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CAEL Pathways Blog

Member Matters February 2023

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

Online Excellence
Digital learning within Wyoming's lightly populated milieu (5.85 people per square mile) can have a heavy impact on connecting students. But while phones may be ubiquitous, Wi-Fi coverage isn't (at least not yet). Casper College is filling that gap with a custom mobile app. The app syncs coursework and other college information when connected, preserving a seamless learning experience even amidst intermittent service (eCampus News).

Penn State is celebrating a quarter of a century providing online courses, which, since 1995, have grown to span more than 175 degrees, nearly 34,000 online-degree holders, and learners the world over, including at least one in Antarctica (PennState).

Austin Community College is using new online options for its nursing bachelor's degree to help address shortages in the field. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that nursing has the most open jobs of any profession and that about 20 percent of healthcare workers have left their roles since 2020. (Austin Business Journal).

Tackling Talent Gaps
Avila University is also working to improve pathways to employment in nursing, launching an accelerated pathway to a B.S.N., which it has designed for adult learners who have completed some college or a degree unrelated to nursing. Students can earn the degree in just 16 months, depending on their prior learning (Avila University).

Hands-on Learning
The School of Cybersecurity and Information Technology at University of Maryland Global Campus has created a new way to inject real-world skill exercises into the learning environment. It is offering a three-credit cyber competition class that supports individual and team entrants while building in-demand competencies. UMGC finished 47th out of more than 470 colleges and universities in the National Cyber League's fall competition season (UMGC).

The new chancellor at IU Kokomo, who assumed the role in August, is focusing on the Kokomo Experience and You (KEY), a program he created with faculty and staff in his previous role to provide "hands-on learning experiences through simulations, retreats, competitions, internships, and educational travel" (IU Kokomo). 

The University of Wyoming has its sights set on "reinventing educator development," something it says is needed to address the 11 percent teacher turnover rate among Wyoming schools. To do so, it plans to "identify training that addresses specific needs while increasing access to learner-centered, competency-based professional development that is respectful and appropriately incentivized" (University of Wyoming).

Proactive Partnerships
The Workforce Alliance of South Central Kansas is an integral part of 'local and regional partnerships and support' that are 'critical for a CHIPS for America application.' In fact, one such application has resulted in the Attracting Powerful Economic Expansion (APEX) incentive application, which envisions the creation of at least 2,000 jobs and $1.8 billion in capital investment in the Wichita region (Integra Technologies).

Western Governors University is the education partner for a new benefit program that makes more than 60 bachelor's, master's, and certificate programs available to KFC restaurant employees on a "non-competitive" basis, meaning tuition coverage is offered to all eligible employees (KFC Foundation).

The Este Lauder Companies have invested $200,000 in Bucks County Community College to bolster education pathways and career opportunities for local students (BUCKSCO.Today).

General Motors is funding an automotive camp at Northwood University to help high school seniors explore career pathways in the automotive industry (WJRT).

Lightcast is pairing its data with that of the National Student Clearinghouse to provide a comprehensive perspective of student success, one that spans career paths as well as degree completion (National Student Clearinghouse).

Creative Credentials
The University of Wisconsin-Madison is providing students with microcredentials that signal workforce-prized "foundational human skills," such as critical thinking and problem solving, via Deloitte's Future of Work Institute (Deloitte).

Kansas State University will offer a certificate in digital engagement with industry-recognized learning outcomes that include Google- and Hubspot-authorized qualifications. In addition to offering immediate workforce value, the certificate can stack toward the university's new bachelor's degree in digital innovation in media (Kansas State University).

Northeastern State University has launched a river studies and leadership certificate to "prepare students for a variety of river-based careers through interdisciplinary coursework, hands-on professional experience, and opportunities to meet and learn from current river professionals" (Muskogee Phoenix).

Students eying an entry-level position in social media have a new certificate program at Raritan Valley Community College to help connect them to a trending career pathway. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, demand for public relations specialists will grow by 11 percent between 2020 and 2030. The three-semester certificate is designed to meet the needs of traditional students as well as career-changing workers (Raritan Valley Community College).

Siena Heights University has initiated certificate-oriented workforce development programs in response to labor shortages hampering healthcare in the Midwest region (SHU).

Doing Good With Grants
Black Hawk College will use $1 million in federal funding to support trade education, including creating more internships, staying current with manufacturing needs, and supporting employees as lifelong learners (WQAD).

Western Carolina University received a grant of nearly $900,000 from the Dogwood Health Trust for Leadership, Equity, and Access Fellowship in Early Childhood Education to support its birth-kindergarten program, whose online format allows it to serve learners throughout North Carolina (WCU).

Grant funding is also helping Harper College enhance early childhood education. The college is using $1.4 million in grant funds from the Early Childhood Access Consortium for Equity (ECACE) to help learners upskill through degrees and certificates offered through its early childhood education program. For example, students with work experience can apply to have their complete one-year cost of attendance covered by an ECACE scholarship (Daily Herald).

The Pennsylvania governor authorized a $5 million grant to the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education Foundation (PASSHE) to create and maintain a scholarship program for Commonwealth of Pennsylvania employees and their eligible dependents (PennWest University).

Awards and Other Recognition
Goshen College has received designation as an Hispanic-Serving Institution from the U.S. Department of Education. In the past fifteen years, the representation of Hispanic students among undergraduates at the college has increased from two to thirty percent (Goshen College).

A U.S. Air Force staff sergeant enrolled at Thomas Edison State University has been honored with the 2022 National Association of Institutions for Military Education Services (NAIMES) Student Spotlight Award. The award recognizes students for academic achievements in the Armed Forces Voluntary Education programs (TESU).

Two Howard Community College employees have been named finalists of the American Association of Community Colleges' 2023 Awards of Excellence, and both specialize in areas near and dear to the CAEL community. The college's engineering program chair, who created a new opportunity for students to participate in experiential learning, is a finalist for the Faculty Innovation Award. Meanwhile, the VP of workforce, innovation and strategic partnerships, the "driving force behind the creation of registered apprenticeship programs at HCC," is up for the Rising Star ' Executive category award (Howard Community College).

Western Illinois University's bachelor of science degree in cybersecurity has received the National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense designation (WIU).

In Their Own Words
The director of workforce development and academic integration at White Mountains Community College writes of the importance of credit for prior learning in valuing the unique and diverse competencies that students bring to the classroom (Berlin Sun).

The president of the University of West Georgia discusses the evolving higher ed space, including industry partnerships and how online options can support student success (Capital Analytics Associates).

The chancellor of Penn State New Kensington explains how the Digital Foundry at New Kensington, a new initiative, is centering diversity and workforce development (Capital Analytics Associates).

The Art of Articulation
Western Carolina University and Catawba Valley Community College have agreed to a partnership under the Catamount Connection Program, which helps streamline four-year-degree pathways for community college students via WCU (Hickory Daily Record).

A new guaranteed admission program is in place between Lincoln University of Missouri and College of Lake County. The partnership includes a provision allowing students transferring from College of Lake County, which is in Illinois, to receive the Lincoln Connection Scholarship, which provides access to in-state tuition (LU).

UW-Green Bay will grant junior standing to transferring associate of science and associate of art completers from Lakeshore Technical College and Fox Valley Technical College under new articulation agreements with both institutions (UW-Green Bay).




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