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Miramar College, California

Miramar College, located in San Diego, California has been an NC3 Leadership School since 2014. Since joining the NC3 Network, their number of issued certifications has steadily increased year after year. Their program currently boasts 20 Snap-on Automotive Certifications! Our team at NC3 had the pleasure of speaking with Jesse Lopez, Miramar College’s Dean of the School of Business & Technical Careers, and Ryan Monroy, Professor of Automotive Technology, to discuss the school’s success in Career and Technical Education in California.

The state of California is teeming with automotive manufacturing facilities. A large part of CTE in the state is focused on the automotive industry in order to keep up with the high demand.

Jesse explains, “We have partnerships with industry, Honda and Toyota, for example, and they recognize names like Snap-on. If our students earn recognizable certifications, they’re much more likely to get a job after graduation.” He continues to say, “3rd party, industry-backed certifications like those offered by NC3 have been important for our students who want to enter the auto and manufacturing industry in our region.” Ryan Monroy adds, “Being trained on the equipment that our students will use in the industry is key. It’s not only being able to use the piece of equipment, but it’s also building a higher understanding of how to use that equipment to diagnose a problem.” The Snap-on equipment that students use at the college directly correlates with the equipment they will use in a professional manufacturing facility.

Miramar College has also seen an increase in student enrollment, which their faculty believes reflects the way the perception of technical education is changing in the professional world. Jesse remarks, “The perception is changing a lot, starting with the parents. We really believe that the focus is evolving from a traditional 4-year to 2-year education because of available jobs and the fact that students can graduate with virtually no debt and enter the job market immediately. We really try to market that as much as possible to parents and we have seen positive results.” Ryan adds that for some students, the interest in an automotive career starts well before college with Miramar’s dual enrollment program for high school seniors. He states, “The dual enrollment pathway gives high school students the ability to complete part of the automotive program during their senior year and then finish the rest of the program within their first year at Miramar to graduate early.” By offering this program, students have the ability to enter the workforce and start a successful career at an exceedingly early age!

We asked what’s next for Miramar College’s plans for expansion. Right now, it’s impossible to ignore the fact that schools around the world are being forced to fundamentally change education due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Jesse explains that like other schools, Miramar College has had to adapt to this new reality. He remarks, “The COVID-19 pandemic has forced our school to change the way we think about education and CTE in general. Our instructors have been forced to explore other avenues of learning, from online classes to virtual reality.” Jesse further explains that this pandemic has united schools in a profound way. “This crisis has brought out a real sense of comradery, not only amongst California schools, but also amongst schools throughout the whole country. Auto instructors have come together to help each other in a way I haven’t experienced before,” he says.

NC3 wants to congratulate not only Miramar College, but all our Certification Centers and Leadership School Members around the county for what an incredible job they’re doing to Keep CTE Moving during this unprecedented time. It’s times like these that highlight how truly dedicated, resourceful, and brilliant our educators are. Keep up all your hard work and let’s get through this together!

Once again, congratulations Miramar College! NC3 is proud to have you as an NC3 Leadership School. We can’t wait to see what the future will bring for your school and your students!


Stay tuned for our next School on the Rise recipient in June 2020!

Questions about NC3’s School on the Rise? Please contact Erika Staackmann, Customer Success Coordinator, 847.533.6985, Erika.Staackmann@nc3.net



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