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Dr. Eric Dunker joins Reach University to scale apprenticeship degree enrollments to 10mm by 2035

Updated: May 10, 2023



As Executive Director, Apprenticeship Degree Initiative, Dr. Eric Dunker will lead technical assistance efforts to scale “job-embedded” college enrollments to over 10 million by 2035.

(DENVER, Colorado) – May 10, 2023 – Today, Dr. Eric Dunker joins Reach University as executive director of its growing apprenticeship degree initiative. In this role, Dunker will accelerate the availability of, and accessibility to, apprenticeship degrees across state agencies, institutions of higher education, and industry workforce development efforts.

“Apprenticeship degrees offer the most promising pathway for colleges and universities to create equitable, low debt, and inclusive outcomes for learners and employers,” said Dr. Eric Dunker, Executive Director, Apprenticeship Degree Initiatives, Reach University. “After two decades in higher education, I am eager to help scale fully job-embedded degree offerings as a mainstream solution to ensure learners can reach a high-quality degree and career while equipping employers in growing their own local, representative talent.”

Dunker brings a wealth of experience to Reach. Formerly the Vice President for Workforce and Economic Development at Colorado’s Arapahoe Community College (ACC), Eric served in various founding roles throughout his tenure at ACC. Specifically, Dunker led over $30 million in public-private partnership investments, led the design and operations of the job-embedded Sturm Collaboration Campus in Castle Rock, and was awarded the 2021 Apprenticeship Champion award from the Colorado governor's office. An Aspen Institute Rising Presidents Fellow, Eric has extensive experience in co-creating scalable registered apprenticeships across healthcare, technology, and industry, and has deployed responsive, career-ready programs for displaced workers in Denver.

“Dr. Dunker is the seasoned leader to promulgate the spread of apprenticeship degrees in the United States,” said Joe Ross, President, Reach University. “He brings the expertise, relationships, and understanding of how to build upon Reach’s long-standing technical assistance and collective impact efforts and transform each into a comprehensive center of excellence, offering public and private workforce development interests one place to cultivate individual apprenticeship degree offerings. We are thrilled to have Dr. Dunker leading the apprenticeship degree charge.”

Technical assistance and collective impact support is available to all state education and labor agencies, public and private institutions of higher education, industry employers, and workforce development non-profits. For more information, please visit or contact Dr. Dunker at EDunker@Reach.Edu.


Reach University is a regionally accredited, non-profit university that pioneers job-embedded degrees and credentials. Reach is actively solving America's teacher shortage by creating fully-embedded pathways for high-potential individuals to earn degrees, credentials and jobs as teachers within their own communities. By focusing on low-income, urban and rural regions, offering online tutorials and classes, and rendering academic credit for on-the-job experience, Reach University is eliminating barriers to entry in high-need professions, and building grow-your-own pipelines of locally representative talent.

Media Inquiries:

Lauren Bauml

Reach University

(512) 923-6136

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