The College of Continuing and Professional Education (CCPE) at California State University, Long Beach (CSULB) has something for everyone who wants to further their education. CCPE is an interdisciplinary college that offers over 70 programs, from professional development certificates to a diverse range of graduate degrees and undergraduate degree completion programs. Working professionals who need something different than a traditional four-year degree can take advantage of programs that fit their busy schedules, career goals, and lifestyles. These include classroom experiences on campus, online courses, and hybrid programs that combine both approaches.

CCPE certificate programs are geared towards professional development in areas such as Meeting and Event Planning, Physical Therapy, and Collections Management for Costume and Textiles. Recently, the Human Resources (HR) Management Certificate Program was honored by the South Bay Workforce Investment Board with an award that recognized 100% job placement for every student who took the course last year. HR Management Program Advisor and alum Mark Rodriguez has watched the program evolve.

“The instructors and curriculum are topnotch, and that’s why the program has grown over the last 30-plus years,” said Rodriguez, who is currently the Chief Human Resources Officer for the SouthWest Water utility company. “Employers see the value in having their employees attend the program.”

Value, location, and convenience are key considerations for busy professionals who want to earn a degree. Bryan Rivera had already been working for Kaiser Permanente, but his Master of Science in Health Care Administration (MSHCA) degree prepared him for his current upper-management position as Department Administrator of the Rancho Cucamonga Medical Offices.

“I do believe the MSHCA program had a direct effect on that,” said Rivera. “Having the master’s degree really solidified me as a qualified candidate. The program also fit perfectly into my schedule. I could balance a job and a family easily.”

Brandon Lecou had a similar experience while earning his Master of Science in Supply Chain Management (MSSCM) degree. Although he was working full-time as Operations Manager for ocean carrier company Hamburg Süd, as well as being a father to his newborn baby, he enrolled in the MSSCM program so that he could grow into a bigger role.

“You can work for a company in an industry you’re passionate about through this program,” Lecou said. “And you’re never too old to continue learning.”

Balancing work, family, and education is a familiar challenge to CSULB alum Brandon Irving as well. Fatherhood and a stint in the military meant that college was lower on his priority list. Finally, his son’s high school graduation gave him the push he needed to enroll in the Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Arts degree completion program at CSULB. Irving discovered that the evening and weekend class schedule allowed him to fulfill all of his roles.

Value, location, and convenience are key considerations for busy professionals who want to earn a degree.

“As a father, earning my degree will confirm with my sons that I practice what I preach: always give your best effort and never quit,” Irving explained.

The Saturday Master of Business Administration (SMBA) program helped one local professional take his career to the next level. When he was hired as a local tech company's Managing Audio Engineer, he was unfamiliar with certain duties. He enrolled in the SMBA program to learn how to navigate this transition, and now he’s thriving in his new role.

“The SMBA program allowed me to have the best of both worlds, and dedicate the time needed to both my company and my education,” he explained.

Companies like Boeing, Long Beach Unified School District, L.A. Department of Water and Power, and others have benefitted from customized programs through CCPE’s Corporate Education unit. These customized training sessions help organizations invest in their employees by providing knowledge and skills that increase productivity and professionalism.

CCPE works with CSULB’s academic colleges to offer specialized skill sets for an ever-changing workforce. For example, the Master of Science in Geographic Information Science is intended to help those entering a growing hi-tech field; while the online Master of Science in Emergency Services Administration lets students log on to courses from anywhere in the world and receive cutting-edge disaster management instruction. New programs include the Master of Science in Information Systems for business analysts, and the online Master of Science in Engineering Management for engineering industry leaders.

These are just a few of the educational opportunities that are shifting to match the growth of new industries and changing demands of employers. CCPE is providing people with non-traditional paths to achieve their career goals in the 21st century.

Learn more about The College of Continuing and Professional Education at California State University, Long Beach by visiting www.ccpe.csulb.edu

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