Noncredit Students at Two Community Colleges: Who are they, and what are their experiences?
This report, co-authored by Katherine Hughes, the CTE Research Network director and principal investigator, presents an analysis of noncredit programming at two community colleges. The analysis draws on two sources of data: institutional data on program offerings and student survey data. The student survey included questions about respondents’ demographic and socioeconomic traits, the features of the program they enrolled in, their reasons for enrolling and any challenges they faced related to attendance, and their employment status before and after attendance.
At both colleges, occupationally focused training, such as programs in business, information technology, and healthcare, constituted the majority of noncredit program offerings. These programs were offered in online, hybrid, and in-person formats and had a wide range of cost and time commitments. Students’ goals for enrolling in noncredit programs were primarily to gain skills to pursue a new job rather than to progress in a current position. The main challenges to attending their programs were costs and competing responsibilities.
This report is one of a series from the Rutgers Education and Employment Research Center. Other publications in the series include the following: