In tandem

Grand Rapid Community College student Daniel Martinez studies a municipal water system. (Photo: GRCC)

“In tandem” features new community college partnerships with business and industry, higher education institutions and others.

  • Tapping water-to-work internships
  • Partnering to create more pathways to credentials
  • A new teaching academy with dual enrollment
  • College-to-career opportunities in auto tech
  • A new teaching academy with dual enrollment

Tapping water-to-work internships

Grand Rapids Community College (GRCC) and Bay College have joined with the city of Grand Rapids in Michigan to provide internships for students interested in working in the municipal water and wastewater treatment industry.

Interns will make $17.71 per hour, while taking online courses through GRCC and Bay College, according to a press release. The curriculum focuses on water and wastewater operations and management as well as utility management, business and water career preparation.

Participants also will team with mentors who are current and retired city employees. Completing the program may lead to Michigan Drinking Water and Municipal Wastewater certifications. The program, which is supported by a $3.8 million grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, is free of charge for residents in the colleges’ service areas.

“Behind every drop of water, there are hundreds of rewarding careers to explore,” said Hillary Caron, water education and programs coordinator for Grand Rapids. “This program allows you to find a career that aligns with your values and makes a positive impact on our generation and beyond.”

Five interns have completed the pilot program, GRCC says. One intern now works for the city of Wyoming, Michigan, and two others are working for Grand Rapids, with the other two currently applying for jobs with the city.

Partnering to create more pathways to credentials

Purdue Global and Ivy Tech Community College have announced a new partnership to help more Indiana residents with no college degree attain a postsecondary credential.

The new Pathways Partnership aims to serve the 350,000 workers in the state who have some college credit but no degree and 2 million adults in the state who have no postsecondary credentials. Purdue Global will accept unrestricted transfer and stackability of students’ Ivy Tech associate degrees and credits toward a Purdue Global bachelor’s degree, according to a press release.

Purdue Global also will work with students on credit for prior learning, including competencies gained in the workplace and Ivy Tech prior learning credits. Students who have completed an Ivy Tech associate degree will receive a scholarship for most Purdue Global programs.

“Together, Ivy Tech and Purdue Global have created pathways to jobs and careers that are preparing the next-generation workforce for lifelong success, beginning with a world-class education,” said Ivy Tech President Sue Ellspermann. “Through this partnership, current Ivy Tech students have assurance that their associate degree will seamlessly transfer to a high-quality, affordable online bachelor’s degree at Purdue Global.”

A new teaching academy with dual enrollment

Miami Dade College and Miami-Dade County Public Schools have partnered again to expand the teaching pipeline through a Teaching Academy Dual Enrollment Program for high school students.

The program, set to begin this fall, will offer high school students courses to prepare them for a career in education. They can earn up to nine college credit courses. The two education institutions first partnered in December on the Teacher Candidate Residency Program, which aims to address the teacher shortage and establish teaching pipelines by placing students in classrooms as they complete bachelor’s degrees.

College-to-career opportunities in auto tech

In New Jersey, Brookdale Community College and Penske Automotive Group, Inc. have signed a memorandum of understanding to establish an automotive technician career program that leads to employment with the car and commercial truck retailer.

Program participants will receive a salary plus reimbursement of up to $13,140 for tuition and fees, $2,000 for tools and a $5,000 employment bonus.

“This innovative program will bring down costs for our students, aligning with our mission of ensuring that our students have access to high-wage jobs at an affordable price,” said Brookdale President David Stout.

Cloud training for state employees

The Technical College System of Georgia (TCSG) is teaming with the Georgia Technology Authority (GTA) to train state employees on advanced cloud technologies.

The eight-week program will allow learners to engage in real-time, video-based labs with instructors or proceed at their own pace. To offset the costs, qualifying participants can tap Georgia’s HOPE grants, the system said.

The organizations said in a release that the collaboration is an extension of TCSG’s successful Cloud Academy, which was established in 2020 with Amazon Web Services to meet the rising demand for technology skills.

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.