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Career College Central summary:
Arizona covers less than 1 percent of the budget for the Maricopa Community College District. The 10-college system, which enrolls 265,000 students, now receives an annual state contribution of $8 million. One upside to Arizona’s near-complete disinvestment in its community colleges, Maricopa’s leaders say, is that the years of budget cuts have forced the two-year system to get more entrepreneurial. They are particularly excited about the money-making potential of the new Maricopa Corporate College, which landed Marriott International as a client in its first year of existence.
One reason for the college's early success, said Rufus Glasper, the district’s chancellor, is that corporate CEOs have picked up on a shift at Maricopa. “We’re starting to market ourselves as a business,” he said.
Corporate colleges cater to the training needs of companies, including recent hires and workers who need to learn new skills. Programs are typically non-credit and customized based on the employer’s needs. They can be online or in person, and taught either on a college campus or taken directly to a company. Some of the most common programs are in management training, English as a second language, information technology, advanced manufacturing and welding.
The training centers can be lucrative, with companies typically footing the bill rather than students. As a result, the corporate-college field is getting more crowded. For-profit chains have long done job training. And Udacity, an online course provider, now wants to get in the game. Several community colleges also have a solid track record with corporate training. Experts said Cuyahoga Community College (Tri-C), located in Ohio, North Carolina’s Central Piedmont College and the Lone Star College System in Texas are pioneers of corporate colleges.
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