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Message from President/CEO - John Foster

Message from the Board

Password Update

Updated National Averages

Client Services Center Updates

Pre-Testing Options

Task-link Reports

2011-12 Pricing

Test Revision/Development

Fall Site Coordinator Webinar Training Schedule

Fall Online Testing Demo Webinar Schedule

Video Contest Announcement

New & Revised Assessments

Year-in-Review

CTEDDI Jump-Start Workshop

ACTE Annual Convention

NOCTI Whereabouts

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President's Message

Hello Everyone!

This quarter’s message comes at a time when summer vacations have wound down and school is about to start.  I’m reminded of my own elementary school days when we would have to write an essay or present a mini-speech on “How I Spent My Summer Vacation.”  Some of you may know that I have an interest in SCUBA, and in fact was an instructor back in the pre-family days. This year, like others, my family spent some time under the warm waters of the Caribbean.  What was different this year was the encroachment of an “introduced species” – the Lion Fish (http://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/23/science/23lionfish.htm).  The details on this encroachment are a bit sketchy, but suffice it to say that someone, somehow, introduced a species that has no known predators and is wiping out other fish populations.  My family and I saw a reinforcement of some basic biology/ecology first-hand. 

On another level, this summer’s experience was analogous to career and technical education’s (CTE) position in this administration.  The parallel here is that if you don’t understand the power of something, you need to be careful what you propose to do with it.  Just as someone didn’t realize the effect that the introduction of Lion Fish would have on all other life in the ocean, the elimination of CTE funding would have disastrous ripple effects on our economy, our infrastructure, and the quality of life many of us enjoy.  I’m happy to report that even though those in charge of the budget may not realize long-term consequences of actions and/or inactions, CTE itself is alive and well in the states NOCTI visited this year!

In each and every state visited there was evidence of the grit and determination of CTE educators to do their best for students at all costs. We also saw an increase in the sophistication of educators in dealing with technical assessment data.  Longer term users of NOCTI technical assessment data have started to utilize the data for instructional improvement more frequently. They have also started to use it as an objective means to incorporate statewide articulation into policy.  Though we saw early signs of this type of data usage, it wasn’t enough. This is one of the driving forces behind NOCTI’s collaboration with the National Research Center for Career and Technical Education (NRCCTE) in the Career and Technical Educators using a Data Driven Improvement Model (CTEDDI) project. CTEDDI shows teachers and administrators how to use data for instructional improvement.

NOCTI and NRCCTE just conducted their first national CTEDDI training at the University of Louisville.  One of the participants had this to say:  “After participating in a CTEDDI Jump Start introduction at the National Career Clusters conference in Atlanta in June, I came away from [it] with a highly favorable first impression of the model.  As the lead person responsible for technical standards and assessment in my state’s department of education CTE team, I saw the potential for instructors to use CTEDDI in conjunction with pre-tests to adjust and improve instruction. As an educator who has had a background in teacher training and curriculum development, I particularly appreciated the in-depth, yet simple, teacher-friendly approach the model exemplifies.”

Over the next two years, NOCTI/NRCCTE will be working with at least seven states to continue the implementation of the only data driven improvement model that focuses on CTE.  To learn more about this project, to explore having a professional development session conducted at your site, or to arrange to participate in the project, please contact Missy Heck at NRCCTE (missy.heck@louisville.edu) or NOCTI (nocti@nocti.org).  A CTEDDI Jump-start Workshop will be held at ACTE in St. Louis on November 16, 2011, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., and includes breakfast, lunch and breaks.  For more information about the CTEDDI Jump-start Workshop, contact jennifer.sawyer@louisville.edu or visit the ACTE website http://www.acteonline.org/convention.aspx.

Many of you are familiar with our subsidiary company, The Whitener Group.  The Whitener Group works with private sector corporate partners to design hiring and advancement tests, and certification services.  I’m proud to announce a name change for this organization.  Starting this fall, the new name will be NOCTI Business Solutions (NBS)!  NBS will continue to provide current, real-world technical standards and content to the same assessment item bank that NOCTI uses for its CTE assessments.  If your school or college is interested in becoming a business and industry testing center for NBS, please contact Anne at anne.gielczyk@nocti.org.

