Community college leaders met in Jefferson City recently to begin thinking about how to maximize the impact of lessons learned through MoHealthWINs, a $20 million U.S. Department of Labor grant through which Missouri’s public two-year institutions are training Missourians for careers in health care.

Community colleges in Missouri, including East Central College, received grant funds through MoHealthWINS.

The leaders will meet regularly to examine data that will help them determine which of the innovative strategies supported by the grant led to the most promising outcomes, and which may be implemented on a larger scale after the grant phases out.

“This grant is specifically intended to help community colleges identify the approaches that are most successful in helping the target population get a credential that prepares them for work in high-wage jobs that have good long-term prospects,” said Zora Mulligan, MCCA executive director.

“The target population includes people who are eligible for Trade Adjustment Assistance because they have lost jobs as a result of increased exports, unemployed and underemployed individuals, and those who come in with markedly low levels of academic preparation.

“We know that many of these students have difficulty obtaining credentials, so the grant was designed to pilot some of the most successful innovations in community college education.”

Those innovations include stackable credentials, contextualized academics within technical skills framework, flexible schedules and curricular structures and compressed scheduling that allows students to obtain credentials quickly.

Other innovations include tutoring and supplemental instruction, intrusive student services, offering credit for prior learning, bridging credit and noncredit course work, employer driven curriculum, online or hybrid courses or programs and self-paced academic remediation.