Cuyamaca College skip to content
Office of Instruction:  Special Projects

Special Projects

Environmental Training Center (ETC)
Sponsored through the Economic Workforce Development
Program of the California Community College System, the ETC provides environmental, health, safety, and homeland security training for the San Diego and Imperial county workforce and assists businesses with their environmental compliance issues.  Each year the San Diego ETC serves approximately 2000 students with over 800 hours of instruction in noncredit courses including 24 and 40 hour HAZWOPER, 8-hour HazMat Refresher, Air Quality, Bloodborne Pathogens and Confined Space, Department of Transportation to name only a few.

To find out more about the ETC, please visit us at 

If you are interested in teaching opportunities for the ETC please contact us. 

Contact for ETC:              Jennifer Lewis


Professional Development Academy (PDA)
The PDA was initiated through an Industry Driven Regional Collaborative grant in 2004. It serves the workforce and business community by providing noncredit and affordable “BusinessESSENTIALS” training in such categories as Customer Service, Supervision and Leadership. The PDA has worked with 200 businesses and organizations throughout the San Diego and Imperial County Region and served approximately10,000 students since its inception. The close partnerships created with the business community provide insight into current workforce needs and lead the way to the creation of exciting new programs such as those described below: Vocational English as a Second Language (VESL) and Community Based English Tutoring (CBET).

To find out more about the PDA, please visit us at 

If you are interested in teaching opportunities for the BusinessESSENTIALS program please contact us. 

Contact for BusinessESSENTIALS:        Tonette Salter


English at Work
The Vocational English-as-a-Second Language (VESL) Institute is sponsored through the Economic Workforce Development Program of the California Community College System and provides noncredit English as a Second Language (ESL) instruction to the workforce in specific industries such as hospitality, healthcare, landscaping and automotive. This program benefits not only the employer, but also employee by supporting career ladder opportunities, increasing job retention and productivity.  

To find out more about the English at Work program, please visit us at 

If you are interested in teaching opportunities for the English at Work program please contact us. 

Contact for English at Work:              Tonette Salter


English as a Second Language (ESL)
The ESL program provides free noncredit English-as-a-Second Language (ESL) instruction for community members and parents of English Language Learners in local school districts. Since its onset, ESL has served over 2,000 students at various school locations within the Cajon Valley Union School District. 

To view a listing of classes offered please visit   To find out more information about this program or if you are interested in teaching opportunities for the ESL program, please contact us. 

Contact for ESL:                 Molly Ash


Centers of Excellence (C*O*E)
The Centers of Excellence, in partnership with business and industry, will deliver regional workforce research customized for community college decision making and resource development.

Our Mission at Work for You:
The Centers of Excellence aspire to be the premier source of information and insight for community college workforce and economic development programs. Because we partner with business and industry, our regional workforce research is uniquely customized for community colleges to support them in making informed decisions about curriculum and programs relevant to the market.

Our environmental scans and customized reports give community colleges a competitive advantage in:

  • Creating new and relevant programs and curriculum
  • Pursuing grants that lead to funding
  • Understanding workforce skill gaps
  • Connecting to business and industry partners
  • Accessing workforce data that may be unavailable through other sources

Community Colleges Faces Many Challenges
California is an economy of regions and home to the largest higher education system in the world, the California Community Colleges. Now, more than ever, it is critical that these community colleges understand the economic dynamics of their regions and how these drivers affect workforce issues. Faced with limited resources, the California Community Colleges must have continuous access to data and decision support to assure that their curriculum produces workers with the skills that are relevant to California’s businesses.

Products and Services:
Environmental Scans

These reports focus on areas that have demonstrated labor market needs and warrant an organized community college response. The studies of an industry or occupation provide detailed information on how colleges are currently responding, as well as information on workforce and occupational needs which have been validated by employers or industry associations.

Customized Reports
Special and customized reports are available to individual colleges by requesting this service from the Center nearest you. Information to guide community college planning includes:

  • Occupational and industry profiles for target industries
  • Labor market information and trends using geospatial mapping software to depict the clustering of industries
  • Industry databases with contact information for outreach to specific employers
  • Industry growth trend reports to understand where and how industries are growing, size of business, and other data points.

Centers convene community colleges, employers, and professionals representing workforce and economic development organizations to share environmental scan findings and recommendations so that partners can explore creative solutions. These events have led to collaborative grants, increased industry participation in curriculum and program development, and the leveraging of resources among the partners.

Visit the website at

Contact for COE:               Philip G. Jordan
                                             Director, Center of Excellence
                                             San Diego – Imperial Region
                                             (619) 660-4619


Workplace Learning Resource Center (WpLRC)
Workplace Learning Resource Center (WpLRC) is part of a statewide network that provides employee assessment, and customized training for the employees of all types of businesses and companies. The WpLRC provides low-cost, yet completely customized training programs. Our instructors are competent, cooperative and offer flexible schedules

Our training approach is unique in that we offer training at the work site or on our college campus which is based upon the unique needs of each organization.

As rapidly changing technology and the increased need for competitiveness in a global economy dominate in industry, the workforce must be continually upgraded with new skill sets and, most importantly, the ability to learn.  Effective workplace learning programs are designed to meet the needs of the organization and the worker by successfully translating learning into improved job performance and increased potential for greater earnings.  Through ten strategically placed WpLRCs throughout California employers can find affordable on-site training to increase the knowledge and the potential of their workforce.

Customized Workplace Learning Services
The Workplace Learning Resource Center (WpLRC) networks with the twelve community college workplace centers to provide the public and private sectors with a variety of customized workplace learning services including occupational-specific skills assessment, needs and task analysis of requirements of the job, basic skills instruction, English as a Second Language (ESL)  and customer service training.  The WpLRC will align their services in order to provide a flexible response to the changing needs of the business community in Region 10 (San Diego and Imperial counties).

The WpLRC is committed to satisfying our customer
That satisfied customer is the employer that gains better trained, skilled and competent employees as a result of training developed and administered by WpLRC.  In today’s ever changing job market it is critical that employers and their respective employees remain on the cutting edge of today’s complex global marketplace.

Contact for WpLRC:                 Linda Waring


Career Technical Education (CTE) Teacher Pipeline Initiative
This newly received grant  will be used to develop a program that will
address the anticipated shortage of secondary and community college Career Technical Education (CTE) teachers.  Cuyamaca College, in conjunction with high schools and baccalaureate-granting institutions, will identify, recruit, enroll, and retain students in courses designed to provide a pathway leading to a teaching career in one of today’s CTE fields. The project will:

  • Develop project-specific objectives for addressing the shortage of secondary and community college Career Technical Education teachers.  Required minimum objectives include:
  • Engage faculty and staff (high schools and/or ROCPs, community college, and four-year institutions) in curriculum development activities that result in courses that are part of a CTE teacher preparation pathway.
  • Strengthen mathematics, science, and English language arts  components of courses included in the CTE teacher preparation pathways.
  • Increase awareness of teacher preparation at the community college and include outreach and recruitment of current CTE professionals who may be interested in CTE teaching careers, at the high school/ROCP or community college.  Outreach should include efforts to inform technically skilled professionals of CTE teacher training opportunities.
  • Identify the minimum number of students expected to demonstrate intent to complete a teacher preparation pathway and enroll students in community college courses that are part of the pathway.
Back to Office of Instruction Home Page
Page footer information
Cuyamaca College Social Media Cuyamaca College Social Media