Many colleges want to keep offering certificate programs that don’t pay off


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Vanessa Valenciano had high hopes for the certificate she earned at public Aims Community College in Colorado. After all, colleges have been advertising these kinds of credentials as the next best thing to a degree.

But when Valenciano tried to get a job in the subject that she’d studied — automotive upholstery — she couldn’t. There weren’t any near where she lived, and those farther away required work experience she didn’t have.

“Here in this area there’s really nothing, and I guess I didn’t realize that,” she said. The certificate that took her months to get and today costs about $2,000 has gone unused as Valenciano now tries to start her own business in another field.


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