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Cao connects labor and education

Researcher uses China as an example in her faculty lecture.

This week’s Faculty Lecture Series featured Yingxia Cao, director of institutional research, spoke about her lecture “Private Higher Education and the Labor Market in China: Institutional Management Efforts and Initial Employment Outcomes” Monday in the President’s Dining Room. Cao discussed the transition of students from private colleges to employment with Fred Yaffe, director of the Institutional Review Board, David Werner, associate professor of English. Cao, who earned her doctorate from the State University of New York at Albany, wrote her doctoral dissertation on private higher education and the labor market. / photo by Cindy Harder

This week’s Faculty Lecture Series featured Yingxia Cao, director of institutional research, spoke about her lecture “Private Higher Education and the Labor Market in China: Institutional Management Efforts and Initial Employment Outcomes” Monday in the President’s Dining Room. Cao discussed the transition of students from private colleges to employment with Fred Yaffe, director of the Institutional Review Board, David Werner, associate professor of English. Cao, who earned her doctorate from the State University of New York at Albany, wrote her doctoral dissertation on private higher education and the labor market. / photo by Cindy Harder

Aisha Gonzales
Staff Writer

Yingxia Cao, director of institutional research at the University of La Verne, challenged American education with an informative lecture on the relationship between private higher education and the labor market in China.

The lecture, “Private Higher Education and the Labor Market in China: Institutional Management Efforts and Initial Employment Outcomes,” held Monday in the President’s Dining Room, focused on how well private education institutions have managed to link its education to the labor market.

“It’s very likely private colleges in China, especially those accredited colleges, have made serious efforts in linking private higher education to the labor market,” Cao said. “Their efforts help their students become well received by the labor markets.”

Cao said that about two-thirds of students get jobs upon graduating from a private college in China.

Her statistics illustrated that about 93.7 percent of employers in China will hire private college graduates again in the next two years.

In contrast to America, an economic crisis does not affect the hiring of private college graduates in China.

“In China they are educated to perform a specific job in their field,” Cao said. “They advise them on how to job hunt. And some have general career service courses, provide job fairs, and give online support.”

A large majority of private colleges in China are company invested. As a result of this, most of the private college administrators are capable of creating programs, such as “Learning by Practicing and Producing” in college and corporation co-owned businesses.

On campus, students are given the opportunity of practical training with an entrepreneur. The private college administrators are also able to hold job fairs, offer part time employment for business partners and provide training bases.

“I look at the programs private colleges and universities provided their students, and how they are related to the labor market,” Cao said.

“They set up niche programs based on labor market demands. They provide the real practice for the students. What the companies order, then they provide,” she added.

“We need more of those elements, but we do not always have a way to invest in these programs,” she added.

To attain research Cao visited private colleges and universities in China, including Huanghe Science and Technology College, Xi’an Eurasia University and Anhui University.

There are roughly 866 colleges in China and about 334 of those are accredited by the Chinese government.

Cao stated that in 2007 there were about 1.63 million college students enrolled. At a private college in China, nearly half are retired former public college professors and the other half are new college graduates.

“I thought there was an awful lot of information and a lot of it was interesting,” said David Werner, chairman of the English department.

“There were a lot of implications on American education. China is much more interested in training for a specific job where as here in America we give you flexibility so if there were a change in the economic future you can shift careers if necessary. I think liberal arts education is the way to go,” he added.

At the conclusion of the lecture, students gathered outside the President’s Dining Room and discussed the results of Cao’s studies.

They began to question whether ULV focused enough on their future career. They also agreed that they believe they benefit from having general courses as well as major courses.

“I thought Cao’s lecture was very interesting,” said junior Amanda McCadden, liberal arts major.

“In China they have more direct training for jobs. It seems like there should be more direct emphasis on career skills at the colleges in the U.S. Students should learn the skills in the sense of what they will be doing when they enter a specific job,” she added.

Aisha Gonzales can be reached at aisha.gonzales@laverne.edu.

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