The state board of education shall establish a unified technology transfer program for vocational-technical educators, beginning the first day of July, one thousand nine hundred ninety. This program shall emphasize initiatives designed to improve the transfer of technology through the vocational-technical education curriculum. Such initiatives must impact on improved staff development, curricula and instructional methods reflecting work applications of the new and emerging technologies. The vocational-technical education system must be a catalyst in bridging the gap between high technology and the workplace. Workers for the twenty-first century must know how to install, operate and maintain high technology equipment, systems and processes.
The unified technology transfer program shall provide innovative staff development opportunities through the following initiatives:
(a) A technical update program for vocational-technical education teachers to learn high technology skills needed to teach the operation, maintenance, or repair of high technology equipment, through placement in industry, formal technical coursework, seminars, teleconferences and other staff development functions;
(b) A "Teachers-Teach-Teachers" program to allow the most effective teachers in the state to instruct fellow teachers on how to effectively teach and incorporate high technology skills in the classroom and laboratory;
(c) An "Academy Chair" program to allow education or business-industry persons to serve as a resident expert in the transfer of technology, including conducting seminars in educational institutions, teleconferences and in the workplace;
(d) A business and education exchange program to allow vocational-technical education teachers to work in a company or business, while the business person teaches in the vocational-technical education program;
(e) A beginning teacher internship program to allow new vocational-technical teachers to receive guidance from a mentor teacher in teaching high technology skills, including acquisition of such skills; and
(f) A vocational-technical completer capstone experience program that allows talented students an opportunity to learn high technology skills appropriate for their occupational area of study through internship placement in an appropriate business or industry setting.
The state board of education may formulate policies and procedures designed to implement this section.
The foundation provided for in section two of this article shall solicit private sector funds and encourage partnerships to implement this program.
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