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Regional Technical Education Councils (RTEC)

The Missouri Coordinating Board for Higher Education was charged by Senate Bill 101 (1995) to develop a state plan for a continuous integrated system to deliver postsecondary technical education programs. Missouri’s Community Colleges, through the Missouri Community College Association (MCCA), also played a major role in the selection of former American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) Executive Director, Dale Parnell to serve as consultant to the planning process.

The result has been a dramatic shift in the relationship between Missouri’s community colleges and the Department of Higher Education. Under the leadership of the Commissioner for Higher Education, an assistant commissioner for community colleges was hired and a four-pronged "Blueprint" for Missouri higher education emerged from the SB 101 planning process, which establishes a new role for community colleges in Missouri. The blueprint calls for focused emphasis on telecommunications, mission enhancement and differentiation within the four year sector, a percentage of funding for both two- and four-year institutions based on objectively assessed "results" criteria, and a revolutionary shirt in coordination of delivery of postsecondary technical education in the state to community colleges. The new plan formalizes "Service Regions" for the twelve community college districts which blanket the entire state and establishes Regional Technical Education Councils (RTEC’s) within each region to advise the community colleges in areas related to postsecondary technical education needs and programming.

In the minds of many, this new mandate for community colleges establishes two-year institutions as the most forceful and effective participant in Missouri’s higher education community. The recognition is already generating added public and legislative support. The state’s community college umbrella organization, the Missouri Community College Association (MCCA), has developed new vigor and participation as greater emphasis has shifted to the community college sector.

Results For Missourians

Solving the Problems...
Shortage of high-skill/high-wage technicians for Missouri jobs
Shortage of technician graduates from Missouri’s public colleges
Shortage of advanced technical associate degree programs after high school
Limited geographic access to technical programs beyond high school

Planning for Action...

Five-year action plan
Increase the number of technician training programs
Increase the number of programs offered at outreach sites throughout Missouri
Utilize regional planning through employer councils (RTECs)
Utilize partnerships and collaboration
Avoid duplication of facilities, equipment, curriculum, and faculty
Upgrade faculty technical skills
Obtain accreditation for technician training programs
Link career pathways: Tech-Prep and School-to-Careers
Increase the number of graduates in technician training programs
Place graduates into Missouri jobs

Measuring Successes...

Employer involvement in the planning and oversight processes
Number of training and education partnerships
Number of new outreach sites in Missouri communities
Number of new technician training programs
Student enrollment in technician training programs
Graduation rates from technician training programs
Job placement rates after technician training
Graduate wages after technician training

Returns on the Investment so far...

Four hundred Missourians – including 130 employers – comprise 12 Regional Technical Education Councils (RTECs). Forty-eight area vocational technical schools partner with community colleges. Sixty communities now offer one or more technical associate degrees. At least 110 new technical certificate and associate degree programs have been added to the training and education capacity of Missouri’s public community colleges, Linn State Technical College, Southwest Missouri State University-West Plains, and selected four-year institutions since 1996. At least one postsecondary technical associate degree program is located within 45 minutes of any Missouri resident. Two hundred fifty-four (duplicate count) secondary and adult technical programs transfer from area vocational technical schools and comprehensive high schools to community college technical certificate and associate degree programs. More than 30 labor union apprenticeship training programs transfer to technical community college AAS degree programs. Slightly more than 100 community college technical certificate and AAS degree programs transfer to four-year college and university technology bachelor degrees. Nearly 34,000 employees participate in employer-paid customized and contract training each year. Annually, more than 10,000 Missourians are enrolled in technician training leading to diplomas or certificate or associate degrees at public two-year institutions and area vocational technical schools.