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Recession Recovery and Beyond

Study Committee Meeting

Duval County February 16, 2011

Clanzenetta “Mickee” Brown JCCI Study Planner mickee@jcci.org

In attendance: Meeting Attendees: Elaine Brown (Chair), Sarah Boren, Jeane Chappell, Thomas Clift, Logan Cross, Bill Gassett, Patricia Hanrahan, Gabriel Hanson, Robert Hawkins, David Johnson, Kellie Jo Kilberg, Bill Larson, Conrad Markle, Julie McNeil, Granville Reed, Kathy Sandusky, Stephanie Winters, Guy Anderson, Lee Brown, Mi-Lim Chun, John Edwards, Marilyn Feldstein, Andre Higgins, Karen Mathis, Tom Patton, Steve Rieck, Justin Sims, Chris Steilberg, Michelle Tappouni, and Joe Whitaker [If your name does not appear, but you were in attendance, please let us know.] Staff Members: Mickee Brown, Skip Cramer, and Demetrius Jenkins Meeting Time: Noon – 1:30 PM Chair, Elaine Brown welcomed the study committee and thanked the group for their participation. The committee reviewed the results of the February 9th group process check results and received the meeting summaries for February 2nd and February 9th. The chair introduced the day’s speakers: Dr. Charles Hall, President of Florida Gateway College (FGC); Brent Lemond, Vice President of Instructional Services at First Coast Technical College (FCTC), and Dr. Steve Wallace, President of Florida State College at Jacksonville (FSCJ). The topic for the day was Regional job growth and the roles of postsecondary education. The speakers were asked to address the following questions. 1. Building an educated workforce: In your opinion, what can be done to increase the number of people (18 to 35) in Northeast Florida who earn a postsecondary degree? 2. Work and Workforce development: How can postsecondary institutions, businesses, government, and economic development organizations work together proactively to attract high-wage paying businesses and at the same time make sure people are being educated to fill those positions? Are there any such formal partnerships in Northeast Florida? 3. Building an entrepreneurial base: Is there a role for postsecondary education institutions in training entrepreneurs and supporting small businesses? 4. Quality of students: In your opinion, what is the quality of the high school students coming into your institution? How can post- and secondary education institutions work together to address any shortfalls? 5. Bolstering the education and workforce pipeline: In order to build an educated and credentialed workforce for tomorrow, what should be the relationship between postsecondary education institutions and high schools today? Where are the gaps locally? Are you aware of any best practices? Dr. Charles Hall presentation Dr. Hall’s answers to the questions above are available at the Recession Recovery website, http://jccirecoverystudy.blogspot.com/p/meeting-handouts.html.  During difficult economic times the community turns to its community colleges for education and training as has been the case during the current recession.  FGC offers the communities it serves a wide range of high quality programs, including Banner Centers in logistics and water resources. The logistics program is linked with JAXPORT and the future development of an inland port. The water resources program is accessed by students in the region and around the world, including students in the military and as far away as Saudi Arabia. [Staff note: Banner Centers focus on training for workers in industries that are critical to growing


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Florida’s diverse economy, including aviation and aerospace, biotechnology, construction, energy, homeland security and defense, logistics and distribution, manufacturing, information technology, tourism and digital media. Located at state colleges, universities, or industry organizations, the Banner Centers engage educational institutions, businesses and workforce economic development partners, among others, to provide a focal point for industry-specific skills training.] FGC provides educational opportunities for all types of students, including the employed, unemployed, traditional students, non-traditional students, inmates, and others.

