CCWT Inaugural Event: A focus on work ethic and self-regulated learning

The Center’s inaugural event was held on Monday May 22, 2017, at the UW–Madison School of Education, Wisconsin Idea Room (Rm 159). Jim Morgan of the Management Association and Dr. Linda Nilson of Clemson University spoke on the topic “Why work ethic and self-regulated learning are essential skills for student success in work and life.

#LowerEd: A symposium on critical views of the skills gap, featuring Dr. Tressie McMillan Cottom

The “skills gap” idea – that millions of well-paying jobs go unfilled due to a higher education system that is inadequately aligned to workforce needs – is deeply influencing education and workforce development policies at the state and national levels. The purpose of this symposium is to spark dialogue about issues related to the skills gap narrative (i.e., internships, labor market data, and for-profit colleges), and why critical analyses of these issues are essential so that students can make informed decisions about their educational and career plans.

The future of higher education credentials: A critical look at degrees, badges and certificates in the 21st century, featuring Dr. Sean Gallagher

At a time of heightened attention to how universities and colleges are preparing young people for the working world, questions about the meaning and value of university credentials – especially bachelor’s degrees – have become especially prominent. With the rise of alternative credentials such as badges and certificates, Dr. Sean Gallagher provides an overview of this fast-changing terrain, providing much-needed context, details, and insights.

Classrooms, coffee shops, and counterfactuals: Schooling, skills growth, and the rationalization of hiring, featuring Dr. David Bills

David Bills is Professor of Sociology of Education and Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Graduate Programs in the University of Iowa, College of Education. Dr. Bills is an internationally recognized scholar on education and work, labor markets, technological and organizational change, educational demography, and social inequality, and the author of The Sociology of Education and Work (Wiley-Blackwell Press, 2004). In this CCWT Speaker Series event, Dr. Bills presents his research on the processes and consequences of the digital rationalization of the hiring process.

Reframing Labor: How Evolving Work Experiences Influence Student Success, featuring Dr. Vanessa Sansonne

There is a commonly held belief that positive college student experiences are best facilitated when societal pressures of finances and work are alleviated, but this is often reserved for only the most privileged. What then for students from underrepresented groups? In this presentation, Dr. Vanessa Sansoone shines a light on the significance and impacts of work for Latinx college students. Dr. Sansoone is Assistant Professor of Higher Education at The University of Texas at San Antonio.

Is There a Skill Gap for Entry-Level IT Positions? Evidence from a National IT Helpdesk Survey featuring Andrew Weaver

Some analysts maintain that inadequate worker skills are holding back industry growth. These claims are often reinforced by commentators who assert that technological changes coupled with insufficient education have resulted in a shortage of (STEM) skills. Dr. Weaver used a detailed nationally representative skill survey focusing on computer helpdesk technicians to shed light on these claims.

The Increasing Underemployment and Decreasing Job Control of Highly Qualified Employees: Implications for Further Training and Workplace Change featuring David Livingstone

Co-sponsored with the Office of Equity, Sustainability and Democracy.
Highly qualified professional employees are widely regarded as central strategic resources for “knowledge economies”. However, there is mounting evidence that these “knowledge workers” are experiencing both increasing underemployment and decreasing job control, as well as diminishing participation in both further education and job-related informal learning. Prospects for employment and educational reforms to reverse current trends will be assessed.

The Vocational Significance of Cultural Identity featuring Angela Byars-Winston

Race/ethnicity are strong predictors of educational outcomes and labor market position (Byars-Winston, Fouad & Wen, 2015). In this presentation, Professor Byars-Winston briefly reviewed the evidence for and vocational relevance of cultural identity. She used the Outline for Cultural Formulation model to illustrate its applicability for career assessment and career counseling integrating the concept of cultural identity for African American students (Byars-Winston, 2010), and concluded the presentation by delineating implications for promoting workforce diversity.

Internships and Experiential Learning in a Chinese University: A Report from the Field with Matthew Hora

In this talk Dr. Matthew Hora reported preliminary findings from a recent trip to Tianjin, China where he spent 2.5 weeks conducting a mixed methods study of the relationship between internship program design and student outcomes. Drawing on survey, focus group, and interview data, Dr. Hora provided a comparative and critical analysis of internship programming in China and the US, with a focus on students’ experiences in their internships.