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Occupational Therapy Assistant - Felician College Occupational Therapy Assistant - Felician College Posted: 01 Jul 2020 10:50 AM PDT Occupational Therapy Assistants are in high demand, and the US Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts a 31% growth from 2018-2028 (much higher than average). New Jersey is the second highest state for salaries, and the Newark area is the top in the state, with an average salary of $69,530. Complete your associate degree at Felician in this 18-month program to begin benefitting from all that this field has to offer! Preparing Tomorrow's Healthcare Leaders Occupational therapy is a client-centered health profession. Using a holistic approach, occupational therapists facilitate improved capability in their client and then adapt the task   and environment, empowering the person to resume their meaningful occupations. Occupational therapists work with clients of all ages from diverse cultures in a variety of tr

Column | Meera Komarraju: Transformations at SIU's College of Business and Analytics - The Southern

Column | Meera Komarraju: Transformations at SIU's College of Business and Analytics - The Southern


Column | Meera Komarraju: Transformations at SIU's College of Business and Analytics - The Southern

Posted: 18 Dec 2020 11:00 AM PST

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SIU College of Business and Analytics students are seen in the classroom before the pandemic.

As the landscape of higher education is constantly changing, academic units must adapt and respond. Southern Illinois University Carbondale's College of Business has faced daunting challenges and yet has witnessed encouraging transformative changes. Here are four examples.

First, the college pivoted into analytics, launching two new programs: a Master in Strategic Analytics, and a Bachelor of Science in Business Analytics. These programs opened for enrollment in Fall 2020. Curriculum for these programs reflects in-depth interviews with analytics professionals in a number of corporations, including the CME Group, Caesars Entertainment and Caterpillar. Demand for new graduates is booming across a host of industries including manufacturing, hospitality, finance, retail and marketing. IBM predicts up to 3 million jobs for analytics professionals by the end of 2020.

Second, to reflect these new program additions, the College of Business changed its name to the College of Business and Analytics. Graduates with expertise in business analytics are in high demand. The college name beckons to prospective students and potential employers, looking for entry-level analytics specialists for jobs in social media, customer profile analysis, production management, accounting and financial analysis.

Third, as SIU reorganized into a university for the 21st century, the college gained three additional programs from other parts of the university: Economics; Hospitality, Tourism and Event Management; and the Master of Public Administration. Each of these programs is outstanding in its own right. Economics has a very strong and highly respected graduate program. Hospitality is noted by corporate recruiters for its graduates who are ready to hit the ground running. Our NASPAA-accredited Public Administration program produces graduates who form a national and international "who's who" in city management; local, regional, and national government; museum administration; aviation management; and nonprofit administration. These programs synergistically complement and accentuate the college's traditional mix of accounting, finance, management and marketing. Certainly, the college is stronger, more competitive and better able to prepare our students for a changing job market with these additions.

Online options

Finally, because the markets for online business courses are becoming more complex and more competitive, most business schools employ an online program management firm to help with their recruiting efforts. We recently entered into an agreement with EAB, the gold standard of the online learning industry, to aid in our online recruiting efforts for our accredited online undergraduate degree completion program (accounting, business and administration, CPA preparation, hospitality, tourism and event management) and accredited online graduate programs (analytics for managers, accountancy, business administration, strategic analytics).

The college is preparing cohesively for the future. Undoubtedly, these efforts will reap numerous benefits as we coordinate our programs to the demands of 21st century business, equip our students to succeed in a world that is becoming vastly more complicated, and make our college more attractive in our efforts to hire and retain world-class research-oriented faculty.

Meera Komarraju is the provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs at Southern Illinois University Carbondale.

Amazon's New Model For Higher Education And Workforce Development - Forbes

Posted: 18 Dec 2020 06:00 AM PST

Last week my son Leo asked what might be considered an existential question of e-commerce: Is Jeff Bezos wealthy enough to buy one of every item for sale on Amazon AMZN ? One search revealed that the world's wealthiest person can easily afford to buy every item in inventory at his company's warehouses (easily, as in 10 times over). But that's not the same as one of every item for sale. Amazon has an inventory of about 12 million items, but 350 million items listed on the site, which explains why – unlike the fancy French restaurant Mr. Creosote shambles into in Monty Python's The Meaning of Life – Amazon doesn't have a "one of everything button" for indecisive customers (and why you can't get it "all mixed up together in a bucket").

