Champions of Change: Community Colleges

Champions of Change: Community Colleges

August 21, 2019 0 By Stanley Isaacs


Kyle Lee:
If we can get started,
my name is Kyle Lee, I work here at the White House
Office of Public Engagement and I work on the Champions
of Change Program. So on behalf of the White
House and our office, I just want to say
thanks for coming. I also want to give a quick
shoutout to Zakia Smith and Mary Wong who did all of the work
putting this event together. (applause) Kyle Lee:
I’ll just hand it over to Zakia. Zakia Smith:
Well, thank you all for really
being Champions of Change, first of all, and the work that
you’re doing in your communities and for making it to D.C. on
such short notice to join us. (laughter) And coming through the wind
and the fire and the rain and all of that. I just want to introduce
my boss, Melody Barnes. She is the Director of the
Domestic Policy Council here and coordinates all of our education
work at the White House. Obviously we work very closely
with the Department of Education and with Dr. Brenda
Dann-Messier, the Assistant Secretary for
Adult and Vocational Education at the Department of Education. I think that Jane Oates will be
on her way but she is caught up in the line that
caught up many of you. I may have mentioned this, but
Mel will have to leave around 2:45 so when she does we’ll
switch out with Jane who I am sure will be here at that time. And we’ll just go around the
room and kind of facilitate a more organic discussion. Don’t feel like you have to give
your whole spiel about your college because we have put that
all on the website with your bios and the links to your
institutions afterwards. But we do want to hear more
about what you’re doing and what you’re doing that works
and how we can be helpful. So with that, I think I am
actually going to step outside of the purview of this camera. (laughter) And allow you all
to get started. Melody Barnes:
Okay; great. Well, good afternoon, everyone,
and welcome to the White House — even though at the gate it
may not have seemed that way. (laughter) But thank you for persevering
and congratulations as Zakia said for being
Champions of Change. You all exemplify excellence in
this area and we know there are a number of other community
colleges and community college leaders across the nation who
are doing wonderful work. But obviously you all are
just the best of the best. So thank you for being here. And just a couple of words to
lead into our conversation. All of you all know and
certainly I’ve heard this as I have traveled around
the country — (loud squeaky door) — that the relationship between
economic competitiveness and education is direct
and incontrovertible. Obviously if we are going
to, as the President says, win the future, we have to make
sure that we are educating our youth and educating
our young adults. We know that as we move
forward, eight out of ten jobs, the vast majority of jobs are
going to require some kind of post-secondary education. And that’s why early — (loud squeaking door) — in the President’s tenure,
he set a critical goal — (laughter) (cross-talk) Attendee:
We need a job for
somebody to fix the door! Melody Barnes:
Yes, I was going
to say clearly — Attendee:
We just created a job. Melody Barnes:
Right, exactly. One of our goals was not oiling
the doors, but it will be. He set a critical goal of
graduating the greatest proportion of college graduates
in the world by the year 2020, that we had to attain
that goal once again. And community colleges are a
critical and essential element as you all we hope will be
educating another five, an additional 5 million students
to help us to reach that goal. And we know that’s important so
that our students are ready for the jobs of the future. In doing that, we have focused
from the very, very beginning, we walked into very
difficult economic times, but because community colleges,
you all have done so much work, you all have been the places
where so many people have gone to improve their skills, to
get skills, to get new skills, so that they’re able to
compete in this economy. And as a result, we wanted to do
our share and that includes a 15-fold increase in federal,
the federal investment in community colleges. It just didn’t make sense to us
that we weren’t supporting the kind of work that
you were doing. We also wanted to focus on the
fact that through our Jobs Bill that the President just recently
announced that the kind of work that you’re doing requires
modernized facilities, so additional resources and
funds through the Jobs Act. And also recognizing your steps
towards innovation and making sure that your curriculum was
aligning with the kinds of jobs that are available in
the regions where you’re already working. So those are some of the
more recent investments. But we weren’t doing that
just sitting in a silo. As many of you know, because I
have gotten to know some of you over the course of
the last few years, you all have gotten
to know each other, and many of my colleagues,
we have considered our collaboration with you to be
important so the work that Dr. Biden has done, the
summit that she led, the follow-up regional summits,
the virtual convenings with Secretary Duncan have all been
critical to informing our work. One of the things that we’ve
been proudest of as a result of those conversations and what
we’ve learned is at the same time that we passed
the Health Care Bill, we also passed a large higher
education bill which included $2 billion in resources that
go into the community college Career and Training Grant
Program that Brenda, who’s an incredible Assistant
Secretary at the Department of Education and Jane, who
will be here shortly, Assistant Secretary of
the Department of Labor, have been working with our teams
to make sure that that grant program goes in place. And as you know, funds will
start to be disbursed from that program at the beginning of the
new fiscal year and that’s going to help you continue to do your
work as well as your colleagues around the country. So those are just some of the
ways that we have been able to work with you over the
past two and a half years. But understand that that’s just
the beginning of our commitment to align our work with your
expertise and with what you’re doing around the country. We also know that we couldn’t do
that alone, as many of you know, and the partnerships that we’ve
had with the Joyce Foundation, with the Lumina Foundation,
Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase and also
with the Aspen Institute, to start the Aspen Institute
Prize and I know we have got our finalists, we have got our
finalists competing for that prize sitting around this table. But also thinking and doing the
intellectual work to support what you’re doing and provide
additional resources has been critical as well. So I will conclude just by
saying this is the beginning of our partnership
and our commitment. We are excited about the
work that you’re doing. You are literally changing
the lives of individuals and families. So thank you for that. That’s why you are
Champions of Change. And we look forward
to this conversation, both Brenda and Jane and
I when she gets here. And now I’d like to start out
just by going around the room and having you introduce
yourselves so everyone knows who’s in the room. But in the course of doing that,
if you could give us as sense, I was just talking a little
bit about partnerships, but give us a sense of the kind
of “a partnership” that’s been really critical to your
institution and developing the kind of curriculum that’s
helping students get jobs, helping move them towards
the jobs of the future. I think that will be an
