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College tuition: one variable in the higher education equation

Posted by Anthony Benoit on Jul 19, 2016 3:24:31 PM

The rising cost of college and its acute impact on communities of color have received significant media attention in the past few months and deservedly so.  As the Boston Globe reported in its article, “Students at state’s public colleges gird for higher tuition,” the cost to attend a state university or a community college in Massachusetts will go up by 8 to 10 percent this year.

Historically, state universities and community colleges have served a large number of minority students hoping to earn a degree without breaking the bank. According to the Center for Community College Student Engagement, over one-third of community college students in the U.S. are of color – Hispanics representing 18 percent, Blacks at 15 percent, Asian/Pacific Islander at 6 percent; and 40 percent who are first-generation college students. Therefore, this price hike will certainly impact families of color who already face a high cost of living, lower incomes and higher unemployment rates.

This news article follows several in the past three months from the Boston Globe that question the actual value of a college education. From the perspective of lifetime earnings alone, a college degree remains an excellent investment.  Nonetheless, today more than ever, students should demand higher value from higher education.


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Technology Business & Management: Bridging technicians and management

Posted by Andrew Wong on Jul 12, 2016 2:00:00 PM

It's becoming increasingly important for companies to bridge the gap between technicians and management. A Technology Business & Management degree gives you the knowledge and skills to become a manager or start your own business. 

What is Technology Business & Management?

All industries are striving to be more efficient and effective in their development and delivery of goods or services. In order to achieve this enhanced productivity, companies need better tools and more innovative thinking. Technology Business & Management (TBM) blends the skills and know-how of a technician with the acumen of a business manager.

The tools being employed across every industry are technological levers and inventive approaches to old problems. This pressure in business has created a swell in the market for individuals who understand the technology end and can help bridge the gap. Increasingly, businesses are looking for employees with skills in technology and tools, as well as an understanding on how they can best used to achieve business objectives.

Technology Business & Management (TBM) blends the skills and
know-how of a technician with the acumen of a business manager.

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BFIT shares benefits of technical and vocational education

Posted by Anthony Benoit on Jun 28, 2016 4:00:00 PM

Posted on  by , CEO of MindBridge Partners.

As the rising cost of college becomes a greater concern, more and more students are looking to technical and vocational education programs to jump-start their careers. Increasing demand for skilled workers in construction, medical technology, or automotive technology also means that the benefits of a traditional 4-year degree may not be as practical as the skills a 2-year associates degree can provide.

To get to the bottom of this trend toward technical and vocational education, guest host Esin Sile, CEO of MindBridge Partners interviewed Anthony Benoit, President of Benjamin Franklin Institute of Technology about how his school is trying to fill the skills gap.

Interview with Esin Sile and Tony Benoit (FULL TRANSCRIPT)

ETT: Good morning Tony we’re so glad to have you here this morning. Tony Benoit is the President of the Benjamin Franklin Institute of Technology here in Boston and my name is Esin Sile. I am the CEO and co-founder of MindBridge Partners and we are guest hosting a podcast on EdTech Times today with Tony. Good morning again, Tony.

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Smaller classes make a bigger impact

Posted by Mike Bosco on Jun 21, 2016 2:30:00 PM

Small class size and accessible academic supports play a critical role in helping students graduate. We’ve heard this story so many times. A student enrolls at a large community college or university, but drops out due to not being unable to make the transition, or getting lost in the maze of higher education and “feeling like a number.” It’s not for lack of intelligence or hard work. Students simply do not get the one-on-one attention and support they need to thrive in the classroom and workplace.

BFIT’s Student Success model is structured to help students succeed, especially those who thrive in small, hands-on learning environments. The college’s 13:1 student to faculty ratio is designed to give students direct access to their instructors during class and outside the classroom. Students’ questions can be answered as they arise and not postponed until later “office hours.” You can’t hide or get lost in a small class. Instructors know each student individually and are aware when they are falling behind. When this happens, they can quickly communicate with student services and advisors to get the student the help they need.

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Violence has no place in our society, schools

Posted by Anthony Benoit on Jun 14, 2016 6:00:00 PM

Tomorrow, friends, family members, classmates, teachers, and school officials will pay their final respects to 17-year old Raekwon Brown, a junior at Jeremiah E. Burke High School, who was shot and killed near the high school on June 8. According to media reports, the outgoing student dreamed of going to college and launching a music career.

Just four days later, in the shadow of this tragedy, we woke up to learn of the murderous rampage at an Orlando nightclub, where 49 innocent people were gunned down and killed in a senseless hail of bullets. Media reports suggest they were targeted for this barbaric end simply because they belonged to the LGBT community. 

In his commencement address to the Jeremiah E. Burke High School Class of 2016, Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh said, “You’re sad, you’re angry, you’re upset–you have every right to be, because I am as well. It’s sad a young man’s future has been cut short.”

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Why veterans make great college students

Posted by Tom DeCosta on Jun 7, 2016 2:00:00 PM

In my time at Benjamin Franklin Institute of Technology (BFIT), I have been proud to help recruit and educate exceptional college students who are also veterans. As a veteran myself, it fills me with pride to see the young men and women who are exiting today’s military and entering the college ranks.

From my firsthand experience, veterans make excellent college students, and often lead the pack due to the experience they acquired while in the service. From the moment recruits enter basic training, they are shaped into responsible young men and women. This maturity carries on into their service as they face increased responsibilities.

Once enrolled in college, veterans have already developed the maturity and discipline to approach their education – experience that some high school students lack when they enter college. For a veteran, many of these issues have been dealt with already and successfully overcome.

