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CAEL Pathways Blog

Member Matters August 2022

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

Career Pathway Partnerships
Antioch and Otterbein Universities are forming a first-of-its-kind affiliation dedicated to adult learners. The system, which anticipates adding additional universities and colleges, will offer centralized graduate and adult learner programs, including "tailored workforce education programs wit
h badges, certificates, and other credentials to learners and business partners nationwide." Member-level branding and undergraduate programs will remain individually managed (Otterbein University).

Sinclair Community College and Premier Health are collaborating to offer career and education pathways for employees of Premier Health. The partnership, which seeks to upskill Premier Health employees, aspires to become a "national model to train critically needed health care personnel." Participating students will receive tuition assistance and help from dedicated support personnel at the college (Premier Health).

Calvin University is also taking a workforce partnership approach to sustain healthy healthcare talent pipelines. In an arrangement with Pine Rest Christian Mental Health Services, Calvin University undergraduate students who agree to work at Pine Rest during their enrollment and for two years following their state licensure will receive up to $40,000 in tuition assistance (Calvin University).

Despite a 5.1 percent enrollment increase in entry-level baccalaureate nursing programs (2019), many students have found access to this critical career path barred; educators had to turn away more than 80,000 qualified applicants from baccalaureate and graduate nursing programs that same year. A lack of instructors and clinical preceptors was the most common reason. A partnership between Chamberlain University and Health Carousel, a healthcare staffing agency, plans to substantially boost the pool of nursing educators by encouraging Health Carousel nurses to pursue an M.S.N. or D.N.P. at Chamberlain (KHTS).

Millersville University and Excentia Human Services are collaborating to mitigate the "mass exodus of direct support professionals," which is creating challenges for the region's human services workforce. The partnership's customized programs open up new career and educational pathways for Excentia employees (Millersville University).

Collaboration among Northern Michigan University, Great Lakes Recovery Centers Inc., and NorthCare Network has yielded a new academic minor in substance abuse. Completers will be eligible to apply for a certified alcohol and drug counselor credential through the Michigan Certification Board for Addiction Professionals (NMU).

Benedict College and the University of South Carolina are creating a seamless pathway for graduates of the college to continue their education at the university and receive a certified public accounting license. The master's of accounting emerging leader's program, the first partnership between an HBCU and the university's business school, hopes to diversify a profession in which only 2 percent of CPAs are Black. In addition to academic and professional mentoring, the program covers tuition and provides a stipend for living expenses (The State).

Penn State Brandywine has partnered with global software firm SAP to provide networking opportunities to Penn State students through internships and other on-the-job learning that will further efforts to diversify the company's talent pipeline (Penn State Brandywine).

Plugging Talent Gaps
Early next year, a new advanced manufacturing building will join Pima Community College's Center of Excellence in Applied Technology, where students find "high-quality, in-demand programs that cultivate an agile workforce." Pima Community College has established partnerships with nearly 700 employers in southern Arizona since 2020 and is informing the new advanced manufacturing resource with industry input (Government Technology).

Pierce College consulted with its local construction industry to develop a bachelor of applied science in construction management degree. The new offering expands on the college's associate degree in construction management (South Sound Business).

With diagnostic sonography named the "top health care support job," a career pathway in ultrasound can be a sound decision for workers seeking a job in a field that is in "such high demand with competitive pay in multiple health care settings." To help meet those demands, Southwestern Illinois College is offering a new sonography program this fall (Illinois Business Journal).

Labor market research and direct consultation with industry advisory groups have guided the development of new short-term training, one-year-certificate, and associate degree programs at West Virginia Northern Community College (Tyler Star News.)

Western Illinois University is adding six new online degree programs that accommodate "student interests and our community's call for flexible, innovative programs within high-demand fields that contribute to the success of our region" (Quad-City Times).

A University of Phoenix whitepaper offers recommendations for upskilling workers to "the three major stakeholders responsible for closing Americans' skills gap: workers, employees, and higher education institutions" (University of Phoenix).

