Oklahoma CareerTech students gather at state Capitol
Seventy Oklahoma CareerTech students met at the state Capitol Feb. 28 to show policymakers how their support for career and technology education helps teens prepare for careers and college.
State officers from Oklahoma CareerTech’s seven co-curricular student organizations attended the CareerTech Student Organization Day at the Capitol while members of National Technical Honor Society attended NTHS Day at the Capitol. Sen. Jessica Garvin, R-Duncan, and Reps. John Talley, R-Stillwater, and Dick Lowe, R-Amber, welcomed the groups and shared their experiences with CareerTech.
“Being a state officer was one of the most incredible experiences I had during my time in high school,” Garvin said. “Congratulations to all of you for being able to serve in that capacity.”
Students received advocacy training before meeting with their legislators to discuss the impact their CareerTech education has had on their lives. For many, this was their first time to visit the Oklahoma Capitol and to meet students from other CTSOs.
“Our CTSO state officers visit with legislators on this day to discuss the importance of CareerTech education in our K-12 schools and tech centers,” said Brittani Phillips, Family, Career and Community Leaders of America state adviser. “These students are the example of how a CTSO can impact and change a person’s life in such a positive way, and it’s great for legislators to hear firsthand why CareerTech education is essential for Oklahoma.”
CTSOs give students opportunities for personal growth and scholastic achievement, as well as the chance to develop skills in public speaking, planning and organizing. Members work on various community projects, competitive events and leadership activities and meet other students who share similar interests.
“CTSO Day at the Capitol was a great experience for myself, my team, and CareerTech,” said Kyrstan Cook, Collegiate DECA vice president. “Being able to get all CTSO state officer teams together is a great way to show success throughout the state, and how important it is to have a bond between all of the officers. And what better place to get together, our Capitol.”
In FY21, more than 79,000 Oklahoma students were members of one of the seven co-curricular CTSOs: Business Professionals of America; DECA; FCCLA; FFA; HOSA; SkillsUSA; and Technology Student Association.
About Oklahoma CareerTech
The Oklahoma Department of Career and Technology Education provides leadership and resources and assures standards of excellence for a comprehensive statewide system of career and technology education. The system offers programs and services in 29 technology center districts operating on 59 campuses, 394 PK-12 school districts, 13 Skills Centers campuses that include three juvenile facilities and 31 adult basic education service providers.
The agency is governed by the State Board of Career and Technology Education and works closely with the State Department of Education and the State Regents for Higher Education to provide a seamless educational system for all Oklahomans.