Shasta College implements accelerated programs, gateway programs to four-year degrees, and a degree-reclamation program to help working adult learners achieve success in degree completion and work. Though part of the 115-institution California Community College system, Shasta College is uniquely isolated. Located halfway between Sacramento and the Oregon border, it is the only public postsecondary institution in a three-county region, covering 10,000 square miles in California’s Far North. More and more jobs that provide a living wage in the area require some level of postsecondary education.
Shasta College wanted to make it easier for displaced workers to access education that would connect them with viable career paths. Its ACE program offers accelerated classes to further this effort. Classes are primarily online and can be completed in eight weeks. About 120 students have earned certificates or associate degrees since the program’s 2016 launch. ACE offers pathways in business, psychology, administration of justice, communications studies, and sociology. More programs are on the way.
Shasta also offers a program to help area learners complete a four-year degree: the Bachelor’s through Online and Local Degrees program (BOLD). It enhances Shasta’s role as a gateway to four-year degrees by mapping online and hybrid pathways for four-year-degree completion. Associated institutions include Simpson University (a private institution in Redding), California State University-Chico (about 75 miles southeast of Redding), and National University, a private school.
Finally, Shasta College partners with the Institute for Higher Education Policy’s Degrees When Due degree reclamation program. To select candidates under the Degrees When Due program, which is in its pilot stage, Shasta looked at data from 2013-2018. Through a painstaking audit process, it was able to reach out to more than 200 students who had earned enough credit for a degree but not received one. For example, students may have pursued a transfer associate degree. Although they may not have completed their targeted degree, they may have earned enough units for a local associate degree. In other cases, students may lack just a local computer literacy class. Contacting students through the Degrees When Due program can not only result in the award of an associate degree but spur them to reengage a pursuit of a bachelor’s degree.
For more details of the great work Shasta is doing for adult learners, see our recent blog post based on a conversation with Buffy Tanner, Shasta’s Director of Innovation and Special Projects.
On Jan. 22, McDonald's announced the launch of a new career exploration mobile application called Archways to Careers. It is designed to help restaurant employees nationwide maximize education benefits and take the next step in their professional journey – whether at McDonald's or elsewhere. The Archways to Careers app was built in partnership with CAEL and with support from fellow Strada Education Network member InsideTrack, a national success coaching organization. The app allows McDonald's to offer all restaurant employees a real-time career advising tool that connects them to InsideTrack's professional and credentialed advisors to support, coach, and help them chart a path to achieve the future job or career they desire.
CAEL was pleased to close the fall semester by hosting several leaders in serving student veterans. Amanda Olsen, consultant for the talent and development office at the University of Texas-Austin; Craig Chandler, lead coordinator for the total force integration division at the Army University; and a delegation from Governors State University led by Kevin Smith, director of veteran affairs for the university, all presented at the Higher Education Affinity Group’s (VHEAG) December meeting.
Amanda Olsen’s presentation included strategies for connecting student veterans with campus career centers, best practices in preparing veterans for interviews and networking, and leveraging employment-oriented veteran service organizations to put student vets on their intended career path.
Kevin Smith and his colleagues shared how studying the humanities can help student-veterans meet their goals while also enriching their education and fostering personal growth. Through two projects funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), GSU has created spaces for veterans and non-veterans to interact through war-related humanities study.
Finally, Craig Chandler provided an update regarding curriculum transparency, explaining that ArmyU is working to make all non-classified training and education materials easily accessible to assist faculty from all institutions in evaluating and articulating military learning for academic credit.
CAEL's Veterans Team is looking forward to the launch of a second VHEAG group in southern Illinois, aimed at assisting veteran-serving staff and faculty at colleges from across the state identify and meet the unique needs of rural veterans pursuing a postsecondary degree or credential.
