Isachsen was one of the more than a dozen instructors taking part in the March 8 open house. His presentation included a graphic detailing the paths taken by several friends who attended West Valley Community College with him in San Jose. All went on to successful careers in the public or private sectors.
“The message here today for these students is that MiraCosta College is a viable, affordable option,” Isachsen said.
During a discussion with a group of students in the Adult High School Diploma Program, Automotive Technology instructor Paul Katson detailed how earning a certificate of proficiency or a certificate of achievement can yield a solid middle-class income. “There are so many jobs out there that are related to the automotive industry,” he said. To help illustrate his point, Katson detailed the story of a former student majoring in English who took an auto technology class. She went on to become a technical writer who puts together owner’s manuals for Chrysler.
Instructor Steve Vail noted that MiraCosta College regularly updates its Automotive Technology facilities, meaning “you guys are getting trained on the latest equipment out there, and we’re pretty proud of that.”
Added Vail: “We teach teamwork here. We want people to work in groups. Teamwork is important. When you go out there to get a job, there are a lot of dealerships that are set up to work in teams.”
Getting a good job was a message of consistency throughout the day. Media Arts Technology instructor Karl Cleveland noted that it wasn’t enough for his CTE department to train students on the latest advances in graphic design and website technology. “Every student coming out has to have a portfolio, which is what employers are really looking for.”
Oceanside High School teacher Debbie Foley, said the open house was invaluable. “The feedback I’ve gotten is that it’s been extremely helpful and has provided the kids with a lot of information. It’s given them the opportunity to explore.”
MiraCosta College has an extensive Career Technical Education program, and some 42 percent of students there enrolled in CTE courses last fall, said Mimi Lively, who works in the Career Technical Education office and organized the March 8 event.