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Gavilan Joint Community College District Preparing Students for a Successful Future Gavilan College honored as Strong Workforce Star for career programs that get results W hen students have specifi c career goals in mind, such as accounting, or nursing, they need good career training programs to help them enter and succeed in their desired fi eld. This month the career programs at Gavilan College were recognized as California Community Colleges’ Strong Workforce Stars for their success in leading students to jobs in their chosen fields, and increased earnings. “We are very proud of the success our graduates are achieving in employment, earnings gains, and regional living wages,” said Dr. Kathleen Rose, Superintendent / President of Gavilan College, “thanks to the fantastic work of Dean Sherrean Carr and the career education staff.” Strong Workforce Stars is an annual recognition for career education programs within the California Community Colleges system, recognizing programs whose graduates show significant gains in earnings, attainment of a living wage, and a job closely matched with their chosen field of study. The Accounting program won a Gold Star for achieving all three metrics. Seventy-three percent of the students (last enrolled in 2015-2016) who earned a certificate or degree have realized an increase in earnings of 50 percent or more. 71 percent of the students attained the regional living wage and 100 percent of students are employed in a job similar to their field of study. Jason Wolowitz, the faculty member for the program, credits the academic rigor of the classes and the exposure to real-world situations. “There are things you can learn that aren’t in the textbook,” he explained. Wolowitz, who is himself a CPA, employs a “flipped classroom” approach, in which class time is dedicated to working through problems, and the students read material on their own. Two programs—in Nursing, and Administration of Justice—were awarded Silver Stars for achieving two of the metrics. Students in the LVN to RN Career Ladder program realized a whopping 292 percent increase in earnings with 73 percent of students attaining the regional living wage. 93 percent of Administration of Justice students earning degrees and certificates in Law Enforcement, Option 2 attained the regional living wage and 100 percent of the graduates are employed in a job similar to their field of study. Five programs earned Bronze Stars for attaining one of the success metrics: Cosmetology was recognized for placing 100 percent of their graduates in jobs similar to their field of study. Water and Wastewater Technology saw 77 percent of students attain the regional living wage. In Licensed Vocational Nursing, 90 percent of students saw an increase in earnings. In Computer Programming, 69 percent of students saw and increase in earnings, and in Administration of Justice, 91 percent of students attained the regional living wage. For more information about Gavilan College’s Career Education programs, go to 56 GILROY • MORGAN HILL • SAN MARTIN JUNE/JULY 2018