Programs: Talent & Workforce Readiness
Why is this area of focus?
The Washington Center today is centered organizationally and in our mission work almost entirely around the Academic Internship Program (AIP). AIP has been the hallmark of what we do and how we do it to meet the needs of our higher educational partners and students, while also producing other high-quality customized programs, seminars and federal programs.
Based on the SWOT analysis and our research, we know that as college admissions have decreased year over year for the past 12 years, we also understand that the traditional college student is shrinking with the majority enrolled having nontraditional characteristics – and the majority never residing on campus. With the changing higher education demography, The Washington Center’s offerings must all change.
The goals in this area of focus clearly outline ways to reframe, diversify and grow new programs with innovation and testing at all steps, centering our commitment to justice, equity, diversity and inclusion towards greater mission impact. We recognize that there is no “one size fits all” model and, as such, we will continue Bill Burke’s legacy while innovating and creating new programs to meet the challenges posed in the U.S. and around the globe to help students thrive in every part of their lives.
Reframe and refocus current TWC programs to meet market needs and strategic direction. Assess and appropriately update and improve programming for greater impact.
- Develop strategy to ensure 100% of TWC internships are paid or provide living wage stipend by 2025.
- Evaluate and assess market for civic responsibility experiential education, emphasizing global critical thinking/citizenship.
- Assess current state appropriations to improve dollars per student in aid and encourage appropriation use for short-term programs.
Create and scale new experiential education programs to prepare the next generation in the workforce, ensuring access for those historically marginalized.
- Develop an Innovation Institute to investigate, pilot and scale flexible short-term programs and mini-internships in virtual, hybrid and in-person formats, centering historically marginalized learners. Analyze content efficacy and efficiencies in current programs to seek improvements and enhanced mission impact.
- Develop and pilot virtual programs to reach learners with some college credit that lack persistence rates, aiding in degree attainment with real-world skills.
- Explore opportunities for upskilling/reskilling of current workforce, targeting non-traditional learners, career transitioners, and individuals reintegrating into the workforce.
- Grow and strengthen partnerships with Minority Serving Institutions (MSI), Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU), tribal colleges, and community colleges.
Expand TWC Workforce Readiness curriculum to meet greatest skills gaps nationwide, increasing capacity for design and launching programs that are learner-centric, market-driven and funder-aligned.
- Evaluate existing career-connected curriculum and pilot and scale new curriculum with a practice-based approach of a la carte options for learners around skill sets like analytical thinking, change management, project management, JEDI in the workplace and using data for decision making.
- Offer and scale partnerships with employers to create customized signature programs they can brand for talent pipelines.
- Offer and scale partnerships with higher education to create branded virtual, hybrid and in-person signature programs for students.
“The Washington Center was a major part of my growth. I was able to identify my young professional life’s mission through my internship at the Arthritis Foundation and continue there today. We see our internship program as a way to mentor new students. I benefited immensely from my experience; I want to ensure future interns do, too.”
Julie Eller ’16, Stockton University; Manager of Grassroots Advocacy, The Arthritis Foundation; TWC internship supervisor.