An ambitious idea to combine educational opportunities and resources has turned into a reality, as the Center for Instruction, Technology and Innovation and Cayuga Community College are embarking on a groundbreaking partnership.
The two entities will unite as the Center for Career and Community Education, which will offer extensive programs to a variety of learners.
According to Carla DeShaw, dean of community education and workforce development at CCC, the initial efforts will be a multi-pronged approach to bring different learning opportunities to students of all ages.
“We’ve already dovetailed the adult education programs together,” DeShaw said. “Our first focus will have a broad reach. We’ll focus on adult education, career and technical education, leisure learning, kids’ camps, and growing partnerships with community organizations and agencies.”
As part of the partnership, each entity has explored its current programs and services and played to the strengths of each.
“During the first phase, we will be taking what we each do best and growing those areas,” DeShaw said. “We’ll be taking existing courses and looking at different locations — like the CTE labs in Mexico, the college campus, the West Broadway site — to provide the best possible learning environment.”
In addition to offering ample courses in state-of-the-art facilities, the partnership is unique because it is one of the first of its kind in New York state, DeShaw said.
It provides an opportunity to pool resources and tackle challenges as a single unit.
“We’re really breaking new ground here,” DeShaw said. “There’s no reason why we can’t pave the road. Right now we’re looking at best practices, and perhaps we will be creating best practices since this is uncharted territory.”
While the partnership is just beginning, the expectations are high for the Center for Career and Community Education.
Future goals include offering college credit for career and technical education courses, expanding pre-collegiate programs and opening an advanced manufacturing lab on the River Glen campus in Fulton.
“The possibilities are endless,” DeShaw said.