Reporter’s notebook

Broadening dual-enrollment educator requirements

One of the country’s main higher education accrediting agencies has a revised policy for faculty requirements that advocates say will allow more teachers to serve as dual-enrollment educators.

The Higher Learning Commission has implemented an altered “Faculty Qualifications Policy” that offers colleges a role in determining personalized requirements for faculty credentials and includes new alternative indicators of faculty qualifications, according to a report from the Association of Career and Technical Education (ACTE).

“This policy change will increase the routes available for dual enrollment educators to meet necessary credentials for employment in HLC-accredited institutions,” it says.

Under the previous policy, dual-enrollment educators were required to have at least 18 graduate credits in their discipline to meet qualification requirements, according to ACTE. Under the revised policy, colleges can also use “equivalent experience as an indicator of faculty qualification,” including consideration of workforce experience, research, scholarship, recognized achievement and other factors.

Colorado college to open aircraft maintenance training center

In Colorado, Aims Community College plans to open a new aircraft maintenance training center along with an airframe and powerplant mechanic degree program in January 2026.

The Aims board of trustees last month approved creating the degree program, along with an allotted $21.8 million to complete and purchase the new facility. The 37,000-square-foot facility will include classrooms, labs and hangars for students to work on aircraft, according to the college.

The Aims Aircraft Maintenance Training Center will be a part of the Discovery Air Aviation Campus at Northern Colorado Regional Airport. The Aims facility will be the second facility completed in this five-hanger development.

“There aren’t many other opportunities like this in Colorado,” said Aims Director of Aviation Eric Himler. “We’re excited to offer not only new facilities and new equipment for the students but also a competitive two-year program for tuition fees.”

The college’s aviation department currently offers programs in pilot flight training, unmanned UAS drone piloting and air traffic control.

CUNY pilot taps students for benefits outreach

The City University of New York (CUNY) is launching a three-year pilot program to improve healthcare, mental health treatment, food and housing assistance for students at three colleges in the CUNY system.

The initiative pays students to conduct outreach to fellow classmates who may qualify for services such as Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) or Medicaid and to make sure they sign up, according to a release.

CUNY CARES, which is currently running at Bronx Community College, Hostos Community College and Lehman College, could potentially bring in millions of dollars in government aid to students who are eligible but not receiving the benefits, CUNY officials say. In the Bronx, for example, signing up the estimated 7,200 students at the three campuses who are eligible but not enrolled would bring an additional $25.1 million into their household budgets.

CUNY CARES — short for Comprehensive Access to Resources for Essential Services — connects students to services offered by New York City’s Human Resources Administration (HRA), as well as housing providers in the Bronx and other local community organizations, according to the college system. CUNY estimates that about 40% of its students are eligible to receive government benefits such as SNAP; Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children; and Medicaid, but student surveys show that only 40% of those eligible are currently enrolled. The disconnect is especially wide in the Bronx, which has the highest poverty rates in the city, according to CUNY.

As part of its program design, CUNY CARES hires, trains and pays student employees to help their peers. The students help to promote health and social services resources using social media posts and classroom presentations, and they work one-on-one to help eligible peers enroll in public benefits and access other services, CUNY says.

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.