The Impact of ASSIST
The Department of Labor’s (DOL) Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training (TAACCCT)grant period is coming to an end in September, but the ASSIST to Work program that resulted from this grant will continue to benefit students long after the life of the grant.
One of the primary benefits to students of this program is a point of contact in a “social” environment. The counselors provide a reliable point of contact built upon continuous interactions and understandings of the student’s goals, barriers and progress. This social connection has been instrumental in resolving personal and institutional issues that typically discourage students. As a result, the 49% dropout rate of first year students has decreased to 7% for students involved in the ASSIST program.
The ASSIST program also provides students with skills necessary for obtaining employment, including soft skills, resume writing skills and interview skills. These skills combined with the opportunities provided by the 112 businesses who partner with the consortium colleges have led to a 100% job retention rate for graduating students who participated in the ASSIST program.
In terms of education, online learning is a growing trend. The ASSIST to Work program has responded to this trend and has partnered with CUCWD in the development of online courses ranging from remedial skills to specific manufacturing job skills. The model that has been set into place for the development of these courses is designed to ensure the utmost quality and rigor. Once completed, all courses developed by colleges under a TAACCCT grant will be free and available to students across the nation.
– Don Bartholomew
ASSIST Consortium DirectorFlorence-Darlington Technical College