College doesn’t always mean four years of school. Forward Together matches students with short-term programs — most just a semester or two — that will prepare you for an in-demand job in fields including healthcare and skilled trades. Read more about the certificate programs currently offered through Forward Together below.
Phlebotomy | Sterile Processing Technology | MLT Clinical Laboratory Assisting | Nurse Aide (STNA) | Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) | Pharmacy Technician | Residential/Light Commercial (HVAC) | Construction Materials Science (CIVIL 1120 Course) | Surveying | Welding Module
Phlebotomists draw blood for medical lab testing, ensure accuracy of records, and deliver positive patient experiences.
A phlebotomist is an important member of the health care team who collects blood specimens from patients for testing. Phlebotomists work in doctors’ offices, hospitals, medical labs and blood donor centers. A great phlebotomists puts nervous patients at ease, accurately labels samples, and maintains safe and sanitary equipment. The Phlebotomy Certificate Program at Columbus State prepares students with entry-level skills and provides 100 hours of clinical experience.
Program length: Nine credit hours or two semesters, start in autumn or spring semester.
Career opportunities: Phlebotomists are in high demand because blood samples are an important and common way for doctors to diagnose illnesses and determine treatment for patients. A job as phlebotomist can be a springboard to other careers in the health field. This certificate counts toward Multi-Skilled Health Associate of Applied Science degree, which opens up even more career options and advancement.
Sterile processing technicians sterilize and maintain healthcare instruments and equipment for hospitals, dental and eye care practices, surgery centers and others.
Sterile processing technicians are responsible for sterilizing instrument sets, supplies, and equipment needed in the operating room, emergency room, and labor and delivery departments. Sterile processing is a vital job within healthcare – technicians ensure that doctors and nurses have the equipment they need on hand, and help prevent infections in patients.
Program length: 16 credit hours or two semesters, start autumn semester.
Career opportunities: With ever increasing growth in the healthcare industry, sterile processing technicians are in high-demand. This job is ideal for students with an interest in healthcare, who want to quickly start working in the industry while continuing their education. “Stacking” additional education credentials can lead to career advancement and higher wages.
Clinical lab assistants collect, prepare, and test samples to help doctors diagnose diseases and other health conditions.
Clinical lab assistants are entry-level employees who provide support for technicians and other senior team members in the lab. They typically work in hospitals to prepare and test specimens, and perform some more common tasks, tests, and paperwork. This certificate can be completed within one semester, and can be applied toward an Associate of Applied Science degree in Medical Laboratory Technology or Multi-Skilled Health Technology.
Program length: Seven credit hours or one semester, start any term.
Career opportunities: Thanks to growing demand for healthcare in the U.S., clinical lab assistants are in high-demand. This job is ideal for students with an interest in healthcare, who want to quickly start working in the industry while continuing their education. “Stacking” additional education credentials can lead to career advancement and higher wages.
Nursing assistants or aides work under the supervision of a licensed nurse to support patients in long-term care.
Nursing assistants provide care to patients who need help with daily tasks like dressing, bathing, eating meals and moving around. They also track patient’s vital signs and report on their condition to the licensed nurse providing supervision. Nursing assistants most often work in nursing homes, home care, assisted living, hospice, and community based long-term care settings.
Program length: Three credit hours or one semester, start any term.
Career opportunities: As the baby boomer generation continues to age, demand for these jobs is expected to grow much faster than average compared to other careers. This job is good for students with an interest in healthcare, who want to quickly start working in the industry while continuing their education. The STNA certificate can be applied to the RN program, LPN program, respiratory care and multi-skilled health degrees.
EMTs operate ambulances, respond to 911 calls, and stabilize patients on route to the hospital.
Emergency medical technicians (EMTs) provide frontline healthcare services in emergency situations. EMTs respond to 911 calls and transport patients to the hospital. Depending on the level of EMT, they also assess patients, administer oxygen, start IV lines, defibrillate, intubate, give medications, and perform CPR, among other procedures. Students in this program have the option to cross-train as firefighters as well.
