Friday Flash, March 27, 2020
SkillsUSA Official Statement on the Status of NLSC 2020
SkillsUSA has made a decision on the status of the 2020 NLSC. What follows is a portion of SkillsUSA Executive Director Chelle Travis’ official statement:
“SkillsUSA has made the difficult decision to cancel all in-person activities related to NLSC — including our SkillsUSA Championships — and focus on essential organizational leadership opportunities conducted in a virtual setting.
Many factors led to this decision, but I’d like to share the two most impactful. First, there is nothing more important to SkillsUSA than the health and wellbeing of our members and stakeholders. With so much yet unknown about this virus and how long it might affect us, we could not in good conscience move forward with an in-person event this June.
Second, our national event is dependent on state participation. As of this writing, 27 states have canceled their conferences and would not be participating in our national event even if it was held as planned. Others are basing their decisions on whether or not their school systems reconvene this year, which becomes less likely each day.
SkillsUSA completely supports the difficult decisions our dedicated state directors have made over the last several weeks, and we commend them for their tireless work. Nevertheless, without robust state participation, holding our national conference is simply not a viable option.
I know the disappointment this decision will cause so many of you. It’s a disappointment shared by all of us. But we must rise above that disappointment and remember who we are. We are SkillsUSA. I assure each one of you: SkillsUSA won’t just survive this crisis. We’ll come through it stronger than ever. This setback is temporary, but the legacy, spirit and strength of this organization endures in each one of you.”
For the full statement and a video from Chelle, please visit: https://tinyurl.com/NLSC-announcement. The updated announcement should be available by 5 p.m. EST, Friday, March 27.
Try Career Essentials: Experiences for Your Virtual Classroom
Due to the current COVID-19 crisis, many states have closed schools, requiring local administrators and teachers to quickly move their classes to virtual environments. SkillsUSA has received inquiries about how the SkillsUSA Career Essentials: Experiences curricula could be used to cultivate student learning.
Recognizing these challenging circumstances, SkillsUSA is offering two of our courses (exploratory and fundamental) for purchase in smaller, deeply discounted segments, allowing teachers flexible options during the uncertainty of this current health crisis.
SkillsUSA Career Essentials: Experiences courses are available for:
Middle school students (Exploratory – approximately 25 hours to complete)
Early high school students (Fundamental – approximately 35 hours to complete)
Upper high school students (Advanced – approximately 45 hours to complete)
College students (Advanced or Adult Learner – approximately 45 hours to complete)
For full details on this offer, visit: https://www.skillsusa.org/skillsusa-career-essentials-discounts/.
If you have questions about this special support opportunity, contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.
To participate in a one-hour overview of the SkillsUSA Career Essentials suite resources, sign up using the online registration form.
If you would like to become a Career Essentials Certified Teacher, please register for this four-hour professional development here.
Note: SkillsUSA contracts with a third-party learning management system to deliver the Career Essentials curricula, and we incur a fee for every user. Consequently, we are unable to offer this resource for free, but are offering these resources at the lowest rate that allows us to cover a portion of our organizational costs and remain fiscally responsible to our members.
“Keep CTE Moving” to Help Students Continue Learning During COVID-19 Crisis
SkillsUSA has joined with Lincoln Electric, Tooling U-SME, NC3 and camInstructor to form a new career and technical education (CTE) instructional resource called the CTE Coalition. The goal of the coalition is to leverage shared experiences, connections and resources for the benefit of all CTE students who are facing unprecedented educational challenges this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. As a first step in accomplishing that goal, the coalition quickly mobilized Keep CTE Moving, a new website providing free and heavily discounted resources for CTE instructors and their students.
Keep CTE Moving allows those instructors and students to access hundreds of online classes, videos and instructional materials in areas such as machining, welding, mechatronics, industry 4.0 and programming. All online materials — many available at no charge for the next 30 days — are produced by the coalition partners. These resources will help CTE faculty and students adapt teaching and learning to a new virtual environment with the flexibility to learn now and test hands-on skills later.
SkillsUSA’s portion of the website offers our Career Essentials suite in smaller, discounted segments, allowing more learners access to our career readiness curricula with credentialing opportunities.
