Voices and Viewpoints

Registered Apprenticeships: Integrated Earn and Learn Pathways at Harper College

by Melissa MacGregor, William Rainey Harper College, and Heather L. Fox, OCCRL / Jun 26, 2017

Over the last year there has been growing interest in expanding apprenticeship opportunities across the nation. Apprenticeships are contractual arrangements between private employers and workers in which students earn a salary during supervised on-the-job training and while engaging in related academic instruction (Holzer & Lerman, 2014; Lerman, 2010). This combination of paid work-based learning experiences and rigorous coursework has been found to increase students’ persistence, graduation rates, and employment rates (Holzer & Lerman, 2014; Kuh, 2008; Lerman, 2010). Apprenticeships are particularly important opportunities for underserved students (e.g., students who are low-income, racial/ethnic minorities, or veterans), who are often unable to afford participation in unpaid internships yet are seeking the high-skills training necessary to obtain family-wage employment.

OCCRL’s newest Feature on Research and Leadership brief, Registered Apprenticeships: Integrated Earn and Learn Pathways at Harper College, highlights four registered apprenticeship programs at Harper College. This brief addresses the benefits of registered apprenticeship and the important roles of sponsoring colleges, employers, and students. Anyone interested in expanding work-based learning opportunities for their students or building a strong apprenticeship program should read this brief.

Harper College has developed four registered apprenticeship programs: Industrial Maintenance Mechanic, CNC Precision Machinist, Logistics / Supply Chain Managment, and General Insurance. Each of these programs has their full curriculum and weekly schedules online on Harper College’s apprenticeship website along with all the forms for companies and students. To learn more about Harper College's registered apprenticeship programs, partnerships, visit Harper College’s Registered Apprenticeships website. To learn more about OCCRL's research on apprenticeship in CTE programs visit OCCRL’s Career and Technical Education (CTE) Apprenticeships Project.

Registered Apprentices in CNC Precision Machining and Industrial Maintenance Mechanic programs at Harper College in the manufacturing labs
Registered Apprentices in CNC Precision Machining and Industrial Maintenance Mechanic programs at Harper College in the manufacturing labs.

References

  • Holzer, H. J., & Lerman, R. (2014). Work-based learning to expand jobs and occupational qualifications for youth.
  • Challenge, 57(4), 18-31. doi: 0.2753/0577-5132570402
  • Kuh, G. D. (2008). High-impact educational practices: What they are, who has access to them, and why they matter.
  • Washington, DC: Association of American Colleges and Universities.
  • Lerman, R. I. (2010). Expanding apprenticeship: A way to enhance skills and careers. Washington, DC: Urban Institute.
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