Back to Blog
A commitment to entrepreneurship and workforce education in the San Diego region was recently recognized with an award from the National Association for Community College Entrepreneurship (NACCE).
San Diego Continuing Education (SDCE), part of the San Diego Community College District, was recently named Heather Van Sickle Entrepreneurial College of the Year. The award recognizes schools that have demonstrated a strong commitment to entrepreneurship both inside and outside the classroom and that have demonstrated a commitment to social justice and equality through entrepreneurship.
SDCE provides free career technical education for adult learners in Advanced Manufacturing, Health, and Information and Communication Technologies for adult learners. Its students are among California’s most diverse culturally, ethnically, and academically.
“We are delighted to shine the spotlight on SDCE,” said NACCE President and CEO Rebecca Corbin. “They really set the bar high in serving over 40,000 students. They have a number of success stories and are improving and building many innovative projects that support the gig economy.”
SDCE President Carlos O. Turner Cortez said the program fills a crucial gap in workforce training in many fields.
“Many middle-skills jobs require more than a high school education but less than a four-year college degree,” said Turner Cortez said. “Upon completion of an SDCE career training program and entering the workforce, graduates are earning significantly above minimum wage.”
SDCE has implemented dynamic learning communities and maker spaces, including the state's only Construction Trades Apprenticeship Readiness Internship. It also partners with community organizations to bridge equity gaps in California’s workforce and to ensure students achieve career training placement in priority sectors with precise education and job readiness skills that local employers are looking for.
In addition, the organization recently launched an online program, ICOM Academy, to better meet the needs of working adults.
“ICOM Academy has been designed with adult learners in mind,” said Michelle Fischthal, SDCE’s Vice President of Instruction. “The relationship between students and faculty is critical in adult online instruction. ICOM Academy brings this critical piece of learning into the virtual classroom.