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Member Matters July 2021

Valuing Experience

The College of Nursing and Health Sciences (CONHS) at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi is complementing the traditional evaluation of prospective students by considering their prior professional and personal experiences. An executive associate dean for the college says a holistic admissions program supports enrollment diversity and inclusion and prepares students to meet the needs of underserved communities (Texas A&M Corpus Christi).

“Every Experience Counts” is the name of a new program at Herzing University dedicated to increasing workforce diversity among mental health practitioners in areas facing high demand. According to the American Psychiatric Nurses Association, that’s most places; a shortage of mental health workers exists in more than three quarters of counties in the U.S. The master of science in nursing - psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner program creates a pathway to board certification through the American Nurses Credentialing Center (Herzing University).

Registered nurses and holders of an associate degree in applied science are using Appalachian State University’s pathway to a bachelor of science in nursing to gain clinical experience in an online format that fits their schedules (Appalachian State University).

Hands-on learning is also a key feature of the new INTEGRATE (Interprofessional Teams Grounded in Apprenticeship, Telehealth and Evidence) at The University of Memphis. Aimed at addressing shortages of mental health professionals in the Mid-South, the program is made possible by a grant from the Behavioral Health Workforce, Education, and Training program within the Health Resources and Services Administration (The University of Memphis).

A medical assisting certificate program at Lorain County Community College is expanding the reach of its popular, hands-on approach. The program boasts a high employment rate, with many students securing a job even prior to completion, which earns them American Heart Association Basic Life Support provider and First Aid and Safety cards and positions them to become certified medical assistants (Lorain County Community College).

At Clayton State University, students are benefiting from real-world training through the university’s Launchpad Academy. Founded via a partnership with Mailchimp, the academy incorporates worksite learning and instruction from the company’s employees. Areas of focus include cloud computing and information technology (Atlanta).

There’s no experience like being in the great outdoors, and Colorado Mountain College is taking steps to offer students more opportunities for hands-on, career-relevant learning experiences in the outdoor industry, such as internships and apprenticeships. The college’s new strategic advisor for the space also will focus on ways to “diversify the outdoor industry workforce pipeline and serve as a model for access, equity, and inclusion” (Vail Daily).

A new automotive-technician registered apprenticeship program at Miami Dade College features a partnership with a leading South Florida auto dealer, offering students a combination of classroom and on-the-job learning. The paid apprenticeship covers tuition, health insurance, books, and tools, with completion leading to employment offers at one of the dealer’s locations (Miami Dade College).

Pima Community College also is partnering with local industry to meet workforce and student needs in the automotive space. Its new Automotive Technology and Innovation Center includes space configured like functioning auto-repair shops. The college has entered partnerships with Subaru, Chrysler, and Ford (Arizona Daily Star).

Livonia, Michigan has a new Manufacturing and Engineering Center, thanks to Schoolcraft College. The center offers hands-on learning experiences aimed at preparing students to capitalize on strong growth in the area’s engineering and manufacturing jobs (WWJ).

Applied Education Benefits

A partnership between University of Wisconsin-Platteville and manufacturing and engineering company Husco International is covering tuition for mechanical engineering students. In exchange for remaining with Husco for at least three years after graduation, students receive on-the-job training,100 percent tuition coverage, and mentoring (University of Wisconsin System).

Truck manufacturer Navistar is proactively upskilling employees ahead of the opening of a company plant next year. Through a partnership with the Alamo Colleges District, more than 500 new Navistar employees will complete training for maintenance technician, team leader, and other positions. The arrangement is made possible by a grant from the Texas Workforce Commission’s skills development program and “… aligns with the district's goal of providing people with skills to earn high-wage, high-demand jobs that facilitate social and economic mobility” (San Antonio Business Journal).

Mercy College and Essen Health Care have created the Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) Jumpstart Program to increase opportunities for workers to enter the college’s FNP master of science program. Essen Health Care will recommend nurses who hold a bachelor or master of science in nursing to the advanced one-year program, which includes a tuition discount and is aimed at sustaining a “pipeline of qualified nurses to provide much-needed primary care services to the Bronx community” (press release).

Workers at the Alliance Catholic Credit Union who want to complete their college education can now do so at a lower cost, thanks to a partnership with Siena Heights University that includes reduced tuition for the credit union’s employees (MLive).

More Examples of Meeting
Adult Learners Where They Are

The CUNY School of Professional Studies is applying a grant from the Charlotte W. Newcombe Foundation to create an annual scholarship for students over the age of 25 who have earned more than 60 credits toward a bachelor’s degree. The scholarship will target students whose educational journeys have been cut short by depleted student aid and financial hardships such as pandemic-driven lost income (CUNY SPS).

Capella University has added a doctor of business administration to its FlexPath model, a “competency-based, direct assessment learning format” that offers students options to fit their coursework according to other demands on their schedules (press release).

Belllevue University is featured in a video highlighting how university faculty “help working adults gain the skills needed to become leaders in their organizations” (KETV).

From career-furthering certifications to advanced degrees, Southern Oregon University offers online learning pathways to meet the diverse needs of adult learners. Its most recent expansion of online advanced education degrees includes seven new concentrations or certificates. The additions are attached to three master of science in education programs aimed at working adult learners (Southern Oregon University). The university also has added 17 microcredentials. Each is designed to support career advancement and, optionally, degree completion (Southern Oregon University). 

