Workforce Preparation

May 2022
Community colleges are uniquely situated to address the nation’s need for a highly innovative, adaptable, and skilled workforce. At the federal and state levels, funding is available for design and delivery of workforce-building programs combining academic excellence, technical training, and practical experience. Santa Fe College (SF) in Gainesville, Florida, has received a state grant to create a STEM-focused charter high school. The charter school will provide students with the tools needed to be successful in the 21st century workforce. SF’s vision is to ensure that each charter school...
April 2022
According to Jacobs (2019), the term “shadow college” was first coined in the early 1990s at Macomb Community College, Michigan, in response to a variety of vocational courses that cropped up throughout that institution. Shadow college coursework is a departure from a more traditional approach to workforce education. Examples of shadow college coursework include specific career-based degrees in health care or welding, which are often noncredit, and the traditional noncredit learning opportunity offered under the guise of community-based education such as GED or art classes. Changes in the...
February 2022
Calhoun Community College and Drake State Community & Technical College officials have developed a partnership that will not only address learning obstacles for adult learners, but job training needs as well. Greater Opportunities for Adult Learners (GOAL) is a free program designed specifically for individuals who do not have a high school diploma and want to become more employable. Individuals who enroll in the program have access to educational resources focused on improving their reading, math, and language skills to obtain a GED, learn English as a second language, and/or earn a...
December 2021
Humanity has had a long relationship with cannabis, with evidence dating back 12,000 years suggesting that it may be one of the oldest plants cultivated by humans (Russo, 2007; Warf, 2014). There is also a 5,000-year history of cannabis being used as a therapeutic agent (Burnett & Reiman, 2014). Siberian burial mounds contained cannabis seeds as far back as 3,000 BCE, while cannabis pollen and cannabinoids were entombed with Ramses II and cannabis seeds in Viking ships date back to the mid-9th century (Warf, 2014). The first clinical cannabis conference in the United States, in 1860, was...
September 2021
Moraine Valley Community College introduced its new Cannabis Retail Specialist Certificate program in fall 2020 to attract students to the cannabis industry during its infancy in Illinois. In spring 2019, a retired Moraine Valley professor and department chair approached his former colleague, Dr. Margaret Lehner, Vice President for Institutional Advancement and Executive Assistant to the President, to gauge the college’s interest in developing a program in this emerging field on behalf of a vice president at Cresco Labs. Lehner discussed the issue with President Dr. Sylvia M. Jenkins and the...
August 2021
Ground broke on Dallas College’s state-of-the-art Construction Sciences Building in 2019, and the need for the new training facility could not be more urgent. Before the design for the new building began, the National Center for Construction Education and Research (2019) had already predicted a shortage of one million craft professionals in the construction industry by 2023. In Dallas, the shortage is critical. From August 2018 to August 2019 alone, the Dallas-Plano-Irving area added 12,400 construction jobs and labor shortages have become a major contributor to rapidly rising new home costs...
April 2021
A unique partnership between Johnson County Community College’s (JCCC) Continuing Education Transportation program and Johnson County Adult Education’s (JCAE) Literacy program puts newly trained truck drivers on the road to success. The initiative helps non-native English speakers in Johnson County obtain workforce skills in truck driving. Chris Specht, former Program Coordinator of Accelerating Opportunity: Kansas at JCCC, began laying the groundwork in 2017. Thanks to the combined effort of many at the college, the program officially launched in summer 2020. “The collaboration between the...
November 2020
Sacramento City College student and entrepreneur Christian Espinoza’s personal essay was published in Makerspace Impact: Implementation Strategies & Stores of Transformation: “At the time, it was all I ever wanted—to create things that were unbelievable and out of this world,” wrote Espinoza, who exemplifies thousands of students whose lives have been transformed by the CCC Maker initiative. He continued, But as I grew up, those dreams felt more and more unachievable. I thought I could only work a standard job with a fixed pay and maybe benefits, which didn’t sound half bad. I assumed...
October 2020
Like many newcomers to Canada, Malvika Mahajan immigrated to Toronto to find a better life for her family. She was anxious about restarting her career in a new country, despite having many years of experience as a supply chain specialist in India, including work for a large multinational corporation. To create a roadmap that would land her a professional role in Canada, Malvika joined the Supply Chain Management bridging program at Humber College Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning in January 2020, eager to learn as much as possible about how her field operates in Canada and to...
August 2020
Oakton Community College’s Cannabis Dispensary and Patient Care Specialist certificate program is the direct result of a single interaction between a senior Oakton administrator and an Oakton alumnus. The alumnus worked for a medical cannabis dispensary and expressed the need for educated patient care specialists who were able to interact with chronically ill patients—in other words, those with job skills that go beyond being a “weed enthusiast.” Students and alumni can positively impact curriculum and academic programming as members of career advisory committees and by playing a role in...
