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CAEL Pathways Blog

Member Matters August 2021

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

Valuing Experience

More than 75 employers and industry associations in Maine are partnering with the Maine Community College System on education benefits and workforce training opportunities. The partnerships encompass nearly 100,000 workers (Bangor Daily News).

An array of businesses are represented in a new advisory council the University of Wisconsin-Superior's School of Business and Economics (SBE) has established. The council will help SBE and its students meet workforce needs by drawing on members' connections and expertise (University of Wisconsin-Superior).

Bronx Community College is partnering with Building Skills New York to offer undeserved New Yorkers the opportunity to gain skills needed in high-demand construction jobs, which are sorely needed in the city's economic recovery efforts (Norwood News).

Lorain County Community College has partnered with ARCTOS Technology Solutions to support smart manufacturing technologies and enhance training opportunities for employers, students, and educators. The initiative focuses on automation and robotics and industry 4.0 technologies, seen as vital in the region's quest to remain competitive in the global marketplace (Lorain County Community College).

The Kirkhof College of Nursing, at Grand Valley State University, is partnering with two health care organizations to improve workforce diversity in the nursing field. Made possible by a grant from the Health Resources and Services Administration, the partnerships will pair increased access to degree pathways with wraparound services to support program and post-completion success (Grand Valley State University).

Chamberlain University, home of the largest nursing school in the U.S., and the Association of periOperative Registered Nurses (AORN) have launched a new partnership aimed at easing the country's shortage of operating room nurses. Early next year, a 16-week online training module in perioperative nursing will be available to B.S.N. students, who can earn a non-credit-bearing badge in the specialization. The badge will help 'graduate nurses who are both interested in and prepared to pursue additional specialty training for the perioperative setting,' according to the university (press release).

Bellevue University has opened a new center to support Latino student success. El Camino Latino Center includes onsite business partners to facilitate internships and post-completion jobs for students (KMTV).

City Colleges of Chicago, Community College of Baltimore County, and Suffolk County Community College have received grants from Johnson Controls' Community College Partnership Program. The grants support pathways in HVAC technician and other in-demand skilled trades (City Colleges of Chicago, Community College of Baltimore County, and Suffolk County Community College Alumni Association). 

More than 300 incumbent and incoming workers will receive customized training from South Texas College to help meet its area's workforce needs amid the response to COVID-19. The training is made possible through a Skills Development Fund grant (Texas Workforce Commission).

Elsewhere in Texas, Texas A&M-San Antonio is using funds from the Texas Talent Connection grant toward workforce training and job placement in support of women in computer science, information technology, and cybersecurity industries (KTSA).

'Our ability to grow as a company and as an industry will rely on the current and future skills of our team members.' That could be said of any industry. In this case, the quote applies to eastern Tennessee's grape and wine industry. Pellissippi State Community College is partnering with the Rocky Top Wine Trail and its five participating wineries to offer an apprenticeship program. The U.S. Department of Labor-registered initiative offers hands-on learning as well as online classes (The Daily Times).

Efforts to sustain a skilled workforce in Saskatchewan include new province funding to help Saskatchewan Polytechnic and the Saskatchewan Apprenticeship and Trade Certification Commission 'deliver a variety of education and skills training programs in support of the government's commitment to engage with under-represented groups, create jobs in long-term care and increase the number of apprentices in the province' (Saskatchewan Polytechnic).

Alamo Colleges and Methodist Healthcare's apprenticeship program began in March of 2020 through a U.S. Department of Labor Closing the Skills Gap grant, which focuses on sustaining healthcare, manufacturing, and information technology workforces. Fourteen program completers are today working full-time for the hospital (San Antonio Report).

Frederick Community College recently began a biotechnology apprenticeship program with the participation of three area employers. In addition to on-the-job training, the three-year program offers participants employee benefits. Upon completion, they receive an associate degree and, nearly always, a job offer (BioBuzz).

Better Service for the Underserved

The College of Health Professions, at Pace University, has received a grant from the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration to boost opportunities in the nursing field for minoritized students (Diverse: Issues In Higher Education).

Career Minded

The Georgia State Chamber of Commerce found that retaining educated workers in southern Georgia is the region's top issue as it faces a 'workforce crisis.' Valdosta State University is helping address the challenge through its nursing and engineering programs and a new four-year tuition scholarship and two-year post-completion stipend that encourages graduates of its education program to work in a rural school (WCTV).

Eligible Chicago residents can take advantage of more than 60 free short-term educational programs at City Colleges of Chicago that support success in career opportunities emerging in the post-COVID recovery (City Colleges of Chicago).

Elizabethtown College recently launched the School of Graduate and Professional Studies (SGPS). SGPS takes the place of the college's School of Continuing and Professional Studies and 'optimizes high-demand, relevant degrees, certificates, and microcredentials' (press release).

Western Governors University is introducing a new scholarship program aimed at working adults whose busy schedules can be a challenge to completing additional education (Lakota Times).

Offering affordable career pathways, work-relevant curricula, and flexible programs, community colleges bring an efficient and effective solution to solving workforce needs, argues Genesee Community College in a recent article (Genesee Community College).

