News Release — Comcast
May 12, 2014
Celebration Held for Completion of Site-Based Pilot Higher Learning Program
BURLINGTON, VT – May 12, 2014 – On Tuesday night, May 6, 13 employees from Comcast’s South Burlington office graduated from a program that brought learning directly to the workplace and helped jump-start their higher education. The pilot program, called “Assessment of Prior Learning,” was made possible through a partnership between Comcast and Community College of Vermont (CCV).
Since January, the Comcast employees have met in the office for nearly three hours every Tuesday evening to complete the 15-week CCV class. Through the course, students created a portfolio highlighting their accumulated learning, both on and off the job, as the foundation of their pursuit of associate’s or bachelor’s degrees. At the end of the course, each student’s portfolio was evaluated to determine the number of CCV credits that would be awarded toward a degree.
“This program is a great example of what we do at Community College of Vermont and it is a perfect partnership: Comcast wants to promote the advancement of their employees and we are able to help them do so by bringing education to Vermonters where they are at,” said Joyce Judy, President of Community College of Vermont. “Together, we’ve provided these employees with the opportunity and support to position themselves for the future, a place that without this partnership many of them saw as insurmountable to achieve.”
“We were excited to partner with Community College of Vermont to provide this program in support of our employees’ pursuit of higher degrees, and we can’t wait to see where they go from here,” said Mary McLaughlin, Senior Vice President of Comcast in Western New England, which includes Vermont. “We’re always looking to promote professional development, whether in the office or the classroom, and we hope these employees will take advantage of our tuition reimbursement program to continue their learning and growth.”
While the students had different backgrounds and positions at Comcast, including customer care, technical operations, and marketing and sales, they shared a desire to pursue higher learning. Whether taking the course as a way to ease into their first college courses, as a catalyst for finishing started Bachelor’s or Associate’s degrees, or as a springboard to start a Business degree, the students were able to participate in the program at no cost in a familiar office environment surrounded by other adults committed to learning.
Program participant Travis Miller, a Customer Care Supervisor at Comcast, was excited to take the course as a way to build on his pursuit of a Business degree. “For years I have been interested in revisiting a return to higher education and this presented the perfect opportunity to do so. In entering the program, I looked to build on top of some prior earned credit in working on a Bachelor’s degree in Business. I am very thankful for the opportunity that has been presented,” he said.
After the students presented their portfolios and received credits, they were honored at a graduation ceremony at Junior’s Italian Restaurant in Colchester, featuring speakers Mary McLaughlin and Joyce Judy.
“Having completed the course, I am very proud of myself and the other students for working through the process,” said Richard Grivalsky, a Comcast Headend Technician who plans to continue his studies at Johnson State College, working toward a Bachelor’s degree in Interdisciplinary Studies. “The Assessment of Prior Learning class certainly challenges its students in ways I had not been challenged before. I am very thankful for this opportunity and look forward to my future with Comcast and the Vermont State Colleges.”
Companies interested in starting a similar Prior Learning Assessment program with CCV can contact Gabrielle Dietzel at 802-828-0132 or [email protected] or [email protected] Those interested in general workforce partnerships/courses of any kind can contact Tiffany Keune at 802-786-0011 (Southern VT) or Penne Ciaraldi at 802-654-0516 (Northern VT) or both at [email protected]