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Member Matters September 2021

A Monthly Lookback at Some of the Good Work in the CAEL Community

Linking Learning and Work
Among the ways George Mason University benefits the Washington, D.C.-area economy are workforce partnerships. In fiscal year 2019 alone, the university “incubated and supported or accelerated” more than 1,600 companies in Virginia (George Mason University).

A new school of professional studies is open at UNC Charlotte, where the university will concentrate resources for adult learners, particularly those wishing to build on past college experience to complete a degree and workers needing flexibility to continue their education. The new school offers more than 90 degrees and graduate certificates (Charlotte Stories).

To help meet demand for high-tech manufacturing skills, Austin Community College is working to raise awareness of its advanced manufacturing programs and maintaining ongoing dialogue with area companies on curricula offerings (Spectrum News 1 Austin). 

Also addressing growing workforce needs in manufacturing is a Gene Haas Foundation grant of $540,000 that will support the creation of a modernized training center at Waukesha County Technical College (Waukesha County Technical College).

The City University of New York (CUNY) has launched a workforce development program in support of the financial industry. “CUNY Futures in Finance,” which was established with the support of Bloomberg LP, Centerbridge Partners, and Goldman Sachs, will create access for CUNY students to new career-supporting opportunities such as mentoring and training (CUNY).

Purdue University Global and York General, a medical center system in Nebraska, are partnering to provide education benefits to York’s employees and boost the nursing talent pipeline (Purdue).

In rural Georgia, efforts to mitigate the shortage of nurses now include a partnership between Fort Valley State University and Phoebe Putney Health System, Inc. The agreement includes clinical rotations at Phoebe locations for the university’s nursing students (press release).

The College of St. Scholastica is also taking aim at the urgent need for nurses. Noting an expected wave of nurse retirements totaling 1 million by 2030 and an annual average of 200,000 job openings in the field, the college is offering flexible nursing pathways aimed at students of all ages and experience levels (Minnesota Monthly).

Of course, nursing isn’t the only health care profession plagued with staffing shortfalls. Citing a projected physician shortage of 122,000 — mostly in the primary care application — by 2032, the University of Missouri-Kansas City provided an update on its recently opened School of Medicine in St. Joseph. Among the school’s emphases are addressing rural health care needs and leveraging the possibilities of remote learning (UKMC).

Saskatchewan Polytechnic is partnering with Service Hospitality, a nonprofit safety organization for the community services, laundry, restaurant, and hotel industries, to offer education and training opportunities for the group’s members (Saskatchewan Polytechnic).

Creative Credentials
Three new advanced graduate certificate programs are now available to students of Adelphi University's Robert B. Willumstad School of Business. The certificates offer learners flexibility in a customized experiential learning environment designed to accommodate work schedules (Adelphi University). 

With an eye toward the increasing number of American homes in which languages other than English – in particular, Spanish – are spoken, George Mason University plans a graduate certificate in Spanish heritage language education. The program launches in the fall (George Mason University).

Also launching this fall is a certificate in event management at Northeastern State University. With the certificate, the university is helping “provide professional development to workers without them needing to return to college full time” (the Muskogee Phoenix).

To prepare learners for “high-paying, in-demand jobs,” the Kentucky Community and Technical College System offers the Work Ready Scholarship. The scholarships create access to short-term certificate programs as well as associate degrees (WKYT).

Lorain County Community College offers more than 170 certificates. The college consults with local businesses in the development of the industry-affirmed credentials (Newsbreak).

An accelerated route to a teaching certificate is now available at Spring Arbor University. Aimed at meeting the need for elementary teachers throughout Michigan, the program offers a pathway to the occupation for people who have completed bachelor’s degrees but lack teaching certificates (Spring Arbor University).

The University of Arkansas at Little Rock is offering a certificate and industry-validated badges through its inclusion in an online Cybersecurity Workforce Certificate program funded by the National Security Agency (NSA) and led by the University of Louisville (UA Little Rock).

New certificate options also are available at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay. This fall, the university will offer an advanced leadership certificate, which is “developed specifically for women in middle management to director roles, who have some leadership experience but aspire to an executive level.” It is the first of three certificate programs planned for the university’s Institute for Women’s Leadership (WisBusiness.com). 

Better Serving the Underserved 
DeVry University is working with the UNCF to increase access to its certificate programs. The UNCF-DeVry Gateway Scholarship “furthers the UNCF’s efforts in helping students of color gain access to educational opportunities and build skills critical in today’s digitally driven workforce” and is intended as a pathway to an HBCU degree (UNCF).

Joliet Junior College is enhancing a child-care program it offers to help low-income parents persist. Through a partnership with Catholic Charities, the college’s early childhood center can now accept infants and toddlers; previously, the youngest children it could serve were 30 months old (The Herald-News).

The University of Akron has received a federal grant in the amount of $539,218 to increase access to postsecondary education for “Akron-area students and adults who are low income or potential first-time college students” (cleveland.com).

