Reporter’s notebook

  • AACC receives $8M through DOL apprenticeship program
  • A pathway to a more diverse physician workforce
  • New Jersey college changes back to a previous name

AACC receives $8M through DOL apprenticeship program

The American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) will receive an $8 million grant from the U.S. Department of Labor to continue to help strengthen and modernize registered apprenticeship programs through its member colleges.

AACC is among the recipients — which include a few individual community colleges and state systems — of more than $121 million in Apprenticeship Building America grants. AACC and a Texas construction company received the largest grant amounts of $8 million each.

“The Apprenticeship Building America grants will develop new pathways to good-quality jobs and provide America’s workers with opportunities to access and succeed in those pathways; and the intentional focus on equity partnerships and pre-apprenticeship activities will create opportunities for underrepresented and underserved communities,” Labor Secretary Marty Walsh said in a release.

Community colleges and systems also receiving the grants include:

The Apprenticeship Building America grant program aims to increase the number of programs and apprentices, diversify industries that use registered apprenticeships, and improve the access to and performance of apprenticeships for underrepresented and underserved communities.

A pathway to a more diverse physician workforce

A new program in California aims to help build pre-med pathways through community colleges in regions that need physicians and to diversify the medical workforce.

The California Medicine Scholars Program launched in June with funding from the California Department of Health Care Access and Information. Managed by the Foundation for California Community Colleges, the program has awarded funds to four recipients to establish Regional Hubs of Healthcare Opportunity (RHHOs), which will bridge gaps between community colleges, four-year universities, medical schools, and community-based health clinics and organizations to offer more pre-med opportunities for students.

The three-year, $540,000 awards will go to the University of California (UC), Davis School of Medicine; UC Riverside School of Medicine; UC San Diego School of Medicine; and UCSF Fresno. The universities are in regions underserved in healthcare and are currently experiencing a physician shortage. The goal is to develop a strategy to increase the number of underrepresented minority physicians and ultimately reduce disparities in health and health outcomes across the state.

UC Riverside medical school, for example, will partner with three community colleges (College of the Desert, Riverside City College and San Bernardino Valley College), two undergraduate institutions (California State University, San Bernardino and UC Riverside), and several community-based organizations. Its program will recruit about 60 scholars per year from the three community colleges and provide personalized support for each scholar, including advising, academic enrichment, mentorship, professional development workshops and internships. Selected students will participate in the medical school’s Future Physician Leaders summer program in their first year to gain core academic and social skills. The following summer, program participants will attain professional experience at one of the community-based organizations partnering with the medical school.

New Jersey college changes back to a previous name

Union County College is now Union College — again.

The New Jersey college has had an interesting history of changing its name over its 90 years. It was established in 1933 as Union County Junior College by President Franklin D. Roosevelt as an “emergency junior college” through the federal Works Project Administration to provide jobs for unemployed teachers and professors, according to the college. By the 1940s, the college was Union Junior College, and then in 1967 it became Union College. In 1982, Union College was consolidated with Union County Technical Institute to become Union County College, which is the public, two-year college serving Union County.

Now, 40 years later, it will once again become Union College.

“Adopting the name of Union College moves us into the future, to showcase our academic excellence and national recognition,” President Margaret M. McMenamin said in a release. “However, it also connects us to our history. It acknowledges our commitment to our county and the community we serve. We are excited about this change and look forward to introducing everyone to the new Union College.”

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.
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