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October 21, 2002

SDE Career, Technical and Adult Services Division
To Hold Career Pathways Institute in Albuquerque

(Santa Fe, NM)-The New Mexico State Department of Education's (SDE) Career, Technical and Adult Services Division and the New Mexico Department of Labor will hold the second annual Career Pathways Institute, "Pathways to a New Economy," on October 21-23, 2002, at the Sheraton Old Town, located at 800 Rio Grande, in Albuquerque.

"Under our shared vision, students would be provided with rigorous core subjects and focused electives, called 'career pathways,' and career counseling so they may secure both a high school diploma and an industry credential. And they would be offered a solid academic core based on and aligned to the state's academic standards," said Lena Trujillo-Chavez, the SDE's assistant superintendent for career, technical and adult services.

"We are pleased to have gathered a number of individuals who are in different stages of implementation or are interested in learning how to develop a plan for implementing career pathways in their schools," she said. "Panelists from small learning communities and volunteer facilitators from various occupations will make this a successful and worthwhile Institute."

Sandy Mittelsteadt, executive director of the National Career Academy Coalition, will facilitate the Institute, assisting participants with the development of "career pathways" action plans. She is known nationally for her expertise in all aspects of career academy development, including brain-based learning, integrated curriculum, project-based learning, assessment (rubric and portfolio) content reading and technical writing.

An in-depth description of work in progress and a wealth of new information on the career clusters initiative, supported through the National Association of State Directors for Career and Technical Education Consortium, may be accessed at the following website: WWW.CAREERCLUSTERS.ORG/.

The New Mexico State Board of Education (SBE), in its white paper 21st Century Diverse Pathways to the High School Diploma, is actively promoting program quality in career and technical education. Through its 2003 legislative proposals, the SBE is calling for more flexibility at the local level in the area of graduation requirements to allow for four-year "career pathways" to be developed.

For more information, contact Georgetta Cummings, the SDE's state supervisor for health occupations, at (505) 476-0265.