There are plans to increase the emphasis on programs that prepare students to join the workforce upon completion.
“We have all these jobs that people are looking for skilled working, and we don’t seem to be providing them,” said Nenagh Brown, the president of the Academic Senate Council Executive Board.
The plans are to strengthen relationships with local businesses by creating students who are ready to work in the field post graduation or certification. By hiring more faculty members and purchasing new equipment at the industry standard in a number of career technical education (CTE) programs, Moorpark will began aiming to get students ready to join the workforce immediately after completing their programs.
Moorpark College is ranked number four in the country on top community colleges based on transfers and the board does not want to take away focus from the college’s success with transferring students to 4-year institutions.
“I don’t want Moorpark to lose its transfer emphasis because we’re really high, we’re right up in the top few in the state,” said Brown. “What we’re trying to do is balance to keep our transfer right so strong, but to put in a few more CTE programs.”
Currently Moorpark College has 19 different CTE programs from nursing, child development, to Exotic Animal Training and Management, all of which have a specific program that student must complete to receive a certificate.
According to Moorpark College’s website on CTE’s, the programs are designed to offer courses directly related to the industry and vary in length from 12-24 months. Through one of the programs, upon completion, a student can receive proficiency awards, certificates, and transfer degrees designed by Moorpark College faculty to help students gain employment in high demand markets.
Edmond Garcia, a professor for the computer network system engineering (CNSE) program explains the key factors that prepare his students for employment following completion of a CNES program.
“Employers are looking for skilled IT employees that they can hire,” said Garcia. “So we’re [CNSE] meeting the needs of a lot of IT shops in the county that need to hire individuals that dealing with information management.”
Earning a certificate of completion is different from earning a degree; a certificate is only a first level of accomplishment when completing a specific set of course work from a certain program. By completing both the certification and the general education requirements of Moorpark College you can receive an associates degree.
Brown highlighted the importance of trying to establish the pathway to joining the work force by making the certification of a CTE a stepping-stone on the way to a degree. In this way, students can begin working in their industry while furthering their education.
“It’s like the beginning of a pipeline, and you can get off with your certificate of achievement,” said Brown. “So its not an either or.”