America's two-year colleges play a pivotal role in providing millions of students with the education and training they need for success in the modern economy. For decades, some colleges have made extensive use of local business resources in program and curriculum development. Spurred by federal and state legislation, some colleges have recently sought to improve these connections through school-to-work activities including apprenticeships, co-op programs, work-based learning, and contract education. Faculty also provide connections to the labor market via other employment, interactions with employers, and membership in local community organizations. Despite the apparent importance of such activities, little is known about their extent, which types of faculty members participate, and the barriers to making connections. The authors report evidence from a study of community college faculty that explores linkages to local labor markets and wider communities.
Originally published in: National Center for Research in Vocational Education.
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