FCS Careers: Student Leadership Development Specialist

Article excerpt

Jen is in the Office of Career and Technical Education in the Indiana Department of Education where she is State Adviser for the Indiana Family, Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA) and for the Indiana Health Occupations Students of America (HOSA); she also is the Indiana Health Science Coordinator and the Civil Rights Team Leader. With these four hats, and probably more, she provides leadership and coordination to FCCLA and HOSA for the students, their advisors, and the teachers in the state. In addition to giving professional development conferences for FCS teachers and assisting with the Health Science programs across the state, Jen spends much of her time on planning, conducting, and evaluating several student conferences each year.

Professional development was a top career priority from the time Jen was an FCS student at Purdue University; facilitating groups, multi-tasking, curriculum development, and event planning are competencies she has refined as she progressed from student to FCS teacher to her current position. She reaches families and communities through the high school students who have been elected to serve as officers of the respective Career and Technical Student Organizations. (It is interesting to note that the tagline for HOSA is "The Pipeline for Future Health Care Professionals.") Financial literacy, community service learning, and relationships are three examples of focus for the projects students initiate in their communities and schools. …