Can apprenticeships transform higher education?

Apprenticeships could fill the need for jobs that require training without a four-year degree.

apprenticeships-higher-educationA new report released by the American Council on Education examines the rebirth of apprenticeship and its renewed relevance within today’s higher education landscape.

The paper, titled “Revisiting Apprenticeships,” is the first in a series of eight ACE “Quick Hits,” which are funded by the Lumina Foundation and focused on current and emerging topics in higher education innovation and attainment.

An ancient concept based on a person learning a trade from a skilled employer while simultaneously helping the employer with their own productivity, apprenticeship has long been viewed as a way to advance skills sets. Today, this tradition continues as apprenticeship has become a hot topic for both employers and academic institutions.

Early in 2015, the Obama Administration announced a $100 million program to support new apprenticeship programs, with particular emphasis on creating opportunities in nontraditional, high-demand occupations. In his budget, President Obama also called for $2 billion over the next 5 years to double the number of apprentices in the United States as part of an increasing focus on “job-driven” training in the administration.

Similarly, Senators Cory Booker (D-NJ) and Tim Scott (R-SC) have reached across the political aisle to jointly introduce a measure that would give businesses that sponsor apprentices a $1,000 tax credit.

(Next Page: The spread of apprenticeships and how institutions are responding)

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