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Getting industry involved

BILT member discussing trends

An engaged business and industry executive group forms one of the cornerstones of the National Convergence Technology Center’s (CTC) strategy for strengthening IT/convergence programs across the country and addressing that industry’s workforce gap. Relying on a “BILT” (Business and Industry Leadership Team) to help steer curriculum makes sure students graduate with in-demand skills.

The National CTC has prepared a two-page “best practices” handout that offers guidance in assembling and running a successful BILT group.

Some highlights of these best practices:

  • Don’t limit your local BILT group to just large companies. Medium and small companies can also provide valuable perspective and are just as likely to hire your graduates.
  • Faculty members should attend the meetings as observers to get their buy-in on the BILT feedback and recommendations. Messages often carry more weight when delivered directly by industry executives who will be hiring the program’s graduates.
  • Early morning weekdays often work better for meetings. Schedule time before your BILT members go into the office.
  • Meetings should include a talk on “industry trends.” This helps you anticipate what your students will need to know in the future.
  • Acknowledge the importance of BILT members’ time by starting and stopping on time regardless of whether or not you complete your agenda. End early if you have what you need.
  • Aim to recruit at least one new BILT member to the group each quarter to keep the membership fresh.

To learn more about this process, you can download the entire handout here.

Also note that the National CTC can provide individual assistance to starting and managing a BILT (we can even help run your first meeting) for schools that join the Convergence College Network (CCN). Membership is free. Learn more about applying to the CCN here.

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