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Noncredit Career and Technical Community College Programs as a Bridge to Employers: Report on NYC Region Study CTE

Haviland, Sara; Robbins, Steven B.; Kirova, Dessi; Bochenek, Jennifer; Fishtein, Daniel
Publication Year:
Report Number:
ETS Research Report
Document Type:
Page Count:
Subject/Key Words:
Career and Technical Education (CTE), Workforce Preparation, Vocational Education, Community Colleges, Career Development, Secondary Education, Noncredit Courses, Labor Market, New York City, Occupational Credentialing, COVID-19


Noncredit community college programs provide an important route for workforce development. They offer affordable and accessible short-term training options for individuals seeking access to middle-skills jobs. Absent the burdens of accreditation standards, they can respond nimbly to local labor market needs. However, they can also be varied and confusing, and despite the high volume of students that they serve, they are an underexamined area in higher education. This study examines noncredit programs in the New York City labor market to determine how schools align noncredit offerings to the labor market, focusing on credential design, competencies, and market processes. It pursues a push–pull design through a combination of document review and interviews with school leaders and employers and introduces quality taxonomy for understanding employer engagement in individual programs. Implications for students, programs, schools, and employers are explored.

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