Vocational teachers around North Dakota gather for conference

Local News

Vocational teachers across the state gathered in Bismarck for the 50th annual Professional Development Conference. Some of these trades include protective services, business education and ag.

Last year’s Career and Technical Education Conference was a stark contrast from this and previous years.
The 49th Annual Professional Development Conference was in an online format but taught the educators a valuable lesson.

Wayde Sick, State Director for the North Dakota Career and Technical Education, said, “We definitely learned a lot from COVID, that a lot of things can be taught virtually, and we can’t lose that. We think that we can use that to supplement what we do in the classroom.”

A year later, with the face-to-face format returned, including some unique simulations like a mobile lab and patient simulator.

The patient simulator named Susie is well-traveled, transported from Harvey to Hettinger and everywhere in between to help students learn the ins and outs of patient care.

Mari Volk, Dean of Current and Emerging Technologies at Bismarck State College, said, “We can teach students to do CPR on her and on the monitor it will tell if you are in the right spot when you are doing CPR on her.”

College and high school teachers were there, with the aim of improving teaching practices to educate tomorrow’s tradesmen- and-women.

Sick said that vocations are gaining popularity and raising wages.

“Career and technical education helps students get into a career pathway that they’re passionate about and that they can make a great living off of,” said Sick.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, unemployment numbers are hovering around the mid-to-upper teens, but professional development conferences for our educators today is hopeful to fill those openings in the vocational field tomorrow.

The conference ran Monday through Wednesday, with planning for next year’s conference set to begin by the end of the year.

Wednesday included specialized sessions throughout the city, including over at the Heritage Center, Bismarck Event Center and Bismarck State College.

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