Themed around community partnerships, MiraCosta College Superintendent/President Sunita Cooke outlined the College’s ambitious construction and student initiatives to more than 225 civic leaders, community members, district faculty, staff and students during her Report to the Region address at the Carlsbad Sheraton Resort and Spa. The annual event organized by the MiraCosta College Foundation and sponsored by Tri-City Medical Center, Balfour Beatty, California Coast Credit Union, and Scripps Health was an opportunity to highlight the accomplishments of the district, detail the college’s partnerships and thank the community for passing Measure MM, the historic $455 million facility bond measure.
“We believe you are an important piece of our partnership puzzle,” said Dr. Cooke. “Because of you, MiraCosta College is able to provide cutting-edge programs that lead to careers right here in North San Diego County. Our district and our students couldn’t do what we do without you.”
After Measure MM was approved in November 2016, the college assembled an independent citizens oversight committee and sold the first series of bonds within 75 minutes of going on sale.
The bonds will fund the college’s facilities master plan, including the construction of new buildings, renovation of older ones, and infrastructure improvements at the Oceanside Campus. The district also plans to build a new Student Services Building designed to improve the student experience by creating a one-stop-shop for admissions, enrollment, counseling, financial aid and veterans services. At the San Elijo Campus, the district will replace the outdated Administration Building with a new Student Services Center and central quad. Classrooms at all sites will be modernized to incorporate new technologies into the learning experience.
As part of the district’s partnerships with educational institutions, MiraCosta has worked with local high schools to prepare students for college through the expansion of dual enrollment now offered at the district’s three public feeder high school districts, as well as Cathedral Catholic high school. Students who complete dual enrollment courses earn college credit while meeting high school graduation requirements. For every class taken through this program, students save approximately $1,600 in university tuition. Dual enrollment both motivates students to attend college and improve their acceptance rates as they apply to universities and colleges.
MiraCosta continues its partnership with colleges and universities to provide opportunities for students to obtain a four-year degree. Starting in fall 2017, MiraCosta students can earn a certificate, associate’s degree and even a four-year degree.
“MiraCosta College has something for every student. Students can choose to earn a bachelor’s degree or go directly into the workforce. We offer degrees and certificates in a number of career and technical education programs,” said Dr. Cooke. “These programs are designed with support from local industry and prepare students for a specialized career.”
During the address, Dr. Cooke explained how MiraCosta works closely with industry leaders to ensure that students are equipped with the skills needed to meet employment demands.
“We are enormously proud that MiraCosta was selected by the state of California as one of only 15 Community Colleges in the state to offer a baccalaureate degree,” Dr. Cooke said.
This fall, MiraCosta College welcomed a cohort of junior-year students for the college’s first four-year bachelor’s program in biomanufacturing. The degree was designed to meet industry and regional demand. Existing biotechnology degree programs in California focus on product understanding during the research and early development stages. This bachelor’s degree program will emphasize the processes and understanding required for later stages of development, compliance, quality assurance and production.
Following the address from Dr. Cooke, she hosted a panel of four individuals representing MiraCosta:
• Christopher Barter, Datron World Communication and MiraCosta alumni
• Mia Montes, MiraCosta student
• Susy Morales, MiraCosta Promise student
• Jeannie Roger, tax specialist, mother and aunt to four MiraCosta College students
The event closed with the recognition of the 2017 Philanthropist of the Year, Alliance Engineering of California, Inc.
“Both our students and college benefit greatly from your partnership and support. In turn, our community is enriched by our students who stay in the workforce, start and expand businesses, and serve our community,” said Dr. Cooke.