The board of governors for the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (PASSHE) shared details of its plan to close skills gaps and boost enrollment over hte next three years (Observer-Reporter).

Hands-on Learning
If "academics plus hands-on experience make an unbeatable combination in the job market," the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee is determined to maximize that equation. An impressive 85 percent of UWM's undergraduates already count some form of experiential learning among their UWM learning experiences, but the university is aiming to boot that to a perfect 100. Its new Office of Student Experience and Talent is consolidating the university's hands-on learning efforts, part of a move to make the university a "premier destination for experiential learning." (UWM).

A one-stop shop for experiential learning is also part of the strategy of Keuka College, which has named its first director of experiential learning and career engagement. The role "oversees the college's wide-ranging experiential learning initiatives," which are now centrally coordinated under the college's new Center for Experiential Learning and Career Engagement (Keuka College).

Howard Community College is using a new surgical technician apprenticeship program to impart workplace experience to students at two regional health care providers (The Daily Record).

A Western Governors University investment in and partnership with an online bootcamp will guarantee work experience to students who elect to participate in a remote work-study feature (WGU)

Meeting Adult Learners Where They Are
To accommodate the "many people express[ing] interest in the master of arts in teaching but [can't] afford to step away from their salary for an entire year while working on their graduate degree," Kansas State University is adding an 18-month program that includes a limited apprentice license so students can work as a teacher for one school year while advancing in their coursework (Kansas State University).

P-TECHs (pathways in technology early college high schools) are "innovative open-enrollment high schools that allow students least likely to attend college an opportunity to receive both a high school diploma and a credential and/or an associate degree." By definition, you might think adult learners would fall outside of such programs. But Tarrant County College has created a new P-TECH model with a local high school that serves older students who had to pause their progression along educational pathways (TCC).

Texas A&M University-Commerce is offering a new B.A.A.S. in technology management. The 100 percent-online program is dedicated to helping advance working adults along career pathways in technical fields, in particular the "large pool of worthy professionals who have reached a career plateau" and who "have the knowledge and experience for advancement," but "require a baccalaureate degree to obtain next-level opportunities" (Texas A&M University-Commerce).

Roberts Wesleyan College is also adding a bachelor's degree tailored to adult learners. The B.S. in business marketing offers a hybrid learning experience that can be completed in one to two years. Designed to stack atop a previous associate degree or a partially completed (60 transferable credits) bachelor's degree, the program also confers certificates to students along the way, which signal "tangible proof of their hard skills" (WROC). The college has also appointed a new executive director of adult and graduate enrollment. The position is responsible for meeting the needs of new graduate students as well as returning students seeking degree completion (FingerLakes1.com).

At Excelsior College, which "serve[s] primarily adult, nontraditional learners," the informal motto is "leave no credit behind." Exemplifying that, an army command sergeant major used transfer and military experience credits along with tuition assistance from the Army to help fulfill a determination he made 19 years ago to return to college. He is one of more than 72,000 military graduates of the college (Reserve & National Guard Magazine).

Mount Saint Mary's University is adding three new online certificate programs that "will allow adult learners to gain highly sought-after skills, advance their careers, and connect with industry leaders in a flexible setting that accommodates their schedules and needs" (Mount Saint Mary's University).

Doing Good With Grants
East Georgia State College
has received a grant from the University System of Georgia to launch an adult learner program. The program will support students returning to complete associate degrees as well as the recruiting of new adult learners to the college (Emanuel County Live).

At Bunker Hill Community College where "workforce development is one of the fastest growing program areas," a workforce training grant will help accelerate that growth. The $735,000 grant will support targeted training for about 1,500 students at no cost to them. One-third of the funding will bolster the college's healthcare programs (BHCC).

A U.S. Department of Education grant will enable Georgia State University to study more than 2 million students and more than 15,000 teachers associated with CTE coursework for outcome analysis. In contrast to K-12 educators, "next to nothing" is known about the role CTE teachers play, and the work will yield "detailed information the CTE field has sought for years" (The Citizens).

