In a recent ranking by Community College Week, Davidson County Community College ranked third in North Carolina and 41 in the nation for one-year certificates awarded during the 2015-2016 academic year. The top 100 associate degree producers ranking for one-year certificates includes both two-year and four-year institutions. Four North Carolina two-year institutions were ranked. No North Carolina four-year institutions made the list.
A total of 1,554 one-year certificates were awarded to 1,036 students. The college’s top five most awarded certificates during 2015-2016 include early childhood education; criminal justice; air conditioning, heating and refrigeration; automotive systems technology; and business administration.
“The college has redesigned many of its career technical programs so that students earn certificates as they progress through the programs,” says Jeannine Woody, vice president of student affairs.
One-year certificates allow students to obtain work-ready credentials as they pursue an associate degree. The redesign helps support students who may face challenges to completing the entire degree or diploma program in consecutive years.
“Most students complete the entire associate degree,” says Woody. “Many earn three to four certificates along the way.”
DCCC offers some programs which only award certificates and can be completed within a year, such as phlebotomy and central sterile processing.
“Some students desire short term technical training. Programs like central sterile processing, which is a certificate only program, offer students the opportunity to gain the skills and experience needed to pursue great employment prospects,” says Woody.