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San Diego and Imperial County Community Colleges Open Spring Enrollment for Career Education Classes

Hands-on education and training programs for region’s most in-demand careers now accepting new students

San Diego CA— Spring enrollment is now open at all ten of the San Diego/Imperial Valley region’s community colleges and Continuing Education centers. Career Education programs, many of which prepare students in two years or less for the growing number of competitive middle-skill jobs in California, are accepting new students at every campus.

“It’s a new year, and now is the time to take steps toward a new career,” said Dr. Martha Garcia, superintendent and president of Imperial Valley College. “Our colleges have hundreds of affordable programs that help prepare students for careers in booming fields, such as computer science, health science and cybersecurity.

Better Jobs, No Debt Required

Middle-skills jobs, which require more education than a high school diploma but less than a four-year degree, are the fastest-growing job category in both San Diego and Imperial Counties. Employment in these jobs, which include roles like medical laboratory technician and web developer, earn well above the area’s median wage.

San Diego and Imperial County Community Colleges Career Education programs are an affordable, efficient path to a rewarding, high-paying career. Credit courses cost just $46 per credit, compared to the average of $594 for a four-year college course—plus, at many of the colleges, fees are waived for the first two years for first-time, full-time students, and noncredit continuing education classes are free. The average four-year college student leaves school today with an estimated $37,000 in debt, and many students continue to struggle making payments well after graduation. By contrast, Career Education programs provide complete career training for as little as $3,000, and 71 percent of students are employed within a year of graduation.

“Today’s education options are as diverse as our student population and workforce,” said Dr. Garcia. “College affordability has become a major topic of conversation, and many are recognizing that four-year degrees are no longer the only route to a rewarding career. Our programs are challenging, affordable and provide hands-on job experience students can’t receive anywhere else. We’re seeing that employers are increasingly interested in our graduates because they have both real-world and theoretical skills and experience.”

Industry sectors with the greatest need for middle-skill workers in the region are: Advanced Manufacturing, Advanced Transportation & Logistics, Agriculture, Water & Environmental Technologies, Business & Entrepreneurship, Energy, Construction & Utilities, Global Trade, Health, Information Communication Technologies & Digital Media, and Life Sciences & Biotechnology. Students curious about degrees, available programs and career paths can learn more at CareerEd.org. The website also contains information about financial aid available to Career Education students at California community colleges.

Spring Enrollment and Programs

Below is a roundup of spring semester start dates, new classes and programs that are actively seeking new students. Students should check individual schools’ websites for details on enrollment opening dates, deadlines and registration procedures.

MiraCosta College: January 21

New programs/courses: Cybersecurity, Sustainable Agriculture, Business Quick Startup, Engineering Technology, Tax Preparer Program & Payroll Professional, Digital Media, Medical Assistance Program


Palomar College: January 27

New programs/courses: One-semester Child Development Certificate

Programs seeking students: Wastewater Technology; Water Technology; HVAC


San Diego Mesa College: February 3

New programs/courses: Fermentation Management; Prerequisites for the upcoming Neurodiagnostic Technology program

New facilities or partnerships: Upgraded Architecture Model Shop, including full-time Instructional Technician; Upgraded Architecture and Interior Design Photo Shop

Programs seeking students: Dental Assisting; Medical Assisting; Business PACE program; Geographic Information Systems; Multimedia; Web Development


San Diego Miramar College: Feb. 3

Programs seeking students: Small Bus. Entrepreneurship; Administrative Assistant; Paralegal; Banking & Finance; Biotech & Medical Lab; Advanced Transportation (Diesel Tech, Gold Star program); Manufacturer-Specific Automotive (T-TEN and PACT); Aviation & Drone Ops


Imperial Valley College: February 18

New programs/courses:  Business Information Systems; Computer Information Technology; Corrections Officer; Cybersecurity; Low Voltage Systems; Microsoft Office; Public Health Science; Retail Management


About Career Education in San Diego and Imperial Counties

San Diego and Imperial Counties’ community colleges and Continuing Education campuses have united to fill the growing regional middle-skill labor gap by promoting Career Education programs to target these well-paying, in-demand jobs. Whether learning new skills, completing short-term free career training, or earning a certificate or an associate degree, Career Education students gain real-world experience that prepare them for in-demand, well-paying jobs. With more than 200 programs to choose from, students learn by exploring, collaborating and doing, with hands-on training taught by instructors and professionals who have worked in their field of study.
The community colleges and continuing education centers in San Diego and Imperial Counties offering students the opportunity to “Learn More. Earn More.” are: Cuyamaca College, Grossmont College, Imperial Valley College, MiraCosta College, Palomar College, San Diego City College, San Diego Continuing Education, San Diego Mesa College, San Diego Miramar College, and Southwestern College. To learn more, visit CareerEd.org