Last Updated on August 28, 2023
If you’re learning about engineering trade schools in california for the first time, the subject might seem overwhelming to those who haven’t previously explored the subject, but you’ll probably find it interesting.
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Why is California Good for Vocational/Technical Schools?
California works hard to ensure that workers in its Career Technical Education (CTE) programs have the tools they need to succeed. Since 2013, the state has invested more than $1 billion in regional career pathways through various initiatives. Student outcomes have been strong, with close to 80 percent of the roughly 900,000 CTE college students finding jobs or enrolling in further training within six months of graduation. Also, as recently as 2018, California legislators made budget available for a California Community Colleges project called the Online Education Initiative, which is meant to increase availability of career-oriented distance education programs in the state’s community colleges.
There’s a gap between the number of available jobs and the workers needed to fill them, despite how many vocational and technical schools there are in California. The Golden State’s economy is made up of around 50 percent middle-skill jobs — positions that require some formal college-level training but don’t require a bachelor’s degree — for which less than 40 percent of the state’s workforce has the necessary qualifications. New initiatives, such as California’s first fully online community college, Calbright College, open to students starting in October 2019, could help this issue.
If you’re not sure how to get a CTE credential in California, the advising office at one of the state’s community colleges or vocational schools is a great place to start. Take a look at our list of trade and vocational schools in California to find out which ones stand above the rest.
Best Engineering colleges in California for 2021
Stanford University Stanford, CA
Department of Mechanical Engineering
A top-notch faculty, nationally ranked programs, some 65 state-of-the art university centers and labs, along with intelligent and supportive classmates – what else could an engineering major want from a school? Well, how about a pristine campus located in sunny California in the heart of Silicon Valley where opportunities for internships, learning experiences, and employment abound? Stanford’s School of Engineering has been at the forefront of innovation for nearly a century — engineering faculty and graduates have founded an estimated 12,700 companies over the decades — and shows no signs of slowing down. Engineering is one of the university’s most popular majors, and roughly 1,600 undergraduates and 3,200 graduate students seek degrees through the school’s nine academic departments. The mechanical engineering department centers itself around five themes: biomedicine, computational engineering, design, energy, and multi-scale engineering. Curiosity-driven research that crosses disciplines or even schools is encouraged, as seen by the School of Engineering’s Hasso Plattner Institute of Design, which brings together students and faculty in engineering, business, education, medicine, and the humanities to learn design thinking and work together to solve big problems in a human-centered way. Think outside the boundaries, and you may be on your way to being Stanford’s next successful alum!
University of California-Berkeley Berkeley, CA
University of California-Berkeley offers 3 Mechanical Engineering degree programs. It’s a very large, public, four-year university in a midsize city. In 2019, 347 Mechanical Engineering students graduated with students earning 164 Bachelor’s degrees, 130 Master’s degrees, and 53 Doctoral degrees.
University of California-Davis Davis, CA
University of California-Davis offers 3 Mechanical Engineering degree programs. It’s a very large, public, four-year university in a small suburb. In 2019, 219 Mechanical Engineering students graduated with students earning 185 Bachelor’s degrees, 29 Master’s degrees, and 5 Doctoral degrees.
University of Southern California Los Angeles, CA
University of Southern California offers 5 Mechanical Engineering degree programs. It’s a very large, private not-for-profit, four-year university in a large city. In 2019, 208 Mechanical Engineering students graduated with students earning 116 Master’s degrees, 86 Bachelor’s degrees, and 6 Doctoral degrees.
University of California-Irvine Irvine, CA
University of California-Irvine offers 3 Mechanical Engineering degree programs. It’s a very large, public, four-year university in a large city. In 2019, 286 Mechanical Engineering students graduated with students earning 252 Bachelor’s degrees, 29 Master’s degrees, and 5 Doctoral degrees.
Financial Aid for Vocational Training programs in California
It may be clear that top vocational school programs are available here, but how does financial aid work in California? What is Cal Grant, and how can it work for you? We’ll give you answers to those questions and more, as well as providing a rundown of student aid resources that can make it easier to find the help you need.
The Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA, works like a skeleton key for most high-level financial aid programs, so be sure to fill it out and submit it as soon as possible. Check out our financial aid guide for students nationwide to learn more about the FAFSA and other important concepts in the world of student assistance.
Here’s a quick list of grants and scholarships that you may want to apply for as a California student:
- Cal Grant – Eligibility requirements for this statewide award include a completed FAFSA or California Dream Act Application (CADAA), at least one year of California residency, demonstrated financial need and a program that leads to a degree. Check the program’s website for info on how to apply for a Cal Grant.
- Pine Cone Foundation Scholarship – Learning-disabled students who want to attend California vocational schools might qualify for this award, which can total up to $3,500 over a three-year period.
- CTA Scholarships – The California Teachers Association (CTA) has several scholarships available for California students, including five awards of up to $5,000 for children of members and the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Scholarship Program that awards up to $6,000 for ethnic minority students hoping to become teachers, school counselors, school nurses or school therapists.
Initiatives for Students in California Trade Schools
California residents can take advantage of several statewide and regional initiatives designed to help vocational students succeed.
Funding for Vocational Students in California
- The California Career Pathways Trust (CCPT) has contributed more than $500,000,000 in funding to promote CTE in the state since 2013. CCPT focuses on guiding students from elementary school to college, helping institutions develop relevant study plans for high demand jobs in California and promoting collaboration among different career sectors to create more effective CTE programs.
- The Strong Workforce Program aims to help member schools of the California Community Colleges system produce better student outcomes in CTE programs. Its contribution to California vocational schools totals nearly $250,000,000 each year and is designed to boost efforts toward innovation and data-driven outcomes.
California Policies That Benefit Vocational Students
- The California Partnership Academies (CPA) model is a new approach to high school that incorporates CTE concepts into the standard academic curriculum. Students in CPA programs learn in small groups with a committed team of teachers. Partnerships with regional businesses as well as trade and vocational schools in California can help them prepare for the next step.
- The California Career Resource Network (CalCRN) was created by the California Department of Education to provide career development information and resources to state residents. The career exploration tools provided by CalCRN can help students decide on a career and create a plan to get there.
Resources for Vocational Students and Vocational Job Seekers in California
- The California Department of Education provides a wealth of information and resources for potential vocational students, specifically those seeking training in agriculture or business and marketing.
- Statewide Career Pathways has worked hard since 2006 to build a database of California articulation agreements and provide support to CTE faculty and administrators as they develop workplace-relevant courses and programs. It also produces helpful infographics like this industry sector map.
- Having an inside line to CTE accreditation agencies can help you stay on top of which programs are worth considering and which you should avoid. The Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC) and the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC) are the two biggest accreditors of California CTE schools.