Cassie Morton | Co-Chair | California Financial Curriculum Council
With university degrees in Cultural Anthropology from UCLA and a Master of Arts in Vocational Rehabilitation Counseling from San Diego State University, Cassie has focused her career interests in promoting diversity in human groups and assisting organizations to work proactively with diversity to bring added value to employment and schooling environments. Her efforts over the years have assisted people in finding their vocation and helping them focus on their strengths, rather than limitations. This educational background prepared her for working with schools, colleges and universities to assist students in building their portfolio of career strengths and to work with educational and workplace communities to articulate their needs for new models in job training and workforce education.
Cassie has held a variety of community college positions with the San Diego Community College District (SDCCD) from counselor to program coordinator to dean. She worked as a district office dean in charge of career-technical programs, and as a campus dean in charge of a school and most recently, as a program coordinator working with Service Learning and Student Engagement, Faculty Interns, and Middle College programs. She has served as a regional and state leader in the areas of Tech Prep and School-to-Career. A corollary area of expertise is in grantsmanship and fundraising, where she has written and/or managed over $12-million in grants related to workforce development, curriculum integration and faculty development.
Cassie’s extensive experience in the School-to Career movement has included creating and implementing numerous faculty development programs such as Beach Camp for Profs and Faculty-Counselor Work Experience Institutes that engaged faculty in experiential learning related to the modern workplace. These institutes train teachers to look at pedagogy from a learning perspective, while exposing them to the core needs of today’s workplace and become more engaged in the use of new media, methods and approaches for teaching and learning. Faculty become more engaged in shaping real-life perspectives to answer questions about what they know about learning, how to assess student learning outcomes, how to use technology to enhance learning, and how to incorporate experiential applications into their teaching. The program also includes job shadowing opportunities followed by dialogue with various people from local industries to shape new frameworks for what it means to grow an educated workforce. Participating faculty complete the week-long program with a completely revised course syllabus, modernized teaching-learning perspectives, and several units of graduate credit in post secondary education.
From this experience and her management of diversity components in workforce development programs in higher education settings, Cassie has developed important components of each of these activities to assist other educational institutions in the cross fertilization of faculty from different disciplines to strategically modernize their own workforce development program offerings. These efforts include planning assistance to provide real-life opportunities to observe the workplace and to develop strategic linkages to these settings for ongoing educational improvement initiataives.
Other areas of specialization which Cassie Morton provides to individuals and agencies retaining the services of The Knowledge-Brokers include the set up and management of grant programs for severely at-risk students starting with implementing a continuation high school, adding experiential student learning approaches, and integrating cutting-edge community service learning projects. She also works with educational agencies to develop frameworks for examining the support structures needed to help students become academically successful. These efforts include peer mentors, scaffolded learning objectives, strategies for communicating high expectations, facilitated study groups, relevant opportunities for experiential learning, and programmatic approaches to help students develop a personalized sense of efficacy and commitment for giving back to society and their communities.