QUINCY -- John Wood Community College's career, technical and health education programs continue to meet a growing demand across the region for those kind of career opportunities.
That's what William Stuflick emphasized Wednesday night to the JWCC Board.
"We're engaging more businesses and listening to what our community leaders are saying," said Stuflick, JWCC's dean of career, technical and health education. "Everyone is pushing for these type of programs, and the message is starting to resonate with young people."
Numbers for the 2016-17 academic year show that 32 percent of the college's total credit hours are in career, technical and health education programs. That's a 4 percent increase over the past two academic years.
"We're actively engaging and actively listening," Stuflick said of the college's efforts to satisfy local business needs and would-be students' requests.
Over the past two years, JWCC has modified six technical programs, introduced a health care assistant certificate, and created laddered pathways to assist students earning stackable certificates en route to a degree. The college is also in the early stages of developing a one-year diesel technology certificate in partnership with the Quincy Area Vocational Technical Center.
"We are working hard to engage all industries in our district through advisory councils to deliver relevant, high-quality programs that will help our students be successful in today's rapidly changing workforce," Stuflick said. "Students also need to have options within the pathways that lead to head-of-household incomes. Our stackable certificates provide an efficient way to earn a valuable credential in less than a year on the path to an associate degree."
Certificates and two-year applied associate degrees are designed for students to enter the workforce right away.
Over the past two years, JWCC also has created articulation agreements with several four-year universities to allow the applied associate degrees to transfer into applied bachelor's degrees.
Four-year schools working with JWCC include Northern Illinois University, Western Illinois University, the University of Northern Iowa and Missouri Western State University.