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CAEL Pathways Blog

Member Matters April 2022

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

Hands-on Learning
Credit for prior learning (CPL) and a carpentry apprenticeship are coming together to help students at Thomas Edison State University accelerate their progress toward a degree. Thanks to the Northeast Carpenters Apprentice Training Program and CPL, one student had satisfied half of his degree requirements prior to applying to his associate degree program. For decades, the university's Office of Professional Learning Reviews has reviewed workplace training across multiple industries for its CPL program and today awards more than 65,000 CPL credits every year. On average, students are able to apply 38 CPL credits toward their degrees (Trenton Daily). Workforce partnership note: Thomas Edison State University has long championed the benefits of CPL and anchors NJ PLAN, a consortium of higher ed institutions in New Jersey that advocates for CPL. Among its core goals is to bolster links between postsecondary education and the state's workforce development needs.

Gas prices are attracting a lot of attention. So are electric vehicles. To help meet the workforce demands that are accompanying vehicle demands, White Mountains Community College is adding a stackable certificate in electric vehicles. The program includes a "theory-based curriculum and hands-on exercises" and can be paired with an automotive technology associate degree that develops competencies in several automotive occupations (NH Business Review). Workforce partnership note: The Community College System of New Hampshire features WorkReadyNH, a 'practical, tuition-free program designed to meet the needs of job seekers and career builders by providing training in specific skills that employers are looking for in their current and future employees.' Its graduates span the ages 16 to 80+, and their academic experience ranges from no high school diploma to master's degree and Ph.D. holders. Workforce partnership note: WorkReadyNH is offered in partnership with NH Works, 'a consortium of state agencies and associations working together to leverage their staff and align their local networks to support the sector partnerships.' 

With manufacturing delivering nearly 20% of Ohio's gross domestic product, skilled manufacturing technicians are critical to the state's economic wellbeing. Edison State Community College has launched a short-term CNC machine tool operator program that blends online learning with hands-on lab experiences that validate skills acquisition (Edison State Community College). Workforce partnership note: Edison State Works at Edison State Community College operates as a linchpin connecting the elements and stakeholders of workforce development, including programs, services, students, staff, businesses, industries, and regional residents. 

In a first for Texas, Dallas College is bringing the hand-on benefits of the apprenticeship model to teacher training. The paid apprenticeships allow students to build experience at partner school systems while progressing toward a credential (Dallas College). Workforce partnership note: Dallas College is an educational partner in a Workforce Solutions Greater Dallas consortium that helps adult learners gain the skills needed to advance careers.

Proactive Partnerships
Amazon announced that it will invest $1.2 billion by 2025 in education benefits for its employees, partnering with postsecondary education providers in the process. Several CAEL members have partnerships with Amazon, including:

CUNY SPS, Borough of Manhattan Community College, and Bronx Community College (New York Daily News via Yahoo).
City Colleges of Chicago (City Colleges of Chicago).
Cleveland State University (Cleveland State University).
Middle Tennessee State University (Nashville Business Journal).
The University of Akron (The University of Akron).
The University of Memphis (The University of Memphis).
UNC Charlotte (WCNC).
University of Maryland Global Campus (UMGC).
Western Governors University (WGU via Yahoo).
Wilmington University (Bay to Bay News).

Southern Maine Community College (SMCC) and Central Maine Community College (CMCC) are among the colleges in the the Maine Community College System that are partnering with BioConnects New England (BCNE) to support a thriving workforce in the life sciences industry. The arrangement will provision labs at SMCC and CMCC, provide stipends to qualified students, coordinate student support, and forge industry partnerships that afford students work experience (BioConnects New England).

Northern Maine Community College is working with Pathstone to train and funnel skilled workers into Maine's workforce. The partnership hopes to bolster regional needs by drawing on Pathstone's expertise at matching "migrant and seasonal workers with employers and programs that can give them training and employment opportunities" (The County).

The College of Coastal Georgia is boosting its enrollment capacity, including the addition of a spring cohort, to help address the nursing shortage. The expansion is made possible through a partnership with Southeast Georgia Health System (Southeast Georgia Health System).

