Free Innovative Program at COD Combines GED With IT, Welding Certification

Jan 05, 2016, 11:11 ET from College of DuPage

GLEN ELLYN, Ill., Jan. 5, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The new Integrated Career and Academic Preparation System (ICAPS) program at College of DuPage helps students earn their high school equivalency and COD certificate while preparing for industry certification – all at the same time and at no cost.

With the help of state and federal funding, College of DuPage is one of a select group of community colleges in Illinois participating in ICAPS, which integrates the GED program with career and technical training. Through ICAPS, which is part of the national Accelerated Opportunity initiative, students at COD can earn both their GED and a College certificate as well as receive the preparation to test for CompTIA A+, Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) Security or American Welding Society (AWS Sense 1) industry certification. In addition, the program can be completed in as little as 15 months.

Click here to watch a video about the Accelerating Opportunity program.

The ICAPS program is open to adults without a high school diploma and COD's Advanced Adult ESL students.

According to data from the U.S. Census Bureau, more than 75,000 residents of Community College District 502 have less than a 12th grade education. Dan Deasy, Manager of Adult Education and Grant Compliance, said these certificates lead to in-demand jobs with sustainable wages.

"The ICAPS program gives students who are truly in need of both their high school credentials and workforce training the opportunity to gain both in a relatively short period of time," he said. "It's an ideal example of using creativity to meet educational and industry needs."

The College utilized job data provided by the DuPage County Workforce Investment Board to identify which careers to address, and the CCNA Security certificate program was selected for the pilot. Then GED course content and a college success course were structured around the program-specific curriculum.

Felix Davis, Associate Professor and Coordinator of the Computer and Internetworking Technologies program, said IT careers are in such high demand that the Bureau of Labor Statistics expects positions in this field to go unmet during the next decade.

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SOURCE College of DuPage