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San Diego Continuing Education Ranks High in Statewide Strong Workforce Outcomes

January 11, 2019

Brad Dorschel, Master Welder and SDCE faculty member instructs Andrea Cook, SDCE student during Shielded Metal Arc Welding projectSan Diego Continuing Education (SDCE) ranked fourth out of 116 institutions in the California Community Colleges’ system in outcomes for using Strong Workforce funding to create “more and better” programs to help students achieve measurable educational goals.

The Strong Workforce Program Incentive (SWPI) funding is part of the state’s larger campaign, Doing what MATTERS for Jobs and the Economy. California Community Colleges’ is providing the opportunity for higher education institutions within the state to become essential catalysts toward economic recovery and job creation at the local, regional and state levels.

SDCE is one of the oldest and largest noncredit institutions in the nation, serving San Diegans since 1914 and awards more certificates of completion than any other noncredit institution in California; therefore, the 2017-18 SWIP allowed SDCE to focus on creating “better” curriculum and instructional materials and facilities to “better” meet the needs of training students for industry.

Student services were expanded as a result of integrating additional funding to support students training in career technical education programs. Examples include a free on-campus food pantry; monthly free food distribution;  robust equity centers; opportunity youth support; pre-apprenticeship paid internships; a back-to-work program for veterans, and resources and referrals to mental health support.

The increased and expanded student services work to reduce equity gaps among traditionally underrepresented student groups, with the goal of cutting achievement gaps by 40% within 5 years and fully closing those achievement gaps within 10 years.

Adult, noncredit students are among the most diverse in California—culturally, ethnically and educationally. Noncredit classes are offered at no cost, and students who enroll in classes have a variety of educational and personal goals. SDCE serves 38,000 students annually at seven campuses and hundreds of community locations.

SDCE is the adult education institution within the San Diego Community College District (SDCCD). Many adults start at SDCE and then transition to an SDCCD college, City, Mesa or Miramar. Select SDCE career training programs are eligible for credit toward a two-year degree.

SDCCD was responsible for generating an estimated $4.4 billion into the regional economy during the 2017-18 fiscal year, an amount equal to 1.9 percent of the county’s gross regional product and enough to support nearly 46,000 jobs, according to a new analysis from an Idaho-based labor market analytics firm.

In 2018, SDCE joined forces with San Diego and Imperial County colleges and noncredit programs in a statewide campaign, Learn More Earn More, to connect more adult learners to middle-skill jobs in Advanced Manufacturing, Energy, Construction and Utilities, Health and Information and Communication Technologies.

“In the new year, SDCE has plans to drastically increase educational programming for veterans, homeless students and formerly incarcerated adults,” said Carlos O. Turner Cortez, Ph.D., president of SDCE.

SDCE awards more certificates of completion than any other noncredit educational institution in California. During the 2017-18 fiscal year SDCE awarded 9,434 diplomas and certificates.

Allura Garis