Through its membership in the National Science Foundation-funded ALRISE Alliance, Miami Dade College (MDC) has another option to “significantly impact the number of Hispanics participating in STEM education and the workforce in South Florida.” MDC is one of 30 HSIs within the ALRISE Alliance, which aims to increase access to experiential STEM learning for Latino students (Miami Dade College).

Increasing access to STEM education within underserved communities is also the focus of a new scholarship at Austin Community College. Made possible by a partnership with NI, the full scholarship includes mentoring, a technical skills bootcamp, and a paid internship and part-time employment at NI (press release).

Rarefied Rankings and Other Academic Acclaim
Continuing the theme of improving access to STEM education for underserved students, Grand Valley State University received national recognition for two of its programs that do just that. The "GVSU - HBCU/HSI Consortium" and the "GVSU and FVSU Agreement: Pathway to Master's Degree” programs were both honored by “Insight Into Diversity” magazine, which awarded the programs its “Inspiring Programs in STEM” award (Grand Valley State University).

The School of Nursing and the School of Business at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville were ranked 11th and 19th in the nation, respectively, by College Factual (SIUE).

There’s a newly created list of the top “maker schools” in the world, and the University of Wyoming is among those that made the cut. Created by “Newsweek,” the unsorted list is comprised of postsecondary institutions that “encourage learning by doing; are supported by educators committed to collaborative problem-solving; have well-developed makerspaces, labs and studios; and which support diverse, interactive communities that engage in knowledge and skill sharing” (University of Wyoming).

Pierce College also recently made a list — two, in fact. It was recognized as a top-10 community college by the Aspen Institute, which included it in its 2021 College Excellence Program. The college also was ranked top “Best for Vets” community college in the country and the Northwest’s top overall college for veterans by “Military Times” (South Bend Business).

Meeting Adult Learners Where They Are
Community College of Vermont makes higher education more accessible and affordable.” That headline, which recently appeared in a Vermont newspaper, pretty much says it all. Its accompanying article goes on to cite the college’s stable enrollment amid the ravages of COVID-19, its head start in online learning (half of its classes were 100 percent online before the pandemic), and its relevance to learners of all ages (Seven Days).

The rush to online learning early in the pandemic was often flawed, but it did create opportunities to shift perceptions and increase awareness about the modality. The University System of Georgia’s launch of its first all-online degree programs is benefiting from its experience expanding online options last year (Gwinnett Daily Post).

Backed by a $175,000 grant from the Arkansas Department of Education, the University of Arkansas at Little Rock is launching an online academy for K-12 teachers in the state. The academy will help participants improve in online teaching and course creation. Completers will receive 15 hours of graduate credit plus an official state endorsement (UA Little Rock).

Multigen Matriculation
This fall, a Tennessee State University student’s three children will be among her fellow students. Tajuana Dixon-Nations had to defer her college plans while raising her family. Now, 27 years after her high school graduation, she is pursuing a degree in business (WZTV).

Florida Gulf Coast University (FGCU) tells another multigenerational educational story, this one involving a mother and two daughters. Melissa Gilbert graduated from FGCU in 2008 after a 15-year educational journey during which she worked and raised a family. She now works as an elementary teacher with her daughter who graduated from FGCU in 2019. A second daughter is currently enrolled at FGCU and also plans to become a teacher (FGCU).

In Service of Those Who Serve
The CUNY School of Professional Studies (CUNY SPS) has introduced a new scholarship for eligible active duty and reserve military students. The U.S. Military Bachelor’s Degree Completion Scholarship “covers any remaining educational costs—including any outstanding tuition, books and materials, and school fees” so that recipients can graduate without debt (CUNY SPS).

Georgia Southern University will use a U.S. Department of Education grant to create Centers of Excellence for Veteran Student Success at each of its three campuses (Georgia Southern University).

In Their Own Words
Susan M. Donovan, Ph.D. and Bellarmine University president, writes about how the university welcomes a diversity of students, from first-time/full-time 18-year-olds to those with extensive workplace experience. To better serve them, the university is offering a free one-credit-hour class dedicated to helping adult learners in their return to postsecondary education, with opportunities to earn up to 30 hours through credit for prior learning (Courier-Journal).

In an interview, St. Joseph’s College president Donald Boomgarden, Ph.D., discusses the return to in-person education, new programs, and other recent developments at the university (Long Island Press).

Tonya Drake, Ph.D. and Western Governors University’s regional vice president for the Northwest, writes about sweeping changes to the employment landscape, Idaho’s strides in closing the digital divide, and increasing access to local upskilling opportunities (Idaho Statesman).

In videotaped remarks, an active duty service member intern at Troy University shares his perspectives on military internships and his educational experience at Troy University (Columbus CEO).

