Tag Archives: culture

The K-12 system isn’t graduating students ready to take on a higher education

The gap between K-12 and higher education

The gap between K-12 and higher education

The gap between K-12 and higher education – Disconnected

Originally Published NOVEMBER 2012 www.CareerCollegeCentral.com

The true power of higher education has been receiving a great deal of attention in the media lately. This exposure appears to gain greater momentum during the national elections. Modern U.S. high school students have developed heightened educational ambitions. More than 88 percent of middle school students surveyed expect to partake in some form of post secondary education. In October 2011, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that 68.3 percent of 2011 high school graduates were currently enrolled in colleges or universities. American College Testing (ACT) released the 2012 edition of “The Condition of College & Career Readiness” report based on information collected from high school graduates taking the ACT College and Career Readiness exam. This year is the first time more than half of the U.S. high school graduating class took the ACT exam. The data reported indicates that more than a quarter of the students did not meet the ACT College Readiness Benchmarks for English, mathematics, reading and science.

The results clearly suggest that a significant number of students enrolled as college and university freshmen this fall have not been adequately prepared by their high schools to produce college level work or to adequately perform in a rigorous higher education environment (Lawrence, 2012). This lack of preparation is not an entirely new phenomenon; the Stanford Policy Brief released in 2003 indicated that 40 percent of students in four-year institutions took some remedial education as compared with 63 percent at two-year institutions. These rates are symptoms of a greater problem: Our high-school students are not prepared for college and university work, a reality that has clearly become the norm. The current compulsory education systems result in a lack of understanding among students, parents and K-12 teachers regarding what conditions students require to be able to succeed in higher education (Venezia, 2003). A contributing problem is a lack of student preparedness – the education preparedness link between high school and college simply does not exist.

High schools teach from knowledge bases and skill sets that do not fulfill college entrance and placement requirements. This lack of consistency leads to students graduating from high school under one set of academic principles and, three months later, finding themselves required to participate under a completely new set of academic principles in college and university settings. As a result, higher education resources are fruitlessly spent on inadequately prepared students – education dollars that could be better spent cultivating knowledge that would prove relevant to higher education and prepare students for successful, productive futures. We can all agree that students entering higher education without the basic skills needed to be successful, competitive and truly efficient in the higher education environment is unacceptable.

Is the end goal a set of deliberately defined classes of people? Regardless, we as a community are wasting our number one resource: our children.

Former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said at the 2012 Republican Convention, “The greatest ally in controlling your response to your circumstances has been a quality education. But today, when I can look at your Zip code and I can tell whether you’re going to get a good education, can I honestly say it does not matter where you came from, it matters where you are going? The crisis in K-12 education is a threat to the very fabric of who we are.”

Clearly, students’ locales determine the standard of education and this standard has become a dollars-and-cents problem. Poor communities have a demonstrably lower quality of education. Does this discrepancy really have financial causes, or do schools have too many standards and no accountability? Is the end goal a set of deliberately defined classes of people? Regardless, we as a community are wasting our number one resource: our children.

Linked – LinkedIn connection

The main problem as I see it is that the students’ preparations between high school and college are not linked; pondering the need for this “linked” element leads me to surmise that perhaps social media and its limitless education outreach could possibly support the joined efforts of many stakeholders in education, resulting in reducing or eliminating the K-12 and college /university disconnect altogether. To test this idea, I turned to LinkedIn. LinkedIn purports itself to be the world’s largest professional network, with more than 175 million members; the site permits its users to exchange knowledge, ideas and opportunities with a large network of professionals. This exchange of knowledge and ideas stimulated me to write this article.

I posted the following question on five education-related discussion groups on LinkedIn: “I believe higher education cannot create success unless K-12 does; what do you say?” I found that many members shared a similar opinion to mine, regardless of where the members were located in the world. The current education systems are not prepared to address students’ needs across education systems, many members agreed, and no one is held accountable for issues related to student transitions from high school to college/university. This was the consensus among LinkedIn professionals from the United States, United Kingdom, Germany, Trinidad/Tobago, Australia, India and South Africa.

