Pacific Northwest Viticulture and Oenology Education Collaborative
A Washington needs assessment conducted in 2014 estimated that through 2018 there will be a shortage of technically-trained employees in the areas of Viticulture (grape growing), Oenology (winemaking), and Wine Marketing/Sales. This project is a collaboration among three community colleges in Washington (Yakima Valley Community College, South Seattle Community College, and Wenatchee Valley College) that will jointly develop and implement comprehensive technician level training in Viticulture and Oenology that can be delivered across the entire state. The collaboration will address the needs of the Washington grape and wine industry without creating duplicative programs at all three colleges. The project will develop best practices in curriculum design, professional development, and technical- and science-based training.
The collaborating colleges will share resources and develop new online and hybrid curricula for Associate of Applied Science (AAS) degrees in Vineyard Technology and Winery Technology while maintaining practical hands-on training. This project will increase the number of employable graduates of wine industry education and training programs across the State of Washington by providing hybrid curricula for Associate of Applied Science (AAS) degrees in Vineyard Technology and Winery Technology at three community colleges in Washington. The curricula developed include certificates in Wine Business Entrepreneurship and Viticulture Sustainability that develop business and entrepreneurial skills for students, and can be taken from any college within the collaboration. This project will increase partnerships with industry representatives to develop work-based educational experiences for students. The colleges are developing articulation agreements creating pathways from high school through baccalaureate programs. This project will also create a science-, technology-, and mathematics-rich training opportunity for current employees in the wine grape industry. A DACUM process is being used to address workplace competencies for the two new certificates in Entrepreneurship and Sustainability. Additionally, a career pathway will be formalized for students in articulated high school courses to move into technical certificate, Associate degree, and Bachelor's degree programs. The college partners are working with the Washington wine industry to provide practicum sites for hands-on-learning activities not obtainable on some of the college campuses as well as increased internship and work experience opportunities, which further strengthen graduates' competencies in the discipline.