January 2022
Posted by Margaret Anderson
The Community College of Allegheny County’s Respiratory Therapy Associate of Science Degree program continues to help meet the growing need for skilled therapists in the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, region and beyond. The demand for therapists is at an “all-time high” and the program is ideal for individuals who are seeking a rewarding career that offers 100 percent job placement, according to CCAC Professor and Program Director Richard Laurent. Local hospitals are expanding respiratory therapy services, and the first group of therapists in the relatively young field is nearing retirement age. Th...
December 2021
Posted by Annette Flores
Rio Salado College (RSC) and InScribe have partnered to launch a pilot series of innovative digital communities that will allow RSC’s students to easily connect with their peers, advisors, and faculty to promote engagement and improve outcomes. These interactive spaces were designed in partnership with the college’s student leaders, incorporating their experience and feedback to ensure that each community is engaging, impactful, and relevant. The decision to adopt a digital community strategy aligns with RSC's commitment to flexible, on-demand student support and creating an inclusive culture...
November 2021
Posted by Margaret Anderson
This summer, dozens of middle school students in Pittsburgh, including those from underserved communities, discovered that science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) is fun, that it’s ok to be smart, and that education can offer a path to a brighter future. Through a partnership with Verizon and the National Association for Community College Entrepreneurship, the Community College of Allegheny County (CCAC) hosted the Verizon Innovation Learning STEM enrichment program. The initiative is part of Citizen Verizon, the company’s responsible business plan for economic, environmental, and so...
October 2021
Posted by Chris Gray
Johnson County Community College (JCCC) has partnered with Butler Community College (BCC) to offer expanded training in culinary arts. This opportunity allows JCCC to extend the benefits of its Chef Apprenticeship program to more Kansas students. In turn, the collaboration strengthens state and local workforce opportunities. Through this agreement, BCC is offering two additional certificates to students in South Central Kansas. The new certificate options use existing BCC culinary courses with the addition of practicum courses from JCCC. Along with invaluable industry training, students in bot...
September 2021
Posted by Dawn Zimmer
At Mesa Community College’s Thunderbird Tech Studio, students can receive one-on-one guidance and tutoring for using and mastering technology that supports their academic learning. The Tech Studio team provides support for common college-supported technology tools such as Windows and Mac operating systems, Microsoft Office, Google Drive Suite, Canvas, and other systems. The beauty of the Thunderbird Tech Studio design is that it will morph into an in-person service once the pandemic subsides, thus allowing students to choose when, where, and how they receive technology tutoring and assistance....
August 2021
Posted by Angela Garcia Falconetti and Madison Fantozzi
The Hispanic Association of Colleges & Universities (HACU) recently designated Polk State College as a Hispanic-Serving Institution (HSI), as the college’s Hispanic student population has reached 26 percent and continues to grow. Additionally, Polk State is now eligible for Title V and HSI STEM federal grant funds that support institutions that enroll large proportions of minority and financially disadvantaged students. The college will apply for these funds through the U.S Department of Education to further support students. Equity and a presence in underserved communities with targeted o...
July 2021
Posted by Annette Flores
To help higher education meet the demands of a diverse generation of students, an ever-changing workforce, and multiple crises affecting the U.S., Rio Salado College is partnering with the Presidents Forum on a new call to action—the Learners First Framework. The framework names ten guiding principles for reform focusing on equity, access, and workforce alignment strategies to help the country as it grapples with equitable access and outcomes, COVID-19, and related economic hardships. “The events of this past year have brought a heightened sense of urgency to our mission to serve nontraditiona...
June 2021
Posted by Jennifer Campbell, Kristopher Copeland, and Cindy Shanks
Like other higher education institutions across the U.S. and beyond, Tulsa Community College (TCC) shifted to an online-only modality in March 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Approximately 48 percent of TCC’s faculty did not have previous online teaching training or certification. Not surprisingly, this quick pivot to remote teaching and learning created an immediate need for faculty training. Prior to 2020, the national trend showed flat enrollment or small increases in online courses (Garrett, Legon, & Fredericksen, 2020). With a push to get students on campus, TCC went against the tr...
May 2021
Posted by Juli Gatling Book and Leah Parsons Simpson
The Kentucky Community and Technical College System (KCTCS) Office of Online Learning developed a Boot Camp for hybrid course design meant to help faculty with little to no experience in an online setting to rapidly design hybrid courses. KCTCS Online shared an open access version of this training for use at other institutions for the first time at the department’s “Free PD: Come for the Free, Stay for the Why” session at the 2021 Innovations Conference. The COVID-19 pandemic pushed many faculty members into a new teaching reality. Designed to help faculty quickly acclimate to online and hybri...
