September 28, 2009 by Joshua Wright
Here’s a very informative, in-depth look at community colleges in Virginia and their work with local businesses and data providers like EMSI to come up with programs that make sense for their regions. The article comes from Heather B. Hayes of Virginiabusiness.com.
Based on information from the first week of classes, the Virginia Community College System expects its enrollment to hit the equivalent of 99,249 students this fall, up 13.7 percent from last year.
The jump in enrollment is even more dramatic at some colleges in the system. Tidewater Community College, for example, saw a 20 increase, says President Deborah M. DiCroce. Many new students, she says, are career switchers looking for jobs that have better prospects in a changing economy.
In putting together the college’s programs, DiCroce and her staff get input from local employers plus information from the Virginia Employment Commission, U.S. Department of Labor and Economic Modeling Specialists Inc., a company that provides regional labor market statistics. “Nobody has a crystal ball that’s 100 percent accurate, but by taking the approach we have, we’re getting as rich an analysis of projected needs in this area as possible,” DiCroce says.
You can find more on Tidewater CC and how EMSI helps higher education institutions develop demand-driven training programs in this case study.