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College Earns Statewide Recognition
for Boosting Students’ Wages

PALM DESERT, CA — The California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office has awarded 13 Career Education programs at College of the Desert for their outstanding workforce outcomes, including helping boost students’ earnings.

The 2018 Strong Workforce Stars were awarded to Career Education programs at community colleges throughout the state to focus on 12 industry sectors whose graduates have illustrated significant gains in factors important for advancing social mobility – a substantial increase in earnings, attainment of a living wage, and a job closely matched with the field of study.

“We’re extremely proud of the success of our Career Education graduates at the College and are honored to receive the Chancellor’s recognition,” said College of the Desert Superintendent/President Joel L. Kinnamon, Ed.D. “We know that education and training are the keys to a job, career and a better life for our students. And we’re here to help them succeed.”

The Chancellor’s Office awarded three levels of stars: Gold Stars met all three of the threshold outcomes; Silver Stars met two; and Bronze met one.

College of the Desert received one gold star; five silver stars; and seven bronze stars. They are as follows:

GOLD STAR

Registered Nursing

131% increase in earnings, 92% of students attained the regional living wage, and 100% of students are employed in a job similar to their field of study

The Registered Nursing program continues to see success. All of the 21 Registered Nursing students from College of the Desert’s fall class who took the National Exam have passed it. The national average is 88%, so 100% is phenomenal.

SILVER STARS

Vocational Nursing

96% increase in earnings and 100% of students attained the regional living wage

Early Childhood Education

68% increase in earnings and 100% of students are employed in a job similar to their field of study

ECE - Teacher

68% increase in earnings and 100% of students are employed in a job similar to their field of study

Environmental Horticulture

51% increase in earnings and 76% of students attained the regional living wage

Business Administration

75% of students attained the regional living wage and 100% of students are employed in a job similar to their field of study

BRONZE STARS

Business and Commerce, General

71% increase in earnings

Accounting

51% increase in earnings

Drafting Technology

82% of students attained the regional living wage

Alcohol and Controlled Substances

100% of students are employed in a job similar to their field of study

Computer Graphics and Digital Imagery

86% increase in earnings

Police Academy

71% of students attained the regional living wage

Culinary Arts

100% of students are employed in a job similar to their field of study

Strong Workforce Stars Career Education Programs

“Strong Workforce Stars Career Education programs are proven to help Californians increase their earning power,” said Van Ton-Quinlivan, executive vice chancellor for Workforce & Digital Futures. “With the introduction of levels this year, we are able to highlight those programs that are seeing significant results, as well as those that are on the rise toward even greater success.”

Those who received Strong Workforce Stars met one or more of the following thresholds in the respective academic years:

  • An increase in earnings by 50 percent or more, based on a match to the state wage file, for students who earned a certificate or degree and were last enrolled in 2015-16.

  • Attainment of the regional living wage by 70 percent or more, based on a match to the state wage file, for students who earned a certificate or degree and were last enrolled in 2015-16.

  • 90 percent or more are employed in a job similar to their field of study, according to the Career Technical Education Outcomes Survey, for students who earned a certificate or degree and were last enrolled in 2014-15.

Strong Workforce Stars is part of the Strong Workforce Program, an annual recurring investment of $200 million to spur career education in the nation’s largest workforce development system of 114 colleges.

The Strong Workforce Program’s policy specifies that one-sixth of the dollars be allocated based on contribution to student success outcomes rather than the traditional approach of student enrollment, and Strong Workforce Stars is one way to measure that goal.​​​​​