Like no prior Christmas, 'tis the season of Amazon. Christmases past have been scarred – at least according to Fox News – by the so-called War on Christmas. If there is such a war, the decisive battle will be fought when the ease of online shopping and package delivery overwhelms the holiday, when a cataclysm of cardboard makes it hard to see the tree or "stockings hung by the chimney with care," and when the classic poem is revised:

I heard Bezos exclaim, ere he drove out of sight—

"Happy Amazon to all, and to all a good night!"

Of course, Covid Christmas only bears a passing resemblance to Christmases past because frontline workers are powering America through the pandemic. So far this year, Amazon has hired nearly 500,000 new workers, the vast majority warehouse team members, picking, packing, and sorting orders for shipment. According to Brookings, there are about 50 million jobs that only can be done by showing up and interacting in real-viral-time with co-workers and customers – almost exactly 1/3 of all jobs. So while 2/3 of us sit more-or-less safely at home, the other third – including workers in healthcare, manufacturing, and Amazon warehouses – have been risking their health in order to pay rent and put food on the table. And among frontline workers, they're the lucky ones; 10 million from food service, retail, and travel are newly unemployed and struggling with rent and food.

The situation seems redolent of revolution. Perhaps the only thing stopping a new American Revolution is the American Dream – the idea that toil will be rewarded with upward social mobility. But Brookings' new Mobility Pathways tool provides evidence of what we all know to be true: unsustainably low mobility for the vast majority of frontline jobs. As Brookings notes, frontline jobs do not have clear "pathways into occupations that have added jobs" during Covid.

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Tautologically, low mobility for frontline workers is the result of too much friction on the path from here to there. But despite stated do-gooder (if amorphous) missions of public and not-for-profit postsecondary institutions, groundbreaking efforts over the past 50 years to reduce friction for frontline workers and establish smoother pathways to good jobs have actually come from the place that gave birth to Amazon: the private sector. The narrative isn't without bumps or sins. And the last chapter hasn't been written yet.

The first attempt to reduce friction for frontline workers was the advent of convenient campuses at highway interchanges and at shopping malls in the 1980s and '90s. Private sector institutions pioneered commuter route campuses – as well as the concomitant, omnipresent, and aggravating highway signs –offering accelerated programs in the evenings and on weekends and making higher education more accessible for millions. The misstep was free federal funding allowing these schools to get greedy. Rather than taking a few months' tuition for short training programs leading to good jobs, why not capture years of tuition via degree completion? After all, aren't degrees what respectable colleges and universities offer? Over time, avariciousness led to full degrees. (Why settle for two years of federally-funded tuition when three or four are within reach?)

Version 2.0 was online degrees. For the first decade of the new millennium, millions of frontline workers were drawn by the convenience of attempting to earn degrees online. The problem was that inexpensive asynchronous online courses – the ones favored by private sector institutions willing and able to spend thousands of dollars per federally funded student on digital marketing and enrollment call centers – didn't engage frontline workers, who may not be adequately prepared, and whose motivation to persist and complete is often overwhelmed when life gets in the way (as it does). Any reduction in friction gained as a result of improved access was lost in terms of completion, which put the mockers on the whole thing.

Version 3.0 of friction reduction was getting employers to pay for online degrees for frontline workers. For decades, large employers offered tuition reimbursement to employees. Then Guild Education pioneered selling tuition reimbursement as a retention strategy for frontline workers, using a slick online platform to connect Chipotlerians to online degrees from a network of non-selective universities. But because Guild and its imitators explicitly sell employers on immobility (i.e., employee retention in frontline jobs), and given continuing friction from unengaging online courses and a lack of connective tissue between degrees offered and good jobs, swapping the FAFSA for tuition reimbursement doesn't accomplish much in the greater scheme of things.

While modest reductions in friction for frontline employees may have been acceptable in less perilous times, 2020 calls for dramatic innovation. Like everything else this Christmas, that innovation is being delivered by Amazon. Career Choice is Version 4.0 and a huge step forward, providing Amazon warehouse team members with the lowest friction pathway yet.

Amazon's Career Choice program has three trailblazing, friction-reducing features:

1) On Site

"All newer Amazon warehouses have fishbowl classrooms just off the floor," Ardine Williams, Amazon's VP of Workforce Development told me in an interview last week. For programs not delivered in warehouse classrooms – i.e., online programs from community college partners, or during Covid – Amazon coordinates study cohorts in warehouse classrooms. "We have much higher success in online programs with this cohort model."

2) Faster

While Career Choice does provide some associate degree programs, Williams and Amazon recognize that "adult learners prefer faster pathways." So in stark contrast to postsecondary institutions attempting to maximize tuition revenue, Career Choice privileges shorter certificates.

