June 20, 2018

Paige Marlatt Dorr

Office: 916.327.5356

Cell: 916.601.8005


SACRAMENTO, Calif. — To help prospective students and their families make informed decisions about their college education and career choices, the California Community Colleges recently launched two online resources that, together, allow them to explore diverse careers through short videos and compare salaries across fields, as well as check to see which of their local community college programs is recognized for how well students do after graduation.

The California Community Colleges re-launched the popular Salary Surfer website with updated data and new resources. Students and families can “surf” the site to explore estimated salary information for a wide range of occupations, based on recent California Community Colleges graduates’ salaries. New to the site are more than 100 career highlight videos that serve as a valuable exploration tool for students and families to visualize a future in various careers, including career education fields.

Additionally, the 114-college system announced the 2018 Strong Workforce Stars, career education programs whose students show significant gains in factors important in building a skilled workforce and for advancing personal social mobility: a substantial increase in earnings, attainment of a living wage and placement in a job closely matched with the field of study. Award categories were introduced in this second year of the recognition program: there were 114 Gold Star programs, 294 Silver Star programs and 975 Bronze Star programs, for a total of 1,384 community college programs. All 114 colleges in the system have at least one program receiving recognition.

“Exemplary outcomes are a reason for celebration,” said California Community Colleges Chancellor Eloy Ortiz Oakley. “We want every student to find success in the world of work when they come through the doors of our colleges. These resources support the goals we have articulated in our Vision for Success, which seeks to improve student outcomes and advance social and economic mobility.”

Strong Workforce Stars can be viewed in the Workforce Recognition eShowcase on the California Community Colleges’ Doing What MATTERS for Jobs and the Economy website. All programs being recognized are listed, along with the name of their college and the criteria for which they received recognition. In addition, narratives describing Gold Star recipients are available.

“The more informed students are about their chosen career and program of study at the outset, the better chances they have of reaching completion and transitioning into the workforce,” said Van TonQuinlivan, California Community Colleges executive vice chancellor for Workforce and Digital Futures. “Salary Surfer and Strong Workforce Stars complement one another in providing information that is important for making a well-informed decision about college and career.”

The California Community Colleges is the state’s primary system for delivering career education, which is at the center of a statewide effort to produce one million middle-skilled workers by 2026, helping to lift low-wage workers into living-wage jobs and fueling regions with skilled workers needed by employers. Work in this area is bolstered, in large part, by the state’s Strong Workforce Program, an annual recurring investment of $200 million to increase the number of students enrolled in career education programs in demand by regional labor markets. 

The California Community Colleges is the largest system of higher education in the nation, composed of 73 districts and 115 colleges serving 2.1 million students per year. California community colleges provide career education and workforce training; guaranteed transfer to four-year universities; degree and certificate pathways; and basic skills education in English and math. As the state’s engine for social and economic mobility, the California Community Colleges supports the Vision for Success , a strategic plan designed to improve student success outcomes, increase transfer rates and eliminate achievement gaps. For more information, please visit the California Community Colleges web site or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.