Pensacola, Florida
Thursday December 14th 2017

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PSC Trains for Hot Jobs

By Rick Outzen

Pensacola State College is a major player in helping people train and qualify for good-paying jobs.

“We have over 100 different short-term certificates, and some of these were initiated during the downturn of the economy to help get people retrained into different technical areas,” said Dr. Ed Meadows, Pensacola State College president. “If you’re not here as a University transfer student taking credit, you’re here to be trained for the workforce in a specific area.”

The role of community colleges was once to help students build credits and an educational foundation in order to transfer elsewhere and complete a bachelor’s degree. Today workforce training has become an integral part of the colleges’ mission.

“We graduate probably close to 5,000 students a year,” said Dr. Meadows. “I would say that roughly half of those are getting some kind of workforce certification.”

PSC partners with George Stone Technical Center in Escambia County and Santa Rosa’s Radford M. Locklin Technical Center and offers their graduates advanced credit to get a college-level certification for the skills taught at the centers.

“Our role is to make sure that we interface with business and industry through program advisory committees working with FloridaWest and CareerSource Escarosa to determine what the job market is in specific kinds of training area,” he said, “Where we don’t have programs already in place, we look at the need for adding new programs to train technicians and technologists. ”

Many of the training courses can be completed in one year. A few, such as phlebotomy, can be done in one semester.

“The federal government classifies the technical certificates in clock hours. The minimum for any program is 1,000 clock hours of training. Most of our certificate programs have the college level of one-year programs,” explained Dr. Meadows.

PSC has scholarships and special grant programs available to provide assistance with the tuition.

“We’ve got tuition deferments for a lot of different categories of special populations, such as our military veterans,” he said. “Florida is one of the most lucrative states that I’ve ever worked in as far as being able to provide students with financial assistance to become educated and trained.”

Graduates of PSC often have jobs waiting for them. Graphic design, criminal justice, and hospitality management have 100 percent job placement.

Dr. Meadows said, “Another big area is the computer science in the areas of computer programming and IT security, network communication, electronics aid, those are all 100 percent. Then in the industrial side, we’ve got computerized wood working and CNC machines, those are all computerized training programs, they are 100 percent.”

With Pensacola being a healthcare hub for the region, PSC has several degrees and certifications that have high percentages of job placement.

“With all of our medical certifications and degrees, if they’re not 100 percent, they’re in the high 80′s and 90′s for job placement for things like research tech and electrocardiograph technology,” he said.

“Matter of fact, beginning this fall we’re adding a certificate in patient care. It’s called patient care tech; it’s someone that would actually take care of people in the home,” said Dr. Meadows.

“We’re adding back dental assisting programs, we had discontinued that program a number of years ago because the market seemed to be saturated, but this will be a nationally accredited program to allow dentists to hire back dental assistants. We’re even looking at a concentration into business and management. A bachelor degree for dental community and health management, and that would allow dental hygienists to move into management positions at medical and dental clinics.”

How does someone get started working on a new career at PSC?

Dr. Meadows recommended first visiting the college’s website, pensacolastate.edu, to become familiar with the range of certifications and degrees available.  He also recommended visiting the career and counseling center on the Pensacola main campus.

“Come to our advisement and counseling center, sit down with an academic advisor, get scheduled to take a Vocational Interest Test so that you know the clusters of areas that you would really prefer to get trained in, and then work out a program of study and a curriculum map to make sure you don’t take any courses you don’t need, and then go apply for financial assistance,” he said.

Dr. Meadows added, “We’re proud of our job placement and how we’ve been able to connect our students with good-paying jobs.”

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Pensacola State College
Job Placement Percentages

Associate Degrees
Hospitality and Tourism Management   100%
Health Services Management 100%
Physical Therapist Assistant 100%
Veterinary Technology 100%
Computer Programming and Analysis 100%
IT Security 100%
Business Administration 100%
Radiography 92%
Nursing, RN 86%

Post-Secondary Adult Vocational Degrees
Health Unit Coordinator 100%
Practical Nursing 88%
Nursing Assistant (Long-term Care) 87%
Electrocardiograph Technology 83%
Massage Therapy 83%
Phlebotomy 72%

Certifications
Rooms Division Management 100%
Guest Services Specialist 100%
Food and Beverage Management 100%
Event Planning Management 100%
Medical Information Coder/Billing 100%
Child Development Early Intervention 100%
Child Care Center Management 100%
Infant/Toddler Specialization 100%
Preschool Specialization 100%
Office Management 100%

Source: Pensacola State College, 2013-14 graduates