New America spent the last three years researching community college workforce programs across the United States in an effort to decipher what makes them high-quality, and find ways to implement policies to support them.
CCA joins 14 other institutions focused on finding and implementing ways to strengthen their workforce programs, with the goal of leading to strong employment outcomes for students.
CCA President Dr. Mordecai Brownlee said of the program, “Our participation in this groundbreaking program and the national recognition associated with it is a reflection of our institutional commitment towards the social and economic mobility of our students. Such success would not be possible without the unwavering partnership of local business and industry.”
CCA Vice President of Academic Success, Dr. Bobby Pace, has been following the incredible work New America has done ensuring effective education pipelines to the workforce. “The Workforce Transformation and Implementation Program allows us to leverage the findings from community colleges in the prior two cohorts to ensure that we are enhancing our workforce offerings in a sustainable and data informed way.”
Dr. Julie Stewart, CCA’s Dean of Workforce and Industry Relations said the program will help CCA learn about best practices for expansion, development, and innovation in the workforce space.
“It will really give us great information about how we’re doing and what we’re doing and if we should be making changes or continuing to expand programs,” Dr. Stewart said. “This cohort will be able to provide us with innovative ways to look at financing these programs. Then, how do we develop a more robust workforce development department?”
Dr. Stewart says the cohort will focus on three main areas:
- Community Partnerships and Program Enhancement: CCA will collaborate with economic development partners, employers, and industry leaders to develop impactful workforce programming that meets the needs of both students and the local job market. This collaborative effort aims to foster the growth of new employment opportunities within Aurora and surrounding communities.
- Data-Driven Decision Making: The cohort will provide CCA with valuable resources for collecting and utilizing data to drive decisions on better aligning programs with industry demands.
- Innovative Financing Solutions: Financing robust workforce programs can be a challenge, but the cohort will explore groundbreaking financing strategies to ensure sustainability and affordability. This initiative aligns with CCA’s commitment to offering high-quality education while making it accessible to a diverse range of students.
This is the third cohort assembled by New America, and the largest so far. It will run through January 2025. Dr. Stewart said she and her team will utilize the opportunity to collaborate with past participants, to discuss their findings.
Dr. Pace, Dr. Stewart and a small team of leaders will travel to Washington, DC in November for a visit to New America’s headquarters for an official kick-off meeting.
About the Community College of Aurora:
The Community College of Aurora (CCA) provides high-quality instruction and student support services to Aurora and Denver, Colorado. With a vision to aspire to be a college where every student succeeds, CCA is the most diverse college in the State of Colorado. Focused on creating social and economic mobility for its students, the college offers courses on two (2) campuses, online, and through its high school concurrent-enrollment programs. For more information, visit www.ccaurora.edu.
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