August 2020
Somewhere in the United States today, six-year-old Shelby musters enough courage to report physical abuse to a school counselor. The counselor, who has good intentions but is not well trained in best practices for responding to child maltreatment, calls Shelby’s parents to talk about the allegations. The parents promptly deny the child’s assertions and explain away Shelby’s bruises as a fall down the stairs. No investigation is initiated and Shelby, disheartened after working up the nerve to ask for help, will never tell anyone else about this incident or those still to come. If an...
June 2020
Community College of Allegheny County (CCAC) was quick to modify college operations in response to the COVID­­–19 pandemic to ensure both academic continuity and the safety of students, faculty, and staff. With the closure of all facilities, hundreds of credit courses were converted from face-to-face to online or alternative delivery formats—an enormous undertaking and a collaborative effort by individuals across the college that was accomplished in a relatively short period of time. Since March 25, every student has been attending classes remotely through a computer or device. Justin Starr,...
April 2020
Enhancing partnerships in career and technical education (CTE) is essential to community colleges’ efforts to serve students, businesses, and local communities. These partnerships are critical to designing curriculum; teaching up-to-date content and skills; and staying abreast of technological demands, business trends, and employment expectations. In Mississippi, CTE focuses on developing and implementing research-based instructional programs that meet growing workforce needs and promote economic development (Advance CTE, n.d.). In the 2017-2018 academic year, 20,411 degrees and certificates...
March 2020
Since its founding in 1961, Monroe Community College (MCC), a public institution within the State University of New York (SUNY) system, has earned a reputation as a leader in workforce education in the Upstate New York region. The college’s LadderzUP project, a public-public (PuP) partnership between MCC’s Economic and Workforce Development Center and Monroe County, offers workforce training that links county funding to college educational resources to address persistently difficult to fill positions in industry and provides access to short cycle and accelerated educational programs for...
January 2020
Students in the Radiation Therapy Technology program at the Community College of Allegheny County (CCAC) are training on equipment just like that used at leading teaching hospitals around the world. In fall 2018, the college acquired a Virtual Environment in Radiotherapy Training (VERT) system that enables students to practice direct hands-on skills in a radiation-free virtual setting without risk to the patient. The virtual simulator replicates the controls of a linear accelerator, which delivers targeted doses of radiation to cancer patients, bringing the level of training typically used in...
December 2019
Students at Mesa Community College receive hands-on learning experiences each semester with two days of simulated emergency medical scenarios. MCC’s Immersive Total Patient Management Experience (ITPME) is a multi-college, cross-disciplinary educational event exposing entry-level EMT, paramedic, nursing, psychology, and theatre/film arts students to potential real-life emergency scenarios and training. In addition to providing workforce experience training, the event encourages a larger dialogue among educators about the nature of innovative collaboration to create the most comprehensive...
October 2019
The Community College of Allegheny County’s South Campus held a ribbon cutting ceremony in April 2019 to celebrate the opening of its new Film Center. Local dignitaries, administrators, faculty, staff, and students were in attendance to share in the festivities and view the space, which has been transformed to house the campus’s highly successful Film Technician program. Launched at South Campus in the spring of 2017, CCAC’s Film Technician program is designed to address the shortage of qualified film crew members in the Pittsburgh region. The program focuses on the technical aspects of the...
September 2019
As the demand for public health professionals continues to increase, the League for Innovation in the Community College (League) is collaborating with the Association of Schools and Programs of Public Health (ASPPH) to create a community college culture of health. Part of this effort involves increasing community college student awareness of career options in public health fields. In January 2019, the League awarded 23 small grants to help support this career awareness activities during National Public Health Week 2019 and World Health Day 2019. These grant-funded projects focused on...
June 2019
The Cyber Defense Program at Jackson State Community College is the only community college program in Tennessee to be certified as a National Center of Academic Excellence by the U.S. National Security Agency and Department of Homeland Security. The designation puts Jackson State among an elite group of institutions across the country offering computer information technology courses that meet rigorous federal standards and setting graduating students apart from others, said Dr. Tom Pigg, Jackson State's Dean of Health Sciences and Computer Information Technology. "It is very unique that we've...
June 2019
Two years ago, faculty in the Communication department at Allen Community College were considering ways to make the introductory communication course more practical and applicable for students. After all, most students don’t see themselves standing at the front of a room full of people giving speeches in their careers; however, they do acknowledge the need for effective communication skills. At the same time, employers are pleading for job applicants with soft skills—fundamental professional behaviors. In fact, one study found that 60 percent of employers cited communication and interpersonal...

Pages