interesting way to get our conversation started. So why don’t I start
out to my left. Dr. Charlene Dukes:
Good afternoon. And I certainly thank you
for inviting us here and for the designation. My name is Charlene Dukes and
I’m the President of Prince George’s Community
College in Prince George’s County, Maryland. And if I look at one partnership
that has been critical for us in Prince George’s County and
certainly across the State of Maryland, it is something
that we have just been able to achieve. And while the whole middle
college movement is certainly well known across the country
and there are many institutions here where we visited to get
some ideas about how to start one at Prince George’s Community
College and partnership with the Prince George’s
County Public Schools, I’m proud to announce that we
opened this fall the first ever middle college in the State of
Maryland at Prince George’s Community College. We admitted our first class
of one hundred 9th graders. It is known as the Academy
of Health Sciences. So the focus will be in
the health sciences area. And these young people will
graduate with both their high school diploma and their
associate degree and our first graduating class will
be the class of 2015. So we’re very
excited about that. In some ways we are rather
late to that movement, but in other ways given what
we’re talking about with K12 school reform and partnerships
this really has been something that we’re very proud of
in the State of Maryland. Dr. Jack Friedlander:
I’m Jack Friedlander; I’m
the Acting Superintendent and President at Santa Barbara
City College in Santa Barbara, California. And we have so many
different partnerships, but one that’s been very
long-lasting and evolving is with our major hospital called
Cottage Health Systems where they fund five or six, but I
think six full-time faculty positions in nursing. And through that partnership we
have been able to evolve new programs such as health
information technologies, campus information
registry, sonography. But we couldn’t provide the
level of nursing education at all levels had it not been
for them funding six faculty positions ongoing for
a long period of time. Dr. Robert Templin:
Hi, I’m Bob Templin, President
of Northern Virginia Community College just across the river. A partnership that we have is
one that I think would resonate with many around the table. As we know, to meet the
President’s goal of increasing the number of Americans who
achieve a post-secondary credential, we’re going to have
to reach into populations that historically have
not participated in post-secondary education. As we begin to do that, the sad
fact is that a majority of those who come to us often
are not prepared. Don’t have the knowledge and
skill to do college-level work. And consequently they often end
up in our remedial programs. And we have spent a lot of time
through programs like “Achieving the Dream” learning how
to redesign developmental remedial programs. But our partnership focuses
upon preventing the need for remediation by working with
our schools and admitting our students in the 11th grade to a
program called Pathway to the Baccalaureate that we guarantee
that students that enter that program, if they do what we
say, come to Northern Virginia Community College, or NOVA as we
call ourselves, and graduate, we guarantee their admission
to a baccalaureate program. We now have 45 high schools and
6,500 kids involved and they have a rate of success of 90%. These are made up of
what we would profile as at-risk students. So these students who have
historically not participated, have the ability, but often lack
the structure and the pathway to be successful. Dr. David Gipp:
Good afternoon. It’s a great honor to
be here, I am Dave Gipp, President at the United Tribes
Technical College and we’re one of the 37 tribal colleges and
universities across the nation. We’re in Bismarck, North Dakota,
and we serve about 87 different tribes at any one
particular time. I’m very proud to say that we
have been accredited one more time for ten more years by the
Higher Learning Commission, which is good. And we’ll continue on. Along with our 17 two-year
degree programs and 25 certificate programs, we are now
offering three four-year degree programs that will begin to also
add training areas and meeting the needs of our tribal
population out there of the 567 different tribes across
the nation that we cater to and work with. I’ll just highlight a couple of
them that we’re really trying to work with. One is a memorandum of agreement
that we have with the Department of Interior to help produce more
basic law enforcement officers and corrections officers for the
reservation areas where we have a drastic need for more
law enforcement officers. A huge shortage that we’re
addressing there under that MOU. The second is another area
addressing the oil boom in North Dakota called the Botkin
Formation as one of the very largest, if not the largest
underground formation that is very, very deep in the earth. And we’re going to be training
at least 400 workers ranging from welders and technologists
in the course of the next several years to meet that need
and help our tribes address some of those issues in terms
of economic development, business development, and
certainly employment. And so those are some of the
areas that we will begin to work with along with
education, of course, and along with business
development itself. Dr. Hector Gonzales:
Excuse me, my name
is Hector Gonzales. I am from Southwest
Texas Junior College. One of the partnerships I’d like
to talk about is in the area of health care, the
Allied Health Programs. Five years ago — let me begin
by saying we serve an area larger than at least
ten of our states, so we have a big service
area, sparsely populated. There is a lot of
empty space in between. There is three major
cities in our area. And they came to us and said
we need help hiring nurses. We need to train more nurses. More RNs. And that’s difficult to do in
the communities that we serve because we don’t have a
big economies of scale. Working with our partners and
the clinical side or clinical portion of nursing is often a
challenge because in a small community, you may not
have enough experiences, enough population to get the
clinical aspect of the training. So what we’ve done is integrated
distance learning education to keep the students from
traveling to one central site. And they can stay in their
community; receive the didactic, the lecture portion, and work
with our area hospitals and get creative and use preceptors to
help them fulfill that role of the clinical aspects of
their nurse training. We’ve invested a lot of money,
thanks to the Department of Labor, in simulations. We purchased simulated
dummies, mannequins, to recreate those experiences
that out in rural south Texas they may not have an
opportunity to witness. So that has been a great
assistance in giving them exposure to those clinical
aspects that they may not have in other cases. Dr. Mary Graham:
Hi, I’m Mary Graham; I’m the
President of Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College. We have several partnerships
that and I’d love to share them all with you, but the one that
comes to mind is one that we have recently entered into. And we do a lot of work
with business and industry, heavy business and industry in
the coastal area in Mississippi, and we work with the Mississippi
Department of Employment Security and we also work with
the Department of Labor and we have just recently purchased
a $700,000 simulator, the Crane simulator, to help
with all industry on the coast that we can serve and train
individuals in need of that. But we work; we’ve just