A $4 million grant from the U.S. Commerce Department to Goshen College will triple the capacity of the college's nursing infrastructure and quadruple its enrollment capabilities (Goshen College). At Bismarck State College, a grant from the department will support hands-on training via "high-tech laboratory and classroom equipment in support of polytechnic career programs" (U.S. Department of Commerce). And at South Texas College, department funding will advance the construction of infrastructure for the college's continuing education training programs (U.S. Department of Commerce).

Economic Impact 
An economic impact study concluded that East Georgia State College contributed $63.9 million to its local economy in in fiscal year 2021 (Emanuel County Live). The same study found that Georgia Highlands College generated $175 million in economic impact (WLAQ).

Meanwhile, in northern Alabama, Athens State University contributed $200.4 million in income to its "service region," during the 2019-20 fiscal year (The News Courier).

Finally, in San Diego, Southwestern College, "the only public institution of higher education in southern San Diego County," contributes $440 million in annual economic activity, supporting nearly 5,000 jobs (University Business).

Awards and Other Recognition
The first lady, the U.S. Secretary of Labor, and two members of Congress representing Massachusetts are among those praising the work of Bunker Hill Community College and Eversource, an EPCE member, to meet pressing demands for electric utility workers. Their Electric Power Utility Technology program, which also includes UWUA Local 369 and USW Local 12004, pairs experiential and classroom learning with tuition assistance to increase access to rewarding career pathways (BHCC).

Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College has been named to the G.I. Jobs 2022-23 Military Friendly Schools list (Albany Herald).

The University of Texas Rio Grand Valley has made Money's list of best colleges. To make the list, which involves a review of 2,400 four-year colleges, institutions must perform well in three categories: quality, affordability, and outcomes (UTRGV).

Keuka College has been named a national 2022-23 College of Distinction by the Colleges of Distinction organization, which appraises "the Four Distinctions" in constructing its list: "engaged students, great teaching, vibrant communities, and successful outcomes" (Finger Lakes Daily News).

"Flexibility, quality, and accessibility" have propelled the University of Central Missouri's online M.B.A. program into an elite Fortune Education ranking of national programs (University of Central Missouri).

The president of the University of Nebraska System has been appointed to the invite-only Council on Competitiveness, "a national coalition of business, education, and industry leaders who work together to champion a bipartisan agenda for innovation and economic growth" (University of Nebraska System).

The Small Business Development Center at the University of Wisconsin Green Bay has garnered the Center of the Year award, which is handed out by the Wisconsin SBDC Network. The statewide acclaim comes after the center, whose mission is "to serve the business community by maximizing economic impact and growth through fostering strong entrepreneurial skills," supported businesses amid the financial crisis created by the pandemic (UW-Green Bay).

The Innovation Center at Ohio University was named the 2022 Entrepreneurial Support Organization of the Year, rural category, by the International Business Innovation Association (Ohio University).

DeVry University's Advantage Academy was honored with the Clayton County Board of Education Outstanding Services Award. The university captured the award thanks to its work with a local high school, where, since 2017, nearly 60 dual enrollment students have graduated from the academy with an associate degree or certificate. DeVry covers tuition costs for dually enrolled students (DeVry University).

In Their Own Words
The president of the University of Nebraska System authored an op ed detailing the system's efforts to meet critical workforce demands in agriculture, medicine, and national defense at an affordable cost to students (University of Nebraska System).

The Art of Articulation
The University of West Georgia and Georgia Highlands College are partnering so associate of arts degree completers in psychology can seamlessly build upon that degree in a bachelor of science in psychology program at UWG's College of Arts, Culture and Scientific Inquiry (UWG).

Southern Illinois University Carbondale and Lone Star College, where "many ... students look to attend out of state universities when they finish" have established an articulation agreement that "will ensure the credit hours [LSC students] earned will apply at Southern Illinois University Carbondale" (Woodlands Online).

University of Phoenix and Casper College are easing transfer pathways for students through an enhanced 3+1 transfer pathway program. Students will reduce costs by completing general course requirements over three years at the college, leaving as little as one year to finish a bachelor's degree at University of Phoenix (University of Phoenix).


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