Occupational Skills Training (OST)
Frequently Asked Questions for Students
When can I get started?
- Occupational Skills Training is a continuous enrollment program. Students are accepted on a space-available basis. You are encouraged to take a placement test prior to attending one of our OST Information Sessions.
How do I get started?
- The first step is to attend an OST Information Session which is generally offered once a month at either the Jackson or Josephine County campuses. These sessions are open to all interested students, last approximately one hour, and will help you determine whether OST is the right educational path for you. You will learn how the OST program works and some of the typical coursework required. You will also learn about the OST application process, and receive your program application packet. Attendance at an Information Session is mandatory to start the application process.
- Information Session dates can be found at the Individualized Career Training website. If you have questions about the information sessions, please call or e-mail Jennifer Burkes in Grants Pass at 1-541-956-7027 or Peggy Guthmiller in Medford at 1-541-245-7562.
How do I know if OST offers the training I want?
- A list of some of the more popular trainings can be found at the Individualized Career Training website; however it is not an exhaustive list. If your training goal shows an indication of a positive job market and does not overlap with other RCC programs, it may be considered for the OST program. Keep in mind, the popular training goal slots fill up fast. The Information Session will provide you with more information regarding training goals.
What does it cost to attend?
- Each OST student's training plan is individualized. Some students need to take pre-requisites, others don't; some students take more electives than others; some take more internship credits than others. Because of these differences, the cost of your Occupational Skills Training will depend on your individualized OST plan. Once you have applied to the OST program and been accepted, you will meet with a program advisor and design your OST plan.
- The total program credits required for an OST Certificate ranges from 36-62 depending on your training goal, and regular tuition rates apply. Some training will require a criminal background check, drug screen, and immunizations, which will be an additional cost.
Why do I have to take classes when I just want Skills Training?
- Students must be prepared to meet employer standards. Most employers do expect students to have completed a certain level of coursework. The OST Program is a state approved one-year certificate program that requires a combination of academic study and hands-on training.
How long will it take me to get my OST certificate?
- This varies from student to student. Occupational Skills Training is considered a one-year certificate program, but if you enter the program with most of your general education requirements already completed, you could get done in less than a year. If you still have some prerequisites to complete upon entrance into the program, it could take you more than a year.
When will I know if I'm accepted into the program?
- After you submit your OST program application, you will be contacted by an OST faculty advisor, as part of the application process, for a brief phone or in-person interview. After you are accepted into the program an intake appointment is scheduled. At this appointment, you and your advisor will develop your Program Plan, which outlines all of the necessary courses you will need to complete to receive your Occupational Skills Training Certificate. (Note: Depending on faculty workloads, it may take 4-6 weeks to process your application.)
Who can supervise a trainee?
- There should be one primary supervisor for the student who can give assignments, direction, monitoring and feedback. This person can be either line staff or management. They should have the knowledge and skills to train the student on the areas covered in the training goals. The primary supervisor should have the ability to sign off on RCC evaluations.
What classes do I register for?
- Some advice regarding coursework will be given at the Information Session. Most students complete all academic coursework, including electives, before being placed on a worksite. The OST curriculum consists of prerequisites (if necessary), general education requirements, work-based training courses, and approved electives. Required electives will vary depending on your training goal. If you need to register for classes before you have the opportunity to speak to an OST advisor, it is recommended that you follow the Occupational Skills Training Graduation Guide.
What are the benefits of completing the OST program?
- One of the benefits of the OST program is that you learn directly from an employer as you receive hands-on training while earning college credit. Your advisor will consider your long-term goal as you develop your Program Plan together, and advise you on classes and work experience with that long-term goal in mind. Also, the OST Certificate will enable you to be more competitive in the job market, as the majority of employers prefer to hire candidates who have a combination of college and practical experience. In the 2010 – 2011 academic year, 76% of OST graduates found employment as a result of their participation in the OST program.