Earnings From Learnings 
A study from the Selig Center for Economic Growth at the University of Georgia’s Terry College of Business concludes that a Dalton State College graduate can expect to parlay a 2020 bachelor’s degree into an estimated $1.2 million career earnings differential over someone with only a high school diploma. The study reviewed the expected career earnings for the class of 2020 for all 26 postsecondary institutions within the University System of Georgia (Dalton State College).

The Art of Articulation
An agreement between American Public University System and Miami Dade College is aimed at improving access for underserved students to “bachelor's and graduate degrees by pursuing guided academic pathways across business, STEM, cybersecurity, IT, computer sciences, and psychology disciplines” (press release).

Central Michigan University and Mid Michigan College are partnering to meet the need for more skilled nurses in the region. The tri-phase program blends in-person lab work with online courses and endows participants with an associate degree upon completion of the second phase, whereupon they can work as a registered nurse while continuing toward their B.S.N. degree (CMU).

A new agreement between Western Governors University and Dakota County Technical College (DCTC) allows DCTC graduates, who are eligible to apply for a scholarship under WGU’s Community College Partnership Fund, to affordably complete a bachelor’s degree with WGU (Sun Thisweek).

Students who complete a two-year associate of arts business degree or an associate of applied science degree from eligible Northeast Iowa Community College industrial technology programs can apply their credits toward a bachelor’s degree in business administration or industrial studies at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville (University of Wisconsin-Platteville).

Qualifying students in St. John Fisher College’s sustainability bachelor’s degree program can receive admission to Rochester Institute of Technology’s sustainable systems master’s degree program (St. John Fisher College).

Saskatchewan Polytechnic will be offering new vocational training options to students of Horizon College & Seminary, while Saskatchewan Polytechnic’s students will enjoy new access to Horizon’s own programs, thanks to the two institutions’ collaboration (Saskatchewan Polytechnic).

Under an articulation agreement between Mount Mary University and Waukesha County Technical College (WCTC) eligible Mount Mary food science students can take WCTC courses to add a concentration in baking toward their completion of a B.S. at the university. Conversely, qualifying WCTC students who earn a baking/pastry technical certificate can apply their credits toward a B.S. in food science chemistry degree with a concentration in baking at the university (Waukesha County Technical College).

Looking to make online completion of a bachelor’s degree more affordable, Camden County College (CCC) and Wilmington University have completed an agreement that offers dual admissions, guaranteed transfer, and a scholarship for a 25 percent reduction in tuition for a bachelor’s degree for qualifying CCC students (Camden County College).

A “3+1” transfer program between the College of Southern Nevada and the University of Phoenix will help graduates of the college save money by applying applicable credits toward a University of Phoenix bachelor’s bachelor’s degree (press release).

Two new articulation agreements are in place between Georgia Northwestern Technical College (GNTC) and Dalton State College to “better serve the students of our region as well as our local employers.” Under them, GNTC graduates can transition into four-year programs at Dalton State after they graduate with select GNTC degrees (Georgia Northwestern Technical College).

A hybridized learning experience that blends online classes with in-person learning and includes hands-on lab work is at the center of a new agreement between Edgewood College and the College of Engineering at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville. Under the Engineering Dual Degree program, participants can work on two degrees at once: a bachelor of science degree in physics from Edgewood College and a bachelor’s degree in either electrical or mechanical engineering at UW-Platteville (Edgewood College).

A synchronous degree-completion pathway is also the product of a partnership between Kansas City University and the University of Nebraska Medical Center. It allows medical students to earn a doctor of osteopathic medicine degree as they complete a master of public health degree. Among the impetuses for introducing the program are the COVID-19 crisis and the the attending need for doctors trained in “public and population health” (The Joplin Globe).

A partnership between Northern Michigan University and Bay Mills Community College is offering students two options for earning the “first and only state-certified Anishinaabemowin teaching certificate in Michigan.” The program prioritizes language in helping students better understand Native American homelands in Michigan (Northern Michigan University).

Purdue University Global is partnering with Amarillo College to offer a more-seamless transfer for Amarillo College students who want to complete a bachelor of science degree in nursing, health and wellness, or health science. Transferring students will also benefit from 20 percent discount and 14 percent discounts on undergraduate and graduate programs, respectively (press release).

Students from the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay have an opportunity for early admission into masters of accountancy programs at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the University of Illinois. The programs prepare students for success in the certified public accountant exam, and their graduates enjoy a job placement rate of nearly 100 percent (University of Wisconsin-Green Bay).

SUNY Orange nursing students and graduates can earn a B.S.N. from SUNY Empire State College under a new R.N.-to-B.S.N. transfer arrangement. The new pathway “fills a critical hole in a region where no previous public B.S.N. options had existed” (SUNY Empire State College).

Troy University and Lurleen B. Wallace Community College (LBW) are partnering to improve access for LBW students to a bachelor’s degree in several education programs (Troy University).



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