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Where Talent Meets Career Opportunity

Nontraditional students are now the majority in post-secondary education. According to a Department of Education study published this September,1 74 percent of students in the 2011-2012 school year possessed at least one nontraditional characteristic. As defined by the DOE's study, nontraditional characteristics include not having a traditional high school diploma, attending school part-time, working full-time, delaying post-secondary enrollment, being independent for financial aid purposes, having one or more dependents, or being a single caregiver.
Recently, the Institute for Workforce Innovation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the communities of north central Florida, celebrated a new attendance milestone and the post-graduate success of students from its Project YouthBuild AmeriCorps/Penn Foster High School Completion Program in Gainesville, FL.
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In today's technology-driven environment, academic institutions have numerous options for serving students who don't fit the traditional mold. For years, traditional two- and four-year colleges have been offering full-time online courses in an effort to accommodate these nontraditional students, but career colleges have done so less frequently, as those programs require more hands-on learning. Now another method is quickly catching on across career college campuses - the blended learning model. This practice combines in-person education with Internet resources or online courses. If you're considering implementing blended learning in the classroom, these are a few of the benefits for both your school and your students1.
Many products and services, from magazine subscriptions and book clubs to software and digital services offer a risk-free trial program. Career colleges may wish to borrow this tactic and offer prospective students a risk-free trial period at their school. Doing so shows prospective students that you understand their anxiety about enrolling. Some students may not be familiar with the idea of career college, or they may be unsure how it compares with other educational options. Others will be uncertain how they will perform in a career college environment. A risk-free trial gives them a chance to relieve these concerns by experiencing career college firsthand before enrolling. Here are a few best practices to effectively and ethically use this strategy:
The thought of juggling both work and class can often be a roadblock for employees who'd like to go back to school. At first glance, employers might be reluctant to hire workers who are juggling several external responsibilities. But employers who support their employees in earning a degree can reap a variety of benefits, including increased loyalty, higher retention rates, and greater engagement at work. Here's how you can help ease your employee's education journey.
Over the decades, companies large and small have had to be nimble, adapt, and transform in order to stay relevant and competitive in the ever-shifting global market. The incoming generation of workers, Gen Z, are highly tech savvy and ultra-connected. In order to attract and retain this incoming workforce, employers must embrace a new culture of technology and learning. Understanding the motivations and expectations of this group will be essential for companies to position themselves for tomorrow's success.
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Thirty-eight percent of employers report having trouble filling jobs, according to ManpowerGroup's latest annual Talent Shortage Survey.1 This is a 2 percent increase over 2014, demonstrating that the skills gap is a growing problem for employers. The jobs most impacted by this skills gap are skilled trade workers (including plumbers, electricians, auto mechanics and HVAC technicians), administrative professionals, drivers, sales representatives and accounting and finance staff.
In a culture where the four-year college experience is considered traditional, some students worry that attending a career school will carry the stigma of being "less than." However, the reality is that education is changing to keep pace with technology and the economy, and educators and employers have come to recognize the benefits of alternatives in higher education.
Many employers report struggling with recruiting and retaining hardworking, successful millennial workers. Yet the reality is, millennials are now the largest generation in U.S. labor force, according to the Pew Research Center.1 Employers at Quick Service Restaurants who don't understand what millennials want from their jobs and employers need to learn to accommodate the typical expectations of this rising generation - or continue to face the skyrocketing costs of high turnover.
Social media can be a powerful method of communicating with prospective students - if your career college uses it correctly. About two-thirds of high school students use social media to research colleges, and more than one-third of those students use social media to help decide where to enroll, according to a survey conducted by Zinch, an online scholarship- and school-matching service.1,2 Follow these five best practices to boost your career college's enrollment efforts and give prospective students insight into your school.

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