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©2012 CORD

A successful 2012 NCPN conference was held in October in Richmond, Virginia. This was the first time the conference had been held in Richmond, or anywhere in Virginia. Virginia is a beautiful state, and Richmond is only 90 minutes from Washington, DC. Thanks to the Virginia Governor's Office, the Virginia Department of Education, and the Virginia Community College System for their great help in program planning, and great speakers—including Governor Bob McDonnell. (Read more)

The 21st annual conference of the National Career Pathways Network officially got under way with the welcome of NCPN Director David Bond. David led the almost 1000 attendees in honoring the flag and the national anthem, with color guard provided by the Naval Junior ROTC of Varina High School in Richmond, commanded by Chief Rodriguez. (Read more)

This year's conference included a special session by Michael Brustein, a long-time NCPN affiliate and Washington attorney with extensive experience in matters pertaining to the federal role in support for CTE. (Read more)

Attendees at the member luncheon were welcomed by David Bond, who reminded his listeners of the benefits of NCPN membership—the conference luncheon, Connections (the NCPN newsletter), NCPNtalk (the NCPN listserv), eligibility to compete for the Kuder-sponsored Career Pathways Partnership Excellence Award, and access to members-only areas of the NCPN website, which hosts many valuable resources, including several toolkits. David recognized long-time NCPN members and introduced Scott Vandever, vice president of Kuder, Inc., the new sponsor of NCPN's Career Pathways Partnership Excellence Award. Kuder is a leading provider of Internet-based tools and resources that help students and adults achieve their educational and career planning goals. (Read more)

The keynote speaker at the closing general session was Lucille O'Neal, mother of professional basketball star Shaquille O'Neal. While Lucille is best known as "Shaq's mom," she is also the author of an inspiring book titled Walk Like You Have Somewhere to Go, the story of her triumph over poverty, rejection, abuse, and addiction. Today her faith and compassion are stronger than ever. (Read more)

The Adult Career Pathways preconference at this year's NCPN conference in Richmond was a day full of engaging dialogue and resource sharing among a wonderfully diverse group of participants. This year's workshop theme, Flexible Models for Challenging Times, took an in-depth look at some of the major components of successful Adult Career Pathways (ACP) programs. (Read more)

Over 70 current and future career pathways leaders from Puerto Rico, Canada, and twenty states including Alaska were certified at the annual NCPN conference in Richmond, Virginia. It was the sixth year that the Career Pathways Leadership Certification (CPL) preconference has been held at the conference, and during that six-year period more than 600 career pathways professionals have been certified through local, state, or regional CPL workshops throughout the United States. (Read more)

The iPad workshop at this year's NCPN conference was a superb experience for me. Conducting a three-hour workshop on a device that is so new was quite a significant challenge. The truth is that there is no such thing as an iPad expert in education, so every user of this device is a pioneer. As with all new tools that have multiple uses, I took the approach to teach the participants how to fish, as the parable goes, so they can be self-sufficient and learn how to master the tool to create new works of art. (Read more)

The skills needed in the United States go beyond reading, mathematics, and science. All Americans, not just an elite few, need 21st-century skills that will increase their marketability, employability, and readiness for citizenship. Educators are taking a holistic view of 21st-century teaching and learning that combines a discrete focus on 21st-century student outcomes (a blending of specific skills, content knowledge, and expertise) with innovative support systems to help students master the multi-dimensional abilities required in the 21st century. (Read more)

To help states and local recipients meet the requirements of the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act of 2006 (Perkins IV) for implementation of Programs of Study, the U. S. Department of Education, Office of Vocational and Adult Education (OVAE), in collaboration with major national associations, organizations, and states, formulated a career and technical rigorous programs of study (RPOS) design framework. The RPOS Design Framework promotes the application of all 10 of its components to support the development and implementation of RPOS. (Read more)
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Connections is distributed to members of the National Career Pathways Network (NCPN) as a benefit of membership. For information on becoming a member, visit

NCPN is an organization of CORD (

December 13
3:00–4:00 Eastern

Hear from the leaders of the development team for The Career Pathways Effect: Linking Education and Economic Prosperity. Go here to register. Learn how this book can stimulate conversation about developing and improving Career Pathways.

For book purchasing information, visit

Connections is published by the National Career Pathways Network, an organization of educators and employers dedicated to the advancement of Career Pathways, Tech Prep, and other CTE initiatives. NCPN assists its members in planning, implementing, evaluating, and improving workforce education programs. NCPN was founded by CORD, a national nonprofit organization that has been leading change in education for over thirty years.

Mark Whitney
254-772-8756 ext. 315

Visit NCPN on the web at