Dr. Keith Bird and Kathryn Jo Manners Keynote Presentation

AACC 21st Century Initiative
Implementation Team 5
Closing the Skills Gap
Status Report
Presented By:
Dr. Keith Bird
Session Overview
• Presenter and Team Introduction
• Brief Context: Report of AACC’s 21st Century
Commission, Released at 2012 Convention, and
Implementation Work
• Charge to Implementation Team 5
• Progress report on Work Implementation Team 5
– Themes
– Concerns and Challenges
– Next Steps
• Overall Timeline
• Discussion
Community Colleges
and the Nation’s Future
Report from the
21st Century Commission
on the Future of Community Colleges
“The American Dream is at risk…
Community colleges can help reclaim that dream.
But stepping up to the challenge will require dramatic
redesign of these institutions, their missions, and, most
critically, their students’ educational experiences.”
Slide Title
IT #5 - Closing the Skills Gap
IT #5 - Closing the Skills Gap
Address Recommendation 3 and all three related implementation strategies from the
report of the 21st-Century Commission on the Future of Community Colleges:
Close the American skills gaps by sharply focusing career and technical education on
preparing students with the knowledge and skills required for existing and future jobs
in regional and global economies.
 Ensure students opportunities for career advancement and upward mobility
through design of coherent career pathways leading to "stackable"
credentials—multilevel, industry-recognized credentials reflecting attainment
of the knowledge and skills required at different stages of a career.
 Build community college capacity for accurately identifying unfilled labor
market needs and for ensuring that career education and training programs
are streamlined to address those high-need areas. Develop technology-based
tools that will help local colleges access available labor market data to identify
and monitor skills gaps in their regions.
Mobilize powerful local, regional, and national partnerships (involving community
colleges, employers, and government agencies) to accomplish a collaborative
agenda that: ensures that program planning targets skills gaps; promotes the
associate degree as a desired employment credential; establishes alternative
models for completing skills-based credentials, including classroom instruction,
online learning, credit for prior learning, and on-the-job learning; and develops a
national credentialing system.
IT #5 – Closing the Skills Gap
Broad Goal: To transform the colleges’ workforce mission to position
community colleges as the center of innovation, job creation and
community development on a national scale (Community Colleges as a
National Workforce System).
• Workforce Development is broader than what most colleges practice
(e.g. governance: credit, non credit, individuals and industry clients).
Colleges should be leaders in economic and community development
and job/talent creation.
• System change elements must involve structure, increased use of data,
especially LMI, and expanded employer engagement to identify both
short term and long term skill requirements. Designate colleges and staff
as workforce education and training leaders with certification or
credentials issued through the AACC 21 Century Center which includes a
National Workforce Center component.
• Response time is critical. This is not just a faculty/approval issue, but the
institution must support across all offices, staff, policies and procedures
IT #5 – Closing the Skills Gap
Major Actionable items (selected):
• Develop a glossary of common language and terms for the entire
report. (Examples: credit/noncredit, stackable certificates,
certifications, career pathways, etc.)
• Provide colleges with “nuts and bolts” tools and templates on how
to address the skills gap.
• Position community colleges as the “go to players” for workforce
education and training by encouraging colleges to operate as a
system serving economic development, entrepreneurship, and job
creation. We need systems change to appeal to employers and
more broadly meet their needs (i.e. Global Corporate College
IT #5 – Closing the Skills Gap
• Catalog ways colleges develop leadership and can work together in varying
levels of partnerships and consortia, both within and across state lines
(including national and international initiatives), particularly to sustain
initiatives like those developed through TAACCCT grants, ATE, etc.
• Conduct business through major sectors and their employers and as a way
of matching the footprint of the industries that need our services.
• Create a national designation as part of the AACC’s 21st Century Center to
recognize a college as excellent in providing workforce education and
working with business and industry. (Like “Quality Matters.”). College
must demonstrate consolidated ability and services of credit and non
credit workforce courses and programs as an essential commitment to
work on skills and with industry.
• Focus on staff development. Design personal competencies and
certification that support the national designation and encourage collegewide excellence and support for workforce development programs.
IT #5 – Closing the Skills Gap
• Explore the opportunities and challenges of emerging 4 year technical
degrees (applied baccalaureates) based on the needs of their communities
including faculty and staff requirements, costs, and implications for
workforce development programs.
• As part of affordability and value considerations:
• Review degrees such as the AAS and consider for their positive value, as
well as the complicated array of certificate programs.
• Make sure no credits are lost; credentials are valued at each level and
make sense for the specific career track the student is pursuing, and
that the individual is not over-credentialed. We will need to follow
closely what professions are increasing their entry level credentials
(particularly in the Health Sciences).
• Carefully review of any institutional bias for the transfer function and
associate degrees, to take into account consideration for value to student
and their employability as well as employers. Time and cost should both
be considered in relation to opportunity costs for working students.
IT #5 – Closing the Skills Gap
• Expeditiously identify and populate the 21st Century CenterWorkforce Center with “Proof of Concept” practices that can
be replicated or adapted.
• Fully engage non-credit in the conversation to “reset” the
system. We see non-credit and credit both as part of learning
and the interrelationship between the two is a strength and
intentional pathways between them should be developed.
• Make workforce and economic development leadership a
critical component for developing community college leaders,
as well as board trustees, so they recognize and promote their
colleges’ economic and workforce development role.
IT #5 – Closing the Skills Gap
• Orient financial aid and other practices to support student
completion more quickly. Review policies and procedures that
ensure that they enhance and not impede student progress.
• Accelerate delivery models through e- and hybrid learning,
modularization, competency-based learning, pathways, and other
approaches that ease the on-off ramp and help students complete
in shorter time.
• Expand work based learning opportunities for students to assist
students in completion and in recognition of the value of work
experience by employers.
“Employers place more weight on experience, particularly internships and employment
during school vs. academic credentials including GPA and college major when evaluating a recent
graduate for employment”-The Role of Higher Education in Career Development: Employer
Perceptions, December, 2012.
IT #5 – Closing the Skills Gap
Interrelation with other Implementation Teams
To date, we have discussed with other Implementation Teams the need to coordinate
efforts. We have agreed on two actions:
– Promote the VFA as the foundation of our Accountability Reporting and consider
workforce measurements which are being used by several other states. Additional
components (consistent terminology and metrics will need to be developed or
incorporated (particularly with the workforce criteria several states are now using and
the increased emphasis on Labor Market Gains and the collection and reporting on wage
data (see ESM reporting below).
– Reference Trends that appear to be gathering momentum and future implementation,
Learning analytics (LA) is the third wave of large-scale developments in instructional technology that began
with the advent of the learning management system. Learning analytics is the use of intelligent data, learnerproduced data, and analysis models to discover information and social connections for predicting and advising
people’s learning.
Learning outcomes and equity outcomes
Student performance and labor market outcomes used by the Aspen Prize for CC Excellence
The expansion of the New National Report Card and the Economic Success Metrics (ESM) in College
Measures.Org (states with ESM websites currently include 4 states).
Developing an alternative credentialing
system: Competency-Based Qualifications
• Making a Market for Competency-Based
Credentials (www.skilledwork.org)
• Lumina Degree Qualifications Profile and
• Lumina Certificate Qualifications Framework
IT #5 – Closing the Skills Gap
What critical items do you see missing or need
Which areas would you prioritize first ?
What do you see as short term vs. long term issues?
What actions have you taken at your institutions to
address skills gaps?
What trends do you see that could impact on any of
these actions or others?
Implementation Team #5
Closing the Skills Gap
Contact [email protected] or
[email protected]

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