A partnership between Excelsior College and Paralyzed Veterans of America (PVA) will deliver a tuition discount to PVA members and their families as well as PVA employees and volunteers. Veterans comprise 15% of the college's students (PVA).

Cal State L.A. is planning to partner with Chaffey College to offer incarcerated women at the California Institution for Women in Chino an avenue to bachelor's degree completion following their associate degree at the college. Associate degree completers will enjoy priority enrollment within the Cal State L.A. program, which plans in-person instruction in liberal arts that will position students for occupations in government, law, business, and education (LAist).

Championing Adult Learners
East Carolina University's bachelor of science in industrial technology (BSIT) is an award-winning program, so it's no surprise it's making a difference for adult learners at the university, which is taking a leadership role in Project Kitty Hawk, a UNC System effort to use distance education to improve service to adult learners (ECU).

The University of Akron shared the story of one of its nontraditional students: an adult learner who started law school at the age of 51 (The University of Akron).

To honor such nontraditional learners, Syracuse University is hosting its first-ever reception for "post-traditional alumni" (Syracuse University).

Evergreen State College is adding a professional and continuing education program, part of a commitment to "boost enrollment and attract adult learners with different needs than traditional college-aged students" (Evergreen State College).

Student parents at San Juan College will have an additional level of college-based support with the addition of a second on-campus child-care center (Farmington Daily Times via Yahoo).

Plugging Talent Gaps
As noted earlier, manufacturing is critical component of Ohio's economy. Smart manufacturing is helping the industry evolve, but the industry's needs have "not been historically well served through higher education." To help change that, Cleveland State University is focusing on workforce needs through new microcredentials in smart manufacturing (CSU).

The Kentucky Community & Technical College System (KCTCS) is expanding its TRAINS program, which, since 2014, has funded upskilling at Kentucky companies to the tune of $16,974,397 (Northern Kentucky Tribune).

According to the World Economic Forum, data analytics is the second-fastest-growing industry in the U.S. College of DuPage has added a program that delivers 20 credit hours across a series of six courses that focus on different realms of data analysis (College of DuPage). The college is also taking aim at the deficit of women in STEM fields with a mentorship and networking program that will "help future leaders develop the necessary skills to thrive in some of the fastest-growing careers" (Daily Herald).

Hot off the Press
The University of Indianapolis' Center of Excellence in Leadership of Learning (CELL) has authored a whitepaper about a forecast deficit of dual credit teachers in Indiana. Dual credit courses not only support high school graduation but also increase "postsecondary enrollment, persistence, and completion" (University of Indianapolis).

Arkansas State University-Newport is featured in a case study about how the university is "helping facilitate tech-based economic development in rural communities" (Upper Delta News).

Doing Good With Grants
Exelon Corporation, an EPCE member, is providing $2.4 million for scholarships as part of the company's HBCU Corporate Scholars Program, which focuses on "scholarship assistance, internship experiences, and early-career readiness training to students attending historically Black colleges and universities" (Exelon).

FutureMakers Coalition, which includes Florida Gulf Coast University, has been selected as one of five rural partnerships for inclusion in an effort by CivicLab and Ascendium to improve postsecondary and workforce systems. In addition to funding, the coalition will receive training and technical support during the two-year cohort, which also includes partnerships in California, Indiana, New Mexico, and Texas. FutureMakers plans to focus the resources on forging "pathways to prosperity for low-income workers in Hendry County" (Fort Myers Florida Weekly).

Creative Credentials
Long before the pandemic prompted many postsecondary institutions to hurriedly embrace online learning, Dallas College had been utilizing the modality to serve students seeking certification as veterinary techs. While times have changed -- the program has progressed from the postal exchange of VHS tapes to a cloud-based LMS -- students continue to benefit. Certification can increase pay 10-15% (The Texas Standard).

