Some college but no degree? Get training and support for career success
If you don't have time or resources to pursue a four-year degree, or maybe you've tried that route and didn't finish, you can still find the job of your dreams.
You can find affordable training that fits your schedule and your budget by looking to your local community college for help.
"We want students to know that they can prepare for a rewarding career in one or two years at Elgin Community College," said David Sam, president of the college. "We have a rapidly changing workforce. It is imperative that people in the workforce keep up to date and the way to do that is to go to your local community college, in this case, Elgin Community College, to ensure that their skillsets are up to date."
And based on a report from the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce, completing a degree, or getting that extra certificate, is going to be more and more important. Among the jobs created since the recession recovery, most are going to people with at least some college education, while employment for people with a high school diploma or less is dwindling. Management and professional jobs are on the rise in healthcare, business, financial, education and government services, according to the report.
That's where a community college can help -- by finding a program that matches your interests and gets you into the workforce and onto the career path you deserve.
Here's a look at how community colleges make it easy and feasible for students to continue their education.
Community colleges offer new and returning students a variety of programs to meet their educational needs and to become marketable in the workplace. Options include:
• Earn an associate degree and transfer to a four-year university. Academic advisers help students create customized academic plans based on a person's transfer goals. Over 966 four-year institutions across the nation have accepted ECC transfer students.
• Enroll in a certificate program such as graphic arts, culinary arts, air conditioning and refrigeration services, numerous health-related professions or welding to prepare for entry-level employment in high-demand fields.
• Pursue a two-year career program and earn an associate of applied science (AAS) degree that increases your employability and wage potential in a wide range of fields.
• Earn a general studies degree, known at ECC as an Associate in Liberal Studies degree, an option geared primarily for students who have earned college credit in the past but have not yet completed a degree program.
Flexible class schedules
Flexible schedules accommodate students who work full- or part-time and/or have family responsibilities. Attend classes during the day, evening, weekends or online.
Lower tuition and fees mean less debt after graduation. In fact, many community college students avoid loans completely. Campus housing costs approximately $5,000 per year, which means community college students save even more money by living at home.
With lower tuition, students can explore various areas of interest with no pressure to choose a major right away. Even post-degree, students can further their interests and education with classes designed to fit into their schedules.
Students can learn how to study effectively and improve their reading, writing and math skills through workshops and tutoring programs. They can also receive help regarding financial aid, scholarships and loans.
Academic advisers and other college departments assist students with career planning, evaluate previously earned college credits and help students find a career path. They will also help students find an internship.
ECC's Career Development Services, for instance, offers career counseling as well help finding an internship or job after college.
Support services for students with disabilities may include adapted software or assistive equipment for people with mobility, vision, learning or hearing disabilities.
Community colleges work closely with local businesses and industries, and they are equipped with state-of-the-art technologies and facilities.
At community colleges, faculty members focus on teaching and are accessible to students. Instructors bring real world work experience in the subjects they teach, which enhances the classroom experience.
Students can connect with people who have common interests through sports and various clubs and organizations. ECC offers groups that focus on leadership, networking, the arts, veterans, government and politics, among many others.
This story is sponsored by Elgin Community College. For more information on how ECC can help you achieve your goals, call (847) 697-1000 or visit www.elgin.edu.