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San Diego Continuing Education Adds the Word College to its Name

February 1, 2021

San Diego College of Continuing Education (formerly San Diego Continuing Education) offers free workforce training certificates and thousands of free classes.The largest adult noncredit educational institution of its kind in the nation, San Diego Continuing Education (SDCE), adds the word college to its name. The new name, San Diego College of Continuing Education (SDCCE), better reflects the organization's status and mission to transition adult students to credit college and careers.

SDCCE is the adult education division of the San Diego Community College District (SDCCD) and serves 40,000 students annually at 7 campuses in San Diego spanning from the Miramar community in the north to Barrio Logan in the south. The institution has been serving adult students in San Diego since 1914.

 "Today is an important day in the history of the San Diego Community College District," said Constance Carroll, Ph.D., Chancellor of SDCCD. Adding "college" to the name of our noncredit instruction immediately elevates community understanding of what SDCCE is and does, plus also clarifies that SDCCE is part of the community college system. In noncredit discussions and for system noncredit colleagues, SDCCE already offers four of the five categories of community college programs and a name change would legitimize the status of these education programs as “college” programs.

The legacy of the organization's first century of teaching is deeply rooted in serving immigrant populations with basic skills such as learning English and also serving unemployed populations by preparing adults for the workforce. 

 Adding the word college to the name provides a foundation for SDCCE's second century of serving adults, with a continued focus on helping students transition to college and careers. 

"The identity of SDCE has evolved over time and significantly over the past fifteen years, largely as a result of career development and college placement efforts, the direct focus on transitioning students to work or college, and also the funding and support for strong workforce programs not only in our region but throughout the state and even the nation," said Carlos Osvaldo Turner Cortez, Ph.D., President of SDCE. "SDCE is already known statewide as a career college. The programs we now offer look more and more like community college courses, majors, certificates, and pathways." 

The decision to change the name was years in the making and required a thorough process that started with insight from faculty and classified professionals who have been serving students for decades. During the organization's last accreditation review cycle in 2017, the visiting committee interviewed faculty, classified professionals, and administrators who work at the institution and reported that a name change should be considered so people have a better understanding of the organization's mission. 

After more deliberation, committee discussion, and surveys, the faculty, classified professionals, and administrators agreed that the word college should be added to the name. In December 2020, SDCE submitted a proposal to the SDCCD Board of Trustees who approved the request. The Western Association of Schools and Colleges also approved the change last month, which becomes effective February 1, 2021. 

"The new name, San Diego College of Continuing Education (SDCCE) is a better description of the caliber of noncredit curriculum offerings and highly educated faculty experts who teach for the institution," said President Cortez. "With over 75 certificates in 9 career technical education pathways, no other District in the state offers the quality, quantity, and caliber of career education programs provided by SDCCE." 

For students, this reflection also increases legitimacy for college transition and/or career transition, which would also lead to extended credit-by-exam agreements with colleges both within SDCCD and across the region. Credit-by-exam is a process that allows students to earn college credit for courses completed at SDCCE.

Allura Olympia Garis