After eight years of statewide leadership, the ICT Sector team will close out, transition and hand off many functions and resources to regional governance. The workplans of the statewide ICT sector team of 10 ICT Regional Directors, Sector Director Steve Wright and statewide grant support provided by Nicole Sherman expire at the end of June 2021. Grant extensions with ‘transitional funding’ for salaries of most RD and SD grants will continue until the end of the year to close out all grant-related activities. All other Sectors are transitioning as well.
Over the past eight years the ICT Statewide Sector Team has met weekly to anticipate and plan for student success in the accelerating areas of ICT industry technologies i.e., IT, IoT, AI, Cloud, Cybersecurity, Coding, digital media, entertainment, business office systems (remote and social media) and, as a result, the CCCs have developed numerous effective ICT technology pathways with statewide industry partners and faculty.
Regional Directors have initiated hundreds of programs and projects throughout the state while the statewide efforts have been instrumental in developing, funding and attracting partner funds to support effective statewide resources for their efforts, including:
- Statewide ICT gap and strategy analysis: WestEd
- Business Information Worker:
- Pathway marketing and website
- Cohort Plan
- C-ID for BIW and QuickStart Certificate program
- IT Technician Pathway:
- Industry vetted IT Pathway
- Alignment with Certifications and IT Model Curriculum
- Converged with Cybersecurity
- IT Transfer agreement (ITTP or ITMC) with National University, WGU, SNHU
- Certification resource access with AWS, Cisco, CompTIA, Google IT, ISACA
- Digital Badge review with Pearson/Credly/LinkedIn
- Remote Certification Testing update during COVID
- K-12 CyberPatriot support
- NETLAB+ User Group for 60+ CCCs
- Computer Science Transfer Best Practices
- ICT Educator Series (60+ webinars)
- ICT Website Archives as faculty resource
- Digital Media Educator Conference; DMEC (multi-year)
- Funding and collaboration with WASTC for IT Faculty Training (multi-year)
- Bimonthly newsletters of impactful regional activity (120+ articles)
During the transition, the statewide ICT team plans to initiate with faculty, three Statewide Faculty Collaboratives in the subsectors IT-Cyber, Digital Media and Business Office Systems to continue statewide employer engagement and best practice sharing. Over 180 faculty have already indicated an interest in participating.
Specific regional requests for archives or program data will be supported. The ICT website hosting the sector team’s publications will remain accessible through December 2021. You’ll be able to view 60+ webinars with transcripts on IT/cybersecurity, digital media, virtual labs, labor market data, classroom tools, engaging employers and more. Also, be sure to download information on the Business Information Worker pathway and the IT Technician pathway. You can also review more than 120 articles highlighting RD programs and projects taking place around the state.
Some regions have already elected to fund or augment their existing RDs with Strong Workforce Program funds and others are examining the role and functionality as best suits their region. The RDs have demonstrated their value to CTE Deans by conducting employer and program outreach work that college administrators don’t have time to do. If you want to see these roles continue, it is a regional SWP decision, so speak up! I recommend a continuation of the funding for one or more ICT industry engagement specialists per region.
Otherwise, if you are looking for a Workforce Dean or campus-based employer engagement specialist grab them while you can! The ICT RDs provide incredible value due to their ICT industry and multi-campus CCC expertise which they combine with their hard-earned diplomatic ability to get things done through collaboration. If you like the work someone did, don’t hesitate to place a recommendation in their LinkedIn profile. In this time of transition, it is greatly appreciated.
One of the ICT Team’s greatest adjustments will be the absence of the incredible support Nicole Sherman has provided to the CCCs by showcasing the ICT Statewide sector opportunities, programs and exploits. Her communications role gave us the ICT newsletter, articles, ICT Educator Series webinars and the ICT website, as well as several significant projects managed over the years (including BIW, Entertainment Edge and faculty surveys). We have called Nicole everything from Community Manager to Producer because she does it all. She has been a wonderful asset to the sector team and her efforts over the years are greatly appreciated.
Statewide leadership in a rapidly changing, diversifying and hybridizing sector like ICT is essential to help the CCCs maintain educational excellence. As SD, I led weekly ICT Team planning meetings, designed and led many collaborative projects and have given over 80 conference and committee presentations to CCCs and Industry Conferences including invitational testimony to the CA Assembly and the White House. The progress that results from such interaction and collaboration is significant. It will be necessary for regions to assume more of this ‘expertise’ role and share with other regions in the future.
We are all in a field of work, CTE, that is very necessary at this time. Those who are equipped with knowledge of the expanding ICT industry as well as the labyrinthian workings of CCCs and government are uniquely suited to be the innovative problem solvers that California students and industry need. I am confident we will all continue to encounter each other as we support student success in a variety of new roles and functions.
All the best,