The University of Wisconsin Oshkosh has added a certificate of Hmong studies, joining three other universities in the University of Wisconsin system. Wisconsin is home to the third-largest Hmong population in the country, and the new program supports the university's overall work to increase diversity (Madison 365).

In Their Own Words
The chancellor of UNC Greensboro explains how, amid the enrollment declines beleaguering the general higher ed landscape, regional universities like his remain vital to communities, noting that the university "provides more first-generation and lower-income students with paths to prosperity than any other public university in the state" (North State Journal).

The president of Community College of Vermont contributed to "Vermont By Degrees," a "series of weekly columns written by representatives of colleges and universities from around the state about the challenges facing higher education at this time," to explain an apprenticeship model that offers a pragmatic pathway for licensed nursing assistants to become licensed practical nurses (Rutland Herald).

The senior program development coordinator at Waubonsee Community College, which is partnering with CAEL to support adult and Latino students, writes how community colleges serve as trailheads for diverse education and career pathways and about the impact of career and technical education within that role (Shaw Local News Network).

Awards and Other Achievements
The chancellor of San Diego Community College District has been recognized with the 2022 Reginald Wilson Diversity Leadership Award, an annual accolade bestowed upon "an individual who has made outstanding contributions and demonstrated sustained commitment to diversity in higher education" (American Council on Education).

The University of Central Missouri's Center for Workforce and Professional Education received national acclaim from University Professional and Continuing Education Association for a "learn as you earn" partnership it developed with area health care and funding partners to address healthcare workforce shortages (Lee's Summit Tribune).

Abound, a "college guidance system for degree-seeking adults," has declared Troy University a top-100 online college in the U.S. (Troy University).

The president of the University of Maine has been appointed to the President's Committee on the National Medal of Science (Bangor Daily). 

Atlantic Cape Community College helped bring home the STEM Collaboration of the Year award from the New Jersey STEM Pathways Network. The college worked with the Atlantic City Initiatives Project Office and several other South Jersey organizations to host the Mark Cuban Foundation's artificial intelligence boot camp in Atlantic City, which engaged underserved high school students. The camp also fostered apprenticeship opportunities for young adults (ROI-NJ).

The following institutions have been recognized as military-friendly schools:

Cleveland State University  ( Cleveland State University).
Oakton Community College ( Daily Herald).
Rochester Institute of Technology ( Rochester Institute of Technology).
Southern New Hampshire University ( Southern New Hampshire University).
The University of North Carolina at Pembroke ( The University of North Carolina at Pembroke).
Western Governors University ( Nevada Business).

The Art of Articulation

The University of North Georgia's Gainesville campus will host the fifth annual Transfer Student Success Workshop April 26-27. Georgia Transfer Articulation Cooperative Services operates the event, which will cover topics that include "transfer credits, dual enrollment, exam to college course credit, and military or adult learning credit" (University of North Georgia).

Middle Georgia State University (MGA) and Ogeechee Technical College (OTC) have entered an agreement to "provide a pathway for students to become lifelong learners." The arrangement focuses on career paths in information technology, bridging the OTC associate of applied science and the bachelor of science in information technology at MGA (MGA).

Morris Brown College is partnering with Western Governors University (WGU) "to offer accessible and affordable education to working adults throughout Georgia" (The Atlanta Voice).

Western Governors University (WGU) is also partnering with Miami Dade College (MDC) to create seamless pathways for additional education. The agreement allows MDC graduates as well as staff to pursue WGU Community College Partnership Scholarships, which are valued up to $2,500 (Miami Dade College).

Mercy College Of Health Sciences and Simpson College have implemented a 3+1 accelerated nursing degree arrangement that allows students to garner two degrees in four years (Simpson College).

Waubonsee Community College and Southern Illinois University Carbondale (SIU) now share the "Saluki Step Ahead Program," an agreement that allows the college's graduates to transfer to an online degree program at SIU Carbondale. Those admitted under the program will embark on an eight-semester pathway aided by a transfer scholarship of $8,000 ($4,000 per year) toward tuition and fees at SIU (Waubonsee Community College).

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