April 2021
Posted by Kristi Stanley
A unique partnership between Johnson County Community College’s (JCCC) Continuing Education Transportation program and Johnson County Adult Education’s (JCAE) Literacy program puts newly trained truck drivers on the road to success. The initiative helps non-native English speakers in Johnson County obtain workforce skills in truck driving. Chris Specht, former Program Coordinator of Accelerating Opportunity: Kansas at JCCC, began laying the groundwork in 2017. Thanks to the combined effort of many at the college, the program officially launched in summer 2020. “The collaboration between the CD...
February 2021
Posted by Jessica Lauritsen
If you ask faculty at Hennepin Technical College (HTC) to describe their students, most will use the word “resilient.” Many HTC students must overcome tremendous obstacles in their lives to pursue their education goals. The majority of the HTC student population is economically fragile, including students of color and low-income, first-generation, and adult students. In an effort to increase student persistence, the college launched a new research project to take a closer look at the challenges facing students. The project—Stop Drop Enroll!—was conducted in partnership with nearby North Hennep...
January 2021
Posted by Annette Flores
Rio Salado College is one of 67 postsecondary institutions to be included in an expansion of the U.S. Department of Education’s Second Chance Pell Experimental Sites Initiative. One-hundred and thirty colleges in 42 states and the District of Columbia will now be involved in this initiative, which provides need-based Pell grants for people incarcerated in state and federal prisons to pursue higher learning. The majority of incarcerated individuals are Pell-eligible, but they have been banned from applying for assistance since 1994 as a result of the 1994 Violent Crime Control and Law Enforceme...
December 2020
Posted by Malcolm Hornsby
Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, many of the bars, cafés, and eateries we so casually take for granted have been forced to close or drastically alter the way they conduct business. Stories of restaurant employees being furloughed, or worse, laid off completely, have been too numerous to count. And then there is the bleak reality of what the future may hold for the restaurant and hospitality industry’s new normal. According to a recent study by the Independent Restaurant Coalition (Amel et al., 2020), 85 percent of independent restaurants could permanently close by the end of this year. Imagine, one...
November 2020
Posted by Annette Flores
The College Innovation Network (CIN) announced on August 4, 2020, the names of higher education organizations which will serve as founding partners in its pilot year, including Rio Salado College. CIN was launched in the spring by WGU Labs, Inc., with support from the Charles Koch Foundation, and is designed to connect leaders from colleges and universities with educational technology (EdTech) innovators to advance students’ academic, career, and life outcomes. “This CIN pilot will provide resources for us to continue and expand upon our long-standing heritage of developing innovative solution...
October 2020
Posted by Margaret Anderson
The Community College of Allegheny County (CCAC) Honors Council is offering a new pilot program called Give Honors A Try! The program permits non-honors students who meet certain criteria to take honors courses and engage in honors-related activities. Each year, CCAC’s Honors Program provides a myriad of opportunities for scholastically minded students to develop leadership skills and to participate in a variety of conferences and community service projects that foster academic and personal enrichment. These include opportunities to hear from guest speakers, field trips, real-world application...
September 2020
Posted by Robert Lane
Founded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) in 2013, the Center for Laser and Fiber Optics Education (LASER-TEC) faced a new challenge as the spread of COVID-19 impacted LASER-TEC institutions. Headquartered at Indian River State College (IRSC) in Fort Pierce, Florida, LASER-TEC is comprised of colleges, universities, high schools and technical centers, trade associations, and laser and fiber optics companies throughout the United States. The center’s mission is to develop and sustain a strong technical workforce in lasers and fiber optics nationwide. Remaining committed to that goal, LAS...
August 2020
Posted by Stephanie Morris
Somewhere in the United States today, six-year-old Shelby musters enough courage to report physical abuse to a school counselor. The counselor, who has good intentions but is not well trained in best practices for responding to child maltreatment, calls Shelby’s parents to talk about the allegations. The parents promptly deny the child’s assertions and explain away Shelby’s bruises as a fall down the stairs. No investigation is initiated and Shelby, disheartened after working up the nerve to ask for help, will never tell anyone else about this incident or those still to come. If an investigati...
July 2020
Posted by Marjorie Rawhouser and Pam Nussbaumer
Research suggests that student success, or first-year experience, classes are beneficial to new college students. A 2013 study by the Community College Research Center showed initial gains in credits earned and first-year retention (Karp and Stacey, 2013), although the same report found mixed results for long-term gains. Klinkenberg (2013) found higher rates of academic progress and persistence for students who completed a first-year experience course compared with those who did not enroll or did not successfully complete the course. A study at a Tennessee community college found higher fall-t...
June 2020
Posted by Margaret Anderson
Community College of Allegheny County (CCAC) was quick to modify college operations in response to the COVID­­–19 pandemic to ensure both academic continuity and the safety of students, faculty, and staff. With the closure of all facilities, hundreds of credit courses were converted from face-to-face to online or alternative delivery formats—an enormous undertaking and a collaborative effort by individuals across the college that was accomplished in a relatively short period of time. Since March 25, every student has been attending classes remotely through a computer or device. Justin Starr, A...


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