For example, Rio Salado College in Tempe, Ariz. works closely with corporations, government agencies, and other educational institutions to provide online classes that are convenient to students’ schedules and prepare them to succeed in well-paying careers.
The college and its business partners, ranging from airlines and banks to insurers, recognize that half of those who enroll in college are dropping out, citing costs and the demands of juggling work and family. A majority of today’s students work at least part-time and are raising families. Students at Rio Salado can choose from more than 600 online classes and more than 60 certificates and degrees, as well as in-person and hybrid classes (on-line and in-person) at college locations and workplaces.
One of Rio Salado College’s corporate partners, The United Services Automobile Association (USAA), has increased its workforce nearly ten-fold in recent years, due in large part to the kind of skills training and college credits completed at Rio Salado by more than 3,000 of its employees.
Large technology-intensive employers like Fortune 100 company Northrop Grumman drive America’s economic future and can represent a critical tipping point in education and training. Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding spin-off Huntington Ingalls relies on a highly skilled workforce equipped to handle the escalating challenges of nuclear-powered shipbuilding.
This business imperative justifies an investment of more than $100,000 per student to provide training and degrees through the Newport News Apprentice School in Newport News, Virginia. Apprentice students receive a salary and benefits as they progress through four- and five-year programs that build skills needed for success in the industry and provide associate degrees in business administration, engineering technology, or engineering. The curriculum provides the educational foundation necessary for continued growth throughout a career, with 80 percent of graduates still employed after five years and 70 percent employed after 15 years.