Reporter’s notebook

(From left) Dudley Light, regional director at the U.S. Labor Department; Sean Donohue, CEO of DFW International Airport; DCCCD Chancellor Joe May; and Julian Alvarez III, commissioner representing labor on the Texas Workforce Commission. (Photo: DCCCD)

Airport apprentices in Dallas

The Dallas County Community College District and Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport are partnering on the state’s first registered airport apprenticeship program.

The new pilot program is designed to promote internal growth among airport employees and sustain a skilled workforce in the construction and maintenance industry, according to the partners. The program includes a one-year facility manager/facilities services supervisor training program taught by a DCCCD faculty member. Participants will earn a certificate with the opportunity to convert it to college credit.

The apprenticeship program will be offered at no cost to airport employees. All classes will be held at DFW Airport’s corporate headquarters. Apprentices will complete 300 hours of classroom instruction during the one-year program.

A seamless pipeline to develop new teachers

Education sectors in Greenville, South Carolina, are joining forces on a program that aims to help address a critical teacher shortage in the area.

Leaders from Greenville County Schools, Greenville Technical College (GTC) and the Clemson University College of Education said the partnership will open a seamless pathway from high school to a degree in education from Clemson University. The partnership will identify, support and prepare students for careers as educators.

The purpose of the teacher pipeline partnership is to provide pathways for high school students from Greenville County Schools to begin taking dual-credit courses through GTC as early as the 10th grade, completing one year of college before high school graduation. Students will then spend a year at GTC, completing the second year of college before transferring to Clemson University and earning a teacher preparation bachelor’s degree.

The pathway allows a student to complete a bachelor’s degree three years out of high school or to spend an additional year at Clemson to earn a master’s degree.

A Ph.D. in pharmacy

The College of Southern Maryland (CSM) and the University of Maryland Eastern Shore (UMES) have partnered to provide a dual-degree program to help CSM students complete a doctor of pharmacy degree in five years. The 2+3 Program pathway requires CSM students to complete their associate of science in pre-professional health science (which is a pharmacy track).

Through the cooperative agreement, UMES will guarantee admission into its program up to three eligible CSM students. Since launching its three-year condensed doctor of pharmacy degree program in 2010, UMES has produced more than 350 graduates.

Ricky Ward, admissions counselor with University of Maryland Eastern Shore, reviews the new dual-degree 2+3 with John Murray, a College of Southern Maryland student. (Photo: CSM)

Trained Tesla technicians

In California, Evergreen Valley College has graduated its first cohort of 12 Tesla START-trained electric vehicle technicians.

Tesla START is an accelerated 12-week program that pays students while they train to become electric vehicle technicians. Tesla provides the vehicles, equipment, instructor, tools and curriculum for hands-on learning. Students train in a space on campus designed to simulate a Tesla service location so they are ready to hit the ground running on day one of their new careers. After completing the program, students become eligible for employment with Tesla at one of their service locations across the country.

The college is one of six locations in North America including California, Washington, North Carolina and Florida that offers the Tesla START Program.

“Partnering with Evergreen Valley College allows us to leverage an already strong automotive training program in the Bay Area,” said Martti Thomas, operations and implementation manager for Tesla START. “Graduates will be ready to hit the ground running day one to support Tesla customers with a full-time job at a Tesla service center.”

Teaming with Tyson on adult ed

In Alabama, Wallace State Community College last month starting providing free GED prep and job skills development classes to local Tyson Foods employees onsite at the company’s facility.

More than 130 Tyson team members have signed up for the program. Tyson Foods, which has been in operation in Blountsville since the 1980s, now employs about 760 individuals.

“We are excited about establishing this new partnership with Tyson Foods and look forward to using this program as a model for working with many other businesses and industries to provide opportunities for their employees to progress in their educational attainment, upgrade their skills, and improve their opportunities for future advancement,“ said Cynthia Arrington, director of adult education at Wallace State.

Look at the resume

A good way for employers to quickly gauge whether job applicants are likely to have the required skills is whether they include a community college or technical college on their resume, according to a new study.

Campus Labs, which examined institutional and department or program-level learning outcomes at 73 higher education institutions (one-third were two-year colleges), analyzed how learning outcomes differ at two- and four-year institutions; assessment methods for outcome themes; and impacts for employers, students and institutions.

Two- and four-year colleges report that intellectual skills top their list of desired institutional learning outcomes (ILOs), while at the department/program level (PLOs) for two-year colleges it’s technology — or technical skills — that’s seen as the top learning outcome. (For departments/programs at four-year institutions, it’s again intellectual skills.) Researchers noted that’s not unusual, as students often choose programs at two-year colleges that will help them land jobs upon completion.

That mix may actually help employers, according to the study. “A quick glimpse of the learning themes across ILOs and PLOs at two- and four-year institutions suggests that a good way to narrow down the candidate pool to those who have the experience employers desire is to look for a community or technical college listed on their resume,” it said.

About the Author

Matthew Dembicki
is editor of Community College Daily and serves as publications director for the American Association of Community Colleges.