Archive for Friday, July 25, 2008

Training options

The long-overdue partnership between Lawrence and Johnson County Community College already is an important part of the city’s education network.

July 25, 2008


The expansion of Johnson County Community College course offerings in Lawrence is good news.

Advertisements in the Journal-World this week list 10 classes that will be offered this fall by JCCC at Centennial School, which now houses the Lawrence Virtual School. The classes are geared toward opening new job opportunities for local residents. The offerings include basic math courses and a workplace skills class along with more specialized courses in health care and manufacturing skills. Other classes allow students to learn more about alternative energy production and commercial crop production.

Some classes help support the new Douglas County Manufacturing Certificate program organized by Heartland Works, JCCC, the Lawrence Chamber of Commerce, the Lawrence and Eudora school districts, Sauer-Danfoss and Berry Plastics. Participants in the program can take JCCC classes offered in Lawrence while working part-time as interns in participating businesses. Federal funding pays their tuition and the chamber picks up the cost of books. The program is a tangible example of how JCCC's presence in Lawrence contributes to local workforce development.

For many years, Lawrence has struggled to provide post-secondary training options for students who choose not to pursue a university degree. Kansas University is the state's largest and most complete research university, but its mission doesn't extend to the kind of vocational training that many students need to prepare themselves for the job market.

JCCC has been a popular place for local people to seek such training, but even the short commute to Johnson County could be a roadblock for some students. The ability to take classes for college credit right here in Lawrence is a tremendous advantage.

After many years of discussions, JCCC began offering classes in Lawrence at the beginning of this year. Enrollment has been strong, and the school's Web site indicates many of this fall's classes already are half filled. It's great to see the school's offerings have expanded so quickly to include training that can start preparing students for careers in such high-demand fields health care and manufacturing.

Lawrence's partnership with JCCC was long overdue. It is a welcome addition to the city's education picture that should be expanded in the years to come.


davidsmom 9 years, 11 months ago

Does the Lawrence School District use JCCC's College Now program? These are low-level college courses taught at the high school by high school teachers who use the college's curricula. These are considered honors courses at the high school level and some are combined with AP courses. Students enroll at and then pay JCCC tuition while earning college credits that transfer to many 4-year colleges and universities all around the country. The maximum credit a student can earn through College Now is 30 hours, and every hour a student earns at JCCC tuition rates is a huge savings over university tuition. KU accepts these, not necessarily transferring all the grades course-for-course but accepting the credits. Perhaps NCCC does the same thing.

Gina Bailey-Carbaugh 9 years, 11 months ago

Neosho County Community College has been offering courses in Lawrence for YEARS. They also have a grant to bring courses into the Lawrence school system. I never saw any accolades about NCCC. Why are we so enamored with all things Johnson County?

penguin 9 years, 11 months ago

I have no idea if USD 497 uses this program, but there are requirements that most of the instructors need to have a master's degree in their content area. The exceptions are for the computer science and economics classes. There are also other additional requirements of instructors and administrators. I know my sister was able to do the same thing in high school through FHSU and their concurrent credit program. I just wish they had these sort of programs when I was in school. Most kids if they really want to can easily enter college with 20-30 credit hours. Also they get to knock out those freshman "weed out" classes before ever stepping on campus.

Richard Heckler 9 years, 11 months ago

Where would Douglas County be without JOCO and NCCC? Thank you JOCO and NCCC. Meanwhile USD 497 is spending millions on sports fields when history has proven USD 497 has been producing championship teams without fancy and expensive bogus turf that brings with it mat burns etc. The grassy areas have been working for several decades with admirable results. It is the coaches, desire and perseverance from the teams that makes championship teams not bogus turf.A small updated Vo-Tech campus from an existing schoolwould make more dollars and sense? OR solar panels on Central Jr High School?

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