Magazine article Techniques

A Different Kind of Advocacy Training: The Acte National Leadership Fellowship Program

Magazine article Techniques

A Different Kind of Advocacy Training: The Acte National Leadership Fellowship Program

Article excerpt

THE WORD "ADVOCACY" CONJURES UP IMAGES OF LOBBYISTS navigating the world of legislative and governmental affairs on behalf of a specific issue or policy; but this perception of advocacy is limited to the governmental arena, and it undercuts the deeper meaning of advocacy, which is to support or promote something. This more general type of advocacy is as vital to the future of career and technical education (CTE) as the advocacy work being done by countless individuals and organizations on Capitol Hill.

Members of the Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE) need to advocate for CTE and ACTE on the Hill, as well as in their schools, with administrators and other educators, with parents and students, with the general public, and with business and industry. However, training is needed to equip them with the right skills to be effective advocates. And ACTE has just the program to fit the bill: the ACTE National Leadership Fellowship Program, ACTEs premier leadership development initiative.

The Program

Begun in 2009, the Fellowship Program has supported six classes. Participants, referred to as Fellows, are members who are interested in growing as leaders and advocating for CTE and ACTE. They are selected from each ACTE region, with some regions sending more than one Fellow to receive training. In 2016, ACTE is launching a pilot program to allow four divisions-Health Science, Family and Consumer Science, Business Education, and New and Related Sendees-to also support an ACTE Fellow.

The Fellowship Program has a set schedule of work that allows for flexibility, with the commitment running from January through December. Applications for the 2016 Fellowship Program are due November 1, so there is still time to apply to be a part of this cohort. Fellows receive a $1,000 stipend in addition to complimentary registrations at ACTE's CareerTech VISION and the National Policy Seminar.

The program of work is organized around three key areas of advocacy development: public policy, leadership and professional development. While the specific activities may vary from year to year, the foundational hallmark of the program is advocacy. The Fellows participate in monthly conference calls to discuss their experiences with the program of work, thoughts on the book the group is studying and upcoming events. They also plan and lead a program session together during VISION.

The Fellowship Coordinator

The program is led by a fellowship coordinator, who serves a two-year term. A seasoned ACTE leader, the coordinator works with ACTE staff to craft a specific program of work for the Fellows each year. This individual guides and mentors the Fellows through the year, providing important insight and encouragement along the way. …

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