Find it. Be it. Career Education
Parents, Friends & Family
Planning and Resources Page
It’s a Family Affair!
Find answers to common questions about our community colleges.
Why Community College?
Our colleges are the best-kept secret in the Central Valley & Mother Lode regions
- TRAINING & EDUCATION CLOSE TO HOME Your college student gets to stay in the community they know and love. They’ll learn skills for jobs in fields that have a big need for workers, which equals job security.
- A CERTIFICATE OR DEGREE IN TWO YEARS OR LESS Your college student can earn a certificate or degree in half the time it takes to earn a degree from a four-year college. That means moving into a new career or a better job more quickly.
- SKILLS FOR A GOOD-PAYING JOB Good jobs pay at least $35,000 for workers aged 25-44. Across the nation, there are 16 million good jobs for middle-skill workers, who need more than a high school diploma, but less than a bachelor’s degree. That’s 24% of all good jobs.1
- HUNDREDS OF DEGREES & CERTIFICATES Community colleges offer career education programs in 16 areas, from agricultural careers to computer networking careers.
- OPTIONS YOU CAN AFFORD Community college is one of the most affordable career training options. California residents, documented and undocumented, may qualify for free and low-cost training.
- HELPING HANDS Every one of our community colleges offers services that support students in their college journey, including career planning, tutoring, services for people with disabilities and more.
Find it. Be it.
A Path to a Better Job in Two Years or Less
What Parents Want to Know
Answers to your most important questions
How does my student get into a community college?
This California Community Colleges CCCApply page describes the admissions process. Your student can apply if they have a high school diploma or its equivalent (e.g., GED). Go to your college’s website and check out the Admissions page for details about the process.
Does my student have to be a California resident to attend a community college in the region?
No. Up to 70,000 students enrolled at California community colleges are undocumented. Learn more on the Undocumented Students page.
Do community colleges offer financial aid?
Yes. The California Community Colleges’ I Can Afford College website can help you find financial aid that is right for your family. There are grants, loans, scholarships and/or work study.
Does my college student have to apply a second time for a career education program?
No, your college student only has to apply once, to the college of their choice. They can apply here.
What if my college student wants to play college sports or get involved in other activities?
There are plenty of clubs, organizations and activities, including athletics, your student can choose from at colleges in the Central/Mother Lode Region. To get a feel for athletics at our colleges, check out the California Community College Athletic Association website. Also, visit your college’s Campus Life page.
Will my student’s credits transfer to a university?
Some courses will. The colleges in our region have transfer agreements with the California State University system and the University of California system. If your student plans to transfer, they should work closely with their community college counselor from the start to make sure they are clear on transfer courses.
What qualifications do community college instructors have?
Community college instructors who teach academic courses have to have at least a master’s degree in the area they teach. Or, they can have a bachelor’s degree in the area they teach but also have to have a master’s degree related to the subject they teach. Career education instructors, who teach job skills, have to have a bachelor’s degree in any major and two years of experience in the subject they teach. Read more about this on the California Community Colleges Minimum Qualifications page.
Do community colleges have dorms?
Several Central/Mother Lode Region community colleges offer dorms and housing. Check out the California Community Colleges’ College Dormitories & Housing page to learn more and see if your college is among them.
How To Help Your Student Succeed
Tips for parents, family and friends
Encourage your college student to set a goal for college. You also want them to find help to achieve that goal: They could reach out to a college advisor, instructor or support service at the college.
Feeling connected is an important factor in success. Encourage your college student to get involved in a college club, organization or activity. This will allow them to develop friendships and build community.
College is a big change. Sometimes students try to go it alone when they really need help. Remind your college student there are many resources at the college to help them when they’re stuck. Encourage them to get help sooner rather than later.
Getting help from an academic advisor is important. It helps keep your student moving toward graduation. Remind them to connect with their advisor each semester for help picking courses that count toward their degree.