By Shelby Stewart-Soldan
OXFORD TWP. – On Jan. 23 during the regular board of education meeting, director of career focused education Lisa Butts gave a presentation proposal for a new career technical education program, the teacher cadet program.
“We’re looking at a CTE general program and that career cluster would be our education and training career cluster,” she said. “We did put out a survey in July of 2021, kind of gauging where our students would be in terms of new programs in CTE. We did a survey on construction trades, machining public safety and education.”
The results of the survey showed that 19% of secondary students were interested in a teacher education program. This survey led to the formation of a possible CTE program in education.
“This would be our year-long, two semester course,” she said. “Which would be the first year for students interested in any career in education. Anything that we all would learn in college, we would start to introduce.”
The first year course, offered to juniors and seniors, would be called Future Educators. Students in the course would be exposed to many facets of education through class discussions, guest speakers, field experience, classroom observation, projects, and interactions with others in the education field. Students would also learn teaching methodologies and strategies, lesson planning and classroom management. It would follow the Perkins Core Competencies outlined by the Michigan Department in Education, and would cover PCC A, B, and C.
A includes health, safety and wellness, ethics and professional growth, and cultural competency. B covers strategic partnerships, special populations and diverse learners, and program development. C includes social and emotional growth and development, physical growth and development, and cognitive growth and development.
“What you may or may not know is typically, in our CTE programs, most of our teachers are coming from the industry,” said Butts. “Well we’re coming from the industry in our own industry here.”
The teacher of record would require a masters level degree in education, and there will be interviews happening internally in February, with the potential to hire internally or externally.
The first year course would begin in fall of 2024, and state approval would be attempted concurrently.
“When you’re looking for approval from the state, you most often will be running this program continuously while waiting for approval,” she said. “If approved, we would be funded at what’s considered a five-factor. CTE is funded differently. There is no additional burden on the general fund, and 90% of those funds are used for program improvement in all of our CTE programs. The state determines the cost and how it should be funded.”
She also presents a proposal for a year-two option, titled Future Educators Field Experience. In this course, students would spend two days in the classroom with the teacher of record, and two-three days in a field placement within an Oxford school.
“They could be working with the early childhood center, the elementary schools or the middle school levels,” she said. “They’ll participate in activities, they’ll observe, they’ll tutor, lead small groups, potentially create projects, and eventually will be developing and teaching their own lessons. This in addition will be a year-long course, with a prerequisite of the first year.”
In this second year class, the students will earn the MI-CDA, which is the MI School-Age Youth Development Associate credential, or the Child Development credential. They will also cover the Perkins Core Competencies D and E.
D includes instructional strategies, lesson planning and classroom management, and E includes assessments, work based learning, and career readiness practice.
“All of them are on-boarded with all training and safety requirements,” she said. “They will be job ready for an early childhood position, any ancillary stuff such as para pros, teacher assistants, things like that. We are currently working on post-secondary alignment with early college programs.”
By Shelby Stewart-Soldan