Monday, November 19, 2012

Oregon Education Initiatives, from High School to College

Although career and technical education (CTE) is not a new concept, an article from The Oregonian discusses some renewed interest in developing these programs. Job readiness is an essential skill, one that employers say is missing from many younger applicants. Students that have the opportunity to experience CTE, which is taught in the classroom and through internships, say they benefit from learning both technical and soft skills. Oregon schools are currently looking at how to incorporate more of these programs into the curriculum, which will be a challenge: the ability to coordinate CTE on-the-job training for hundreds of students is constrained by budgets and logistics. For more information on CTE programs, see the full article.

Another piece from The Oregonian covers a recent development in how transfer credit between community and four-year colleges is received. Portland Community College and Portland State University struck a deal to award associate degrees to transfer students that have fulfilled two-year degree program requirements. This deal, which also honors the coursework of prior transfer students, results from a statewide pilot project to recognize reverse transfer agreements, funded by a $450 million grant from the Lumina Foundation. The Oregon University System (OUS)and Department of Community Colleges and Workforce Development (CCWD) are working together on the program, which they hope to scale up to all of Oregon's community colleges. The PSU and PCC partnership is the fourth pilot project implemented this year. Partnerships already exist between Linn-Benton Community College and Oregon State University; Blue Mountain Community College, Treasure Valley Community College, and Eastern Oregon University; and Klamath Community College and Oregon Institute of Technology. A recent press release from OUS and CCWD contains more details about the reverse transfer project.

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