Patricia “Trish” Felder retired January 22, 2021 from Louisiana Community and Technical College System (LCTCS) as the Executive Director for Career and Technical Education (CTE) and the State Perkins Director. Prior to joining LCTCS, she spent eleven years at the Louisiana Department of Education (LDOE). Her state level career revolved around the field of Career and Technical Education (CTE) and the management of Carl Perkins Grants. Before moving into management at the state level, she enjoyed teaching mathematics for eighteen years.
During her time at LDOE, Ms. Felder developed a statewide career exploration curriculum previously known as “Journey to Careers.” The curriculum was updated several times to align with the everchanging career opportunities. The curriculum was recently retired and replaced with a more digitally driven offering. The original curriculum received a national award during the first year of implementation.
During Ms. Felder’s seven years at LCTCS, the unit grew from a staff of one to the current staff of five to assist with Perkins V implementation and federal funds compliance. She was also the pioneer for implementation of an electronic grants system. Implementation began with Perkins IV and has since added Adult Education (WRU) and Rapid Response. Prior to her retirement, she laid the foundation for inclusion of MEPOL funds in the eGrants system.
Ms. Felder was the lead writer for the LA Perkins V State Plan and was instrumental in ensuring Perkins V implementation throughout the state. She also led the CTE mobile lab project at all LCTCS colleges. The mobile lab project will provide opportunities for CTE education and training throughout the state but especially in the rural areas.
Ms. Felder began her postsecondary education at a community and technical college. She continued her education at Southeastern Louisiana University, Louisiana State University, and Southern University, earning bachelor’s and master’s degrees. After earning her master's degree, she returned to the community college where she earned her EMT-Basic credential.
Ms. Felder lived her beliefs as exemplified by her commitment to enhancing and expanding Career and Technical Education (CTE) across Louisiana’s educational landscape. We applaud her leadership and stewardship in developing Louisiana’s CTE programs, services, and students.