April 14, 2014 4:45PM
In a brief stop at Pittsburg State University’s Kansas Technology Center on Monday, Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback praised the higher education funding bill recently passed by the Kansas Legislature, including $1 million targeted at creating the Career and Technical Education Teacher Development and Innovation Center (CTE-TDI) at PSU.
Pittsburg State has produced technical education teachers for most of its history, but the CTE-TDI, officials said, will dramatically expand the number of qualified CTE instructors PSU is able to produce.
“We’ve had a massive increase in (high school and community college) technical education coursework in the state of Kansas,” Brownback said. “In student enrollment we’re up well over 60 percent in technical education over the past two years. Now we need more teachers to teach those classes.”
PSU’s CTE-TDI Center will offer an instructor development program designed to assist new teachers who are transitioning to the classroom from careers in business and industry. It also includes the development of a network that will allow and encourage teachers who attend national conferences to share their knowledge with colleagues throughout the state and a web-based tool linking career and technical educators across Kansas. A mobile teaching unit, featuring simulators and training systems, will travel throughout the state to deliver hands-on teaching to instructors in their own school districts.
PSU President Steve Scott said the CTE-TDI is a perfect match for Pittsburg State.
“It’s an area of strength for us,” Scott said. “It’s an area we have a statewide responsibility and a mandate for. It matches up with the governor’s roadmap. It matches up with Pittsburg State University. It matches up with the regents’ initiative.”
Brownback met briefly with representatives of various campus constituencies. Following his visit to Pittsburg, Brownback made stops at Emporia State University, Wichita State University, and Kansas State University.