The Technical Leadership Program
Lehigh Career & Technical Institute, Bloomsburg University, and Lehigh Carbon Community College
Overview of Initiative
This innovative program provides Lehigh Career & Technical Institute (LCTI) high school students an affordable opportunity to begin working toward a Bloomsburg University Technical Leadership Bachelor of Applied Science Degree.
Lehigh Carbon Community College (LCCC), located on the same campus as LCTI, offers LCTI junior and senior students dual-enrollment classes that apply to an Associate’s Degree in Applied Science, Associate’s Degree in Science, or Associate’s Degree in Art. Upon completing their Associate’s Degree, students receive a 60-credit block transfer into Bloomsburg University’s Technical Leadership program, avoiding the loss of credits that typically limits advancement of students in Associate’s Degree in Applied Science programs. The Bachelor’s Degree in Applied Science is delivered through courses taught on the LCCC campus as well as online courses. This seamless and affordable pathway, starting as early as students’ junior year of high school, allows participants to earn a Bachelor’s Degree without leaving the LCTI/LCCC campus. Further, because most of the Bachelor’s Degree in Applied Science Technical Leadership program courses are offered in the evening and online, the schedule is convenient for working professionals who may experience career advancement as they progress through the program.
As stated in a 2013 Bloomsburg University brochure, the Technical Leadership program, offered through the university’s Department of Instructional Technology, “provides the knowledge and skills necessary to assume leadership roles in workgroups and project teams - skills necessary for career advancement in a rapidly changing, globalized workplace.”
Leadership traits highly sought by employers are integrated into the program, including: effective communication and collaboration; team leadership and project management; staff training and development; workplace and cultural diversity; financial and supervisory knowledge; and conflict management and resolution. LCCC advisors, faculty, and staff work closely with Vince Basile, director of the Bachelor’s Degree in Applied Science program at Bloomsburg University. Mr. Basile maintains office hours on the LCCC campus several days each week during which he meets with community partners, LCTI students, and parents.
The program emerged from the desire of LCTI administrators to provide more opportunities for students to continue on to a four-year degree. It was built upon existing agreements between LCTI and LCCC as well as the LCCC four-year agreements. Bloomsburg was selected as the four-year university partner for the program based on the school's focus on offering coursework that incorporates leadership, communication, and project management skills.
In developing the program, representatives from Bloomsburg worked with LCTI staff to assess when and how students make decisions about postsecondary education. They also evaluated skills and qualities needed in the workforce. Their goal was to create a program that would work for every student.
The first cohort of students began the program in fall 2012.
In May 2014, the first cohort of students was awarded their Bloomsburg University Bachelor’s Degree in Applied Science degrees. These students are reportedly satisfied with the program that is provided on the LCCC campus.
As a relatively new and unique program, administrators plan to expand efforts to market the program to increase awareness and enrollment.
Bloomsburg University is exploring the creation of similar partnerships with other CTCs and community colleges in the Pennsylvania.
Administrators agree that ongoing and open communication among all partners, both informally and through regularly scheduled meetings, is essential for a true sense of partnership to develop. In addition, all partners must maintain a team philosophy and prioritize the needs of the program and students.
Mr. Vincent J. Basile, Program Director
Lehigh Carbon Community College
Ms. Virginia Mihalik, Transfer Counselor
Lehigh Career & Technical Institute
Ms. Sandra J. Himes, Executive Director