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ANNUAL REPORT of the American Vocational Association.

Fiscal Year 1998

Building Our Membership

As of the end of fiscal 98, there was an increase of 4.7 percent in membership over the previous year. This is due to 1 0 consecutive months of membership growth and increases in every AVA Region, 10 AVA Divisions and 32 states. AVA's success in membership expansion is the result of aggressive membership solicitation and retention campaigns such as: "Forward to Excellence 2000," "Member-Get-A-Member," the "Student Member Campaign" and grassroots efforts by AVA members.

During FY 1998, the first AVA chapter was organized in the state of Michigan. In addition, AVA now has service agreements with 10 states to handle all the membership processing as well as membership promotion for the state.

Federal Funds

Perkins Reauthorization--AVA continued its advocacy efforts this year on the reauthorization of the Perkins Act. After the successful passage of the House Perkins bill, which AVA supported efforts focused on the Senate where lawmakers intended to try again to combine vocational-technical education with job training programs. After months of wrangling, AVA was successful in advocating the separation of these programs into two separate bills. This paved the way for the completion of the legislation in October 1998. The final bill contains most of the AVA-advocated priorities that will help serve local vocational programs.

Higher Education Act, FY 1999 Funding--While continuing our efforts on the Perkins reauthorization, AVA also advocated for vocational-technical education's priorities in the Higher Education Act and the FY 1999 appropriations legislation. Through the former, AVA focused on teacher training, resulting in the availability of federal funds for training vocational-technical education teachers. In addition, a federal study was included in the final bill that will focus on the role of education in welfare reform. AVA also worked with other postsecondary education organizations on improvements to student aid programs and the seamless transition from secondary to postsecondary education. Regarding the latter, funding for vocational-technical education for FY 1999 includes a $3 million increase for basic state grants, a $3 million increase for tech prep and a $1 million increase for tribally controlled postsecondary institutions. The Pell Grant maximum will increase from $3,000 to $3,125. School-to-work programs will be funded at $250 million, down from $400 million, in keeping with the original intent to phase out federal funding for this program.

Enhancing Professional Development

Conventions and Meetings--In an effort to provide professional development opportunities for more segments of the membership, AVA held five pre-convention seminars in Las Vegas, two one-day seminars in Roanoke, Va., and Colorado Springs, Colo., and two workshops in Albuquerque, N.M., and Louisville, Ky., in FY 1998.

The 1997 convention and trade show in Las Vegas was the largest in AVA history, with more than 9,000 attendees and 320 exhibiting companies occupying over 620 booths.

The National Policy Seminar included notable speakers, including political consultants James Carville and Mary Matalin, congressional leaders such as senators Jim Jeffords (R-Vt) and Byron Dorgan (D-N.D.), Representatives Buck McKeon (R-Calif.) and John Peterson (R-Pa.), and U.S. Department of Education assistant secretaries Patricia McNeil and David Longanecker. Dorgan was presented AVA's Policymaker of the Year Award.

Business/Industry Support--During the 1998 AVA National Policy Seminar, the AVA School-to-Work Partners solidified their existence by approving a formal governance structure and bylaws for the group and adopting a new name--The American Business and Education Partnership, which more closely aligns the name with its tagline, "Rethinking the Way America Does Business with Education."

Six committees were formed to address each of the objectives in the partnership's strategic plan.

The number of large and small corporations, organizations and education institutions represented grew steadily throughout the year, to 90 by the end of June 1998 (and 10 more since June). These corporate partners continue to play an active role in our programs and our advocacy efforts before Congress.

Improving our program, AVA is taking the lead in developing and marketing materials to help educators build school-to-careers systems and is designated as an official technical assistance provider by the National School-to-Work Office.

AVA has worked closely with the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards in promoting its Vocational Education Teaching Standards and with the National Skill Standards Board in developing industry-approved skill standards.

Products and Publications--AVA produced three new books in FY98--Helping Students Plan Careers: A School-to-Careers Guide for Counselors, Taking the Worry Out of Work-Based Learning, and Making the Case for School-to-Careers and Vocational Education. Techniques magazine continued to involve its readers and draw the attention of other organizations. The magazine won two prestigious Ed-Press Distinguished Achievement Awards, in the adult feature and how-to feature categories. This is the third year in a row that Techniques has won an award for editorial excellence. The School-To-Work Reporter subscriber base experienced good growth as the school-to-work market matured and became more accessible to our direct-mail promotional efforts.

In addition, AVA worked with MetLife to create an information brochure, About Preparing for a Career, on employability skills and career exploration that is now featured in MetLife's series of Life Advice pamphlets and brochures. The brochure carries an acknowledgement of AVA's role in its creation and invites readers to visit the AVA Web site. MetLife provides single copies of the brochure to the public and supplied AVA with a quantity for sale in bulk to schools and districts.

Sales of AVA's Voc Ed Week/School-to-Careers Month promotional items were very strong in this second and concluding year of the popular promotional slogan, "Get Your Career in Gear!"

Spreading the Word

AVA continued to develop the national "Creating Futures" image campaign for vocational education and educators. New elements of the campaign in FY 1998 included creation of an AVA Image Line of casual wear and recognition items bearing the "Creating Futures" logo. These items are one way for vocational educators to identify their commitment to preparing students for jobs and career success. Revenue from sales of Image Line items helps fund the image campaign. The AVA board also approved creation of an Image Award to recognize celebrities who bring positive publicity to vocational education.

Reprints of Techniques magazine articles about quality programs and news of AVA policy initiatives and outstanding vocational teachers and administrators are sent regularly to education and business editors around the country. In addition, targeted publicity about AVA award winners is sent to local print and broadcast media in their home towns. As a result of these efforts, media inquiries to AVA headquarters and resulting articles about vocational education continue to increase. AVA assisted editors on stories that appeared in Forbes magazine, the New York Times, Washington Post, ABC-TV, on the newsline UPI, in the Philadelphia Inquirer, in Education Week, and in the Kiplinger Washington Letter.

The AVA Web site was expanded in FY 1998 to include convention registration forms and the ability to conduct credit card business. It also now includes flashing signals to call attention to legislative alerts from the Government Relations Department.

RELATED ARTICLE: President's Message

As we look back on FY 1998, we can be proud of the many accomplishments of our association and the progress made toward serving AVA's mission. In this annual report, we highlight some of the innovative and exciting projects completed by AVA in the successful year that officially ended June 30, 1998. This report also is available on AVA's Web site (www.avaonline.org) and a printed version with complete financial data for the year is included in the January 1999 issue of Techniques magazine. Beyond the last fiscal year, here are some accomplishments of our year to date:

* The evolution of AVA's School-to-Work Partners to the American Business and Education Partnership, with its own executive board and strategic plan. There are now 100 businesses represented in the partnership.

* The adoption by AVA headquarters of new iMIS software, a Windows-based database system that will enable AVA to provide much better service to its members.

* A "student track" developed for the AVA Convention in New Orleans--an outgrowth of the student member campaign. This track will provide special programming for college graduates and undergraduates who are preparing to be vocational educators.

* In the fall of 1998, AVA prepared a guide to the reauthorization of the Perkins Act, which passed just before Congress adjourned in October.

Brenda Hurst President, 1997-98
COPYRIGHT 1999 Association for Career and Technical Education
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1999 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Publication:Techniques
Date:Jan 1, 1999
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