By: Karen Edwards, Ph.D.Five business people around a laptop

Twice a year, Laurus College welcomes a team of volunteers consisting of industry experts and community leaders to participate in virtual Program Advisory Committee (PAC) meetings. During these meetings, Directors from each department share important information. This information includes data on student and graduate satisfaction, retention, and job placement.

The Program Directors have an opportunity to ask committee members for feedback on curriculum initiatives and program development. After that, volunteers share insight on everything from new technologies to employment trends. As a result, PAC participants help Laurus College prepare students for careers upon graduation.

What Does the PAC Do?

Laurus College’s PAC volunteers bring a wealth of knowledge to each meeting and make program suggestions. For example, the following courses developed out of PAC discussions:

The PAC members have also advised departments on the impact of COVID-19. For example, the Medical Billing and Coding PAC suggested that our students become more familiar with telehealth, due to a dramatic rise in telehealth claims since March of this year.

Looking ahead, the PACs help us to adapt and maintain a vision for Laurus College’s future. For example, our PACs supported the establishment of the bachelor’s degree programs (in 2018). Most importantly they continue to offer suggestions for future programs and degree levels. Colleges and universities commonly look at programs from the perspective of a five-year plan. As a result, they help to determine what the need will be five years in advance! The PAC members help us recognize what needs to be a part of this plan.

Who is the Program Advisory Committee?

So who are the amazing volunteers who make this happen? This year we had thirty-three industry specialists join us for the meetings! In addition, many of our volunteers are also Laurus College Alumni.

Participants work for a variety of companies. Some work for large corporations (Apple, Accenture, and United Way) and others for small businesses (Blue Ascension Media, Mob Armor, and Your Biz Web Design). Our goal is to have a committee that represents a variety of backgrounds. This way Laurus College can best recognize and anticipate the educational needs in the region.

Program Advisory Committee Infographic

Here are some interesting facts about our advisory committee:

  • Laurus College has five PAC committees. One for each department (Digital Art and Computer Animation, Information Technologies and Network Systems, Medical Billing and Coding, Professional Business Systems, and Web Design).
  • 36% of our current PAC members own a small business.
  • 24% of our PAC members are Laurus College Alumni.
  • The majority of our PAC members live and work on the central coast; however, a few participants join us from other areas of the US.
  • PAC members speak to Laurus College clubs and serve as guest speakers in the classroom.
  • PAC members work for a wide variety of companies from small businesses to non-profit organizations to large, multi-national corporations.

Join the Program Advisory Committee

Are you a Laurus College graduate who is interested in sharing your expertise? Are you a community professional or business owner? Laurus College is seeking applicants and nominations for 2021-2022 Program Advisory Committee members, as well as guest speakers!

For more information, please contact Dr. Karen Edwards, Director of Workforce & Economic Development at