It’s really exciting to be able to share a collection of videos from a recent visit to Oklahoma, where the statewide OK Career Guide, powered by Kuder®, is sponsored by the Oklahoma Department of Career and Technology Education (ODCTE).
Members of Kuder’s client engagement team met with stakeholders who rely on the OK Career Guide as a free online resource for all Oklahomans. We wanted to hear about their experiences with the system and the impact it has on students throughout the state. Here’s what we learned.
During our first stop in Stillwater, OK, we met with Cori Gray and Tommi Leach of the ODCTE, an agency that provides leadership, resources, and ensures standards of excellence for a comprehensive statewide system of career and technology education.
According to Gray (shown above), who serves as ODCTE’s deputy state director, “The Oklahoma Career Guide platform … enables every student to be successful.” Gray pointed out that no matter where a student lives, be it in a rural small community, or a large urban community, the system “puts them on an even playing field, regardless of socioeconomic status, regardless of demographics, [and it] enables every student to be successful.”
Leach (shown above), who serves as ODCTE’s career and academic connections coordinator, told us she appreciates how the OK Career Guide’s My Ed Plan course planner component allows counselors to easily view students’ course selections, and facilitates “meaningful career conversations,” while at the same time allowing parents to get involved: “It gives everybody a chance to kind of look at that plan and advise on that plan and help students figure out for themselves, ‘This is what I want to do,’ so they take ownership,” she said.
Rebecca Eastham (shown above), executive director at Meridian Technology Center in Stillwater, said the earlier that a student can identify a career path, the easier it is for them to map out what classes they need to take while they’re in school, and to “find out what characteristics and qualities they should be developing in themselves to make sure that they’re prepared as they enter into a potential career field.”
Scott King (shown below), coordinator of student development and retention for Oklahoma State University, explained how the OK Career Guide helps students see how their interests and work values align with potential careers: “They get really excited when they see those things match up,” he said.
Lindsay Vallaster (shown below), assistant director of career services for OSU, noted that the OK Career Guide “is a starting point in beginning the conversation about career development” with the students she serves.
Matt Barnes (shown below), a recruiter at Ditch Witch in Perry, OK, said the OK Career Guide’s Connect 2 Business component lets students learn about opportunities at local employers. He explained that students benefit from internships and apprenticeships, while businesses benefit from growing a “pipeline of talent for the future.”