Midwest Center for Information Technology
Increasingly Skilled Faculty Broaden MCIT’s Impact
MCIT has steadily built an active consortium of 10 community colleges across four states. It has accomplished this by strengthening the skills of more than 1,000 educators through a shared process for ongoing faculty professional improvement.
The center’s collaborations with an interested and contributing business community have helped with the development of its innovative Careerlink system. This integrated system connects IT classroom activities with IT workplace skills. Hundreds of students now engage in cloud-based educational scenarios while learning the skills most needed by IT businesses. MCIT’s network of educational institutions has robust articulation agreements that provide seamless educational paths for students throughout their careers.
MCIT Supports & Expands IT WorkforcePipeline
MCIT’s collaborative innovation is steadily expanding the IT workforce pipeline. MCIT has already partnered with 2,200 midwestern employers, while leveraging the online Careerlink system to make direct connections between industry needs and schools’ curricula through a shared skills approach. An average of 4,250 IT jobs is now listed monthly on Careerlink and are directly connected to IT coursework and problem-based scenarios.
MCIT’s efforts have been informed by consortium studies, including a Women in IT study based on interviews with 43 female and 26 male IT professionals. This study documents insights from IT technicians about the perceived improvement to the “glass ceiling,” the importance of early IT engagement for girls, and the subtle “social exclusion” that girls interested in IT experience with their peers.
The Youth Perceptions of IT study, which conducted 16 youth focus groups with 157 young people, found that most students think of IT as an individual enterprise. Students also reported that they would become more interested in IT careers if they were given more useful coursework. One of their criticisms is that the way some IT courses are taught makes them relatively unattractive.
The studies, past successes, and growing Careerlink resources position MCIT to continue building a foundation of IT program and workplace innovation that is becoming the consortium’s hallmark.