The Association for Career and Technical Education
(ACTE) on Dec. 1 announced Shelli Sowles, college and career readiness specialist for Northeast Metro 916 as the recipient of the 2017 ACTE Career Guidance Award from among five finalists from across the country.
The award recognizes guidance counselors and career development professionals who have made significant contributions to advocate, educate and communicate the value of CTE as a viable career option to a variety of audiences in their communities.
As the career and college readiness specialist at Northeast Metro 916, Shelli Sowles developed the Career and Technical Center’s first career and college readiness series (CCRS). The series was so successful that students from outside the center started attending and it has since become a mandatory offering for 916 Career & Tech students. Sowles was instrumental in facilitating the expansion of a statewide data-driven college articulation repository website which has dramatically increased communication and visibility for career exploration and college credit opportunities. It is now used in over half the state Perkins consortia with participation from over 300 high schools and 31 two-year Minnesota colleges. Furthermore, Sowles directly contributed to the expansion of concurrent enrollment/transcripted college credit option for students, helping high school students earn over 3,200 college credits last year, saving families nearly $50,000 in college tuition.
In addition to these initiatives, Sowles’ contributions to student leadership programs have made a significant impact on 916 Career & Tech students’ opportunities and success. The SkillsUSA chapter Showles launched at CTC has grown in the last five years from one 12-student program to eight programs of over 350 student members. In 2010, Sowles developed a student ambassador program to develop the leadership skills of the center’s most promising students. The program has grown to recruit 100 students a year, and has been cited by the North Central Accreditation AdvancED Committee as a vital part of student success at 916 Career & Tech.