CTE showcases certificate programs in preparation of spring graduation

Heather Harris 20, cosmetology, styles a student’s hair. The service was free to any passing student who wanted to add flair to their hair. (David Gutman)

David Gutman

The Career Technical Education and Workforce Development program held two events last week to raise awareness of the career choices that Saddleback College students have at their disposal.

The CTE at Saddleback offers counseling to aid students in finding a career by offering special certificate programs. There are over 75 courses to choose from to earn a certificate, categories include such classes as accounting to fashion design.

Most of these programs and certificates can be completed very quickly, some in only two semesters. According to the CTE, these certificates are valued as highly as some associate degrees because of how specialized the certificate requirements are.

“Despite all of this wonderful education, the job market is getting more and more specialized,” said Penny Skaff, CTE counselor.

The first event, on Tuesday, was a panel for students that offered information and a question and answer period about Saddleback’s CTE programs. Guest speakers representing some of the programs participated and answered questions regarding their fields.

“CTE is all about these programs for gaining skills and jumping right in to the workforce,” said instructor for fashion design Malia Hill.

Among the programs represented at the panel were human services, cinema, real estate, fashion and cosmetology. Each of their representatives gave a brief lecture on how their programs work and how it benefits students.

According to Skaff, 40 percent of all jobs in the U.S. require more than a high school degree but less than a college degree. After receiving just an associate degree this percentage doubles to 80 percent.

The second event was a job fair in the quad on Thursday. The fair consisted mainly of representatives of companies that post job openings on the Gaucho jobs link at https://saddleback-csm.symplicity.com/students/.

The companies represented at the fair included local business like Wells Fargo, Lowe’s, Destination Sitters, and Double Tree Suites.

Also included in the fair were the same representatives featured during the panel earlier that week.

Representatives from Saddleback’s cinema/television/radio handed out fliers and talked about the upcoming Newport Beach Film Festival. Students are graded on their films and some films are selected by Instructor Mark Krumin to be submitted to the film festival.

Students in the cosmetology department offered complimentary hair styling and make-up application.

“These events have mainly been leading up to Mar. 1 as that is the deadline to apply form the spring 2011 graduation,” Skaff said.

Students could visit with potential employers at the CTE Job Fair. (David Gutman)

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