North Carolina community colleges typically have two divisions. One side of the house is Curriculum. These are college-credit courses and programs that can lead to a degree, diploma, or certificate. Continuing Education is much broader, serving students who need a high school diploma, refresher courses to begin college, or a short-term career training credential. It includes professional and workforce development, public safety classes, the Small Business Center, online ed2go courses, and personal enrichment classes.
Sandhills has personnel dedicated to assisting students to determine an educational plan and securing employment, whether they are in Curriculum programs or take Continuing Education courses.
The Career Center: Serving our Curriculum Students
The SCC Career Center, under the direction of Gwen Russell, specializes in career development to help prospective and current Curriculum students identify, plan, and achieve career goals. Information, advice, training, and resources are designed to help them select an educational path that can lead to a financially rewarding and personally satisfying career.
The Career Center offers a career library, online exploration programs, career inventories, personality assessments, and workshops.
Gwen assists students or graduates in developing a resume, write a compelling cover letter, and will offer a mock interview to give the confidence needed for a job search. She also helps current students find part-time employment.
Gwen holds a Health Sciences Career Fair each November and an all-programs Career Fair every March where local employers come to interview and hire students. A Career Clothes Closet is organized each November and February. Faculty, staff, and community individuals donate professional attire and students can choose clothing for interviews.
Students apply to serve as Career Ambassadors and these select students assist Gwen with special events and serve their fellow students in the Career Center.
Not only is The Career Center available for prospective and current students, but those who have graduated within the past five years from a curriculum program can also avail themselves of services.
Workforce Continuing Education Services: Serving our Community
As Director of Continuing Education Student Success Initiatives, Nicole Worley works to develop partnerships and educational programs to connect students with the necessary training to reach their employment goals and meet local industry needs.
By partnering with employers to provide short-term workforce training and certifications, Continuing Education is an integral part of the local workforce system. “We have a growing need for skilled workers with certifications in the healthcare, construction, and advanced manufacturing industries throughout Moore and Hoke Counties,” said Nicole. “As an alternative to a two-year degree, we can equip students in a matter of months with the necessary skills for in-demand, obtainable jobs,” said Nicole.
Nicole is also responsible for the Bridge to College and Careers program and the Sandhills’ Working Smart graduate initiative. “Our Bridge program is a collaborative effort between Sandhills and local high schools designed to expose graduating high school students to the many opportunities awaiting them if they choose to attend Sandhills,” she said. “Working Smart is North Carolina’s only soft skills certification and is being offered to all Sandhills’ graduates at no cost to prepare them for success in the workplace.
The Career Development Program in Continuing Education is a workforce development program that provides skills assessment services, employability skills training, and career development counseling to individuals in transition and the emerging workforce.
“Our goal is to assist students in assessing their interests, personality traits, and abilities, in setting career and educational goals,” said Career Development Director Jenny Troyer. “We help them create a pathway that will lead to economic, social, and educational success.
Career Development classes help students explore and plan careers, write resumes, interview with confidence, solve typical workplace problems, communicate effectively, and learn basic computer skills.