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The Many Roles of Noncredit Workforce Education As a local resource for workforce development, community colleges serve many individuals seeking noncredit workforce education for a variety of reasons and a wide range of industries needing employees at different skill levels. Case study college noncredit students have diverse educational backgrounds and tend to be older and interested in gaining skills. To bring students interested in pursuing a degree into credit programs, the colleges use a variety of program features, such as recruiting noncredit students to credit programs and developing linkages between noncredit and credit programs. More than half the states have guidelines for defining what qualifies as a noncredit workforce course. Some of them have developed flexible ways to offer courses in response to employer demand.

Most states provide funds for workforce training and economic development, and just over half specify a direct role for community colleges as fiscal agents or preferred providers. Community colleges also have a goal of revenue generation for many of their noncredit workforce programs.

They are free to charge what the market will bear as few states place limits on the amount they may charge for noncredit workforce courses. Many case study college noncredit programs are, or plan to become, self supporting or profit generating in order to add value to the college and secure broader support order custom essays within the college. Successfully serving students and employers while also generating profits is a challenge for community colleges that requires careful thought and consideration.

Regardless of organizational structure, colleges use a variety of strategies to achieve collaboration between programs, as well as flexibility in noncredit operations. Noncredit programs with separate organizational structures coordinate their activities through regular meetings and communication throughout the college to encourage collaboration, avoid duplication, and allow movement between noncredit and credit programs. Conversely, noncredit programs with integrated organizational structures have an organizational entity to conduct entrepreneurial outreach, maintain flexibility, and act as a central point of contact with employers. The increase in noncredit workforce education has prompted changes in the organization and course offerings of the case study colleges. Recently, several case study colleges have changed the organization of noncredit education to consolidate programs, help with a paper elevate noncredit education administratively within the college, and promote workforce development as a major college mission.

Most are working to engage faculty and increase their appreciation of noncredit workforce education.

State and federal funds have also spurred the development of noncredit program offerings in new technologies.

As noncredit workforce education evolves, it is help with a paper creating organizational changes within the community college that reflect its importance and its likely influence on the content of credit programs. While only a few states have guidelines for including noncredit courses on a transcript, many case study colleges provide transcripts for noncredit workforce courses. Case study college noncredit programs offer a range help with a paper of industry certifications, but many noncredit offerings are not associated with such certification. The colleges therefore typically rely on external sources of validation to award Continuing Education Units (CEUs) for noncredit courses to meet industry demands. Some states and many case study colleges have guidelines that could facilitate the retroactive granting of credit for noncredit courses, but their use in colleges is rare.

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Many states and colleges also reported interest in procedures for articulating noncredit programs with credit programs. The value of various recorded outcomes differs depending on the needs of students and employers. With respect to reporting requirements for noncredit workforce education, many states tie reporting to funding, and several are seeking to collect more comprehensive data. State data systems can facilitate data collection for reporting requirements, but they must account for the unique format of noncredit programs. Case study colleges without state noncredit reporting requirements rarely collect noncredit data for their own purposes. The colleges reported several barriers to data collection, including their inability to collect information from some students, the nontraditional time frame of some courses, and poor data systems. A fuller understanding of the needs and outcomes of individuals and employers who seek noncredit workforce education is vital to determine which programs and recorded outcomes are of most value for which students. Conclusions and Recommendations Noncredit workforce education can play an important role in responding to local labor market demands by meeting the workforce needs of employers and the needs of students for immediate skills. It can also benefit students in other ways by providing access to credit programs, generating meaningful recorded outcomes for a range of student needs, and facilitating the long- term pursuit of degrees.

Community college noncredit workforce education can have a central role in states that choose to prioritize funding to support career pathways as part of their workforce development agenda by connecting short-term training to programs leading to degrees and credentials.

Introduction The available national evidence indicates that postsecondary noncredit education has become increasingly common in recent years.

At many community colleges, noncredit education now enrolls more students than credit programs (Bailey et al. Much of the growth of noncredit education in the last two decades has occurred in courses connected with workforce education. States increasingly provided funding for customized training programs, and the granting of industry certifications, particularly in information technology, increased dramatically. GAO, 2004), and these programs are noted for their important role in responding to shifting workforce demands and providing skills in a way that is flexible and responsive to employer needs (help with a paper U. The growth in community college noncredit workforce education raises fundamental questions that may challenge current policies and practices. They concern the varied help writing an essay for college needs noncredit workforce education must meet, the extent to which the organizational approaches of community colleges have kept pace with this growth and the ability of noncredit programs to provide students with a valuable recorded outcome. This report addresses these fundamental questions, shedding light on current noncredit workforce education policies and practices and identifying possible tensions and conflicts therein. It focuses specifically on noncredit workforce education in community colleges, that is, on help with a paper workforce instruction and contract training that does not result in institutional credit that can be used to complete a degree, diploma, certificate, or other formal award. While ABE and ESL have been noted as important for promoting access, given the vast nature of noncredit programs this study does not focus on ABE or ESL. Thus, community colleges now seek to serve local workforce development needs while still providing access to higher education for disadvantaged populations.

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