established an MOU with a southern company to be a
regional training site which covers several states
in the coastal region. So as we develop those
partnerships we continue to grow and we continue to expand those
offerings so that we become regionalized and we can do
regional training across several states. Dr. Monica Posey:
I’m Monica Posey; I’m from
Cincinnati State Technical and Community College. We have wonderful
programs in technology. We actually have a Department of
Labor Energy Grant to support our programs on renewable
energy and environmental. We have a grant that supports
our nursing and allied health as well. But what we have been working
on is that connection from high school to college
and to employment. So we’re part of the Greater
Cincinnati STEM Partnership and we work with the
University of Cincinnati, but also with the Cincinnati
Public Schools and a range of different school districts as
well as corporations such as Procter & Gamble and General
Electric to bring high school students into college. And we have been able to have a
STEM Summer Academy for the last three summers where we bring
in 50 high school students. These were 11th
and 12th graders. We actually bring them in and
they take college courses, they receive college credit,
about nine, six to nine credits, but they also are totally
connected and engaged with STEM careers. And then we help move them into
a college when they’re ready to apply. Some come to our institution;
some go to others. But they are ready and
their parents are ready. And it’s been a wonderful
experience for them and the families. Dr. Carol Puryear:
My name is Carol Puryear, and
I’m the direct for the Tennessee Technology Center. And I’m here today representing
all 27 centers across the State of Tennessee. And statewide, our
partnerships are varied, just as you would expect
as you would have, but a lot of our partnerships
stem from working with our workforce investment boards. And that is huge in our state
because not only do they help us start classes, help to keep us
up to date on the needs of the business industry, but just it’s
that good partnership that they can help us and we can help them
by supplying good employees for the people that they’re
working with as well. We have some partnerships
with the Nissan, the Hemlocks National
Health Corporation, with the Allied Health. So we’re real proud of the
partnerships that the schools have and are just, quite
frankly, dependent on that. Because we need our students to
be the best employees possible. And so we work with business and
industry in making sure that our competences and our curricula
matches what they need. So in the end it works out. So those partnerships
are very important to us. Dr. Dick Shaink:
Good afternoon, I’m Dick Shaink
and I am President of Motts Community College
in Flint, Michigan. You, Melody, you talked about
the President telling us, asking us to make sure that
we encourage students to complete degrees. What we have done at Mott — (technical difficulties) Attendee:
— is step up to the plat
and provided us with qualified faculty, both with industry
experience but also a desire to teach. And so we have the
best of both worlds. And so our ties with the
business communities have been extremely tight. Our economic development
division have done wonderful job not only connecting with them,
our academic side has also done a wonderful job
connecting with them. And, of course, down the road,
the students that we provide to them also need re-certification,
need continuing education. Guess what? We are the logical
choice for them to come. So it’s not just getting
our student in the door, getting them graduated,
getting them a job, but we see ourself as also
playing a part in their career planning and development. So we’re extremely
proud of that. Dr. Perry Ward:
Good afternoon, Perry Ward,
Lawson State Community College in Birmingham, Alabama. I bring you greetings
from the State of Alabama. And I certainly want to thank
the White House for this honor and the opportunity to share
with you what we’re doing in Alabama at Lawson State
Community College. And as I’ve said here this
afternoon and listened to many of you around the table, we’re
doing many of the same similar things with dual
enrollment programs, career pathway programs. And there’s something
very special about community colleges. I’ve had the opportunity during
my career to serve a public university, a
private university, and the K12 and
two-year colleges. And I will say to you that there
is nothing better than two-year colleges; it makes America work. And it makes Alabama special. We’re doing a number of things. But the one I want to just
quickly highlight this afternoon, it’s really our
flagship at Lawson State, is about five years ago we kind
of repackaged ourselves and initiated what’s called
the Alabama Center for Automotive Excellence. And with the Alabama Center
of Automotive Excellence, more opportunities than we even
imagined when we pulled it together, but about ten years
ago Mercedes relocated in Alabama and with Mercedes
relocating so did Hyundai and Honda and a number of other
automotive entities, well, we have grown around
that and with that. And what we have now through the
Alabama Center for Automotive Excellence that is offered
at Lawson State is a program specifically with Toyota; we
have the Toyota T-TEN where we train technicians to go
from college directly into Toyota dealerships. We have a relationship and a
special program with Ford — the Ford Asset Program; the
General Motors ASEP Program. Diesel mechanic programs,
automotive body and repair programs. And students just keep
coming into that program. But the beauty of what we’ve
been able to do with that is to grow partnerships out
of that relationship. And we’re actually training
young men and some women for the future of what
technology is now. Because many of the vehicles we
drive oftentimes have 25 to 30 computers on board that we
simply never think about and students are able to come in and
leave the institution really making a difference. But coupled with that has also
been our move to work in the alternative fuels area. We have established partnerships
with Alabama Gas and we have put a compressed natural gas fueling
station on campus so we can get people by and we can train
them in the latest techniques. We’re working fleet manager
programs to get them in to actually understand. Alabama Power, the
statewide power entity, got jealous of Alabama
Gas and they, too, have put a charging station on
campus because GM is coming out, I think, with the Volt and
people have to know how to work on those things and it has to be
understood by the technicians who will repair. So we’re doing that
on a college level. And the beauty of all of
these relationships and these partnerships is that the dealers
will provide the vehicles, the tools and the resources to
make sure we keep technicians going for industry. People like Alabama Gas
and Alabama Power are very interested in those
relationships and to make sure that technicians are trained. And just a whole other avenue
that we oftentimes don’t think about is the need to train fleet
managers and fire departments and police departments about
how you respond to a compressed natural gas vehicle. You simply can’t show
up and put water on it. You can’t use the saw to get
people out of a crashed hybrid vehicle or compressed natural
gas because a spark could ignite an explosion. So there’s a huge amount of
knowledge that has to be disseminated and shared in the
marketplace and we’ve formed some national partnerships with
the National Alternative Fuels Training Program and we’re doing
a lot of other things just in the hybrid training
