Welcome to The Link

Dr. Rodger’s Introduction:

Career and technology education (CTE) provides students with the skills- technical skills, academic skills and employability skills- and discipline needed to succeed in life.  The benefits of CTE are two-fold. Research has shown that students who participate in CTE programs are more likely than their peers to develop the skills necessary to help us close the Global Achievement and Opportunity Gap. Research also shows employers express more satisfaction with new hires who complete a CTE or technical programs because they have been developing and sharpening their problem-solving, project completion, communication, time management and critical thinking skills in their early teens. 

Here at HCDE, we provide equitable access to quality programs that align with workforce opportunities, including work-based learning, industry-based certifications to prepare students for high-wage, high-skill, and in-demand careers. In this month’s issue, we share resources that take a deeper look at how CTE programs are impacting student success across the state. We thank for your partnership, and don’t forget…Please share and subscribe!  

CJ Rodgers, Ed. D.

“There are two educations. One should teach us how to make a living and the other how to live.”   

John Adams

21st Century Readiness: Career and Technical Education

College and Career Readiness have become critical to preparing students for 21st Century Skills. Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs integrate K-12 academic standards with contextual workforce training. CTE programs are the introduction to college- and career-readiness programs.

Industry-Based Certification Resources

The Texas Education Agency (TEA) engaged with members of the workforce to assist in identifying industry-based certifications (IBCs) that are recognized and valued by industry sectors. Over 1,000 unique certifications were recommended by stakeholders to be included in the industry-based certification review process. The recommendations were vetted according to the established criteria. The IBC_Evaluation_Criteria_Final_2019 defines the criteria used for the 2019-2022 Industry-Based Certification List for Public School Accountability.

Harris County Department of Education Adult Education “Contact to Careers”

Education is critical for breaking the poverty cycle and its importance is reflected within the American economic structure. One in five adults in Houston are considered functionally illiterate, 14 out of 20 are unable to manage daily activities and employment tasks that require reading skills beyond a basic level in any language. HCDE Adult Education provides access to free or low- cost adult literacy and workforce programs which enables participants to learn skills that influence their health and well-being. Without access to affordable adult education programming, many individuals and families are subject to becoming a statistic.

CTE Pay and Certification Requirements

As of the 2020–2021 school year, TEA issues nine career and technical education certificates, but the prerequisites for each have varying degree, work experience, and licensure/certification requirements.

E&E Team Member Spotlight

Denise Johnson is a graduate of Grambling State University and a member of Delta Sigma Theta. She was blessed to meet and marry Dexter Johnson, and together they have Avery Johnson, Denise’s most significant accomplishment. Early in her career, she worked at International Business Machines (IBM) as a software engineer and project manager. She has over 27 years of experience in technology, project management, training, and education.

Stretch Your Dollar with Educator Discounts

Each month the Link will highlight a business where educators can stretch their dollars. In honor of our everyday heroes. Thank you for supporting our families and communities. Now it’s our turn to protect you. To show our appreciation, Ring is proud to offer an exclusive 20% discount on select Ring.com purchases to military, veterans, first responders, students, and teachers.

Educator Grant Resources

Educators of America are driven to not only supply teachers and educators with the classroom technology they need but also train them to use it in the most effective ways possible. If you are a teacher that is in need of an effective technological tool that will assist in bettering student achievement, not only in your classroom but throughout your entire institution, take the time to fill out our grant application. Our classroom technology grant applications are reviewed on a quarterly basis and responses are given accordingly (January, April, July, October).

Calendar – June 2021

Moving beyond the conversations, School Equity Bootcamp: Restorative Tactics, Strategies, and Operations, will provide school leaders with tools to positively influence school safety and culture for students. Participants will engage in a 4-day training series to create the conditions where all students feel supported, a strong sense of belonging, and can thrive and seek opportunities. These sessions include evidence-based and evidence-driven frameworks to drive authentic and meaningful implementation through equitable policies.


Basic and Advanced Digital Threat Assessment (DTA) Training is presented by Safer Schools Together (SST) which was established in 2008 and is recognized internationally for its leadership, innovation, and evidence-informed strategies to ensure safe, caring, and trauma-informed school communities. SST’s team of highly skilled professionals provide expertise, consultation and support to educators, law enforcement and other service providers across North America in addressing student, school, and community student safety-related concerns. SST helps school communities minimize and manage risks of student violence with reliable, professional training. Using best practice from the field of Behavioral Threat Assessment, school communities learn how to collect data and “connect the dots” to ensure early identification of youth at risk of harm to themselves or others and the interventions necessary to prevent needless tragedy, violence, and trauma.


The Link Reads

All teachers–including career and technical education (CTE) teachers–play a vital role in building a thriving PLC. In this practical resource, the authors explicitly outline how to improve teaching and learning by integrating PLC best practices into CTE programs. Teams of CTE educators will learn how to clarify their purpose, discover their common denominators, and incorporate powerful collaborative processes into their daily work.
Use this resource to learn the vital strategies necessary for building and improving teams:
• Become familiar with the common issues that prevent CTE educators from engaging in the collaborative PLC process.
• Learn why and how the PLC process benefits both CTE educators and students.
• Learn how CTE educators can create collaborative programs that are tailored toward CTE fields of study.
• Receive professional guidance and concrete, achievable teaching strategies for creating an effective PLC process.
• Access a checklist of crucial action steps for career tech teams at the end of each chapter


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We’d love to hear it! Send us an email at dbreaux@hcde-texas.org.