Posted on Wednesday, April 27, 2016

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Margaret Sproule, NRCC High School Career Coach at Radford High School, works with one of her students on a career and academic plan.

The spotlight on credentials at the VCCS has never shone brighter, and career coaches are leading the way. They are not only guiding students on the path to Workforce Wednesdaycredentials but are also demonstrating the importance of credentials by participating in the Virginia Career Coach Certification (VCCC) program. The first group of 45 adult career coaches was certified in the fall of 2014 as part of the Virginia RETHINKS TAACCCT grant. They completed a 40-hour certification program which included 30 hours of online instruction, 10 hours of interactive face-to-face training, and capstone activities. Eleven of the adult career coaches went on to complete the 120-hour Career Development Facilitator (CDF) course leading to a certification recognized by the National Career Development Association.

Since the TAACCCT grant, the VCCC has expanded to serve all coaching programs under Workforce Development Services (WDS). Currently, there are 56 high school career coaches and 36 adult career coaches from an array of WDS programs enrolled in the 40-hour course. Based on the twelve competencies of the CDF, the program allows all coaches to share common knowledge and skills while providing the opportunity for each coach to access content customized for their own needs as well as the needs of their programs. Coaches working with a variety of workforce grants as well as the College Success Coach and Great Expectations programs are increasing their knowledge of helping skills, career assessment, labor market information, and effective career development strategies.

Heather Kitsis, an adult career coach at TCC who earned her VCCC en route to obtaining her Global CDF in 2015, said, “I learned more about how the world of work is integrated into everything we do.” Tim Salyers, student coordinator for PluggedInVA at SWCC, noted that there is a “wealth of information that can be applied” to his current work with students. “I feel l have a tool box raring to go,” he noted. 

For more information about VCCC, please contact Celeste Hall at (804) 819-4974 or at chall@vccs.edu.

Feature image (top): Members of the first group of adult career coaches to complete the certification program at the 2014 Workforce Professionals Academy.

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Virginia's Community Colleges

Created more than 50 years ago, the VCCS is comprised of 23 community colleges located on 40 campuses across the commonwealth. Together, Virginia’s Community Colleges serve about 400,000 students a year in credit and workforce courses.

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