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In addition to their participation in these external groups, the case study colleges make efforts to gauge the local economy. They conduct surveys and visit local employers to map community needs. State and federal funds have spurred the development of noncredit program offerings in new technologies. Federal funding for high wage, high growth industries is currently targeted at specific programs. Federal grants, as well as state grants, have pushed the noncredit programs into new areas of technology, such as geospatial technology, advanced manufacturing, homeland security, and aerospace. City College of San Francisco uses state economic development initiative funds to bring advanced manufacturing, such as rapid prototyping and nanotechnology, into the classroom.

However, a range of organizational structures and practices can serve the goals of community college noncredit workforce programs.

To determine which organizational structure and practices best suit a college will depend on multiple write my nursing paper factors, including college leadership, administration, and funding sources, as well as the student, employer, and community needs the college seeks to meet. An integrated organizational approach connects noncredit programs to the rest of the college through collaboration and coordination. As noncredit workforce education evolves, it is creating where to buy a research paper organizational changes within the community college that reflect its importance and its likely influence on the content of credit programs. Also, the possibility exists that credit programs may adopt some of the more flexible practices of noncredit education. The Outcomes from Noncredit Workforce Education Since noncredit workforce education is not regulated by the academic rules that govern credit education, the recorded student outcomes from participating in a noncredit program vary and serve different needs. Understanding the outcomes of noncredit workforce education helps illuminate how well the programs fulfill their goals. Furthermore, the mechanisms that states and colleges use to track noncredit student data and the outcomes of noncredit workforce education have implications for assessing the effectiveness of the various noncredit programs. These recorded outcomes may be promoted by state level policies and guidelines, or adopted by colleges to meet the needs of the students and employers they serve. Nine states write my nursing paper currently have different guidelines for including noncredit courses on a transcript to provide students with a record of course completion (see Figure 6).

Texas mandates that workforce education courses be included on transcripts, using the general number for the course from the state manual. In Virginia, transcripts list noncredit courses, including grades (i. In Pennsylvania, noncredit courses are only included on transcripts if they qualify for transfer to credit. Other states provide transcripts for noncredit courses that are separate from transcripts for credit courses.

Montana indicates noncredit courses on a separate page of the transcript. Wisconsin keeps a general record of noncredit courses and can provide the record upon request by business and industry. Georgia issues a separate noncredit transcript and also requires that all noncredit courses be documented with continuing education units (Mills, 2000). Several states reported that they are considering the development of a state policy on transcripts for noncredit courses. Washington is trying to develop a way to record skills and knowledge to enable credit for prior learning. Maryland is college essay writing company also interested in standardizing a noncredit transcript.

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While the majority of states do not have guidelines on transcripts for noncredit courses, individual colleges may decide to develop their own policies. Whether and how noncredit courses are included on a transcript varies across the case study colleges. Only two case study colleges did not have any form for providing a transcript for noncredit courses. Some of the other colleges that do record noncredit courses on a transcript provide a separate transcript for noncredit courses, while others include the noncredit courses on a credit transcript.

The College of Southern Nevada allows students to select whether they want their noncredit courses to appear on the same transcript as credit courses or on a separate workforce development transcript. Gulf Coast Community College combines credit and noncredit coursework on one transcript if requested by a student. Some colleges reported that their data system constrains the way they can record noncredit courses. Cy-Fair College provides students with a separate noncredit transcript because limitations in its district- wide data systems preclude its ability to record noncredit courses on the credit transcript.

Furthermore, some interviewees reported that they envision transcripts of a much different format than those currently used.

They speculate that transcripts might ultimately move from a reliance on traditional academic credit hours to documenting competencies that reflect what students have learned in their courses. This system would be particularly useful for students who have taken noncredit courses and then later want to convert them to credit. Noncredit programs provide the opportunity to prepare for a range of industry certification exams. Information technology is another very common area of industry certification, which includes certifications from Microsoft, CompTIA, CISCO, and Oracle. More recently, colleges have expanded their offerings to include certificate programs in business, which award certifications in specific management techniques, leadership, teamwork, and project management. Department of Labor, Milwaukee Area Technical College, with input from local industry, is implementing online skills testing, certification, and training for manufacturing production employees. By creating standardized skill sets for the local manufacturing workforce, the college has a goal of recruiting and training skilled workers, improving productivity, and increasing job portability for individual workers. The assessments require mastery of subjects in a manufacturing context, such as math, science, reading, writing, communications, information technology, problem solving, and teamwork, as well as in basic technical skills. Through careful study, Central Piedmont seeks to ensure that these locally developed certifications have currency in the local labor market. The certifications are tied to instruction offered in a variety of formats that differ from the traditional credit format. While the case study community colleges offer a range of industry certifications, these programs often represent only a fraction of write my nursing paper their total noncredit offerings. The colleges typically offer numerous noncredit workforce programs that do not have industry certifications associated with them.

Some may issue certificates of completion for noncredit classes, but the certificates are generally not a valued or validated way to record student outcomes. Continuing Education Units (CEUs) are a standard way to measure participation in continuing education. Various agencies and organizations may issue CEUs, including 40 IACET and certain professional organizations.

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