Career and Technical Education Classes Lead To Employment

Besides preparing students for transfer to four-year universities, one of the main missions of community colleges is to prepare students for immediate employment through career and technical education classes, most of which can be completed in two years or less.

At Spoon River College, enrollment in the career and technical programs leads to an Associate in Applied Science degree, a variety of certificates, and the ultimate goal – employment.

“We work with advisory boards – comprised of individuals from our district and beyond who are employed in the career and technical fields that we train for – to continually review the economic and employment conditions of the region, and to make sure the training we provide to our students matches the skills needed by employers,” said Mike Denum, dean of career and technical education.

It works.

Brian Goforth fielded multiple job offers after successfully completing the commercial driver training program. Dalton Matthews had a RN position waiting for him before he had even graduated from the nursing program, and the completion of the health information management program resulted in Michelle Robbins landing a full-time job as the business office coordinator of a local health care facility.  Enrollment in the agribusiness program led to Luke Jones’ employment as a crop specialist for a farm service company, and graduates of the diesel and power systems technology program are employed in farm implement and truck service shops throughout the region.

“We meet the needs of our students by meeting the needs of the employers who will be hiring our students,” said Denum.

“What I learned in the HIM program provided me with the skills to better myself financially,” said Robbins. “It gave me options I didn’t have before.”   

Openings in several of the career and technical education courses are still available for the fall semester. For more information, visit or call 309-647-4645.


The welding program at Spoon River College, taught by Mark Coulter, is one of the career and technical education programs that currently still has openings available for the fall semester.