Anoka Technical College, a two-year college offering certificates, diplomas, and associate degrees in many technical and paraprofessional fields, has seen its enrollment increase by 20% per year over the last three years. Wanting to increase its readiness to serve students and industry partners, the college administration desired to answer the question, “What does the college need to do to help its students, as future employees, become successful within their industries?”
In commissioning a new industry-aligned programming strategy, the college aimed to have a discussion with industry partners, and its faculty and staff, to answer this question. Faced with the complexity of designing this process to support over forty constituents, Rêve and Anoka Technical College started by designing collaborative panel sessions centered around the college’s core academic areas and branded the initiative STAC: Strengthening the Academic Core of the College. Working jointly with faculty and staff, Rêve facilitated the panel sessions that provided insight into the key trends affecting their business models, products and services, and employee skill-sets, resulting in an overall theme for the college.
Subsequently, via ideation and prioritization sessions, Rêve and internal teams determined five key innovations for each of the core program levels and ten at the college level. The changes ranged from acquiring “leapfrog” manufacturing technology to implementing additional soft-skills education. Administration and faculty have implemented several of these changes, making their students more competitive in today’s complex job market.