Brent Lemond presentation Brent Lemond’s PowerPoint presentation is available at the Recession Recovery website, http://jccirecoverystudy.blogspot.com/p/meeting-handouts.html.  FCTC offers post secondary certification programs that can be completed in a year or less. These quick turnaround programs are beneficial for adult education students and high school drop outs.  The barriers to postsecondary education include cost and lack of readiness. Even students who receive a Pell grant will not be able to meet all of their financial obligations. Opportunity cost is another barrier – many students need the income from work today in order to meet familial and other obligations. They can not put off work to go to school. Offering classes at convenient times – night and day – is one way to eliminate the scheduling barrier for working students.  When students enter a program and are not able to read or compute at the required level, remediation is necessary. This takes up time and wastes money, which can lead students to leaving their program of study.  Having goals is very important. Young people who know what they want to do come in motivated and prepared. Students without an idea of what they want to do are not motivated in the same way and may leave the program sooner than their counterparts.  Helping students create goals is aided by career pathways counseling that begins in high school. For example, students are shown that beginning one’s career as a Certified Nursing Assistant can be the foundation for becoming a well-paid Registered Nurse with a bachelor’s degree.  Postsecondary institutions work with each other as well as government and private enterprise. We sit on one another’s advisory boards, have intertwined grant processes, gear programs towards the target industries, host joint jobs fairs, etc.  Postsecondary education plays a critical role in supporting entrepreneurs. Our institutions can help with training and skills development, including developing a business plan, accounting, and communications.  The students who come to FCTC do not necessarily represent the young people who are graduating from high schools in the region – twenty percent test below requisites for language and math. Our students are not typically high achieving high school graduates. Other students may not have been in a classroom for quite some time and will have some depleted skills.  The State of Florida is doing a good job of accountability. The school grades now take college readiness into consideration based on CPT (college placement test), ACT, and SAT scores.  Curriculum alignment is critical in efforts to educate students at the postsecondary level. For example, FCTC has an articulation agreement with FSCJ, which means that students can leave one of our programs and enter a program at the state college with their credits intact.  Best practices include career academies, small learning communities, and regional career academies. Dr. Steve Wallace presentation  Economic development is central to the mission of the FSCJ and influences the community’s quality of the life. With regard to economic development, FSCJ impacts two key areas, business attraction and workforce development.  Workforce development (education and training) is the key to human capital improvement, without which economic development fails. One indicator for this is when 30 percent of a community’s 2434 Atlantic Boulevard

Jacksonville, Florida 32207 904-396-3052 Fax: 904-398-1469

www.jcci.org


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   

population have earned bachelor’s degrees, that community’s per capita income tends to be above average. We are experiencing two positive education trends locally. o This is a smart community. People have recognized that a high school education is not sufficient to compete in the knowledge-based economy and due to the economic downturn many people are taking advantage of higher education opportunities. o Years ago there were two pathways in high school - vocational/work or college preparatory. Today there is only one path. Employers and postsecondary institutions are looking for graduates with the same skill sets. In response to these changes and others, Florida Community College at Jacksonville closed its doors after 44 years and reopened as four new entities, including a state college that offers bachelor degrees with open admissions at the freshmen level and a career college that provides training for high wage/high skill jobs within nine months to one year. The college serves the needs of a variety of populations such as 4,000 foreign nationals who need to learn English and military personnel around the world. FSCJ has over 85,000 students. The college also has a Banner Center in Aerospace. Areas of concerns include the fact that 70 percent of the students entering FSCJ require remediation and this has not improved in 15 years. Career Academies are crucial in helping young people develop goals and motivates them to enroll in and finish college. Everyone who has not finished his or her education should take steps to complete their degree. We should also encourage folks to train for those jobs that can not be outsourced like the skilled trades. Right now the Jacksonville Commitment provides scholarships for low income students to attend a local college or university, but the award should also cover vocational careers. Consumer protection in education is an issue that we must be aware of as well. Many young people only get one shot at higher education and it is risky for their futures when they enter programs that are expensive, not regionally accredited, and not well regarded. If they graduate from these programs they may not find work and if they drop out they may be left with a huge debt and nontransferable credits.

Question and answers with speakers Q. At what age does it become apparent to young people what career they wish to pursue? Hall: It has more to do with goal setting. If the young person knows what he/she wants to do, then they are more likely to follow-through and do it. Lemond: This happens at various stages and depends on the individual. Having an academic focus is an important component. Wallace: When reality sets in! This is a multi-stage process. They get tired of low pay or a dead end job, followed by panic and confusion, so we provide assessment and guidance to our students. The military is also a viable option for many young people. The training provided is excellent. Q. Discuss the different accrediting agencies? Lemond: Our institution is accredited by the Council on Education (COE) and our programs are supported by corresponding business and industry entities. Hall: FGC is regionally accredited by SACS (Southern Association of Colleges and Schools). The accrediting agency makes a difference in the quality of the programs offered. Wallace: For technical colleges the industry accreditation is very important. Regional accreditation is much more rigorous than national accreditation in terms of degree validity and employer acceptance. [Staff note: According to the U.S. Department of Department of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation, there are only six bodies that can award regional accreditation - Middle State Association of Colleges and Schools, New England Association of Schools and Colleges, North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, Northwest Association of Schools and Colleges, Southern 2434 Atlantic Boulevard

