CNCC Corner: Colorado Northwestern partnerships working for students
In the February issue of CNCC Corner, I presented Colorado Northwestern’s 2023-28 strategic plan as well as an update on activities underway addressing one of our Strategic Priorities-Focus on the Student. I promised to spend the next several editions focusing on one priority and aligned institutional activities.
The priority of focus this month is partnerships. On Feb. 10, an industry partner and friend Capt. Ray Phillips posted a photo on his LinkedIn page congratulating four young pilots at a United Airlines “Wings Ceremony” held that same day. The four pilots and first officers — Stefan Comina, Efrain Cabrera, Nicholas Rubba and Chris Phillips — are also graduates of Colorado Northwestern.
CNCC’s part 141 designation, due to stricter FAA monitoring, allows our pilot trainees to be prepared for private and commercial pilot (in 60 hours less time) licensure in less time. This saves students time and money. Some students pursue a bachelor’s degree to expand their options and accelerate their career trajectory.
These four students obtained bachelor’s degrees from Metropolitan State University, a strong partner of CNCC and transfer destination for many Colorado Northwestern students. In any industry, mentorship and industry partnerships help students secure the best opportunities. In fact, students with mentors and industry connections have a two-thirds chance of making it to the top 20% of opportunities and earnings. United Airlines stepped in as industry partner with Capt. Phillips as these students’ mentors.
One core mission of a community college is to produce graduates who can join a workforce and contribute to society and the economy.
In doing so, CNCC incorporates one of its values, and that is to nurture meaningful and mutually beneficial partnerships. We want our graduates to join a workforce where they can earn a family supporting wage in jobs that will be available and around for the foreseeable future.
Based on the Bureau of Labor Statistics, over the next decade 18,000 new pilots will be needed annually. The current Boeing Pilot and Technician Outlook concludes that the aviation industry will supply more than 602,000 commercial airline pilots worldwide over the next 20 years. Outstanding partnerships include agreed goals, common values, trust, mutual respect, great communication and a balanced return.
The partnerships with MSU and Capt. Phillips that resulted in opportunities for these pilots are examples of the types of partnerships CNCC wishes to continue cultivating as we strive to fulfill our mission and promise to the students and the communities we serve.
Lisa Jones is the president of Colorado Northwestern Community College.
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