Message from Dr. Belinda S. Miles: Responding to the needs of our students and community – October 23, 2020
October 23, 2020
Always responding to the needs of our students and community, Westchester Community College continues to evolve into an agile organization focused on student success. We are meeting immediate workforce needs while also anticipating the post pandemic economy of the future. Amidst growing speculation and research around what work will look like, the need to provide high-quality education and the skills necessary to perform myriad jobs in every industry – regionally and globally – continues to be relevant. Our Strategic Plan provides the framework to ensure that our work, programming, and learning experiences are aligned with local workforce expectations and jobs of the future.
As a community college, we are uniquely positioned to train or reskill workers and to link them to immediate career opportunities upon degree and certificate completion or help them access baccalaureate-level study as transfer students. Our partnerships and collaborations with the Business Council of Westchester, the Westchester-Putnam Workforce Investment Board, Hudson Valley Patterns for Progress, and other organizations, as well as our Career and Technical Education (CTE) Advisory Boards, contribute to our understanding of what knowledge and skills will be required of our graduates.
Significantly contributing to our knowledge and skills-based career preparation is our ability to offer diverse learning opportunities that help students develop uniquely human traits such as empathy and problem-solving, as well as the ability to communicate and work in teams. This combination of attributes results in a rich harvest of capable individuals who are ready to take their places within the workforce.
This week I share the following reading material. This article discusses preparing workers to adapt to a changing workplace by developing diverse skills and the Emsi piece looks at “translating curricular content… into skill-based language already used… by employers and job-seekers” to better engage students and employers while aligning programs with workplace needs.
This content represents just some of the ways that we are challenged to rethink higher education, workforce development, and pipelines to jobs and career opportunities.
Dr. Belinda S. Miles