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CAEL Pathways Blog

Member Matters January 2022

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

Linking Learning and Work

In what is described as a first for the state of Maryland and perhaps the country, Anne Arundel Community College has opened a 100 percent-donor-funded building, the Clauson Center for Innovation and Skilled Trades. Building on two years of research with area businesses on work-relevant training, the center will focus on hard-to-fill occupations such as plumbing, carpentry, and general contracting (The Washington Post).

Cybersecurity is another highly sought occupation, with forecast job growth of 33 percent between 2020 and 2030. To "help reduce and eliminate disparity in representation in this professional sector while addressing the needs of cybersecurity," Cheyney University is partnering with Pennsylvania's State System of Higher Education (PASSHE) and several employers to feature a new Workforce Enhancement cybersecurity program. The non-degree offering includes paid internship opportunities with eight participating companies (The Philadelphia Tribune).

BridgeValley Community and Technical College is part of a $48 million Cares Act-funded effort to combat the nursing shortage in West Virginia's state hospitals. The college, which has added more than 1,000 nurses to its region's workforce in the past 30 years, plans to expand its capacity as part of the program (BridgeValley Community and Technical College).

A shortage of tech workers is the motivating challenge behind a new internship program co-designed by OCBC Bank and Ngee Ann Polytechnic. Appraisals from both institutions will determine student grades during the 12-month internship, which also includes bank-provided mentors who will help students map career paths (OCBC Bank).

Trucking is yet another sector suffering from a worker shortage, and South Texas College (STC) is partnering with Trancasa to help alleviate it. The college is using the partnership to insource its trucking program, which now boasts STC instructors, curricula, and equipment (South Texas College).

A grant from the U.S. Economic Development Administration has helped Kean University launch the University Center for Business/Workforce Development, Innovation, and Social Entrepreneurship. The center's kickoff meeting included collaboration among the Hispanic and African-American Chambers of Commerce, the New Jersey Manufacturing Extension Program, the Institute for Life Science Entrepreneurship at Kean, and other partners (NJBIZ).

If "the customer is always right," a new workforce development program at Trocaire College is on the right track. In partnership with Buffalo City Mission, Our Lady of Victory, and Cazenovia Recovery, the college is offering a customer service program, which will feature networking, career coaching and mentoring, and live, instructor-led courses. "Qualified customer service professionals continue to be in high demand, and we are working with local companies to help train potential employees with the skillset employers are looking for to fill both in-person and remote positions," said the college's vice president of innovation and workforce development (Trocaire College).

For those fortunate enough to have jobs that accommodate it, the aforementioned remote work has been front and center for much of the past two years. Utah State University is adding a certified remote work professional course, a one-month certificate program that is part of the Rural Online Initiative, which "provides specialized remote work training to individuals for success in a rapidly changing economy" (ETV News).

Cybercrime is projected to impose a $10.5 trillion annual drag on the global economy by 2025, and there are currently 1,400 cybersecurity positions open in Arkansas alone, with more than 450,000 in the U.S. overall. The University of Arkansas at Little Rock has partnered with the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff and the Forge Institute on the creation of the Consortium for Cyber Innovation, aimed at meeting the fast-growing workforce needs of this field (UA Little Rock).

The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee has collaborated with local industries to add an Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning graduate certificate to its College of Engineering and Applied Science. Offered online and in person, the one-year program is aimed at workers looking to enhance their undergraduate degrees with math and programming preparation (University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee).

Rock Valley College is offering a manufacturing training program at the Winnebago County Criminal Justice Center in partnership with the Winnebago County Sheriff's Office. The eight-week program in cold forming, which is in high demand in the region, will allow "jail inmates to also receive the training with other community members" (WREX).

At the Michigan Department of Corrections, employees can now receive a tuition discount at Siena Heights University (SHU). The education benefits also include individualized counseling from SHU Global, where the university's graduate and professional studies programs reside (WLEN).

City Colleges of Chicago (CCC) has reached an articulation of prior learning transfer agreement that creates new access to a degree in construction management at CCC. The arrangement with the Mid-America Carpenters Regional Council Apprentice and Training Fund means journeymen carpenters can apply their learning experiences toward a degree at Kennedy-King College, while students who earn a basic certificate in carpentry at the college can benefit from advanced placement in the Fund's pre-apprenticeship program (City Colleges of Chicago).

Alamo Colleges District is a founding partner of the Bright Horizons EdAssist Solutions Workforce Education Network. With a "mission to increase talent mobility by solving strategic workforce gaps," the network will feature Alamo Colleges District as a "top quality education provider" with opportunities to integrate within programs addressing high-demand jobs for business partners (Alamo Colleges District).

Advancing the Field 

KC Scholars has announced 74 Adult Learner scholarships, the first of 200 it plans to award this year. In 2021, recipients' average age was 37.2. Since launching the program, KC Scholars has awarded nearly 900 Adult Learner scholarships (Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce).

Capella University is adding a doctor of education in educational leadership degree to its FlexPath program, a "competency-based, direct-assessment learning format." Students can draw on their experience to complete studies, which feature curricula co-created by the university and industry, at their own pace (Capella University).

