Advisory Committee Toolkit Members Guide


Advisory Committee Toolkit

VI. Advisory Committee Members Guide

General Purpose of Advisory Committees

An advisory committee is a group of employers and employees who advise educators on the design, development, implementation, evaluation, maintenance, and revision of CTE programs within a career pathway. Each advisory committee is made up of individuals with experience and expertise in the occupational field that the program serves.

Why Was I Selected?

You have been selected to serve on the advisory committee because of your knowledge and understanding of your area of specialization or industry. Your expertise is essential in helping the educational institution(s) address trends in the industry, identify skills needed in employees, and assist educators in maintaining a program that will enable students to enter and advance in the work force.

What Will I Do?

Your role as an advisory committee member is to ensure the quality of program graduates, not by "rubber stamping" what already exists but by offering suggestions for improvements that will help the program grow and expand.

Members might . . .

  • Suggest ways to modify the curriculum,
  • Review teaching materials for technical accuracy,
  • Provide information on equipment and vendors, and
  • Establish safety guidelines.

As only "one customer" of the product (student/employee) that the educational institution(s) is developing, they may not be able to respond to all your suggestions, but should respond regardless in a timely manner.

Your role will fall into these broad categories:

  • Assessment and counsel
    Members should assess each area of the career pathway and offers suggestions on ways to improve that area.

  • Assistance
    Members can assist the program by helping instructors and administrators secure mentors and internships for students. Employers also assist with placement of graduates.

  • Promotion and advocacy
    Members should promote the career pathway in the community. Promotion and advocacy can take forms such as communicating with legislators, arranging publicity, presenting programs to civic groups, and authoring newspaper articles.

It is especially critical that employers give counsel on the skills needed in the workplace including the essential skills (workplace skills, foundations skills, soft skills, employability).

What to Do First

As a new member, you may feel overwhelmed and may not be that familiar with your local educational institution(s). The following is a checklist that will help you become grounded in this new territory and help you understand your new role:

  1. Objective: Understand Educational Arena
    • Tools/Strategy
    • Issues to Understand/Questions to Ask: Understand the educational systems and the terminology used.

  2. Objective: Understand Educational Institutions
    • Tools/Strategy
      • College website
      • Secondary School websites
      • College catalog
      • Tour facilities
    • Issues to Understand/Questions to Ask: Understand the different educational institutions and know who to contact for help and to assist with certain items.

  3. Objective: Understand the plan of study/program
    • Tools/Strategy
      • Meet with Department Chair for a tour of the program and to meet the faculty.
      • Review “plan of study” and ask for copy of curricula.
    • Issues to Understand/Questions to Ask: Understand the educational ladders that correspond with the industry’s career ladder. Understand the multiple entrance and exit points on the career pathway. Make sure that the curriculum represents the skills sets needed in your workers.

  4. Objective: Understand your role on the advisory committee
    • Tools/Strategy
      • Review the advisory committee guidelines (operating procedures or bylaws).
    • Issues to Understand/Questions to Ask: Know when meetings are held and understand the contribution that you can make.

Resource  Use Resource 6.1 to develop a "first things first" list.

YOUR GOAL as an advisory committee member is to make sure that the program completers have the necessary skills to succeed in the workplace.

Ways to Help

Your goal as an advisory committee member is to make sure that the program completers have the necessary skills to succeed in the workplace. There are many strategies to help reach that end goal. During your tenure as an advisory committee member, you may be involved in the following activities.

  • Assessment and counsel
    • Review Curriculum (objectives; Structure & length; Curriculum frameworks and course descriptions; Assessments; Industry credentials; Safety; and Course materials)
    • Advise on academic, technical, & employability standards.
    • Modify existing programs and/or identify new or emerging fields
    • Review student outcomes (completion rates, placement rates, & state licensing examination outcomes) for the pathway
    • Assist in surveys of local labor market needs
    • Assist in identifying state-of-the-art equipment needs
    • Assess the equipment and facilities available and make recommendations as needed

  • Assistance
    • Recruit students into the pathway
    • Serve as a student mentor
    • Provide workbased learning experiences or in-service activities for instructors
    • Open industry-based training to instructors
    • Support instructors’ memberships/participation in trade associations
    • Provide workbased learning experiences for students (simulations; laboratory experiences; field trips; internships; clinicals; paid and unpaid work experiences).
    • Teach a module or topic
    • Advise on resource needs (equipment, labs, staff qualifications, & facilities)
    • Assist in the acquisition of needed equipment and supplies.
    • Assist with placement of completers
    • Provide resources (equipment, material, facilities)
    • Share libraries of visual aids, books, and magazines

  • Promotion & advocacy
    • Interpret the career pathway to the community
    • Serve as an advocate of the career pathway
    • Seek legislative support for the career pathway
    • Present to civic groups
    • Author newspaper articles
    • Assist in raising funds for scholarships, equipment and other program needs
    • Leverage community resources and broker community partnerships

Resource  Use Resource 6.2 to determine how you can help in assessment and counseling, assistance, and promotion and advocacy.


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