Mentoring is connected with increased promotion and wages, organizational buy-in, and, unsurprisingly, great job satisfaction. Employers that wish to leverage those benefits can now take advantage of a mentorship certificate through the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay (UW-Green Bay). And for employers grappling with the pandemic's unprecedented disruption in logistics, the university recently rolled out a certificate in supply chain management (WisBusiness.com).

Southern Oregon University (SOU) is taking aim at the worsening threat of cyber crime through a new certificate program in cybersecurity. Aimed at current SOU students as well as working adult learners, the program confers job-ready certification in cybersecurity skills upon the completion of its nine courses (36 college credits) (SOU).

Neumann University is introducing a leadership certificate program that '' assists emerging professional leaders to develop critical-thinking and communication skills and apply these strategies immediately in their workplaces' The online offering can be completed according to students' scheduling needs over the 14-week course (MONTCO.Today).

A new leadership certificate also is available through Andrews University. Beginning in September, the online global leadership certificate will pursue a goal of 'empowering people in the workplace 'to be catalysts for social reformation, soul healing, and spiritual regeneration'' (Andrews University).

Lorain County Community College recently announced it will continue offering a series of short-term certifications at no cost to students. The 'Fast Track' program launched in September of last year to reskill learners in priority areas like business, computer and information technology, manufacturing, and healthcare (Lorain County Community College).

For those aspiring to be their own boss, Miami Dade College is offering an entrepreneurship certificate that can be taken on a standalone basis or as part of an associate in science in entrepreneurship (Miami Dade College).

Online Excellence

There were some silver linings in the rush to online learning spurred by the pandemic. After all, online options can offer valuable flexibility independent of lockdown conditions. At College of Lake County, 'numerous online courses are still available for those who are unable to or choose not to go the route of traditional classroom learning' (College of Lake County).

In a 'best of both worlds' approach, Troy University is combining in-person and online learning in 'flex classes.' The hybrid classes allow students to mix the formats according to their needs as they choose from livestreamed, on-demand, and in-class offerings (Troy Messenger).

The Tulane School of Professional Advancement is offering an online graduate certificate in sports medicine in concert with the Tulane School of Medicine and the Center for Sport. The certificate is a 'first-of-its-kind program to help non-medical sports professionals understand the breadth of the health and well-being of athletes' (Tulane).

In Service of Veterans

The American Public University System, which includes American Military University and American Public University, is marking its 30th anniversary this year. With a 'stated purpose of helping active-duty military members and veterans transition back into the workforce,' the system enrolls a student population that is more than 80 percent comprised of active-duty military, veterans, or National Guard (WVPB).

The Syracuse University College of Law's JDinteractive is the 'country's first fully interactive online ABA-accredited law degree program.' Student access to it is unconstrained by geography, a feature that was a major benefit to a military spouse, who was among the program's first cohort (Syracuse University).

'Military Times' has recognized Fayetteville State University and Troy University in its 'Best for Vets' rankings (Fayetteville State University and WTVM). 

An adult learner and Army operating room specialist is finding success in her return to college thanks to some key support from Pierce College's professors and advisors (Pierce College).

Economic Impact

A report from the University System of Georgia has highlighted its aggregate economic impact ($18.6 billion) in fiscal year 2020 and that of its institutions. Valdosta State University's impact on the area economy was $368.8 million, while Fort Valley State University and Kennesaw State University generated $141 million and $1.6 billion for their state's economy, respectively  (Georgia State University, Valdosta Today, Fort Valley State University, and Marietta Daily Journal).

In Their Own Words

Valdosta State University employs a concierge coaching model to enhance its support of student needs. Dr. Rodney Carr, vice president for student success, explains the approach (Metro Atlanta CEO).

In an op ed, Miami Dade College president Madeline Pumariega highlights how the college is meeting the critical needs of efficient and affordable career pathways (Miami Herald).

Harold Martin, chancellor of North Carolina A&T State University, the largest HBCU in the country, talks about the university's recent joining of the University Innovation Alliance (University Innovation Alliance).

The Art of Articulation

In a first for the state of Alabama, an agreement between Bishop State Community College and Troy University will allow community college students to 'transfer technical education hours toward a bachelor's degree at a major four-year college or university' (Bishop State Community College).

A new R.N. to B.S.N. program is in place between Central Community College (CCC) and the University of Nebraska Medical Center (Platte River Radio). CCC also has forged an agreement with the University of Nebraska at Kearney that allows students who complete an associate of applied science in criminal justice to finish a bachelor's degree in criminal justice at the university in a '2+2' arrangement (The Grand Island Independent).

A program aimed at encouraging students to remain in the region is allowing 15 different associate degrees to transfer toward a Southern Illinois University bachelor's degree. The partnership includes College of Lake County, Southern Illinois University, and the University Center of Lake County (College of Lake County).

Noting that community colleges support 40 percent of all undergraduate students in the U.S. while fewer than 20 percent complete their degree, DeVry University has introduced a scholarship dedicated to transfer students (press release).

Tennessee State University is expanding its own transfer scholarship program, which it hopes to award to students from each of the state's 13 community colleges (WPLN).

A new program, the 'Bridge to Madison,' will reduce expenses and offer an alternative pathway to James Madison University for qualifying students from Blue Ridge Community College (WHSV).

Qualifying students from the College of Southern Maryland can transfer coursework and credits to Purdue University Global with guaranteed admission into several programs (press release).


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