From my firsthand experience, veterans make excellent college students due to the experience they acquire while in the service.

Veteran students have also faced difficult challenges while serving our nation. Some may have even encountered life and death situations. Their experience in overcoming these challenges prepares them to approach difficult times during college. Even when things are rough academically, veteran students seem to possess a certain calm about themselves. 

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Why opticians are in such high demand

Posted by Blair Wong on May 31, 2016 2:00:00 PM

About 85% of people’s experience of the world is through their sight. Opticians play an important role in helping all kinds of people, young and old, to see better, and feel better about themselves.

Opticians are technicians trained to design, verify and fit eyeglass lenses and frames, contact lenses, and other devices to correct eyesight. They use prescriptions supplied by ophthalmologists or optometrists, but do not test vision or write prescriptions for visual correction. Benjamin Franklin Institute of Technology in Boston is the only college in Massachusetts to offer degree programs in opticianry.

From my more than 30 years of experience in the industry, I can confidently say there is a tremendous demand for opticians in Massachusetts and across the nation. From working in hospitals to optical chains and independent boutiques, there have never been so many great job opportunities in the opticianry field. Approximately 95% of our opticianry graduates land a job, and most of our students work while studying, which is part of the college's learn and earn model. Between 2014 and 2024, the Bureau of Labor Statistics anticipates 24 percent employment growth in the opticianry field, which translates into 17,800 new jobs.

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Topics: Features, Eye Health Technology

Why we need to train more building trade technicians

Posted by Ryan Hutchins on May 24, 2016 3:47:00 PM

If you have spent time in downtown Boston during the past few years, you’ve surely noticed the towering cranes and scaffolding dotting the skyline.  Notably, residential construction starts in Boston rose 90% in the month of January to $487.8 million in projects, compared to $257.2 million the year prior. Meanwhile, nonresidential construction starts rose 18 percent to $354.5 million in projects, up from $299.4 million the year before.

As Senior Vice President at Gilbane Building Company, I can tell you that building activity trends in Boston will continue on an impressive trajectory for many years to come. However, growth in these areas in 2014 and 2015 has already resulted in labor shortages in the building professions.  Finding skilled workers, sufficiently trained and eager to learn, can be challenging, and without them the growth will not be captured.

Finding skilled workers, sufficiently trained and eager to learn, can be challenging, and without them the growth will not be captured.

According to Gilbane’s most recent Construction Economics Report, this may end up the most active three-year period (2013-16) of growth in construction in more than 20 years.  Construction added one million jobs during 2011-2015, however 800,000 of those jobs were added in just the last three years and construction spending growth for the period 2013-2016 is expected to outpace all previous periods.

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Skilled workforce pipeline is vital to economy

Posted by Anthony Benoit on May 17, 2016 8:48:00 PM

At this weekend’s 108th Commencement, graduates stepped into a brighter future at Benjamin Franklin Institute of Technology. From BFIT's historic auditorium, the Class of 2016 left the college with degrees, certificates, and valuable job skills in technical fields experiencing strong job growth. Perhaps most importantly, they are entering the workforce with the ability to communicate, to work in teams, to find and evaluate information, and to solve problems. These abilities prepare the graduates for a lifetime of learning and career success.

Student speaker, Ben Alvarez, put it perfectly, “Wherever we go, that degree, that knowledge, those skills, that time spent on our trade or science; these will follow us and be a base, and a rock for us to lean on.”

"Wherever we go, that degree, that knowledge, those skills; these will follow us and be a base, and a rock for us to lean on."

In the next few years, it’s estimated that Massachusetts will have 300,000 jobs available that will require a background in science, technology, engineering or math (STEM). Graduates with a certificate or associate degree in STEM fields, like those from BFIT, will certainly play a vital role in meeting this demand. Moreover, the degrees our students earn energize industries and transform lives.

Like a large share of his classmates, Alvarez became the first in his family to graduate from college. He earned an associate degree in Computer Technology and aims to ride the wave of job opportunity in this growing field.

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Topics: News, Computer Technology

Health Information Technology is booming in Boston, the hub of healthcare

Posted by Carl Pett on May 10, 2016 4:42:33 PM

Propelled by federal incentives and regulations, hospitals, private practices, and health networks across eastern Massachusetts are implementing new Electronic Health Record (EHR) systems to improve patient care while controlling costs. Since Health Information Technology (Health IT) professionals serve such a critical role as a link between electronic databases and healthcare professionals, they are in very high demand, with hiring expected to grow by 19% in Massachusetts by 2022.

“There are plenty of jobs in Health IT because interoperability is so important,” said Gerald Elysee, Assistant Professor and Coordinator of Benjamin Franklin Institute of Technology’s Health IT programs. “There are so many different EHR vendors and standards. The best way to get the full benefits of this new Health IT wave is to have all of these products, software, and devices talk to each other.”

The fact that the Health IT field is booming in Boston should not come as a surprise. After all, Boston is an international hub of healthcare.

The fact that the Health IT field is booming in Boston should not come as a surprise. After all, Boston is an international hub of healthcare, hosting some of the largest and most prestigious medical centers, teaching hospitals, and health systems. Partners HealthCare – which includes hospitals like Massachusetts General Hospital and Brigham and Women’s Hospital – recently launched their own information management system, Partners eCare.

Years of planning and testing were performed to ensure a smooth rollout of the system. Behind this rollout are Health IT professionals responsible for designing the software, performing tests, integrating platforms, and maintaining the live applications. Students from BFIT’s Health IT program had the opportunity to work alongside some of these professionals as they completed an internship with Partners eCare this past semester.

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Topics: Features, Health Information Technology

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