Written by Chris Bournea and Marcie Kamb, December 15, 2023
The Ohio State University’s Center on Education and Training for Employment (CETE) is marking 60 years of supporting faculty, staff, and students in the research and creation of education, family engagement, and workforce development programs.
Located at 1900 Kenny Road on Ohio State’s Columbus campus and housed within the College of Education and Human Ecology Centers for Practice, Research, and Policy, CETE serves as a translational research center, providing resources across a wide spectrum of industries, from prekindergarten instruction to manufacturing.
Racial justice, translational research, online learning, and faculty engagement are strategic areas of focus for the center. To provide insightful leadership and translational research in all areas of work, the center prioritizes translating research into practices, resulting in a prepared and effective workforce and healthy communities.
The Center on Education and Training for Employment’s (CETE) approach to translational research focuses on the goal of solving societal problems. These are solved through the implementation of an evidence-based intervention that informs policy development, which results in the widespread use of proven practices. Translational research encompasses research and issue-resolution activities that directly benefit human beings across various domains (e.g., education, workforce development, racial and social justice, and health).
Serving as an agile teacher, trainer, and communicator
Over the past six decades, the way that CETE disseminates content has evolved, said CETE Director and EHE Professor of Learning Technologies Ana-Paula Correia. “We not only have peer-reviewed publications, but we also are proud of our podcasts, online learning experiences, newsletters, and expertise briefs,” said Correia. “We have two podcasts currently going out to hundreds of people. We have a director’s blog that helps to disseminate Ed Tech issues and digital briefs on insights gained from the partnerships we have developed. We also have a YouTube channel with short videos highlighting our program areas and ways they can benefit businesses, colleges, and the community.”
In September, the International E-Learning Association awarded CETE with the bronze ribbon in the E-Learning Experience category of the association’s 2023 awards. The awards recognize the best uses of technology to improve learning and job performance within companies or through individual personal development. CETE received the award for its Go Digital Training Collection, a four-part online learning module curriculum that assists educators and trainers in building virtual training. “CETE has a history of success in supporting professional learning and technical training, in person and online,” said Traci Lepicki, CETE associate director of operations and strategic initiatives. “This collection is evidence of our expertise as learning designers and highlights our continued investment in expanding our online offerings,”
Making equity a day-to-day priority
CETE bridges research and day-to-day practice, engaging communities, organizations, and industry professionals to ensure that Ohio State research is leveraged to contribute to efforts to promote a prepared and effective workforce and healthy communities. “We are intentional in our commitment to making equity a day-to-day priority in the work of CETE, understanding that a holistic approach to promoting social justice and inclusion is critical to the achievement of our mission,” said Melissa Ross, CETE associate director of research partnerships and impacts.
To operationalize the efforts of making equity a day-to-day priority, CETE developed the Racial Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Movement, reflecting CETE’s aspirations for a society where racial equity is not just an occasional consideration but an integral part of daily practices, policies, and interactions. The envisioned setting is inclusive, safe, and welcoming, acknowledging and eliminating the negative influence of white privilege on the experiences of individuals of color. The Action plan within REDI is comprehensive, encompassing Intrapersonal, Interpersonal, Institutional, and Societal levels. Each level involves specific activities, from professional development workshops to affinity groups, reflecting CETE’s dedication to a problem-solving process grounded in its translational research model. This framework guides CETE associates in their journey towards meaningful action and sustained impact across multiple dimensions.
Global and local partnerships and collective impact
CETE has partnered with the Governor’s Office of Workforce Transformation to support Ohio’s Broadband & 5G Sector Partnership to implement the state’s broadband and 5G workforce strategy. “We are working with them to help create more 5G and broadband capacity and train more technicians and professionals to extend access to the internet across the state of Ohio,” Correia said.
In addition to state and local partnerships, CETE has established a global presence. Through its DACUM (Developing a Curriculum) International Training Institute, CETE has trained more than 5,000 facilitators in 51 countries across six continents to conduct occupational analysis for job duties in various industries.
CETE is also engaging partners around the world in its Family Engagement program, which provides resources to families, education programs, and community partners to help young people prepare for the future. “Through our online and virtual training components, we are reaching the Middle East, Africa, South America, and Canada, just to name a few,” Correia said. “We have recently expanded to partner with family engagement professionals and practitioners in Australia.
“Expanding our research and knowledge internationally is something that I’m personally passionate about because not only do we get to share our translational research, but we are learning from what works in other countries and ways that we can customize our offerings to be more inclusive for populations outside of the U.S. We always have an eye towards the future and innovation. That is part of what has made us successful the past 60 years.” For more information about CETE, visit the organization’s website at cete.osu.edu.