Hillsborough Community College's Continuing Education, Outreach, and Service Programs are consistent with the College’s mission, which states:
"Hillsborough Community College, a public, comprehensive institution of higher education, empowers students to excel through its superior teaching and service in an innovative learning environment."
The Continuing Education, Outreach, and Service Programs address the needs of a very large and diverse local community and business audience; for the past three years, HCC has served on the average of 14,563 non-credit students (14,372 in 2002-2003, 14,863 in 2003-2004, and 14,453 in 2004-2005). The community HCC serves is provided with numerous opportunities to engage in Continuing Education course offerings, as well as access Outreach and Service programs designed to increase participants’ preparation for postsecondary education or vocational training.
Hillsborough Community College's Continuing Education Program offers a wide range of short courses, seminars, workshops, and other academic activities that are available to adults with specific training needs, such as computer programming, but who are not seeking degrees. Some courses are designed to prepare students for licensure or to recertify students in fields such as insurance, real estate, and continuing Allied Health professions. In addition, special interest and leisure classes are offered in such areas as arts and crafts, business and finance, and childbirth and parenting.
Some Continuing Education classes award Continuing Education Units (CEUs). The CEU is a nationally recognized standard of measurement earned for participation in qualified programs. One unit is awarded for every ten hours of instruction. HCC maintains Continuing Education records and forwards the information to the State Repository for Professional Regulations (www.cebroker.com), and copies of these records are available to persons authorized by the students. In addition, students complete course evaluations at the end of each course.
HCC seeks out professional certifications that govern the provision of CEUs. For example, HCC holds a Continuing Education Nursing Provider number issued by the State of Florida Board of Nursing, authorizing the College to provide course work for Certified Nursing Assistants.
Hillsborough Community College's Environmental Studies Centers affords our local community the opportunity to engage in the study of ecology, biology, and Florida’s natural environment. These centers are located at three sites within Hillsborough County: Cockroach Bay, English Creek, and Upper Tampa Bay Park. The Centers' course curricula are developmentally diverse and can be tailored to meet the needs of students enrolled in primary and secondary schools to adults with degrees. (HCC Catalog, p. 27).
Hillsborough Community College's Workforce Education non-credit offerings include postsecondary adult vocational programs, a list of which is provided in the HCC Catalog (HCC Catalog, p. 291). HCC awards a Postsecondary Adult Vocational (PSAV) certificate for completion of a specified course of study designed to prepare individuals for employment. PSAV programs are designed for those students interested in careers in specific businesses and industries.
The Corporate Training Center at HCC (TCTC), offers a selection of more than 350 corporate training programs that can be customized to meet the professional development needs of companies of any size. Complete information about TCTC and its programs and services can be found on TCTC’s website.
Hillsborough Community College's Apprenticeship Training Programs offer students the unique opportunity to combine workforce instruction with on-the-job training. Each participant gains both practical and theoretical skill knowledge and competency in an occupation. All apprenticeship programs are sponsored by employers, either joint (union) or non-joint (non-union). The sponsor may be an individual employer or a group of employers. At HCC, the total length of the programs vary between two and one half and five years, depending on the occupation. Upon successful completion of the program, each apprentice receives an HCC Apprenticeship Completion Vocational Certificate and a federally-approved State Apprenticeship Council Completion Certificate.
Through HCC's College Reach-Out Program (CROP) , Step Ahead to Success, Wings of Imagination and Summer Synergy Seminars, and the Educational Talent Search Program, at-risk high school students are targeted to increase their matriculation to postsecondary education. More specifically:
- CROP provides academic and cultural enrichment activities to potential first generation, low-income college students in grades six through twelve. The overarching purpose of CROP is to increase the number of first generation, low-income students in attendance at postsecondary educational institutions.
- Step Ahead to Success targets students ages 16-24 of migrant families in the delivery of academic and cultural enrichment activities to increase their high school graduation rates and enrollment in vocational or postsecondary educational programs.
- Wings of Imagination and Summer Synergy Seminars are designed to introduce high school girls in grades nine through twelve to high skill/ high wage careers, assist in the development of leadership skills, enhance computer skills, and facilitate interaction with successful role models in our community.
- The Educational Talent Search is a federally-funded program designed to identify and engage low-income and disadvantaged youth in services and activities that will help them to successfully complete their secondary and postsecondary education.
Hillsborough Community College’s Adult General Education Program or Operation College, is designed to assist adults beyond compulsory school age attendance (16 years or older) in obtaining general equivalency diplomas (GED) and transitioning to postsecondary education (vocational or academic). Instruction is offered in Adult Basic Education and GED preparation and is presented in both English and Spanish. Students’ performance is benchmarked by the awarding of Literacy Completion Points (LCPs).
In addition to the instructional services of Operation College, students are provided with career exploration activities, financial aid information workshops, academic counseling, and interaction with a State approved workplace readiness skills curriculum. Additionally, individual tutorial services by trained volunteers are available to persons in the local community who may need to increase their job-related literacy skills.
The Front Porch Neighborhood Improvement Grant is a State-funded initiative to provide literacy support services to families within an economically depressed community encompassing a one-mile geographical radius. More specifically, the service objectives are: 1) to provide family literacy activities that increase parents’ awareness of early reading strategies; 2) to promote the development of an educational infrastructure through the offering of cultural enriching activities (e.g., poetry contests, classic African-American family film festivals, and book discussions and distributions; and 3) to increase the educational skills of individuals who do not possess high school diplomas.
To measure HCC’s effectiveness in our Continuing Education, Outreach, and Service Programs, a variety of evaluative methods are employed. At the conclusion of each course offering, students evaluate the course in instructional methodology, content relevance, and overall usefulness. The results of these evaluations are utilized by Program Coordinators in revising, refining or removing courses. Evaluations are also obtained from companies where services are rendered; as with the course offerings, evaluation results are used to revise, refine or delete training from service offerings. For some PSAV programs, employee satisfaction surveys are distributed to employers to assess the preparedness of program graduates for their chosen career fields.
To document programs' relevance to HCC's mission and available resources, program reviews are conducted (Program Review Process). This review assists in identifying programs’ strengths and weaknesses and presents recommendations for the development of strategies to increase programs’ effectiveness and delivery systems (Continuing Education Program Review).