Home / Author Archive for: "Caroline VanIngen-Dunn"

Making a Difference: Community Colleges Are Key Drivers of Rural Development

Community colleges are often the lifeblood of rural communities. They help drive economic opportunity and engagement, providing access to higher education and creating hubs of information, cultural development and personal training. It is hard to underestimate their importance in rural America, which covers some 72 percent of the nation’s geography but.....
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When Community Colleges and Universities Collaborate, Everyone Wins

Earning an engineering degree is hard work, however smart, talented and motivated a student may be. Among all engineering students, only 41 percent graduate. The numbers are lower for women and minority students. Yet improving these numbers is neither insurmountable nor magical. It takes clear planning and a methodical approach, particularly when students start their education in community college and must transfer to a four-year institution.
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Getting the Credit You Earned: The Importance of Stackable Credentials

It’s appealing to imagine a linear climb up the career ladder, but the reality is often more circuitous—or messy. The building blocks of a technical career increasingly may include a mix of degrees, certificates, industry certifications and other credentials. That lively collection of experience and training can be confusing for potential employers, causing them to miss or misunderstand actual competencies when they are assessing candidates for available positions.
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Extracting Technical Education’s Hidden Gems—a Key to Career Success

Learning the basics of welding metal may be the way to land that first job, but what happens when an employer introduces robotics or other automated systems? What happens when a promotion and a raise depend on knowledge in trigonometry because your boss is running pipe at odd angles? Welding is like many technical professions these days that are increasingly dependent on more advanced skills and knowledge, both to land existing jobs and possess the adaptable learning skills necessary to evolve as these fields change. Today a sustainable technical career can depend on robotics, lasers, computer programming and systems integration.
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Why Business Leaders Must Get Involved to Close the Gaps

Far too often college students worry that, after earning a degree, they will fail to find a related job. Far too often business executives (and particularly employers involved in tech fields) worry about finding a fresh crop of qualified graduates to deal with shortages of skilled workers. Clearly, there is a disconnect between education and employment.
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Why Improving Hispanic Education Rates is Important to Us All

The challenge could not be more vivid: Only 11 percent of Hispanics in Arizona graduate from a four-year college or university and less than two-thirds possess a high school diploma. With a dramatically expanding population in Arizona and nationwide, this is a red flag for the economic and social prosperity of the Hispanic community, as well as the fortunes of an economy facing serious shortages of educated workers. Failure to progress portends higher Hispanic unemployment rates, lower income and buying power, and a missed opportunity to benefit from the talent and potential of this increasingly significant segment of our society.
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Why Community Colleges Can—and Should—Disrupt Higher Education

Community college leaders and advocates have a unique opportunity, indeed responsibility, to address the various ways that community colleges can both disrupt and enhance higher education. This can be a turning point, a moment in which community colleges finally get their due as a smart response to many of the challenges that students and parents are facing. Consider: A recent Time magazine column touted a “perfect storm” coming to higher education, comprised of “too-high tuition and unhappy parents.”
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