Another exciting development at NOCTI is our new web site that will be launched this fall!   Improved navigation will make it quicker and easier find what you need.  An updated “Teacher’s Corner,” a new Parents & Students section, and Online Chat are among the many new features.  Read the message by Board Chair, Dr. Jo Kister, in this newsletter to learn more about the new NOCTI web site.

NOCTI has always had multiple efficiency and analysis and tools available through our Client Services Center (CSC).  We haven’t always aggressively advertised these tools, so I wanted to draw your attention to a few of them.  The Data Upload Tool enables sites to upload test taker information, such as name, participant ID, program name, and test code to the CSC so that the uploaded data can be used to quickly and easily assign user codes for online assessment administration.  Task-link Reports provide detailed information on individual test taker performance for the various tasks within a major content area.  Instructors can easily identify strengths and areas for improvement by task for each student and for the group of test takers.  Archived downloadable score reports are available back to January 1, 2006, allowing Site Coordinators to access and manipulate their school’s assessment data from previous years. 

I ‘m also excited to say that we’re working on a project involving three states (east coast, central, and west coast) that involves making it easier to access industry assessments and for students to become competent in seven different industry certifications. If you are an industry certification association used by the CTE community and we haven’t talked to you about this initiative please contact me directly john.foster@nocti.org. Conversely, if you are an administrator or teacher and have a suggestion for an industry certification that your state uses widely, please pass the contact information along and we’ll try to get them involved.

Thanks to the success of our CTEDDI research project with the NRCCTE, we were encouraged to apply for an Institute of Educational Services (IES) grant.  The grant proposal involves designing a model for data driven instructional improvement that focuses on community college career and technical education faculty.  If your state or school would be interested in participating in this research, please feel free to drop me an e-mail at john.foster@nocti.org.

Be sure to take a look at this month’s Techniques Magazine from our partners at ACTE.  You’ll find a great article about a collaboration with the American Culinary Federation (ACF) and Hershey Entertainment (and NOCTI) that brings students together with great chefs.  The program gives students a “taste of their future” and helps them become more aware of opportunities and careers within the hospitality industry.

On behalf of the NOCTI staff, our Board and our Consortium of States, I sincerely hope you had the opportunity to refresh and recharge over the summer months and that you are ready to tackle the upcoming school year with renewed vigor and focus! 

John Foster
President/CEO
NOCTI and The Whitener Group
Measuring What Matters

As always, thank you for trusting NOCTI to deliver the quality assessments, comprehensive test data, and professional development needed to help improve your programs!  We look forward to continued service to the CTE community and are anxious to show you how we can meet your needs!

 

 

Message from the Board

I am excited to announce that NOCTI is launching its new website this fall that will give visitors a more user-friendly, easier-to-navigate browsing experience.  The website committee has been working hard over the past year to ensure that potential customers can quickly find all the information they need to make decisions about using NOCTI’s many products and services.  Another committee goal was to provide helpful information for teachers, parents and students as well as NOCTI Site Coordinators.

One click on the home page will take you to information about NOCTI assessment offerings.  Assessment blueprints and information on score reports, national averages, and much more, is at your fingertips.  A complete Products and Services section will introduce potential customers to NOCTI products designed to help schools, teachers, and students prepare for NOCTI testing and success in the workplace.  After reviewing the assessments and products, simply click on “Getting Started” to find the four easy steps to becoming a NOCTI customer!

An expanded Teacher’s Corner will provide information on the teacher’s role in NOCTI testing and introduce teachers to a variety of classroom tools, special reports, and webinar opportunities that are available for them.  The new Parents and Students page offers resources to inform parents and help students prepare for NOCTI testing, including aParent Guide for Interpreting Scores and an explanation of the many accommodations NOCTI has available to meet Individualized Education Program (IEP) requirements for test administration.

Up-to-date information about on-going test development and revision will also be easy to find, including how to participate in free pilot testing or serve as a Subject Matter Expert.  And, of course, NOCTI Site Coordinators can still log in to the Client Services Center from the new website to access the features, tools, and resources needed to manage an assessment program. 

Whether you are a potential customer interested in finding out what NOCTI has to offer, a new Site Coordinator, or a seasoned NOCTI customer, the new NOCTI website is the place to go for the information you need.  Watch for the launch announcement coming soon this fall! 

 

    NOCTI Board of Trustees Chairperson, Joanna Kister, Ph.D.