skip to main content

Friday, June 9, 2023

play newscast audioPlay

Former President Donald J. Trump first ever to face federal charges in 7 count indictment; the Supreme Court strikes down Alabama's Congressional Maps; Canadian wildfires affect the health of humans and wildlife.

play newscast audioPlay

The Supreme Court upholds a key provision of the Voting Rights Act over Alabama redistricting, smoky skies could spell EPA trouble for some states, and President Biden calls on Congress to pass LGBTQ+ protections.

play newscast audioPlay

Rural communities launch projects with funds from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, a study says rural transgender adults feel less supported than those in urban areas, and a summer road trip could mean majestic scenic byways or a sprinkling of donut shops.

Community Colleges See Need to Make Upskilling Easier, Cheaper

play audio
Play

Wednesday, September 15, 2021   

SACRAMENTO, Calif. - A new survey of community colleges and technical schools in the United States shows their courses and programs that promote job skills are gaining in popularity.

The survey found 35% of students are taking non-credit courses that lead to industry certifications and credentials, instead of strictly academic courses designed to transfer to a four-year school.

"Community colleges educate more people than coding boot camps, apprenticeship programs and government job training combined," said Tamar Jacoby, president of the nonprofit Opportunity America, which did the survey.

According to the survey, of the nation's 10.5 million community-college students, 3.7 million adults are enrolled in non-credit programs, and about three-quarters are older than 25.

Many students in non-credit programs later decide to pursue four-year degrees, but the survey found only 20% of community colleges allow students to leverage their non-credit learning for college credit, either "most" or "all" of the time. Texas' Commissioner of Higher Education Harrison Keller said that needs to change.

"Let's make those credentials more readily convertible to the credit side," he said, "so these short-term credentials can be 'stackable,' on the way to other kinds of degrees and credentials."

Of the colleges surveyed, many said cost is the biggest barrier for adults going back to school. Anne Kress, president of Northern Virginia Community College, said her state has a program known as "Fast Forward," which subsidizes two-thirds of the cost for students in certain non-credit courses. She said she thinks it could serve as a national model.

"Fast Forward is a way for the state to incentivize community colleges to offer these in-demand, non-credit pathways that lead to industry-recognized credentials," she said.

The survey also looked at the partnerships community colleges form with local employers - and found only about 36% of employer partners offer workplace-based learning opportunities.

---

Support for this reporting was provided by Lumina Foundation.


get more stories like this via email
Guns to Gardens volunteers in New Hampshire are working against what are considered among the weakest gun laws in the country. State law does not require background checks on all gun sales, or limit access to firearms by people in crisis. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

play sound

Community volunteers in New Hampshire are turning unwanted firearms into garden tools as part of a nationwide effort to reduce gun violence. Under …


Social Issues

play sound

Parents and educators in the Houston Independent School District said they are all for improving schools but do not believe a state takeover by an une…

Social Issues

play sound

The U.S. Supreme Court upheld a lower-court ruling on a 5-to-4 vote Thursday, deciding Alabama's 2022 congressional maps violated the Voting Rights …


Alaska has more than 322 million acres of public lands, more than three times the acreage of the entire state of California. (Adobe Stock)

Environment

play sound

The Bureau of Land Management has announced a $161 million investment in habitat and wildland restoration projects in 11 western states. Alaska is …

Environment

play sound

As smoke from Canadian wildfires blankets New York and much of the East Coast, it's causing a wide range of health effects - and not just for people…

Connexus Energy operates a 'solar meadow' at its headquarters in Ramsey, Minn. (Photo courtesy of Fresh Energy)

Environment

play sound

By Elizabeth Hewitt for Reasons to be Cheerful.Broadcast version by Mike Moen for Minnesota News Connection reporting for the Solutions Journalism Net…

Social Issues

play sound

To fight such pressing issues as housing shortages and increasing crime rates in cities across the country, many of the nation's mayors are taking …

Health and Wellness

play sound

As part of Alzheimer's and Brain Awareness Month, mental-health advocates in Iowa are sharing information about Alzheimer's and say two new drugs …

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021