CAEL held a Webinar on January 30 about enhanced benefits for members. Whether you’re a newcomer or a longstanding CAEL member, this myriad of expanded membership benefits is designed specifically for you. If you didn’t get a chance to join us on the webinar, please check out the recording. You’ll hear CAEL’s Christine Carpenter and Jeannie McCarron discuss new membership categories, new complimentary solutions and tools for members, exciting 2020 CAEL events, our plans to support your connections with other members via a new online member portal with new communities of learning, premium content, and more! This is a wonderful opportunity to learn about how your CAEL membership can help you achieve your goals in serving your adult working learners in 2020 and beyond.
Many adult students are caring for young children, which adds another set of challenges for adult student educational success. CAEL has a new alliance with Ideas42 to learn more about effective strategies for engaging student parents through 2Gen postsecondary programs -- programs that simultaneously serve the needs of the student parents and their children. CAEL and Ideas42 recently released a white paper on this topic. The paper describes some of the work that colleges are already doing as well as our ideas for how we might join forces to work with colleges to address structural barriers through behavioral strategies.
In 2018, CAEL partnered with Excelencia in Education to assist Hispanic-serving institutions (HSIs) as they enhance their support for Latino working adult learners. Funded by grants from The Kresge Foundation, Great Lakes Higher Education Guaranty Corporation, and the Greater Texas Foundation, the partnership is helping 15 HSIs improve higher education outcomes for their rapidly growing populations of Latino students. At the project’s midpoint, Excelencia CEO Deborah Santiago and CAEL President Marie Cini took the opportunity to share an update, including the perspectives of three of the participating institutions. Read more here.
In late December, the Department of Education’s Office of Postsecondary Education (OPE) posted a FY2020 grant opportunity within the OPE’s Developing Hispanic-Serving Institutions (DHSI) program. The DHSI program provides grants to assist Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs) to expand educational opportunities for, and improve the academic attainment of, Hispanic students. DHSI program grants enable HSIs to expand and enhance the academic offerings, program quality, faculty quality, and institutional stability of colleges and universities that are educating the majority of Hispanic college students. They also help large numbers of Hispanic students and other low-income individuals complete postsecondary degrees.
This grant opportunity focuses on two competitive preference priorities:
The deadline for applications is Feb. 24. Institutions interested in partnering with CAEL can contact Scott Campbell at firstname.lastname@example.org or 312-499-2399.
Looking back at CAEL's 2019 annual conference, it was great to meet and learn from advocates, innovators, trailblazers, creators, pioneers and experts from all niches throughout the adult-learning ecosystem. We had a few significant “firsts”: One, we hosted our first-ever live streaming of the conference; and two, it was the highest recorded CAEL conference attendance to date. Thank you to all of our 2019 conference attendees and partners. Your attendance helped to provide better connections, solutions, and tools to support long-term, positive impacts on adult learners. Make sure to check out our 2019 conference video, highlighting some great photos of the attendees and speakers!
Building off of the feedback from the 2019 conference, CAEL is excited to be planning our 2020 conference, which will be held November 4-6 in New Orleans at the Hilton Riverside hotel. We will soon be announcing our keynote speakers and are currently working on creating some great opportunities for panels, workshops, learning labs, ed talks, research stories, and roundtable discussions. We look forward to opening our call for proposals in February. Sign up here to receive conference updates so you don’t miss out when the early bird registration discount is announced. If you are interested in participating on CAEL's conference committee, please email CAEL membership at email@example.com
Finally, please join us in congratulating our raffle winners, who are receiving a complimentary 2020 conference registration: Vicki Purslow from Southern Oregon University in Oregon; Christy Chung from Ngee Ann Polytechnic in Singapore; and Jim Craig from Pima Community College in Arizona. Congratulations to you all!
We look forward to seeing you Nov. 4-6 in New Orleans!
Recent CAEL Blog Posts
League for Innovation in the Community College March 1-4 in Seattle.
SXSW EDU March 9-12 in Austin, TX.
UPCEA (Association for Professional, Continuing and Online Education) March 18-20 in Boston.
NAWB (National Association of Workforce Boards) March 21-24 in Washington.
ASU/GSV Summit March 30-April 1 in San Diego.
OLC (Online Learning Consortium) Innovate March 31-April 3 in Chicago.
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