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March 2017

Bidwell Training Center honors PAPSA with Fabric of Our Community Award

It’s been some time since we so proudly accepted the Fabric of Our Community Award from Bidwell Training Center, but having just received pictures from the event in the very recent past, we wanted to share our experience.

The Fabric of our Community awards are given to those who make significant contributions to career training and make a positive impact on the Pittsburgh community at large. PAPSA was one of three award recipients for 2016. We shared the honor with the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review’s Home and Garden editor Doug Oster and the Pittsburgh chapter of the American Culinary Federation.

Thank you to Bidwell and the selection committee for finding PAPSA worthy of such an award. We strive every day to make the regulatory environment agreeable to our schools so that they may continue the important job of skills training and educating students who will become our 21st Century Workforce.

Shortage of Skills: 58,000 Dental Assistants Needed

PAPSA and CECU help produce over 265,000 career professionals in Pennsylvania in the decade ahead. Career colleges play a significant role in meeting the skill demands of the nation’s economy, while providing a path to the middle class for millions of our fellow citizens. Learn more about PAPSA’s joint efforts with CECU to produce skilled professionals here in Pennsylvania and across the nation.

In honor of Dental Assistant Recognition week, CECU’s March SOS release focuses on the need for well-trained dental assistants. With the growing awareness of the importance of good oral health, the dental assistant profession has a much faster than average growth rate of 18% in the next 10 years. There will be a need for 58,600 trained dental assistants by 2024. Just in 2015, private sector career colleges and universities produced 14,944 academic awards in the dental assisting field, 64% of those produced across all sectors of higher education, according to CECU research supported by data from the U.S. Department of Education IPEDS database and BLS. From 2011-2015, a total of 88,492 academic awards in the dental assisting field came from career colleges and universities.

Dental assistants perform important tasks in a dentist’s office, and will increasingly be needed to assist dentists in managing a higher number of patients. From patient care, to cleaning treatment areas and tools, to clerical tasks such as scheduling appointments and working on billing, dental assistants help dentist’s offices function smoothly and allow them to help a higher volume of patients. Their median pay in 2015 was $35,980, right around the median income for all occupations, and higher than the median pay for other healthcare support occupations. This, combined with the high expected growth of the profession, presents a promising outlook for those studying to become dental assistants.

As research linking oral health with overall health expands, BLS expects that the demand for dental services will increase. A fact sheet from the Office on Women’s Health at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services expands on the connection between oral and general health, saying that diseases such as “diabetes, heart disease, HIV, cancer, and some eating disorders are linked with oral health problems,” and that “regular dental exams” can help patients avoid such health issues. In addition, pregnant women should take special care of their dental health, as they are at risk for conditions such as pregnancy gingivitis. Research is also under way to determine a link between gum disease and low-birth-weight babies. Men, on the other hand, are at risk of poor dental health simply by neglecting it more often than women, according to the Academy of General Dentistry. The AGD reports that the “average man brushes his teeth only 1.9 times a day and will lose 5.4 teeth by age 73.”

“Our dental assisting program prepares students for a career in dental assisting through both classroom learning and externships,” said LeeAnn Rohman, president of High Desert Medical College. “Students leave with the skills they need to be successful in the field.”

“As oral health research and awareness expands, providing students with the skills needed to enter the rapidly growing dental assisting field becomes more and more important,” said Steve Gunderson, president and CEO of CECU. “By providing students with well-rounded training and degrees in dental assisting, our institutions make a sustainable career possible for thousands of Americans.”


March 2017

PAPSA and CECU Working Together for Pennsylvania

PAPSA and CECU help produce over 265,000 career professionals in Pennsylvania in the decade ahead. Career colleges play a significant role in meeting the skill demands of the nation’s economy, while providing a path to the middle class for millions of our fellow citizens. Learn more about PAPSA’s joint efforts with CECU to produce skilled professionals here in Pennsylvania and across the nation.

Pennsylvania Association of Private School Administrators to Join Career Education Colleges and Universities (CECU) Campaign to Produce 5 Million Skilled Professionals.

Pennsylvania Association of Private School Administrators, led by Aaron Shenck, announces its support and commitment to the Campaign to Create 5 Million Career Professionals in the decade ahead, led by Career Education Colleges and Universities (CECU). Using research that connects the academic programs of postsecondary institutions in our sector to related occupations, and calculating projections using state-specific data on occupational growth demands and replacement needs, the sector has outlined its role in America’s economic and social future.

Independent research conducted by Dr. Wallace Pond and Ian N. Creager developed the protocols leading to this important set of data. The analysis, based upon a sophisticated, program-level, 50-state “cross-walk” of the Department of Education’s IPEDS education data and Bureau of Labor Statistics labor projections, suggests career colleges could produce nearly 8.5 million professionals in critical fields over the next decade. The state of Pennsylvania alone is projected to produce more than 265,000 academic awards from private sector career colleges and universities in the next decade.

The research shows that in over 200 occupations, career colleges produce between 25-100% of the academic credentials in a given occupation area. Many of these occupations are important to our daily life. The study shows that career colleges will produce 90% of professional divers, 83% of cosmetologists, 78% of vocational nursing and nursing assistants, 64% of dental assistants and 55% of heating, ventilation and A/C (HVAC) engineering technicians.

“The importance of this research is that, for the first time, we are connecting academic and occupational data from the government with local projections to provide policymakers and employers a clear outline of job skill demand in their community and state,” said Steve Gunderson, president of CECU. “We have combined this data nationally in ways that emphasize the incredibly important role this sector provides in meeting our nation’s skill demands.”

At a time of educational focus on outcomes, the study lifts up the important achievements of this sector of higher education. Wallace Pond, the director of the study said, “In all higher education career programs, the private sector institutions represent 11% of all students, but 14% of all graduates. It is this sector’s focus on retention and completion rates that shows such positive results.”

Joining in the official announcement, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich called upon the new administration and the Congress to use the campaign and supporting study as an opportunity to work together in creating higher education policy. “It’s time to stop the ideological crusade against private sector schools and work together to give all citizens an opportunity for skills, jobs and wages,” said Gingrich. “This study makes clear America cannot succeed without the role these career schools play in giving all citizens the skills needed for real work with real pay.”