Eleven programs at Moorpark College are using career and technical education courses to help students find employment and boost their salaries after graduation.
The programs, all under the leadership of Mary Rees, dean of career education, were recently named Strong Workforce Stars by the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office.
The statewide recognition goes to programs whose students show significant gains in factors important to social mobility: seeing an increase in earnings, attaining a living wage and working in a job closely matched with their field of study.
“(The awards) were across a really good range of career and technical programs,” said James Schuelke, the college’s director of marketing and communications. “These are programs that produce skilled workers and provide a quick return on investment for students in terms of the time put into education, the certificates they earn and that they enter the workforce quickly with a goodpaying job.”
The career education programs benefit students of all ages, from those who just graduated from high school to working professionals who are looking for skills in a new industry.
Students in the career programs take a sequence of courses during the day, at night or online that are all directly related to employment in emerging occupations. After they complete their coursework, students can earn proficiency awards, certificates and transfer degrees from Moorpark College.
Three programs at the school—accounting, radiologic technology and nursing science— earned Silver Stars from the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office for meeting two categories related to increased earnings and job placement.
The nursing science program, for example, trains students to become registered nurses at hospitals and doctors’ offices. All graduates of the program are now employed in a job similar to their field of study, and 3 out of 4 saw an increase in their earnings after finishing the program.
Eight other Moorpark College programs were honored with Bronze Stars for meeting one category related to the career success of their graduates.
Two of those are the animal science program and the business administration program, both of which have 100 percent of their graduates working in a career related to their field of study.
“That’s a real achievement for the college, especially when business administration is clearly a career path that’s growing in the region and in the country,” Schuelke said.
The technical theater program helped students increase their earnings by 109 percent.
Additional Bronze Star winners were business management, child development, radio and television, biotechnology, and administration of justice.
The awards, Schuelke said, inspire the college administration to continue expanding career and technical education programs.
“To see these success rates and to see students going into high-paying jobs where they can support our families makes us feel confident about the team we have here and the program and instruction we provide to our students,” he said.
Silver Star recipients:
Nursing Science: 75 percent increase in earnings and 100 percent of students are employed in a job similar to their field of study.
Business: Accounting: 52 percent increase in earnings and 72 percent of students attained the regional living wage.
Radiologic Technology: 86 percent of students attained the regional living wage and 100 percent of students are employed in a job similar to their field of study.
Bronze Star recipients:
Animal Science: 100 percent of students are employed in a job similar to their field of study.
Business Administration: 100 percent of students are employed in a job similar to their field of study.
Business Management: 116 percent increase in earnings.
Child Development-Early Care and Education: 67 percent increase in earnings.
Radio and Television: 62 percent increase in earnings.
Biotechnology and Biomedical Technology: 70 percent attained the regional living wage.
Administration of Justice: 79 percent increase in earnings.
Technical Theater: 109 percent increase in earnings.