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CMSI Announces New Report on Registered Apprenticeship at MSIs


Natalie Passov  | | 848-932-0728

New Brunswick, N.J., August 17, 2022The Rutgers Center for Minority Serving Institutions (CMSI) is proud to announce the release of “An Untapped Opportunity: Registered Apprenticeship at Minority Serving Institutions.” This new report highlights the current state of apprenticeship across Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs). It also features spotlights on institutions that have unique and robust registered apprenticeship (RA) programs so that readers can better understand the strengths and challenges of RA at MSIs. 

According to Jobs for the Future (JFF), RA is a form of work-based learning and a proven workforce training model that combines “paid on-the-job learning and formal classroom or online instruction to help a worker master the knowledge, skills, and competencies needed for career success.” The report outlines the many benefits of RA including how it benefits students and employers alike. Students gain skill and even certifications needed for particular trades and employers can “build partnerships with colleges and universities, replace an aging workforce, attract diverse talent, and keep pace with industry advancements.” The report also notes that employers usually hire their apprentices since they are already trained to their standards. According to the Department of Labor, 92% of apprentices typically retain employment upon graduation. 

"Students who take part in the RA programs at MSIs not only get the training and support they need to be top candidates in their field, they also engage in culturally relevant learning and curricula that allows them to genuinely help underserved communities upon graduation,” said Alice Ginsberg, one of the authors of the report and Senior Research Specialist for CMSI.

By conducting a foundational landscape analysis assessing how many MSIs are offering RA programs and what they look like, the research team found that only 11% of MSIs offer RA. The report details a close look at apprenticeship at MSIs including where programs are geographically concentrated and what trades are represented among RA programs. All known existing RA programs at MSIs can be found in the report. 

Despite only 11% MSI participation in RA, the report emphasizes that there is much to be learned from the programs that are available. Spotlighting programs at Edmonds College, Central New Mexico Community College, Riverside Community College, Aaniiih Nakoda College, Alabama A&M University, the University of Houston, and Tennessee State University, the report notes that MSIs are leading the way in creating RA programs that serve the communities they inhabit. For instance, while RA programs typically serve vocational trades, research shows that non-traditional RA programs in fields such as social work, teacher education, information security and technology, and occupational safety, are widely represented at MSIs. 

“Apprenticeship is an important opportunity for students and employers to mutually benefit,” shared Marybeth Gasman, one of the authors of this report, Executive Director of the CMSI and Samuel DeWitt Proctor Endowed Chair. “As little to no work has been done researching RA at MSIs, we hope that we can spread the message through this foundational report and that more MSIs can take advantage of these opportunities.”

There are numerous challenges faced by MSIs around RA outlined in the report. One issue is that many staff members who the research team spoke with were new to running these programs and did not know a lot about them. Additionally, staff were often “wearing many hats and oversaw other college programs at the same time, creating overload.” 

Takeaways from the report include tips for establishing programs and acquiring funding, recommendations for better promotion of apprenticeship overall and how to market specific programs to increase student enrollment, and suggestions for further research in this area to better understand the creative approaches that MSIs use when conceptualizing RA and the challenges they face in doing so. 

"MSIs are in a unique position to help drive equity within the Registered Apprenticeship system by connecting these opportunities to students from populations who haven't historically had access to these proven models," noted Joshua Johnson, director of JFF's Innovation Hub on DEIA for RA. "We want the students to succeed first and foremost, and we believe Registered Apprenticeship provides promising pathways to equitable economic advancement."

This research was conducted with the support of JFF's National Innovation Hub on Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility in Registered Apprenticeship, a U.S. Department of Labor technical assistance center of excellence.  Read the report here.

About the Rutgers Center for Minority Serving Institutions 

The Rutgers Center for Minority Serving Institutions (CMSI) brings together researchers and practitioners from Historically Black Colleges and Universities, Tribal Colleges and Universities, Hispanic Serving Institutions, and Asian American, Native American, and Pacific Islander Serving Institutions. CMSI’s goals include: elevating the educational contributions of MSIs; ensuring that they are a part of national conversations; bringing awareness to the vital role MSIs play in the nation’s economic development; increasing the rigorous scholarship of MSIs; connecting MSIs’ academic and administrative leadership to promote reform initiatives; and strengthening efforts to close educational achievement gaps among disadvantaged communities. The Rutgers Center for Minority Serving Institutions is part of the Samuel DeWitt Proctor Institute for Leadership, Equity and Justice (Proctor Institute) at the Graduate School of Education at Rutgers University, New Brunswick. For further information about CMSI, please visit

Wednesday, August 17, 2022
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