These ideas were suggested as solutions during our discussion:

  1. Greater talk about the skill of learning; increased communication internally and externally with the entire education community
  2. Equipping students for learning for the rest of their lives, both for higher education and for life beyond college
  3. Competent administrators who have a clear vision of what 21st century teaching and a removal of the “this is how we have always done it” mindset from the education community
  4. Removal of barriers earlier in K-12 to create a quality education environment before postsecondary education
  5. Adoption of ideas that work, which are shared with the entire education community
  6. Parent involvement and resources offered to parents that instruct them on how to support their children in learning
  7. Provision of “thirteenth-year” counselors at the high school level
  8. Creation of partnerships between colleges/universities and elementary/high schools
  9. Programs patterned after Google’s Successful Transitions And Retention Track (START), a program that takes high school dropouts and creates amazing success stories.

Perhaps the education community can take this concept and engage students before they drop out of school altogether and create this type of successful environments in high schools.

From these nine points, a picture emerges of engaging students earlier in the education process and promoting a successful educational transition from K-12 to higher education. For this to happen, partnerships must be formed between colleges, universities and their local K-12 schools. I believe that the great minds and spirits of all our citizens are clearly our number one natural resource. Collaborative efforts between the K-12 and the higher education community are important and powerful.

Modern technology forces change upon us at an unlimited pace; can the education community keep up and adapt to this change while improving education quality? Since belief is 99 percent of reality, I believe the education community can keep up and adapt to this change while improving educational quality when we collaborate, communicate and equip students to learn for the rest of their lives.

Citations:

Lawrence, J. (2012). “ACT Report Shows 2/3 of US Students Aren’t College-Ready.” Retrieved from EducationNews.org, August 2012, (2)

Zelkowski, J. (2011, May). “Defining the intensity of high school mathematics: Distinguishing the difference between college-ready and college-eligible students.” American Secondary Education, 39 (2), 27-49. Available from:

Academic Search Premier, Ipswich, MA.

Venezia, A., Kirst, M., Antonio, A., (2003). “Betraying the College Dream: How Disconnected K-12 and Postsecondary Education Systems Undermine Student Aspirations, Final Policy Report From Stanford.” University Bridge Project., 72

by AMERICAN WRITER
Dr. Pietro Savo © 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015

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Manufacturing Success-Evolving to adapt to changes in the manufacturing industry

Manufacturing Success

The U.S. manufacturing sector has undergone a massive change in the last several decades. How can we rejuvenate it? And how would career colleges benefit from a manufacturing renaissance?

Manufacturing Success

By Dr. Pietro (Pete) Savo

The U.S. manufacturing sector has undergone a massive change in the last several decades. Both print and online media document new automated technology and outline the lack of competitive advantage to improve operational efficiency. This inefficiency led to many manufacturing plants closing and a climbing unemployment rate. The result is a loss of U.S. manufacturing knowledge and manufacturing jobs. Historically, the manufacturing workforce was often composed of family members who had worked for generations at the same plant. The sharing of manufacturing knowledge occurred at the dinner table. In addition, skilled workers rose through the ranks and held management positions, thereby expanding the knowledge beyond the family. In this way, manufacturing knowledge continued to grow through the sharing of ideas.

As competition increased and methodologies changed, the required skill set changed. Remaining competitive meant hiring managers with university-generated business skills and little or no hand-on manufacturing experience. These highly educated and poorly experienced leaders began encouraging the older manufacturing generation to retire – or simply downsized them altogether. This meant a continued loss of historical and hands-on knowledge over the last 50 years. In 1950, manufacturing was about 35 percent of total employment. In 2004, this number dropped to only 13 percent, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland economic commentary “Why Are We Losing Manufacturing Jobs?” In 2014, the number was only 6.6 percent. These changes made learning from the past difficult at best.

I began to write this article over 30 years ago when I was a production manufacturing worker at Sikorsky Aircraft. I witnessed the jobs leaving firsthand. Thirty years later while conducting research for my doctoral dissertation, I discovered that the missing link to that mass exodus of jobs was the devastating loss of manufacturing knowledge. This discovery prompted the need to create a potential solution rooted in two very important U.S. industries: the career college and manufacturing communities. My research identified the career college sector as the community best equipped to support this ground-level important function in our nation.

The career college community is grounded firmly in a context that is best equipped to support the U.S. manufacturing industry, because career colleges, universities and vocational schools are closest to the workforce. Bringing well-paying manufacturing jobs back is critical to the future of our sector. The global labor market has become strong outside the U.S. because of the high labor cost stigma associated with the U.S. economy. Heightened domestic costs empowered millions of people around the world to compete for U.S. jobs. This increased global competition led to downsizing of the manufacturing sector in the U.S. Many products formerly manufactured in the U.S. are now manufactured in part or in whole elsewhere in the world. U.S. companies outsourced manufacturing because the company’s leaders honestly believed American workers held no competitive advantage over cheap offshore labor. This strategy caused great devastation by halting investments in manufacturing technology and education. When companies do not have the additional capital generated from higher revenue to invest back into the business, the result is a loss of competitive advantage and shared knowledge.

The U.S. economy relies heavily on manufacturing, meaning that the sustained growth of the manufacturing industry is paramount to economic stability. The purpose of this article is to introduce the feasibility of a certification to bridge the gap between manufacturing and research in the U.S. by establishing a side-by-side value education partnership that links manufacturing industries and the career college community.

The researcher sought to understand the challenges from both a practitioner’s and researcher’s perspective. Manufacturing leaders participating in the survey for the feasibility study were from Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Rolls Royce, Northrop Grumman, Raytheon and United Technologies; the survey also included supply chain leaders from the U.S. government. Eighty percent of the survey respondents agreed that there is a need for a new manufacturing practitioner certification. Eighty-three percent of the survey respondents agreed that a new certified professional would improve manufacturing productivity through focused career education. Ninety-four percent of the survey respondents agreed that engaging in technology and career education would increase manufacturing opportunities. My study provided the educational capital to identify the need for developing a new joint manufacturing and research career-educated specialist, called the certified manufacturing practitioner (CMP).

The CMP concept simplifies the means to link the past, the present and the future by developing business solutions from shared leaders’ experiences in the manufacturing industries. The new certified manufacturing practitioner program is designed to improve knowledge sharing through case study evaluation that is grounded in where the manufacturing jobs reside. This shared education understanding takes the manufacturing case study out of the university classroom to the manufacturing shop floor. Career-guided steps are necessary to prevent further degradation of the manufacturing knowledge base. Historical literature provides the means to improve the U.S. manufacturing industry’s productivity and competitiveness through past and present case studies. Learning from history can improve the future. Business and manufacturing case studies provide real-life stories of successes and failures in the same industry and should be the basis for knowledge sharing. Students can best obtain and share this knowledge when the career education community is committed to rolling up its sleeves to deliver hands-on career education experience directly from the U.S. manufacturing source: the manufacturing shop floor.

The problem today is that business-manufacturing case studies do not receive adequate attention. It is difficult for a manufacturing business to be competitive in today’s volatile business market without having the means to review, understand, and benefit from experience. Not learning from the past creates a communication disconnect and knowledge loss, which has a direct link to lost manufacturing businesses and jobs. In manufacturing, when learning stems from past successes and mistakes, business efficiency, and competitiveness naturally follow, because an understanding of the past reduces the risk of repeating the same mistake – or, even worse, not learning from or sharing success stories. Success is dependent on the ability to develop and identify manufacturing solutions from case studies. This ability also can provide a heads-up display for market changes, diversity of markets and the ability to adapt to markets with a historical customer perspective that is practitioner-based.

A CMP practitioner can fuel progressive learning across corporate cultures and different leadership styles, and he or she could have the influence to build upon strong team-based relationships that share knowledge. The cost of waiting for old ideas to catch up with modern-day manufacturing practices obstructs new manufacturing market opportunities. Such obstructions represent a stream of wasteful manufacturing practices, making it difficult to be competitive in today’s volatile manufacturing markets. The loss of competitiveness results in lost manufacturing work and higher unemployment statistics. Once people become unemployed, 44 percent remain unemployed for 27 weeks or more, as reported by the Congressional Budget Office. CMP becomes the natural bridge by forming sustainable manufacturing solutions based on experiences, while at the same time observing market changes that provide the means to respond, adapt and capitalize on this market change. Finding the strengths and weaknesses of employees becomes important to rediscovering the company’s value.

CMP career college partnerships work with U.S. manufacturers to help them create and retain jobs, increase profits, and save time and money. Today, the manufacturing industry knowledge base is limited to real-time events that occur daily in the manufacturing industry. The CMP embraces a holistic and unified approach in career education study connected to the manufacturing shop floor, and it creates the means to retain and share manufacturing knowledge.

