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CAEL Pathways Blog

Member Matters March 2024

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

Accelerating Adult Learning
University of Maryland Global Campus is partnering with CAEL's fellow Strada Collaborative member InsideTrack to enhance the student success coaching it provides in support of "online students from diverse and underrepresented backgrounds, including adults in the workforce, part-time students and first-time college-goers" (UMGC).

Butler University has introduced Butler+, a "centralized hub for all online, graduate, and professional education programs at Butler University ... [serving] as the 'digital front door' for students and employers looking to discover extended-access education solutions for the next stage of their career(s)." “Stackable and cyclical programs" are among the key differentiators the university highlights in Butler+ (Butler University).

At Grand Valley State University, Omni, "a new delivery model for adults to advance their economic mobility and career opportunities," combines online course access with a network of regional campuses to broaden adult learner access to the university (GVSU).

National University is launching the grant-backed NU Peer Navigator Network, which will connect students throughout the university to more experienced learners to support persistence, completion, accelerated educational advancement, and other targeted outcomes at the university, where the mission is "to provide accessible, world-class student experiences to non-traditional, working, and military-affiliated learners" (National University).

At the three-year anniversary of Michigan Reconnect, the program, which covers community college tuition for learners 21 years or older who have not completed a degree, has resulted in more than 150,000 people returning to college. Students can use Michigan Reconnect to earn an associate degree or a certificate in a skilled trade (WSJM).

Rowan University is working with the "Some College, No Degree" initiative at the New Jersey Office of the Secretary of Higher Education to build on its longtime work to reengage Comebackers. According to OSHE estimates, there are more than 750,000 adult learners living in New Jersey who left college without receiving a degree (Rowan University).

North Carolina Central University is seeing a boost in enrollment in its R.N. to B.S.N. program, a trend it credits to Project Kitty Hawk, a nonprofit working with the UNC System to recruit adult learners throughout the state (WTVD).

OnRamp to Charlotte Online is a new framework at UNC Charlotte for creating partnerships that offer working adult learners a more seamless transfer pathway to build an associate degree into a bachelor's degree (UNC Charlotte).

Proactive Partnerships
Employ Prince George's has rolled out the American Job Center Community Network in Prince George's County, Maryland. The network features a membership portal that "will revolutionize the way government entities, service providers, educational entities, faith-based organizations, nonprofit organizations, and for-profit service providers partner, communicate, track and coordinate services in Prince George's County" (Employ Prince George's).

Anderson University has joined the Ascend Network, which includes more than 740 employers and connects students with jobs, internships, and training opportunities throughout the state of Indiana (Anderson University).

A 10% tuition discount, waived fees, and free evaluations for credit for prior learning are among the benefits attached to a learning partnership between Athens State University and the Limestone County Economic Development Association (Athens State University). 

Education benefits partnerships have also been announced between Yum! Brands, Inc. and the University of Louisville (University of Louisville/Yum! Brands) and between Elizabethtown College and Lancaster-Lebanon IU13 (Elizabethtown College) and the Elizabethtown Fire Department, Lancaster EMS, York Area United Fire & Rescue, and the City of Lancaster Bureau of Police (Elizabethtown College).

Rewarding Links Between Learning and Work
Avangrid, an EPCE member, SUNY Broome Community College, and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers are collaborating to create a lineworker training program that combines classroom and experiential learning to prepare students for high-growth jobs across several employers (Avangrid).

Butler University is rolling out a risk management certificate customized to the needs of clients, partners, and prospective customers of Hylant, one of the largest privately held insurance brokers in the United States. The six-week program not only confers certification but can stack toward additional credentials (Hylant).

Penn State Great Valley is also launching a certificate dedicated to risk management careers. The 10-week program is "designed to assist project managers, risk leaders and team members identify potential risks, develop mitigation strategies and ensure that projects are completed successfully" (Penn State).

According to a yearly survey by Adelphi University's Center for Career and Professional Development, members of the university's 2022 graduating cohort are commanding an average salary nearly 30 percent higher than the average received by the national aggregate of bachelor's degree holders (Adelphi University). 

Amid the exploding AI trend, UW-Green Bay is adding an applied AI noncredit certificate program. The 100% online program runs for six weeks and delivers a digital badge that will position completers to maximize AI adoption's impact on "superior business outcomes in revenue, cost, and profitability" for all industries (UW-Green Bay).

Bismarck State College credits the career preparation its programs offer for strong enrollment growth -- 6 percent since spring 2023. BSC expects the trend to continue as it offers additional programs in response to heavy demand from industries including agriculture, cybersecurity, energy, health sciences, manufacturing and automation, and several others (BSC). 

To address the significant need for semiconductor workers in Arizona, Chandler-Gilbert Community College is offering a 10-day boot camp that is helping students, including career changers, land roles in the growing industry (KNXV).

Shippensburg University's Office of Workforce Development held its inaugural introduction to construction program, which is dedicated to helping underemployed and unemployed adults qualify for entry-level jobs in the sector. The four-day program, a product of collaboration between the university and F&M Trust, also develops supporting competencies like resume building, interview preparation, and professional communication. (F&M Trust).

Economic Impact
Updated economic impact analysis information is available for several Virginia-based CAEL members. Eastern Shore Community College generated $34.9 million for the Eastern Shore of Virginia economy in the 2021-2022 fiscal year (ESCC). Piedmont Virginia Community College contributed 183.7 million to its service area (PVCC). And Laurel Ridge Community College added $265.7 million, part of the $11.6 billion the Virginia Community College System generated in economic activity (Laurel Ridge).

In fiscal year 2022-2023, the Kentucky Community and Technical College System added $3.9 billion in annual income to its state's economy (Northern Kentucky Tribune).

Winthrop University generated more than $200 million in economic activity for York County during fiscal year 2023 (Winthrop University).

Awards and Other Achievements
The Committee on Accreditation of Educational Programs for Emergency Medical Services Professions has identified the paramedicine program at Mesa Community College as among the best in the nation (MCC).

Fletcher Technical Community College is a finalist for the 2024 Bellwether Award, which recognizes stellar community college performance in the categories of instructional programs and services; workforce development; and planning, governance, and finance (Fletcher Technical Community College). 

Like CAELEdison State Community College is celebrating its semicentennial (Sidney Daily News).

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