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2015 Exemplary Program Awards
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Lane Community College, OR
Early Childhood Education VESL Career
Pathway Certificate Program

Lane Community College’s Early Childhood Education (ECE) Vocational English as a Second Language (VESL) Career Pathway Certificate Program is a project that combined the nationally recognized best practice of Career Pathways, with contextualized support for English language learners to recruit a more diverse workforce and improve student outcomes for low skilled adults. The result? A highly engaged cohort with higher classroom success rates than their counterparts taking “traditional” coursework. This cohort now has three courses needed for their six-course career pathway certificate in ECE, and for those with experience as care providers, the potential for the full certificate through the use of Credit for Prior Learning.

Before the project, Lane’s ECE program only offered a two-year degree and a one-year certificate of completion. Now, the program has three Career Pathways Certificates, all of which are aligned to the Oregon Professional Registry of Child Care providers, with each step on the registry reaching higher level of employment. Furthermore, the three certificates are embedded in the ECE associate degree so if a student wants to return to earn their degree, they are well on their way. Another issue addressed by the project was the lack of English-Language-Learner support or recruitment in ECE. The ECE VESL Project addresses these issues with targeted outreach and recruitment to ESL populations, and co-enrollment of ESL coursework, and credit coursework in ECE that leads to a career pathway certificate. Lane’s ECE VESL project used several approaches to ensure that students achieve.
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Thomas Nelson College, VA
Hampton Roads Marine Skilled Trades Training Program

A shared vision, shared resources, commitment and generous replication are the cornerstones for this model of a dynamic regional business-industry-government collaboration that leveraged resources and resulted in permanent jobs starting at $32,000 with full benefits after two to three weeks of training for 363 previously unskilled workers in Southeastern Virginia.

A partnership was formed as a result of a comprehensive study of the need for a workforce in the skilled trades, The Skills to Succeed Inventory, conducted by the Peninsula Council for Workforce Development and Thomas Nelson Community College. The study revealed a need for 5,900 workers in four manufacturing occupations 2012 to 2016. One employer needed a majority of these workers. Although based in one college’s service region, the Virginia Peninsula, the employer and the college quickly recognized that a pool of workers was needed from the entire Hampton Roads region to meet the needs for entry level marine skilled tradesmen.

In 2012, under the leadership of Thomas Nelson, the Marine Skills Trades Training Collaborative was formed with the employer, five community colleges, the state system office, and a federal Advanced Technology Center. Over the following three years, the Collaborative developed and delivered four courses to fill demand for Marine Electricians, Marine Painters, Outside Machinists, and Marine Welders training 388 individuals in accelerated program that replicated the equipment, tools, culture, and 7:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., 40-hour week work schedule.

The program placed 363 previously unskilled workers in permanent positions after 80 to 120 hours of intensive training and demonstrated that it could deliver highly skilled workers and cut the turnover rate of new hires by 70%. The 9-member Collaborative partners of business, college, and state workforce professionals have documented challenges and best practices and presented together at state and national conferences to facilitate replication. When the company hiring needs were met, the curriculum, program and materials were provided to the Virginia Ship Repair Association to extend the opportunity to its more than 70 member companies.

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