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Community colleges may soon have new degree programs in specialized study areas

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TWC News: Community colleges may soon have new degree programs in specialized study areas
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RALEIGH—North Carolina Community Colleges could soon make it easier for students to earn certifications and diplomas in multiple fields.

With the changing needs of the workplace, the statewide system decided two years ago to look at ways to revamp five programs of study. Now education leaders say they are ready to make students more employable and classes more concise.

The Curriculum Improve Project, or CIP, revamps the course of study in five areas: building, energy, engineering technology, environment and transportation. The goal is to create core classes that would be used for several majors and would aim to help students earn trade certifications when possible.

It gives that student an opportunity to acquire a certificate or diploma, or whatever that student might need to enter the workforce. And then come back at a later date and finish the associates degree,” said CIP Vice President Sharon Morrisey.

Under the new model, each specialty area would now have a core group of classes that everyone would take rather than the current system of specialized courses according to an area of study.

“We have a blueprint reading for welders, a blueprint reading for carpenters, a blueprint reading for architectural technologies. Learning many of the symbols on those schematics is basically the same depending on what your end discipline is.” said Code Green Project Manager Butch Grove.

The revamp would also integrate green technology information into the classroom, so students are prepared for new workplace requirements. The State Board of Education is expected to vote on these changes in August.

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