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CAEL Pathways Blog

Member Matters November 2023

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

Proactive Partnerships
Kansas State University is a key member of a coalition forming a U.S. Department of Commerce Economic Development Administration-designated Regional Innovation and Technology Hub. The KCBioHub encompasses more than 70 partners spanning "academia, entrepreneurship, corporations, government, workforce development, and venture capital hub involvement," including additional CAEL members the University of Missouri-Kansas City and Metropolitan Community College (KWCH).

Lewis University is working with United Airlines to put more aspiring pilots to work for the carrier. Participating students will receive career mentoring from United pilots, hands-on learning opportunities, flight benefits, and a conditional job offer upon completion (Lewis University).

Raritan Valley Community College and Labcorp have co-developed an associate of applied science in medical laboratory technology. The 68-credit program offers experiential learning and qualifies completers to enter the growing medical laboratory field (my central jersey).

An arrangement between Siena Heights University and Henry Ford Health offers qualifying Henry Ford Health workers a $1,000 tuition benefit toward any of SHU's 20 online health care certificate programs and $3,000 toward the university's online degree programs (Express Healthcare Management).

Miami University in Ohio has completed a three-year MOU with the Lebanon City Council to found a "collaborative partnership to evaluate opportunities for talent cultivation, industry collaborations, and regional economic development" (Dayton Daily News).

Thanks to a U.S. Department of Commerce grant, UNC Charlotte is leading the creation of the Carolinas Innovation Center for Optics and Metrology Consortium. Its partners include the Charlotte Regional Business Alliance; Centralina Regional Council; and more than 25 industry, academic institutions and workforce development organizations in North and South Carolina (UNC Charlotte).

The Kentucky Community and Technical College System is making transfers more seamless and increasing access to work-relevant credentials in a partnership with Kentucky State University (WEKU).

Paving Career Pathways
With projections of annual job openings of more than 126,000 for accountants and auditors per year through 2031 and 82% of hiring managers concerned with recruiting candidates qualified for them, DeVry University is expanding its academic programs for training them. There are new options for both established and entry-level workers in the field, including an undergraduate certificate in accounting, which can stand alone or stack into a B.S. in accounting (DeVry University).

In Colorado, where the veterinary field is expected to grow by as much as 51% by 2030, Pikes Peak State College is offering a new veterinary technology program, which will confer an associate of applied science upon completers (The Gazette).

In the Upstate region of South Carolina, job openings have surged 200% since 2013, but hiring, which is up only 30% during that time, has been unable to keep pace. In what it hopes becomes an annual event to address balancing this misalignment, the University of South Carolina Upstate convened about 150 leaders representing education, employment, and government for the Upstate Talent Forum (USC Upstate).

Laurel Ridge Community College has opened its Skilled Trades Center, an 8,000-square foot facility dedicated to offering skilled trade classes to college and high school students (FauquierNow). 

The University of Akron is complementing its traditional academic credentials with more than 30 online, self-paced, work-relevant certificates. It is making the career-furthering credentials free to all students, faculty, and staff (Akron Beacon Journal).

Dr. Daria J. Willis, a first-generation college student and the first African American to lead HBCU Howard Community College, is embracing the community college role of educating more than half of U.S. college students and being "the reason why people get back to work in this country (Essence).

T3 Pathways to Careers is a new digital workforce platform at Tarrant County College developed to help learners match their skills with career pathways, including the education and training credentials needed to traverse them (Tarrant County College).

New Brunswick Community College, along with the University of New Brunswick Saint John and with the support of J.D. Irving, Limited, is rolling out a career pathways program to support learners and local organizations in the digital technology sector (J.D. Irving, Limited)

Encouraging Enrollment Trends
Defying national trends, Empire State University saw 3% and 16% increases in fall 2023 undergraduate and graduate enrollment, respectively. The university credits features such as career-oriented majors, certificate credentials, and online formats for drawing a diverse group of learners, including working adults looking to upskill (Saratoga Today).

Fayetteville State University broke a record for fall enrollment and has boosted its retention rate to 78%, up from 63.3% in 2020. Since adopting a tuition-free policy in 2022 for military-connected students, their spouses, and their dependents, the university, where more than half of students are adult learners, has seen a 22% increase in active duty and veteran students (The Fayetteville Observer).

Keeping an Eye on Completion
Kutztown University, East Stroudsburg University, Lehigh Carbon Community College, and Northampton Community College are part of "It's Not Over," a pilot project to help learners reconnect with associate and bachelor's degree pathways, including a reverse transfer arrangement. (Kutztown University).

The University of Maine will soon roll out the Finish Strong program, which will focus personalized advising, financial support, and online options on adult learners with associate degrees and those who did not complete a credential to help them earn a bachelor's degree or a certificate (Inside Higher Ed).

Georgia Southern University, through a Department of Education grant, is putting persistence and completion more in reach of student parents by offering up to $150 per week toward child care services (Georgia Southern University).

In Their Own Words
The president of Dalton State College and the dean of its school of education wrote of the college's offering of flexible, experiential learning opportunities and its use of strategic partnerships with local school systems to help more learners, including working adults, enter the teaching field during a time when it faces rampant labor shortages (Dalton Daily Citizen).

Awards and Other Recognition
Northshore Technical Community College has been designated as a Purple Heart Community College (AN17.com).

The National Association of Community College Entrepreneurship honored Patrick & Henry Community College as Entrepreneurial College of the Year in recognition of its StartUP and Grow program, which it maintains through collaboration with the Martinsville and Henry County Chamber of Commerce (Martinsville Bulletin).

Cal State LA received an annual Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) Award from INSIGHT Into Diversity, the fifth time it has been so honored (Cal State LA).

Ball State University was also recognized with an HEED Award, marking the eighth consecutive year the university earned the achievement (Ball State University).

Penn State College of Education's William J. Rothwell, a distinguished professor of education (workforce education and development), has been enshrined in the International Adult and Continuing Education Hall of Fame (Penn State).

The University Economic Development Association presented Culver-Stockton College the 2023 Engaged University Award of Excellence for its Tri-State Development program, which "collaborates and connects with community members about economic development initiatives" (WGEM).

Post University won a 2023 State Authorization Network's SANsational Award in recognition of the individualized assistance it provides students in pursuit of professional licensure (Post University).

The University of Louisville also was honored with a State Authorization Network award, which was presented to its distance education compliance manager for "build[ing] trust and maintain[ing] awareness of academic compliance issues, essentially carving out space for academic compliance awareness to spread throughout the campus community" (UofL).


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