September 27, 2023
Contact: Melissa Villarin
Office: 916-327-5365
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SACRAMENTO, Calif. — The California Community Colleges is creating a new opportunity for students to access college credit in pursuit of their career goals. The initiative, the Apprenticeship Pathway Demonstration Project, will create a roadmap for all colleges to convert existing, new and innovative apprenticeship experiences, including related supplemental instruction and prior on-the-job training, into college credit.

Students who are current apprentices, as well as those who have completed apprenticeships in existing, emerging and priority industry sectors will be eligible for these new credits. The two-year initiative will also seek to encourage these apprentices to continue their educational journey in community colleges – from pre-apprenticeship in enhanced noncredit programs earning a certificate, to credit programs offering associate degrees and the new community college baccalaureate degree in career technical education or applied learning.

Sonya Chistian“The goal of this demonstration project is to establish a gold standard for how new and innovative apprenticeship programs are designed with our students’ success driving everything we do,” said California Community Colleges Chancellor Sonya Christian. “By awarding college credit for prior learning and expanding access to new certificates and degrees for current, past and future apprentices, we are meeting students where they are at and giving them the tools they need to follow their dreams.”

Christian has tapped Rancho Santiago Community College District Chancellor, Marvin Martinez, to lead this demonstration phase with a cohort of up to 25 colleges. The project is one of several demonstration projects included in Vision 2030, a Roadmap for California Community Colleges.

Marvin Martinez“I am honored to serve alongside Chancellor Christian and our state leaders to drive the Apprenticeship Pathway Demonstration Project,” Martinez said. “This project elevates the opportunity to prepare our students for well-paying jobs and develop the workforce to help businesses fuel the economy. Together with our cohort of 25 colleges, we will help our students, not only with job training but also by providing a pathway to earn units towards a bachelor’s degree.” 

Additionally, California community colleges are partnering with the California Labor & Workforce Development Agency, the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development and the California Department of Industrial Relations’ Division of Apprenticeship Standards. Together, the four agencies will build a coalition of employers and workers to form thousands of new apprenticeships for California’s 21st economy and in response to the Governor’s Call to Action for 500,000 new apprentices in California by 2029.

Stewart Knox“Apprenticeship programs are one of the most effective ways to move Californians into high-growth, high-wage jobs in new and innovative sectors,” said Labor & Workforce Development Agency Secretary Stewart Knox. “We are proud to work with California community colleges to equip workers with the credentialing and skills necessary to excel in today’s economy.” 

Dee-Dee Meyers“Maintaining a highly skilled workforce is paramount for California to maintain our globally competitive edge,’’ said Dee Dee Myers, senior advisor to Gov. Newsom and Director of GO-Biz. “This new approach by California Community Colleges, alongside the Governor’s executive order, demonstrates how California continues to re-imagine supporting our workers to meet the needs of an ever-evolving economy, from agriculture to advanced manufacturing, information technology to healthcare.”

In August, Newsom signed an executive order calling for the state to create a master plan for career education in the next 13 months. The master plan describes the state’s three goals for career education. One is ensuring that ninth grade students are encouraged to explore well-paying careers and that they are guided on a pathway to that career.

The California Community Colleges is the largest system of higher education in the nation, composed of 73 districts and 116 colleges serving 1.8 million students per year. California community colleges provide career education and workforce training; guaranteed transfer to four-year universities; and degree and certificate pathways. 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 website or follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.