The Landscape of Noncredit Workforce Education: State Policies and Community College Practices
Postsecondary noncredit education has become increasingly common in recent years, and at many community colleges, noncredit programs enroll more students than do credit programs (Bailey et al., 2003). Courses connected with workforce instruction and contract training account for much of this growth (Dougherty and Bakia, 1999), and such courses are noted for their important role in responding flexibly to shifting workforce demands. Still, the growth in community college noncredit workforce education raises questions about whether the colleges are keeping pace with student and industry needs, using resources efficiently, and providing adequate access to all students. The answers to these questions may challenge current state policies and college practices.
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