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Parkland College Gets Scholarship to Expand Career and Technical Education | Education

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CHAMPAIGN — What if the job skills and experience you already have could reduce the time and money it takes to attend college?

Parkland College officials are working to make that a reality in a handful of programs that provide education and training for manufacturing, industrial technology and welding careers. And now a new federal grant will help cover some of the costs.

Parkland has been awarded a $4.99 million grant from the U.S. Department of Labor — a portion of $45 million the agency is awarding to 13 colleges in a dozen states to expand career and technical education programs.

Parkland’s grant will be distributed among a consortium of seven Illinois community colleges, including Illinois Valley Community College in Oglesby, Lincoln Land Community College in Springfield, John A. Logan College in Carterville, John Woods Community College in Quincy, Rend Lake College at Ina and Shawnee Community College in Ullin, with Parkland as the leading university, according to Nancy Sutton, Parkland’s vice president for academic services.

The grant money will help pay for the cost of launching competency-based education, where students are tested to determine the skills they already have in their field to avoid the time and expense it would take to sit in a class that would learn what they already know, Sutton said.

In other words, she said, “We test you first to see what you know, and if you have some of the skills, we’re not going to waste your time and your money, and we’ll take you straight to the skills you don’t have.” .”

This can help save time and costs and make these courses more available to students who are already working and don’t have the time and resources to attend classes, Sutton said.

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