Clairemont Wedding Photographer Takes Parenting Advice from Continuing Ed at Mesa College

SDCE Student Michael Prine on family trip to Disneyland. Image Source: Prine Photography

Students Attend Classes with their Kids to Earn Free Child Development Certificate

Professional Wedding Photographer, Michael Prine takes a break from the camera to participate in Parent Education Classes at San Diego Continuing Education (SDCE) with his 4-year-old daughter.

SDCE is the adult division of the San Diego Community College District and offers 70 free career training programs and free classes in Automotive, Digital Design and Child Development.

SDCE’s Child Development certificate program provides parents opportunities to learn about, and promote the social, emotional, physical and cognitive development of children at varying stages of life.

“At the time my wife and I were looking into enrolling our daughter into preschool but they are too expensive,” said Prine looking back to his first semester. “I found that with the daily lectures at SDCE I’m gaining a different perspective that reinforces the structure at home.”

The parent participation classes allow Prine to focus on positive discipline, “When certain behavioral things come up as my daughter gets older I want to make sure as a new parent I’m handling the situation well.”

While a Child Development degree may take minimally 2 or 4 years with full-time study, SDCE prepares students for certification or licensure in as little as 8 months. Upon successful completion, students are ready for entry-level employment or can transition to San Diego City, Mesa or Miramar colleges with up to 3 college credits earned toward an Associate Degree in Early Childhood Education.

Some SDCE classes include opportunities for students to attend and learn with their newborns and toddlers to equip students for hands-on careers in Education, Child Development, and Family Services.

“Stacy has a lot of the awareness that you have to have with a 3-year-old opposed to an 18-month-old,” Prine credits SDCE Faculty, Stacy Surwilo. “My intention originally was a transitional thing to get my daughter into class and see what she would pick up. To see all the kids here at different levels with things like acting out and sharing toys, she has pushed her socialization skills and handles herself in a very mature manner.”

SDCE’s curriculum includes a comprehensive introduction to issues common to Family Home Day Care providers, including: licensing, record keeping and insurance; safety, facility preparations and regulations; illness and injury prevention; child growth and development; creative and enriching activities; communication with parents; behavior management and discipline; health, and nutrition.

The father of two is working toward his certificate at CE-Mesa College while maintaining his photography business and a job as a dance instructor. “It will be very helpful because my wife and I teach toddlers and do portrait photography with kids.”

“SDCE awards more certificates of completion than any other noncredit educational institution in California,” said Carlos O. Turner Cortez, Ph.D., SDCE’s President. “At over 9,500 awards this year, students who complete programs are finding employment in jobs that pay living wages.”

According to Child Care Resource and Referral Network, California is in dire need to build its supply of child care professionals. Licensed Child Care is only available for 23% of children with working parents.

Prine notes another perk to the program is the flexible class schedule and community. “Every couple wants to catch the sunset and weddings are always on weekends, the program works out because I’m taking care of the kids during the day.”

Free Parent Education classes are scheduled mornings, evenings and weekends at SDCE’s 7 campuses located across San Diego communities from Barrio Logan to Miramar.

Prine is a Clairemont High School graduate and long-term Clairemont resident. He studied Mathematics at San Diego Mesa College.

Fall classes begin Tuesday, September 4 at SDCE. Orientation for Child Development is required and will be held in class during the second week of the semester.

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San Diego Continuing Education is the adult education division of the San Diego Community College District. It was one of the first community college continuing education institutions in California to meet the standards for independent accreditation from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges. Approximately 40,000 students are served per academic year at seven campuses in San Diego. Noncredit classes and career training are available at no cost, including online options. Classes are free because San Diego Continuing Education is part of the California system of higher education. Funding also comes through business and industry partnerships.