A fast-track management program designed by faculty from Cedar Valley College, North Lake College and instructional designers from the Dallas County Community College District's LeCroy Center for Educational Telecommunications has been chosen as one of 10 finalists for the 2017 Bellwether Award in the workforce development category by the Bellwether College Consortium.
The Bellwether College Consortium promotes innovative and effective higher education programs that are worthy of replication at other institutions.
The Accelerated Supervisor Certificate program is an online, 18-credit-hour, competency-based education program that offers working professionals the opportunity to earn a supervisor certificate. The low-cost program provides workers with a pipeline that can lead to a promotion. Employees from Dallas Area Rapid Transit, or DART, and CVS Pharmacies enrolled in the pilot program, and 27 of the 28 individuals who signed up are expected to graduate in December.
The bookless, interactive and media-rich program was designed so that students spend time on material that they don't already know, according to Dr. Diane Minger, coordinator of the management program at Cedar Valley, who served as a content expert along with faculty from North Lake.
"I am so proud to have been able to work with such a great team of instructional designers at LeCroy and with my management program counterpart at North Lake, Gemmy Allen," Dr. Minger said. "We have all worked very hard to give students the best possible learning experience."
Many of those students who were not already at supervisory levels on their jobs were promoted and are scheduled to receive raises. "These results have far exceeded our expectations," added Minger, who said that she's heard from several students about the timeliness and value of the program.
"Many are able to put their new knowledge and skills to use immediately at meetings or in interactions with colleagues at work," Dr. Minger said. "They love the fact that the courses require no textbooks. They have commented about how much more they have enjoyed these courses compared to traditional online courses. They enjoy the interactivity and feel more engaged."
The winners of the Bellwether Awards will be announced on Jan. 31, 2017, at the conclusion of the Community College Futures Assembly in Orlando, Florida. The finalists will provide an hour-long presentation in front of anonymous judges, and the winners will be chosen based on those presentations and on the supplementary materials they provide.
Dr. Minger; Dr. Pamela Quinn, provost and LeCroy Center CEO; Dr. Christa Slejko, North Lake College president; North Lake's Gemmy Allen; Monica Lira Bravo, DCCCD trustee; and Anne Lopez, project director for the Retail Pathways Pilot Initiative at Educate+Innovate, will represent DCCCD at the assembly. Through a partnership with Educate+Innovate, students in the pilot are able to complete the certificate program without incurring tuition or textbook expenses.