area and we’re very, very excited about that. Dr. Pamela Schokley-Zalabak:
Well, thank you. I am Pam Schokley-Zalabak. I am the Chancellor of the
University of Colorado at Colorado Springs. And first of all, thanks to
everyone for what I’m learning from around the table, but also
for this invitation to come here today. I’m really here representing
the Southern Colorado Higher Education Consortium which
is a group of five community colleges; four four-year
institutions and my institution which is through
the doctoral level. We’ve come together to try to
create a system for student success in half of the state
that is dominantly rural with us being the most urban in Colorado
Springs at the locations where the educational outcomes
historically have been the lowest in the state with one in
ten age-eligible high school student having any form of
post-secondary education. And we’ve come together as a
group of collaborators to try to work very specifically on
creating a network system to change those outcomes. We are focusing currently with
a grant from the U.S. Department of Education on creating a
different type of course work for 30 college credit hours, but
we’re going to 309 high schools with regional areas whether
it’s a community college or the four-year institution
most closely associated. But those 30 college credit
hours will then transfer to any of us or into any of the AA
programs in our entire region. All five of our AA programs are
guaranteed admission into all five of our institutions,
although we have a range of selectivity in our
admissions rate, but what just what Sandy was
saying about how remarkable that is in terms of helping
students see what is possible. We’re also forming across
alternatives an access program that will be run by each of the
ten institutions to bring more possibility thinking to our
regions directly tied from financial aid advising, all the
way through working with the chambers of commerce and others
throughout the region who are co-sponsors. We have come together
and we are offering, because of our particular
type of institution, degree-completion programs in
three areas: Criminal justice, business and nursing, that are
of high employability in an area of high unemployment in
our part of the state. So that we now require having
the opportunity for young people and the community colleges
are coordinating all of that. We are using CISCO systems,
high-definition telepresence, to teach some technical courses
doing nursing and engineering in advanced areas which
associates degrees will begin, we are even joining faculty
between UCCS and community colleges in remote areas which
have trouble getting master’s level qualified faculty
directly joint appointed join working in actually
accreditation processes today as we speak for one of our
community colleges. What this ends up in is a
system that goes from an AA, the RN degree at the
community college, to BSN available in all
of the community colleges. The MSN is now available at the
community colleges cooperating and we will soon launch
next fall the doctorate and nursing practice. So that will create a whole
system among all of us and we’re very excited about this. We just, we work well together,
we care about what we’re trying to do. Technology is a key component
because of the distances and the collaborative group
of institutions. So I’m pleased to be here. Melody Barnes:
Thank you. Did you want to introduce
yourself as well? Frank Chong:
Frank Chong, I’m the Deputy
Assistant Secretary of Community Colleges. And I’m just beaming with
pride because this is what excellence looks like. And as a former community
college president I can’t tell you how remarkable each and
every one of your institutions do for our students, for our
community and for our country. And I just think I have the best
job in the world because I get to represent and advocate on
behalf of people in this room who do on an everyday basis
up close and personal. Even with all the difficulties
in the economy and the world, they don’t complain. They’re out there leading and
I think this is leadership in action. So I just want to say thank
you so much for everything that you do. And there is a reason
that you’re here today. And I think you can just feel
the energy and excitement in this room. It is so impressive and that is
why with the power of the media, we need to get this story out
to the rest of the country. So thank you for having me. Melody Barnes:
Absolutely. And we will, because these are
important stories to tell. I am going to have to leave you
in the good hands of both Brenda and Jane, Assistant Secretaries
of the Department of Education and the Department of
Labor respectively. But before I do, I do want to
echo what Frank was just saying. Just listening to the diversity
of the stories you tell, but there are certainly some
common themes there about the work that you’re doing. It just encourages all of us as
we’re here trying to support you and learning from
what you’re doing. And something that President
Ward said a minute ago that community colleges
make America work. And it made me think of a
comment my mother made to me some time ago. She grew up in a tiny town in
Virginia near the North Carolina border, and left
to go to college. And in the town there were
cotton mills and tobacco factories, and when those
industries started to dry up, you can imagine the economic
turmoil that that left in that particular community. And my mom said she
always thought, you know, if there had just been a
community college there that could have really have
turned things around. And several years ago I remember
talking to her on the phone and she said, there is now a
new community college — (laughter) — in this area. And, you know, it’s
where she grew up, it’s where my grandmother and
aunts and uncles live there. But Mom had been living
in Richmond for decades, but she was so proud of that and
so happy for what that would do for the community. And that’s what you’re doing for
your communities and the region and indeed the country as you
are educating workers in these really critical areas. So thank you for
what you’re doing. I’m sorry that I have to leave
but I’m leaving you in amazing hands with two women that I have
had the opportunity to work with and are fabulous and are doing
so much to make sure that we’re supporting you. So thank you so
much for being here. Congratulations. Dr. Pamela Schokley- Zalabak:
Melody, we really want to thank
you for also being a champion of community colleges. And so thank you very much for
organizing this event and for your outstanding leadership. So thank you very much. (applause) Brenda Dann-Messier:
So, Jane and I have the great
honor of really wanting to have a further discussion
with all of you. We’re going to ask
you some questions. And you mind if I take a
first crack at it, Jane? Jane Oates:
No. As long as we recognize the
man hiding behind everybody, Dr. (indiscernible), who is, let
me tell you, our reality check. I don’t know why you’re not
sitting at the table with a big crown on, but we really — Brenda Dann-Messier:
Why don’t you come
on right here? Attendee:
I’m so proud of these
folks over here. Jane Oates:
Well, you really
represent them well, and it would be remiss of us
to let this meeting go without saying you do such a
great job of holding — I’ll speak for myself — my feet
to the fire if I don’t say the right things about
community colleges. Thank you so much for your
friendship and your partnership. Attendee:
Thank you. Brenda Dann-Messier:
Please feel free, Walter,
to come on up to the table if you’d like. So I’m the Assistant Secretary
in the Office of Vocational Adult Education, and I’d really
