The California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office has named 18 College of the Canyons career education programs as Strong Workforce Stars for successfully improving student employment and wage outcomes.
Strong Workforce Stars is an annual recognition for career education programs within the California Community Colleges system whose graduates show significant gains in factors important for advancing social mobility – a substantial increase in earnings, attainment of a living wage and a job closely matched with the field of study.
“This incredible achievement serves as a testament to the excellence of our career education programs,” said COC Chancellor Dr. Dianne G. Van Hook. “Improving employment rates and strengthening the wage potential of our students has always been our main focus at College of the Canyons. The success of our students is ultimately our success too.”
The college’s nursing program was among the 116 career education programs across 71 California community colleges to receive the Gold Star honor. The program demonstrated a 235 percent increase in earnings, 84 percent of students attaining the regional living wage and 100 percent employment.
The college’s human resources management, small business management, marketing, construction management technology, and water systems technology programs were ranked as Silver Star programs.
The following college programs were designated a Bronze Star ranking: automotive technology, accounting, child development (early care and education), child development (administration and management), medical laboratory technology, office technology (office computer applications), film production, computer networking, administration of justice, fire technology, hospitality and paralegal.
“We are thrilled that we have been recognized as Strong Workforce Stars,” said Ron McFarland, Dean of the college’s School of Applied Technology.
“Our faculty and department chairs have worked diligently to build and support viable Career Education programs that serve the needs of our industry partners, which provides skills-ready employment opportunities for our students,” he said.
The 2018 Strong Workforce Stars were given to career education programs throughout the state in 12 industry sectors, based on earnings gains, living wage attainment and employment in field of study.
Those named Strong Workforce Stars met one or more of the following thresholds:
* An increase in earnings by 50 percent or more, based on a match to the state wage file, for students who earned a certificate or degree and were last enrolled in 2015-16.
* Attainment of the regional living wage by 70 percent or more, based on a match to the state wage file, for students who earned a certificate or degree and were last enrolled in 2015-16.
* 90 percent or more are employed in a job similar to their field of study, according to the Career Technical Education Outcomes Survey, for students who earned a certificate or degree and were last enrolled in 2014-15.
This year, the Bronze Stars, Silver Stars and Gold Stars levels were introduced, with each winning program receiving recognition in one of those categories. Bronze Stars programs met one or more thresholds, Silver Stars met two and Gold Stars met all three.
“Strong Workforce Stars career education programs are proven to help Californians increase their earning power,” said Van Ton-Quinlivan, executive vice chancellor for Workforce & Digital Futures. “With the introduction of levels this year, we are able to highlight those programs that are seeing significant results, as well as those that are on the rise toward even greater success.”
For more information about the COC’s career education programs, visit the department’s web page.