Jacksonville, Florida 32207 904-396-3052 Fax: 904-398-1469

www.jcci.org


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Association of Colleges and Schools, and the Western Association of Schools and Colleges.] Q. How do your institutions work with the high schools and the issues faced by students in your communities? Wallace: Our kids are in crisis. Societal impacts are having a huge impact on these young people. It is particularly bad in the South. We are collaborating with the employers and others to help students succeed. Our goal is to get out of the remediation business. Consider that the most profitable job for a college drop out is to become a drug dealer. We can predict which children will fail by looking at their fourth grade reading scores. Lemond: We can not educate young people if they do not show up for class. Likewise efforts to keep students in class at any cost may help to improve school grades (attendance), but disruptive students make it difficult for the other students to learn. Hall: It is difficult to get math teachers. At many schools you have the football coach teaching math. Up to 90 percent of students have to be remediated; the lack of basic skills is hurting us. Q. Are students asking for or are they interested in green technologies? Wallace: “Green technology” is a great sound bite, but it is not clear what this means in terms of specific jobs. Hall: it is important that job training be related to job opportunities. Forestry is an example of an environmentally friendly job with no demand, so the program is no longer being offered. Lemond: Green technology and processes are incorporated into our existing programs. Q. Institutions in some states guarantee the quality of the graduates they train. Can the colleges in Florida do this as a way to better market the state’s workforce? Hall: This was something that we did when I was Arizona. Lemond: FCTC guarantees its graduates. If they do not meet the employer’s expectations, then they are retrained at no cost. Wallace: FSCJ also does this. Q. What can be done in response to the economic crisis to more effectively educate young people? Wallace: We work on this everyday and are convinced that we are incorporating best practices, tracking outcomes, and more. The problem is the education pipeline; our students are coming into the college unprepared. Lemond: The challenges are long term, in some areas legislative action is needed, and we still have to address the issue of opportunity costs. For example, after completing 60 hours of coursework Pell grant funds are distributed directly to students, so many will take the money and not return to school because they need the cash. Q. Have your institutions experienced any unexpected impacts from the recession? Wallace: Our business counters the business cycle. We have experienced an increase in overall demand and increased enrollment in programs that mirror job demand – IT, health care, and business. More students are also attending full-time. Hall: Students are staying home to attend school or are coming back home, both of which cause stress for the students and their families. Q. Is every student offered a career assessment after enrollment? Wallace: An assessment is required for technical students. Many of the young people at FSCJ are first generation students. They are not sure how careers and colleges work. Even with assessments and training we have to keep in mind that many of the careers that will exist in ten years do not exist today. WorkSource is located on campus and provides students with career assessment and planning. Lemond: We use the Florida Choice aptitude test for all students to measure their ability. If the student 2434 Atlantic Boulevard

Jacksonville, Florida 32207 904-396-3052 Fax: 904-398-1469

www.jcci.org


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wants training in a specific area, we test them in that area as well. Hall: Of all students, about one-third self-advise, another third seek advice from a friend, and the last third seek an advisor. FGC provides continuous counseling/advising to our students. Group discussion comments – New or surprising information and unanswered questions.  The high school graduation rate data varies depending on the source.  A high school diploma does not necessarily correlate to readiness for work or to continue to postsecondary education.  Fourth grade reading scores can predict whether or not students will graduate.  Consumer protection issues in education can limit a student’s workforce opportunities and cause financial problems.  The recession ended a year ago, it is not clear when jobs (a lagging indicator) will return. The chair reminded the committee to attend next week’s meeting and asked them to complete their group process check forms. The meeting was adjourned at 1:35 PM.

2434 Atlantic Boulevard

Jacksonville, Florida 32207 904-396-3052 Fax: 904-398-1469

www.jcci.org


SC Meeting Summary 02.16.2011 Draft to Study Committee