CHAMPAIGN, Ill., (WCIA) — One college in Central Illinois is working to re-vamp its curriculum, hoping to make it easier for students who may already have experience. 

Parkland College in Champaign received a $4.99 million grant from the U.S. Department of Labor, and they’ll be spreading it to six other community colleges in the state. 

Parkland will receive $1.7 million because they are the lead college managing and dispersing the funds. 

Nancy Sutton, the school’s Vice President for Academic Services, said it will go toward manufacturing, industrial, technology and computer science classes. Sutton said they want to focus on competency-based education. 

“We will be taking our curriculum and redesigning it so that people who already had some prior learning experience, perhaps they’re incumbent workers, they’ve had some skills, they can receive assessment and then credit for that,” she said. 

That means they will change some classes that are currently 3-credit hours and break them into multiple 1-credit hour classes. 

Sutton said students could then select individual classes they want or need based on previous experience. She added that it could also help save money. 

The rest of the grant will be distributed to Lincoln Land Community College, John Woods Community College, John A. Logan College, Shawnee Community College, Illinois Valley Community College and Rend Lake College. They’ll each receive about $500,000.  

Parkland plans to start this in October 2023.