3) Connection to Local, Open Jobs

Career Choice training is only offered for local open jobs that pay at least 10% more than Amazon's $15 per hour. "We can't assume team members are interested in relocating," said Williams, "so we don't train for jobs that aren't available in the community." As a result, while Career Choice offers 20 distinct training programs around the world in tech, healthcare, and transportation/logistics, "not every program is available at every site."

As one might imagine for a company that tracks hundreds of millions of shipments each month, every element of Career Choice is tracked, "including whether team members are moving into the roles they've trained for." So Williams says Amazon has also partnered with staffing companies and hopes to release new versions of Career Choice that further reduce hiring friction for tech, healthcare, and logistics employers and narrow the gap between program completion and a better job.

By reducing the friction of getting to class – or the friction of unengaging asynchronous online programs via on-site cohorts – by shortening the pathway, and by better connecting training to available jobs, Career Choice is helping frontline workers in greatest need of socioeconomic mobility; more than half of the 30,000 Career Choice participants to date are underrepresented minorities.

While colleges and universities that have been asleep at the switch for frontline workers will struggle over the coming years to continue their meagre contributions (new low-friction pathways for frontline workers simply aren't on cabinet agendas), and while so-called one-stop workforce centers that are supposed to help 10 million newly unemployed frontline workers actually involve multiple stops (and starts and stops), Amazon has established a new paradigm for both. To see what a clear pathway to good jobs looks like – to see a true one-stop – displaced and disgruntled frontline workers should head out to the nearest Amazon warehouse.

I recently received an e-mail titled "Better connecting learners to jobs." But due to a typo, the message actually read: "Better connecting learners to jokes." This is a fair description of the status quo for frontline workers. But Amazon's effort is an important step forward. By reducing friction for frontline workers in these three ways, Career Choice is a viable solution to "train and pray."

While the heroes of Christmas pick and pack at Amazon's warehouses, policymakers are packing and picking student loan debt forgiveness: $10,000 or $50,000? It seems this decision will be made without regard to how much student debt is actually held by frontline workers vs. those who already have a secure footing on a career ladder (or who may have borrowed for graduate and professional degrees). Until we figure this out, we won't know whether debt forgiveness is a step forward, or likely to prompt further anger and resentment from the frontline workers the Biden administration wants to help.

A better approach than picking and packing is poking and prodding Amazon's competitors and other large employers of frontline workers to replicate Career Choice. Not every major employer of frontline workers will invest more than $60 million and hire a talented leader like Ardine Williams (formerly a captain in the U.S. Army, where they remember what socioeconomic mobility looks like). So perhaps the Bidens – Joe and Dr. Jill – will see the value of providing financial incentives so companies like Guild can launch big businesses setting up and managing Career Choice copycats.

If the government won't step in, another option is rankings. Rankings by U.S. News and others have perverted higher education for decades, incentivizing selectivity and investments in inputs that put the brakes on what was once America's engine of socioeconomic mobility. U.S. News and its parasitic pals can make amends by ranking companies by how much they invest in the socioeconomic mobility of their frontline workers. Millions of online shoppers would use such rankings to make buying decisions – Career Choice influencing consumer choice.

McDonald's MCD likes to promote itself as America's Best First Job. Amazon Career Choice makes that a laughable Ho Ho Ho. While earlier versions of pathways for frontline workers kept them in stasis, Career Choice is designed to reduce friction and increase mobility. Williams acknowledges doing so is in her interest; it makes Amazon a more attractive place to work, which makes it easier to secure the motivated frontline workers Amazon needs to save Christmas. In a dark year, those of us receiving Amazon shipments this season – for their sake, hopefully not one of everything – can feel good about that.

Construction workers can now earn Central Washington University degree at Renton Technical... - Renton Reporter

Posted: 18 Dec 2020 01:30 AM PST

Renton Technical College (RTC) and Central Washington University (CWU) have created a new program to help people in the occupational trades, such as construction workers, earn a college degree by counting work and apprenticeship experience toward degree completion.

RTC and CWU signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) in October that will allow more apprentice-level workers to develop their project management skills and earn a bachelor of applied science (BAS) degree.

The new CWU-RTC partnership will provide a four-year degree pathway for carpentry apprentice students enrolled in RTC's Multi-Occupational Trades Program. Starting early next year, the two institutions will work together to help RTC carpentry students pursue a BAS through the FlexIT Information Technology and Administrative Management (ITAM) program at CWU.

"We look forward to working with Renton Technical College so their alumni and current students — and people with industry experience — can earn a four-year degree," Ediz Kaykayoglu, CWU's dean of Extended and Global Education stated in a press release.

