In response to labor market needs, the Community College of Rhode Island was recently approved by the Council on Postsecondary Education to add four new certificate and degree programs to its expansive list of academic programming.
The new programs are:
- Certificate in Court Reporting
- Certificate in Surgical Technician
- Certificate in Mental Health & Wellness
- Certificate in Case Management
“By adding these programs to the curricula, CCRI is s enhancing the college’s ability to meet the educational needs of our students and building a pipeline of highly trained and capable employees for Rhode Island employers,” said Meghan Hughes, PhD, president of CCRI. “I am incredibly grateful to our Deans and Chairs for their continual work to ensure we are providing our students with the very best education possible.”
“These new programs are essential as we continue to provide Rhode Islanders with a high-quality education in high-demand fields,” said Rosemary A. Costigan, Vice President of Academic Affairs. “Our Deans and Chairs are consistently in tune with the state’s labor needs and their relationships with our industry partners allow us to deliver exceptional educational opportunities for students both in the classroom and in the field. I am also grateful for our faculty for their diligent work in developing the curricula for each program.”
Certificate in Court Reporting
With a declining number of Court Stenographers across the country, CCRI’s Court Reporting Certificate program will train students to transcribe dictation using Case CATalyst® Software and be proficient in grammar, punctuation, spelling, vocabulary, proofreading, and editing as well as medical and legal terminology. The course requires students to complete 30 credits. After attaining a certificate in Court Reporting, students are qualified to sit for and pass both their state and national certifications.
The new certificate program received broad industry support by state and national court reporter associations, members of the Rhode Island Judiciary, and attorneys, all of whom cited the growing need for qualified individuals to work in Rhode Island’s busiest courts.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of court reporters and simultaneous captioners is projected to grow three percent in the next 10 years. Demand for Court Reporters has been influenced by federal regulations requiring an expanded use of captioning for television, the Internet, and other technologies. Adding to the pressure to fill these critical positions is that many court reporters are nearing retirement age. The median pay for a court reporter is $60,380 per year.
Certificate in Surgical Technician
CCRI’s Surgical Technician Certificate program addresses the nationwide shortage of qualified Surgical Technicians. Students must complete 43 credits in 12 months, which prepares them to become an entry-level Surgical Technician and play a vital role in delivering patient care before, during, and after surgical procedures. The program includes classroom instruction, simulation lab experiences, and supervised clinical practice in a hospital environment. According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, overall employment of Surgical Assistants and Technicians is projected to grow six percent between 2021 and 2031. The expected start date is May of 2023.
Surgical Technicians are health professionals who work closely with surgeons, anesthesiologists, nurses, and other surgical personnel in delivering patient care before, during, and after surgical procedures. These individuals are vital members of the surgical team and require specialized education and training as Surgical Technicians. Nationwide, there are severe shortages of qualified Surgical Technicians in delayed surgical procedures. Developing a Surgical Technician Certificate program aligns with the mission of CCRI by responding to community needs and contributing to the state’s economic development and workforce.
CCRI Surgical Technician graduates will be in high demand upon graduation. CCRI has the commitment from R.I. area hospitals to support the program through clinical placements and a consideration for hire.
Certificate in Mental Health & Wellness
As the need for skilled entry-level employees in the Mental Health and Wellness field continues to rise, CCRI’s new certificate program prepares students to earn 21 credits in Mental Health and Wellness that can be used toward earning an associate degree in Human Services with a concentration in Mental Health, Social Work, Gerontology, and Substance Abuse. In addition, students who complete this certificate are eligible to earn national certification as a Mental Health First Aider, further supporting the nationwide demand for Mental Health and Wellness.
Certificate in Case Manager
Similar to the Mental Health and Wellness Certificate, students who earn CCRI’s Case Management Certificate can apply those credits – 20 total to earn certification – toward a degree in Human Services. Students taking this course identify, develop, discuss, and practice necessary skills for effective case management within the Human Service and Social Services communities.
The Community College of Rhode Island, New England’s largest community college, enrolls nearly 18,000 students in credit-bearing degree and certificate programs and an additional 8,500 individuals in workforce development programs and adult education courses annually. With a passionate commitment to student success and closing equity gaps, CCRI provides Rhode Islanders with an outstanding college education that leads to strong learning outcomes, successful degree attainment and robust labor market outcomes. With four campuses across Rhode Island, CCRI offers online, hybrid, and in-person options for students, meeting them where they are and helping them achieve their educational and career goals. CCRI was named the 2019 Two-Year College of the Year by Education Dive magazine.