TCI Hosts Chinese Delegation to Discuss Career Training and Placement
Just before the Winter break, TCI College of Technology hosted a delegation of educators from the Guangdong Province in China.
The delegation, consisting of headmasters of vocational schools in the province, came to TCI to learn how TCI provides career services to their students.
The group was welcomed by Michael Gall, Vice-President of Admissions for TCI. An information exchange was provided by Clotilde Dillon, Associate Vice-President of Career Services & Dean of Business and Legal Studies, Gray Harriman, Dean of Distance Learning, and Jay Robert Francisco, Director of Career Services for TCI.
“The goal of Career Services at TCI is to get every company to think of TCI first when hiring for a position.” Francisco explained to the group, “We want to get the word out to employers: ‘We have candidates available for positions in your company.’”
Francisco told the delegation about the importance of networking among TCI’s alumni base, encouraging TCI graduates to hire other graduates in their companies. TCI also tracks results from career fairs that are run for eligible TCI students and graduates.
While American and Chinese educators have the same ultimate goal – placing their students into well-paying jobs upon graduation, the visit also highlighted some key differences between the two countries. Students in China go straight to vocational school from traditional school, and they range in age from 9 to 16 years old.
In contrast, the average TCI student is 28 years-old and already has some experience in the workplace. At TCI, there is a tremendous range: some students come directly from high school, others go back to school after many years in the workforce.
The Chinese headmasters were curious how TCI manages such a diverse group.
“It is a challenge.” Dean Dillon explained, “We handle it by providing the same basic level of instruction to all, and then provide extra help to students as needed on a one-on-one basis.”
Still, the diversity is seen as an asset. “We once had an 18-year-old and a 60-year-old grandmother in the same classroom.” Dillon continued, “It makes for an interesting learning environment because the students can learn from each other.”
Both American and Chinese educators were concerned about preparing students to enter the workforce. At TCI, that problem is addressed through hands-on training.
“Every single course at TCI must have a hands-on component.” Dean Dillon said, “For example, in Accounting, students are using software in actual business cases. In paralegal, students do a mock court case and present their case to a judge.”
The Chinese headmasters were extremely interested in TCI’s Distance Learning initiative, where 46 courses are now offered in a hybrid modality and 14 courses are offered fully online. Specifically, the delegation wanted to know how the program is administered and how academic standards are maintained.
“Academic integrity is ensured through numerous methods.” Dean Harriman said, “Mid-terms and Final Exams are proctored, two-way video can be used so the instructor can see the student, and the instructor gets to know the student and their writing style throughout the semester.”
TCI’s Career Services is also working to use distance learning technology to help students find the right job. Career advice can be offered through Skype, and resumes can be reviewed online.
Distance learning could be very valuable to the educators in Guangdong Province, since this area of China has seen rapid economic growth in recent years. Thanks to considerable trade with Hong Kong, Guangdong is now the province with the highest gross domestic product in all of China. Distance learning could help educators satisfy the demand for trained workers.
TCI is the second largest two-year private college in the New York Metropolitan area, serving over 3,600 students. For the past 12 years, Community College Week has ranked TCI as one of the top 2 year colleges in America. TCI is accredited by both the New York State Board of Regents and the Commissioner of Education and the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.*
*New York State Board of Regents and the Commissioner of Education, 89Washington Avenue,Albany, NY 12234, (518) 474-5889. Middle States Commission on Higher Education, 3624Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104. (267-284-5000.