Back-to-school time is here and what an exciting time it can be. It is a season for starting anew, anticipation for things to come, and for many, a fresh start. Most teachers and students enter a new year full of anticipation, enthusiasm, and optimism. When I think back to my time in the classroom, I remember the excitement of those first days of a new school year and, as much as they would hate to admit it, students have a similar feeling. Most of them have been looking forward to this time almost since the last school year ended.
With the new school year comes a renewed energy and commitment for the coming year. As board chair of NOCTI, I get a similar feeling thinking about the changes the organization has made over the past few months. I am excited to think of the growth in NOCTI and Nocti Business Solutions, evidenced by the opening of a new expansion to our headquarters. I know this expansion will accommodate our ever-growing staff and assist us in continuing to help meet the needs of our clients.
Just as schools across the nation use the new school year to introduce new curriculum and utilize new technologies, NOCTI periodically improves its products and services. Feedback from our teacher community has resulted in NOCTI taking on a new initiative focused on moving our study guides to an online format. In early 2018, we will be offering our study guides through a web-based system, making it more convenient for both teachers and students. This approach provides the opportunity for teachers and students to conveniently work together to build confidence and knowledge as they prepare for NOCTI credentialing. The study guides include a study checklist for each standard as well as for all jobs on the performance test. This online feature will make it easier than ever to integrate the study guides into the program curriculum.
This year, NOCTI is offering a new Workforce Competency Credential. It is anticipated this will become a game changer for CTE. The credential provides a credible means of verifying the knowledge and skills obtained by each student in a particular skill area, and validates the proficiencies expected by industry. The Workforce Competency Credential is issued only to individuals scoring at or above the industry-driven NOCTI criterion-referenced cut score on a current NOCTI Job Ready, Pathway, or Employability assessment. The Workforce Competency Credential is just one more piece of the comprehensive assessment solution offered through NOCTI.
To help improve the overall reliability of our testing solutions, we recently migrated our Internet services to US Signal which maintains a strong nationwide fiber network. The move to US Signal provides NOCTI and our end users a reliable and solid network infrastructure to ensure a seamless testing experience.
This past year the Board of Directors approved a Strategic Plan with a focus on growth over the next five to ten years. This new plan will allow NOCTI to continue to provide high quality services and products into the future while meeting the continuing demands of our school and business partners.
As this new school year begins, the dedicated staff at NOCTI continue to seek ways to support CTE professionals with innovative and effective ways to meet the needs of their students. Through the development of meaningful assessments, aligned with rigorous standards and the requirements of employers, NOCTI aims to provide innovative ways of validating skills and competencies.
Chairman, NOCTI Board of Trustees