Dr. Tuminez discussed innovative models in education such as the dual mission model of higher education and strengthening K-to-12 education and technical vocational (tech-voc) education through the K-16 Alliance. This alliance involves establishing shared priorities and goals among superintendents running K-to-12 public schools, such as the reading level when students reach Grade 3, to properly prepare students for college. To encourage enrollment in technical vocational education, the Alliance had to do heavy marketing, including providing information on the salaries earned by graduates of tech-voc education.
The dual mission model offers both a community college and university education under one roof, allowing students taking up a career technical certificate or associate’s degree to easily transition towards getting a university diploma.
Her leadership in UVU is guided by her personal principle that access to higher education must be inclusive and must not exclude the marginalized youth in the communities. One example is for the school to have an “open admission policy” where students could “come as they are” and receive an education that corresponds with their knowledge and skills level. Dr. Tuminez also stressed the importance of breaking down “knowledge silos” by teaching both employment and life skills.
Finally, she also shared her school’s mission to “partner for student success.” For instance, UVU recently launched a new Masters in Business Administration (MBA) degree where lectures are delivered in the offices, making it easier for employees to take their MBA. To make this possible, UVU partnered with start-ups in Silicon Slopes, technology communities that are gaining ground in Salt Lake City, Utah.
In linking the academe and industry, PBEd Chair and MBC Trustee Ramon R. del Rosario, Jr. strongly encourages his colleagues in the business sector to “more proactively respond and truly be partners in education.”