Colorful instructor makes splash in Trinidad arts scene

In slightly more than a year in Trinidad, Art Professor Vilas Tonape has made his mark on the local art scene. His positive attitude makes everyone believe they too, can draw.

Tonape graduated from the most prestigious art school in India, Sir J.J. School of Art, in 1992. His Master of Fine Arts came from Texas Christian University in 1996. He has taught art at the college level in Florida, Georgia and now Colorado. He arrived in Trinidad in August of 2013. By December, faced with more students than expected in his painting class, he enlisted volunteers to help build more easels for his studio on the 4th floor of the Berg Building.

“What you want is a disciplined training,” said Tonape. His approach is very much step by step. Continue reading

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Mid-August CTE Updates from the Assistant Provost

Important Perkins Performance Announcement

In Colorado’s July 1 Perkins First Installment Award Letter, we received notification of additional “Special Conditions” (attached) which will have to be followed in the 2014-15 year.  These conditions are due to failure to meet, for three consecutive years, the necessary performance level for one of the secondary (high school only) core indicators of performance of Perkins IV.  Specifically, we missed the mark on secondary technical skill attainment (2Sl) each of the past three years.  This measure uses Concentrator Completion Rate for its measurement approach.

Based on conversations with our secondary institutions we believe our downward trend in our completion rates is a result of:

  • Decreasing school budgets which limit elective options so courses are not available for a student to complete the pathway.
  • Continuation of high stakes academic testing influences school administrators to invest more in academic requirements and less electives offerings.
  • Lack of understanding by administrators and counselors that CTE programs area sequence of courses not just independent elective experiences which negatively impacts availability and accessibility of courses.

We firmly believe that due to the adjusted performance level and our work with school districts and consortiums that have failed to meet the measure, that we will meet/exceed the target for the 2013-14 reporting year.  Specifically we will:

Analyze data to determine low performing school districts and programs.

  1. Provide on-site review of data submission processes to ensure all students that can be counted are being counted.
  2. Provide on-site targeted technical assistance to revise program structure as appropriate and necessary.
  3. Eliminate problematic courses and/or close low performing programs.
  4. Coordinate closely with USDE contacts for timely submission of quarterly reports and utilization of technical assistance.

We would ask that all secondary Perkins recipients review their 2S1 Technical Skill Attainment Measure performance and consider how they can strengthen their performance.  For more information and or ideas contact Lorrie Toni, Perkins Director, Julie Eddy, Accountability Director or Scott Stump, Assistant Provost for Career & Technical Education.

STEM Education Roadmap Public Release

On Wednesday August 27 from 4:30 – 7:00PM, the public is invited to attend a reception celebrating the release of the Colorado STEM Education Roadmap. The event will include a panel discussion of the growing demand for STEM competencies, and overview of the work to increase access to high-quality STEM education for all students, and how stakeholders can invest in and become part of the evolving public-private partnership supporting these efforts.  Space is limited and RSVP to Angela Baber at is required.

For additional information, see  .

Diversity in STEM Initiative

On September 12, the community college system office, in partnership with the National Alliance for Partnerships in Equity (NAPE), will kick off a yearlong initiative to increase the diversity of community college STEM programs. The initiative will include implementation of the research based PIPE-STEM process within participating colleges.  Participants currently include the Community College of Denver, Pueblo Community College, and CHAMP grant participants. The event will take place from 9-3 at the Pikes Peak Community College Rampart Range Campus.

For additional information or learn how to become involved, see or contact Jennifer Jirous, STEM/Arts Program Director at


CACTA (Colorado Association of Career Technical Administrators) Announces Taskforce Dates

For many years, CACTA has hosted monthly Taskforce meetings during the academic year.  Each Taskforce meeting focuses on a timely topic for CTE and allows ample time for questions, discussion and recommendations.  For topics and additional information contact Mimi Leonard, CACTA President Elect.  Times and locations for the 2014-15 Taskforce meetings are:

  • October 3 – Noon – 3:00 – Pickens Tech (Lunch provided)
  • October 15 – 1:00 – 3:30 – CCCS (President’s Conference Room)
  • November 19 – 1:00 – 3:30 – CCCS (President’s Conference Room)
  • January 21 – 1:00-3:30 – CCCS  (President’s Conference Room)
  • March 18 – 1:00-3:30 – CCCS  (President’s Conference Room)
  • April 15 – Noon-3:00 – Pickens Tech (Lunch provided)

Colorado Health Science Meetings

Colorado Health Science teachers will be meeting at Lowry Conference Center on September 12th for Health Science pathway, curriculum and HOSA updates. There’s also the National Health Science Curriculum Conference will be held downtown Denver at the Embassy Suites October 14-17. There will be 350+ Health Science teachers attending from across the country.

For additional information contact Tara Bell at

 Please let us know if you have any questions!

