multiple students walking and sitting on campus

South Orange County Community College District Celebrates California Community Colleges Month in April Focused on Student Engagement and Enrollment

MISSION VIEJO – The South Orange County Community College District is celebrating California Community Colleges Month to promote enrollment and student success throughout Orange County in the month of April.

The Board of Trustees, College Presidents, and Chancellor will attend several city council meetings to join mayors and councils within the SOCCCD service area to officially proclaim April 2023 – Community Colleges Awareness Month.

In the coming weeks, the District will join Mayor Khan and the Irvine City Council, Mayor Lumbard and the Tustin City Council, and Chair Wagner and the Orange County Board of Supervisors for a special presentation during their respective regular business meetings. The cities of Dana Point, Laguna Niguel, Newport Beach, and San Juan Capistrano will also proclaim April Community Colleges Awareness Month by sending a certificate via mail. A number of other cities are pending a presentation per request.

These activities will help raise awareness among current and prospective students about career training programs, guaranteed transfer to participating four-year universities, the availability of year-round financial aid, and basic needs support to help them start or continue their higher education journey.

California Community Colleges Month comes as a recent California Community Colleges survey found that more than 40 percent of respondents indicated they would like to be contacted by their college with additional information and resources to support their enrollment and help them stay enrolled.

“We have so much to be proud of within the South Orange County Community College District,” said Chancellor Julianna Barnes. “Our students exemplify excellence and overcome barriers to succeed every day. However, we know that the power of the community colleges does not stop in SOCCCD but is pervasive throughout the entire system. We are honored to have an opportunity to celebrate our district, and all community colleges, with our partners and stakeholders this month, and throughout the year."

Among the highlights of California Community Colleges Month is Black Student Success Week, which is being celebrated statewide from April 24 through April 28 and exemplifies the year-round academic and support programs and resources available to students. This year’s theme is “Vision to Action: Building Systems and Structures for Black Student Success,” and includes daily webinars for students and practitioners. Webinar registration will open the first week of April 2023. Follow Black Student Success Week on Twitter for updates and more information.

California’s community colleges provide the kind of high-quality, affordable education and workforce training that are profoundly impacting the economy. According to a 2022 EMSI Burning Glass report, the state’s community colleges have a combined annual economic impact of $128.2 billion.

Board President, Timothy Jemal noted that, “California Community Colleges Month is a good time to reflect on the value of a college education. The average community college graduate with an associate degree will see an increase in earnings of $11,100 annually when compared to a person with a high school diploma or equivalent. And those with a bachelor’s degree earn 84% more over a lifetime than workers with a high school diploma. We are proud that the South Orange County Community College district helps to support the local economy,  train Orange County’s future workforce, and educate the leaders of tomorrow.”

Students can enroll online through the website for Saddleback College or for Irvine Valley College, or the CCCApply site. In addition, the California Community College’s site offers information on career education programs, guaranteed transfer to a saved spot at participating four-year universities and links to financial aid applications.

The California Community Colleges is the largest system of higher education in the nation, composed of 73 districts and 116 colleges serving 1.8 million students per year. California community colleges provide career education and workforce training; guaranteed transfer to four-year universities; degree and certificate pathways; and basic skills education in English and math. As the state’s engine for social and economic mobility, the California Community Colleges supports the Vision for Success, a strategic plan designed to improve student success outcomes, increase transfer rates and eliminate achievement gaps. For more information, please visit the California Community Colleges website or follow on Facebook and Twitter.


About the South Orange County Community College District: SOCCCD serves more than 50,000 students per year through our two colleges, Saddleback College, and Irvine Valley College. The district serves nearly one million residents and employs more than 2,500 faculty and staff.