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Teaching Skill-Based Courses at a Distance

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Community College Journal Volume 75, Number 2, ISSN 1067-1803


Community colleges have played a key role in connecting high school tech prep, industry training, and baccalaureate education. As an institution of higher education known for its adaptability and willingness to provide customized training, the community college has been influenced by industry and federal policy (e.g., Workforce Investment Act (WIA) and the Carl D. Perkins Vocational and Technical Education Act). Federal policy has generally acted to increase the role community colleges play in workforce preparation. Community colleges are employing distance technologies to deliver a range of skill-based career and technical education (CTE) through credit and noncredit courses and programs. A significant majority of the distance CTE courses address hands-on skill development. At first glance, distance learning would seem to be antithetical to skill training. However, with businesses demanding increasing flexibility and a desire to re-skill their employees, the need for just-in-time skill training continues to increase. Because of the hands-on nature of skill-based learning, the delivery of distance instruction can impose barriers that must be overcome by the institution. Colleges are overcoming this barrier by blending distance learning with more traditional approaches to provide the hands-on experience needed to develop technical skills. (Contains 3 tables.)


Johnson, S.D., Benson, A.D., Duncan, J., Shinkareva, O.N., Taylor, G.D. & Treat, T. (2004). Teaching Skill-Based Courses at a Distance. Community College Journal, 75(2), 9-13. Retrieved February 27, 2021 from .

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