Purdue University Global is also adding new microcredentials. The graduate-level offerings address growth areas in information technology and can “fulfill Purdue Global programs’ elective slots, become a specialization, or be added to support students’ completed degrees” (Purdue University).

The University of Wisconsin-Platteville has launched new certificate programs in applied bioinformatics and senior living and services leadership. Completion timing is flexible for both certificates, which are aligned with high-demand workforce occupations. In addition to their standalone upskilling value, the certificates stack into formal degree programs (UW-Platteville).

Workers who want to “redirect their career to focus on diversity, equity, and inclusion” (DEI) have a new option at Cleveland State University, which has added a non-credit certificate in DEI. The six-week program addresses the traditional HR-related importance of DEI-oriented professional development but also is designed for workers looking to support their career advancement by gaining an important new skill (Cleveland State University).

Kennedy-King College is using a new program to “fight social and workplace inequity in the technology sector.” The Tech Launchpad program adds short-term certifications in several tech areas, including software development and cybersecurity (Chicago Sun Times).

In Canada, Saskatchewan Polytechnic is offering a new certificate focused on diversifying leadership skills among entrepreneurs, career-oriented workers, and the general workforce. The Indigenous Leadership Skills applied certificate will “share valuable Indigenous leadership approaches toward maintaining resiliency and building leadership capacity” (Saskatchewan Polytechnic).

The Milwaukee Area Technical College and the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee are introducing a new 20-year scholarship fund targeting “underprivileged and deserving students.” Made possible by Froedtert Hospital, the program covers not only full-and part-time undergraduate and postgraduate educational courses but also certificate studies. The scholarship is aimed at “helping eliminate health care disparities and addressing social determinants of health like education and employment” while sustaining the critical talent pool of healthcare workers in Southeast Wisconsin and addressing the needs of the ever-evolving sector (press release).

To mark Juneteenth, Dr. Roslyn Clark Artis of Benedict College joined a forum hosted by Dominion Energy to discuss the importance HBCUs play in driving social change. Speakers highlighted the benefits of collaboration among HBCUs and community and corporate partners (press release).

During an event to mark the longstanding partnership between Columbus State University and Fort Benning, the university’s president, Dr. Chris Markwood, received the U.S. Army’s Meritorious Public Service Medal in recognition of his “outstanding vision and leadership as president that has sustained the strong relationship with the installation and the city of Columbus.” About 15 percent of CSU’s enrollment is connected in some fashion with Fort Benning, which collaborates with the university in several ways, including an arrangement that recognizes military training toward college-level credit (Columbus State University).

Suffolk County Community College also was recently recognized for its veteran and military student services. “Military Times” named the institution a “Best for Vets” college for 2021 (Suffolk Community College).

In Their Own Words

Florida International University finished first in its state’s performance-based funding scores. The university’s president writes about the award-winning performance, the best in the methodology’s history (Florida International University).

The president and CEO of Colorado Mountain College discusses the college’s recent HSI designation, highlighting, among other initiatives, the college’s addition of work-relevant degree and certificate programs (the Ark Valley Voice).

The president and CEO of Saskatchewan Polytechnic argues the pivotal role the institution has in helping employers, employees, and citizens recover from the pandemic (Saskatchewan Polytechnic).

In videotaped remarks, the president of the University of West Georgia talks about how the university helps prepare students for career success (Metro Atlanta CEO).

The Art of Articulation

An agreement between Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College and Georgia Southern University is aimed at helping students advance in healthcare careers and meet workforce needs in rural and underserved areas (Albany Herald).

Citing the urgent need for nursing professionals in Appalachia in the wake of the pandemic, officials from Belmont College and Wheeling University announced a new transfer agreement that will allow nursing and mental health/psychology students from Belmont who have completed two years there to finish a four-year degree at Georgia Southern (the Times Leader).

A grant from a group of nonprofit organizations seeking to help students who wrestle with multiple obligations more easily transfer from community colleges is being split between CSU Dominguez Hills and CSU Northridge, which were selected because of “their proposals to tailor their efforts to low-income students, first-generation students and students of color, who all already enroll in high numbers at those campuses” (EdSource).

To support its work to encourage students to successfully transfer to four-year institutions, Georgia Military College has completed an articulation agreement with Troy University (Georgia Military College).

Nursing students who complete an associate degree at Wilkes Community College can transfer to Appalachian State University to finish a bachelor of science in nursing online in one year under a new a 3+1 agreement between the schools (Appalachian State University).

The Texas Community College Promise Grant is allowing graduates of Lone Star College to apply all of their associate credits and the entire amount of their tuition toward a bachelor’s degree at Bellevue University, regardless of completion date (Lone Star College).

Eligible graduates of Rowan-Cabarrus Community College will have guaranteed admission to UNC Charlotte through a new agreement under the state’s 49erNext program (WBTV).

A new 4+4 program will provide a $10,000 scholarship to qualified graduates of Kwantlen Polytechnic University who begin medicine or veterinary studies at St. George’s University (St. George’s University).  

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