like to know how many of you are working with your career in
technical education institutions in your district, and
what are the good — Jane Oates:
Tennessee, Kentucky. Brenda Dann-Messier:
Good. What are the challenges? Is that an easy relationship? Is that difficult? And what can we do
to support that, creating of the pipeline from
career and technical education to community colleges? (laughter) Dr. Carol Puryear:
In Tennessee, and Tennessee is
very unique in that the state higher education has
the universities, they have 13 community colleges
with the Tennessee Board of Regents, and then they
have 27 technology centers. And with the technology
centers, we specialize in career technical education and
workforce development. And we work very closely with
our secondary partners to make that transition, and then work
with our community colleges to get an AS degree in general
technology as a partnership, but we’re finding more
and more, you know, technical students from high
school finding out about our programs and coming, and they
make the best students for us, because they’ve already
got the background. So we have a good partnership. You know, we can always
make things better, but very pleased in Tennessee
with the partnership we have with our secondary. Attendee:
Great, thank you. Attendee:
We’ve got a unique one. We have just provided a lease
to the regional high schools to build a skill center
on our campus. And we’re at the table in terms
of articulation and planning so the high school students will
have many more pathways in workforce preparation programs,
which will articulate right in to college level. Dr. Monica Posey:
At Cincinnati State, we’ve
worked very closely with the Great Oaks campuses, and we’ve
started with a large project, and the challenge is that it
takes so much time to build these partnerships. But with the support from
the community and other sources, it works. So basically Great Oaks had a
very large practical nursing certificate, but it
was non-accredit. So we transitioned that
into a credit certificate, and it’s the Cincinnati
State Great Oaks Practical Nursing Program. It’s at the four
Great Oaks campuses, but it’s a Cincinnati State
facility now, a shared facility. Their instructors
became our faculty. And now we’re working to make
sure that everything those students complete will
transition into the RN program, because we don’t want
them to have the credit, but then they have to start
all over again if they want the associate degree. So it’s really
One-Plus-One program. We’re looking at working with
Warren County and Butler Career Tech. Similar thing, One-Plus-One
various programs, but the challenge is the work. I mean, it really takes extra
administrative and faculty time. Brenda Dann-Messier:
Thank you. Barbara Veazey, yes. Dr. Barbara Veazey:
We certainly have dual credit
with each of our high schools that we serve, but the State
of Kentucky under the Kentucky Community and Technical
College system is in — we’re collaborating with the
Office of Adult Community Career and Technical
Education in Kentucky, and we are entering into a
statewide agreement that will put each of the community
colleges and the high schools that they work with or the
area technology centers in the national alliance of
currently enrolled programs accreditation process. That’s going to assure student
outcomes, faculty credentials, curriculums, that we can assure
that the student that takes those in high school, it will
be the same as if they were on a college campus. So that is a statewide
initiative that we are very much ready to launch in Kentucky. Dr. Perry Ward:
Go ahead, sir. Attendee:
No, you go ahead. Dr. Perry Ward:
Please. Attendee:
For me, let me take it a
little different direction. I think we have many more
opportunity to make sure that our young people understand that
career technical education is a very viable track for them. I think right now sometimes we
see young folks looking at out of high school and
they say, well, I have to go to a four-year
college right away. And I think for us we need
to continue to emphasize that career technical
education is not an end. It allows them to
go on beyond that. So I think we have many more
opportunity to emphasize that to our young people that it
is one very viable option beyond high school. Dr. Perry Ward:
And I support that. In Alabama, as much
as in Tennessee, the relationship is
working pretty good. We have a statewide articulation
agreement already in place for K-12 to a two-year college, and
then from a two-year college on to four-year. So we’ve kind of gotten
out of some of the agony of transferring from the
two-year into a four-year. But even beyond that, we do
letters of agreement with the local school districts, and we
have managed to get three school districts to actually bring
their students to campus two days a week for college credit
that they get and they pay for, and the superintendents are
very excited about that. In Alabama they are having in
the K-12 level some issues, obviously, around the
country with funding. And so trying to do the
career technical programs, they are short of instructors
and in some cases equipment. And so we’ve tried to step in
and provide the vehicle and the alternative for them through
our instructors and through our facilities, and right now we’ve
got three school districts that have bought into that, and they
are getting their kids out. And we’re banking the credit,
hoping that when they do finish high school, they’ll come on
into the community college. Dr. Robert Templin:
Madam Secretary, if I
could talk about — Brenda Dann-Messier:
(inaudible) Dr. Robert Templin:
— where I think federal
attention could make a difference. One of the difficulties that I
think all of us experience is that in preparing young people
for technical STEM fields, it’s often difficult for them
to imagine careers that don’t yet exist. And try as we might to work
together between our career and technical education and the
community colleges and our universities, employers need
to create work-based learning opportunities for our students. Long ago we had
cooperative education, which was (inaudible) supported. Those have withered up
and disappeared from us. And nothing will make learning
more significant or the relevance of a career more real
than being able to have that application to
workplace learning. So if we had a way to
incentivize employers to be partners with us in
workplace learning, I think it would make
a huge difference. Brenda Dann-Messier:
Yeah, that’s come up repeatedly. Thanks, it’s a great suggestion. Dr. Jack Friedlander:
I’d like to add to that in
addition to working with the high schools and
younger population, one of the biggest challenges
we have is with people who are losing their jobs or whose
skills are not current with what’s needed for the
jobs of today and tomorrow. And again, it’s providing the
individual student and the employer incentives, especially
small companies that can’t afford to release somebody for
the time they need to develop these higher level skills, to
close that match between what is needed now and the skill sets
they might have acquired maybe even five years ago. The other challenge — Brenda Dann-Messier:
So what are you
doing about that? Dr. Jack Friedlander:
What we’re doing is we created
within the college professional development center where we’re
providing workplace training. Companies identify
what their needs are, and we customize a curriculum
for them and invite others to take part, because that
is a shared interest. So, for example, we
identified, you know, everything is moving
to the Cloud, VMware. Who teaches that? You know, but we had to put it
