Mississippi State University "Connections Spring 2015" Magazine Features Aberdeen AFJROTC

Mississippi State University "Connections Spring 2015" Magazine | Mike Mulvihill

Each year, it seems we're faced with more and more change in education, and that change isn't always welcomed. I'm proud to say that in Mississippi's CTE programs, change has come this year that is exciting and rewarding for students and educators alike.

As one of few states equipped with valid, reliable statewide CTE assessments, I am proud of the innovative work we continue to do each year improving our MS-CPAS2 and performance-based assessments (PBA) to help students better demonstrate the technical and critical-thinking skills they learn in our CTE programs statewide. Over the past few years, PBA has become more common for our Year 2 students, and in this issue you can read about how students are reacting to this newer assessment strategy (p. 12).

We continue to use innovation in our CTE programs. After a curriculum revision, we've reopened the Aquaculture pathway, and Ocean Springs is the first district to offer this exciting opportunity to students (p. 4). A bit farther north, Aberdeen's ROTC program is one of the first of its kind using military drones on campus for student learning and training (p. 8).

Once pushed nearly to extinction, agricultural academies are growing in popularity nationwide, and we have two Mississippi programs revitalizing in Lincoln and Coahoma counties (p. 34).

Each issue, the stories in this publication excite me and remind me how impressive our CTE programs are and how valuable our students are to Mississippi's economy. Please share the magazine with your neighbors, local economic developers, and elected officials to help pass the CTE success stories to the full Mississippi audience.

Mike Mulvihill
Director, Office of Career and Technical Education