By Mike McKissack
The Continuing Education program at College of DuPage offers a range of professional programs designed to prepare students for employment in in-demand fields after only one semester.
COD’s Dental Assistant program is a 240-hour hybrid course that prepares students for employment through a variety of teaching methods and lab work in the program’s state-of-the-art dental hygiene clinic. In addition, students gain real-world experience through a 120-hour externship, while engaging with peers and instructors through an online platform.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment of dental assistants is expected to increase by 19 percent from 2016 to 2026. The BLS also reports that the median annual wage for dental assistants was more than $37,000 as of May 2017, with top earners bringing in more than $53,000 annually.
The Pharmacy Technician program is an 80-hour course designed to provide students with the knowledge and skills necessary to work in a community or hospital pharmacy setting. In addition, students have the opportunity to gain hands-on practical skills through an optional externship component in a retail pharmacy location available as a part of the course fee. Students who complete the course can sit for national certification exams, including the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB) and the Exam for the Certification of Pharmacy Technicians (EXCPT).
The BLS reports that employment of pharmacy technicians is expected to increase by 12 percent from 2016 to 2026. In addition, the BLS states that pharmacy technicians earn a median annual wage of more than $31,000 as of May 2017, with top earners bringing in more than $46,000 annually.
The Veterinary Assistant program provides 150 hours of hybrid learning, including 80 hours of classroom and online instruction. Students engage in the classroom with knowledgeable and experienced instructors and learn hands-on skills through lab stations. In addition, students gain real-world experiences through a 70-hour externship and engage with peers and instructors through an online platform.
The BLS reports that employment of veterinary assistants is expected to increase by 19 percent from 2016 to 2026, with those in the field earning a median annual wage of more than $26,000 as of May 2017 and top earners bringing in more than $38,000 annually.
The Continuing Education program at College of DuPage offers a variety of credit and non-credit courses, classes, programs and workshops that provide learning experiences through a broad range of disciplines in personal development, professional advancement or life enhancement.