right in these companies for them to be competitive. To do that we’re training people
with pure networking engineering that supported
networks in-house, but as the companies outsource
that to companies that are Cloud-based, who retrains them? It’s a new set of partnerships. But it’s hard for some
individuals to just stop working. They have families. So whatever incentives
they can do. But also there’s a lot
we’re doing on our own, because we’re taking the
train to the work site. And that’s so critical. You take a train
to the work site. And you get small companies,
which is the bulk of our employers, working together and
cooperating because they have a shared need that they can
benefit and leverage from. The other thing is just what
you’re doing now with a number of the initiatives is for
whatever focus you can put on is achieving — whatever
stint you’re taking, whether it’s career tech,
transfer, or anything, that average or good is not
good enough anymore in a global society. Today’s good is tomorrow’s
mediocre and won’t take long given global competition. And so it’s essential. That’s the message
we’re sending out now. We’re changing our whole
messaging campaign internally and externally is the students
have to be exceptional for them to be competitive. And so it’s putting out,
average is not good enough. Good is not good
enough in today’s, tomorrow’s global economy. We have technology taking jobs
away and global competition. It’s critical. Attendee:
Just a couple short things. One is, let me
echo Bob’s comment. I think it’s essential to create
a human capital incentive in the tax structure, and it can play
out in a lot of different ways. If I had my druthers, Bob,
I’d love to see the workplace learning it again
in high school. The best contribution the high
schools can make to vocational education is workplace learning,
because the students haven’t decided what they
want to learn yet. And if they get all those work
skills and begin to discern a purpose, then when
they come to us, they know something about
what their purpose is, and we can train them. Second is, it’s a small thing,
and I’m not sure whether the feds can help us
with this or not, but as the states are
defunding higher education, one of the casualties of
that is dual enrollment, the acceleration. In schools there’s
no revenue stream. Most of us are eating millions
of dollars in costs to support this thing. We know they work, and we’re
hanging on hoping that someone will ride to rescue
and provide revenues. (indiscernible) that is
technical dual enrollment, and that’s what is needed most. Third little thing,
one more thing, is back on the human
capital strategy. If I could change one thing
about our level of technical education is that everybody
enrolled would already be enrolled. It’s backwards. In a previous life I got out of
the education business and got in the training business with
our employer and went to the HVAC to go in a large
metropolitan area and said, I’m tired of recruiting people
you don’t want to hire anyway, putting them in classes
they don’t want to take, pushing them through a
third to a halfway program, then you hire them and complain
that they are not fully skilled. I won’t do it anymore. If you’ll hire them on
some kind of training wage, I will train them. For now on when they
don’t show up for class, it’s an employment issue,
not an attendance issue. If they don’t perform,
it’s an employment issue. And that’s a very different
— that’s a European kind of environment for this thing. And I think tax code could
help us move in that direction. Dr. Hector Gonzales:
One of the things that’s a
challenge for us is distance, because all of our campuses are
so far apart, and we’re rural, so there’s not a big metro
area in any one of our areas. And the opportunities for
technical training and technical placement for these
students is limited. What we have done is
taken the One-Plus-One — we do have One-Plus-One with
area high schools and the college — but we’ve also done
a community college to community college One-Plus-One. We have — 90 miles away we have
San Antonio with Alamo colleges and they have
Toyota in that area. They have a great advanced
manufacturing program. And we have a lot of
students in our area that are interested in it. There’s no way that I could
build and fund the laboratories necessary to train them. So what we do is we train
them in basic electronics, hydraulics, mechanics,
for one year, transfer it to their program
where they get the advanced robotics training and hydraulic
training at their system. And really what we have to do is
take a step back and say, okay, what are we good at and
what are they better at? And let’s both work together and
say, okay, let me do one year, maybe one semester,
hand them off to you. There’s no sense in the
environment that we’re at with very limited resources for us
trying to duplicate that kind of technology. Dr. Dick Shaink:
One of the other challenges
we’re facing at a time that we’re all, we all have increased
enrollment and at the same time we’re having a
decrease in revenue, we’re being confronted with
individuals coming to our college who really don’t
have the basic skills. The need for development
education is just increasing. In the past three or four years,
it’s gone up like three times. We’re finding that those who
need just one developmental course is going down, but those
who need three are going up. And it’s individuals
of all ages. And we used to think, well it’s
not really the K-12 system, but it is. And one of the
things that we find, perhaps maybe the federal
governments could help, I think you’ve probably
heard this before, but the funding streams between
adult basic education and career vocational education really
are not bridged well. And so what that means to us is
we can take somebody in and put them, and they need some adult
basic education or maybe GED, we’ve got to begin to think
out of the box and do some workaround so we can find out
which funding stream could support that and then figure
out how we can get them into an occupational career
technical programs. And if we don’t do it right,
if we don’t really do all these workarounds and make sure
that we keep that student, that student could go away,
and we will lose that person, and we won’t be able to be
there when they need us, not only for
short-term training, but for that career ladder so
that we can get them to the level that the President
wants us to do, is get them certificates or
degrees of value and then encourage them to go on
to baccalaureate degrees. So I think that’s the thing
that’s the biggest challenge that we’re faced with
right now in our community. In addition to that, the
literacy problem within the community itself, big problem. Attendee:
Got one other short
exhibit I’d like to give. In these tough economic times,
we’ve got to be entrepreneurial and look for
alternative revenues. At the same time, Bob, I
agree with you in terms of hands-on real work. So we’ve carried enterprises
throughout our workforce programs, our knowledge
(inaudible) program has a 1,200 case production
winery on campus, and we sell some of the
best wine made in the world right now. (laughter) We have an automotive
dealership on our campus, and we repair hybrid vehicles,
we remanufacture them for state agencies. I think we’re up to
about 60 this year. We have $1 million worth of
projects fall quarter in line throughout the college in the
diesel area, in the irrigation, water areas, and so on. So it’s a way of bringing real
work experience into the campus, generating some money to
upgrade your equipment, and really raises the confidence
and respect of the business community to see that
you’re practicing what you’re preaching. Attendee:
