Reporter’s notebook

Photo: Matthew Dembicki

  • Tackling the teacher shortage
  • Assessing how Covid has affected student mothers
  • Pathways to green careers
  • A path toward a bachelor’s business degree

Tackling the teacher shortage

U.S. Education Secretary Miguel Cardona is encouraging states, colleges and K-12 schools to tap federal American Rescue Plan funds to address a critical teacher shortage in the U.S.

Cardona said Monday in a press release that he would like to see states and higher education institutions establish teaching as a registered apprenticeship, establish or expand loan forgiveness or service scholarship programs, and improve teacher compensation, among other ideas to bolster the teacher education pipeline.

Related article: Community colleges step into teacher ed breach

The Education Department (ED) has released a fact sheet with examples of how states, districts and schools are already using the federal funds to strengthen the teacher pipeline, get more educators in the classroom and accelerate student recovery. It cites that Dallas College in Texas will launch the state’s first paid teacher residency apprenticeship this fall to serve short-term workforce needs of partner school systems.

Assessing how Covid has affected student-mothers

The University at Buffalo (UB) will examine how federal legislation introduced in response to the Covid pandemic has affected the college experiences of low-income student-mothers.

The study will assess how stimulus funding, the expanded Child Tax Credit and other forms of aid shaped student-mothers’ decisions and participation in higher education, according to the university. It will include interviews over a year with 80 low-income student-mothers at community colleges and universities in urban and rural settings throughout the country to understand how their choices and experiences differed based on the institution attended.

“Given that research indicates that student-mothers who earn a college degree are more likely to lift themselves and their children out of poverty, it is imperative to understand how particular types of aid and different institutional practices promote student-mothers’ academic persistence and success,” said Margaret Sallee, an associate professor of educational leadership and policy at UB who is leading the research.

The Spencer Foundation is funding the research with a $50,0000 grant.

Pathways to green careers

The Peralta Community College District (PCCD) is partnering with 100K Trees for Humanity, an urban reforestation tree planting nonprofit organization, to develop career pathways in environmental stewardship and sustainability.

A memorandum of understanding between the two organizations will provide new workforce development pathways-to-careers certificated programs, according to the college.

“I’m excited about the new curriculum opportunities for students that prepares urban forestry staff and volunteers to transition into gainful employment in the growing green jobs industry,” said Interim Chancellor Jannett N. Jackson, who led the discussions for the college district.

100K Trees tree-planting model aims to restore community equity and public health in Black, brown and Indigenous communities in California. It also features hiring workers from those communities, paying living wages and provides on-the-job training and workforce development linkages to community college certificate and degree programs.

A path toward a bachelor’s business degree

Madison College students studying liberal arts or business management will have a direct path toward a bachelor’s degree in business through UW-Madison Online.

Through a new transfer agreement between the community college and the University of Wisconsin (UW), qualifying Madison College students who earn an associate degree in liberal arts will be directly admitted into a UW-Madison Online business degree program.

Transfer students with an associate degree in liberal arts, economics and pre-business can choose to earn a bachelor of business administration (BBA) in management, marketing or human resources through UW-Madison Online and the Wisconsin School of Business, according to the college. Transfer students with an associate degree in business management can earn an online BBA in management.

The university plans to extend the agreement to other UW-Madison schools and colleges and community colleges.

About the Author

Matthew Dembicki
Matthew Dembicki edits Community College Daily and serves as associate vice president of communications for the American Association of Community Colleges.