Monthly Archives: December 2015

Columbia College Receives $960,000 State Grant for Apprenticeship Programs

Columbia College has been awarded a two-year $960,000 grant to develop a new hospitality apprenticeship training program in partnership with two major local employers — Black Oak Casino Resort in Tuolumne and Evergreen Lodge and Rush Creek Lodge near Groveland.

The award, just announced by the California Community College Chancellor’s Office (CCCCO), is part of the new California Apprenticeship Initiative, aimed at broadening the range of apprenticeship programs available to California workers.

The grant will fund development of the Columbia College Hospitality Academy, a pilot project that will give up to 48 students the opportunity to “earn while they learn” at the resort sites.  Designed with input from the sponsoring employers, the program is modeled on European apprenticeships, blending classroom instruction and on-the-job training in a compressed, two-year program.

The college will receive $960,000 over two years to implement the Academy curriculum, receive approval of the apprenticeships through state and federal Division of Apprentice Standards, enroll students and launch the training at each work site.

“These partnerships with Evergreen/Rush Creek and Black Oak Resorts will be phenomenal training models in the hospitality industry,” said Columbia College President Dr. Angela Fairchilds. “We are proud that our small college was selected as a recipient for the CAI funding and look forward to developing this unique training opportunity for area residents who are interested in a career in the hospitality field.”

Dr. Klaus Tenbergen, Dean of Technical and Career Education & Economic Development, will oversee development and implementation of the Academy starting in early 2016.

“This is a unique opportunity to work with local employers to develop a skilled and educated workforce for the hospitality and food service industry,” Tenbergen said.

Partners at Black Oak and Evergreen Lodge will be key players in the program, which Columbia College hopes can be used as a blue print for other employers interested in apprenticeship training.

Evergreen General Manager Joseph Juskiewicz sees the new program as an excellent opportunity to build on existing momentum.

“As a Certified B Corporation, Evergreen Lodge at Yosemite has a strong commitment to using business as a force for good in the world,” Juskiewicz said. “Since 1992 we’ve operated a Youth Program that has taught important job and life skills to hundreds of Bay Area youth.  With the opening of Rush Creek Lodge we’re excited to see our Youth Program expand, and now this collaboration with Columbia College and our neighbors at Black Oak Casino Resort will take hospitality in Tuolumne County in an even greater direction.”

Black Oak Casino Resort also welcomes the project’s new on-the-job training.

“We are pleased to partner with Columbia College and offer on-the-job training led by our professional team. This is a great opportunity for those entering or advancing their careers in the Hospitality industry,” said Black Oak Casino Resort General Manager Aaron Moss.

Once enrolled, students will be able to complete recognized industry training certificates and earn an Associate of Science degree in Hospitality Management so they are positioned for career advancement. Apprentices rotate through different professional areas at the employer site over an 18-24 month period, to receive comprehensive training in a range of positions that could include a combination of front desk, housekeeping, maintenance, beverage management, retail, recreation and several aspects of kitchen and food service. Training in customer service and other “soft skills” will be incorporated throughout.

Based on employer needs, students enroll in either a seasonal or weekly training model to complete 2,000 hours of on-the-job training, a program of courses and skills certificates, plus general education and electives.


For more information, contact:

Dr. Klaus Tenbergen

Dean of Career Technical Education & Economic Development

Office: 209.588.5142

Cell: 559.994.6434

Ribbon-cutting Ceremony to Celebrate the Columbia College Calaveras County Outreach Site

On Tuesday, December 1, 2015, Columbia College held a ribbon cutting ceremony for its new Calaveras Outreach facility in Vallecito. Joining the ceremony were members of the Calaveras Chamber of Commerce and Executive Director – Staci Johnston, Calaveras Board of Supervisors, Chair – Cliff Edson and member Debbie Ponte, Calaveras County Superintendent of Schools, Kathy Northington and other local community members. Many hours were involved getting the site ready, such as technology infrastructure and equipment, new carpeting, signage, extending the parking lot, etc. The site offers four classrooms and an area for Student Services support. Spring evening classes at the site include, Algebra II, English as a Second Language (intermediate and high beginning), and Introduction to Sociology. Columbia College President Angela Fairchilds states “We are pleased to establish a Columbia College facility in the county through a partnership with the Bret Harte Unified School District. The opening of this site is testament to the commitment of the college, our Chancellor and the YCCD Board of Trustees to serving the residents of Calaveras County and now we are counting on the community to enroll in classes to help us sustain our efforts.” For more information on classes offered in Calaveras, please contact Columbia College’s Student Services at 209-588-5132.



UC Transfer Extention for Students!

Students hoping to transfer to a University of California campus next fall will now have until January 4, 2016, to complete their application.
Just go to to file an
application by the January 4, 2016 deadline.
You can also complete an application you’ve
already started or add more campuses to an
existing application. And remember, fee waivers are available to help
eligible students cover the cost of applying to up
to four campuses.