The criminology class at the College of Wooster looks like any other course on the Ohio campus—except for the robots.
Six out of the 19 students in the course are incarcerated and attending class via robotic stand-ins, which the incarcerated students control remotely from Indian River Juvenile Correctional Facility some 27 miles away.
As community colleges face steep enrollment declines, some schools are expanding their offerings to include technical and skills-based programs. Often, large companies like Google or Amazon partner with the colleges for workforce training.
But humanities courses are still going strong. And experts say their integration into workforce programs creates more employable, well-rounded citizens.
New York is partnering with its struggling community colleges to train students from disadvantaged communities for thousands of green energy jobs that will be created in the coming years as the state pursues ambitious climate goals.
The effort has the backing of religious and community leaders who see a path to promising careers for young people in places that are historically left behind.