The Right Stuff for Success

By Lozada, Marlene | Techniques, April 2002 | Go to article overview
Save to active project

The Right Stuff for Success

Lozada, Marlene, Techniques

Adult Workforce Development (AWD) programs across the country are serving students more effectively than ever by merging well-planned curriculum with innovative practices. Educators say this is critical not only to student success, but also to keeping pace with industry trends and making AWD programs appealing to employers.

Seasoned and successful AWD professionals will tell you there's no cookie-cutter strategy that can guarantee an effective education and training program for adult learners. But combine several key components with an innovative can-do approach and success will surely follow, says Cathy Maxwell, director of The Academy for High Performance at McHenry County College in Crystal Lake, Ill.

"We do whatever it takes to get the job done," Maxwell says about the staff and instructors that run the academy's Integrated Manufacturing Management Program. Whether that means driving textbooks out to a worksite classroom or team-teaching a computer literacy course at a local high school, the program's success lies in its fundamentals, which were recently noted by the National Dissemination Center for Career-- Technical Education (NDC-CTE). In December, at ACTE's annual convention, Maxwell accepted an award from NDC-CTE recognizing the Integrated Manufacturing Management Program as a national demonstration model for 2001. NDC-CTE says the program has several replicable features "including its innovative partnership with local businesses, unique scheduling and alternative delivery methods ... and training of faculty in curriculum integration methodologies."

AWD professionals agree that such components are what continue to succeed and reap benefits in the AWD field. Does your AWD program have the right stuff for success? Here's a look at an effective program and expert advice about what makes successful AWD programs tick.

"The Big Easy" Factor

No, not New Orleans. Here "the big easy" refers to the ease with which a business or student can participate in an AWD program. For example, are classes held at a convenient time and at an accessible location for the full-time employees of a local business? How difficult is it for potential students to register, buy class materials, attend classes and still have a family life? These are important questions, Maxwell asserts. A school can have the best academic and technical program in the state, but if students don't attend, it's the same as nothing at all. According to a recent study published by the American Association of Community Colleges, more than half of employers who turn to community colleges for workforce education training note that convenience influenced their decision.

"There is the convenience factor," says Maxwell. "That is very, very important to our program. Our students are busy. They have families. A lot of them work 50 to 60 hours a week, and they're involved in outside activities. They're volunteering at the local fire departments, Little Leagues ... and all kinds of other things."

Students of the Integrated Manufacturing Management Program meet once a week for five hours and earn six credit hours per semester. Upon completing the 63-credit-hour program-which works out to be 22 classes in a little less than four years-- students earn an associate's degree in applied science. They also earn a certificate in manufacturing supervision (after the first two years of the program) and another in manufacturing processes (after the third year). Classes usually take place in the evening at the worksite or college.

The convenience factor also affects the very survival of the businesses that reach out to educational institutions for training, says Ron Cassidy, vice president of ACTE's AWD Division. If a business can't meet its training needs in one community, it must go elsewhere, resulting in a loss of jobs and revenue. "Employers are coming to us with their training needs. We need to meet those needs and keep those companies in our communities," says Cassidy, who also is superintendent of Licking County Joint Vocational School District in central Ohio.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Cite this article

Cited article

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited article

The Right Stuff for Success


Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?