Initial Publication Date: June 8, 2017

Workforce Development Programs at Two-year Colleges

Information on this page is derived from a presentation by Robert Blodgett, Austin Community College

Workforce Development Programs at two-year colleges tend to have several things in common regardless of where they are in the country. They tend to be focused locally, taking on the natural resource, environmental, geospatial, or geotechnical needs in their area. This local focus also means that they tend to be strongly connected to and aligned with local business and industries, and often place their students in internships as a part of the program. The programs tend to have a mixture of college-transfer courses and technical courses and lead students towards Associate's degrees as well as technical certificates. Faculty with industry experience are common at two-year colleges, but even more so in these programs, having themselves attained at least an Associate's or Bachelor's degree.

Advanced Technological Education (ATE) Centers

The Advanced Technological Education (ATE) program endeavors to strengthen the skills of technicians, whose work is vitally important to the nation's prosperity and security. In ATE centers and projects, community colleges have a leadership role and work in partnership with universities, secondary schools, business and industry, and government agencies to design and carry out model workforce development initiatives. Three of these centers focus on technology programs in the geosciences.

Examples of Programs

There are a number of programs at two-year colleges around the country specifically aimed at preparing students for work in a particular sector of the geoscience workforce. A selection of these is presented below as links to web pages or presentations. But the list is far from complete, so if you know of a great program that should be included in the list, let us know.

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