"Workforce Education at Green River was VERY instrumental in allowing me to go back to school, and I'm grateful for all the assistance I received and continue to receive." - Genie L, Green River Student

"Make sure you talk to Workforce Education...They can help in many ways to make things go smoothly and make sense." - Chris S, Green River Student

"Workforce Education...will embrace you and lend a helping hand with open hearts." Elsie Q, Green River Student

"Workforce Education has been there for me since day one!" - Jenny S, Green River student

Feb 25, 2011

Prof Tech Profile #2: Geographic Information Systems

Today's Prof Tech Profile is on the Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Program at GRCC, featuring a Q and A with esteemed faculty member Sabah Jabbouri.

Hi Sabah.  To start, can you tell us a little bit about the discipline of GIS?

SABAH:  Geographic Information Systems is not only geography - it is Geospatial Technology, the technology of the 21st century.  GIS is a multidisciplinary geodatabase system, using mapping and data analysis for decision-making processes.  It relates information to locations on earth and can be applied to any discipline, including education, natural and environmental science, homeland security, media, social sciences, economics, politics, business, as well as forestry and fire management field work.

What jobs does a degree in GIS prepare students for?

SABAH:  We prepare students to be GIS technicians, GIS analysts, or GIS specialists, depending on their educational background.

What's the GIS Program like at GRCC?

SABAH:  The GIS Program at GRCC provides students with an extensive skill set that includes:
  • A comprehensive education
  • Advancted technology
  • Hands-on learning
  • A GIS internship program that provides practical work experience
  • An opportunity to enhance existing GIS skills
The emphasis is on application, and students are encouraged to apply what they learn in their area of interest and final GIS project. The final project is a synthesis of skills and is required for graduation. The GRCC GIS Program is known for introducing GIS into the community by demonstrating the power of GIS in real world applications.

How can prospective students learn more about the GIS Program at GRCC? And how can they learn more about the field in general?

SABAH:  Visit the GRCC website by clicking here.  Updated information can be found about the GIS Program at GRCC as well as student projects.  Also, every single county, city, state and federal agency has its own GIS center of department.  The U.S. Department of Labor listed Geospatial Technology as a "High Growth Industry."  For more information, please click here.  Last of all, to learn more about GIS and its application, please visit the Esri website by clicking here

Any parting GIS-related updates to share with our readers?

SABAH:  Recently, we learned that the Washington State Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) has signed an agreement that provides all K-12 schools, districts, and formal youth clubs in the state with free access to Esri's ArcGIS software.  Please click here for more information.
FUNDING TIP! The following funding streams support the GIS Program at GRCC: Worker Retraining, Basic Food Employment & Training, and WorkFirst.  In addition, Opportunity Grant funding supports the GIS Option AAS degree under Natural Resources. 

Feb 16, 2011

Prof Tech Profile #1: Business Management

The Go 2 College Free blog aims to discuss topics related workforce education, money for school, career development, and the community college experience.  In the coming weeks it will become a space to learn more about different career pathways at Green River Community College. 

Today we're going to kick off a series entitled "Prof Tech Profiles."  The series will consist of short posts which profile various professional technical - i.e. job training - programs here at the college.  Each post will talk about a specific training program using a Q and A format with a faculty member who teaches within that program. 

As a way to start this series, today's Prof Tech Profile is on the Business Management Program and features a brief Q and A with esteemed faculty member Jeff Perlot.

In your opinion, what type of person is a good fit for the Business Management Program at GRCC?

JEFF: We welcome everyone and are committed to helping every student be their best. If you have any interest in business or management or leadership or starting a small business, then the Business Management Program is a great place to start.

What jobs does a degree in Business Management prepare students for?

JEFF: The possibilities are endless because every industry needs business managers.  If you have experience in a particular industry, you might be able to pursue management positions in that industry when you complete the program. If you are new to an industry, you may have to start at the entry-level.

The key is that we prepare you to perform like a superstar in any job you take. That leads to increased responsibilities, faster promotions, and more money.  There's no shortcut, but we'll coach and teach you to be your best and climb your way to the top.  New companies are called "startups." But you as a person are the ultimate startup, so invest in yourself by getting educated, then dive in and grab the opportunities that are out there.

Our program is also perfect for anyone who dreams of starting their own business. We'll teach you a diverse set of skills to give yourself the best chance of success when starting and running your own company. We have many students in the program who are here because they want to start their own business. I have considerable experience consulting small business. I have owned small businesses in the past. And I'm working on launching a couple small businesses as we speak. America needs more successful small businesses - so jump in.

This last question has two parts: one, how can prospective students learn more about the Business Management Program at GRCC? and two, how can they learn more about the field in general?

JEFF: To learn more about the Business Management Program at GRCC, students can gather information by clicking here.  They can also contact me at jperlot@greenriver.edu

If students have interest in a particular industry or company, there's nothing better than doing an informational interview to learn more. In fact, that is actually an assignment in our Career Management class - but don't wait for that class to begin learning about potential business careers. Look for a friend of a friend who works in that industry or company, then simply ask them to Starbucks for a 15 minute informational conversation. You could also offer to ask them some questions via email, and they can respond by email. Either way, you just want to know what they look for in good candidates, how you could best prepare, how they got to where they are, and any other tips they'd give you to get ready. You'll be amaze what you learn.
FUNDING TIP!  All four Workforce Education funding streams - Worker Retraining, Opportunity Grant, WorkFirst, and BFET - support the Business Managment Program at GRCC.   

Feb 7, 2011

Integrated Basic Education and Skills Training

What is I-BEST?

The acronym stands for Integrated Basic Education and Skills Training, and it represents a ground-breaking approach to adult education. A program pioneered in Washington State, I-BEST integrates, or blends, basic skill instruction with vocational instruction. 

Why did I-BEST come about?

According to the State Board For Community & Technical Colleges, a new approach to adult education was needed in light of research that found only 13% of English as a Second Language (ESL) and less than 33% of adult basic education (ABE) students continued on to college-level study.  In addition, the influx of non-English speakers as well as the significant number of adults lacking a high school diploma or GED demanded a new paradigm for addressing adult literacy and vocational training.  

How does I-BEST work?

It's a simple formula: Basic Ed + Skills Training.  That is to say, students work on basic reading, writing, and math skills AND earn college-level credits that apply toward a vocational degree or certificate at the same time.  This is accomplished through a dual-instructor delivery method.  I-BEST classes are team-taught by an adult literacy instructor and a vocational instructor who co-develop and co-deliver instruction.  One helps with comprehension, the other specializes in content. This model contextualizes learning and increases the likelihood that students will complete certificates and continue on with their education.

Does I-BEST get results?

Yes! I-BEST improves retention and student success.  According to the SBCTC, I-BEST students are more likely to make point gains on basic skills tests.  They're also more likely to complete a  vocational certificate and persist into the second year of college-level study.     

Wondering if I-BEST is for you?

Almost 3,000 students throughout Washington's 34 community and technical colleges were served by the I-BEST Program in 2009!  And the numbers are only growing.  Need job skills training? Don't have a GED or High School Diploma? Need to improve your English reading and writing skills?  Then you might be a good fit for I-BEST.  To learn about available I-BEST career pathways at Green River Community College, contact Cynthia Gaede in the Language, Academic Skills and Wellness Office at 253-833-9111 ext. 2317.
Funding Tip!  All four Workforce Education funding streams - Worker Retraining, Opportunity Grant, BFET, and WorkFirst - support I-BEST at GRCC.