Relocation of education departments leads to more career opportunities for students

The Community Education Office moved to the Social Science Building on campus and became the Community Education and Continuing Education Office.

Now the office is offering more services to help students advance academically.

The decision for the move was made in November 2023, after the El Camino College administration opted to merge the two departments.

“The purpose of merging these two into one department is that they often serve similar populations of our community, and it is to give the community members we are trying to reach a location on campus where they can get the help they need have these different classes and programs that they are interested in,” said Crystle Martin, Dean of Library and Learning Resources.

The office was originally located in the Communications Building and was moved to the new location in February 2024, made possible by grants from local and state sponsors.

“We (have) a number of adult education grants that work with the South Bay Adult School, and we are part of the South Bay Adult Education Consortium,” Martin said.

Educational assistance provided to students through this office includes fee-based career training programs and career-specific classes related to the community education segment, such as phlebotomist and pharmacy technician courses.

Free, not-for-credit, skills-based courses related to the continuing education portion such as English as a Second Language are also offered.

Two major programs implemented in the secondary education sector are the General Education Development Program and the High School Diploma Program.

“The General Education Development program is a series of four exams that an individual must take that covers four major concepts: mathematical reasoning, science, social studies and reasoning through language arts,” said Maricela Sandoval, dean of Library and Learning. Resources, said.

This program is intended for individuals who already have some knowledge of the concepts covered, but who have not yet obtained their high school diploma.

The High School Diploma program is an alternative to the General Education Development program where students, if they do not have much knowledge about the general subjects being taught, can instead go at their own pace and obtain all the necessary materials and skills can learn and complete courses in order to obtain their diploma.

“These types of programs do not follow the traditional university curriculum and last only a few weeks instead of a semester,” said Veronica Mendoza, program assistant in the Office of Community and Continuing Education.

There are only 10 students, or a maximum of 20, in each class, which allows for ongoing one-on-one support for everyone to ensure they understand the material and are able to pass the courses, Mendoza said.

More courses and programs will be announced and introduced starting next semester through the fall semester of 2025.

“I think it’s important for them to get to know us and we hope that as they get to know us, it will inspire them to become lifelong learners,” Mendoza said. “We want them to continue learning for the rest of their lives because there is always something you can learn.”