Contact information for all CCCS Staff:             http://www.coloradostateplan.comCTEcontacts.htm

Colorado CTE Calendar:   2014-15 Colorado CTE Calendar

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Attorney starts $250,000 scholarship fund at Trinidadd State

The Trinidad State Junior College Educational Foundation is pleased to announce that Denver attorney Franklin D. Azar, has established the Franklin D. Azar Scholarship Fund at Trinidad State Junior College with a very generous contribution.  Azar pledged his support to aid TSJC students with their educational expenses by committing $250,000 to the scholarship fund over the next five years.  Continue reading

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You’re Invited: Colorado STEM Education Roadmap Event

Colorado STEM Education Roadmap Release Event

Celebrating Colorado Leadership in Talent and Innovation

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Culinary Nutrition – FACS Core Secondary Course Addition

Thank you to the Colorado Culinary Nutrition Curriculum Team for their hard work and commitment in creating a new, innovative, relevant and exciting program designed to impact the overall health of students through nutrition, lifestyle, and sustainability education. This new course is meant to compliment any and all FACS Core courses, as well as serve as a basis of knowledge for students interested in nutrition, dietetics, or culinary career paths. For more information, contact Michelle Koch at or 720-858-2291. Course outlines, standards and a list of comprehensive resources are available.

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College and Career Readiness Technical Assistance and Resources

The System Office now has a Career & College Readiness Initiatives (CCRI) Department! In collaboration with CDE and CDHE partners, the department consists of the following:
• Tracy Thompson, ICAP Implementation Specialist
• Kendra Rodriguez, CO-PALS Project Manager
• Lauren Jones, Program Director for Career Guidance, Counseling and ACE

Services include: technical assistance, trainings, facilitation of various initiative implementation planning conversations and action steps, ‘hot topic’ professional development, among other creative endeavors to support all things PWR for CO students. Resources available at:

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CCCS CTE Staffing Updates

It is with mixed emotions that I announce the departure of Jennifer Girvin, Assistant Program Director for Health and Public Safety. Jennifer will be leaving our office on August 26th for a position with National HOSA. We appreciate and have benefitted greatly from Jennifer’s energy and expertise over the past 5 years. Under her leadership Colorado HOSA has grown 225% to over 1,500 secondary and postsecondary members. Please join us in wishing Jennifer well on her new adventure.

Please note that we will be posting the position announcement for this position as soon as possible. In addition we will soon be positing an announcement for a new position: Program Director for Teaching and Learning. This position will manage new instructor onboarding including mentoring, credentialing and professional development. In addition, this position will be the CCCS lead on our work with standards, assessments and curriculum work. Both positions will be posted at shortly.

Last but not least, we are pleased to announce that Jo O’Brien has joined our staff full-time to continue her excellent work leading the Manufacturing Career Pathway implementation. She can be reached at Jo.O’ Please join us in welcoming Jo to CCCS!

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2014-15 Version of Colorado CTE Administrators Handbook Now Available

The 2014-15 version of the CTE Administrators Handbook is now available at .  Changes include:

Section I – Added new item 5.0 Compliance to provide guidance on assisting recipients that struggle with accurate and timely reporting.
Section II – Updates to Secondary and Postsecondary CTSOs
Section IV – Clarified allowability of postsecondary instructors with a full-time Credential to teach part-time.
Section V, Part A & B  – Added clarifying language throughout CTA section based on training questions and audit findings.
Section V, Part C 20 – Adjusted definition of a student for tutoring purposes.
Section VIII – Revised to reflect changes in practice and updated federal guidance.

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Colorado Culinary Nutrition concept Highlighted

I just wanted to share a US News blog featuring our own Culinary Nutrition Curriculum lead teacher, Julie Olsen from Monarch High School.

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Bollman Tech Ed Center Wins Award

At the core of the 2014 Achieving Excellence in Career Technical Education: The National Career Clusters Institute are our Excellence in Action Award winners. Out of a large national pool of applicants, our 2014 award winners earned this distinction for their innovative approach to CTE, each exemplifying different elements of high-quality CTE as laid out in Reflect, Transform, Lead: A New Vision for Career Technical Education.

  •  From the Architecture and Construction Career Cluster, Tolsia High School Carpentry Program, Fort Gay, WV
  • From the Arts, A/V Technology and Communications Career Cluster, Union County Academy for Performing Arts, Scotch Plains, NJ
  • From the Health Science Career Cluster, Bollman Technical Education Center Medical Sciences Program, Bollman Technical Education Center, Thornton, CO
  • From the Information Technology Career Cluster, Tennessee College of Applied Technology – Shelbyville, Computer Information Technology, Tennessee College of Applied Technology, Shelbyville, TN
  • From the Law, Public Safety, Corrections and Security Career Cluster, Jack E. Singley School of Law and Public Service, Irving, TX
  • From the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Career Cluster, Innovation Academy for Engineering, Environmental, and Marine Science, Foy H. Moody High School, Corpus Christi, TX

These standout programs represent the best CTE has to offer. Advocates are encouraged to use these printable summaries of their success as effective meeting leave-behinds and case-making tools to promote CTE: learning that works for America!

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