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VCOE and VCCCD Collaborate to Enhance Education at all Levels

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A joint meeting held on December 8 between the Board of Trustees for both the Ventura County Community College District and the Ventura County Office of Education reaffirmed the more than two-year collaboration between the districts and their commitment to provide educational and professional pathways for the students of Ventura County. 

“The partnership, which began in September 2013, was established as a joint resolution with a goal to, in part, ‘help all students and their families understand and believe that they can have a positive future in education,’” said VCCCD Board Chair, Dianne McKay.

“By committing to work together as complementary parts of the same system, we are recognizing that what happens in our respective programs impacts the system as a whole,” said Tiffany Morse, Ph.D, Director of Career Education at VCOE. “Deliberately acknowledging this interdependence allows us to build better programs for students in Ventura County.”

Nearly $24 million in state trust grant funding has stemmed from the collaboration, and has resulted in creating programs, such as VC Innovates, that bring educators, students, and local employers together to better prepare students for the 21st Century workplace, and improve students’ transition into postsecondary education training, and employment in Ventura County. 

More than 6,600 students have benefited from the award-winning VC Innovates initiative, which has provided a variety of opportunities, including field trips to Ventura, Oxnard, and Moorpark Colleges, and 59 curriculum meetings designed to align high school teachers with college instructors. 

“Our work with the VCOE is unique,” said VCCCD Trustee, Stephen Blum. “Many government agencies often don’t work cohesively, but we are, and the beneficiaries are going to be students that will have more opportunities than they had before.” 

Stan Mantooth, Ventura County Superintendent of Schools, said, “This level of collaboration and coordination spanning preschool to higher education is virtually unprecedented in California.” Mantooth reiterated his focus on parent engagement, noting it as “high priority.” In addition, he addressed VCOE’s commitment to continuing to serve Ventura County’s more than 17,400 students with special needs saying, “Many of them want to go to college. All of them deserve to go to college.” 

Other programs that are part of the district collaboration include the P-20 Council, designed to promote opportunities for students from pre-school through graduate school; distance learning opportunities; and dual enrollment agreements between area high schools and community colleges. 

“With the support of our elected boards of trustees we are working together through our P-20 leadership in building some of the most important partnerships in California education,” said VCCCD Chancellor Bernard Luskin. “We look forward to increasingly successful initiatives, now exemplified by expanding dual and concurrent enrollment and distance education programs, increasingly serving students with special needs and providing needed guidance to our families. Our goal is to help every student in Ventura County achieve the American Dream.”

Photo Caption: VCCCD Board of Trustees; Dianne McKay Trustee (Area 2), VCCCD Board of Trustees and Stan Mantooth, Ventura County Superintendent of Schools