Noncredit Research Collaborative

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This chapter discusses an often neglected aspect of the community college mission: noncredit courses that address local service area needs.

This chapter provides a discussion of the workforce development role of community colleges and the influence of the “success agenda.” Some of the primary themes from the extant literature that are discussed include: the traditional workforce development role of community colleges; aspects of the completion and/or success agenda relevant to workforce development; recent efforts to frame community college workforce development in the accountability movement (e.g., performance-based funding); implications relevant to the Workforce Investment Act; and, opportunities and constraints through for-credit career-preparation programs, noncredit education, and developments in transfer including articulation and the applied baccalaureate. The chapter also includes a discussion of how these related themes have been approached in the scholarly literature and directions for advancing inquiry.