The ICT-Digital Media Sector is pleased to announce four newly funded Industry Sector Projects in Common. Many individual colleges and regions will participate with matching funding, and all colleges will benefit from best practices shared. Project teams are already at work and will share their progress during the coming months.
Business Information Worker Student Cohorts
The ICT-Digital Media Sector has partnered with the California Hispanic Chambers of Commerce (CHCC) to recruit and retain cohorts of BIW students during the 18/19 school year. Students will complete required courses together and receive additional support to stay on track with their coursework and prepare for job interviews once they complete the program.
The cohort approach is being piloted at eight community colleges this fall. The objective is to increase retention by creating communities of students who share similar goals and having them learn from each other, along with learning from the instructors. They will complete the BIW 1 pathway courses as a group in two semesters.
The CHCC and participating colleges will work together to recruit current students as well students from the community, including underserved minorities and adults who need to obtain foundational business technology skills needed to re-enter the workforce.
Where possible, arrangements will be made to support the purchase or rental of textbooks, parking passes, and vouchers for industry certification testing. Key campus staff will be available to assist students through the registration process and monthly cohort activities will be arranged to help students obtain job readiness skills.
Both the CHCC and participating colleges are looking to help students secure positions with local employers upon completing the pathway.
IT Readiness & Cyber Competitions
The ICT-Digital Media Sector will work with the 10 community college regions to establish community-based cyber competition teams that will compete on behalf of their host cities and mayors. Student teams will compete in the Mayors Cup on behalf of their city mayor once per year in the spring to bring home the cup to their city hall trophy cabinet for that year.
The Mayors Cup will target high school teams in the region and is open to any team, not just those registered with the AFA for CyberPatriot. This will help ensure that competitors are from diverse economic, social and ethnic backgrounds to provide a rich competition experience for those who may not have previously had the chance to participate.
This project will build the funnel of students coming from high school into colleges, bring cybersecurity awareness to communities, and help build the future cyber workforce for all cities in California.
Additionally, the sector will assist five participating colleges in attaining their Center of Academic Excellence (CAE2Y) of Information Assurance/Cyber Defense designation. The CAE2Y is a standard of excellence established by the National Security Agency (NSA) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to identify designated institutions as quality sources for education and employees.
The newly designated colleges will be among the first in a network of California Community Colleges recognized as desirable places to go for cybersecurity training as well as preferred sources for highly training professionals in cybersecurity.
Colleges will be provided with mentors to take them through the rigorous process which includes verification of curriculum and institutional compliance and the application submittal and review process.
Faculty Development Conference Support
The ICT-Digital Media Sector will fund three annual two-day conferences, including CBEA (California Business Educators Conference), Digital Media Educators Conference and the ICT Winter Conference, as well as WASTC Summer Faculty Development Weeks. Combined, more than 800 faculty from business, computer science, IT and digital media departments are expected to attend.
Previously, the ICT-Digital Media Deputy Sector Navigators (DSNs) used portions of their 1070 funds to support several faculty development conferences each year. This project helps fill the void left by the loss of those funds, continuing the tradition of ongoing training and faculty education for instructors on ever-changing technology.
Industry Partner Engagement Program
As the majority of colleges struggle to gain adequate and insightful industry partnerships, this pilot will establish an efficient and effective Advisory Platform at scale throughout the state, initially for ICT and ultimately for all CTE disciplines.
Understanding the needs and expectations of stakeholders (college faculty, administrators, regional consortia, sector and deputy sector navigators, business leaders and workforce development partners) and discovering industry partnership best practices will inform the development of an Industry Partnerships and Engagement toolkit and web portal to be launched for statewide use.
In addition to communicating best practices, the project team will explore the use of a dedicated website platform through which industry partnerships can hold virtual meetings, discussions and comment on curriculum being developed and/or revised.
Engagement support is critical to onboarding, engaging and growing industry partnerships, and is the underlying support of the entire project. An active community manager will engage with stakeholders and participants through the initial web portal and the prototype website platform through daily monitoring of discussion boards and by providing regular newsletters and communications.