Q & A: education.

Position:Industry Outlook
 
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The watchwords in education right now are collaboration, alignment and innovation. Here, education and industry leadertalk about how Utah's educational system is transforming to align student competencies with industry needs.

PARTICIPANTS

TODD BINGHAM

Utah Manufacturers

Association

RICK BOUILLON

Salt Lake

Community College

BLAIR CARRUTH

Utah System of

Higher Education

CLAY CHRISTENSEN

Mountainland

Technical College

LAURA DESHAZO

Utah State Board

of Education

KENNETH GROVER

Salt Lake City

School District

JOHN HARRINGTON

Holland & Hart, LLP

FRANK LOJKO

Dixie State University

CARRIE MAYNE

Department of

Workforce Services

BRIAN OLMSTEAD

Utah State Board

of Education

ABBY OSBORNE

Salt Lake Chamber

ROBERT PETERSON

Uintah Basin

Technical College

JASON SKIDMORE

Jordan School District

MELISA STARK

Department of

Workforce Services

JAMES TAYLOR

Granite School District

ROBERT WAGNER

Utah State University

KARSTEN WALKER

Alpine School District

MATT WARDLE

JD Machine Corp

TERRYL WARNER

Utah State Board

of Education

GARY WIXOM

Utah Valley University

KIM ZIEBARTH

Davis Technical College

MODERATOR

A special thank you to Tami Pyfer, education advisor to Gov. Gary Herbert, for moderating the discussion.

BOUILLON: The Utah Aerospace Pathways is a good example. The alignment really for SLCC isn't just with us and our Wasatch Front South Consortium partners. It really goes even higher. It starts with the Governor's Office of Economic Development and the Division of Workforce Services, and our educational partners through USHE, through the Utah tech colleges.

The alignment had to be from a curriculum standpoint that fed the high school students, the secondary students into the post-secondary if they chose. And then also for our under-employed adults to get them through the system, get them some short-term training and into the workforce, in this case aerospace manufacturing. If everyone comes to the table, then the alignment is there and the chance for success goes up.

CARRUTH: Back in 2009, USHE received some funds and partnerships with GOED and DWS to start what has been called the Utah Cluster Acceleration Partnership. That partnership has grown and morphed over the years. Today it's a very successful program housed with DWS. It's called Talent Ready Utah. Part of the goal of that was to develop new cutting-edge programs designed through industry input that would link our higher ed institutions into programs that are very meaningful and cutting edge, responding to the direct needs of industry. And that's been a very successful program.

Another thing is there's a policy called R 473 that allows for articulation between our USHE institutions and the Utah Technical Colleges. We have some good articulation now with many of the UTC programs around the state with many of our institutions through that process.

WAGNER: Because Utah State University is the land grant institution for the state, we have a presence across the state, and we have been able to partner our local regional campuses with the technology colleges and actually work hard to establish the stackable pathways, where they can work on a credential at a technical college that can then move quickly into a certificate, into an associate's degree, into a bachelor's degree, and right into a master's degree. Those stackable credentials are very efficient and very worthwhile for students.

BINGHAM: I'm seeing a transition to where industry is much more involved in that alignment process, helping define those careers that have marketplace relevance--meaning we are putting those kids out at the end of the line with a training certificate or a college degree or a university four-year degree that makes them immediately marketable to an employer.

We have a UCAP grant. We are involved with Talent Ready. For instance, last year at this time there were about 900 students in the state enrolled in manufacturing programs. Think about that for a second. We have 3,600 manufacturing companies in the state and 900 students involved in manufacturing types of training. We instituted a program through Talent Ready. In a six-month period, we will end up with probably 500 new enrollees in manufacturing programs. Now, the overall numbers don't sound fabulous but the percentage is pretty impressive. Industry is really excited about employer engagement and continuing to inform kids that there are careers ready for them and that industries are willing to help them participate.

ZIEBARTH: Davis Technical College has expanded our agreements with high schools. We have almost 100 courses that are articulated. Our goal is to reduce the duplication of course work. When students come to us, we evaluate what they have taken. We give them credit for whatever course they have completed toward our certificate. From this we want to build onto their skills and hopefully help the student to become employable. It's our goal that the student can make a wage that will help them continue their education.

The pathways on the other end are just as important. We have 75 courses that are individually articulated at Weber State University. We have the Associates of Life Science degree, where a student can complete one year at the technical college and then get one additional year of general education to get that degree. And then we have six degrees that feed into individual associate degree programs.

One size doesn't fit all. And we do happen to have a Utah State University extension campus in Kaysville just a couple of blocks away from our campus. That provides an opportunity for students who are interested in attending or who already have a few credits to build on to what they already have. We want to keep the doors open. Working with any institution the student feels is a good fit for them is our goal.

SKIDMORE: What I'm seeing at Jordan School District is there's a greater connection, an alignment of industry partners that are looking for opportunities to connect with...

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