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Community College Certificate Programs Are Boon To Entering The Workforce

By Dr. Marciene Mattleman

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) - Jordan Mitchell, a student at City Colleges of Chicago, wanted to be in law enforcement since 7th grade, and now is working on a two-year associate's degree in criminal justice. But, after 15 credits, he can qualify for a basic certificate enabling him to apply for a police department job.

Mitchell is part of a growing number of students in certification programs at community colleges that are helping people enter the workforce while boosting the school's retention rates.

Under pressure from the Obama administration and business leaders, schools like Chicago are steering students in certain fields away from the "basic freshman sampler courses" and are preparing them for earlier employment.

Although the downside is that those who take this route and don't earn a degree have much less earning power, the option is open to finish and students like Mitchell see this as a real boon to moving up.

Read more in The Wall Street Journal.

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