Let me — Dr. Mary Graham:
I do want to share with
you the Mississippi model; it’s a little different
than what I’m hearing here. The career and technical
responsibility falls under the responsibility of the
community college. We’re all one in the same. And so you choose the degree
level that you choose on the career side, the technical
side, or the academic side, and all can be articulated
to the next level, depending on your
completion of those degrees. Our challenge is, and
we’ve made great progress, is that we’ve become the
preemployment training unit for all business and industry. That they don’t hire anybody
unless they come through our training programs. And we’ve made wonderful
progress with many of the industries on the coast,
certainly in the nursing area, in the fuel area with Chevron. They come through our programs
before they ever apply at those industries. So we become their training arm. And so that validates what we do
and ensures a competent employee who has the skill sets
they need to be successful. Jane Oates:
And another great partnership
was the Wind system, the Wind Centers. Dr. Mary Graham:
Absolutely, the Wind Center. Jane Oates:
— Tennessee, just like
Cincinnati, just like Kentucky. You know, you guys have — it’s
almost seamless when you go to one of your sites to know who
works for the college and who works for the public
workforce system. You really have gotten it down. And you put it to the test
in not only the oil spill but Katrina before that. Dr. David Gipp:
I’m going to speak a little bit
outside of the state systems because, as you know,
with some exceptions, almost all of our 37 travel
colleges and universities are not part of the state systems. We’re different
kinds of animals. The states consider us private,
and the federal government considers us tribal. And anyhow, we’re kind of an
odd piece in the whole makeup. Yet, we work very closely
with the state systems, I have to say, for the most
part, with some exceptions. But, really, for us the three
main agencies that we deal with are, obviously, Department of
Education, Department of Labor, and the Department of Interior’s
Bureau of Indian Affairs. And I think it’s very important
for those three agencies, among others, there are others,
but those three for sure as lead agencies to develop a stronger
interaction and perhaps even an MOU that relates to Indian
country and relates to the issues of training
and education. Because those are our
three major sources, both for things like everything
from scholarships to loans to institutional kinds of
investment in things like travel colleges or even travel
government institutes that are training in nature. And so it’s very important to
look at that and how we deal with that population. We are doing work from our end
among the travel colleges on how we will continue to educate the
68,000 or more students that are growing in our systems and begin
to address certificate two-year, four-year and ultimately
graduate level kinds of programs. That’s what we’re
doing at United Tribes. And so that interfacing I
think is going to be very, very important. I just left a conference with
the National Science Foundation, and they too are very, very
critical to the science/math areas as we build
an infrastructure. And so looking at how we develop
that infrastructure is going to be very, very critical. Certainly the immediate
needs — I mean, in our case we’re responding to
what we call the oil patch in North Dakota in terms of how we
will develop and train people for that area. We’re also looking at water and
doing some things with respect to energy and that
sort of thing. The allied health fields are
another key and critical area. But I think that it’s very
important to get a picture of, kind of an overall picture of
how that’s going to work and how we can move that
population up and forward. Because 51% of our population
is now under the age of 25. And when you start looking at
some of the different Indian reservations —
Umatilla, for example — it’s probably 51% or better that
are now under the age of 18. So the challenge for us is
to provide that good quality technical training as an outset
for them and then begin to look at how they grow up
through the system of post-secondary development. Brenda Dann-Messier:
Thank you. Attendee:
Let me piggyback on what
Dick was saying about GED. We serve 600 to 700
folks in our district. Budget is tight, but for every
of the graduates from the GED program, we offer them a
free three credit course. For us it’s very important not
just for them to finish GED but to entice them to try. Because some of them, they don’t
think that they can make it, and especially some of them
with lots of remedial and developmental add requirements. But they have worked with us,
they trust us, and we say, come and do more. For us we see the upside,
tremendous upside. Number one, sometimes it means
the breaking of the cycle of poverty, but most importantly,
we are contributing to sustaining communities. When we talk about jobs, we’re
talking about having people qualify for them, moving people
beyond GED and giving them a reason to stay. That three credit class is just
giving them a reason to stay, and it’s amazing what that does. So even though budget is tight,
we don’t see it as a cost. We see it as investing in human
capital and our communities. Dr. Perry Ward:
And I think that that’s
the beauty for me of community colleges. I mean, a comprehensive nature,
you do the college transfer, you do the career technical,
you do the vocational, we do adult ed,
GED, and we serve — in Birmingham we’re
in an urban area. It’s probably a 65%
African American, growing Hispanic population. So we do have our issues with
literacy and poverty, obviously. And so working with the GED
students and those who would be in that area, moving them to get
their equivalency and then into the community colleges is
just an absolute essential. I mean, it’s just significant. If America is going to move,
if Alabama is going to move, we’ve got to deal with the
literacy issues in this country. Jane Oates:
I can’t lose this opportunity,
because, you know, in ten days we begin a new
fiscal year, and I need — many of you I know as grantees,
many of you have welcomed me on your campuses, and those
that haven’t, shame on you. (laughter) No, no. But I really, really would like
you to roll your sleeves up and tell me honestly what’s worked
as we’ve tried to push money out the door, and in the next fiscal
year what things didn’t we hit last year that we should really
concentrate on as we get new whatever — they are all going
to be smaller sources of funds than you need. I know that. So how do we put money out in
a way that we’re getting at solutions to your problems
rather than making you write a proposal just so you get funded
rather than doing what you need? So I’d love — I’m
going to start writing, so please tell me how
we can improve it. Because our SGAs and our
solicitations should be meeting your needs, not meeting
some amorphous need. Attendee:
One thing was think (inaudible)
I think was part of the stimulus package (inaudible) and that was
taking recipients and funding retraining, getting them into,
and it kind of takes longer. As you were just saying, you’ve
got to give them an experience where they are successful. A lot of those people that were
laid off were in their 40s and 50s. They weren’t sharp high school
students, and they are thinking, this is never going to work. And they were finding specific
training packages to get them into industries where
there were need, but it built that confidence. And that doesn’t take huge
amounts of money sometimes. But targeted people who are
