Education - Page 3 - Blazing a career path

- Page 3
Blazing a career path
Area colleges strengthen tangible skills

By Elizabeth Schuman, Contributing Writer

From technology on-screen and in the sky to conflict resolution across local and international borders, area colleges offer degrees and professional certifications to build students’ professional muscle. The one commonality: All provide education directly applicable to the workplace.

Forging Strong Relationships

Soon after completing her master’s degree in conflict analysis and dispute resolution (CADR) at Salisbury University in May 2017, Brittany Foutz began working at the United Nations. It was a natural fit. Fluent in five languages, the Harford County native had previous international experience.

Two years earlier, she completed a summer internship at the International Peace and Security Institute at The Hague in the Netherlands. Prior, she studied in South America through the university’s Center for International Education.

She credits her graduate degree and experiences with helping her understand conflict resolution, mediation and the peace-making process. “I learned how to approach conflict from a theoretical and practical perspective,” she says.“My goal is to work in the peace process and make change in the world.” Today, she is completing a doctorate in international conflict management at Kennesaw State University in Georgia, with hopes of earning a Fulbright Scholarship to study in Israel.

With relevance stateside and internationally, Salisbury’s program offers practice, research and training in mediation, dispute intervention and conflict resolution for either a bachelor’s or master’s degree. Student benefit from faculty mentorship, as well as training at the on-campus Bosserman Center for Conflict Resolution. In 2018, the department was ranked second in the nation by, based on faculty expertise, student satisfaction and job placement outcomes.

“We want students to think about the different angles of a conflict, to look at the scientific, economic or psychological point of view,” says Brian Polkinghorn, Ph.D., acting director and distinguished professor, department of conflict analysis and dispute resolution. “A dispute can be interpersonal between family members or international between countries.”

That peacemaking process often begins by establishing common ground. “Conflicts and disputes happen anywhere there are two or more people. The workplace, private sectors, areas where industry is looking at new markets – business cultures clash in private industry as well.”

To inspire students and speak to the larger university community, The Bosserman Center invites global leaders who exemplify creative problem-solving and non-violent action. Previous speakers have included Dr. Arun Gandhi, grandson of Mahatma Gandhi; Irina Bokova, director- general of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO); and His Excellency Dr. Jose Ramos-Horta, former prime minister and president of Timor-Leste and co-recipient of the 1996 Nobel Peace Prize.

Students also complete a practicum, which incorporates field work, internships and practice opportunities in the real world. Students have started conflict resolution programs throughout the U.S. and in other countries, worked in federal and state agencies, conducted research in countries in conflict, worked with international police, U.N. agencies, and non-governmental organizations. Graduates find jobs quickly in the judicial, governmental and social service systems, as well as in the private sector, educational and religious communities.

Flying High

When Hurricane Harvey drenched Houston with up to 60 inches of rain in August 2017, drone pilots went into action. Although the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) implemented flying restrictions, the agency allowed drone operators to support rescue and recovery, and assess damage to homes, roads, railroads and cell towers. Help wanted requests for drone pilots went nationwide, including Carroll Community College, where a commercial UAS (drone) pilot workforce training certificate launched in 2016.

“We were getting so many calls,” recalls Chet Andes, M.Ed., coordinator of IT and workforce development at Carroll. When another hurricane hit Florida, the call went out again for drone pilots.

Once the purview of hobbyists, drones are becoming must-have tools in real estate, insurance, agribusiness, law enforcement and construction. During the 2018 Winter Olympics, thousands of drones provided the light show. The Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International predicts over 100,000 drone-related jobs by the year 2025 with an economic impact of $82 billion in the United States.

The college’s eight-course, 95-hour training certificate program prepares students to take the FAA part 107 remote pilot certification, followed by the optional Unmanned Safety Institute (USI) small UAS safety certification. The college partners with Dream Flight School in Westminster, Md., for ground school training and provides lightweight drones to students.The FAA requires drone operators to hold the remote pilot certificate for commercial use.

“Students learn how to program a flight path, interpret data and understand possible interference from wind,” says Andes. “ It’s far more than just pretty pictures.” The goal is to ensure the pilot understands safety issues, such as height restrictions – no flying over 400 feet, line of sight requirements and the complex rules governing controlled airspace.

The program appeals to a range of students. “Young people want quick training to work in the gig economy and the drone industry lends itself to this. Older second-career retirees want a side business.” The program helps longtime estimators and surveyors who add technology to traditional surveying tools.

The emerging drone industry resembles the earliest days of computers, when colleges had to adapt to new technology.“Carroll had to be nimble to build this program so quickly,” says Steve Berry, director, workforce training and business services, career and professional education.“We are here to address changes in industry as they evolve.”

Telling the Story

Why is the grocery store seeing an uptick in inventory loss? What’s driving the decrease in sales during the last quarter? And why aren’t diners flocking to the restaurant? On the surface,

Career path, continued on page 9

Learn more

Degree programs are offered on a semester basis and often have prerequisites. Certificate programs offer rolling admissions, with classes beginning frequently throughout the semester and year.

Commercial USA Drone Pilot Workforce Training
Carroll Community College

Conflict Analysis and Dispute Resolution
Salisbury University
Bachelor of Arts | Master of Arts

Data Literacy
Anne Arundel Community College
410-777-2222 •

PHOTO DESCRIPTION: Left: Salisbury University students study conflict analysis and dispute resolution in India.