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tudents earn Workplace Experience and School Credits in Dual-credit Programs.

For a long time, educators have been advocating for adding real-world experience to the education received in schools. These advocates argue that allowing the students to apply the theoretical knowledge they have learned would equip them to gain a proper foothold in the job market they’ll enter after leaving school.

Illinois's College of Lake County partnered with local high schools as part of the dual-credit program, allowing high schoolers to earn tuition-free college credits.

The program allows them to earn extra college credits while learning how to use the tools and technology to give them an advantage in future careers. The program provides an opportunity to work with industry-specific manufacturing equipment and advanced technologies, all aimed at helping prepare them for the workforce they'll be entering. 

Last year alone, the college served over 2,200 dual-credit students and saved families $1.5 million in tuition and fees. 

With the Manufacturing industry getting increasingly connected to the web and the internet of things, students need to use modern machines relevant to current industry standards.

Subsequently, the College's Advanced Technology Center is equipped with modern networking solutions like  CAT 5e cabling, an Amatrol learning management system, AutoCAD, 132 wireless access points, and Cisco switches. This ensures students can always connect to the network with their devices.

The students are also equipped with computers for all of their online work,  for study guides, and to run specialized pieces of software for their capstone projects. 


Gen Z's Take on Building Workplace-based Learning Forces Colleges to Rethink

High school graduates are increasingly questioning the worth of higher education, causing colleges to reconsider the value they offer.

According to an ECMC Group survey, 81% of students want skills they'll need after college but don't want to pay for tuition. 

To address this, experts advise incorporating work-based learning into post-secondary educational programs and providing encompassing career preparation susupportervices. Instances include the micro internships and mentoring programs at the University of Nebraska at Lincoln (UNL), which connect students with paid positions at local organizations. UNL designed the program as paid micro internships to assist underprivileged students who may be working other part-time jobs while in college.

Though currently only open to first-generation students and students of color, it aims to allow all students to develop durable professional skills and build social capital. 

Colleges also respond to this demand for workplace skills by building stronger relationships between colleges and businesses. 

These mutually aligned partnerships between colleges and would-be employers could result in more transparency around student career outcomes, greater alignment between colleges and industry, and feedback and support from the higher ed community.


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