February is National Career Technical Education (CTE) Month. OCCA and Oregon's 17 community colleges look forward to sharing with legislators the impact community college CTE programs have on Oregon's workforce, communities and the state's economic recovery from COVID-19 and reinvigorating the workforce. Each week in February will feature different CTE career/industry areas. Be sure to look for additional communication from your local community college about their CTE programs on social media.
PLEASE NOTE: While community colleges do not have a specific fiscal request related to CTE in the February 2022 Legislative Session, the funding requests related to cybersecurity infrastructure/training needs and the Future Ready Oregon 2022 proposal do have a significant impact on Oregon's community colleges. Without cybersecurity protections in place, colleges could not operate nor could they support CTE programs like the ones featured in this newsletter. Future Ready Oregon, which emphasizes needs in the construction, manufacturing and healthcare industries, includes $17 million for community college Career Pathways programs that will prioritize underserved communities and support workforce programs. We urge legislators to support cybersecurity funding and the Future Ready Oregon proposal during the Legislative Session.
This week features two career areas: Business/Management/HR and Communication/Arts/Information.
The Business and Management career learning area focuses on the business and entrepreneurial needs of Oregon's students as they prepare to enter and succeed in the world of business. The careers in this area span virtually every industry in the world. Studies in Business and Management focus on the commonalities among most businesses, including concepts such as personnel management, marketing, planning, finance, and resource management. This area also includes careers in the hospitality and tourism fields. Human Resources (HR) includes a wide range of careers that weave together work in the areas that focus on people: their needs, their growth and development, and their safety and well-being. Those who work in the fields representing human resources need a common foundation of knowledge and skills that enable them to assess the complex dilemmas facing individuals and groups in unique situations, identify and weigh options and possibilities, and act in ways that are effective and socially-responsible.
The Arts, Information and Communications Career Learning Area includes a wide range of career clusters that involve the creation or transmission of information through the manipulation of a symbolic language. There is an emphasis on process and the concepts of creativity, integrity, and aesthetic awareness. A product is usually associated with that process, but it is the process that retains primary importance. Arts, audio/video technology, and communications workers use creativity and their talents on the job. You might work for an audience as a performer or artist. This includes painters, dancers, sculptors, actors, and singers. Or, you might work behind the scenes to make a performance successful. This includes set designers, editors, broadcast technicians, and camera operators. Information Technology (IT) work involves the design, development, support, and management of hardware, software, multimedia, and systems integration services. This industry has a revolutionary impact on the economy and society. IT careers are available in every sector of the economy. Recently, cybersecurity technicians have become increasingly in-demand as cyber attacks plague nearly every industry sector.
Lane Community College's (LCC) Graphic Design program is a national award-winning program that supports the local economic driver model for community colleges. Over the last six years, the program has been honored five times with the Associated Collegiate Press' prestigious Pacemaker Award for excellence in design and journalism, placing routinely in the top five for Design of the Year. The ACP Awards are competed for by both four-year and two-year schools from Canada and the United States. The LCC Graphic Design program graduates an average of 19 students per year with an average placement in the field of 85%. Of those, 88% are employed in Oregon and 73% find work in the Eugene/Springfield area. On average, 20% of those who enter the field are promoted to leadership within 3 years.
With the increase in technological advancements paired with how integral it has become in every business and industry, the proper skills and knowledge in cybersecurity have become essential. Treasure Valley Community College's (TVCC) Cybersecurity program is designed to prepare graduates for employment in Information Technology. The central focus of the program is on the design, management, and hardening of computer networks, but also devoted to helping students understand today's modern virtualized server infrastructures, databases, tools, and website development. When Cybersecurity AAS student John Stuart was asked about his experience, he said, "This degree is a great way to get started into the security side of computers if that's something you're interested in. This is a good place to start." Check out this video to learn more!
Community colleges know that students are busy, and not just with school. That's why they make it as simple as possible for a student to get started on their education. Take Columbia Gorge Community College (CGCC) for example -- to get started in its Business & Entrepreneurship program, students have to complete just four steps: 1) Apply online; 2) Meet with a helpful advisor; 3) Apply for financial aid; and 4) Register and start classes! It's that easy.
Oregon community colleges serve their specific communities, and programs reflect the needs of their local business and industries. Check out the wide array of career & technical education programs that Oregon community colleges offer in this great video!