Education - Page 8 - Partnership, from page 1

- Page 8
Partnership, from page 1
to change.”

Change is what Kenneth Dion, assistant dean for business innovation and strategic relations at Johns Hopkins School of Nursing, is pursuing for the school’s nursing community. He wants to position the university as an incubator for ideas. He is searching for partnerships that will change and improve health care. He contends that the community at large does not see nurses as business people.

“This is a new approach for academia.Because funding is becoming more difficult, we’re looking for business partners so that implementation of nursing’s innovations will drive revenue back to research,” he explains. He notes that one of the biggest challenges the profession faces is public education.“We need to change public perception so that people know nurses are highly educated and equal partners in the delivery of health care,” Dion says. He says this is why the interdisciplinary approach of the Johns Hopkins School of Nursing is so critical. It is one of the few schools to offer a doctoral degree combined with a master’s in business administration (MBA). “We teach our students the business of health care, and how to speak the language of business,” he says.

Johns Hopkins School of Nursing offers two doctoral degrees – a Ph.D., which concentrates on developing nurse researchers, and a DNP, doctorate of nursing practice, that translates the research into practice. “The nurse scholars in academia are creating amazing innovations and trying to bring them to market. The public needs to know that nurses are the backbone of the health care system. They have been ranked by the public as the most trusted profession for 17 years in a row. Not only are they trustworthy, they are extremely knowledgeable.”

Dion says the interdisciplinary curriculum includes leadership courses, business courses and practicums. Students complete a capstone project and implement it with a business partner. At the conclusion of the program, students present their project and its impact. It gives them the leadership and presentation skills they’ll use in business.

Focusing on businesses right in its back yard, Harford Community College (HCC) is pairing its STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) students with mentors from the Combat Capabilities Development Command C5ISR Center, or the CCDC C5ISR. The school recently kicked off a partnership with the CCDC C5ISR at Aberdeen Proving Ground, called, “The Army’s Future Command program.” It allows students to develop relationships with professionals who can be mentors in their area of study.

“Some students may need a push, they may be facing challenges academically, or they’re looking for internships,” says KarlaWynn, student development specialist at HCC. “A mentor can help them navigate security clearances on base, show them how federal contracting works, and give them general industry tips and information.”

C5ISR stands for Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Cyber, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance. “In addition to providing the students with encouragement, guidance and direction, the CCDC C5ISR mentors can show students how classroom learning applies to the professional work environment,” explains Rhonda Hillebrand, career development specialist with CCDC C5ISR.

Wynn says this is the first program of its kind for associate degree candidates at HCC.“There are programs for high school seniors and bachelor’s degree candidates, but there are very few mentoring and/or internship opportunities for students pursuing associate degrees,” she says. Students were invited to apply for the mentoring program through an online application that asked about their interests, the degree they were pursuing, hobbies, and why they want to work with the government.

Courtney O’Connor, a second-year associate degree candidate at HCC, says she doesn’t know whether her next step will be moving on to a four-year college or directly into the job market, but she hopes the mentoring program will guide her decision. Her mentoring relationship will be tracked by the college for an 18-month period, but both she and Wynn hope it will last much longer. “I hope she will continue to be my mentor even after I find my first job,” O’Connor says.Wynn says she is counting on current participants like O’Connor to be ambassadors for the next round of students applying for the mentoring program.“HCC wants to be workforce-healthy. Connecting our students to government companies makes total sense for a win/win situation for everyone.” •

Academia and business

The symbiotic relationships between academia and local businesses help to feed the region’s economic development by creating an environment of workforce-ready employees, a robust job market, and communities that offer quality of life for residents.

From Academia:
• Qualified graduates with business and technology majors
• Budding professionals for internship opportunities and ultimately, jobs
• Curriculum relevant to business needs
• Valuable studies for people in the workforce

From Businesses:
• Business feedback on university curriculum
• Internships and job experience for university students
• Mentors for students
• Ongoing job opportunities •