‘Degree creep’ for health careers

“Degree creep” — requiring a bachelor’s instead of an associate degree — could make it harder to qualify as a nurse, respiratory therapist, nuclear medicine technician, dental hygienist or dietician.

Fewer health jobs in sick economy

Health-care degrees, sold as the ticket to a high-paying, high-demand job, are “a passport to the unemployment line” in some parts of the country.

Also on Community College Spotlight: “Reverse-transfer” programs are helping students earn associate degrees en route to a bachelor’s, while improving community college graduation rates.

Job prep becomes job one

Certificates or degrees? After pushing for more college degrees, President Obama has endorsed industry-designed certificates in manufacturing skills that will enable community college students to qualify for a job with decent pay in a year. That’s if they don’t need remedial math, reading or writing.

Also on Community College Spotlight: New York City’s P-TECH will run from ninth through “14th grade.” Graduates, who will earn a high school diploma and an associate degree in applied science, will be prepared for IT jobs at IBM or transfer to a four-year university.

Detroit-area students interested in health careers can choose a five-year high school affiliated with a community college and a health center: They graduate with high school diploma, an associate degree in science and clinical experience.

CCs get less money, more students

Community colleges are “a gateway for millions of Americans to good jobs and a better life,” said President Obama in the fall. But the gateway is narrowing.  Thirty-one states will cut community college funding this year, despite rising enrollments.

Students know there are jobs in health care, but can’t get into classes they need. At College of Southern Nevada, more than 2,450 students applied for a key biology class that has space for 950 students. In Colorado, community college students may wait more than three years to get into a nursing program.

It’s all on Community College Spotlight.