Summer session at San Diego Continuing Education (SDCE) is underway for residents looking to upskill their resumes and prepare for employment readiness, 40,000 students are expected in attendance. All classes are free and online, scheduled for June 8, 2020 to August 22, 2020.
SDCE’s career training certificate programs are usually available on campus with lectures held in industry style learning labs, but due to temporary closures, are now being taught remotely. This summer, job seekers can opt for one or more professional certificates or basic skills classes:
- Business and Accounting
- Child Development
- Clothing and Textile Arts
- Culinary Arts and Sciences
- Digital Media
- Healthcare Careers
- Information Technology
- Skilled and Technical Trades
- English as a Second Language
- Disability Support, Programs, and Services
- High School Diploma/Equivalency
- Classes for Adults 55+
“Tens of millions of Americans will require short-term, intensive career education to make themselves employable,” said SDCE President Carlos O. Turner Cortez, Ph.D. “SDCE delivers fast, free job training that leads to livable wages.
Richard Sanchez, a student who experienced being laid off during the pandemic states SDCE’s free classes enabled him to earn an income and attend college on a scholarship. He first enrolled in the English as a Second Language (ESL) program at SDCE back in 1997 as a Lincoln High School sophomore since growing up in Tijuana, Mexico, where his primary language at home is Spanish.
Sanchez now 38 enrolled again at SDCE, this time for workforce training. He is currently completing certificates for Welding, Plumbing, Heating Ventilation and Air Conditioning. While finding sustainable work is slow amidst Covid-19 layoffs, Sanchez looks to Craigslist to support his family, responding to home improvement gigs. “Going back to school changed my confidence and my future. Although I am only taking side jobs right now, I have more time for homework,” he said.
The disruption of COVID-19 prompted every higher education institution across the world to go completely digital for the 2019-2020 academic year, a unique challenge for SDCE, a school that serves California's most vulnerable populations.
According to Sanchez the rapid change to remote learning was helpful. “Taking three intensive classes right now on Canvas that were meant for in person learning showed me that I can be successful in college.” SDCE faculty are using GoPro cameras, Canvas and Zoom to mirror hands-on learning inside the school’s learning labs.
For many years, going to college was a distant dream for Sanchez. Living in Oaxaca both of his parents were forced to drop out of school at a young age, his mom sixth grade and his dad fifth. As an SDCE student, Sanchez was selected for the San Diego Promise, a scholarship that provides two years of tuition at City, Mesa and Miramar colleges. This fall he will transition to City college, majoring in behavioral and social sciences with a goal of becoming a social worker.
To ensure equal access to online instruction, SDCE is actively distributing free laptops and providing a “Wi-Fi Parking Lot” for enrolled students.