I’m not the only one thinking about phlebotomy. The president of Seward County Community College agrees:
So we changed our approach. We now start by asking people in the community what they need. We invest the time to engage with our students when they start in order to understand their specific interests and needs. We elicit meaningful input from regional business and industry partners, to learn what they seek in employees. Most important, we don’t presume that our notions of higher education and its value are the same as those held by our community, and we ensure that our offerings are tailored to our students — not the other way around.
That’s radical in higher education. While he’s talking mostly about community college, Ken Trzaska is pointing the finger at four year schools as well:
Refining programs that work for the needs of our community — without sacrificing the quality of our education — hasn’t been easy or simple. The fact is that we had a lot of work to do to reconnect with the longstanding regional community members and forge understanding with our newcomers. I’d wager that the same is true of many community colleges and other higher education institutions around the country. But that shouldn’t deter us.
The comfortable world of academia must own its shortcomings.