A new college/library partnership in Carson City, NV, could illustrate the type of postsecondary program likely to become more common, as higher education institutions attempt to overturn criticism about costs, length of time to finish studies, and preparation for employment.
Working with the Manufacturing Skills Institute (MSI) in Richmond, VA, the Carson City Public Library and Western Nevada College (WNC) recently launched a joint program for earning credentials in manufacturing technology. The Manufacturing Technician I credential is endorsed by the National Association of Manufacturers and the Nevada Manufacturers Association, so those who achieve it are much more apt to get a good job.
The program isn’t aimed at traditional college students—the target audience is recent high school graduates, people returning from military service, and those already working in lower-level manufacturing positions—but participants can earn 10 credit hours in applied industrial technology from WNC as part of their studies. If they want, they can continue to pursue courses at WNC while working.
The program is conducted online, enabling students to fit studies around work hours. Students can take assessment tests at any time during the semester so it’s possible to speed up completion.
The library serves as an assessment center and certified trainer, the first authorized by MSI. Labs are held at the library to supplement the online classwork. The library also provides computer training and instruction in the software applications students must use in order to take the online courses.
Need-based scholarships are available for those who can’t afford the fees.