August 13

High Schools & Dual Credit Opportunities

“Career Pathway”, “Work Ready”, “Closing the skills gap”. Any of these terms ring a bell?  In the recent months there has been exciting news in workforce development such as the signing of the WIOA by President Obama, which relates directly to preparing students and individuals with the proper skill sets to enter the workforce.  Training and up-skilling the workforce should not be delayed; it should start the first day a student begins high school!

This can all start with a relationship with your local community college. By providing a dual credit opportunity for students to start in high school and complete when they enroll at the community college. This not only creates an opportunity for a student to receive a certification but it also creates a pipeline for students to enroll in the community college, graduate, and if the college has a relationship with a local employer, a job opportunity! Below is an example of how Alamo Colleges in San Antonio, Texas starts at the high school level and has created a program to make students work ready:

Alamo Colleges through its academies has developed an Advanced Technology and Manufacturing Academy that uses CPT Safety and Quality as a foundation in a dual credit program that begins as early as the junior year in high school and articulates into two AAS degree programs at the college (Manufacturing Operations Technician or CNC Manufacturing Technician). This highly successful program is an educational partnership between Alamo Colleges, secondary schools, local business and industry, the San Antonio Manufacturers Association, regional Workforce Investment Boards and area economic development offices. Students have the opportunity to participate in paid internships with area employers including AT&T, Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Pratt & Whitney and Toyota.

Does your high school provide dual credit opportunities for students?  If so, we want to hear your story! Please leave your comment below.

-Catherine Feeney, Community Outreach Manager (MSSC)

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