Online Education, Continuing Education
PR Newswire | January 08, 2024
The ASU W. P. Carey School of Business and Televerde Foundation have worked alongside community partners to offer a unique PATHS program for women as they transition out of prison. PATHS, an acronym for Prepare, Achieve, and Transform for Healthy Success, teaches skills in personal wellness, workplace readiness, employment strategies, mentoring, financial literacy, and lifelong learning. The program begins while the women are still incarcerated and continues through their reentry and transition back into society.
"We are thrilled to expand our partnership with the ASU W. P. Carey School of Business, further empowering women through education," said Michelle Cirocco, executive director of Televerde Foundation. "Our PATHS program goes beyond just providing skills; it's about transforming lives. This expansion marks a significant step toward reducing recidivism and opening new opportunities for women from all walks of life to rewrite their narratives. It also underscores our belief in education as a crucial driver of personal growth and societal advancement. We are committed to helping these women become positive role models in their communities and building a brighter, more secure future for themselves and their families."
Julia LaRosa, clinical associate professor, and Kostas Voutsas, assistant teaching professor, from the Department of Management and Entrepreneurship, are two members of the W. P. Carey community who teach in the program. They focus on workplace readiness skills through college-level business fundamentals, business communication, and professional development courses.
As of fall 2023, women who complete the Career PATHS coursework earning a C or better have the opportunity to turn their completed work into college credit through ASU's Universal Learner program. The associated fees are currently covered by Televerde Foundation, with future iterations also being funded by the generosity of donors through the ASU Foundation.
"Turning time in prison into a college education experience is truly inspiring," says Voutsas, who teaches the Effective Communication for Career Success class. "It is a practical course that empowers students to communicate as leaders, embrace diversity and inclusion, build positive relationships, and maximize efficiency and effectiveness in the workplace. It explores both verbal and nonverbal communication, cross-cultural communication, customer service, the writing process, writing mechanics, interviewing and resume techniques, as well as delivering presentations with confidence."
Since the program's inception in 2020, the results have been truly remarkable. Of the 161 students who have completed the program, the recidivism rate is zero compared with the expected 40% to 60% rate. According to the Televerde Foundation, graduates' salaries are also 61% to 75% higher than their less prepared counterparts.
While the quantitative outcomes are extraordinary, the qualitative impacts are equally important. Mary Montemorra, a PATHS graduate, explains, "Televerde Foundation and PATHS have given me the ability to fit into a community that once felt so far away. Remember, being sent to prison means the society you once were part of decided to remove you from its communities physically. PATHS gave that community back to me."
One benefit of the Universal Learner program is the connection it helps non-traditional students form with ASU. "At W. P. Carey, we are prioritizing access in the communities we serve," says Raghu Santanam, senior associate dean for Executive Education, Corporate Partnerships, and Lifelong Learning. "Connecting PATHS to ASU as a for-credit course legitimizes the hard work these women are undertaking and makes it easier for them to transition into college in the future."
Higher education is indeed more within reach for individuals involved in the justice system. As of July 1, 2023, the FAFSA Simplification Act provisions make PELL grants available to all qualified incarcerated people to further pursue post-secondary education through approved Prison Education Programs (PEPs).
"A mere vision has blossomed into a sustainable program," says LaRosa. PATHS is "dedicated to aiding incarcerated women in reshaping the course of their lives and those of their families. Witnessing the transformative impact of a college education unfolding within our community is truly remarkable and the high point of my career."
Education Technology, Online Education
PR Newswire | January 10, 2024
Stiegler EdTech announced today that its latest Charlotte-based technology workforce program Varsity Esports & STEM League (VESL) is expanding to Eastern NC thanks to the leadership and continued support of Live Oak Bank and its philanthropic commitment to education and workforce development.
"We are thrilled to support the continued expansion of VESL across North Carolina," said Kate Groat, Live Oak Bank's Director of Corporate Philanthropy. "This program provides students with workforce-ready skills while keeping them engaged in learning. We are proud to empower youth in our community to further their education and career potential."
VESL aims to teach valuable coding and technology skills to meet the talent needs of the tech industry in North Carolina. All North Carolina high school students are eligible to participate in VESL where they will be given the opportunity to learn critical STEM skills while participating in Esports & STEM competitions through their schools. Thanks to the grant funding from Live Oak, more students in Eastern NC will be able to gain access to scholarships, earn needs-based aid, and support additional financial incentives and opportunities to pursue higher education and technology careers.
"This partnership offers our community a competitive advantage both in terms of the impact VESL will make directly with New Hanover County students as well as the long-term confidence it will provide employers who invest in North Carolina that there will indeed be great technology talent to hire locally moving forward," adds Luke Waddell, Wilmington City Council Member. "Live Oak Bank's commitment to the region through programs like VESL is an exciting investment in the next generation of tech talent in Eastern NC."
The funding supports events such as regional tournaments, including one planned in Wilmington this winter, following the success of a state-wide championship tournament held in Charlotte last year, which brought together thousands of students and fans.
"Americans are underskilled and employers have to be a part of the solution," says Tariq Bokhari, Charlotte City Council Member and Chairman of Stiegler EdTech. "Vital funding like Live Oak's grant gives us the ability to empower young minds to learn highly sought after skills and think innovatively about real-world problems that directly impact our future. This means better students, better outcomes, and more opportunities for our next generation."
Education Technology, Talent Development
PR Newswire | January 11, 2024
N2K Networks, a leader in strategic cyber workforce intelligence, is proud to announce its partnership with Women in CyberSecurity (WiCyS), a nonprofit organization dedicated to the recruitment, retention, and advancement of women in cybersecurity. This collaboration will result in a comprehensive Cyber Talent Study that leverages skills data from the professional members of WiCyS, with an aim to deepen the collective understanding of cybersecurity competencies within the industry.
A Commitment to Empowerment and Insight
The study is designed to diagnose and analyze cybersecurity skills across the WiCyS professional member community, leveraging the advanced N2K NICE Workforce Diagnostic assessment. Under this initiative, N2K will provide WiCyS professional members complimentary access to the NICE Diagnostic, allowing them to assess their knowledge-area strengths and weaknesses aligned to the NICE Cybersecurity Workforce Framework.
In addition to providing participants with personal insight into skills gaps and opportunities for professional development, the study will help identify commonalities in skills, potential gaps in knowledge and abilities, and other corollary findings that will provide strategic value to the entire cybersecurity industry. By delving into the talent landscape, the initiative seeks to illustrate and compare data in novel ways to establish an understanding of the alignment between member skill sets and the roles they actively occupy, as well as industry expectations of similar roles.
"This partnership between N2K and WiCyS is the demonstration of our shared commitment to empower cybersecurity professionals through enhanced knowledge and understanding," said Simone Petrella, President of N2K Networks. "WiCyS brings a wealth of expertise and community building to the field, and by embracing the data-driven approaches we use at N2K, we can unlock hidden potentials, identify skill gaps, and illuminate the unique skills and talent that women bring to the forefront of cybersecurity."
"What I value about this project is that we are providing a tool to deliver insight to our members on their career path and professional development," states Lynn Dohm, Executive Director of WiCyS. "By utilizing N2K's assessment, our members will be able to make informed choices about next steps in their employment path and which areas they need to focus on for growth advancement in their careers. Through data-driven programs like this, we can continue to contribute our efforts to overcome the critical cybersecurity workforce shortage."
A Future Envisioned
The partnership between N2K Networks and WiCyS marks a significant step forward in deepening our understanding of the capabilities of the cybersecurity workforce. By joining forces, both organizations affirm their dedication to creating a more informed, skilled, and resilient cyber landscape.