February was national Career and Technical Education Month. Across the country educators, administrators and students celebrated how career and technical education has enriched their life and their community. Minnesota was no exception!
One of the ways the MFSO celebrated was through our much anticipated event: CTSO (career and Technical Student Organization) Day at the Capitol. CTSO Day at the Capitol provides the student leaders of the CTSOs an opportunity to engage their state Representatives and Senators in discussions about the impact career and technical education and student organizations have impacted their lives.
The students had an opportunity to meet each other prior to the event and learn how the different career and technical student organizations serve students and enrich their career areas. The students also learned about the political process and how they can impact it.
With more than 25 student leaders participating, all of Minnesota's CTSOs were represented. The students met with 18 Senators and Representatives throughout the day; attended committee meetings and were able to tour most of the Capitol. Some of our students even had a chance to meet the Governor.
Throughout the last biennium, the MFSO has sought to identify reasons students have not able to engage in meaningful participation in [or in some cases even access to] Career and Technical Student Organizations (CTSO) AND assist the CTSOs in creating both “real” and financial solutions to overcome those obstacles.
In 2016, a greater emphasis was put on identifying and providing support for students living in poverty. The MFSO provided training to CTSO Executive Directors and Board Members through the Poverty Institute. The Poverty Institute is hands on two-day seminar by Dr. Donna Beegle and Communications Across Barriers. In addition to providing this initial training, MFSO Executive Director Emily Saed was trained as a “Poverty Coach” and will be continuing to provide training to CTSO Advisers/Instructors throughout the upcoming year. Initial evaluations suggest the training is having a significant impact. The complete 2015 report can be found here.
Overcoming Barriers: Supporting Non Traditional and Underserved Populations