Inspired in part by President Obama’s proposal to have five million new community college graduates by 2020, College of the Mainland is offering an innovative program to allow students to bridge seamlessly from continuing education to credit courses.

Fall continuing education courses are now open for registration, and the new option allows students to enter and complete selected courses as continuing education classes without the need for a placement exam. If they decide later to become credit students and are accepted, they can then petition for credit.

“It’s a way for individuals to test the waters and see if they’re ready,” said continuing education dean Carla Boone. “Maybe the student has been out of school awhile and they’re nervous about taking college-level courses. They might feel a little more comfortable with the bridge to credit option.”

The bridge to credit program is launching with allied health and business course options. COM’s medical terminology course will help students step from continuing education to credit allied health classes. The pivotal class lays the foundation for all COM allied health programs from phlebotomy technician to the new physical therapy assistant program.

Bridge to credit courses in business programs include classes in entrepreneurship, management, administrative support, professional bookkeeping, computer-aided drafting, SQL server database, SQL implementation and maintenance, graphic design and marketing.

Whether students choose to earn only a continuing education certificate or continue with credit courses, the bridge to credit courses provide them with updated skills to advance or change their careers.

“Students can quickly acquire the skills they need to move into employment,” said Boone.

Each year, more than 7,000 students take advantage of COM’s continuing education courses in safety, industry, business, health care and public service careers. Courses are offered at the main campus in Texas City and the COM Learning Center-North County in League City.

To register for fall classes or view the complete schedule, visit