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Figure 5 illustrates the organizational structures of noncredit education used by the case study colleges. The organizational structures of the case study colleges may be associated with state funding policies. As shown on Table 3, all of need help writing essay the eight case study colleges with integrated organizational structures, except Lorain County Community College in Ohio, are located in states that provide general funds to support noncredit education. Furthermore, these states provide funding for noncredit education based on need help writing essay contact hours, and noncredit programs are likely to be funded at parity with credit education. The funding removes the need to distinguish the programs and keeps noncredit equal within departments. The existence of funding may provide an opportunity for college leadership to consider organizational change to promote noncredit workforce education. Not all case study colleges in states with general funds for noncredit education have integrated organizational structures, however. Thus, state funding, particularly funding based on contact hours, may be important but does not entirely determine integration. In some states, colleges have a much greater reliance on local rather than state funding, as in Wisconsin where local taxes are the main source of support for community colleges. They include some of the following organizational practices: faculty involvement in noncredit courses, the sharing of facilities by credit and noncredit programs, and flexibility in noncredit operations.
Based on these characteristics, integrated programs generally have greater faculty involvement and facility sharing, while separate programs have a higher degree of operational flexibility and independence and would be less likely to have any approval process for noncredit courses. These characteristics may be found in colleges with both integrated and separate organizational structures. Depending on their organizational structure, colleges may need to pursue unique organizational practices that best serve their needs. Some colleges with separate organizational structures operate noncredit programs with a highly integrated approach. They have a high degree of collaboration between credit and noncredit programs, including faculty involvement and the sharing of facilities with credit programs. For example, both Tyler Junior College and Gulf Coast Community College have separate organizational structures based on the organizational location within the college, but have operationally integrated program approaches. Several case study colleges with separate noncredit programs use a coordinator to foster collaboration and ensure that courses are not duplicated across credit and noncredit programs. Commonly, the leader of the noncredit program regularly meets with other college leaders. At Tyler Junior College the deans of all four schools, including the School of Continuing Studies, meet weekly. They work together to keep the programs integrated and to make decisions jointly on the best format for offe ring courses. At the College of Southern Nevada, regular communication between the noncredit and credit divisions is encouraged to promote greater alignment of goals and the integration of more academic instruction in noncredit courses. At Gulf Coast Community College, the relationship with the credit programs is informal but very deliberate: the noncredit program never duplicates nor competes with the credit programs.
At Bellevue Community College, the faculty established a credit-noncredit committee to facilitate communication across the programs and to more fully coordinate across the divisions. Coordination is necessary so that need help writing essay courses are not duplicated and can be moved between noncredit and credit as appropriate. Several case study college interviewees reported that they are mindful to coordinate across programs when planning for a new course to ensure that it does not duplicate an existing credit course. One interviewee stated that the noncredit program works closely with the academic departments to avoid duplicating programs. At Washington State Community College, potential overlaps with courses are identified at the records office when courses are reported to the registrar.
While colleges with separate structures reported efforts to coordinate with credit programs, some noncredit programs also reported they valued having control of their programs and direct contacts with employers, particularly for contract training.
However, a careful balance is necessary to maintain collaborative efforts when differences in priorities may exist across programs. Flexibility and revenue generation are not necessarily lost with an integrated organizational structure. It is possible to be both integrated and entrepreneurial: flexible, outwardly directed, and employing a business model to bring revenue back to the college programs. Central Piedmont Community College has a Division of Corporate and Continuing Education that conducts noncredit training for individuals and employers. While the college has many noncredit programs integrated in its credit departments, this organizational entity allows it flexibility in need help writing essay working with employers, as well as a team of dedicated sales staff who conduct outreach with local employers.
The college operates this entity, targeted at employers, in addition to numerous noncredit programs integrated within academic departments. To avoid potential confusion among employers about which entity to contact at the college and to ensure coordination internally, some colleges with integrated noncredit programs have one central point of contact with employers. Noncredit activities are decentralized across academic departments and are coordinated internally within the college by the division head. Cy-Fair College sought to have a coordinator bring together information on its decentralized noncredit programs offered across the divisions. The college also has a dean of new program development and corporate training who is responsible for conducting outreach to corporate clients. Similarly, Craven Community College plans to have a coordinator charged with outreach to employers. In colleges with an integrated organizational structure, the movement between noncredit and credit programs may occur more naturally, as the divisions between these programs are less visible to students. Leaders from many of the colleges with integrated noncredit programs reported this type of movement of noncredit students: Anne Arundel Community College, City College of San Francisco, Craven Community College, Cy-Fair College, Lorain County Community College, and Northeast Wisconsin Technical College.