Two females smiling with certificates. Someone working on a computer

Partnership provides technology certification for underserved students

North Central University’s College of Business and Technology (COBAT), in collaboration with Milestone Community Development, launched a certificate program in January that provides non-credit technology training and certification to underserved students in the Minneapolis community.

The program is supported by a grant from Minnesota’s Ramsey County. Students from local communities are identified and recruited by Milestone for the eight-week certificate program, which allows young adults to learn new technologies in an accelerated timeframe. The first two course offerings were IT Support and Data Analytics.

The training provides skills needed to compete in the job market and gain opportunities for upward mobility. The program is accessible to students from various backgrounds and includes assisting students with internship placements that will take place after the coursework is completed. The benefits of the program are numerous, providing valuable credentials to students, addressing the digital divide, and demonstrating North Central’s commitment to the surrounding community.

Shawn Sauve, D.B.A., Associate Dean of COBAT, serves as the certificate program’s project manager. He is enthusiastic about the opportunities it provides for the participating students and the university. “We’ve got youth, ages 18 to 25, looking to develop skills to have a better life, to have good jobs at attractive pay,” Sauve said. He noted that the unique program serves the missions of North Central and Milestone and presents a powerful model for community collaboration while laying the groundwork for North Central to provide more certificate programs in the future—a trend taking place in career education across the country.

“North Central is positioned here in Minneapolis to be a blessing to our community,” Sauve said. “We have opportunities at times to collaborate on community development that doesn’t sacrifice our Christian mission. [This partnership] allows us to tangibly represent our faith in the broader Twin Cities community with people who may not necessarily identify with our faith background.

Colin Miller, MAR, Director of the COBAT School of Technology, and Komla Adevoun, Client Service Coordinator for NCU’s Office of Technology and Innovation, served as the inaugural instructors for the program. Miller is pleased with how students have responded and is confident the certification process will have a positive impact. “Completing the IT Support or Introduction to Data Analytics courses provides students with valuable skills and knowledge in high-demand fields,” Miller said. “This is likely to increase their optimism for their futures as they gain the confidence and ability to pursue career opportunities in these areas.”

Check out the photo gallery from this partnership!

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