WITC faculty member attends NC3 Summit
Indianhead Technical College instructor Frank Vidas was one of the more than 125
education and business leaders from across the United States who attended and
learned from a National Coalition of Certification Centers NC3 summit. Held at
Gateway Technical College’s Kenosha, Wisconsin, campus, this event provided
insight into a national priority calling for industry-driven credentials. Vidas
teaches WITC’s heating, ventilation and air conditioning/refrigeration program
at the Superior campus.
Vidas also was part of the
best practices discussion among colleges, which have integrated these
certifications into their curriculum, as a better means to equip students from
WITC to enter today’s marketplace.
“The future of technical
education is upon us, and it was born right here in the great state of
Wisconsin,” Vidas says. “The NC3 concept of bringing together industry with
higher education is not a new idea. We as educators have known for quite some
time that we need input from industry at the highest of levels. NC3 built that
pathway between industry, higher education, and third-party consultants. WITC
students have benefited already from our involvement with NC3 in utilizing the
third-party certifications, and will continue to do so into the future.”
NC3 is a network of
education providers and corporations that supports, advances and validates new
and emerging technology skills in the transportation, aviation and energy
Colleges at the event
benefit as their leaders learned and shared best practices on how to integrate
industry-driven credentials into academic programs.
“Students benefit because
they are more marketable if they have an industry credential in addition to a
college certificate, diploma or degree. It gives them an advantage in the hiring
process,” says Debbie Davidson, NC3 director of development and Gateway vice
president, Workforce and Economic Development Division.
“Businesses benefit because
the job applicants with these credentials have a third-party validation of their
skills to undergird their college degree and letter grade.”
The event featured
workshops, tours of college facilities and presentations from such leaders as
Wisconsin Secretary of Workforce Development Reggie Newson, the American
Association of Community Colleges “21st Century Report” author and
researcher Walter Bumphus, Wisconsin Technical College System President Morna
Foy as well as John Colborn, CEO for Skills for America’s Future.
The National Coalition of Certification Centers (NC3) was established to address
the need for strong industry partnerships with educational institutions in order
to develop, implement and sustain industry-recognized portable certifications
that have strong validation and assessment standards.