A trio of Cuyamaca College career education programs are being honored by the California Community Colleges system for providing students with the skills needed in new higher-paying jobs.
|Cuyamaca College Environmental Health & Safety class|
Cuyamaca’s Water & Wastewater Technology and Environmental Health & Safety programs were commended because virtually every student taking part in those career readiness efforts have found a job in their field of study and are boosting their earnings by 77 percent, according to data collected by the California Community Colleges. Cuyamaca’s Ornamental Horticulture program was commended because 76 percent of participating students working in the profession are earning the regional living wage.
“Cuyamaca College provides among the largest and most effective workforce development programs in East County, and we’re honored to be recognized by the California Community Colleges system for our efforts in providing students with the skills they need to find good jobs in a rapidly changing economy,” said Cuyamaca College President Julianna Barnes.
All three career education programs have earned a spot among the ranks of Strong Workforce Stars for helping students increase their earning power and social mobility. Strong Workforce Stars is a new annual commendation for career education programs within the 114-campus community colleges system.
Cuyamaca’s Ornamental Horticulture
program was lauded for its strong relationships with people employed in the
field and an effective word-of-mouth network, especially with immigrant
communities in the area. It also has immense support from local industry.
Graduates of the program are working in positions ranging from grounds
maintenance supervisors to landscape designers and irrigation consultants.
Cuyamaca College’s Water & Wastewater Technology and Environmental Health & Safety programs were lauded for working hand in hand with industry in developing curriculum that focuses on providing the skills needed to get students jobs. Students in the Water & Wastewater Technology program have found work as water treatment operators, wastewater collections operators, backflow program managers and reclaimed water specialists, among other jobs. Students in the Environmental Health & Safety Management program are working as hazardous materials technicians, environmental health and safety specialists and other related careers.
|Ornamental Horticulture student|
Career education programs can earn Strong Workforce Stars designation when meeting one or more of the following designations.
- Increasing student earnings by 50 percent or more, which is determined by comparing earnings one year before and one year after exiting the California Community Colleges system. Data is based on wages filed with the state.
- Reaching a threshold of 90 percent of students reporting that their current job is close or very close to their field of study. This is based on responses to the system’s CTE Outcomes Survey, which is sent to community colleges students after they stop taking courses.
- Reaching a threshold of 70 percent where students are earning a regional living wage. Data is based on wages filed with the state.
“Strong Workforce Stars, with its focus on proving student success through data, is another demonstration of how the California Community Colleges is carefully and intentionally building a strong workforce for California and improving social and economic mobility,” said California Community Colleges Chancellor Eloy Ortiz Oakley.