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Courses to Employment: Sector Approaches to Community College/Nonprofit Partnerships Examples from the Health Care Field. AACC WDI January 2010 St. Petersburg, FL. Introductions. Allison Gerber, Research Associate, The Aspen Institute 3 Case Studies:

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Courses to Employment: Sector Approaches to Community College/Nonprofit PartnershipsExamples from the Health Care Field


January 2010

St. Petersburg, FL

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Allison Gerber, Research Associate, The Aspen Institute

3 Case Studies:

Carreras en Salud (Careers in Health): Instituto del Progreso Latino & Wilbur Wright College, Chicago IL

Partnership in Health Sciences, Capital IDEA & Austin Community College, Austin TX

Training Futures: Northern Virginia Family Service & Northern Virginia Community College, Fairfax VA

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Session Objectives

  • Learn about the three partnerships’ collaborative work to help low-income individuals prepare for, gain entry to, and complete college credits in health care – related occupations.

  • Learn about AspenWSI’s demonstration project, Courses to Employment, which is supporting, researching and documenting collaborative sector strategies between community colleges and nonprofits.

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What’s a Sector Strategy?

A systems approach to workforce development typically on behalf of low-income individuals – that:

  • Targets a specific industry or cluster of occupations;

  • Intervenes through a credible organization, or set of organizations;

  • Supports workers in improving their range of employment-related skills;and

  • Creates lasting changes in the labor market system that are positive for workers and employers.

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Capacities Needed

  • Strong focus on a defined industry sector and/or set of related occupations to identify employment opportunity and develop appropriate education services

  • High quality education & training that both meets industry-identified skill needs and is appropriate and accessible to underserved adults

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Capacities Needed (cont.)

  • Support services (academic & non-academic) that meet special needs of underserved adults to learn successfully and progress to jobs that pay self-sufficiency wages

  • Shared vision about the need to develop new ways of operating & ability to communicate this effectively to support innovation and institutional changes, as needed

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Courses to Employment

  • Based on premise that, with rare exception, neither colleges nor non-profits have the resources needed to serve low-income, minority, and under represented adult learners effectively—especially over the long-term.

  • Inspired by the outcomes and possibilities we’ve seen in collaborative work

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Community College – Non-profit Partnerships







College Innovation & Scale

Community & Sector Organizations

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Courses to Employment

  • Learning demonstration involving six community college-non-profit program collaborations

  • Participants were selected competitively—from 89 applications

  • Substantial learning & research agenda, conducted 2008-2010

  • Funded by the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation

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What Questions is CTE Exploring?

  • What specific services are provided? By which institution? Why? Which ones seem most important?

  • Outcomesfor participants? Compared to?

  • Engagement and role of business in the initiative?

  • Factors of successful collaboration? Policies, funding, governing and capacity issues?

  • What does collaborative service delivery cost? How is it financed?

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CTE Partnerships

  • Fairfax, VA: Northern Virginia Family Service and Northern Virginia Community College

  • Austin: Capital IDEA & Austin Community College

  • Seattle: Workforce Development Council of Seattle-King County & Shoreline Community College

  • Chicago: Instituto del Progreso Latino & Wright College’s Humboldt Park Vocational Education Center

  • Flint, MI: Mott Community College & Flint STRIVE

  • Los Angeles: Community Career Development, Inc., Los Angeles Valley College, East Los Angeles College & Los Angeles City College

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Instituto del Progreso Latino & Wilbur Wright College

  • Objective: Move low-income Latinos into career path opportunities in nursing and help them advance; develop bi-lingual health care practitioners to serve community.

  • Students Served: Low-income Latinos, mostly women; comprised of both new immigrants and longer-term residents; wide age range.

  • IDPL’s Role: Delivers pre-college contextualized curriculum targeted towards several entry points along the health care career ladder (e.g., Pre-CNA and Pre-LPN); pays for tuition, fees, and books; provides career counseling and case management; offers assistance accessing support services.

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Instituto del Progreso Latino & Wilbur Wright College, cont.

  • Wright College’s Role: Provides dedicated CNA, LPN, & RN slots to Carreras en Salud students meeting entrance requirements; provides flexible scheduling with night and weekend options; delivers specialized tutoring & academic supports.

  • Partnership Areas & Innovations: Career pathway model provides students with a number of on-ramps and off-ramps for varying skill levels and employment needs; partners work as a team to develop employer relationships and garner employer input; joint fundraising for Carreras program; partnership team meets regularly to discuss student success, coordinate academic and non-academic supports.

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Capital IDEA & Austin Community College

  • Objective: To prepare students to enter college and earn a degree in the health care field.

  • Students Served 80% minority; 80% women; average age 30; average 7th grade reading & math at entry; 30% ESL; 66% parents (26% single parents).

  • Capital IDEA’s Role: pays for tuition, books, fees and childcare; provides case management and career counseling; pre-employment skills development; referrals to additional supportive services; emergency financial assistance.

  • ACC’s Role: Delivers all education and training, including ESL, GED, College Prep Academy, & Tutorials

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Capital IDEA & Austin Community College, cont.

  • Partnership Areas & Innovations: Weekend cohorts; , selection of instructors; customized training via College Prep Academy; RN tutor for bilingual students; scholarships/financial aid; progress reports & electronic transfer of grades; joint counseling.

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Northern Virginia Family Services & Northern Virginia Community College

  • Objective: Prepare students for office/ administrative positions in health care field; guide students through half of coursework in Business Administration certificate.

  • Students Served: Low-income adults (avg. $10.55/hr at entry); 57% employed at entry (12% full-time); 2/3 foreign-born/bilingual; 75% women; 30% single parents; median age in 30s (range from 20-50+).

  • NVFS’s Role: Provide 25 weeks of training (500+ hours) in keyboarding, computers, customer service, filing, & professional development; provide career counseling, case management, coordinate referrals to supportive services; coordinate 3-week internships.

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Northern Virginia, cont. Community College

  • NOVA’s Role: Validate curriculum; certify instructors as college faculty; provide students with 17 college credits; leverage federal financial aid to support non-profit.

  • Partnership Innovations: “Imaginal” educational philosophy; approach replicated with two other non-profit partners.

  • Outcomes: Approximately200 enrolled 2007-2009; 93% completed program; on average 80% employed full-time w/in 6 months; hourly wage gain at first job (average 25% increase for those employed prior to program).

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To Learn More Community College

The Aspen Institute

One Dupont Circle, NW, Suite 700

Washington, D.C. 20036

(202) 736-1071