Popularity Outpacing Capacity for Many CCC Career-Tech Programs
CLARKSDALE – The popularity of several Career and Technical Education programs at Coahoma Community College is beginning to outpace capacity.
As enrollment for the Fall 2014 semester comes to a close, many of the 18 programs offered by the Division of Career and Education, and designed to prepare students to directly enter the workforce, have already reached their limit on the number of students that can enroll.
The Collision Repair program is filled to capacity with 51 students, Barbering with 65 students, Culinary Arts with 41 students and Cosmetology with a total of 39 students enrolled.
Many of the other programs also have solid enrollment numbers and are near capacity as well. Brick and Block Masonry, which has the capacity for 30 students, currently has 26 students enrolled. The division’s newest program, Automotive Technology, which was instituted in 2011, now has 26 students—almost double from last year’s enrollment.
CCC’s Dean of Career and Technical Education Anne Shelton Clark attributes the high-demand for skilled workers to the increased popularity of many of the programs.
“Most of our students already have some interests in their respective fields and enroll in the program to get the necessary certification or degree,” said Clark. “It appeals to them because they can gain skills in a small amount of time. Many of them will develop a trade and then they branch off and make it their own.”
Clark said students have the opportunity to either get a certificate in one-year, or an associate’s degree in two-years.
“A lot of them will opt to get their certificate in one-year and come back later to get their degree to make more money. The flexibility is another part of the appeal for students who are trying to get into the workforce,” she said.
In addition, there has been an increase of female students in traditionally male-dominated fields like Barbering and Culinary Arts, said Clark.
Since many of the students remain in the community, the programs are providing skilled workers for the local job force.
“Most of the students go into their own business, especially our cosmetology and barbering students,” said Clark. “They’re gaining skills so they see off-hand the use, the relevance of their training. I think that’s a big part of the appeal.”
Clark said she believes the popularity of Career and Technical Education programs will continue to grow.
“In today’s job market, employers are looking for skills that employees can quickly contribute to the workplace,” said Clark. “Our students are learning the skills that can make them more valuable to an employer or give the necessary training to start their own businesses. With those types of opportunities available, I think we’ll see a continued growth.”