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komThis term is used here to designate further professional education, i.e., specific learning activities whose completion usually results in getting a certificate or other documentary evidence about participation in a specific course of seminars and tasks which are useful – or required to – for holding licenses for specific professions. These requirements may be satisfied through a variety of college or university coursework, extension courses or conferences and seminars which are typically offered at community colleges.

The contours of these courses may be varied; for example some may be credit courses and other may be not-for-credit. Similarly, some may be standard and others customized for different businesses. Further flexibility comes because some courses may be offered on the college campus, e.g., at night or during vacation periods while others can be offered on-site in a meeting room provided by a company whose employees need the training. This area of curriculum development is exploding because of the impact technology is having on many businesses and due to more effective recognition of community needs. The following subjects may be included under the continuing education heading in the U.S.:

  • Computer training on all levels including short-term certification programs
  • Small business management and operation
  • Bookkeeping and accounting
  • English as a second language
  • E-Commerce
  • Web design and maintenance
  • Short-term course for the health care industry
  • Hazardous materials and safety courses
  • Total quality and ISO certification
  • Certification courses such as: car inspections, emission control, power plant operation, hazardous materials, fire and safety, water quality, etc.
  • Homeland security and police training

For example, Kirkwood Community College in Cedar RapidsIowa, offers customized training for area businesses and industry, organizes faculty consultancies with local employers, and offers extensive on-site training programs to enhance workforce skills in such fields as computer training, technical training, employee growth, continuous improvement, health and safety, and workplace systems change.  Courses, training and consultancies can take place on-campus, at the employer’s place of business, or, increasingly, can be accessed by employees on line.


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