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Examining noncredit workforce training programming at Kirkwood Community College: A new conceptual model for measuring student motivations and perceptions of high quality job attainment

The purpose of this quantitative study was to describe the non-credit student population and explore the motivations and economic benefits for those who participated in non-credit workforce training programs at Kirkwood Community College, a large urban community college in Iowa. These non-credit students were enrolled in one of three vocational program areas: health care, business and information technology, or industrial technology. This study employed descriptive and multivariate statistics to determine whether investment in non-credit workforce training programs realized economic benefits. Findings are shared in the following categories: non-credit student characteristics, program classification enrollment patterns, non-credit student educational goals, and economic indicator patterns. By sharing a fundamentally new methodology for investigating the economic value positions of non-credit students completing workforce training programs, this study may inform future studies not only for Kirkwood Community College, but for other community colleges as well. Suggestions are made for additional research centered upon non-credit student populations and non-credit workforce training programs.