Focus on Local Industry Needs Pays Off
Western Nevada College’s Tech Prep Consortium has been recognized nationally for its Career Pathways program. The National Association for Career Pathways Leadership selected WNC for the 2013 Rigorous Programs of Study National Award for exceeding what other states offer students in career and technical programs. The award recognizes the college’s collaboration with industry and hard work by faculty and staff to provide the essential curriculum and instruction in technology-automated systems, construction, machine tool technology and welding.
One important and innovative online tool that WNC has developed to assist students and the public in preparing for technical careers is the Career Pathways section of the college website. Users can explore current career requirements, resources, and real time regional job availability in Business & Marketing, Health Science & Public Safety, Information & Media Technologies, and Skilled Technical Sciences.
In selecting the WNC technology-driven partnership for the national award, the NACPL was impressed with the commitment of the consortium.
“Your excellent description and supporting documentation of the unique and innovative components of Tech Prep/Career Pathways implemented through your consortium’s technology-automated systems, construction, general industrial, machine tools and welding programs indicate the commitment you have made to the goals of Tech Prep/Career Pathways,” an NACPL representative said in describing WNC’s winning formula.
“This is recognition for our programs in not only meeting the rigorous standard, but exceeding that in many areas,” said WNC Tech Prep Coordinator Kevin Edwards.
It’s a highlight for our college to be proud of,” he said. “It’s the instructors, the workforce development programs, counselors, high schools and community partners. It illustrates how we were leading in many areas.”
Sherry Black, WNC director of Career and Technical Education, said the award should provide community members and manufacturers with confidence that the programs being offered at WNC will benefit them.
“It tells the schools, community and employers that we provide effective CTE programs that are aligned with college and career readiness skills. It enables students to capitalize on a learning format that connects them with real-life work scenarios,” Black said. “Upon completion of these programs, students often complete industry certifications and licenses, which employers recognize and value.”
WNC’s program components include partnerships, professional development, accountability and evaluation systems, college and career readiness standards, course sequences, credit transfer agreements, guidance counseling and academic advisement, teaching and learning strategies and technical skills assessments.
Black said the consortium won’t be satiated by the award, and there is room for more growth.
“We will continue to provide students with a curriculum that combines academic and technical content along with strong employability skills,” she said. “In addition, we will expand our showcase of all that Western Nevada College has to offer and assist students and parents in understanding the process of transitioning from high school to college and then to work.”
By virtue of receiving the award, WNC’s Tech Prep/Career Pathways program submission will be presented on the NACPL website at www.nacpl.org
Press Release: November 4, 2013
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