Aligning Jobs and Training

According to Obama’s Council of Economic Advisors, jobs requiring an associate’s degree or skills certificate are slated to grow slightly faster than those requiring a 4 year degree. Billions of dollars are proposed to buttress these programs through the nation’s community colleges. Washington state’s model is of Integrated Basic Education and Skills Training is one of the best examples of curricula which match employer’s demands. According to Christina Romer, Chair of the Council of Economic Advisors, “We need to design our curricula with skills employers really need and want.”

America’s community colleges can do more to help students capitalize on the high growth jobs of the future, but they can’t do this in their own silos. Effective outreach to surrounding high schools, “middle college” programs which enroll juniors and seniors in high school in community college classes, and a strategic mission for success K-college is needed by teacher, professors, administrators, business and community leaders. The job market for 2008 looks very similar to the market forecast in 2016: flat in government, retail and finance and booming in health care, education and “green jobs”.

Now that the community colleges look like they will be fully funded for this mission, what can the high schools do to get more students prepared to hit the ground running with college level skills before they enroll in a trade school, a community college or a four-year institution? How can we raise the bar early and often to reverse the tidal wave of developmental learning and replace it with driven, purposeful and committed students who embrace challenge and their ability to contribute in school, at work, at home, in the community and in the world as a whole?


Inside Higher Ed

Jobs requiring only an associate degree or skills certificate are projected to grow slightly faster than those requiring at least a bachelor’s degree in the coming decade, according to a new report from President Obama’s Council of Economic Advisors.

The report comes on the eve of a massive federal plan President Obama is about to unveil to help America’s community colleges. An early draft included billions for job training, low-interest loans for building projects and other funding streams to create free online courses. 

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