Modernizing and Expanding Degree Programs to Address Local Workforce Needs

Published: 02/10/2021

According to Pew Research, millions of Baby Boomers retire each year from the U.S. labor force. But in the past year the number of retired Boomers increased more than in prior years. The number of total retired Boomers sits at 26.8 million, and the number keeps growing. The Department of Labor believes there are some 7.6 million unfilled jobs across the country right now. 

It has become clear that America is facing an unprecedented skilled labor shortage.

In January, St. Charles Community College approved changes to modernize its work-ready degrees and certificates. By reducing the number of general education requirements for SCC’s Associate of Applied Science degree and Certificates of Achievement, students will be able to obtain a degree and hit the workforce quicker.

“We are reducing the number of general educations requirements by nine hours for our AAS degree and 12 hours for our Certificates of Achievement,” said Dr. Holly Martin, vice president for academic affairs. “These changes will make our work-ready degrees and certificates more efficient to focus on the skills students need for success in the workplace.” 

Dr. Martin added that quick entry into the workforce is more important now than ever. Having students complete excessive credits for positions that do not require them doesn’t align with that goal.

“This will also create clearer pathways for students,” she explained. “Students will likely have better outcomes and graduation rates due to the clearer focus of these degree and certificate programs.”

SCC plans to expand its work-ready offerings thanks to funding from Proposition CC passed in August. Funds from Prop CC will help fund infrastructure, facilities and equipment for new academic programs.

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