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Non-Credit Workforce Resources

The purpose of this content is to provide easily accessible resources specific to institutional workforce directors and support staff. The primary source of this information are the Student Information System (SIS) Manuals maintained by the Research and Technology Division of ADHE.

Agency Contact Information for Non-Credit Workforce:

Beth Stewart                                                      Mason Campbell
Research and Analytics Division                       Academic Affairs Division
(501) 371-2058                                                  (501) 371-2061
beth.stewart@adhe.edu                                    mason.campbell@adhe.edu

Non-Credit Workforce Defined:

Workforce Training/Education is defined as those postsecondary activities (seminar, workshop, course, customized training, etc.) that develop or enhance the skills of existing employees or members of any business or industry. Also included is any training provided to individuals, whether employed or unemployed, which is designed to meet the employment needs of the student and/or employer by enhancing occupational, technical, and/or soft (communication, computational, and interpersonal) skills. The goal of workforce training is to increase individual opportunity in the labor market and to improve human knowledge, skills and ability. These activities carry no institutional credit applicable toward a degree, diploma or certificate; however, competencies and skills attained through Workforce Training/Education could be applicable toward a prior learning credit.

Guiding Questions:

If the answer to these questions is in the affirmative, then the activity/program should be counted as non-credit workforce education/training.

  1. Is it a course or activity that provides an individual with soft skills or technical skills for the workplace?
  2. Does it carry no institutional credit that can be applied toward an academic award?
  3. Is the goal to increase individual opportunity in the labor market?
  4. Does it improve human knowledge, skills and ability related to the workforce?

Q & A:

Adult Education:  My college provides various adult education classes. Can these classes be counted as part of our workforce development contact hours?

Answer: For the purpose of the funding formula workforce development activities do not include in GED, ABE, ESL, remediation or developmental education, or recreational courses or activities. While these are valid and worthwhile community development programs, these courses are considered pre‐postsecondary education and/or personal development activities, and not specific to workforce development.

Work Keys: My college provides preparatory classes for individuals to take the Work Keys assessments. Can these classes be counted as part of our workforce development contact hours?

Answer: Because participating industry has recognized Work Keys assessments as a part of the hiring process, this training will be counted as workforce development training activities. The assessment process would normally not be recognized as workforce development training activities.

Assessment administration: Our unit provides assessments as part of our workforce development activities. Would this activity be counted under the current definition?

Answer: This would be a judgment call on the reporting of contact hours under the current definition. If the assessment is meant to be a learning activity and part of a training course – not a standalone process – the time in the application and general interpretation of the test results for the class could be counted as part of the contact hours. If the assessment and interpretation of the test results is an activity of its own, then the time dedicated in this assessment activity would not be reported. It would not meet the definition of a “learning activity.” Example: The administration of Work Keys to a group of individuals as part of a contract to provide pre‐employment assessment would not be a learning activity and therefore would not be counted as non‐credit workforce development contact hours.

Summer camps/ High School Students: Our college provides summer camps to middle school and some high school students. Would these camps be counted as non‐credit workforce programs? Are there any circumstances in which current high school students can be counted as non-credit workforce?

Answer: While they are good and worthy activities, “in‐school students” are considered to be “prevocational” by the Department of Labor. Additionally, the students are not actively part of, or normally looking for employment. Therefore, the summer camp contact hours would not be reported as part of the non‐credit workforce development definition. There are no circumstances in which high school students can be counted as non-credit workforce.

Handgun carry permit training: Our college provides approved Handgun Safety Course training that meets the requirements for individuals to acquire a handgun permit. Can we count these students and contact hours under the new definition?

Answer: To meet the intent of the non‐credit workforce training definition, the college would need to contract with a business to offer handgun training in order to license/certify their security officers. Therefore, the answer would be NO to the question concerning a handgun safety course.

Motorcycle Rider Education Program: Our institution provides a Certified Motorcycle Rider Education Program (MREP). Would this be considered a program that can be counted as a non‐credit workforce program under the definition?

Answer: The answer would be NO. To meet the intent of the non‐credit workforce training definition, the college would need to contract with a police department to teach a police department personnel on safe motorcycle riding, including “hot pursuit.”

Court ordered program: The college provides a course called, “Parents, Children & Divorce.” Individuals attending this course are referred to us by the court system. This definitely is not a recreational course. Would participants of this course be counted under the non‐credit workforce development definition?

Answer: Certainly the college provides, through this program, a valid and needed community service. But it is a community service activity, not a workforce program. Its goal is not to increase individual opportunity in the labor market or within a business or industry. Therefore, the answer would be NO.

Individual tutoring: What about private tutoring sessions on using Photoshop or other computer programs that may have a professional or personal purpose?

