Helen Aguirre Ferré’s March 1 column, Closing skills gap is a shared responsibility, made some excellent points about our shared responsibility to help educate and train people who can compete in a global and constantly evolving job market.
Florida International University works closely with the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce, the Beacon Council and individual employers such as Florida Power & Light and Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. to grow opportunities through partnerships that help our students become sought-after job candidates.
We are keenly aware that an education must have a clear financial benefit and prepare our students to accept great jobs or create great jobs. That’s why we have restructured our processes so that incoming freshmen understand job opportunities and make decisions about their education from a strategic perspective.
We are redesigning 17 “gateway courses” such as college algebra, to help students learn, succeed and move toward graduation without delay.
In the past few years we have strengthened our internship program so that every student who wants an internship can find one, and we have launched the Talent Development Network, together with other local colleges and universities.
Internships are key: Research shows that 63 percent of interns get job offers, compared with only 35 percent of students who do not have internship experience.
It is indeed our collective responsibility to provide students with the tools they need to succeed.
Kenneth G. Furton, provost and executive vice president, FIU, Miami