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Vocational Training Programs in CA

Students throughout California can find vocational training programs at community colleges, occupational training centers, technical schools and other educational institutions. Most of these programs award certificates or associate degrees. Two of the largest community colleges offering vocational training programs in CA are discussed in detail in this article.

Schools and Programs

California residents seeking to develop occupational skills relevant to a wide variety of trade and other careers can consider programs offered at institutions throughout the state. In addition to training programs that can prepare students for entry-level positions in automotive repair, construction, HVAC technology or hair design, non-credit courses, degree and certificate programs are designed to help students develop professional skills needed for such diverse positions as medical assistant, police officer, early childhood educator, radiologic technologist and fashion designer.

Training typically involves classroom instruction and hands-on experiences at on-campus facilities as well as in local professional settings. Some studies prepare students to pursue certification in their chosen fields. Many programs take between 1-2 years to complete. More details about these programs and two of the schools providing them are found below.

Schools At a Glance

Schools Location Institution Type Class Format
Riverside Community College District Riverside, CA 2-year, Public Online, on-campus
City College of San Francisco San Francisco, CA 2-year, Public On-campus

Riverside Community College District's Vocational Training Programs

The Riverside Community College District is actually three separate community colleges -- Riverside Community College, Norco College and Moreno Valley College. All are 2-year, public schools located in the Riverside area of Southern California. Together, the schools offer vocational programs in more than 100 areas that can lead to associate's degrees and career certificates.

Associate in Science in Administration of Justice and Law Enforcement

The law enforcement vocational program prepares students for careers as law enforcement officers and other careers within the justice system. Students participate in the basic peace officer training academy, and topics of study include crime prevention, report writing, patrol techniques, traffic enforcement, fire arms and evidence collection.

Undergraduate Certificate in Medical Assisting

Students can earn a degree in administrative and clinical medical assisting or in medical transcription. Both programs prepare students for careers assisting medical staff in specific administrative duties in a medical setting. The administration and clinical medical assisting option also provides training in clinical procedures and basic patient care.

Undergraduate Certificate in Science in Early Childhood Studies

The early childhood program is designed for students seeking careers working with children from infancy through the third grade. Students study educational and developmental theory, as well as learn practical skills and applications, through classroom study and on-site training working with children.

Emergency Medical Services Program

The Emergency Medical Services Academy offers training programs for emergency medical technicians (EMTs) and EMT-Paramedics. The programs are accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs.

Certificate of Completion in Cosmetology

Completion of the cosmetology program qualifies students for the California State Board of Barbering and Cosmetology examination. This 24-month program offers four different options to students based on their career interests. Students can partcipate in a cosmetology program, an esthetician program, a cosmetology business administration program with an entrepreneurial emphasis or a cosmetology business administration program with a management and supervision emphasis.

City College of San Francisco's Vocational Training Programs

The City College of San Francisco is comprised of eleven campuses in the San Francisco Bay Area. The school offers certificate programs, associate's degree programs and non-credit courses, including a selection of career and technical training courses. Most of these programs lead to a certificate of completion. Students may earn an associate's degree by completing general education requirements in addition to the program coursework.

Automotive Technology Program

Courses are offered in brakes and suspension, engine repair, general automotive technology, transmissions and diagnostics. After students complete a specialized series of courses, they are eligible to apply for a State of California recognized certificate.

Health Information Technology Program

Students in this vocational program receive the necessary training in processing, analyzing, organizing and managing health care records. Those who successfully complete the program are eligible to apply to become Accredited Records Technicians.

Diagnostic Medical Imaging Program

This program prepares students to become radiologic technologists or radiographers. Students participate in clinical rotations at area hospitals while learning the necessary skills and theories. After completing the program, students may take the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists' national board examination.

Fashion Programs

Vocational students can earn certificates in fashion merchandising, fashion design and image consulting. Certificates are aimed at students preparing for initial employment in the fashion industry or for industry professional who wish to expand their knowledge and skill set.

Skilled Trades Programs

Skilled trade programs are offered in areas including drafting and AutoCAD, basic and intermediate electronics, refrigeration and air conditioning, business machine repair and construction. Each of these programs provides the basic training required for careers within these vocations.

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