COD's short-term training programs can lead to long-term careers

  • Nikole Clay enrolled in the massage therapy program at the College of DuPage, which offers short-term training as part of the college's Continuing Education program.

    Nikole Clay enrolled in the massage therapy program at the College of DuPage, which offers short-term training as part of the college's Continuing Education program. Courtesy of COD News Bureau

Updated 10/15/2021 10:16 PM

After a successful career in various sales and marketing roles, Nikole Clay felt unfulfilled in the corporate sector. She decided to make a change and enrolled in the massage therapy program offered through Continuing Education at College of DuPage, which provided a quick path to reach her goals.

"The classes are well planned, thorough and provide the opportunity to discover your unique style within the framework of the modality that is being taught," she said. "The instructors actively practice massage therapy and are able to provide a practical perspective to what you encounter in the field. The brevity of COD's program is especially helpful to those who are learning while also working."


COD Business Solutions Program Manager Amanda Skarosi said short-term training programs are more important than ever.

"The college community has always recognized the need for quick training opportunities for jobseekers, as well as the needs of employers for well-trained employees who don't need an advanced degree to fill positions," she said. "The college is perfectly placed to help jobseekers and career changers, offering short-term certificate and training programs in a variety of industries, many of which can be completed in less than six months."

She said COD is committed to providing the utmost value and support to students with their education and careers, offering short-term programs in a broad range of fields that have a strong demand for skilled workers. These include computer programming, finance, fire science, health care, hospitality, management, manufacturing, marketing and office technology information.

"The college also has programs that feature stackable certificates," she said. "While they can be earned individually to upgrade skills or gain a competitive edge in the job market, they can also be applied toward a degree if students decide to further their education."

Noncredit training programs that put students on the fast track to a career include the 40-hour 911 Dispatch Operator course, Bartending, Business of Craft Beer, Certified Personal Trainer, Commercial Driver's License, Dental Assistant, Pharmacy Technician, Real Estate and Veterinary Assistant.

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To provide even more assistance, COD offers more than 150 degree and certificate programs that are approved for funding by the Workforce Innovation Opportunity Act, which provides financial aid for unemployed and underemployed individuals toward training that will lead to a return to the workforce.

According to Kris Fay, COD Dean of Business and Applied Technology, COD works hard to give students, jobseekers and career changers multiple options while preparing well-trained, highly skilled employees for businesses.

"Our programs are aligned directly with business and industry needs to provide training for in-demand positions," she said. "Many are designed to enable students to develop skills, earn credentials and enter or return to the workforce in a short time. Once gainfully employed, they can come back to COD to update skills, earn additional credentials and move forward in their careers."

Priority registration for COD's spring 2022 semester begins Wednesday, Oct. 27, and registration for all new and returning students begins Wednesday, Nov. 3. COD will continue to offer a mix of in-person, hybrid, virtual and traditional online courses as part of its measured approach.

The spring 2022 semester begins Monday, Jan. 24, and includes a 16-, 12- and two eight-week sessions.

College of DuPage is institutionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. Serving approximately 21,000 students each term, College of DuPage is the largest public community college in the state of Illinois. The college grants seven associate degrees and offers more than 170 career and technical certificates in over 50 areas of study.

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