By ALEJANDRA GARCIA
Amarillo College has started to transition its advisory boards to Business and Leadership Councils. These councils help create next year’s curriculum.
“They are a group of employers within the business and industry community,” Barbara Wahi, the director for Perkins grants, said. “That is who advises on the contents of the curriculum related to the labor markets demand.”
In the past, AC and the previous advisory boards would only meet once a year, according to Wahi. She said college officials wanted the change to maximize their level of engagement.
“We are looking at engaging more and more strategically and intentionally with our business and leadership partners so that we could provide them with the needed workforce that they would want at the end of the day,” Wahi said.
The new name doesn’t mean everything is changing. “We aren’t necessarily changing the business leaders,” Linda Munoz, the dean of technical education, said. “Some of them may be in the new Business and Leadership Council and we may have new people in the Business and Leadership Council, so it doesn’t necessarily mean that we’re replacing a group of people.”
Munoz said the purpose of this group is to advise the college on all training or certifications needed to prepare the student for work after graduation.
“We’re just making sort of a qualitatively different type of council that more actively supports the needs of our business and industry partners and where our business and industry partners are more actively engaged with the college to ensure that the college is providing what they need,” Munoz, said.
“Also, one of the strategic goals for the next five years is to increase the number of work-based opportunities of all Amarillo College students,” Munoz said. “These BLC’s allow for us to know when an employer or business leader is ready to engage with the college and individuals that can move into internships or apprenticeships.”
“To a student going through the program that means they’re going to be exposed to and get connected with local jobs earlier,” David Hall, the associate dean of technical education, said. “It’ll look like a stronger connection with the employer.”
“All the stuff that we’re doing to revise this BLC process is about the business and our students,” Hall said. “Our students come to us to get prepared for a job, I mean, the ultimate goal is the job.”