University of Arkansas Office for Education Policy

2014 OEP Conference Agenda is Announced!

In The View from the OEP on April 2, 2014 at 10:17 am

Diplomas, Certificates and Degrees:

Helping Arkansas Students Find Their Ideal Careers


Date: Thursday, May 15, 2014

Location: Clinton Center, Little Rock

Time: 8:00 am-12:30 pm  


Click here to register for our FREE conference!

Registration Deadline: May 1, 2014

We all want our students to leave Arkansas high schools “college and career ready.” So, what does that look like and how do we get there? Join us at the Clinton Center on Thursday, May 15, 2014, for the 7th annual OEP Conference. The conference will have a three panel focus featuring Arkansas presenters and two national speakers from Jobs for the Future and Year Up! Our conference agenda is described below.


7:30               Registration and Breakfast

8:00-8:15     Welcome and Introduction  Dr. Gary Ritter, Director, Office for Education Policy, University of Arkansas


 8:15-9:15     Presentations

matt dozierEAST:  Matt Dozier, Executive Director

EAST (Environmental & Spatial Technology) Initiative is an educational model that focuses on student-driven service projects accomplished by using teamwork and cutting-edge technology.


matt mcclureNew Tech:  Matt McClure, Superintendent at Cross County School District

New Tech (Technology) schools provide an instructional approach centered on the integration of technology, project-based learning, a culture that empowers students and teachers.


ken jamesAR AIMS: Ken James, President

Arkansas AIMS (Advanced Initiative for Math and Science, Inc.) seeks to strengthen the teaching of AP math, science and English courses and to increase the number of students that take AP exams and earn qualifying scores.





 9:30-10:15   Caesar Mickens, Director of Early College Designs, Jobs for the Future

 caesar mickensCaesar Mickens works to assist public school districts nationwide to prepare all students for college success, especially those populations underrepresented in higher education. He works closely with Early College High Schools, which are small schools designed so that students can earn both a high school diploma and an Associate’s degree or up to two years of credit toward a Bachelor’s degree-tuition free. Research shows that Early College High School students are more likely to enroll in college and more likely to earn a degree. Early College High Schools do not exist in AR yet, but have a presence in our neighboring states of MO, TN, LA and TX.


10:15- 11:00  Presentations

josh raneyRazor C.O.A.C.H.: Josh Raney, Director and Taylor Scott

The Razor C.O.A.C.H. program places career coaches in Northwest Arkansas high schools, with the goal of motivating and supporting students in order to increase their knowledge of and access to postsecondary opportunities.


gabriel-fotsing IIThe College Initiative: Gabriel Fotsing, Founder and CEO

The College Initiative is based in the Delta region and provides college-capable, low-income students with the tools and mentorship they need to successfully apply to and succeed in college.


shane broadwayArkansas Works: Shane Broadway, Director of Department of Higher Education

AR Works provides tools and resources about going to college, enrolling in career and technical training programs, finding a job in Arkansas, and starting your own business.




11:15-11:45  Panel Discussion, with moderator Reed Greenwood           

randy zookAR Chamber of Commerce: Randy Zook, President/CEO

Zook has knowledge of the job prospects in Arkansas, including the increasing demand for industrial mechanics and workers in the manufacturing segment.



Pulaski Technical College: Mary Ann Shope, Vice President for Learning

PTC has initiated several new projects that address the fact there are multiple pathways for Arkansas students to succeed, involving both continuing ones’ education and career advancement.


AboutWarwickAR Regional Innovation Hub: Warwick Sabin, Executive Director

The Arkansas Regional Innovation Hub is creating a collaborative ecosystem of innovation that will drive economic development-along with unique opportunities for hands-on training and experience at their new Innovation Center in Little Rock.


11:45-12:30                        Raphael Rosenblatt, Director of Evaluation, Year Up raphael rosenblatt

PrintRaphael Rosenblatt leads the national research and evaluation efforts for Year Up.  Recently featured on 60 Minutes, Year Up’s innovative program model combines six months of intensive training and education with a six-month corporate internship.  It connects highly motivated disadvantaged young adults in need of opportunity with businesses in need of talent, working with more than 250 corporate partners, such as American Express, Citi, Facebook, and Google.  Producing impressive results, Year Up alumni are hired into full-time jobs at a rate that outpaces the national average for college graduates.  Year Up currently operates in 12 cities across the country, serving nearly 2,000 young adults a year with aggressive plans for scale. Rosenblatt will discuss the details of the Year Up model and how the lessons Year Up has learned can be applied to the K-12 space.








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