San Diego Continuing Education (SDCE) is expanding services to opportunity youth in San Diego through the new San Diego Gateway to College and Career program.
Opportunity youth are sometimes referred to as "disconnected youth" and are young adults ages 18 to 24 who are neither in school nor working. These men and women represent a social and economic opportunity to communities because many are eager to complete education and obtain employment. According to data* available in the San Diego Youth Development Office, there are over 53,000 opportunity youth living in San Diego County.
SDCE has been serving this population of students since its beginnings in 1914. SDCE’s mission has always been and continues to be; to provide accessible, equitable, and innovative quality education and support services to diverse adult learners. Through San Diego Gateway to College and Career, we are able to provide specialized additional services to these students.
Gateway to College is a national network that supports communities in building sustainable pathways for disconnected youth. The Gateway model began at Portland Community College and is now successfully implemented in more than 40+ community college settings throughout the nation. The San Diego Gateway to College and Career at SDCE is the first model in San Diego and intends to serve hundreds of students in its first year of implementation, with that number growing to thousands within three years.
Beyond education in the classrooms, San Diego Gateway to College and Career program is allowing SDCE to expand services to include coaches in a case management structure to provide more individualized attention and mentoring; customized job search, paid internships, and community service opportunities.