Columbia College Fire and Hospitality Programs Receive Re-Accreditation

The Career Technical Education Division at Columbia College would like to congratulate the Fire Technology and Hospitality Management programs on their recent re-accreditations through their respective oversight bodies.

The California State Fire Marshal’s Office has re-accredited the Columbia College Fire Technology Program as a Regional Training Program (ARTP) in the State Fire Training System (SFT) for a period of five years. The accreditation team visited the campus and related training facilities in July of this year, and were able to review course records, training equipment, and instructional technology that supports ongoing testing and certification for students in the program in compliance with SFT and National Fire Protection Association standards.

The Columbia College Fire Technology Program is aligned with the 2013 Fire Fighter 1 curriculum and taught by registered Instructors.  Unique to Columbia College is a fully-functioning fire station staffed by students in the program that respond to emergency calls both on- and off-campus, in a cooperative effort between Columbia College, CAL FIRE, and Tuolumne County Fire Department. Columbia College also works with the Tuolumne and Calaveras Counties Chiefs Associations, Tuolumne County and Mother Lode Interagency Training Officers Associations, the United States Forest Service, CAL FIRE, and other local agencies to inform the direction of curriculum and program development through semi-annual Advisory Committee meetings.

The Site Evaluation Team noted that Columbia College “recognizes the unique training opportunities provided students given their surroundings and understands the importance of fostering interagency partnerships. Columbia College has a strong focus on recruitment and development as exemplified in its pre-apprenticeship program preparing grade school-age students for entrance into a formal academy setting through instruction, job shadowing/ride-alongs, support and information services, and hands-on learning.”

The American Culinary Federation (ACF) Education Foundation’s Accrediting Commission has also accredited the Columbia College Hospitality Management Program until June 2022 for the following programs:

  •             Associate Degree in Hospitality Management – Culinary Arts
  •             Associate Degree in Hospitality Management – Baking and Pastry Arts
  •             Certificate of Achievement – Culinary Arts
  •             Certificate of Achievement – Baking and Pastry Arts

Accreditation through the ACF includes a thorough review of curriculum, especially lab student learning outcomes, as well as faculty training, professional development, teaching facilities, and community partnerships. The Hospitality Management Program at Columbia College opened its brand-new facilities in the fall of 2017, built with local Measure E bond funds. Program instructors meet regularly with local businesses to give input on the direction of program and curriculum development and connect graduates with employers.

Dr. Klaus Tenbergen, Dean of Career Technical Education and Economic Development, says:

“I couldn’t be more proud of the dedicated faculty who devote so much of their time and energy to making our educational offerings so relevant and timely. Chief Shane Warner, Captain Andrew Van Hoogmoed (Fire Science) Chef’s Don Dickinson and Marcus Whisenant (Hospitality Management) are to be congratulated for their hard work and efforts. We know our employers and stakeholders place a high value on these re-accreditations; it’s very nice to get this external validation as well.”

“Columbia College is committed to bringing world-class programs to the Mother Lode Region, particularly to the residents of Tuolumne and Calaveras counties”, remarked Columbia College President, Dr. Santanu Bandyopadhyay. “The reaffirmation of accreditation for these two programs demonstrate the quest for excellence of our faculty, staff and administrators. The programs prepare students in well-paying jobs in the respective fields”.


For more information, contact:

Dr. Klaus Tenbergen

Dean of Career Technical Education & Economic Development

Office: 209.588.5142