, 2019 7:10 AM | Ohio ACTE (Administrator)

    Members of the State Board of Education (ODE) Graduation Requirements and High School Redesign Task Force discussed where to set a new statutorily mandated “competency score” on state tests required for graduation at a Nov. 25 meeting, with members seeking to strike a balance between academic rigor and concerns surrounding student passage rates.

    Following up on the group’s October meeting, Superintendent Paolo DeMaria informed members that the Legislature mandated in the biennial budget, HB166 (Oelslager), that Ohio students must “demonstrate competency” on the state English II and Algebra I exams to qualify for a high school diploma. (See The Hannah Report, 11/26/19.)

    However, the current grading scale for state tests specifies five performance levels: limited, basic, proficient, accelerated and advanced. DeMaria said discussion has been focused on setting the “competent” level somewhere between the current “basic” and “proficient” thresholds, though he added that further discussion must take place within the task force and with external stakeholders in order to determine exactly where the score should be.

    DeMaria said considerations in setting the score should include the urgency with which the score must be set; the current student performance percentages on state tests; the fact that there is “no bright line” on where students' understanding of a topic translates to a given score; and the fact that students must earn competency scores on both tests.

    Discussion focused largely on the final point, with task force member Michelle Grimm, representing the Ohio School Counselor Association, encouraging members to take into consideration the “middle-of-the-road” kids and to remember ODE’s approach of educating the “whole child.”

    Member Julie Holderbaum, representing Minerva High School, presented competing concerns of the “troubling” idea of a student demonstrating competency through a minimal command of the material, versus the relatively low number of students currently meeting the “proficient” threshold on required state tests.

    “I don’t think it should be proficient, because just look at the numbers,” Holderbaum said. “What skills do they really need? Employers want someone who will show up on time, learn and follow directions.”

    DeMaria commented, “I struggled with that as well, and the way I resolved it in my mind was, this is Algebra I, and really, much of the everyday math we use is pre-algebra. At the level of ‘basic,’ you need to have strong mastery of some algebra skills. When you get into ‘proficient,’ there’s quite a bit of discussion about quadratic equations. … I’ve had discussions with business people saying they never use the quadratic equation.”

    He continued, “Think about what job an employer would use someone with a high school diploma for that isn’t a task-oriented job.”

    The superintendent encouraged members to send further thoughts on the subject via email.

    In a later discussion, committee members discussed the “guiding principles and themes” for redesigning the high school experience in the state, the results of which will be published in a report with recommendations.

    At the group’s previous meeting, members decided that phase one of the redesign would consist of gathering information through identifying promising practices already in place across the state, reviewing national research and conducting stakeholder focus groups.

    State Board of Education member Steve Dackin recommended that the task force establish some criteria for what constitutes “promising practices” across the state, either through student outcome data or design criteria, and he also suggested that task force members recognize that most high school students no longer go through a “standard” high school experience. Many high schoolers are taking college classes, starting high school early, or attending school at nontraditional times due to work, he said.

    Task force member Will Hampton, superintendent of Marietta City Schools, agreed, saying that 63 percent of his students leave the high school building at some point during the day.

    Heather Powell, representing Williamsburg High School, said that members should think of high school like a meal for students, to whom districts should provide an “a la carte menu.” Members supported the idea of allowing greater student choice.

    “Some kids are going to have a fabulous five-star meal, and some kids are going to have a wholesome lunch from the high school cafeteria, and that's just alright,” she said.

    Michael King, representing Berkshire High School, said his district underwent serious changes following a conversation among district leadership who decided “1955 has to go.” He said the district moved away from desks in rows and dusty technology, and transitioned to project-based learning and standards-based grading in grades K-12 that allowed students greater agency in determining their learning pathways. The district leadership’s shift in attitude paved the way for the passage of a levy, with the new programs becoming the centerpiece of the levy campaign.

    “Because we made it about their students and their future and we invited parents to come see it, the levy passed two-to-one. No kid has their chemistry exam on their refrigerator, but our kids are doing projects in school and out in the community that are going to stand the test of time,” King said. “The biggest question is to ask students, ‘What do you want to do?’ And we figure out the rest. It’s not right to force kids through four years of lecturing.”

    Greg Nickoli, of Pioneer Career & Technology Center in Richland County, said that students should learn more about what careers are available. He noted that in a recent junior class of medical technology students, 23 of 25 wanted to be nurses. But after those students were provided real-world experience of other careers in medical technology, they had more varied career choices in their senior year.

