College of DuPage starts the new year with new certificate programs and new partnerships

Last spring, when the College of DuPage celebrated its first in-person launch since 2019, it was hard to imagine that our graduates had spent most of their time studying remotely.

In fact, this commencement ceremony may have been the first on-campus event they attended.

As I look forward to the start of the fall semester on August 22, students will once again be browsing our halls to find their classes and begin the next chapters of their lives.

But this beginning will be different. Due to COVID, we simply cannot resume business as usual. We need to understand the impact of the pandemic as we determine how to better serve our students.

Many of them have faced tremendous challenges, from job loss to increased family obligations. Then, when the labor market opened up, businesses struggled to find skilled employees while our communities continued to look to us for the skilled labor that fuels economic stability and growth. .

This all happened at a time when college enrollment across the country has generally been declining. Some students took gap years while others were concerned about the rising costs associated with college. Several top employees, including Apple and IBM, stopped requiring college degrees as they filled vacancies.


        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        

This led to a discussion about the value of a graduate degree, which worries me a great deal.

Last fall, a report from the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce made headlines when it showed that 16% of high school graduates earned more than half of workers with bachelor’s degrees.

Other key findings of the report, indicating that a person’s level of education determines economic prospects and that most people who attend college earn more than people without college, have not received comparable attention. . This has been true for years and continues to be so.

As the world emerges from the pandemic, my advice to any prospective student is to prepare now for their future. College of DuPage can help you build a marketable skill and we’ve got you covered.

If you’re not sure you want to earn a degree, consider a short-term certificate program in a field with high demand for skilled workers. This includes computer programming, finance, healthcare, hospitality, management, manufacturing, and marketing. Several of our certificates are cumulative, which means that a second or third title can be added to the original one. This expands a student’s skills and forms the basis for a future associate’s degree.

If you’re concerned about cost, College of DuPage remains an affordable option over four-year institutions, and we offer student payment plans. We also have several agreements that allow seamless transfer to undergraduate degrees.

Additionally, graduating from a community college may lead to additional scholarships and funding opportunities.

If you’re hesitant to return to in-person learning, are concerned about the cost of gas, or want flexibility to adjust to work and other obligations, COD offers a variety of in-person learning formats. more than meeting in person.


Zoe Ericson-Staton, a nursing student at the College of DuPage, explores the new augmented reality/virtual reality classroom in a simulation exercise.
– Courtesy of Press Photography Network/Special at DuPage College

These alternatives include hybrid virtual classroom meetings (VCMs) and traditional internet courses. Hybrid courses combine classroom work and distance learning. VCMs meet online but in real time at specific times and dates. Finally, traditional Internet courses are entirely online and follow the timeframes prescribed by the instructor.

The college has also added several new certificate programs that meet industry needs for skilled workers in growing fields. These include the Internet of Things (IoT) Proficiency Certificate, for students wishing to learn more about the growing field of programming and managing Internet-enabled smart devices.

Additionally, we offer the Data Analytics Certificate, which prepares students for basic data analysis, configuration, and use of business intelligence and data analytics solutions.

COD’s Digital and Social Media Marketing Certificate provides a foundation for developing a digital marketing strategy. Another example, our Python language proficiency certificate helps students learn and use the world’s most popular programming language.

The college continues to seek key partnerships to assist in workforce development. COD is now an educational partner in Amazon’s Career Choice program, offering hourly Amazon employees access to its seven associate degrees and more than 170 professional and technical certificate programs.

Higher education will always be valuable, and College of DuPage will continually adapt to the needs of our students and our communities. Now is the time to take advantage of everything we have to offer to help you achieve your goals.

• Brian Caputo is president of the College of DuPage at Glen Ellyn.