Institute Report Out: Postsecondary and Industry Offer Perspective on Developing a Program of Study

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On July 15th, the National Career Clusters Institute presented a panel of postsecondary and industry representatives as part of the Green-Focused Program of Study Series. In order to develop an effective program of study, secondary, postsecondary and industry have to collaborate. These panelists are from exemplary teams who are working on the development of a program of study through the Green-Focused Program of Study Technical Assistance Academy grant. During this session, they responded to attendees questions and offered their insights.

Todd Sanders:  Instructor – Mechanical Engineering, Portland Community College, Ohio

John Steiner: Curriculum Specialist: Allied Health and Sciences, Salem Community College, New Jersey

Jerrold Hutton: Dean, Hocking College Energy Institute, Ohio

Krisann Rehbein: Manager of Community Partnerships, Chicago Architecture Foundation, Illinois

Q&A with Postsecondary:

How do we get components from postsecondary programs into secondary programs?

  • Use curriculum revision as an opportunity for collaboration. Get the faculty together and lay the curriculum out on the table in order to start to see potential crossover. Meet consistently to establish a working relationship.

Do you have any tips about working on dual credit?

  • Don’t forget about general education components, they are just as beneficial and are often easier to build into dual credit because they tend to be very similar at secondary and postsecondary levels.

Classes often close out quickly at community colleges. How can we get more high school students into community college classes?

  • Offer flexible scheduling and more classes at different hours.
  • Also look for online learning opportunities.

Q&A with Industry:

How do we engage industry more with internships and apprenticeships?

  • Have a student do the outreach. Give employers an opportunity to connect with a student from the very beginning.

Industry moves so fast, how can education keep up?

  • Software and technology will change all the time. The Internet offers a platform for continued learning online via tutorials, etc. But what about the basic, essential skills? In architecture and construction, for example, how do you learn context, like where to place a building? What are the green/environmental components? Connection to industry is not necessarily through cutting-edge specific skills, but rather a solid understanding of what you are doing and why. With this base, you can develop additional skills over time.

Have industry advisory committees or national organizations played a critical role?

  • Most guidance comes directly from industry in order to keep students up with what [architecture] firms are doing locally because they move at their own pace.

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