    “Lots of kids want to be nurses, but they can also be occupational therapists, physical therapists, radiologists, all the stuff you don’t see on TV or that mom or dad doesn’t do,” he said.

  • November 26, 2019 7:53 AM | Ohio ACTE (Administrator)

    The United States Presidential Scholars Program was established in 1964, by Executive Order of the President, to recognize and honor some of our Nation's most distinguished graduating high school seniors. In 1979, the Program was extended to recognize students who demonstrate exceptional talent in the visual, creative and performing arts. In 2015, the program was again extended to recognize students who demonstrate ability and accomplishment in career and technical education fields. Each year, up to 161 students are named U.S. Presidential Scholars, one of the Nation's highest honors for high school students. The Scholars represent excellence in education and the promise of greatness in young people. In honoring the U.S. Presidential Scholars, the President of the United States symbolically honors all graduating high school seniors of high potential.  Ohio's selections were made by the ODE Office of CTE staff.  Click here for more information.

    Ashley Mary Brickner - Vanguard Sentinel Career and Technology Center, Engineering Technologies and Robotic.  Instructor: Andy Brickner

    Martha Jane Leugers - Diamond Oaks Career Campus, Vet Assisting.  Instructor: Tamara Kuhel

    Maria Isabel Ramirez Porras - Auburn Career Center, Patient Care Technician. Instructor: Christine Tredent

    Megan Chantel Wallace - Great Oaks Career Campuses, Business Management.  Instructor: Angela Kovacs

    Angel Marie White - Buckeye Career Center, Teaching Professions. Instructor: Julie Brinkman

  • November 25, 2019 7:04 AM | Ohio ACTE (Administrator)

    Leah R. Amstutz has been named Director, ODE Office of CTE.  A strong advocate of hands-on, inquiry-based learning, she spent almost nine years in the classroom, teaching agricultural education. In 2011, she joined the Ohio Department of Education Office of CTE as a Program Specialist in the Agricultural and Environmental Systems career field.  She was promoted  to Assistant Director in the Office of Career-Technical Education in 2013 then became Associate Director, before serving as Interim Director, Office of Career-Technical Education since May 2019.  Through these roles, she promotes the expansion of career tech education in Ohio.  She became Director, Office of CTE  on Nov. 20.

    "The Ohio career-tech community of educators looks forward to working with Leah and her team in the ODE Office of CTE to continue to provide opportunities for CTE  to students," said Christine Gardner, Ohio ACTE Executive Director.  Career-tech educators are always willing to collaborate and work with our partners at the Ohio Department of Education to make sure we maintain our legacy of quality career-tech programming, she added.

  • November 25, 2019 6:56 AM | Ohio ACTE (Administrator)

    The new dates for the Quality Program Review workshops are open for registration in STARS.  If you and members of your staffs are interested in attending you must access OH|ID account system at: OH|ID Portal and select STARS to register. Event Name: CTE Program Review.

    Previous registrants for re-scheduled dates in same region will not need to register again.

    Monday, January 13, 2020
    APR:      3 Year Evaluation (SW/W)- Miami Valley CTC
    Tuesday, January 14, 2020
    APR:      4 Year Plan Development (SW/W)- Great Oaks Scarlet Campus
    Thursday, January 16, 2020
    APR:      3 Year Evaluation (Central/SE)- Pickaway-Ross Chillicothe Campus
    Friday, January 17, 2020
    APR:      4 Year Plan Development (Central/SE)- Pickaway-Ross Chillicothe Campus
    Tuesday, January 21, 2020
    APR:      3 Year Evaluation (NW)- Vanguard Career and Technology Center
    Wednesday, January 22, 2020
    APR:      4 Year Plan Development (NW)- Wood County Educational Service Center
    Monday, January 27, 2020
    APR:      3 Year Evaluation (NE)- Corporate College East
    Tuesday, January 28, 2020
    APR:      4 Year Plan Development (NE)-  Corporate College East


    Click here for previous information

  • November 06, 2019 11:36 AM | Ohio ACTE (Administrator)

    The Office of Career-Technical Education would like to provide an update on the upcoming Quality Program Review workshops. Due to unexpected delays internally with the data being loaded into the annual program review system, we have decided to postpone the workshops to mid-January. We are currently working to confirm the new dates, and will share those as quickly as we have them. Those already registered will receive an email with new dates/locations and have the option to transfer registration to the updated region meeting. We will reopen registration when the new dates are finalized. We are expecting the data to be loaded into the system in the coming week, and will make sure to share more information when that data is available. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause, but we wanted to ensure districts had ample time to prepare for a workshop when their final status is known.

