Highland Survey Reveals Tech Programs Valued

published May 5, 2016

Highland Survey Reveals Tech Programs are Valued

A recent survey conducted by Highland Community College of high school students, their parents, and businesses in Doniphan and Brown counties revealed that members of all three entities value the technical programs offered by the College.  The College conducted the survey to gain an understanding of perception levels within those two counties about the academic programs and services provided by Highland.

All three groups indicated they perceive that HCC programs are affordable for Doniphan/Brown county students and that there are no major barriers that exist to accessing current programs. The College and school districts could enhance opportunities for training if student class schedules were better aligned.

In many cases, business needs match student interest. HCC and workforce development agencies should continue to work together to review training needs and gaps that exist between available opportunities and the workforce.  To close those gaps, the College could consider adding technical programs dealing with

Graphic, Visual, Media Communication

Construction Technology

Health Information Technology

A vast majority (78%) of Brown and Doniphan county high school students plan to attain an associate degree or higher.  Twenty one percent of those students definitely want to come back to Northeast Kansas to live and work; 46% more could be swayed to do so if jobs and housing met their needs. More information is needed to align student compensation expectations, training/education, and job availability in Northeast Kansas—to specifically encourage students to stay or come back to Northeast Kansas to live and work.

Employers need workers who are better prepared to work in team structures and better prepared to solve problems and make decisions.  To address that need, Highland should continue to work on student acceptance of the College’s “Shared Performance Expectations,” as those expectations are valuable assets for the workplace. The Kansas Department of Education is on the right track to developing a quality workforce as the Department begin to focus on teaching career pathways that include nonacademic skills.

Many opportunities exist for collaboration between the College and the School

Districts in both counties. Highland should always strive to provide education to students, parents, and businesses about available opportunities. Parents are overwhelmingly supportive and indicate they would be interested in attending presentations to receive more information about opportunities available at HCC.  (To meet this interest, note ad on this page.)

Options to be considered for collaboration include creating more job shadowing and internship opportunities for students, enhancing career education through career fairs, parent and student presentations, and greater education in employment outlook and salaries associated with various occupations. A large majority of business owners are willing to participate in career fairs.

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