The Strengthening MiWorkforce Pathways project seeks to strengthen equitable access to and through workforce programs through network-building with a strategic focus on program design, alignment with local labor market needs, incorporation of industry-recognized credentials, progress into bachelor’s degree programs, and deployment of timely advising interventions to maintain student momentum.  Generously funded by the Ascendium Education Group, this work centers on four core strategies.  Below is a brief video overview of the project and accompanying slides.

The MCSS hosted a series of exploratory workshops in Winter and Spring 2021 featuring all four project strategies with our partners at the Community College Research Center, the Michigan Bureau of Labor Market Information and Strategic Initiatives, the Rutgers University Education and Employment Research Center, Jobs for the Future, and Achieving the Dream.  These four workshops provide valuable background from national experts on the important work we hope to achieve in this project.  Review all four videos to learn more.  


Improving Equitable Workforce Program Design

Strategy #1 is open to selected programs at community colleges that are interested in improving their applied certificate and degree programs.  Colleges engaging in this deeper dive will better understand how programs are helping graduates successfully access jobs with family-sustaining wages, ensure that colleges are providing equitable access and success, supporting program exploration, and delivering effective student supports. 


Awarding Academic Credit for Industry Recognized Credentials

This strategy focuses on supporting colleges in their efforts to award academic credit for industry credentials by developing equitable policies, establishing equivalencies, designing an equitable process to award credit, and communicating credit equivalencies and policies to students and employers.  Institutions are invited to use marketing materials to communicate the new industry credentials database on the Michigan Transfer Network including the Customizable News ReleaseFlyerPostcardSocial Media Toolkit.

MCCA hosted four workshops to support colleges in their efforts to establish institutional policies, align industry credentials with coursework, and redesign the student experience.  




Designing Transfer Pathways to the Bachelor's Degree

This strategy focuses on building multi-institutional transfer agreements between applied workforce programs at community colleges and bachelor's degree completion programs at Michigan's public and independent institutions of higher education.  In October 2022, MCCA facilitated the development and implementation of four new transfer agreements including Applied Business, General Applied Science Healthcare, and Information Technology.

25 community colleges and 10 universities joined the four agreements which collectively provide a bachelor's degree completion pathway for graduates of 529 associate degree programs at community colleges in programs such as Manufacturing Engineering Technology, Hospitality Management, Cardiac Sonography, Cybersecurity, and more.  Visit the Michigan Transfer Network to learn more about these agreements.  


Developing Timely Advising Supports

Advisors and counselors are constantly engaging in professional development to help students explore diverse careers and provide adequate guidance to explore careers.  The Professional Learning Space provides timely advising support to professionals who help students explore career opportunities through a holistic advising model.  College personnel can complete all of the lessons in the module and earn a certificate.