“The coalition hopes that by offering these centralized online resources, we can quickly help thousands of students continue their studies in these unprecedented times when many schools are temporarily closed,” said SkillsUSA executive director Chelle Travis. “This is our effort to offer support to our students and teachers who need guidance and resources — and they need it right now.”
Many CTE courses are very hands-on. With this opportunity, tens of thousands of CTE students can keep learning, even while they may not be allowed to gather in a physical classroom or lab. Understanding the urgency for resources, coalition partners are sharing a robust set of e-learning modules and other resources along with recorded sessions with CTE instructors highlighting best practices in how to transition to a virtual learning environment.
CTE instructors are urged to visit Keep CTE Moving regularly for new partners, more learning resources and guidance that will evolve over time. For more information and to access resources, visit www.ctecoalition.com
Support for Delivering Online Instruction
The Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE) recognizes the dramatic impact that dealing with the Coronavirus (COVID-19) is having on instructional efforts. To this end, through their online portal, CTE Learn, along with their partners at MaxKnowledge, ACTE is now offering a selection of free online courses to prepare CTE teachers to teach online.
Go to Online Teachers on CTE Learn and click on Delivering Online Instruction. You’ll see the following online courses that you can access for free:
EL102 Online Teaching Techniques
EL103 Teaching Online: A Student-Centered Approach
EL104 Teaching and Organizing a Virtual Learning Environment
EL105 Online Language: Communicating with Students
EL108 Preparing Students to Become Good Online Learners
EL112 Workload Management Strategies for Teaching Online
Register/login on the CTE Learn site and enter the master key “MK-ACTE” to enroll in any of the above courses. This complimentary key is valid through May 1. Contact if you have any questions.
Rees Scholarship Foundation Offers SkillsUSA Scholarships
The Clifford H. “Ted” Rees, Jr. Scholarship Foundation, an Air-Conditioning, Heating and Refrigeration Institute Charitable Foundation, in partnership with SkillsUSA, is proud to offer eight one-time, merit-based $2,500 scholarships to SkillsUSA students who are currently enrolled in a HVACR or a general construction program and who will be pursuing college/postsecondary career training in the HVACR industry. The scholarship is intended to provide tuition support in the 2021-22 school year.
To apply for the Clifford H. “Ted” Rees, Jr. Scholarship Foundation SkillsUSA Scholarship, applicants:
Must be a SkillsUSA member
Must be must be currently enrolled in an HVACR or general construction program
Must be planning to study HVACR at the college/postsecondary level in the 2021-22 school year
Must submit a letter of recommendation from their HVACR instructor
Must submit a current resume with their application
Applications must be submitted via the online form to the SkillsUSA national office for review and determination by midnight EDT, April 30. Recipients will be informed on May 15. For more information, visit: www.skillsusa.org/membership-resources/scholarships-financial-aid/
#KeepCraftAlive Scholarship Opportunity
SkillsUSA, in partnership with Fine Homebuilding, announces that #KeepCraftAlive Scholarship applications are now being accepted.
Fine Homebuilding will be awarding at least twelve $2,500 scholarship awards to SkillsUSA high school or college/postsecondary students who will continue their education in construction-related fields. In the spirit of the #KeepCraftAlive movement, applicants should celebrate the value and meaning of true craftsmanship in their trade and plan to continue their education in community colleges, undergraduate programs or industry certification curricula.
Fine Homebuilding will award scholarships to SkillsUSA students presently studying architectural drafting, carpentry, cabinetmaking, electrical and residential wiring, HVACR, masonry, woodworking or plumbing.
Selections will be based on completion of an application, along with a 300-word essay showing the applicant’s passion for his or her craft and a letter of support from a teacher, administrator, SkillsUSA advisor or an educational/professional mentor.
The application deadline is April 17 at midnight EST. Apply online today
2020 ‘Spark Something Great’ Grant
Hypertherm is offering tools and equipment to SkillsUSA schools with metal fabrication programs. Applications are reviewed based on the school’s commitment to metal fabrication education, program need, number of students who complete the program each year, instructor plans for system use and a student testimonial. Hypertherm will award 12 schools with tools, curriculum and training. Submissions are due April 1 and awards will be announced by May 1. For details, go to: www.hypertherm.com/grant