The advanced manufacturing industry and students have overlapping needs - both served by the Advanced Manufacturing Alliance's multi-pronged approach to student support and retention.
Industry needs well-trained workers to meet their shortfall of skilled new hires. Students often need assistance as they juggle the competing demands of home life; a job or part-time jobs; and their coursework.
The Advanced Manufacturing Alliance has developed strategies to assist students complete their coursework successfully and obtain the certificates needed to get work. As a result, students starting NCAMA courses are more likely to finish, a benefit to all concerned. Alliance student success rates are 6% better than students in other programs.
Success Managers are an important part of student retention and connect with their students on campus and online. Students participating in Alliance coursework have iPads that enable them to remain in touch where ever they are. NC Manufacturing Alliance student support includes:
- Financial hardship - Colleges can provide information about financial resources that include foundation scholarships, community assistance agencies and grants.
- Industry connections - Colleges work directly with industry in developing specialized coursework to meet their needs and have built relationships with local advanced manufacturing companies that allow them to place qualified students in internships.
- Community connections - Community colleges are often able to assist students find part-time work while they are studying.
- Workshops - Colleges conduct scholarship and financial aid workshops
- Relationships - Advanced manufacturing classes are usually small enough for instructors to get to know their students and build a rapport. Additionally, some colleges have organized employed or former students to serve as role models and mentors. Other colleges have started advanced manufacturing clubs so that students are able to interact out of the classroom, network and share resources.
- Academic preparedness - Success Managers work closely with students and review their progress. Where students are having difficulty, Success Managers can provide guidance on bridging courses in problem areas or tutoring options.
- Credentialing - Colleges work with local industry to determine what specific skills are needed and build programs and credentials to address these needs; students derive the benefit of guidance on coursework that will be a direct match for industry.
- Transportation - Colleges are often able to suggest ways in which students can get to and from classes more economically by carpooling or public transport.
Many of the colleges also use a powerful database-driven tool called Career Coach that provides students with a way of evaluating their career and education options. Links to the various college Career Coaches are listed below:
- Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College
- Beaufort County Community College
- Craven Community College
- Davidson County Community College
- Fayetteville Technical Community College
- Haywood Community College
- Nash Community College
- Robeson Community College