    As was stated in the prior email regarding these workshops, Year 3 workshops will remain voluntary, but Year 4 workshops will be required for programs in that step of the process. Please sign up for the workshop that most fits your region first, but if not able to make it to that date, feel free to sign up for workshops in other regions.

    As programs that attended last year will share, this can be an incredibly helpful process and we highly recommend bringing everyone who has a direct effect on the program, including instructors, administrators, and EMIS coordinators.

    If you have any questions at this time, feel free to reach out to the Office of Career-Technical Education.


    The Office of Career-Technical education and other offices at the Ohio Department of Education have been working to prepare the data for the opening of the CTE-26 system and the release of the Quality Program Review data. The CTE-26 system is currently scheduled to open on December 1st at this time, and we will continue to provide more updates as that time draws nearer. As a reminder, program renewals will now be based on when the current program approvals expire. With this in mind, the only applications for this year should be new applications, or applications for renewals that were missed last year or prior.

    The Quality Program Review data should be available in the system in mid-November. Unforeseen circumstances have caused a delay in the processing of that data, but we expect to have those resolved shortly.

    Quality Program Review workshops will continue as scheduled for the dates below in December. These dates mirror what was shared at the Ohio Career-Technical Administrator’s Fall Conference. Signups are now open for these dates at a regional level for both years 3 and 4. Though the final data is not live, the data for this year is from the graduating class of 2018, so local programs have the ability to be proactive regarding their compliance status for this year. If you are not sure of your expected status, please reach out to staff in the Office of Career-Technical Education.

    Year 3 workshops will remain voluntary, but Year 4 workshops will be required for programs in that step of the process. Please sign up for the workshop that most fits your region first, but if not able to make it to that date, feel free to sign up for workshops in other regions.

    As programs that attended last year will share, this can be an incredibly helpful process and we highly recommend bringing everyone who has a direct effect on the program, including instructors, administrators, and EMIS coordinators.

    The Quality Program Review Workshops (for year 3 and 4) are from 9:00 AM – 4:00 PM on the following dates:


    • December 3, 2019 – 3rd Year Workshop
      • Vanguard Sentinel CTC
    • December 4, 2019 – 4th Year Workshop
      • Wood County ESC   


    • December 9, 2019 –   3rd Year Workshop
    • December 10, 2019 – 4th Year Workshop
      • Both @ Corporate College East (Warrensville Heights)             


    • December 12, 2019 – 3rd Year Workshop                 
    • December 13, 2019 – 4th Year Workshop
      • Both @ Pickaway Ross Chillicothe Campus


    • December 16, 2019 – 3rd Year Workshop
      • Great Oaks Scarlet Campus            
    • December 17, 2019 – 4th Year Workshop
      • Miami Valley CTC

    If you and members of your staffs are interested in attending you must access OH|ID account system at: OH|ID Portal and select STARS to register. Keyword Search: CTE Program Review.

    If you have issues registering please email:
  • November 06, 2019 11:24 AM | Ohio ACTE (Administrator)

    Voters across Ohio approved 113 of 154 public school district tax issues during the Tuesday, Nov. 5 general election.  Election results are complete but have not been officially certified by the Ohio secretary of state.

    Seventy-three percent of the school tax issues on the ballot passed Tuesday, a slight increase from the 2018 general election. Ohio voters approved 121 of 175 school tax issues in November 2018, a passage rate of 69%.

    Thirty-five of 72 new school tax issues were approved Tuesday, a passage rate of 49%. That also is a slight increase from the 2018 general election when 46% of new tax issues passed. Voters approved 78 of 82 renewal school tax issues on Tuesday’s ballot, a 95% passage rate. That is a slight decrease from the 2018 general election in which voters approved 96% of the renewal issues. 

    The Ohio School Boards Association (OSBA) maintains a comprehensive online database on the outcome of school tax issues across the state. The database is available at
  • October 30, 2019 6:32 AM | Ohio ACTE (Administrator)

    The State Board of Education's Graduation Requirements and High School Redesign Task Force met  Oct. 28 and laid out the questions it will consider for the first phase of its work to consider how the high school experience should change to help students become prepared for what's next in their lives.

