Institute for Software Research Speaker Series

  • Remote Access Enabled - Zoom
  • Virtual Presentation
  • Executive Director of Community Partnerships and External Affairs
  • Community College of Allegheny County

Barriers in Opportunity and Access to Pathways of Learning for Underserved Students

The Pittsburgh region has experienced a rapid growth in the field of technology over the past decade. Growth has been observed across various sectors and has generated a need to increase opportunities and access to levels of learning for individuals to be training to work and compete in the field. Although many institutions have made it a priority to create linkages between levels of education and career pathways into technology, there are some communities that get bypassed for such opportunities. Because of this, it is imperative to reimagine the types of interventions that can be designed, adopted or adapted to meet the needs of these communities. In some cases, there are systematic barriers to this type of work. Therefore, innovative approaches to working within to change these systems, or to bypass them, need to be a part of the discussion. But, prior to any discussions on interventions, a thorough understanding of communities and their constituents is needed by any stakeholders of change. This understanding includes seeing the underdeveloped and underutilized talents that exist in all communities. Understanding will then lead into purposeful movements to increasing opportunities and access to pathways of learning through interventions such as mentorship, sponsorship, programming and cultural connectivity. 

Dr. Andrew Johnson holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Sport Management from California University of Pennsylvania, a Master of Education degree in Health and Physical Education from Indiana University of Pennsylvania and a Doctor of Philosophy in Instructional Management and Leadership from Robert Morris University. Professionally, Andrew is the Executive Director of Community Partnerships and External Affairs at the Community College of Allegheny County (CCAC) where his focus centers on building and nurturing partnerships centered on the success of individuals engaged in levels of higher education. All of Andrew’s work is driven by a passion to help individuals actualize and achieve their dreams through education.