FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Executive Director of Communications and External Relations
Education Forum Highlights Career Technical Education at Citrus College
Glendora, Calif. (April 16, 2019) – Representatives from school districts throughout the region recently learned about Citrus College's many career technical education (CTE) options during the college's fifth annual K-14 Education Forum.
Board of education members, superintendents, principals and school administrators joined college leaders and governing board members for the informative event, which was held in the Citrus College Center for Innovation on April 12.
"The theme of this year's forum is very relevant. Responding to labor market demands has become a priority for California's community colleges, and Citrus College is committed to preparing students for the workforce," said Dr. Geraldine M. Perri, superintendent/president of Citrus College. "We want our partners in the K-12 system to be aware of the wide range of CTE programs Citrus College offers, and to know that the college's faculty and staff are committed to providing students with the education and skills to succeed in the workplace."
After a complimentary breakfast and welcome remarks from Dr. Perri, the morning's program continued with a brief CTE overview provided by Dr. Arvid Spor, vice president of academic affairs. Dr. Spor then introduced Dr. Eric Rabitoy, dean of natural, physical and health sciences, who shared information regarding Dual Enrollment.
"Through Dual Enrollment, also known as Early College or AB 288, Citrus College provides local students with the opportunity to take college courses on their high school campuses," explained Dr. Rabitoy. "This spring, the college is offering 33 classes at eight area high schools. The courses offered focus on general education curriculum and allow students to begin earning units toward their college degree."
Dr. Rocky Cifone, dean of career, technical and continuing education, also spoke to the event's attendees. In addition to providing details about the variety and breadth of the CTE programs, awards and degrees at Citrus College, he introduced three of the college's outstanding alumni.
Ms. Priscilla Englert, a teacher at Bonita High School; Mr. Ryan Keenan, an associate architect at Walt Disney Imagineering and adjunct instructor at Citrus College; and Mr. Serge Mayer, a project engineer at Marshall Engineering Group; shared their experiences as CTE students. They also explained how their time at Citrus College prepared them to pursue their education further.
"Career education comes in many forms. The historical perspective of 'vocational education' is an anachronism, as is the stigma that CTE is not for the college-ready or transfer-bound student," Dr. Cifone said. "The CTE success stories shared during the forum emphasized the fact that career education is a lifelong pursuit that is not necessarily limited to training for entry-level jobs. Much like these successful graduates, many Citrus College CTE students pursue a transfer track leading to baccalaureate or other professional degrees."
The forum concluded with a presentation by Dr. Dana Hester, dean of social and behavioral sciences and online education. After sharing details about the college's many transfer degree opportunities, Dr. Hester introduced Azusa Police Chief Steve Hunt.
"Administration of Justice is one of Citrus College's most popular CTE programs, and Chief Hunt has a unique perspective because he has been involved in the program in several different ways," Dr. Hester said. "Not only is he a former Citrus College student and current adjunct faculty member, he also leads the Azusa Police Department, which is an employer for the program. His inspiring story is an excellent example of what is possible with a CTE pathway."
According to Susan M. Keith, president of the Citrus Community College District Board of Trustees, attendees left the event with an in-depth knowledge of the many CTE options available at Citrus College.
"The career technical education programs at Citrus College have been created to meet industry demands and support the regional economy. Our faculty and staff work closely with business and industry professionals to ensure that students receive the knowledge needed to secure and sustain employment," said Mrs. Keith. "As president of the governing board, I am happy that the college has had the opportunity to spread the word about these remarkable programs. I am certain that they will continue to be beneficial to the region and its students."