MiraCosta College this fall is rolling out an array of new certificate and degree programs providing the skills needed to land good-paying jobs and transfer credentials that can lock up a seat at a California State University campus.
“MiraCosta College is a leader in higher education and workforce preparation. These new options for students to obtain a degree or certificate have been developed by our faculty in concert with industry representatives to continue the college’s tradition of looking forward,” said MiraCosta College Superintendent/President Dr. Sunita “Sunny” Cooke.
Among the options for those interested in learning the skills needed for a solid career:
• Entrepreneurs looking for a strong foundation before starting their own business can sign up for a new certificate of proficiency program dubbed Business Quick Startup, which offers short, targeted, intensive classes that include required courses such as Marketing, Business Plan Development, and Funding the Entrepreneurial Venture. Electives range from Payroll Accounting to Social Media for Business, Business of Media Arts, e-commerce and Web Presence.
• The MiraCosta College Accounting Department is offering a pair of new programs this fall: a certificate of proficiency for Income Tax Preparers and a certificate of proficiency as a Payroll Professional. The six-unit Income Tax Preparer program is designed for entry-level tax preparer positions. The curriculum prepares students for the California Registered Tax Preparer certificate, as well as the IRS Tax Volunteer certificate and can open doors to other industry jobs. Likewise, the 10-unit Payroll Professional program introduces students to payroll basics, and courses can be applied to a certificate of achievement in Bookkeeping or help you land a job in the payroll and accounting departments at local businesses.
• The new Digital Media Foundations program, that is part of the Media Arts & Technologies Department, is aimed at providing students with a solid foundation in this growing field. Core courses are offered in digital imaging, graphic design, web design, and video and media production. Courses include Graphic Design Principles, Web Design Fundamentals, Media Design Production, and Digital Imaging Adobe Photoshop.
• The new MiraCosta Medical Assistant program provides the skills needed to work at medical clinics, nursing homes, doctor’s offices, and other related locations, where the average starting pay is approximately $35,000 annually. The program provides 160 hours of online, in-class, and clinical instruction at MiraCosta and at nearby hospitals and clinics. “Our population is growing and getting older,” said Associate Dean of Nursing and Allied Health Sandy Comstock, who noted students learn physiology, patient advocacy, medical terminology, insurance billing, and patient processing. “The Medical Assistant program helps the medical industry meet the growing need for well-trained workers.”
New associate degrees for transfer programs being offered this fall include Social Justice–Gender Studies, Social Justice–LGBTQ Studies, Child and Adolescent Development, Anthropology, and Biology. Often called a degree with a guarantee, associate degrees for transfer provide students with an assured spot as a junior at a California State University campus or other participating four-year institutions.
“An associate degree for transfer lets a university know that the student has the proper preparation for a particular field of study and a strong potential for success in that field, which makes them more competitive when applying to a four-year institution,” said Anthropology Professor Dr. Lynne Miller.
Courses in the new Anthropology degree program include The Music of Multicultural America, World Religions, Race and Ethnic Relations, and Intercultural Communication. “The Associate Degree for Transfer in Anthropology”, Miller said, “sets students up for an area of emphasis in the subject when earning a bachelor’s degree, and Cal State University, San Marcos has two areas of emphasis in its baccalaureate program: Medical Anthropology and Indigenous Studies.”
Students earning an Associate Degree for Transfer in Child and Adolescent Development will have completed all the lower-division requirements for a bachelor’s degree in child and adolescent development, an emphasis or option within a child and adolescent development degree, or a bachelor’s degree similar to child and adolescent development at a participating California State University campus. Students who earn this degree are qualified to work in early care and education and can secure a child development permit issued by the Commission on Teacher Credentialing by taking additional child development coursework.
The Associate Degree for Transfer in Social Justice–Gender Studies includes an Introduction to Gender Studies course and classes in Race and Ethnic Relations, Introduction to Sociology, and Statistics for Behavioral Science, among others. Among the program’s focus are historic and contemporary issues pertaining to the social status of those in the LGBTQIA+ community; the ways in which gender interacts and intersects with race, class, ethnicity, and other identities to help shape their experiences in society; and the dynamics involved in face-to-face interaction, group settings, and large-scale social institutions. The Associate Degree for Transfer in Social Justice–LGBTQ Studies includes virtually all of the same requirements as the Gender Studies degree, but the emphasis is on the LGBTQIA+ community, rather than on gender.
The new Associate Degree for Transfer in Biology includes an array of university-level courses in biology, chemistry, physics, and mathematics but at a fraction of the cost of a four-year institution.
In fact, MiraCosta College starting this fall is subsidizing tuition for all first-time, full-time college students for their first two years at either the Oceanside or San Elijo campuses via an expanded MiraCosta Promise program. All first-time students who enroll in at least 12 units per semester are eligible to have their tuition fees waived. In addition to removing the financial barrier of attendance, MiraCosta College also provides a wide range of free student success support services, such as academic counseling and educational planning.