Registered Apprenticeship Programs have many moving parts and require an organized management system to ensure efficiency. At GateWay Community College (GWCC), we have created a team-centered approach to ensure that all program benchmarks are tracked, reported, and continuously improved to provide high-quality service to our registered apprenticeship students and industry partners. Among the top priorities are extensive record-keeping, effective communication, and student/partner support.
As part of the AACC/ECCA initiative, GWCC was granted access to Appian, a database management system designed to track participation and progress, as well as generate holistic reports for college and grant reporting. Each new apprentice is entered into Appian, which allows us to capture the occupation of study, average wage, industry partner, start date, and projected end date. Team members can access reports at any time, including how many apprentices we currently serve, active industry partners, and which sectors or occupations are in highest demand. The college also keeps extensive information (both current and historical) on class schedules, student rosters, completion/persistence data, and additions and adaptations to course curriculum.
Maintaining detailed documentation allows the institution to respond effectively to inquiries, another top priority for the college. The apprenticeships team can often smoothly integrate new processes by reviewing our most successful approaches from years past, and simultaneously engage in a cycle of continuous improvement. This fall, an industry partner communication plan was developed based on feedback from prior semesters, including a suggested timeline for submitting class schedules, student registration information, and important college deadlines.
Student and industry support round out our top three priorities. The team works collaboratively with the college leadership, admissions & records department, enrollment services, business services, and advising behind the scenes to coordinate efforts. GWCC is in the process of naming a student advisor dedicated to assisting the registered apprentice students who are interested in pursuing an AAS degree. This will help the college avoid sending registered apprentice students to several different advisors who may focus on many different subject areas’ without being familiar with the registered apprenticeship model. Finally, the apprenticeship manager and college leadership regularly meet with industry partners together to generate new possibilities for projects and to ensure that all needs are met.