Answer: There will always be judgment calls on the reporting of contact hours. In general, the question has to be, "is the activity meant for the improvement of workforce skills related to business/industry needs ‐ not personal needs?" Unless a formal part of the workforce development plan of the college is to provide private tutoring [most do not], and unless the intent is for an individual to improve in the soft skills, knowledge or skill‐sets within an occupation or for a particular business, it would be doubtful that the private tutoring given would meet the intent of the definition. Therefore, in most cases, the answer would be NO.

Individual workforce training: Related to the above question, my campus has a contract to provide individual training to corporate officers. Would this be different from the question above and therefore the contact hours counted?

Answer: Contract training should be defined as an activity when community college experts provide professional advice or guidance on a given project. The client pays a fee to the college for these services based on a contractual agreement. In this question a formal agreement has been made with the business client and therefore would be considered part of the workforce development plan of the college to provide individual training; therefore, this activity could be counted for reporting purposes. Other examples may include consulting with senior management on ISO9000 requirements, writing a procedural guide, or facilitating a meeting on behalf of the company, or conduct program safety reviews.

Contract Training: Can any contracted training be counted in this report?

Answer: Again, contract training should be defined as an activity when community college experts provide professional advice or guidance on a given project. The client pays a fee to the college for these services based on a contractual agreement. Any contract training relevant to the workforce development of employees for the company may be counted. It is noted, though, that not all contracted training by a company may reflect the principle of the intent for workforce development data reporting.

Workforce versus continuing education, i.e. personal development, classes [baking, photography, writing]: What if a person may be thinking about opening a bakery and is taking a cake decorating class. The college offers a continuing education cake decorating class in which the individual enrolls. Would this make the entire class a non‐credit workforce development class? What if a person may be thinking about opening a photography business or become a writer and is taking a class in that subject? The college offers a continuing education class in which the individual enrolls. Would this make the entire class a non‐credit workforce development class?

Answer: No ‐ the intent of the class is for personal development, not for training to develop a business.

“For‐credit courses”: Why is there an inability to count any contract training done with business or industry for workforce development that awards college credit. We have a number of companies that contract with us to deliver one or two “for‐credit” classes for their employees. For example, two semesters of Spanish and French, or two semesters of Accounting delivered to the company employees. These classes do not lead to a certificate, degree or other formal award or award enough hours to count towards the “progression” calculations. Therefore, if we do not count these hours in our workforce development numbers, the hours will be lost since there is no other place within the formula for them to be counted. We are seeing more and more companies ask if college credit can be given for our classes, even if it would only generate a fraction of a credit (modularized credit). It would appear this definition would not recognize this important service provided to our area businesses and industries.

Answer: At this point, the example has more to do with the impact on the for‐credit side of the formula than the non‐credit side. For‐credit courses, it would seem, would fall within the for‐credit element of the funding formula. This is problematic, though, as it affects the for‐credit retention and graduation indicators under the new formula. Not only does business and industry pay for specific courses, with no intent for their employees to finish a degree or other award, but businesses also give incentive for individuals to take classes on their own in order to increase the individual’s pay. Both of these for‐credit scenarios reflect the reality of an employee only taking two or three for‐credit courses, with no intent to gain an award. This questions appears to impact the graduation rate per FTE indicator as well as the 12‐hour benchmark indicator within the new funding formula. The proposed funding formula does not take into consideration the “intent of the student.” Again, though, the example given is a topic for the for‐credit side of the formula, not the non‐credit side. Therefore, students and credit hours resulting from these courses would not be counted.

Providing Professional Development for the college: Our unit provides professional development services to our own campus; would the time spent on these services be counted under the current definition?

Answer: No, providing professional development for the campus should NOT be submitted in workforce data.

Credit for No-Credit Enrollment: My college permits students to take a credit course regularly offered by the college on a non-credit basis to obtain and/or improve skills that can be applied within the workforce.  Unlike someone that may audit a course, these students participate in all assignments, classroom activities, exams and are given a pass/fail grade upon completion.  Because these students are enrolled in a non-credit course section they do not impact the for-credit element of funding. Can we count these students and contact hours under the new definition?

Answer: This would be a judgment call on the reporting of contact hours under the current definition. If the course represents the needs of an industry or variety of industries (i.e. Microcomputer Applications, English Composition, Mathematics), the training may be counted.  Courses such as physical education courses would not be included.

Partnership Training: My college will sometimes partner with other entities to provide training on our campuses or onsite within industry.  This may include curriculum reviews and evaluation by subject matter experts.  Training for which the institution provided advertising and instructional space should NOT be included.

Answer:  Yes, if the training meets the intent of the non‐credit workforce training definition and both the institution and the partner share responsibility for ensuring the integrity of the training piece.

Apprenticeship Classes: Are apprenticeship classes considered acceptable to report?

Answer: Yes, as long as the apprenticeship classes are non-credit bearing. Any apprenticeship course that awards credit should not be reported.

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