With high-performing preK-12 schools; MiraCosta and Palomar community colleges; Cal State University, San Marcos; and a handful of private colleges and universities, North County has established itself as a hub for education.
Families looking to raise their children in areas with superb public education need look no further than North San Diego County. Parents, teachers and administrators in all our local school districts work tirelessly to prepare students to embark on their college and career pathways. These educators are committed to ensuring that students are prepared for and can access a college education, and have implemented a variety of innovative programs and services to get young students on the road to college completion. For example, the $7.5 million GEAR UP grant from the U.S. Department of Education has allowed MiraCosta College and Oceanside Unified School District to link teachers, counselors and tutors with some 1,000 junior high and high school students. The first Oceanside Unified GEAR UP student cohort will finish high school in 2017 and the MiraCosta College Foundation has already raised a minimum $100,000 in scholarships for GEAR UP students who choose to attend MiraCosta College.
In Carlsbad, beginning in January 2014, all high school students can now take MiraCosta College credit classes at the newly opened Sage Creek High School. And for all high school students looking to concurrently enroll, MiraCosta College has waived its enrollment fees to encourage attendance. This removes a substantial financial barrier to college, which gives high school students a chance to earn college credit and get a taste of college life, while inspiring them to continue their education.
Those ready to enter the workforce can find the training they need at one of two local community colleges. MiraCosta and Palomar colleges collectively prepare thousands of students each year for jobs in a variety of career and technical fields, including health care, automotive technology, hospitality and tourism, design and more. MiraCosta College’s biotechnology facility
, built with donations from local industry, has been named a Center of Excellence by the U.S. Department of Labor. Meanwhile, the college has created a machinist technology program to specifically meet industry needs.
MiraCosta College’s efforts at preparing students for the local workforce recently received a huge boost when the Department of Labor awarded the college a $2.75 million federal grant to start a technology career institute aimed at filling a growing demand for qualified machinists and technicians in North County. In 2014, the college will open a comprehensive training facility that will prepare participants – including returning military veterans and the unemployed – for high-skilled, high-paying employment in the manufacturing and technology industries.
Students who are ready to earn a bachelor’s or master’s degree also don’t have to leave beautiful North San Diego County. Our region is home to world-class universities such as Cal State San Marcos, San Diego State, UC San Diego, University of San Diego, National University, and Point Loma Nazarene, among others.
At Cal State San Marcos, construction is under way for the university’s Student Health and Counseling Services Building, which promises to bring health care closer to students, while promoting healthy lifestyles and overall wellness. And student enrollment in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics has more than doubled, with 15 percent of the college's 12,000 students currently enrolled in degree programs within the College of Science and Mathematics. Once they graduate, many of these students will go on to find great local jobs in local industries.
In North County, students can stay close and go far—starting with preschool and going on to earn doctorate degrees—without ever having to leave the area. When people think of North County, they think about the climate and the ocean. They should also think about this beautiful area as a bastion of education—and that with a higher education, anything is possible.