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Fall semester begins at community colleges in San Diego and Imperial counties

SAN MARCOS – It’s back to school for the 10 community colleges in San Diego and Imperial counties, as thousands of students return to campus or pursue online classes at the start of the Fall 2023 semester.

Many colleges are providing new programs to enhance support to students as they pursue their education. Several are offering new degrees and certificates to train students for well-paying careers, such as a new Global Studies program at Palomar College.

“The last few years have taught us a lot about the resiliency of our students and the new and dynamic environments of learning online, on campus, and in hybrid courses. All of the colleges have increased the flexibility within their course schedules to better serve students, who often have competing responsibilities,” said Dr. Star Rivera-Lacey, superintendent/president of Palomar College and CEO of the San Diego and Imperial Counties Community College Association (SDICCCA). “We continue to be the reliable source for students to achieve a degree or certificate, or the training they need to join fast growing industries.”

SDICCCA comprises the Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District (Grossmont and Cuyamaca Colleges), Imperial Valley College, MiraCosta College, Palomar College, the San Diego Community College District (City, Mesa, and Miramar Colleges, and San Diego College of Continuing Education), and Southwestern College. Imperial Valley College began the 2022-23 academic year on Aug. 14, while the Grossmont-Cuyamaca, MiraCosta, Palomar, San Diego, and Southwestern Community College Districts started on Aug. 21. San Diego College of Continuing Education begins Sept. 5.

In partnership with California Assemblymember David Alvarez and Senator Steve Padilla, SDICCCA has led advocacy efforts for Assembly Bill 91 (AB 91) which will exempt nonresident tuition fees for people that reside within 45 miles of the California-Mexico border. The legislation will provide another pathway to higher education for hundreds of binational local students.

Here are a few highlights of what is planned this coming semester:

Palomar College

Palomar College is launching three new programs this fall: an associate degree in Elementary Education Preparation, an associate degree for transfer in Global Studies, and a certificate in Coaching.

The Elementary Education Preparation program helps students more easily transfer to teacher preparation programs at 4-year institutions. Global Studies is an interdisciplinary program that provides students with the knowledge to engage with an ever-changing global society, allowing students to transfer into the California State University system. The Coaching certificate prepares students for immediate entry-level employment in the field of individual, group, or team coaching.

Palomar College also reestablished a noncredit Certificate of Completion in Reading Skills for English language learners this fall. Non-native speakers of English will develop the reading skills needed for academic reading and for success in their careers.

Students who have college-level skills and knowledge gained outside of the classroom can obtain college credit in over 200 courses through Palomar’s Credit for Prior Learning program. Palomar College is partnered with dozens of high schools to offer college-level courses for free to high school students.

MiraCosta College

MiraCosta College launched Ask a Spartan, a live chat available during business hours at miracosta.edu/#bot. The chat bot is designed to assist students as they pursue their path and get the answers they need when they need them.

Through the support from a $3 million federal grant, MiraCosta College is increasing academic and social support for Latinx students. The grant funds will also be used to support paid internships, allowing low-income students to obtain an internship who might otherwise need a job to support themselves in college.

MiraCosta College’s Technology Career Institute is launching the Uniquely Abled: CNC Operation Program, designed to provide career preparation and employment opportunities for individuals on the autism spectrum. The initiative will allow individuals with autism to succeed in careers such as computer numerical control machine operators.

MiraCosta College is offering dual enrollment that allows high school students to earn college credits. The classes are free, including textbooks and materials. Any student who has completed eighth grade or is 15 years old is eligible.

Submitted by Palomar College.

 

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