San Diego City College has a new certificate program in special effects makeup. Photo courtesy SDCCD

An abundance of new certificate and degree programs from cybersecurity to fermentation management, new centers for veterans and foster youth, and an expanding, tuition-free San Diego Promise await an estimated 53,000 students at San Diego City, Mesa, and Miramar colleges when the new academic year begins Aug. 19.

San Diego Continuing Education, which provides everything from free career training programs to ESL and citizenship classes, begins its new academic year Sept. 3.

Among this year’s highlights is the SDCCD’s rapidly expanding San Diego Promise, which waives tuition for all first-time, full-time students while providing the support and services they need to succeed. Approximately 3,100 San Diego Promise students are expected this year, a 55 percent increase over the 2018-19 academic year, when about 2,000 enrolled.

Elsewhere in the district:

San Diego City College is offering several new certificate programs that can be completed in as little as a year. Among them, a certificate of achievement in special effects makeup, a certificate of achievement in technical theatre, and a certificate of achievement in community health works. A new Associate Degree for transfer is available in law, public policy and society, and a new Associate of Science Degree is being offered in esthetician business administration, the latter of which will prepare students to open and operate a business focused on skin care, makeup, and facials.

In addition, City College’s Air Conditioning, Refrigeration and Environmental Control Technology Program comes with a comprehensive look at emerging technologies in heating and air conditioning systems and controls.

City College also has a new cafeteria and a new veterans center.

San Diego Mesa College’s new certificate program in fermentation management will appeal to those interested in the business of beer, wine, coffee, kombucha and other fermented beverages, and it includes courses in sales, marketing, law, accounting, importing, and distribution. Mesa also has a new coding specialist certificate, along with associate degree and certificate programs in video game design and development.

Also, Mesa College, which is celebrating its 55th anniversary this year, has opened a new STEM Innovation Research Lab to provide a creative and inclusive scientific environment promoting research experiences for students from underrepresented populations. Current and former foster youth have access to expanding support services at the new FAST Center for Foster Youth in the G Building, and all students can access a new Mesa Journeys online tool that will direct them to specific support services based on their needs and interests.

San Diego Miramar College, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary, is offering a pair of new Associate Degrees for transfer, one in law, public policy and society, the other in computer information science. It also is offering a new certificate of achievement program in public safety management. Those looking to learn more about current events in sustainability can enroll in a new physical science class titled Weather and Climate that looks into the greenhouse effect and climate change. No prior math or science classes are required.

Miramar College, meanwhile, finds itself under new leadership. Student Services Vice President Adrian Gonzales will serve as acting president for the next few months in place of President Patricia Hsieh, who left the campus in July after 14 years to become superintendent/president at the Hartnell Community College District in Salinas. The SDCCD hopes to name an interim president in a few months while a search continues for a permanent president.

San Diego Continuing Education is offering two new certificate programs in the burgeoning field of cybersecurity: cybersecurity analyst, and cyber threat and response, in which students will learn to build and strengthen internet security policies and standards while providing them with the skills to evaluate threats and vulnerabilities and develop appropriate responses. In addition, SDCE further strengthened its automotive technology options when it recently secured state approval for a smog training program. The program will provide even better opportunities for graduating students and will allow local residents with a smog license to renew their certifications at SDCE.