PDCCC’s career ladder program helps bring you career success

Published 9:08 am Friday, October 1, 2010

Guest Column
by Patsy Joyner

Some people wanting to enter a certain profession are intimidated by the notion of pursuing the required degree in combination with work and family responsibilities.

A good avenue for them to explore is the Career Ladder. As a Chinese proverb says, “The journey of a 100 miles begins with the first step.”

Career Ladder

A deliberately designed career ladder enables you to start at the bottom and move up as you acquire more skills. Step by step, it provides you with courses you need to land a position in a high-demand field and to continue advancing in your career.

You can take a part-time certificate program, enter the workforce and then return to take more classes towards a degree and a better job.

Paul D. Camp Community College provides short-term programs that can be the first step on a career ladder for achieving further credentials, making it possible to start with a career studies certificate and continue through a two-year degree, a four-year degree, a master’s degree and even a doctorate degree in particular areas of study.

Following are examples:


You can complete the Nurse Aide Career Studies Certificate in a couple of semesters, followed by work experience as a certified nurse assistant to see if you really want to work in that field.

After you make that decision, completion of the Career Studies Certificate paves the way to another step on the ladder — the CNA to RN bridge program — to complete a two-year degree in nursing to become a registered nurse.

If you are already a licensed practical nurse, the career ladder — LPN to RN program — enables you to become an registered nurse by completing the associate in applied science degree in nursing in three semesters.

Being successful at the lower degree level provides access to yet another rung on the ladder. If you wish to acquire a four-year degree in nursing, PDCCC has articulation agreements with four-year colleges and universities.

Success in attaining the bachelor’s degree in nursing in turn leads to eligibility for acceptance into a graduate program to earn a master’s degree in nursing, which can be followed by a doctoral degree.

Early Childhood Development

f you wish to become a teacher and/or director in a Head Start or childcare setting, you can begin with the Career Studies Certificate in Child Care. Courses in this program wrap into the Early Childhood Development Certificate, which leads to the next rung on this career ladder — the

associate of applied science degree in early childhood development.

After earning this two-year degree, you can start working on a four-year degree.

Paul D. Camp has established a transfer articulation agreement with Norfolk State University for pursuit of a baccalaureate degree in early childhood development. Upon completion of the four-year degree, you can enter master’s degree program, and ultimately a doctoral program.

Business Opportunities

If you have an idea for a small business, you can start first with the Career Studies Certificate in Entrepreneurship in Small Business. All classes apply toward two options under the associates degree in management. After completing the degree, you can go on to Old Dominion University, which accepts credits from this non-transfer program.

Lateral Moves

You can also consider lateral moves from one area to another. For example, early childhood majors aspiring to establish their own daycare centers can complete the Career Studies Certificate in Entrepreneurship in Small Business to get help in developing a business plan. This same option applies to other fields of study, such as electricity and heating, ventilation and air conditioning.

For more information on career ladder possibilities, call 569-6700, or visit www.pdc.edu.

DR. PATSY JOYNER is the vice president for institutional advancement at Paul D. Camp Community College. Her e-mail address is pjoyner@pc.vccs.edu.