Beach umbrella and white sand

How Summer Classes Can Help You Get Ahead of the Game

As the spring semester rolls to a close, some “traditional” students may wind up lying by the pool or taking a trip to the beach. But for adult learners and those who work and have a family, that is a luxury you may not be able to afford right now. That said, if you’re looking for career training to advance in your current field or switch to a new one, summer may be the perfect time to knock out your training and get ahead so you can get that great new job with benefits. (Because that trip to the beach would be so much better if you got paid for those days off!)

If this is your season to get started, there are many benefits to the summer semester you should consider.

Fast Track to a Career

FastForward emphasizes making the best use of one’s time by gaining experience in a brief window (it’s right there in our name), so naturally we recommend doing whatever you can to get through school and into a new career. Most FastForward programs last between six to 12 weeks of regular classroom instruction and hands-on learning. That doesn’t necessarily mean that the class will be more difficult or sped up, rather it will prepare you for the industry certification exam for your given focus area, while more traditional academic programs add on electives and extra classes to round out a degree.

Stack Those Credentials, Save Some Cash

Some of our FastForward programs are designed to get you as many certifications and credentials as possible in the time you’re in the program. For example, you may want to be a clinical medical assistant, but some community colleges may also stack on EKG and phlebotomy to make you a more attractive future hire. FastForward is an excellent funding option for those students who want to take career and technical classes that are outside full associate degree programs.

Flexible For Your Lifestyle

Thanks to online programming, more and more classes are being offered in a variety of convenient formats – some are fully in-person, some are fully online and some are a hybrid. If you’re juggling school and work, you don’t have to give up your summer job to learn the skills you need.

Staying on Target with Career Coaches

We’ve all been there. Sometimes life throws you a curveball. Maybe you were sick during a semester or had a family emergency that interfered with class. Don’t fret. Even in the summer, our career coaches are here to support you through whatever life throws your way. Our community colleges have access to emergency funding, community resources and have a wide network of contacts that can get our students through even the toughest of times.

All 23 of Virginia’s Community Colleges offer summer classes through FastForward. If you’re interested, contact your local career coach and get started today.