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Waubonsee Joins Consortium to Boost Opportunities for Apprentices

Waubonsee Community College has joined the growing ranks of colleges and other postsecondary institutions nationwide signing on to a new federal initiative to help apprenticeship candidates translate their specialized education and work experience into a college degree.

In June, Waubonsee became a member of the Registered Apprenticeship-College Consortium, or RACC.

Launched as a joint initiative by the U.S. Department of Labor and U.S. Department of Education, RACC is creating a network of colleges and registered apprenticeship programs operated by unions and others to provide greater college-to-career opportunities.

The RACC partner institutions work together to create an accelerated pathway to earn an associate or bachelor’s degree by allowing apprentices to earn college credit for their registered apprenticeship experience.

Waubonsee would work with organizations running partnered registered apprenticeship programs to evaluate the apprenticeship curriculum and determine how best to convert apprenticeship experience to college credit.

Those completing registered apprenticeship programs would be eligible to earn up to 45 college credits based on their experience.

The college in coming months also will launch a new degree program created specifically to help those with apprenticeship and other work
experience and industry-specific education more quickly earn degrees.

“The demand for apprentices is only expected to grow in the years to come,” said Michael Cermak, Waubonsee’s Dean for Business and Career Technologies.

“Now, through RACC, a journeyman electrician or other skilled professional working in the trades also would be able to take the next steps in their educational journey and obtain a degree with just a few more classes.”

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