Should Colleges Prep Students for Jobs That Don't Exist Yet?
Steven Rose, President of Passaic County Community College, explains why he believes colleges and universities have the responsibility to introduce students to the jobs that might not exist yet, while providing a clear roadmap to for a timely graduation.
"Dr. Steven Rose is president of Passaic County Community College. It's good to see you Steve. Good to see you. How many community colleges are there? We have 19 in New Jersey. We've had conversations before on our sister program Caucus New Jersey with you and some of the other presidents. One of the issues that keeps being talked about is this "guided pathways" initiative. Yeah. What is it and why does it matter to our audience? Why it matters is probably when you and I were in college we probably took too many credits. Associate degree is supposed to be 60 credits. Bachelors degree, 120 credits. Typical associates degree nation wide, students are getting 81 credits before they graduate. What's the problem with that? The problem is that they're wasting time. So what we're trying to do is get students into a pathway and when you get in a pathway, you kind of put some guard rails on it so you don't stray too far from the pathway. So one of the things we're doing when students enter the college... We've developed this thing called metamajors. So, you've got 6 or 7 metamajors. We're not asking them to choose from the 60 programs that we offer. We're saying choose from one of these six. So, let's say you know you want to do something in healthcare. So we have the students. They choose the healthcare metamajor. What we're doing is we're designing their first semester at the college. It doesn't matter what field of healthcare you want to go into. You're all going to take the same courses. How does it impact people’s experience in college and potentially what happens after? Well, it's going to keep them more focused. You're still taking general ed courses. You're still getting a liberal education. You're still learning about all of these things. But we want them to get focused. The problem is a lot of these new careers that are out there, if you go into healthcare, everyone says they know about being a nurse. But they don't know about all these things dealing with radiography, with X-ray. They don't understand this whole thing with medical records. More possibilities? Sure. And what we want to do in that first semester is get them to explore those possibilities. Get them to understand if you always wanted to be a nurse but there's more to healthcare than being a nurse. Mm hmm. And maybe they should learn about these things. So we take the first semester whether you're in an engineering pathway or a STEM pathway or liberal arts. You want to transfer. Just figure out what is out there so maybe, if they're a little more focused, they'll get..."