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decision making process

Business life a very big competition.

It’s not enough to merely have ideas, education, and experience. Students have to become better at documenting, packaging, and marketing their knowledge. Today, students have to become thought leaders and subject matter experts by creating intellectual property that solve industry problems as well as gain influence within their profession.

Edward Brown, inventor of the IBAR Critical thinking Method interviewed Leah Fields, Associate Academic Dean at Virginia College – Augusta Campus (Georgia) to get her views on the interplay between student development and the changing needs of today’s workplace.

Ed: How has career colleges changed over the years?

Leah: Career colleges are expanding program offerings to reflect employer demand and hiring more subject matter experts. Also, there is higher level of accountability in the area of placement for gainful employment.

Ed: Based on the competitiveness of the global economy, are students attending career colleges more now than before?

Leah: Yes. Career colleges appeal to students who want to pursue accelerated programs to either start or change careers in a short period of time, in comparison to traditional schools. In addition, the programs may be specialized and may only be offered at career-focused institutions. Some additional considerations include the following: flexible schedules, small classroom settings, and instructors with real world experience.

Ed: What are students asking for in college career advisement?

Leah: Students want on-going academic direction, higher levels of student accountability, and personal and professional development. Many need hands-on training on how to overcome life obstacles and where to find resources.

Ed: What emerging trends to do you see that will make students better skilled in critical thinking, problem solving, and decision-making in the workforce?

Leah: One method that is used at some colleges, but not all, is the use of teams in the classroom. The strategy is to divide the class into groups of 3-5 students each class, and they work on weekly projects. They have to select a team leader each week, make team decisions on how to complete weekly projects which in turn allows them to use their critical thinking and problem solving skills.

Ed: What innovations would you like to see within career colleges?

Leah: Flipped classrooms and gaming are innovative tools to increase student engagement.

Ed: Thank you Leah for contributing your insights and perspectives.

Leah Fields, Associate Academic Dean at Virginia College – Augusta (Georgia) Campus, has been a highly efficient administrator for 18 years, She possesses cross-functional skills that reflect a background in academic affairs, student services, proprietary educational management, and the corporate experience. Leah may be contacted on LinkedIn at:

To profile your views in an upcoming article on the changing dynamics of student developing, contact Ed @ (678) 698-3386 or email:

Career college Definition from Encyclopedia Dictionaries & Glossaries. A vocational school, also called a trade school, is a higher-level learning institution that specializes in providing students with the vocational education and technical skills they need in order to perform the tasks of a particular job.