Workforce Education In America: Then and Now
Filed Under: Lifestyle, US | Posted: 07/20/2012 at 12:58PM
Comments | Region: New York | United States
From shifts in the economy to advances in technology, the career choices of Americans have changed dramatically since the 1900s. The infographic, The History of Careers in America (http://www.bryantstratton.edu/CareersInAmerica.aspx), illustrates those shifts over time since the days when “farmer” was a popular occupation to the present when 50 percent of the top 20 fastest growing jobs are in healthcare. However, as jobs have evolved, so has an institution that has been at the forefront of workplace education & training since the 1850s: Bryant & Stratton College.
In 1854, Dr. J.C. Bryant founded the school that led to today’s Bryant & Stratton College in Buffalo, New York, offering business education in subjects like bookkeeping and penmanship. Practical workforce education proved popular; men and women from a variety of industries interested in learning business skills became students.
By the turn of the century, the New York State Department of Education had recognized Bryant & Stratton as an approved commercial school and course offerings included business shorthand, English, typewriting, telegraphy, technical training and the State Business Diploma. An early catalog described the diploma as ranking “next to the certified public accountant’s certificate as the highest state business credential.” In 1921 the college introduced two-year collegiate level courses, and in 1937 was approved as a Business Institute by the University of the State of New York.
Throughout the 1940s and 50s, Bryant & Stratton College continued to focus on education that could be directly applied in the workplace, and as the College evolved, its commitment to delivering a quality education stayed strong. In 1952 Bryant & Stratton received accreditation from the National Accrediting Commission for Business Schools, and in 1956 the U.S. Office of Education recognized the College as an Institute of Higher Education. Available programs included business administration, accounting, sales and advertising, secretarial science (executive, stenographic and accounting) and office training.
Then in the 60s and 70s, Bryant & Stratton College added a variety of new programs to reflect market demand, including computer programming/data processing, word processing, travel and tourism, marketing management, retail management, dental and doctor’s assistant, commercial art and interior design.
With the rapid growth of the information age and the changing needs of employers during the 80s and 90s, the college responded again. While business education remained its cornerstone, degrees in information technology and healthcare also anchored its offerings; and in the early 90s the College offered bachelor’s degree programs, including Electronic Engineering Technology and later General Management Bachelor of Business Administration and Information Technology Bachelor of Business Administration.
Another big milestone came in 2000 when the College started offering online degree programs and was followed by another significant achievement in 2002 when it received accreditation from the Middle States Commission of Colleges & Schools, now known as the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
Throughout that time, as Bryant & Stratton College was expanding its courses and programs, the College itself was also expanding, making its core programs available on campuses in New York State, Ohio, Virginia and Wisconsin, and continued to help provide students with the practical workplace education they needed to succeed in their careers.
Today, Bryant & Stratton College offers associate’s degree programs in 19 areas of study, 7 bachelor’s degrees and a variety of continuing education opportunities through the Professional Skills Center. The Western New York area campuses, which include our Downtown Buffalo Campus, Southtowns Campus (in Orchard Park, NY) and Amherst Campus offer a wide range of programs that could lead to in-demand careers. In addition to the core programs offered in business, healthcare, information technology, design and the legal fields, the WNY campuses are pleased to offer NEW programs in Medical Reimbursement & Coding, Office Information Technology and Information Technology with a focus in Mobile Application Development. While the program offerings have changed since the College’s early days, what has not changed is the dedication to providing high-quality, practical workforce education. Bryant & Stratton College remains focused on providing education that reflects the needs of the workforce so that its students have the competencies, skills and behaviors they need to launch successful and sustainable careers now and in the future.