Who Needs a Better System?




Professional Looking for New Career

For the past 10 years, Maria has worked as an assistant project manager for a national bookstore chain. Her job supported the development and maintenance of the chain’s stores. Online competition, e-readers, and other technologies eventually forced the chain to go out of business. Maria’s been looking for work for over a year, only to discover her degree and on-the-job experience doesn’t translate to a position in the marketplace. She’s decided she needs more skills and sees opportunities in perhaps web design or data management. Her search for educational options in those fields has uncovered many choices. Her local community college offers degrees and certificates. She’s also discovered different kinds of training providers offer specific IT certificates endorsed by employers, but she doesn’t know how good these providers are in helping students like her get a good job. Some of the programs are more expensive, but take less time. She’s also discovered many options including online education and training programs. Maria wants to make sure she gets the highest return on her investment. Should she get another degree, one or more certificates or a combination of a degree and certificate(s)?



Working Mom Trying To Finish College

Hannah is a care provider in a senior citizens facility and a single mom. She has enrolled several times in her local community college only to find her need to work and care for her family has delayed her from getting the degree she so dearly wants. Hannah has already earned several certificates within the allied health profession and was aiming at becoming a phlebotomist. Hannah has decided she wants to become a nurse and to obtain the degree required to do so. Hannah could save money and time if she were able to stack her short-term certificates, get credit for learning she’s acquired while working and apply this to her course of study. Unfortunately, Hannah has not been able to find a way to do so, and has concluded she will need to begin again. Will she reach her goal this time?



Faculty Leader Building New Program

George is a faculty member who has been leading efforts at his college to develop a robotics program and a related robotics certificate. The administration has embraced the idea of competency-based curriculum centering on a series of core abilities that crosscut all traditional and career curricula. George has been working with local business and industry to make sure his program produces people with the knowledge and skills required to get work in this fast-growing field. The college already has articulation agreements with several community colleges and universities in George’s state, so aligning his program to a master’s degree is essential. George also wants to make sure the program creates a transfer pathway to other states offering related bachelors and master’s degree programs. He’s well aware of the cost to students when learning doesn’t transfer among institutions. What George needs is a reference tool where he can easily map his program to the college’s competency-based program, industry certifications, and in-state and out of state degree programs. He wants the robotics program to reflect quality, interoperability and transferability, giving his students and institution a competitive edge!



Growing Company Seeking Qualified Employees

GREEN-AP has reached a major milestone. For the first time, this start-up has reached $1million in receipts, has grown from 5 employees to 20 and is in the process of scaling products for a national market. GREEN-AP specializes in the development of green energy solutions within a variety of industries. The company’s core competency and competitive advantage is its ability to produce software systems that behave reliably, are affordable to develop and maintain, and can satisfy all of GREEN-AP’s customers’ requirements. Many of GREEN-AP’s employees are entrepreneurial individuals who are talented programmers but may lack some of the professional management skills required to take the company’s products to scale. A cursory exploration by GREEN-AP’s Human Resource Director found job postings describing “software engineer” matched the skills and competencies profile GREEN-AP was looking for. However, on a deeper dive, she found two types of degrees; computer science and software engineering, both with a slightly different focus and approach to working in the field. A LinkedIn search produced an overwhelming number of what appeared to be qualified candidates; some have associate degrees with programming certification; some have computer science bachelor’s degrees from 15 years ago with work experience, and others possess software engineering degrees. The company’s investment in these new employees is substantial – salaries start at $90,000 a year. HR’s goal is to get it right, avoid costly turn-over and the impact this would have on the company’s aggressive growth strategy. They need a tool that would help quickly compare and assess these myriad credentials, and align experience and prior learning; something to help the company make sure its job postings and hiring process produced the most viable candidates.

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