Noncredit education is rising in popularity, and estimates suggest that almost half of all community college students are enrolled in noncredit programs, yet data on these students is still sparse. Information is particularly scarce about the qualitative experiences, decision making processes, and pathway navigation of these students. This project explores the experiences of workforce-oriented noncredit students at 3 different community colleges.

This research is being conducted in partnership with community colleges representing a range of policy and funding contexts: LaGuardia Community College, Mt. San Antonio College, and Northern Virginia Community College. This project will focus on students in select noncredit workforce programs offered at these institutions, particularly those that seek to connect marginalized and/or low-income adults with credentials and upwardly mobile career pathways.

Findings from this project will have utility for community college policymakers and practitioners alike, who are working to promote equity and economic growth for marginalized populations. This research will also serve to inform conversation of student perceptions of and experiences in noncredit programs, as well as the role these programs can play in promoting equity. This research is funded by the Lumina Foundation.