Imagine the education possibilities when the career college community reshapes the U.S. and global manufacturing industry. So, is the career college community ready to take CMP from a research study concept to a successful manufacturing reality? I think so.   Dr. Pietro (Pete) Savo 

Originally published: Career College Central Magazine, May/June 2014

http://www.careercollegecentral.com/pdf/CCC_May_2014.pdf


The Video Game Culture Problem

The video game culture problem, life does not have a reset or do over button. What has emerged from our society is a video game generation who has lost sight of real people limitations. In the gaming world when you die, your energy runs out, you lose and hit reset! Here is the problem, unfortunately, life does not have a reset button, and the results you acquire are permanent. Knowing the difference between reality and make-believe becomes impossible when you play endless video games. In truth, we have a generation in our society living with two realities, the first being an endless reset button with no risk to failure, and the second reality is fragile life itself. The behavioral concern occurs when mixing up the two. For example, someone driving a car and has an accident, that happens; or with the video gamer, the wrong reality kicks in causes an accident, today the mindset is no big deal, just hit the reset button.

Those of you who have children glued to the video game screen understand the reason for this blog. Having two conflicting behaviors creates a developmental clash in our society and people get hurt. This developmental behavior conflict stays with the person for their entire life. To reset is habit forming and easy, the video game culture has become generational, and virtually impossible to reverse. The old adage that too much of anything, even something fun, can actually be harmful, fits well with the video game culture.

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Manufacturing Research Practitioner™

A Manufacturing Research Practitioner (MRP) is a person who engages in real world applied research with a basic understanding of global economies and cultures for advancing manufacturing practices. MRP will have a deep knowledge of how to implement lean manufacturing processes, how to manage the supply chain efficiently, and how to project management, problem solve and work effectively as a team member or leader.[1] Manufacturing research practitioner represents an army of academic and business manufacturing practitioners who will join forces to become one defined entity.

Manufacturing Research Practitioner

Manufacturing Research Practitioner demonstrated that team based organizational learning does occur when promoted by management, and when supported by a suitable learning infrastructure. The internal manufacturing performance model and the empirical evidence provide an important building block to develop an inclusive theory for preparing learning tactics formulated on business growth strategies promoted by people.Because it represents a proposed model where the empirical evidence suggests rational theories for formulating effective learning strategies in the manufacturing environments. This knowledge comes to acceptable conclusions identifying the genuine importance of organizational learning for human capital. People involvement helps determine good research from poor research and creates solid bonds between researcher and manufacturing practitioner.

The manufacturing world has changed, and the conventional educational curricula for engineers must change along with it. Technical skills provided as the core of almost every engineering degree program are still critical, but the workforce needs to come into industry equipped with additional skills, and the ability to apply what they know to meet challenges that didn’t exist a few decades ago. To be successful, today’s manufacturing professionals need to know how to implement lean manufacturing processes, how to manage the supply chain efficiently, and how to work effectively as team members.[2]

Manufacturing Research will produce more products for fewer resources. With the identification of critical topics, only research that captured the attention of practitioners and researchers since the early 1980s. With the recent popularity of lean manufacturing statistical process control tool quality management in six Sigma and demonstrated the importance of practitioners over into other industries. [3]

Manufacturing Research Practitioner inspires the investment in the culture that creates changes around the people and the by-product becomes the “go-and-do-it” team! Teach the value stream at all levels of an organization. People can be much like a radical undeveloped river flow after a sudden downburst of rain. When you plan for the downburst, what you get in return is a developed flow that is controlled and organized. People become part of the great successes when instilling the values and culture of continuous improvement are focused on developing talent and leadership, innovatively redeploying, and cross training. Incorporating value-added services, standardizing, and production methods creates a robust people infrastructure that is efficient, profitable, filled with quality, and is delivery driven. [4]

As we get closer to understanding the importance of Manufacturing Research Practitioner, clarity or the desperation of how important it is to once again make successful the United States manufacturing industry.

References

1. Savo, Pietro (July 2008). Manufacturing Research Practitioner. Boston.
2. Cebeci, Tuncer (August 2003). Broadening the manufacturing practitioner’s education. New York: Society of Manufacturing Engineers.
3. Liberopoulos, George (July 2006). Stochastic Modeling of Manufacturing Systems: Advances in Design, Performance Evaluation, and Control Issues (Hardcover). New York: International Journal of Production Research.
4. Savo, Pietro (2007). 10 Secrets to Successful Lean Manufacturing Implementation. Boston: Lulu Tradition Books.


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