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Evidence from the case study colleges indicates that such pathways would meet the needs of some noncredit students. Thus, assessing student short- and long-term education needs, with the goal of guiding policy and program development, is an area for greater research attention.
Noncredit courses vary greatly in the amount and intensity of their content, and some result in the receipt of an external validation, such as an industry certification or state licensure. Many colleges issue some form of student transcript that includes information about noncredit workforce education. However, they differ about whether they include noncredit courses on the same transcript as credit courses and about the information they include regarding noncredit courses on transcripts. Because of all these differences, the development of a standardized system for recording outcomes from noncredit write my history essay for me workforce education might be needed. It would document noncredit workforce education for the purposes of allowing the portability of evidence of skills for students and accountability for college and state workforce education funds. This system would externally validate noncredit workforce education in order to meet acceptable standards as defined by industry. To this end, some consensus on the system would be needed among private industry associations, vendors, and companies that create and maintain external systems of validation, such as industry certification. Specifically, the largest associations that maintain certifications might come together to discuss a way to consistently record the completion of credentials on a common student record or transcript that would be of value to industry. More information is needed on student outcomes to assess fully the contributions of noncredit workforce education to students, employers, and the community. While some case study colleges reported barriers to collecting and reporting data, those in states with reporting requirements have developed successful ways to collect and report on their noncredit students. Additional resources and assistance may what is thesis writing be necessary to help colleges overcome barriers to collecting and reporting on noncredit students. More information is crucial to document the value of noncredit workforce education for individuals. These efforts need to be supported, and the documentation refined, to provide real information and feedback to colleges and to justify continued funding for noncredit. These efforts would also enable individuals and employers write my history essay for me write my history essay for me to make informed decisions about their investments of time and resources in noncredit workforce education. Research on the perspectives of employers could help inform the way that community colleges develop, target, and operate their noncredit workforce programs. The case study colleges indicated that employers seek locally-based solutions from community colleges and, thus, may value a range of outcomes based on their labor market and specific needs. However, the presence of state funds to support industry and sector-based initiatives highlights the importance of these solutions at the state and regional level. Since noncredit programs operate in a wider context of workforce development programs that include the reporting requirements of the Workforce Investment Act, which demands a greater amount of data on outcomes, more information is needed on which outcomes best reflect the contributions of noncredit workforce education in the economy overall.
Furthermore, as states fund noncredit workforce education and develop more reporting requirements, they can seek to promote and support better collection and use of data to evaluate outcomes.
States can also benefit from coordinating their data reporting requirements with each other, which would allow them to learn from other states and make cross-state comparisons. State reporting and evaluation efforts must be conducted in close collaboration with local colleges, however, since their programs can reflect very localized needs and should be evaluated in the context of those needs.
Colleges need to use their internal resources to generate appropriate data on outcomes for their specific programs. Given the lack of basic data even on enrollments in community college noncredit workforce education, obtaining information on outcomes will require great effort.
As states and colleges 54 invest more resources in noncredit workforce education, outcome data will help to determine if their programs are meeting the needs of students and employers and adequately addressing broad state workforce and economic development needs. A parallel postsecondary universe: The certification system in information technology. Department of Education, Office of Educational Research and Improvement. Building a career pathways system: Promising practices in community college-centered workforce development. The characteristics of occupational sub-baccalaureate students entering the new millennium. New York: Columbia University, Teachers College, Community College Research Center.
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