June 25, 2021
California chancellor says, despite progress, colleges ‘not doing enough’ to prepare students for jobs.
Community colleges and their partners can do more to train students for the workforce, a process that should start as early as middle school, community college leaders and experts said Thursday.
During the EdSource Roundtable discussion, the first in a new series, panelists agreed that community colleges in California and elsewhere often fall short in preparing adult workers. To remedy that, they suggested strategies such as better career counseling and helping students get more work experience during their education.
Eloy Oakley, the systemwide chancellor overseeing California’s community colleges, said that while colleges have made some progress in preparing their students for careers, they are “not doing enough.” He said that, in many cases, for-profit colleges and others are doing a better job at enrolling adult learners than the community colleges.
“We’re not moving fast enough by any means, in no way, shape or form,” he said. “…We have to acknowledge that we have to become much more flexible, much more focused on upskilling, stacking credentials, giving students opportunities to personalize their needs in ways that we haven’t been able to do before.”