Fast Forward

Fast Forward is Polk State College’s Rapid Credentialing Initiative (RCI) which is designed to increase access to short-term college credit certificate and non-credit programs in in-demand occupations and job opportunities in Polk County.  The target population is unemployed, underemployed, or furloughed workers or those who are at risk of losing their jobs because of the pandemic or automation.

Fast Forward focuses on seven college credit certificate (CCC) programs and three non-credit training programs selected because they can be completed in 18 weeks, can be delivered online or in a hybrid format under conditions that protect the health and safety of students and instructors, and are aligned with in-demand occupations and mid/high median wage job opportunities in Polk County based on employer feedback and the most recent labor market data available.

Each non-credit program prepares students to earn an industry certification that articulates to a college credit program at Polk State, creating education and career advancement pathways.

For more information about any of these programs and how to apply, please contact Marta Clinger at MClinger@polk.edu or 863.297.1010 extension 4665.

  1. Bookkeeping Operations

    Description
    The Bookkeeping Operations Certificate requires 18 credits of college-level coursework including mathematics, accounts and entry systems, and business principles and practices. Credits earned as part of this certificate count toward the Associate in Science in Accounting Technology.

    Time to Complete
    2 semesters

    Delivery Format
    Online

    Typical Jobs
    Financial clerks, accounting assistants, and account collectors

    Annual Salary
    $36,020 – $40,240

  2. Engineering Technology Support Specialist

    Description
    The Engineering Technology Support Specialist is eighteen (18) credits of college-level courses/training, preparing learners for entry into the manufacturing career cluster.

    The program focuses on broad, transferable skills to understand and be able to perform duties in any of the following elements of the Engineering Technology and Industrial Applications: materials production and processes operation, quality control, computer-aided drafting, electricity/electronics, mechanics/maintenance, and safety.

    Time to Complete
    Typically, 2 semesters. If students participate full time and use Open Entry Early Exit it is possible to complete in 1 semester.

    Delivery Format
    Hybrid combined with Open-Entry/Early-Exit O3E

    Typical Jobs
    Machine Operator, Maintenance, Assembly Line, Computer-Aided Drafter, Quality Control, and Safety Support Personnel.

    Hourly Wage
    $17 – $20

  3. Entrepreneurship

    Description
    The Entrepreneurship Certificate Program is a 12-credit-hour program that enables the student to gain the fundamental skills necessary to start and operate a business, collaborate with others to identify business opportunities, join entrepreneurial ventures, or work in an entrepreneurial capacity for an established organization. After completion of this program, a graduate may obtain employment by launching a business venture or working for any business in any industry.

    Time to Complete
    Typically, 2 semesters. If a student participates full time, it is possible to complete in 1 semester

    Delivery Format
    Online

    Typical Jobs
    Small business owner, franchisee, apprentice

    Annual Salary
    Varies

  4. Logistics and Transportation Specialist (LTS)

    Description
    The Logistics and Transportation Specialist is 6 classes covering Transportation, Purchasing, Inventory, and other key Supply Chain and Logistics areas.

    Time to Complete
    1-2 semesters

    Delivery Method
    Classes are offered in hybrid and online formats

    Typical Jobs
    Logistics Manager, Purchasing Manager, Warehouse Manager

    Annual Salary
    Average entry-level wage for the industry is $48,000

  5. Video Production Certificate

    Description
    The Video Production Certificate provides a comprehensive curriculum that incorporates story development, screenwriting, production, set lighting, video editing, audio editing, and motion graphics to increase engagement and promote the acquisition of essential video-production skills.

    Time to Complete
    2 semesters

    Delivery Format
    Hybrid

    Typical Jobs
    Videographer, film and video editor, assistant editor, news editor, cinematographer, video producer, filmmaker, television studio assistant, camera operator, documentary producer, film director

    Annual Salary
    $30,000 – $35,000

  6. Web Production Certificate

    Description
    The Web Production Certificate provides a comprehensive curriculum that incorporates front-end web development, user interaction and experience, web page design, markup and scripting languages, Content Management Systems, and visual design to increase engagement and promote the acquisition of essential web-production skills.

    Time to Complete
    2 semesters

    Delivery Format
    Hybrid

    Typical Jobs
    Web developer, UI/UX designer, Freelance web designer, WordPress developer, web design specialist, Web designer, webmaster

    Annual Salary
    $35,000—$45,000

  7. Graphic Design Certificate

    Description
    The Graphic Design Certificate provides a comprehensive curriculum that incorporates principles of good design, aesthetic appeal, color theory, personal creativity, visual hierarchy, image editing, typography, communication formats, publication design, page-layout techniques, identity branding, and effective messaging to increase engagement and acquisition of design and media skills.

    Time to Complete
    2 semesters

    Delivery Format
    Hybrid

    Typical Jobs
    Graphic designer, print designer, photographer, branding associate, print or advertising specialist, illustrator, digital artist, production artist, creative manager, design director, graphic artist

    Annual Salary
    $30,000 – $35,000

  8. Certified Logistics Technician (CLT)

    Description
    Prepares individuals for front-line material handling and supply chain logistics jobs in fulfillment centers, warehouses, distribution centers, and factories. This program has two parts:

    • Foundational-level Certified Logistics Associate (CLA)
    • Mid-Level Technical CLT Certification (CLT)

    Time to Complete
    2 weeks

    Delivery Format
    Face-to-face

    Typical Jobs
    Supply chain logistics jobs – involved in receiving, packing, shipping and processing orders.

    Hourly Wages
    $15 – $25 starting pay

  9. Certified Production Technician (CPT)

    Description
    Manufacturing Skill Standards Council (MSSC) certification is designed to validate that any individual with the certification has the technical, employability, and academic skills needed to work in modern manufacturing. The four basic competency areas are safety, quality, production & processes, and maintenance awareness.

    Time to Complete
    5 weeks

    Delivery Format
    Face-to-face

    OR

    Time to Complete
    10 weeks

    Delivery Format
    Hybrid

    Typical Jobs
    Maintenance/service technicians, mechanic, production technician

    Hourly Wages
    $12 – $15 starting pay

  10. Computer Numerical Control (CNC)

    Description
    Computer numerically controlled (CNC) machinery precision-cuts, grinds, or drills materials. Machinists are technicians who make adjustments to machines to control the speed, the material fed, and the path of the cut, as well as make sure the machines are set up properly, working efficiently, and producing a high-quality product.

    Time to Complete
    8 weeks

    Delivery Format
    Hybrid and face-to-face

    Typical Jobs
    Machine operator, machinist

    Hourly Wages
    $18 – $30 starting pay

  11. Manual Machinist Program

    Description
    This certification program validates that an individual has the skills and knowledge to successfully complete process planning, basic manual milling machining applications, machine set ups, operations, inspection techniques and safety standards. This course is aligned to 4 National Institute for Metalworking Skills (NIMS) certificates.

    Time to Complete
    8 weeks

    Delivery Format
    Face to face

    Typical Jobs
    Manual Machinist

    Hourly Wages
    $16 – $21