Oklahoma focuses its global workforce development plans through career tech and foreign language programs. Read on.

World Languages

The Confucius Institute at the University of Oklahoma is dedicated to the promotion and development of Chinese language education, and cultural and business exchange with the People’s Republic of China and the people of the south central United States. Jenks Public Schools secured two FLAP grants with Confucius Institute support, and Oklahoma will again host a Chinese immersion STARTALK program for students in July.

Oklahoma is very interested in utilizing guest teachers for immersion programs and recently signed a memorandum of understanding with Spain to address its shortage of language teachers. The partnership will utilize both guest lecturers as well as long-term teacher placements to support the Spanish-speaking population.

In addition, two well established international schools in Tulsa featuring Spanish and French immersion programs at the elementary level remain despite budget challenges.

Workforce Development

Oklahoma's system is often used as a model for programs across the United States and around the world. The Oklahoma Department of Career and Technology Education provides leadership and resources to ensure standards of excellence throughout the statewide system. The system offers its programs and services throughout nearly 400 public school districts, 29 technology centers with 57 campus sites and 16 skills centers located in correctional facilities. Each technology center works closely with advisers from local industry to ensure that students learn the skills needed to be valued members of the workforce.

Annually, enrollments in career tech classes are about 500,000. Career tech provides nationally recognized competency-based curriculum, education, and training for a myriad of specialized and customized courses and training opportunities. This curriculum is developed with the input of industry professionals, using skills standards to identify the knowledge and abilities needed to master an occupation. Oklahoma State University offers 90 career-related associate degrees, providing a bridge for career tech students to pursue higher education. The vast majority of students are sponsored by industry, a driving force for including global perspectives and developing international field placement experiences for students.

Leadership in Oklahoma is interested in actively integrating global partnerships into their workforce programs. A successful ongoing exchange with culinary students in Tulsa with counterparts in France is considered a model ripe for replication.


Oklahoma Governor’s International Team
Career Tech


Desa Dawson
Director World Languages
Oklahoma State Department of Education

Global Competence Resources

Asia Society Partnership for Global Learning and the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) partnered to define global competence and the skills and abilities that students need to demonstrate to be globally competent.

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