Acts of Collaboration happen all the time, but they are not accidental. Today, SOCHE and its college and university members teamed up with Wright-Patterson Air Force Base as part of the Talent Pipeline Initiative to host the first ever Wright-Patterson Internship Fair. This collaborative effort brought more than 800 students to the National Museum of the US Air Force to meet with employers on base and off base from aerospace and defense. There is no shortage of young, passionate talent in southwest Ohio and collaborative efforts like today are bridging college students with industry in new and productive ways. Cheers to everyone involved!
Are the competencies sought by employers similar to those needed for citizens to protect and lead American democracy? Tuft University’s models of student civic learning outcomes include the following competencies: comprehension, analysis, synthesis, planning, communication, cultural competency, leadership, and evaluation. While SOCHE’s Civic Measures are:deliberation, advocacy, consensus building, awareness, voice, and critical reflection. Aren’t both of these sets the qualities you look for and find in your most talented working professionals? That is part of the question…a question being wrestled with today. I had the opportunity to participate in the launch of a national conversation on this subject held in our nation’s capital on January 21 hosted by the National Issues Forums Institute (NIFI) and several key partners. This conversation responded to concerns voiced by thousands of citizens in more than 160 local forums in which participants deliberated on how higher education maintains a rich, holistic, liberal education while, at the same time, meets growing demands for specific skillsets in our graduates by employers. The topic is ripe for discussion and NIFI has provided an issue guidebook to get us started: The Changing World of Work: What Should We Ask of Higher Education? You can also watch a recording of the January 21 event to hear what higher education, business, and government perspectives shared at the launch: Live Stream Video.
As for SOCHE’s position, we believe through deliberative conversations our region’s 120,000 students will develop the knowledge and skills that strengthen American democracy, as well as make valuable professionals for the creative economy. Hence, we will continue to partner with our members to host issue forums in the future. In the meantime, think about this last question: how best do our campuses bridge their economic and civic missions into one enriched, comprehensive education for Ohioans?
This seems like a good place to capture a few old blog posts I (and also David Miler) wrote for Richard Florida’s Creative Class Group back in 2009-10 during the height of the great recession, which is evident in a few of them in terms of the focus of the content. While the thoughts held relevance then, they still do today as higher ed continues to ponder how to innovate its way into the future. If only higher ed would spend more time pondering how to collaborate its way into the future, because the future is highly dependent on employing deliberative collaborative thinking.