RTC carpentry apprentice students already have an opportunity to pursue an applied associate's degree in Multi-Occupational Trades, but the partnership with CWU will benefit those who want to pursue a four-year degree and move into a management track.

Sarah Wakefield, RTC's dean for general education and transfer, said she expects the MOU to provide more opportunities and greater earning potential for aspiring administrative management professionals. Multi-Occupational Trades Program instructors have been adapting to the changing environment in recent years, and the partnership with CWU is a logical next step.

"Instructors who teach online general-education classes like math, English, and economics have created more flexible schedules to accommodate the long work hours in the construction industry," Wakefield said. "This aligns nicely with CWU's all-online FlexIT model, where students learn at their own pace."

Under the agreement, apprentices can complete up to 109 credits at RTC between time on the job and in the classroom, and CWU will accept those credits toward an ITAM degree in project management.

CWU FlexIT Coordinator Liz Fountain explained that the program is designed to reward students for skills they already possess, while allowing them additional time to complete other course requirements.

"FlexIT meets students where they are," she stated in the release. "Instead of being tied to 10 weeks per course, students can move at their own speed — faster or slower — through course work that builds on the knowledge and abilities they've earned in work and life. That makes the program ideal for people working in the trades, honing their skills with real-world learning."

The partnership with RTC fits well with the university's goal of helping more Washingtonians earn four-year degrees.

"Helping transfer students succeed is a huge part of our mission," Kaykayoglu stated. "For us, this is about removing barriers for transfer students so that students get the degree they need to advance in their careers."

More information is available at cwu.edu.

New state Apprenticeship Pathways degree program launched with Central Washington University, Renton Technical College, building trades - My Edmonds News

Posted: 18 Dec 2020 08:48 AM PST

Image courtesy State of Washington

The Washington State Lt. Governor's office Friday announced the launch of a new, adult-friendly degree program called theApprenticeship Pathway. The first such program in the country, the Apprenticeship Pathway was created through a partnership with Central Washington University and Renton Technical College as part of the Lt. Governor's Complete Washington Program.

Rolling admissions are now open for the 2021 winter quarter program.

The Apprenticeship Pathway program, designed specifically for workers in the building and construction trades, counts work and apprenticeship experience for credit and is offered in a flexible online format. Starting with a registered building trades apprenticeship program, which articulates into Renton Technical College's multi-occupational trades associate degree, the Apprenticeship Pathway ultimately culminates in a bachelor of applied science degree from Central Washington University's Information Technology and Administrative Management department with a focus in project management.

"Lt. Governor Habib believes college should be accessible and affordable for every Washingtonian, regardless of where they come from," said Mary Chikwinya, director of higher education for the Lt. Governor's office. "Complete Washington is our office's way of making that idea a reality. Thanks to the collaborative efforts of our higher education and industry partners, this new Apprenticeship Pathway will give credit where credit's due by counting work and apprenticeship experience toward degree completion. No one should have to choose between earning a living and earning a degree."

President of the Northwest Carpenters Union Joe Cadwell said of the program: "We are thrilled we can now offer our workers a bachelor's degree program that doesn't force them to quit their jobs and doesn't start them from square one. The learning that takes place on the worksite is extremely valuable — and this degree program actually captures that."

Given that Lt. Gov. Habib did not run for re-election this past year, Lt. Gov.-elect Heck will manage the Complete Washington program after the administration transitions on Jan. 13.

"This is a great day for Washington," Heck said. "I'm glad our state recognizes the value of the school of apprenticeship in attaining career readiness. We need innovative approaches to degree completion to match our global competition. The economic vitality of Washington is dependent upon having a highly-qualified workforce to meet the demands of a 21st century economy. "

The Complete Washington Apprenticeship Pathway is one project under the Lt. Governor's Complete Washington initiative, a statewide effort to create educational pathways that empower workers to overcome barriers to career advancement and to inoculate them against economic disruption. Habib launched the program in 2018 in response to the urgent need noted by the Washington Student Achievement Council and others to increase the number of adults in Washington state with college credentials. The program is funded by the State Legislature and is administered by the Lt. Governor's office per state statute.

Indiana Tech, Ivy Tech Ink Transfer Agreement - Inside INdiana Business

Posted: 18 Dec 2020 12:59 PM PST

"Our two schools have partnered effectively for many years to help students of all ages earn associate and bachelor's degrees that equip them with the knowledge, skills and credentials that prepare them for careers of every description," said Steve Herendeen, vice president for enrollment management at Indiana Tech. "This agreement takes our shared commitment to students to an even higher level – those who earn Ivy Tech degrees are guaranteed to have all of their credits transfer to Indiana Tech and easily move towards completion of their bachelor's degrees."

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