Expanding the already robust certificates, diplomas and degrees offered by Pennsylvania’s 14 community colleges, the colleges will offer 70 new programs in wide-ranging and in-demand careers for the 2019-20 academic year.
The in-person and distance education opportunities include programs in STEM, hydroponic agriculture and substance abuse treatment.
“As the largest provider of higher education in Pennsylvania, our community colleges are critical to the Commonwealth’s continued workforce development and career readiness,” said Elizabeth A. Bolden, president & CEO of the Pennsylvania Commission for Community Colleges. “By regularly evaluating local needs and partnering with growing business to create new programs, our colleges are building pathways to in-demand careers that offer family-sustaining wages.”
The decision to create new programs at community colleges is a multi-step process that accounts for local labor market data; demand in high-priority occupations; student interest; equipment, facility and faculty needs; college strategic plans; and the needs of local employers.
Many colleges consult with advisory councils comprised of employers in varying industries.
Ultimately, the decision to add new programs rests in the hands of the Board of Trustees at each individual community college. Because the course offerings are managed on a local level, community colleges are able to nimbly respond to needs of their local communities.