In tandem: Community college partnerships

Rockland Community College Automotive Technology Program Director Bert Shillingford details Ford’s Automotive Career Exploration program to students attending A. Philip Randolph Campus High School in Manhattan. (Photo: RCC)

Editor’s note: “In tandem” is a new CC Daily feature that provides briefs on recently announced community college partnerships with business and industry, other higher education institutions and more.

  • Ford training opportunities for New York high school students
  • SkyWest Airlines teams on aviation maintenance tech pathway
  • Healthcare job training for court-involved individuals
  • City internships in Arizona
  • Preparing students for maritime careers
  • Expanding articulation agreements
  • Serving State Farm employees through PLA

Ford training opportunities for New York high school students

Rockland Community College (RCC), Ford Motor Company and New York City-based nonprofit Sound Business, Inc. are teaming to expand training opportunities in the automotive industry for students at a Manhattan high school.

The new Ford Automotive Career Exploration (ACE) program will be available to students attending A. Philip Randolph Campus High School. The ACE program, which serves as a feeder program for the Ford Automotive Student Service Educational Training (ASSET) program at RCC, is designed to give high schoolers an in-depth look into the automotive industry and a clear path to a career. Participants can earn an associate degree as well as automotive-technology certifications.

Through the program, students will study topics such as new model training, electric systems engineering and steering suspension, as well as the history of Ford Motor Company. The courses are the same as those taken by certified Ford/Lincoln technicians, giving students a head start in the competitive field of automotive technology, according to RCC.

“Rockland Community College and the FORD ASSET program have united with several high schools in the New York area. Focusing on the electric vehicle revolution underway, Ford Motor Company and Rockland Community College are creating a pipeline to success and entry into a burgeoning industry,” said Earle Mitchell, a regional technical support specialist at Ford.

SkyWest Airlines teams on aviation maintenance tech pathway

Salt Lake Community College (SLCC) and SkyWest Airlines have recently announced the launch of the SkyWest Aviation Maintenance Technician Pathway (AMT Pathway). The partnership provides a pathway for aspiring technicians to jump-start their training as commercial aviation airframe and powerplant (A&P) maintenance technicians.

Through the SkyWest AMT Pathway, students of the Utah college qualify for elite access to SkyWest benefits such as mentoring by experienced mechanics, enhanced company seniority, up to $4,500 in education assistance earned at credit hour benchmarks, A&P test fee reimbursements and a final job interview after graduation.

“This partnership gives our students the opportunity to get their foot in the door in a competitive market. While this helps SkyWest secure future employees, it also helps our students financially,” said Todd Baird, associate professor of aviation maintenance at SLCC. “It’s a win-win for everyone.”

Healthcare job training for court-involved individuals

New Jersey’s Hudson County Community College has teamed with the New Jersey Reentry Corporation to start a phlebotomy technician certification program specifically for court-involved individuals. The industry-recognized credential will come from the National Healthcareer Association.

The three-month program is funded by NJ HealthWorks, which is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Labor and administered by the New Jersey Community College Health Profession Consortium Partners. The class of about a dozen students began on January 23 at the Governor’s Reentry Training and Employment Center.

“This is a life-changing opportunity, exclusively for court-involved women and men, that offers a pathway to well-paying, in-demand careers. This program also addresses a critical national need for professionals in this sector of healthcare,” said HCCC President Christopher Reber.

In addition to this program, HCCC and New Jersey Reentry Corporation work in partnership to provide career pathway certification training and credit-bearing learning opportunities for court-involved individuals in welding, advanced manufacturing and culinary arts.

City internships in Arizona

Chandler-Gilbert Community College (CGCC) has partnered with the City of Chandler, Arizona, to provide paid internships for CGCC students. The internships offer a wide variety of experiences in areas such as social media marketing, information technology, the arts, administration and more.

Ten internships are available for this spring. Internships are 10 to 19 hours per week for 12 or 16 weeks starting on March 20, according to the Arizona college.

“This partnership helps us tap into the incredible talent pool in this community and recruit those students into permanent City jobs,” Chandler Mayor Kevin Hartke said in a release. “This forward-thinking approach will help the City stand out in a very competitive job market, where employers across the country are struggling to attract and retain employees.”

And it’s good for students, too. They will be able to apply the skills and knowledge that they learn in their classes to real-world situations while building their resume and helping different departments within the City of Chandler, said Devon Mahon, a career services internship analyst at the Maricopa County Community College District who he works both with CGCC and the city to manage the new program.

Preparing students for maritime careers

An opportunity to explore a career on the water sailing the Great Lakes and oceans just became easier for students at two community colleges in Michigan.

Northwestern Michigan College‘s Great Lakes Maritime Academy (GLMA) and Oakland Community College (OCC) have embarked on a new partnership to create a pathway toward a baccalaureate through a maritime technology-engineering officer program.

The agreement will allow students to attend OCC for one year with 37 to 38 credits and then transfer to GLMA to complete the program. Participants can earn an associate degree from OCC via a reverse transfer agreement.

Nationally, there are only seven institutions, including GLMA, that offer the ability to earn a bachelor’s degree and a U.S. Coast Guard merchant marine officer’s license, said David Johnson, OCC’s director of academic partnership.

Graduates of the program can earn an average of $80,000 in their first year.

Expanding articulation agreements

In Michigan, Macomb Community College and Northwood University have signed four new articulation agreements and renewed six others for a seamless transition to Northwood for Macomb students wishing to complete a bachelor’s degree in business administration. The new agreements are in cybersecurity, hospitality management, marketing and management information systems, while accounting, automotive marketing and management, entrepreneurship, international business, management and sports management were renewed.

“Streamlining the path from associates to bachelor’s degrees positions our students for in-demand career opportunities, supports degree completion and develops vital talent to sustain and grow local business and industry,” said Leslie Kellogg, provost and vice president of Macomb’s Learning Unit. “Student success is the focus of everything we do, and transfer agreements like the ones we have signed with Northwood University propel that objective forward.”

Students who earn their associate degree at Macomb can transfer as many as 90 credits to Norwood to complete their bachelor’s degrees. Northwood is one of 10 Macomb partners that offer classes in the Macomb University Center.

Serving State Farm employees through PLA

Dallas College is teaming up with State Farm insurance to establish a corporate agreement on prior learning that will award credit to participating State Farm employees toward a certificate or a degree from the Texas college.

The agreement allows three job positions at State Farm to be eligible for college credit at Dallas College through prior learning assessment (PLA), which recognizes the academic value of State Farm training that is required to support specified job descriptions at the insurance company. Eligible State Farm employees who work in the Dallas-Fort Worth area and enroll in a minimum of six semester credit hours through Dallas College can receive up to 12 hours of credit for their work experience – paving the way for participating student/employees to be eligible to earn a Level 1 Insurance Representative Services Certificate from the college.

To start, more than 600 State Farm employees may be eligible to participate in the PLA opportunity with Dallas College, with tuition help from State Farm. An additional 220 employees are expected to participate next year.

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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