Paxton/Patterson Blog

Helpful information about STEM education and CTE programs

Make a Commitment: Knowing Who to Settle Down With

by MAlutto 17. October 2013 11:08

Contacting a person after a first date may actually be more intimidating than the date itself. Follow-up with attendees from your school’s recruitment event likely feels very similar. Before making any decisions about who to invite to join you on your school’s advisory board, you need to compare all who are interested side-by-side. Interest may not be mutual or intentions a good fit. Determine whose interests and aptitudes will work best to help you achieve your long-term goals.

Dating a few people at once is fine in the beginning, but can be tricky to manage down the line. You want to be sure that you don’t get yourself into anything that you can’t handle. The size of an advisory board is also important to consider and is typically most effective when kept between ten and twenty members, predominately representative of professionals working in the field directly related to your school’s career theme. Here is a list of roles that you want to fill on your Advisory Board:


  • District-level Administrator, a decision maker who has enough time to attend meetings
  • School-based Administrator/Program Director, a person inside the building to oversee the program’s development and  implementation
  • School Champion, Advisory Board Chairperson, a strong advocate working in the field of interest, someone with  connections and a thick rolodex of contacts
  • Treasurer, perhaps a CPA or another finance professional to oversee all things related to fundraising
  • Secretary, a strong communicator with excellent organization – this person will work with the board chair to review  and document meetings, set agendas and communicate information to the larger group
  • Sub-committee chair(s), leaders who will sit on the board but also oversee subgroups of volunteers working on  specific tasks, projects or goals
  • Higher-Education Representative, local deans or program directors who can support the post-secondary pipeline,  helping to support the development of articulation agreements and dual enrollment programs
  • Community Officials, politicians or community club members such as Rotary or Kiwanis
  • Media/Communications Specialist, local media professional or someone who can advise/oversee marketing and  recruitment campaigns (may also serve as a sub-committee chairperson)
  • Local Employment Agency, organizations such as Kelly Services whom understand the local work-force to help support  internship placements
  • Industry Professionals, the largest contingent, this group will serve as the driving force for the board and will  be most actively involved with students directly – these are the professionals working in the fields which students  desire to seek training and gain employment

Need more help determining how to get organized and develop deeper engagement with partners? Visit the College & Career Academy Support Network (CASN)’s page and review the Partnership Guide for Career Academies.

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