YSU Workforce and Education Officials Highlight Opportunities

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – Youngstown State University’s Division of Workforce Education and Innovation is working to educate students and their parents about the opportunity to earn training and college credit.

Jennifer Oddo, vice president of the DWEI, told YSU trustees Tuesday during the panel’s quarterly committee meetings that while many people are familiar with College Credit Plus programs for high school students, fewer know about Industry Recognized Credential Assurance Guides.

College Credit Plus, or CCP, allows high school students – and even some younger students – to earn college credit toward a degree while they’re in school.

Industry Recognized Credential Assurance Guides (ITAG), available through the DWEI, help students begin the path to a college degree, too.

“The biggest challenge, quite frankly, is with our parents,” said David Janofa, associate vice president of the DWEI. “How do we get out and educate parents about these opportunities?”

Anyone who has a current credential that is approved for ITAG credit, including hydraulics and pneumatics, is eligible to earn college credit at any state university or college.

Oddo said she has been meeting with area legislators, and they’re also committed to helping educate people about ITAG.

The workforce division officials also reported that the move of the Information Technology Workforce Accelerator to Silvestri Hall is expected to be completed late next week. The accelerator is working with the Ohio Department of Education and the Ohio State Apprenticeship Office for approval of an IT pre-apprenticeship program that would be eligible for high school graduation points.

At the Excellence Training Center at Kohli Hall, 138 credentials were issued for workforce training classes, including several industrial maintenance classes.

Oddo also told trustees that there’s much interest in the community in the James P. Tressel Institute for Leadership and Teamwork.

The institute provides professional and personal development for students, as well as community members.

The institute’s personal leadership certificate enables students to earn five badges: My Personal Journey, My Commitment to All, My Healthy Habits for Life, My Career Path and My Financial Game Plan.

Last semester, 351 students earned the certificate, completing all five badges.

The institute is also working on more professional and personal development opportunities.

“There are those in the community who want to give back, so that’s under development,” Oddo said.

The institute’s core principles are gratitude, selflessness, excellence, love and hope.

During the Academic Excellence and Student Success Committee meeting, Associate Provost Claire Berardini introduced Sara Fugett, YSU’s new director of career exploration and development.

Fugett will work with students in the Beeghly College of Liberal Arts, Social Sciences and Education; the Cliffe College of Creative Arts; and the Dr. Dominic A. and Helen M. Bitonte College of Health and Human Services.

Fugett said she plans to work on expanding opportunities for student experiential learning. Those opportunities are available, but they aren’t available to everyone, she said.

Students who work, student-athletes and students for whom transportation is a challenge don’t have those opportunities.

The Academic Excellence and Student Success Committee also approved conferral of an honorary Doctor of Music degree to songwriter Bob DiPiero at fall commencement.

“He’s quite famous in the world of country music,” Provost Brien Smith said. “He graduated from YSU, the Dana School of Music, and he’s delighted and excited about the opportunity.”

DiPiero has written 15 No. 1 hits and many more top 20 singles for artists including Tim McGraw, Faith Hill, Reba McIntyre, Martina McBride, George Strait and others. He’s a member of the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame and has been recognized on the Nashville Walk of Fame.

Pictured at top: David Janofa, associate vice president at Youngstown State University’s Division of Workforce Education and Innovation, and Jennifer Oddo, DWEI vice president, talk about the center’s highlights and initiatives during university trustee committee meetings Tuesday.

Copyright 2024 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.