Workforce and Career Learners

Bringing Careers and College Dreams into Focus

Ferris State University

Donna Ewigleben, Community Outreach Coordinator, Ferris State University

Emphasizing the career focused approach Ferris has embraced since its inception, outreach efforts expand to help the community and high school students discover where their talents and passions intersect. An online career course was adapted to provide low cost career development classes to nontraditional and dual enrolled high school students. Our partnership with the Hispanic Center of Western Michigan has also created an opportunity to offer career exploration to the students participating in the Stop Summer Learning Loss program. CARE 102 is the first step toward establishing a college-going culture in the home and encouraging lifelong career development.

Contact: Donna Ewigleben,, (616) 643-5754

Providing Molecular Diagnostics Technicians to the West Michigan Medical Mile

Ferris State University

Jonathan Karnes, Molecular Diagnostics Faculty and Program Coordinator, Ferris State University

In recent years the field of personalized medicine has exploded as knowledge from the human genome project is applied to medicine. Defined as tailoring treatments to the unique molecular signatures of individual patients' diseases, personalized medicine relies heavily on an emerging branch of laboratory medicine: molecular diagnostics. Recognizing the growing need for laboratory scientists trained in molecular techniques, Ferris State University has developed a new program in molecular diagnostic laboratory science. Housed in a state-of-the-art laboratory next to Grand Rapids' Medical Mile, this program is developing the next generation of molecular laboratory scientists.

Contact: Jonathan Karnes,, (616) 643-5746

The Riverview Institute

Oakland University

Barbara Penprase, Crittenton Endowed Associate Professor; Carmen Johnson, Program Director, Riverview Institute, School of Nursing, Oakland University

Oakland University's Riverview Institute was created to meet the growing demand for health care professionals through its unique program offerings. The Institute specifically addresses the educational needs of ethnically diverse students from disadvantaged backgrounds by providing the support needed for successful outcomes. Some examples of these programs are Licensed Practice Nursing, Patient Care Technician, and Certified Nurse's Assistant. Through our collaboration with several hospitals and agencies within Detroit we are able to guarantee employment once students finish the healthcare programs. Our LPN graduates are highly sought by many Detroit agencies with a 100% employment rate.

Contact: Barbara Penprase,, (248) 370-8712 (office)

The Oakland University Baldwin Center Initiative: Service Learning at Oakland University - The Riverview Institute

Oakland University

Scott Crabill, Interim Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education, Oakland University; Lisa Machesky, Executive Director, Baldwin Center

Fundamental to service learning at Oakland is the belief that some of the most profound and lasting learning happens outside of the classroom. The relationship Oakland has developed with the Baldwin Center in Pontiac brings students and faculty members to alleviate poverty and homelessness and their associated social ills. Children in the afterschool program receive academic and physical fitness support, community members gain access to farm fresh produce and better meals in the soup kitchen, and the management of the organization has access to business advice that is helping it to grow and flourish.

Contact: Scott Crabill,, (248) 370-3229 (office); Lisa Machesky,, (248) 332-6101 (office)

Providing Engineering and Biomedical Science Career Paths for Michigan Secondary Students

Eastern Michigan University

John C. Dugger, Affiliate Director, Michigan Project Lead the Way (PLTW); Coordinator, Doctoral Program, School of Technology Studies; Professor, School of Technology Studies, Eastern Michigan University; Paul Kuwik, State Director, Michigan Project Lead the Way (PLTW), Eastern Michigan University

This poster describes a secondary program that prepares students for the global economy by improving basic skills, influencing career choice, improving STEM post-secondary graduation rates, and student engagement. Nine-week exploratory experiences at the middle school level are complemented by one-year high school courses that follow an engineering or biomedical science path. All classroom experiences involve problem-solving and critical thinking in a real world problem-based context. Program quality is ensured by rigorous teacher professional development, a school certification program, periodic curriculum updates, and outcomes-based assessment.

Contact: John C. Dugger,, (734) 487-1832

Broad Teacher Professional Development

Michigan State University

Barbara Markle, Assistant Dean, K-12 Outreach, College of Education, Michigan State University

Contact: Barbara Markle,, (517) 353-8950

Cultivating Workforce-Ready Social Work Professionals: Skill Development Through Real-World Community Change Projects

University of Michigan–Flint

Elizabeth Collardey, Assistant Professor of Social Work, School of Education and Human Services, University of Michigan–Flint

University of Michigan–Flint's senior-level social work methods course focuses on developing students' professional practice skills through working with macro-level systems (organizations and communities). These essential skills, based on the planned change process model for intentional community improvement, include assessment, planning, implementation of interventions, and evaluation of impact. Students apply theories of organizations and communities, assessment methods, and evaluation methods to real-world projects developed in close collaboration with multiple community agencies. In the Winter 2013 semester alone, 62 students are working on nine unique community change projects with seven different community partners that serve diverse, underserved populations in the Flint-area community.

Contact: Elizabeth Collardey,, (810) 762-3390

Community-Based Work-Study: Partners in Student Development Through Community Support

University of Michigan–Dearborn

Regina Storrs, Director, Career Services, University of Michigan–Dearborn; Moe Hussein, Director, Human Resources, Arab Community Center for Economic and Social Services (ACCESS)

The federal work-study program provides students with opportunities to work on campus, or at off-campus nonprofit community partner organizations, while attending college. Work-study is a needs based financial aid program that helps students pay educational costs through employment. The program serves multiple purposes for students, including connecting them to the community, self-development, and real world work experience. UM-Dearborn's Financial Aid and Career Services Offices placed 23% of work study awardees at nonprofit agencies, including ACCESS and Accounting Aid Society, in 2011-2012. The total number of students increased from the prior year, helping demonstrate a campus-wide commitment to community engagement.

Contact: Regina M. Storrs,; Mai Qazzaz, (313) 593-5020

Michigan College Advising Corps

University of Michigan–Ann Arbor

Chris Rutherford, Program Manager; Emily Flinkstrom, Program Coordinator, Center for Educational Outreach, University of Michigan–Ann Arbor

The Michigan College Advising Corps (MCAC) is a member of the National College Advising Corps, which seeks to increase the number of low-income, first generation, and underrepresented students entering and completing higher education. MCAC recruits and trains recent University of Michigan graduates to work full time as college advisers in some of Michigan's most underserved high schools to help students navigate the college admissions process. College advisers work toward four main goals: increase the college-going rate, increase the college completion rate, expand the range of colleges to which students apply and enroll, and help foster a college-going culture in the school.

Contact: Chris Rutherford,, (734) 647-1402

Retraining Workers for Current Machining Practices

Lake Superior State University

Eric Becks, Engineering Projects Manager, Product Development Center, Lake Superior State University

The Lake Superior State University Product Development Center (PDC), in collaboration with Michigan Works and the Regional Industrial Manufacturing Skills Alliance, has developed a retraining program targeting specific skills in need. A project administered by the PDC focuses on machining fundamentals instruction and lab experience to retrain workers to satisfy identified regional needs. Michigan Works identifies appropriate candidates for the program along with funding sources. The ongoing project will identify more advanced skill sets required for worker advancement with the intent to deliver periodic targeted training programs serving the industrial employers of the region.

Contact: Eric Becks,, (906) 635-2738

Saginaw-Covenant Medical Scribes

Saginaw Valley State University

John Lowry, Instructor, Kinesiology, Saginaw Valley State University

10-15 students each semester from the Kinesiology program (Pre-Med / Pre-PA) are working with Saginaw Covenant Medical Center. The students are working as “Medical Scribes” in the hospital.

Contact: John Lowry,