City Colleges of Chicago announced the Timuel D. Black Scholars Program for adult learners. Dr. Timuel Black, who was 23 when he enlisted in the armed services during World War II, completed his postsecondary studies after returning from the war. He also worked with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. In Chicago, inspiring thousands of Chicago residents to join Dr. King's march on Washington. He held numerous leadership roles over a 20-year career at City Colleges of Chicago (City Colleges of Chicago).

The University of Phoenix College of Doctoral Studies has produced a white paper examining effects of the pandemic on military-connected students and working parents.  The paper "provides a closer look at the data points that can help employers better understand their employees' challenges and make changes to support these hard-working populations in achieving much-needed balance" (University of Phoenix).

Alamo Colleges District has received a Lumina Foundation grant aimed at boosting enrollment among adult learners (Alamo Colleges District).

In Their Own Words

A University of Arkansas at Little Rock professor has drawn on more than ten years of experience and expertise to write a book dedicated to student success and retention within the context of online learning. Among the tips the book offers is prioritizing personal connections with students -- something that may be more difficult in a remote environment but can "revive the promise of online education" (UA Little Rock).

George Mason University President Gregory Washington joined the Let's Talk STEM podcast to advocate for postsecondary institutions to answer the call to "reeducate and retrain this nation." Noting that universities generally admit only 40 percent of applications, Dr. Washington argues, "You can't prepare the masses to deal with the challenges if you're not even admitting the masses in" (UnityFirst.com).

Dr. Gregory W. Fowler, who last year became the seventh president of the University of Maryland Global Campus, recently discussed the university's legacy of serving adult learners and how postsecondary education providers must adapt to the growing scrutiny of traditional degree programs (intelligenthq.com).

Awards and Other Recognition

Glenda Glover, who is president of Tennessee State University and who sounded the warning about challenges facing HBCUs during October testimony before the U.S. House Committee on Education and Labor, has been appointed to the President's Board of Advisors on Historically Black Colleges and Universities (the Tennessean).

CEO Magazine has declared UNC Charlotte's M.B.A. program a "Tier 1 Global" program, adding to the recognition the M.B.A. offering has received from U.S. News & World Report and The Princeton Review (Charlotte Stories).

Fayetteville State University's (FSU) M.B.A. program has also won recent praise, this from College Consensus, which included FSU on its list of "Best One-Year Online M.B.A. Programs" (FSU).

The University of Central Missouri has appeared on the Forbes magazine top 600 universities in the United States (University of Central Missouri).

The University of Phoenix received EC-Council's 2021 Academic Circle of Excellence award, which "formally highlights academic institutions and faculty within North America and across the world that excel each year with lasting impacts on their students' cybersecurity education and local communities" (University of Phoenix).

West Chester University has appeared on 17 of Intelligent.com's lists of program rankings, finishing in the top 10 on 9 of them (MONTCO.Today).

The Virginia Department of Veteran Services presented Jennifer Connors, who is the founding director of George Mason University's Office of Military Services, with the inaugural Admiral John Harvey Career Achievement in Military Education Excellence Award. The award is conferred upon "an employee of an education or training facility who is directly involved in the delivery of military education programs and has worked at least five years with military-related students while demonstrating dedication and leadership in providing quality service, leadership, and innovation" (George Mason University).

In Service of Veterans

Kean University is using peer mentoring to help student veterans get the most out of their educational experience. At the Kean Veterans Resource Center, they help "student veterans navigate challenges such as figuring out veterans' benefits, seeking academic counseling, and just wanting to meet other students" (Kean University).

The Oregon Department of Veterans' Affairs has awarded Southern Oregon University a grant to help advance its support of student veterans. The grant includes three areas of focus: "successful transition from military service to college life; success in college and completion of educational goals; and the transition from college to the workforce and community (Southern Oregon University).

The Art of Articulation

Ground transportation isn't the only corner of the logistics industry facing staffing issues. Airlines are forecast to need to fill more than 800,000 pilot positions in the next two decades. To help aviation careers take flight more quickly, Purdue University Global is partnering with Thrust Flight so that students can complete online courses toward a bachelor of science degree at Purdue University Global as they undergo flight training with Thrust Flight (Thrust Flight).

An agreement between Clayton State University and Atlanta Metropolitan State College (AMSC) will help AMSC students who weren't able to take a traditional admission route to Clayton State or who don't meet the university's State Bridge Program requirements for admission. Participating AMSC students will be able to attend Clayton State while enrolled at AMSC, transferring after a year if they complete at least 30 credits while maintaining at least a 2.0 GPA (The Atlanta Journal-Constitution).

A dual admissions arrangement between North Carolina Central University (NCCU) and Cape Fear Community College will allow qualified CFCC students with an associate degree in applied science to enjoy guaranteed admission to NCCU and expedited progress toward a bachelor's degree (North Carolina Central University).

A dual enrollment agreement between the University of Illinois at Chicago and City Colleges of Chicago (CCC) will seek to tackle both the nursing shortage and a lack of diversity in the profession. An Illinois Nursing Workforce Center survey in 2020 found that "White people accounted for 77 percent of registered nurses in Illinois, followed by the Asian community at 10 percent and Black people at 9 percent" (WLS).

This spring, Lake Michigan College students will be able to attend select online classes at Rio Salado College, which is one of the country's biggest "online public community colleges," enrolling almost 40,000 yearly (Lake Michigan College).


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