Northeast Community College Leaders Attend Industry Credential Conference

by jamesc  8/8/2014 1:33:17 PM --  KENOSHA, WS – Three Northeast Community College administrators joined more than 125 education and business leaders from across the United States at a national summit aimed at providing insight into a national priority calling for industry-driven credentials.


Participants at the National Coalition of Certification Centers NC3 Summit at Gateway Technical College in Kenosha, WS, were also part of a best practices discussion among colleges which have integrated the certifications into their curriculum, as a better means to equip students from institutions, such as Northeast Community College, to enter today’s marketplace.

Dr. Michael Chipps, Northeast president, John Blaylock, vice president of educational services, and
Eric Johnson, associate vice president of the Center for Enterprise, were among those to take part in the summit.

“We are pleased to be a member of NC3 and partner with industry leaders such as Snap-On tools and Trane® heating and cooling as we begin to work on providing specific certifications with industry leaders,” Chipps said. “This partnership has the potential to reset the teaching and learning landscape of Northeast’s automotive and heating, ventilation and air conditioning programs. To continue the work on this transformation, we will be meeting with representatives of Snap-On and Trane® in the coming weeks.”

NC3 is a network of education providers and corporations that supports, advances, and validates new and emerging technology skills in the transportation, aviation, and energy sectors. College representatives attending the event benefit as they learned and shared best practices on how to integrate industry-driven credentials into academic programs.

Blaylock said Northeast’s membership in NC3 also allowed three faculty members to attend training sessions at Gateway at the same time as the summit. “Two of our automotive technology instructors, Alan Darnall and Cal Lamprecht, and diesel technology instructor Tony Milenkovich, came back with a number of ideas as to how the training will impact their instruction. Three other Northeast faculty are scheduled for training in the coming year.”   

Blaylock said the training is not a separate area of instruction, but it will be integrated into the curriculum that is already being delivered in classrooms and labs. 

“Students benefit because they are more marketable if they have an industry-driven credential in addition to a college certificate, diploma, or degree. It gives them an advantage in the hiring process,” said Debbie Davidson, NC3 director of development and vice president of Gateway’s workforce and economic development division. “Businesses benefit because the job applicants with these credentials have a third-party validation of their skills to undergird their college degree and letter grade.”                                

The NC3 Summit featured workshops, tours of college facilities and presentations from leaders such as Reggie Newsom, secretary of workforce development for Wisconsin, Dr. Walter Bumphus, president and CEO of the American Association of Community Colleges, Morna Foy, president of the Wisconsin Technical College System, and John Colborn, CEO of Skills for America’s Future. 

Blaylock said, “When our students graduate from Northeast Community College, it is our hope that they will leave with industry certifications. They will be trained to use industry tools to the fullest and have the knowledge and skills recognized by the automotive and heating and cooling industries to be successful technicians. The certifications may be from a major manufacturer, but the skills learned will be transferable regardless of the brand of tool or type of equipment the technician is repairing.”  

“With our new Applied Technology facility coming on line soon, we are pleased Northeast will be able to tap into the resources of industry leaders like Snap-On and Trane®,” Chipps said. “Prospective employers in these areas are looking for more out of our graduates and industry certification will give them an edge over those who are not certified.”


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