San Diego Continuing Education Begins Fall Semester September 8

Student Elizette Garcia finishes project inside SDCE’s Auto Body and Paint Garage (Photo Courtesy of San Diego Continuing Education)

Locals looking to increase earning potential or start a new career can complete free online job training

The new academic year begins Tuesday, Sept. 8, 2020 for 40,000 adult education students at San Diego Continuing Education (SDCE). Noncredit classes are available at no cost, and due to the pandemic will be taught fully online. Certificate programs are offered for numerous in-demand industries including Automotive, Information Technology, and Healthcare.

“Pursuing higher education becomes more important than ever as the economy changes,” said Sam Phu, SDCE Faculty. “Working in maintenance and repair is an essential career, people will always need their cars to be fixed.”

Students generally complete a certificate program within 3-6 months and upon completion are ready for entry-level employment or choose to transition to college.

While many residents were hoping to pursue a hands-on education at an SDCE campus, free ‘middle skills’ training is still being offered through remote instruction with strategies in place to mirror in-person learning and industry competencies.

“Our campuses have been closed since March, said SDCE President Carlos O. Turner Cortez, Ph.D. “How faculty are teaching has certainly changed from in-person classes to remote instruction, but our goal of improving lives through access to education has not.”

Inside SDCE’s auto department, faculty are using GoPro cameras to record National Automotive Technician Education Foundation (NATEF) job sheets, allowing training technicians to have the same exposure of performing the task as they would on campus in the auto shop lab. Students who are currently working as mechanics are receiving real-time critiques and class credit.

While learning remotely, student welders are studying blueprint reading, welding symbols, theory, and math—essential skills for graduates pursuing careers at local employers General Dynamics NASSCO.

Culinary Arts students may not be cooking inside SDCE’s industrial kitchens, instead, they are concepting nutrition and diet plans, and developing business models that include restaurant demographics and location. Clothing Construction and Textile Arts teachers are showing students how to measure patterns without in-person contact and emphasizing an e-commerce foundation.

SDCE continues to scale innovation with ICOM Academy (Interactive Competency-based Online Micro-credentialing Academy). The digital platform offers face-to-face, live interaction with faculty and other students in a fully online classroom equipped with free integrated software and textbooks. Among the career education options launching this fall are Cybersecurity Analyst, Virtual Datacenter, and Programming with Python.

As one of the largest adult education systems in the state, SDCE students are among the most disadvantaged populations in California,” said Turner Cortez. “These adults are already more than capable of succeeding; we just need to remove socio-economic barriers to create an equal opportunity.”

The SDCE Foundation secured a $200,000 grant from the Lucky Duck Foundation to expand workforce training for students facing housing insecurity.

SDCE was selected as one of 20 host sites for a new AmeriCorps Vista Fellows partnership with the Citizen Schools Makers + Mentors National Network. In collaboration with AmeriCorps, SDCE will develop and pilot new maker-centered learning programming for its career training certificates.

In addition to middle-skills job training, SDCE offers free courses in High School Diploma/Equivalency, English as a Second Language, Citizenship, and Emeritus classes for older adults 55+.

Enrollment for fall semester is still open, to learn more visit SDCE.EDU