Career and Technical Education (CTE) prepares individuals for high-skill, in-demand employment that furthers Illinois’ global competitiveness. Last year, about half of all Illinois community college graduates earned a CTE degree or certificate. CTE programs offer flexible scheduling, work-based learning, and stackable credentials that provide a pathway from education to employment not only for recent high school graduates, but also for returning adults, veterans, and workers wanting to update their skills. To ensure that students acquire the skills and knowledge they need to be successful, programs contextualize instruction to the application of skills in the workplace and offer access to state-of-the-art technology. Student success in CTE programming is amplified by academic support services, work-based learning opportunities, and business engagement. CTE’s reach in Illinois’ workforce continues to be expansive; currently, there are over 4,000 different CTE program offerings across the community college system.
While some industries have struggled during the pandemic, others need more employees. Lincoln Trail College Dean of Instruction Brent Todd says hospitals can’t hire trained and qualified healthcare workers fast enough to meet the demands of the ongoing health crisis. “This need is only going to continue to grow over the next decade. There are some projections showing a nursing shortfall of nearly 20,000 by the year 2030.”
Todd says Lincoln Trail College offers people a few ways to get into the healthcare field. The Illinois Eastern Community Colleges Nursing program is available at Lincoln Trail College along with Frontier Community College, Olney Central College, and Wabash Valley College. LTC also offers a Certified Medical Assistant Program, an Electronic Medical Records Program, and a Pharmacy Technician Program.
“Healthcare is just one of our fields covered by our career and technical programs,” says Todd. “We also offer programs like Broadband Telecom, Process Technology, and Welding. In addition to that, we have new microcertificates that cover topics like customer service, public service, and special event planning.”
He says that Career and Technical Education Month is a great way to highlight the benefits of those degrees and certificates. “We’re preparing people for high-skill, in-demand jobs. Our CTE programs are a fast and affordable way to start a meaningful career.”
LTC’s CTE programs allow for students to get a hands-on education from highly-skilled instructors that have decades of industry experience. Todd says the College also uses advisory councils made up of industry leaders to make sure LTC meets the needs of business and industry.
“If you’re looking for a way to better your life, the CTE programs at Lincoln Trail College are a great first step. We can help you train for high-demand, well-paying careers. We’re also a financially smart choice for your education,” says Todd.
Lincoln Trail College is taking applications for the Fall 2021 semester. Students that fill out a FAFSA and complete their application by Feb. 26 are eligible for scholarships. The Lincoln Trail College Foundation also has scholarships available and their deadline is also Feb. 26. Students can visit iecc.edu/ltc to find information about the FAFSA, scholarships, and apply for free online.