long-term unemployed people and then steering them, not letting
them just take anything, they have to be taking something
where there is a job outcome, where there’s a need. Jane Oates:
You saw that in the
President’s package, that everything is going to be
if whatever Congress chooses to pass, and it will be targeted
to people who are long-term unemployed, 26 weeks or longer. Attendee:
It’s critical. Dr. Jack Friedlander:
I think it’s important that
given the targeted audience that you might think a little longer
term than short-term training. Attendee:
Absolutely. Dr. Jack Friedlander:
Because we’re dealing with
changes in life habits, in learning. They need more time. And you can keep on supporting
them if they stay on track, but six months is not
going to do the trick. Those jobs will go away. And given the life changing
skills that we have to provide, so a longer stream of thinking. Jane Oates:
So tell me, or think about
it and get back to me later, what you mean by that, because
all of our grants since 2009 have said have to lead to an
industry recognized credential or a pathway toward a degree. So, tell me, is that not
getting at the longer term, or are your local areas still
only sending you people for six-month courses? Dr. Dick Shaink:
A lot of the funds,
whether it be WEA, whether adult based education,
TANF, TAA, whatever, they need to be aligned so that
we can take the person from where they’re at and take them
to where we all want them to go, and that’s completion. But right now it is — you have
to be creative and try to work in this particular
grant or funding source, and then maybe you
can fit them over here, or maybe we can fit them in some
of the state funding sources, but we’re having to
really be creative. We would like to have aligned
and bridge all of those funding sources so that we can take the
person from beginning to the end and over a period
of time, as well. Jane Oates:
I’m not quite sure how
to, you know, that’s — the problem is we all agree
on the term alignment, and we think that there is
flexibility in all of our laws for the local areas to do that. So how — I mean, because
you just said WEA formula, grant funds, and TAA. In my mind, a local area could
align all three of those. I won’t speak for
Brenda’s funding streams, but we’re always
working to do that. So it would be really helpful
when you get home if you could just shoot me some
specific examples, because it may be that I need to
expand the horizon of your local workforce forward to say that
TAA is 18 months, fully funded, from shoes to helmets and
everything in between. Attendee:
Which is wonderful. Attendee:
Which is great. Attendee:
Very helpful. Attendee:
If I may — Jane Oates:
Please God, the Senate’s
voting on it as we speak. I’m a little sweaty here. (laughter) Attendee:
Target audience. Jane Oates:
Yeah. A big audience for you,
and unfortunately in Flint, you know. Attendee:
If I may, I think that one of
the challenges that we face at times is that we have to go
through different spheres in order to be able to connect,
in order to get funding. At times we have to go through
certain boards and certain local groupings that are filtering
in terms of the direct link and opportunity to the funding,
and that at times does become a challenge. I think if there will be a mode
in which you could facilitate the process so that there will
be a more direct pipeline to the federal government instead of
going through the different levels that we have,
it’s something that — Jane Oates:
Ask me an easy question. (laughter) Dr. Charlene Dukes:
— experts in how to sort of
manipulate all of these funds so that it helps an individual, and
what we really want to do is do what we’re good at, which
is providing the training, and knowing that someone is
there making sure that they hit that person at every point and
can certainly serve them with the resources that
are out there. Dr. Perry Ward:
This may be difficult to do, but
I know filtering sometimes means a lot of other things, and it
does not always land where we want it to land, and if it’s
got certain RFPs involved, it’s difficult to
write for that. But if it were possible, as I
understand the stimulus funds, we were able to — we had
more latitude to do some things with that. If somehow we could create
some dollars that would be like stimulus that we
would do training. Attendee:
The same mechanism. Dr. Perry Ward:
The same mechanism where it
would come to the institutions and we can make it work and you
could develop the parameters by which we can make some things
happen to get people in, to train so many based
on that amount of money, it wouldn’t have to
go anywhere else, but it could be training in our
own local communities that we could work around. Jane Oates:
But we’re never going to have
enough money to give 1,100 community colleges
even a dollar. You know what I mean? Dr. Carol Puryear:
And 27 technology centers. Jane Oates:
Right, and 27
technology centers. Dr. Perry Ward:
Make it competitive. Make it — we can’t do
everybody or everything, but I’d rather see some parts of
the country thrive and survive and work than everybody
to have to struggle. Attendee:
I think it’s well known that
when students come to us, whether it is for vocational
training or for technical training, what we have,
it’s not a pyramid. What we have is a cone. They start here, and then
we open their avenues of opportunities. And in that particular regard,
the same thing needs to be applied in terms of our
institutions so that we’d be able to do even a better job
in that particular regard. Somehow everything is being
filtered and channeled through very specific lines that at
times are quite challenging to access. Jane Oates:
Could I — I know Brenda
is trying to close out, but could I — I’m sorry. (cross-talk) So, can I just ask that this be
the beginning of a conversation, and would you funnel
some examples? Because you need to
understand, you know, I’m going to do a little video
like how a bill becomes a law from Schoolhouse Rock, but when
Congress gives us the money and appropriations, they don’t
just give us the check. They give it to us in silos
and sadly we then have to silo it out. So we get green training money
or we get sector training money, or whatever. But there’s no reason that
we can’t make it as flexible as possible. But the more specific, as you’re
on your planes or in your car, if you could just send some very
specific information so that we can kind of filter that in to
Frank and Brenda and I, because, you know — and may I just say
clearly next week will be the announcement for the
first round of TAACC, but hopefully we’ll have
another billion and a half, Congress willing; please use
that money as bait on a hook to get some of those people who
make you jump through hoops, go to them with
the money and say, how do you want to write it? Because it may be the only time
in my lifetime that you have a $1.5 billion as a sector, thanks
to the President and to the last Congress. You know, so use that as
a conversation starter, because you don’t
have to ask for it. You’re basically saying,
we have the pen on this, what can we do for you? And then maybe it will buy you
some goodwill when you have to go to them. Attendee:
And also if I just — Attendee:
— than this administration
and this President. And thank you very, very much. Attendee:
Absolutely. Jane Oates:
The President, he gets it. It really is terrific. (cross-talk) Brenda Dann-Messier:
This is just the beginning
of a conversation. I’m going to give you
all my card, as well. We want to constantly be in
dialogue with you how it is that we can continue to support all
the wonderful work you’re doing. Thank you for all the
work you’re doing. (applause)