    The task force plans an initial information gathering and research phase, followed by work on developing a framework of attributes for an engaging and inspiring high school, followed by development of recommendations to Superintendent Paolo DeMaria on a statewide approach to developing and promoting such high schools

    Task force members broke into small groups at Monday's meeting to discuss three question prompts to get the process moving:

    - How would you define high school redesign, and what do you think is the state's role in supporting schools in redesigning the high school experience for students?

    - What are the foundational principles that you think drive high school redesign?

    - What districts or high schools are you aware of that are actively rethinking how they educate students?

    The task force also discussed details Monday of guidance being developed for the new high school graduation requirements adopted in the biennial budget, HB166 (Oelslager).

    The next task force meeting is scheduled for 4:30 p.m. Monday, Nov. 25.

  • October 28, 2019 3:48 PM | Ohio ACTE (Administrator)

                Over the last two years, state representatives Bob Cupp (R-Lima) and John Patterson (D-Jefferson) have worked with Ohio’s education community and other stakeholders to develop a new school funding formula.  Although the DeWine-Husted Administration and lawmakers declined to adopt the proposal as part of the FY 20-21 state budget (HB 166), Reps Cupp / Patterson have since introduced stand-alone legislation (HB 305) that contains what they have titled the “Fair School Funding Plan.”  Last month, the Ohio House Finance Committee began deliberations on the bill.

                Given the high level of complexity associated with school funding, the Chairman of the Ohio House Finance Committee has indicated that “hearings will be broken up into narrow topic areas, so committee members and witnesses may have targeted dialogue on specific aspects of the legislation.”[1]  Topic areas include, but are not limited to, distribution, categorical funding or “add-ons,” transportation, charter schools, career-technical education and STEM schools. 

                Overview: In general, HB 305 calls for a “base cost” approach to calculate the annual per-pupil cost of providing a quality education to Ohio’s students.  The current formula sets a base cost of $6,020 for every single student, but under HB 305, the state would calculate a base cost unique to each school district in order to more accurately reflect the amount of funding each district needs to operate effectively. The base cost for each district would range from $6,000 - $12,000.

                Funding for classroom teachers is the primarily building block of the proposed framework, which applies pupil / teacher ratios supported by national research and Ohio salary / benefit data.  Other components include resources for professional development of teachers, addressing health, safety, social, and emotional needs of students, academic and athletic co-curricular activities, and technology.  Funding the base cost is achieved through a combination of state resources and locally generated tax revenue.  Under HB 305 (and similar to the current formula), the split between state and local funding is based on each district’s fiscal capacity to generate a local share—which capacity the state will measure using a combination of both property and income wealth data.  

                Career-Technical Education: The career-technical education community has emphasized several school funding policy priorities since legislators began to develop HB 305. As a result, the bill includes the following CTE-specific items:

    1.      CTE Tiered (“weighted”) Funding: HB 305 maintains current levels of CTE tiered funding outside any proposed “cap” or “guarantee.”  The bill converts the current dollar amounts in each of the five tiers to percentages of the statewide average funding per pupil, as calculated under the Base Cost formula. Hence, any increases to base aid will result in a corresponding increase in CTE tiered funding.

    2.      Career Exploration: HB 305 provides per-pupil funding to career-technical planning districts (CTPDs) for purposes of delivering relevant career awareness services, including:

    • Offering a common, consistent curriculum to students across the CTPD;
    • Assisting teachers in providing a career-development curriculum;
    • Establishing a Career Development Plan for each student;
    • Providing opportunities for students to engage in meaningful activities across all career pathways at each grade level.

    3.      Base Aid Funding: HB 305 maintains base aid for career-technical schools through its new funding model.  But while a student is in a career-technical program or “lab,” the required pupil teacher ratio will be calculated at one teacher for every eighteen students.  The new (smaller) ratio recognizes the necessity of increased student attention during equipment-intensive technical courses.

                Ohio ACTE will continue to monitor HB 305 and any other school funding proposals as the legislature continues to discuss this important issue.

    - by Will Vorys, attorney with Dickinson Wright and Ohio ACTE Legislative Counsel.

    For more information, including detailed legislation and simulations, click here.


Ohio Association for Career and Technical Education

38 Commerce Park Dr. Suite D, Westerville, Ohio
(614) 890-ACTE (2283)
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