Students then have a more assured “pathway” to employment after graduation.
“And we make sure it’s not a pathway to nowhere – it is instead a pathway to a job,” said Hoopes.
Miami University Associate Dean Cathy Bishop-Clark said the pathways at the school continue to expand thanks in large part to Miami’s regional campuses in Hamilton and Middletown.
The Miami regionals, which enroll 4,000 students at the Hamilton campus and 3,000 at Middletown, have in recent years vastly expanded its four-year degree offerings, said Bishop-Clark.
In 2009 there were just 55 bachelor-degree graduates from Miami's regionals but in 2015 there were 319.
Despite the regionals geographical separation from Miami’s main Oxford campus – the entire Miami University campus system is the largest employer in Butler County – Bishop-Clark told the audience “we are one Miami.”
Jon Graft, first-year superintendent for Butler Tech career school, which serves both high school and adult students, said more of its learning programs are funneling graduates to both employment and post-secondary education.
Butler Tech’s extensive career training programs, which are often designed with input from private industry, allow teenagers to better determine their career paths as young adults.
“We want them to test to see if that is a field they want to be in for 30 years. And by the time they graduate from a two or four-year university, we have been a big part of that,” said Graft.