April is California Community College Month and MiraCosta College is showing us why.
From free citizenship courses that led to the naturalization of local residents to theatre and dance performances that are contributing to North County’s cultural depth, MiraCosta College’s impact this April is being felt.
Forty-five graduates of MiraCosta College’s citizenship course and 48 graduates of the North County Immigration and Citizenship Center have successfully obtained their U.S. citizenship and will be honored on Saturday, April 20, from 10 a.m. to noon at the MiraCosta College Community Learning Center, 1831 Mission Ave., in Oceanside.
This year’s students came to MiraCosta from Iran, China, the Philippines, Vietnam, Mexico, and El Salvador. They came to the North County Immigration and Citizenship Center from Mexico, El Salvador, Guatemala, Iran, Great Britain, South Africa, Cambodia, France, and elsewhere.
Speaking of the MiraCosta College Community Learning Center, scores of tuition-free, noncredit classes are offered at the Mission Avenue site each month. Classes run the gamut. English as a Second Language, Parent–Toddler Workshops, Basic Computer Skills, Acrylic Painting, Weight Management for Seniors, Chair Yoga for Adults, and Basic Academic Skills for Adults with Disabilities are just some of the many options.
Gigi Goines-Lewis is a believer. She enrolled in a computer skills program, and her newfound knowledge helped her land a new job after she was laid off at the age of 59.
“I started off with just the basics, Word, Excel, and learned how to become literate on the computer,” Goines-Lewis said. “Everything is computerized now. You have to have decent computer skills if you want to get a good job these days, no matter what field you’re in.”
Career training is among MiraCosta College’s strengths. The college’s Technology Career Institute in Carlsbad is transforming lives daily with workforce training programs that include Craft Brewing Technician, ROV/Drone Operator Technician, and Basic Electronics. A High Threat Specialist program has been attracting Marines transitioning to civilian life who are interested in pursuing careers as certified armed guards or as security specialists assigned to high-threat targets.
Community College Month ends with several MiraCosta College Theatre Department performances of All My Sons by legendary playwright Arthur Miller. The play opens April 26 and runs through May 5 at the MiraCosta College Black Box Theatre on the Oceanside Campus. Set in post-World War II, Miller’s Tony Award winning, landmark drama examines the relationships between fathers and sons and the price of living the American Dream.
“This is the third time I have worked on this play—once as an actor and twice as a director. I am consistently reminded how beautifully crafted this play is in structure, language, and universal themes,” said Eric Bishop, chair of the award-winning Theatre Department, whose students regularly excel in regional competitions and have matched up well with university and graduate students.
Introduced by state Assemblymember Monique Limon, the California Assembly approved a resolution recognizing April, 2019, as California Community College Month. The resolution notes that California’s 115 community colleges are higher education and workforce training leaders with more than 2.1 million students in all.
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