Program length: Seven credit hours or one semester, start any term
Career opportunities: EMT jobs are projected to grow faster than average compared to other careers. Emergency healthcare is vital service and offers a challenging, rewarding career path. Students in the EMT certificate program must first complete the EMT course, and then pass the state/national EMT Certification written and practical exams. By state law, a student must be certified as an Ohio EMT before enrolling in the paramedic certificate program. This credential offers the opportunity to start working quickly while continuing to earn an associate degree, which can lead to additional opportunities and even higher wages.
Pharmacy technicians measure medications, ensure prescription accuracy, maintain records, manage inventory and more.
Pharmacy technicians work under the supervision of licensed pharmacists to measure medications and ensure prescription accuracy. They also perform calculations, assist with investigational drug studies, maintain patient records, package medications and manage pharmacy inventory. The Pharmacy Technician Program provides training in the basic elements of the field.
Program length: 16 credit hours or two semesters, start autumn or spring term.
Career opportunities: As the nation’s population ages, pharmacies are expanding their patient care services. As a result, demand for pharmacy technicians is increasing. With advanced training and experience, pharmacy technicians can obtain supervisory positions, seek specialization (e.g. oncology, nuclear pharmacy) and/or become a pharmacy specialist or a pharmacist.
Heating, ventilating and air conditioning (HVAC) technicians install and repair heating and cooling systems in homes, schools and businesses.
Indoor heating and cooling is something we all take for granted — until it stops working. HVAC technicians are skilled professionals who maintain a safe, comfortable environment by installing and servicing climate control systems and technology. This certificate program teaches the basics of residential and light commercial heat and cooling systems that are currently in the general market, and is designed to prepare students to enter the HVAC career field as a second-year apprentice.
Program length: 21 credit hours or three semesters (can be completed faster), start any term.
Career opportunities: Thanks to construction growth and an increased focus on upgrading climate-control systems to be more energy efficient, HVAC technicians are in high-demand. Courses in this certificate count toward an Associate of Applied Science Degree in Heating, Ventilating and Air Conditioning Technology, which means you can start earning money while finishing your degree.
If you’re interested in starting a career in construction, this course prepares you to perform vital concrete testing for masonry companies.
A Concrete Field Testing Technician—Grade I knows how to properly perform and record the results of seven basic field tests on freshly mixed concrete. This course prepares students to become certified in concrete field testing, and covers the properties, construction applications, standards, specifications and elementary material testing methods of soils, aggregates, asphalts, Portland cement concrete, masonry, metals and woods.
Program length: Three credit hours or one semester, start any term.
Career opportunities: The job market for construction workers is expected to grow as Columbus expands. This course allows students to start earning a salary quickly, and is ideal for those hoping to combine work and school. This course counts toward the Civil Engineering Technology, Architecture, and Construction Management Associate of Applied Science degrees, which open up even more career opportunities with higher wages.
Learn the skills needed to assist surveyors in measuring land, determining boundaries, and preparing reports for building projects.
Surveyors make precise measurements to determine property boundaries and collect data on the shape and contour of the Earth’s surface for engineering, mapmaking, and construction projects. The Surveying Certificate prepares students for entry-level careers in survey field and office operations. You’ll gain the skills needed for construction layout of buildings and roadways and, working under the direction of a Registered Surveyor, in land surveying and subdivision of land.
Program length: 29 credit hours or three semesters, autumn start.
Career opportunities: Construction growth in Columbus offers lots of opportunities for workers in surveying, and there’s even more room for growth with further education. The courses in this certificate count toward a Civil Engineering Technology – Survey Track Associate of Applied Science degree.
Welders use special equipment to permanently bond metal in manufacturing and construction projects.
Welding is one of the lightest, strongest ways to join metal. Welders are in demand in a wide range of industries, including aerospace, shipbuilding, construction, automotive manufacturing and repair, and more. Arc welding – which uses electricity – is the most common form of welding, but experienced welders can use many different processes depending on the materials and the job. This certificate program gives students the basic skills to get started in welding.
Program length: 13 credit hours or one to two semesters (courses in 5-weekk modules), can start any term.
Career opportunities: Welding is a great career path if you enjoy hands-on work, and offers room for growth as you add to your skill set. Columbus State offers additional welding certificates, and these courses count toward a Facilities Maintenance Associate of Applied Science degree.