By Terri Berryman, Project Director, IGEN Career Pathways, College of Lake County
(This article appears in the December, 2012 issue of The ACUPCC Implementer)
Illinois Green Economy Network (IGEN), which was formed in 2006, is a President led initiative involving all 48 community colleges in the state of Illinois. IGEN has four main areas of focus – green campus, green communities, green curriculum and green careers. In 2011, the College of Lake County, on behalf of the IGEN, was awarded a $19.37 million grant from the Department of Labor (DOL) as part of round one of the Trade Adjustment Act Community College Career Training (TAACCCT) grant program. The grant, IGEN Career Pathways, brings together seventeen community colleges working as a consortium to create 31 on-line blended and hybrid degree and certificate programs in green career fields.
The grant’s goals are aligned with the four priorities outlined by the DOL: to accelerate progress for low-skilled and other workers; to improve retention and achievement rates to reduce time to completion; to build programs that meet industry needs, including pathways; and to strengthen online and technology-enabled learning. Seven strategies are being used to meet these priorities: