The next-generation initiative is on a mission to help underserved students in Minneapolis reach college graduation
Dunwoody College of Technology, a private, non-profit institution and the pioneer in technical education, today announced its first-ever Executive Director of Community Partnerships, Bayza Weeks. The new director is set to begin today, and has plans to spearhead the launch of a brand new program at Dunwoody – Pathways to Careers – which is slated to launch in Fall of 2021.
As a long-time leader in the Twin Cities diversity and inclusion community and a champion for under-resourced students, Weeks is a dedicated diversity, equity and inclusion professional, who is passionate about education and helping students of color reach their academic goals. Considering herself a lifelong learner, she is pursuing her Doctorate in Educational Leadership from Saint Mary’s University, and is currently writing her dissertation on the resilience of African American students beginning a college career. At Dunwoody, Weeks’ main priority will be working with community partners to develop pathways for underserved students in Minneapolis to reach college graduation.
“Dunwoody is uniquely positioned to collaborate with our long-standing community partners to help build an innovative college that values diversity, honors each student, and meets the needs of the modern day workforce,” said Bayza Weeks, Executive Director of Community Partnerships at Dunwoody. “I am beyond thrilled to be leading a program that I am so deeply passionate about, as I know we are going to make a real difference in helping to close the achievement, skills and income gaps that loom in our community.”
Pathways to Careers is a bold new initiative designed to attract, train and graduate under-resourced and under-represented high schoolers in Minneapolis. This next-generation program is modeled after the success of Dunwoody’s Youth Career Awareness Program (YCAP), which worked with more than 2,000 students over the course of its 33-year history to provide opportunities for career exploration, education, mentorship and scholarships for careers in technology. Working in lock-step with community partners, the reimagined program aims to increase high school retention and graduation rates for BIPOC students, create greater access to a Dunwoody education and set an intentional pathway to the workforce following graduation.
Students who are selected for the program will attend a three week summer summit that focuses on career exposure and preparation. Those who choose to attend Dunwoody post-graduation will receive program support and significant scholarship funding to ensure affordable access to the high-paying technical careers that await them.
For more information about Dunwoody’s Pathways to Careers program, visit www.dunwoody.edu or call (612) 374-5800. Students of color, first-generation college students and immigrants are encouraged to apply for the program. More information on how to apply will be announced later this summer.
Founded in 1914, Dunwoody College of Technology is the only private, not-for-profit technical college in the Upper Midwest. Having provided hands-on, applied technical education to more than 250,000 men and women, Dunwoody is the college for experimenters and makers, a place where the curious and the confident learn by doing. Located in Minneapolis, Dunwoody offers a unique campus experience in dedicated labs, studios, and shops that treats students like future professionals from day one. With certificates, associate’s, and bachelor’s degrees in more than 46 majors – including engineering, robotics, design and other STEM-related fields – Dunwoody challenges students to come determined and graduate destined. More information on Dunwoody can be found at www.dunwoody.edu or by following Dunwoody on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.